Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I don't usually make resolutions because by day 2 I've already thrown them aside. It has came to light that I have a lot of UFO's in my craft area! For those none crafters........UFO's are Unfinished Objects.......such as wallhangings, quilts, clothes, Christmas ornaments........well you get the picture.

So, I'm going out on a limb and making a resolution not to start anymore projects until I finish some of my UFO's.

I belong to Quilter's Forum and they are starting a Dear Jane Quilt that will last until March 2011....the above photo is the original Dear Jane quilt made by Jane Stickle in the 1860's. I thought about it long and hard......and I decided that it really wasn't something that I needed to do right now. I have so many other projects that need to be finished before I commit myself to a huge project like the Dear Jane Quilt. Those blocks are 4-inches when sewn into the you can imagine how time consuming they will be.

So, starting tomorrow or maybe the next day I WILL start tackling all my UFO's!

Maybe you could say a prayer for me.....I'll sure need several to keep this resolution!

Happy New Year's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy New Year's to all my family and friends!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my family and friends!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Today I have a very heavy heart.........5 years ago today was the last time we visited with our best friend, Danny before he died of complications of ALS. I will always remember that day for as long as I live. As Rich and I was leaving...he smiled at us the best he could and then he waved Goodbye to us! I knew in my heart that it would be the last time I would see Danny here on this see he never waved Goodbye because he said he always knew he would see us again. So........his waving to us was he way of letting us know that his time on this earth was coming to an end.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Time's Slipping Away Quickly

Wow! It's hard to believe that it is already the 15th of December.....where has this month flown?

Sunday I made a batch of Fudge and Coconut Balls. Yesterday I finally got everything prepared to make Tea Breads and Cookies today. I'll have to put that on hold until tomorrow as I need to do several errands today instead of baking.

Believe me, I'd rather be baking than running errands. Going into town is crazy.....rude people that are only focused on themselves and getting what they want.....people talking on their cell phones not only while driving but walking and not paying attention to who they run into with their shopping carts......disgruntled people because they can't find that little rodent that is so popular this season......the list goes on and on.

In my is time that people got back to the basics and remembered what the Christmas season is's not about who can buy the most expensive's not about who can have the most decorated's not about having the latest's about Jesus, family and friends!

Friday, December 04, 2009 end to the Thanksgiving Turkey.....NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm beginning to think that I will go back to being a vegetarian after dealing with the turkey I bought for Thanksgiving. It seems like I have been thawing, cutting, cooking the turkey for a month. I know I've been eating it for at least 2 weeks. Today I finally got all the meat cut off the breast section and into the freezer. I have 3 nice packages of sliced breast meat, 2 packages of mixed light and dark pieces and 8 more pints of Turkey broth to add to the packages of meat and broth already in the freezer.

I swear I got 40 pounds of meat off that 23 pound went on forever and ever.

Will I buy a 23 pound turkey for Christmas?????????????? You bettcha ya! Only this time I'll get out the pressure cooker and can that Turkey.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner

Sorry that I haven't posted in a while. I've been taking it easy since Thanksgiving. I overdid it!!! I was so exhausted by the time I got Thanksgiving on the table I couldn't hardly function. We had dinner at 1pm and after Dad and Mae left around 3pm.......I crashed! I went to bed and sleep for 13 hours straight.

Rich told me that I wasn't going to prepare any more dinner feasts. From now on we would either order a dinner or go out and eat.

Hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Now let's get on to decorating and shopping for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vanilla Cream Pie and variations

Vanilla Cream Pie and variations

Baked 8-inch pie shell
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 Tablespoon margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt in top of double boiler. Mix with wooden spoon. Blend in milk gradually, then add egg yolks. Add margarine. Place over rapidly boiling water so pan is touching water. Cook until thick and smooth, about 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Scrape down sides of pan frequently. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Stir until smooth and blended, scrapping sides of pan. Pour hot filling into pie shell. Quantities may be doubled and filling cooked for two 8-inch pies at the same time.

Chocolate Cream Pie: Melt 1 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate in milk in top of double boiler. Set aside to cool. Then proceed as directed for Vanilla Cream Pie filling, using the chocolate-milk mixture and increasing sugar from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup.

