Country Chatter Newsletter
March 2010                     

Welcome to the "new" Country Chatter








Calico Kitten Designs is so happy to welcome Country Chatter Newsletter to our website.
The newsletter is just my way of sharing my part of the world with everyone, and helping people with their businesses. I am hoping to make the world just a little bit better for a couple minutes, to bring a laugh or a smile to your face and just a way of saying thanks.

It has been a busy time since the last newsletter but the weather has been mostly wonderful out here.  It rained here today and cooled down.  We had a week in January where we got just in Peoria 4 1/2 inches of rain in two days, now that might not sound like a lot of rain but.................. last year for the whole year we only got 3 inches and we have been in a drought out here for a couple years.  So the grass is growing, so are the weeds but all of the plants in the back are blooming, too.  The weather people are telling us that it will be dry this weekend, which will be a first.  The last three weekends, it has done nothing but rain.  The weeds in the back yard are so tall, that the kitties out in the back yard have to put their tails up in the air so you can see them. But if nothing else gets done this weekend, the weeds will get cut down.

Claudia and I ventured down to the Home and Garden Show.  We both wanted to check out all the gardening ideas and all the other wonderful ideas.  The show was smaller than in past years and the crowds were not as large as in the past, which was a good thing.  You got to see the vendors and talk to them.  But............. the best part of the whole show was that Shane Tallant from HGTV's Designed to Sell was there and we got to talk to him.  We also got to see Dave the Garden Guy from Channel 3 and learned all about planting out here in the desert.  We spent about six hours down there walking around and around.  When and had a "late" lunch and headed down to the Glitter and Glow in Glendale.  I just love the Glitter and Glow and have been to every one of them, we checked out some of the stores, and the ankle very nicely informed me that either I put it up or it was gonna put me down, so we headed home.

Joanne and I went to Phoenix Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival at the end of the month.  Once again, it was not as crowded as it has been in past years.  Lots of fabric, quilting stuff, and more vendors than there have been in past years.  I was doing the happy dance, there was a cross stitch vendor and I went crazy there. 

Claudia and I went to the Chocolate Festival in downtown Glendale, chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate and lots of people.  We parked in the parking garage and were going to take the elevator but it stopped working with some people in it, sure am glad it was not us.

One of the TV stations out here runs a Smart Shopper Deal just about every day, and oh happy days!!!!  Last Friday it was Cameo Candles, there small jar candles were dollar a piece and this past Wednesday, it was my favorite shop in downtown Glendale, Apple Tree, candles were $4.00 each and everything in the store was 40% off.  I could not wait for work to get done that day, there was a fireplace screen that I wanted and wanted. refund check was here and burning a hole in my pocket so guess what I got my screen and am doing the happy dance.






Steps To Happiness"

Everybody Knows:
You can't be all things to all people.
You can't do all things at once.
You can't do all things equally well.
You can't do all things better than everyone else.
Your humanity is showing just like everyone else's.

You have to find out who you are, and be that.
You have to decide what comes first, and do that.
You have to discover your strengths, and use them.
You have to learn not to compete with others,
Because no one else is in the contest of *being you*.

You will have learned to accept your own uniqueness.
You will have learned to set priorities and make decisions.
You will have learned to live with your limitations.
You will have learned to give yourself the respect that is due.
And you'll be a most vital mortal.

Dare To Believe:
That you are a wonderful, unique person.
That you are a once-in-all-history event.
That it's more than a right, it's your duty, to be who you are.
That life is not a problem to solve, but a gift to cherish.
And you'll be able to stay one up on what used to get you down.

author unknown



Activities Around the Valley

This is for my friends who need a little reminder about what is going on around my part of the world.
Well, this is the time of the year that we all live out for out here, not to hot and not to cold, you need a light jacket at night.  So much to do, go and enjoy before it gets too hot.
Time to take a class or two at the Park District or your local craft shop

Spring Training is alive and well out here, with both The Cubs and The White Soxes
playing here in the Valley.

And my favorite - The Farm at South Mountain is open again
Check it out at

Phoenix Community Farmer's Market
Located at 721 N. Central Ave. Phoenix
Hours - Every Wednesday 4pm to 8 pm
Every Saturday 8am to Noon
Worth the trip down to see it.




