Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wandies aka Quandi = Fried Cookies

This week I'll share a recipe with you. These are a "not too sweet" dessert cookies. They also have the distinction of being one of the most popular Italian cookies. And are really fun and pretty easy to make.

The actual Italian name for them is "Quandi". The "Q" is silent. In the Italian language the "qu" cluster is how Italians say "w". There is no "w" in the Italian language. Therefore, in English "wandie" or plural, "wandies". In Italian "quandi" is already plural. The singular is "quando". You would never have just one of these, however.


1.5 cups flour, sifted
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of liqueur (I use white wine)

confectioners sugar for dusting
canola oil for frying


Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl. Make a hole (fontana) in the center of the mixture and pour in the eggs, butter and liqueur. Gently mix the wet ingredients while gradually bringing in a bit of flour until flour and egg mixture is combined. Remove this dough to a floured counter and knead until you have a nice, smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball and hide it under the bowl for an hour while you go and watch a couple TV programs. When I return, I cut this dough into quarters. I work with one of the quarters while the others are still hiding under the bowl.

Roll the dough to about 1/8 inch. Slice it into 1" ribbons. I carefully either tie the ribbon in a knot or make a 1" slit on each ribbon and slide one end of the ribbon through the slit, thus making a cool looking ribbon doohickey.

Fry these ribbons in a large skillet until golden, in the hot canola oil. Don't crowd. Drain and cool on paper towel covered cookie sheets. After you've fried all the wandies, put a couple tablespoons of confectioners sugar in a small strainer and dust them with sugar. Pile high on a beautiful cake plate and serve. 

No need to be concerned about keeping them in a tin or Tupperware because they'll never last long enough for that.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Part 3 and Final Installment of the Genesee Valley Quilt Fest

At this festival, oftentimes you'll see a vendor that has expanded her textile reach far beyond quilts. Pat Pauly is one such. She makes these fabulous hand painted aprons.

There are vintage quilts at the fest also. I took photos of some of my favorites. These were made before computerized quilting machines. All the tiny stitches and patterns were done by hand.

I saved what I consider to be the "best" for last. I have seen this quilt before at a previous quilt fest but I was so pleased to see it again. It is huge and tells a story. In fact, I consider it a historical document of family letters back and forth from Europe to America during World War II.

The quilter used the old letters, a Western Union telegram and a photo of the mama to tell the story.

Because it seems I have been sewing almost forever, you can see why this annual event is a highlight for me.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Part II ~ Genesee Valley QuiltFest

In my previous post, I talked to you about the Iron Quilter Contest where members of the Genesee Valley Quilt Club take on the challenge of making a quilt in 3.5 hours right on the arena floor. I love this contest because it's totally "edge of your seat" tense and "under the gun". Just read last week's blog post for all the details.

In this installment, part II of the QuiltFest, I'll take you for a walk with me up and down the aisles of quilts and point out to you some of my favorites. C'mon, let's go................

This quilt is so precise, it looks like a photo of winter in the woods

Used car lot
Walled city of Jerusalem - dome of the rock on lower left

Family portrait - Mind boggling ! tiny slivers of fabric for face features and shadows
This one's right up my alley - all vintage doilies !!!

This is a quilted embroidered tablecloth !

I love the pale colors and water color effect of this one

Those are a few of my favorites.

More quilts to come next week.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Genesee Valley Quiltfest ~ Part I

This event took place last weekend (first weekend of June) as it does annually. It's really the first big and warm weekend of our very short Summer here in western New York (on the southwestern shore of Lake Ontario). Although there was an enchanting menu of local events to choose from, my choice was to attend the Genesee Valley Quiltfest.

The venue is a local college campus, therefore plenty of free parking. Held in the campus field house, therefore huge spaces, high ceilings - all perfect for presenting quilts. 600 plus quilts, plus quilted fashions and vendors specific to quiltmaking all around the perimeter of the space.

The event is a 3 day affair. I like to go on Saturday (day 2) because on this day there is a quilting contest entitled "Iron Quilter". A take-off on the Food Network show Iron Chef. Members of the Genesee Valley Quilt Club may volunteer to take the challenge to make a quilt from start to finish in 3.5 hours. This year the show's theme was "The Universe of Quilts". The theme for the Iron Quilters was "My piece of the Universe". They may interpret this theme in any way they like with one restriction - size. Their quilts are "wall-hanging" size. The crowds of onlookers can observe quietly as the quilters work furiously to get their projects done on time. Quilters use their own fabrics and sewing machines but there is a huge supply of snippets and scraps available for them to use, as well.

I usually check in on the quilters during the 3.5 hours they create but also wander up and down the aisles admiring the 600 plus quilts, taking pictures of those that particularly impressed me.

As the time comes to a close for the Iron Quilters to be done, I hang around that area to watch their quilts get displayed and to try diligently to decide which one is my favorite. I get to vote. The quilt with the most votes wins a prize of $100.

This was my favorite - in her universe, there are quilts hanging on the line

This one was the winner

Next week, I'll take you on a tour through the aisles of quilts, showing you a few of my favorites.

I hope that one day you will have an opportunity to attend this event. The creativity, the skill, the imaginations of these quilters of today and yesterday (vintage quilts) is awesome