Coconut Cream Pie: Stir in 1 cup flaked coconut before pouring into pie shell. Can decorate with toasted coconut.

Creamy Lime Jello Salad

Creamy Lime Jello Salad

1 - 4 serving size Lime Jello (or any flavor you would like)
8 ounce carton Cool-Whip
16 ounce can crushed pineapple
1 pint cottage cheese
2-3 cups mini marshmallows

Put Cool-Whip in a bowl. Sprinkle dry jello over the top. Stir gently until all the Jello is dissolved. Drain pineapple and stir into the Jello mixture. Stir in cottage cheese and marshmallows. Chill in refrigerator for several hous or overnight.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Graham Cracker Crumb Crust and Variations

Graham Cracker Crumb Crust

1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soft margarine
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon, optional

In medium mixing bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, margarine and nutmeg; blend until crumbly. Save out 1/3 cup crumbs to sprinkle on top of pie, if desired. Press remaining crumbs evenly on bottom and sides of 9-inch pie pan, making a small rim. Bake in 375 degree oven, 8 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire rack and fill as pie recipe directs.

Unbaked Graham Cracker Crumb Crust: Use the same ingredients as for the baked crust; do not make rim on pi shell. Chill about 1 hour, or until set before filling.

Walnut Graham Cracker Crumb Crust: Reduce crumbs to 1 cup and add 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts. Follow directions for Baked Graham Cracker Crumb Crust. You can use finely chopped pecans, almonds or Brazil nuts instead of the walnuts.

Chocolate Graham Cracker Crumb Crust: Reduce crumbs to 1 cup and add 2 squares unsweetened chocolate; grated. Follow recipe for Baked Graham Cracker Crumb Crust.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

23 Pound Turkey!

Yep.....they had them turkeys on sale when I bought $50 worth of groceries. I only had to pay 23 cents per pound. Great Bargain!!!!!!!!

Today I cut up the turkey. I saved the whole breast, 1 leg and 1 thigh for our T-day dinner. I'm not sure if Dad and Mae are coming for dinner or not! I tossed the rest of the turkey into my huge stockpot and simmered it with salt, pepper and an onion. The whole house smells like turkey!

Now I have over 2 gallons of turkey stock and a huge bowl of turkey meat that I picked off the bones. Since my freezer is almost full I will can the broth and turkey tomorrow. I can use it later for casseroles, turkey and dumplings or turkey soup.

Maybe next time I should pick a smaller turkey! NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Magic Fruit Cobbler

Magic Fruit Cobbler

2/3 flour
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup margarine
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 cups fresh fruit, lightly sweetened

Melt margarine in 9-11-inch pan. In separate bowl mix all dry ingredients and milk. Pour mixture on top of melted margarine. Dump cut-up fruit on top of dough mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

The cobbler flips itself over and makes a buttery topping. You may also want to sprinkle a bit of sugar on top of the fruit before baking.

Layered Cranberry Cheddar Spread

This is a great appetizer to serve for fall or winter potluck dinners. Serve in a clear 1 1/2-quart bowl to show off the pretty layers.

Layered Cranberry Cheddar Spread

2 cups cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tablespoon grated orange rind
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons dry sherry
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

In 2-quart saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice and rind; bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes; stirring occasionally. Chill. Combine cream cheese and sherry; mixing until well blended. Fold in whipped cream. Layer cranberry mixture, Cheddar cheese and cream cheese mixture in 1 1/2-quart serving container. Cover with plastic wrap; chill. Serve with crackers or pear and apple slices.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vegetarian Enchiladas

This simple recipe is creamy and rich. It uses meatless protein crumbles, corn tortillas, and enchilada sauce. You can use cooked ground beef instead of the crumbles.

Vegetarian Enchiladas

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups frozen ground beef substitute crumbles
10 ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
4 ounce can chopped green chilies, undrained
10 ounce can enchilada sauce
8 ounce can tomato sauce
10 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Cojack cheese

In large skillet, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add beef crumbles, soup, milk, and chilies. Simmer, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes.