Crafter's Corner

If you are in the Phoenix area and are interested in any shows, please get in touch with the kittens, opps I mean kitties at and they will be more than happy to send you a list of shows.

Calico Kitten Designs is looking for crafters that would like to move into the website, if you are interested, please email me
and I will send you all the details -

I would still like to start a Quilting Club for quilters or anyone who would like to give it a try. 
I want to start a mailing list of people who would be interested in doing this.  Each month, you will send to one person on the list, four 5 inch squares of fabric of one theme.   We will do this for 3 months with one theme and then choose another theme for the next 3 months.  At the end of the three months, please design something with your fabric and send me a photo and I will put it in the newsletter with your name and website.  If you are interested in doing this, please email the staff at and please put quilts in the message line.

Bear is in charge of link exchanges and was wondering if anyone would like to exchange links with Calico Kitten Designs.
You can get in touch with him at and he will be more than happy to sent you ours. One small note from Bandit, if you have any EXTRA Pringles (the original favor) he will make sure that you on the front page of the links.















Each and every month, there will be a special section for them. 
This month we are featuring just some wonderful recipes

If you would like to have yours in
the next issue of Country Chatter, please email Bandit at
and he just loves samples.

Chocolate Grasshopper Cheesecake
30 fudge mint cookies, crushed (about 1 3/4 cups)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
4 oz. semisweet baking chocolate
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup green crème de menthe liqueur
Topping and Garnish, if desired
Sweetened whipped cream
Crème de menthe thin rectangular candies for garnish,
 unwrapped, cut in half diagonally

Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Wrap foil around bottom and side of ungreased 9-inch
springform pan.  In large bowl, mix crust ingredients with fork until crumbly.
Press in bottom and 1 inch up side of pan.  Bake 12 minutes.  Cool 30 minutes.
In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate in High 45 to 60 seconds, stirring
once halfway through microwaving, until melted.  If necessary, continue to microwave
on High in 15-second increments, stirring until smooth.  Set aside.
In large bow, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed,
scraping bowl frequently, until smooth and creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating
until smooth after each addition.  Stir in liqueur.  Pour filling evenly over crust.
Drop 8 to 10 tablespoonfuls melted chocolate randomly onto filling, allowing
chocolate to sink into filling.  With table knife or small spatula, cut through
chocolate and filling to swirl for marbled design.
Bake 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until set 2 inches from edge of pan.
Remove from oven; run knife around side of cheesecake to loosen.  Return to oven;
turn oven off and open door slightly.  Cool cheesecake in oven 1 hour.  Remove from
oven to cooling rack; cool at room temperature 1 hour.  Refrigerate 3 hours.
To serve, remove side of pan.  Spoon whipped cream into decorating bag with
large star tip, squeeze bag to pipe cream around top edge of cheesecake. 
Garnish with candies.

Irish Soda Bread

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup raisins, if desired
3/4 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease cookie sheet.
.Cut butter into flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl,
using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Stir in raisins and just enough buttermilk so dough leaves side of bowl.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Shape into round loaf, about 6 1/2 inches in diameter. Place on cookie sheet. Cut an X shape about 1/2 inch deep
through loaf with floured knife.
Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with butter or margarine, softened, if desired.



Well, I hope that you have made it down to this little part, I love talking about
Arizona, sharing this state with everyone.  I want to share a part of my world
with everyone and doing this newsletter is my way of thanking everyone for being a friend. 
Say a prayer for our Armed Forces and pray that they will be home soon. 
Tigger and Katie want to say hello, they share the computer room with me.   Tigger loves it when the games are on in the computer room, and when it is over, all he wants to know is when does the football season start again.  House is getting painted and then wood floors go down, so............ wish me luck.
Wear some green on Wednesday and enjoy some Corned Beef.
Happy St. Patty's Day/

Count your blessings, hug your family and friends,
thanks for being a part of Country Chatter

Cindy and the Kittens


Country Chatter
Cindy Kingren
(after 3 pm - pacific time)