Spray 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl, combine enchilada sauce and tomato sauce. Pour 1 cup of this sauce into bottom of prepared pan. Soften corn tortillas by wrapping them in foil and placing in a 350 degree oven for 5-8 minutes.

Fill corn tortillas with crumbles mixture and roll up. Place on top of sauce in pan. Pour remaining sauce over filled enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil and bak at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5-10 minutes longer, until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly. Serves 6.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce

3 teaspoons oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons flour
1 cup water
1 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt or less

Combine sauce ingredients. Bring to boil; simmer 5 minutes.

I usually double the recipe for an extra saucy 9x13-inch pan of enchiladas.

M & M's Cookies

M & M's Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon water
1 egg
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup M & M's plain chocolate candies***
Nuts and raisins, optional

Blend in shortening and sugar; beat in vanilla, water and egg. Sift remaining dry ingredients together; add to sugar and egg mixture, mixing well. Stir in candies and if desired nuts or raisins. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet; bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes. For additional color, press extra candies into cookies before baking. Some candies will crack.

***I recently found mini M & M's in the bulk food section at my local grocery store.

Poppy Seed Lemon Drops

Poppy Seed Lemon Drops

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Beat in egg.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined, then stir in poppy seeds. Drop by 1-inch balls onto prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, until cookies are set and just begin to brown at the edges (the bottoms may be lightly browned, but not the top of the cookies)
Cool for 1-2 minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool before glazing.

Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tbsp lemon juice

Whisk together juice and sugar until icing is a smooth, thin consistency. Add additional juice if yours is too thick to drizzle easily or additional sugar if it is too thick.

Drizzle over cookies. Cookies should not be hot, but it is ok if they are not completely at room temperature before frosting.

Cookies must be cooled to room temperature before being stored.

Makes 2 dozen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Peanut Brittle

You make this candy in the Microwave! I know that we cooks shouldn't brag about our own cooking........this is the best peanut brittle I have ever tasted. Dad always looks for this in his Christmas Basket. And, it's so easy to make.

Peanut Brittle

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup salted peanuts
1 teaspoon margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda

In 2-quart glass measure combine sugar and corn syrup, stir, cook at HIGH 4 minutes. Add peanuts; stir well. Cook at HIGH for an additional 3 1/2 minutes; add butter and vanilla, stirring well. Cook at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes. Add baking soda; stir gently until light and foamy. Immediately pour mixture onto buttered cookie sheet. Spread thinly. Cool, break into small pieces. Makes 1 1/2 pounds.

Sweet and Salty Pretzels

These are my sister, Nancy's favorite! She always looks for them in her families Goodie Basket!

1 pound white almond bark
1 package pretzels...large, mini, sticks, etc.

Melt the bark in the microwave 2 1/2 - 3 minutes; stirring often. Dip the pretzels into the bark and place on wax paper to set up. You can sprinkle with red and green sugar or any kind of cookie decoration.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Candy Cane Crisps

Candy Cane Crisps

1 cup margarine, at room temperature
about 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
about 3/4 cup coarsely crushed candy canes or hard peppermint candies

In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat margarine and 1 cup of the sugar until creamy, beat in vanilla. In another bowl, stir together flour, oats and salt, gradually add to margarine mixture, blending thoughly. Add 1/4 cup of the crushed candy canes and mix until well combined. Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls, then roll in remaining powdered sugar (about 1/4 cup) to coat. Place balls about 2-inches apart on greased and flour-dusted baking sheets. Flatten cookies with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern with fork tines. Sprinkle each with about 1/2 teaspoon crushed candy canes. Bake in a 325 degree oven until edges are lightly browned 18-20 minutes, then transfer to racks and let cool completely. Store airtight. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Poppy Seed Muffins

3 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat eggs, milk, oil and extracts; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Yield: about 8 dozen mini-muffins or 24 standard-size muffins.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Mom Bishop gave this recipe to me after Rich and I was married in 1973. She told me it was one of his favorite cookies!

No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

1 quart sugar
1 cup cocoa
1 cup butter
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons vanilla
1 cup peanut butter
5 cups oatmeal

Combine first 5 ingredients. Boil 1 minute; remove from stove. Add remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Makes approximately 100 cookies. Please make sure that you use a large pan for cooking.

Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

3/4 cup margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 teaspoon red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream margarine and sugar; beat in egg, vanilla and extract. Stir flour with salt and baking powder; stir into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Stir coconut into one portion; blend food coloring into remaining dough. Cover; chill dough for 30 minutes. Divide each dough into 30 balls; keep half of each dough chilled till ready to use. With hands, roll each ball to a 5-inch rope. For each cane: pinch together one end of a red rope and one end of a white rope; twist ropes together. Pinch together remaining ends. Place on ungreased cookie sheet; curve to form cane. Repeat for remaining balls. Bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes. Makes 30 candy cane cookies.

Best-Ever Meltaways

Best-Ever Meltaways

1 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour***
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar, for coating

Beat the margarine with the unsifted powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Add both extracts and the salt and beat again. Stir together the flour and cornstarch; stir into the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic and chill for 1 hour, or until firm enough to shape.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Use ungreased baking sheets. Pinch off hunks of dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until set; the cookies will not color. Let cool on the pans until cool enough to handle. Roll in sifted powdered sugar. Lay on wax paper to cool. Roll again in sifted powdered sugar when cool. Makes 4 dozen.

***Chocolate Meltaways.....substitute 1/4 cup cocoa for 1/4 cup of the flour.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Raggedy Ann Swap

This is the Raggedy Annie I received from Barbara Burkard.

This is the Raggedy Ann I made for Barbara.

I had so much fun making my Raggedy Ann for Barbara. She collects old toys and I wanted to make her Raggedy Ann look vintage. Instead of using bright red for her hair I used a rust color to look more vintage.

Barbar emailed me and asked for any information that might help her to make my Raggedy Annie. I told her that I collected Black American dolls, red was my favorite color.......and I love the Annie she made for me.

Thank you Thimbleprims Studio for having this great swap!

Pumpkin Pie

This is a great recipe for pumpkin pie that you can bake in the microwave. I found this recipe in the cookbook that came with my new Quasar Microwave that we bought in 1984. And, by the way, it is still being used daily in our home today. It has never been repaired. When we bought the microwave at Friedman's in Medford, Or, we received free cooking classes. Rich and I would go to them every chance we had. We had so much fun and learned not to be intimidated by the microwave. We learned how to cook casseroles, bar cookies, jams and jellies, candies, cakes, veggies, etc. The main thing we learned was not to listen to people when they told you that all microwaves were for was heating up coffee, weiners and leftovers.

Pumpkin Pie

16 ounce can cooked pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
9-inch pastry shell, baked

Combine all ingredients; except pie shell. Pour into prepared shell. Cook at Medium 20-22 minutes, or until center is almost set. Let stand until cool. Serves 8.

Pie Crusts

Pie Crusts

Pastry for 2-crust pie

2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons cold water

Sift flour and salt into mixing bowl. Add oil, mix well with fork. Sprinkle cold water over mixture and mix well. With hands press mixture into a smooth ball. (If mix is too dry, add 1-2 Tablespoons more oil, a little at a time and then shape ball). Divide ball in half and flatten both parts slightly. Roll out 1 dough ball to circle between two 12-inch square sheets waxed paper to edge of paper. Peel off paper. Fit pastry carefully into pie pan, using care not to stretch. Trim evenly with edge of pan. Roll out remaining dough ball between two sheets of waxed paper as directed for bottom crust. Peel off top paper. Add filling to pastry-lined pan. Arrange rolled pastry over filled pie and peel off paper. Cut vents for steam to escape. Trim crust 1/2-inch beyond edge of pie pan; fold top crust under bottom crust. Flute edge. Bake as pie recipe directs. Makes one 8-9-inch 2-crust pie or two 8-9-inch pie shells.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Swirled Mint Cookies

Swirled Mint Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspooon baking powder
1 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
10 drops red food coloring
10 drops green food coloring

Combine flour and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl beat margarine until softened. Add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and peppermint extract; beat well. Add flour mixture and beat till well blended. Divide into thirds. Stir red food coloring into one-third, stir green coloring into another, and leave remaining third plain. Cover each and chill about 1 hour or till easy to handle. Divide each color of dough into 4 parts. On a lightly floured surface roll each into a 1/2-inch diameter rope. Place one red, one green and one plain rope side by side. Twist together. Slice into 1/2-inch pieces for larger cookies, or 1/4-inch for smaller ones. Carefully roll into balls, blending colors as little as possible. Place about 2-inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten to 1/4-inch thickness with the bottom of a glass dipped in additional sugar. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake in a 375 degree oven till done (8-10 minutes for large cookies/ 6-8 minutes for small cookies). Remove and cool. Makes 6-12 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounce package chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets.*** Into large bowl, measure all ingredients except chocolate chips and walnuts. With mixer at medium speed, beat until mixed, scraping bowl. Add chocolate chips and walnuts; stir well.

Make 1-inch balls and place 2-inches apart on sheet. Bake 8-12 minutes**** or until lightly browned. With spatula, remove cookies to wire racks; cool completely. Store in a tightly covered container. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

***Can be baked in 9x13-inch pan; for 20-25 minutes. Cut into bars.

****Soft cookies when you bake for the shorter time.


I've been having so much fun on Facebook lately. I've found that quite a few of family and friends are Facebook members. Some of them we hardly ever get to now we can visit and keep up with each other's lives.

Of course, I also play Farmville with several people. Rich always says he can tell when I'm checking in on my farm by all the animal noises coming from the Craft/Computer room.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Aunt Bess" Coconut Balls

This recipe was give to our family in the early 60's. Great-Aunt Bess was my Grandmother's older sister. She was a very outspoken woman. She would tell you exactly what she was thinking whether you wanted to listen or not. She got this recipe when she worked in a small candy shop in Los Angeles, CA. This recipe has become a Christmas tradition throughout the years.

Aunt Bess' Coconut Balls

1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup butter or margarine
2 - 14 ounce packages coconut
2 pounds powdered sugar

In a very large bowl, mix above ingredients with hands. Roll into balls, about 1-inch diameter. Chill for 20-30 minutes.

1/4 pound paraffin***
2 - 14 ounce packages chocolate chips

Put above ingredients in double boiler and melt.

Take balls and put on toothpicks**** and twirl in chocolate mixture. Cool.

***I use melted chocolate candy coating to dip balls into instead of paraffin and chocolate chips.

****I take a plastic fork and break off the 2 center tines and use as a dipping fork.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Caramel Corn

2 1/2 poppers of popped corn
1 cup brown sugar
1 cube butter or margarine
1/4 cup light Karo Syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pop corn and pour the corn into a large brown grocery bag. The popcorn should be about 6-inches deep in bag. Bring the other ingredients to a boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Add the soda and vanilla and pour over the corn in the bag. Shake well. Microwave the corn in the bag for 1 1/2 minutes, shake, cook another 1 1/2 minutes, shake and open the bag and let stand open to dry off, shaking the bag occasionally to break popcorn apart. When dry, store in an airtight container.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pear Nut Bread

The pear is Oregon's state fruit. Rich and I grew up in Southern Oregon which used to have hundreds of pear orchards and a pear cannery. Now the cannery has closed and the pear trees are being replaced with vineyards. So sad!!!!!!!!

Pear Nut Bread

16 ounce can Bartlett pear halves
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup oil
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1-2 Tablespoons orange juice

Drain pears, reserving syrup; reserve 1 pear half for topping. Process remaining pear halves in blender until smooth; transfer to 1 cup measure. Add as much of the reserved pear syrup as needed to make 1 cup. Reserve remaining syrup for other uses.

Mix flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in large bowl. Mix pear puree, oil, egg and orange rind in medium bowl. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in walnut; batter will be stiff.

Spoon batter into greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4 - inch loaf pan. Cut reserved pear half into 6 slices; arrange crosswise in a row on top of batter.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven until wooden pick inserted near center is withdrawn clean; 50 - 55 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes.

In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and as much of the orange juice as needed to make thin, smooth glaze. Remove bread from pan; spoon glaze on top of bread. Cool completely on wire rack. Wrap bread in foil; let stand overnight before slicing.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

7 ounces flaked coconut
2/2 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon almond extract

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix coconut, sugar, flour and salt in large bowl. Stir in egg whites and almond extract until well blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake 20 minutes or until edges of cookies are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Cool on wire racks. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Macaroons: Stir in 2 squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted, before baking.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Krispy Marshmallow Treats

These treats have become a tradition for the Goodie Baskets I make for family and friends for Christmas.

10 ounces marshmallows
1/4 cup margarine
5 cups Rice Krispies***

Combine marshmallows and margarine in large glass bowl. Cook at High 4-5 minutes, stir twice. Stir until smooth. Add cereal and stir to coat well. Press into greased 9 x 13-inch dish. Cool, cut into squares to serve. Yield: 2 1/2 dozen bars.

***13 ounce box of Rice Krispies makes 2 batches of treats. I usually buy the store brand of Crispy Rice cereal and nobody ever knows the difference.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rocky Road Marshmallow Candy

Rocky Road Marshmallow Candy

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chunky peanut butter
3 cups mini marshmallows - white or pastel colored
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Microwave chocolate chips and peanut butter on High 2-3 minutes until melted, stirring after each minute. Fold in marshmallows and chopped nuts. Spoon into a buttered 9-inch square pan. Chill until firm and cut into squares. Makes 36 - 1 1/2-inch squares. Keep refrigerated.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Snowball Cookies

These cookies are so simple to make........they look like they take hours to make them. The secret is you start with packaged cookies.

3 cups finely shredded coconut
18 ounces vanilla candy coating
16 ounce package chocolate sandwich cookies**

Spread coconut on waxed paper. Melt candy coating in a heavy pan over low heat. Remove from heat. Place each cookie on a fork and dip into candy coating until covered; roll in coconut. Place cookies on waxed paper and allow to harden. Makes approximately 3 dozen.

**I usually go to the Dollar Tree and get the big packages of sandwich cookies. The peanut butter filled ones are especially yummy used in this recipe.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Monster Cookies

These cookies can be for any time of the year. Rich and I received a gift of these cookies one Christmas from a friend. She included the recipe with the cookies. They are so pretty wrapped in clear wrap and decorated with ribbons and bows.

Wrap 6 of these cookies in plastic wrap and tie with ribbon for a festive gift.

6 eggs
1 pound brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 pound butter
1 1/2 pounds peanut butter
9 cups oatmeal
1/2 pound chocolate chips
1/2 pound M and M's
1/4 pound chopped nuts

Combine all ingredients. Use a ice cream scoop to form balls of dough, then place 3-4 balls on cookie sheets, gently flatten dough on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Yield: 8 dozen.

Happy Birthday, Nancy!

Happy Birthday to my sweet sister, Nancy. Just seems like yesterday you were born and now you're all grown up with grown children of your own. Hope that you have a wonderful birthday and hope to see you soon.

Love, Shirley

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I Won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I received a email this morning letting me know I had won the contest at Rustic Tarts I don't wear a lot of necklaces so I decided that I would like to have the hat in shades of red. I can hardly wait until it arrives.


I'm still decorating for Fall and Hallween and the stores are displaying Christmas Goodies. Can't I enjoy one holiday at a time???????? It seems that the stores have forgotten there is other holidays in the last part of the year besides Christmas. I understand that they are concerned about earning their millions of dollars that consumers will spend on Christmas. Christmas season can be make or break for some businesses. I just want to focus on one holiday at a time.......starting with Fall. I enjoy my fall colors and items. I start decorating in early September with fall items and colors and then add Halloween items through October. Starting in November I remove the Halloween items I have added and replace them with Thanksgiving items. After Thanksgiving I put away the Fall items and start decorating for Christmas. I enjoy my Christmas decorations until mid-January and then I decorate for Winter. I want to be able to enjoy each and every holiday and season without feeling pressured to hurry along for the holiday that is 3 months away.

I can remember when I was a child that you would never see a Christmas item in the store until the day after Thanksgiving. Then Mom and I would go to town to see all the beautiful Christmas decorations that were displayed in the stores. Now from about the time school starts you start seeing Christmas items being offered in the stores. Call me old-fashioned but I don't like it one little bit.

Yes, some might thing I'm being a hypocrite about this subject because I have started posting Christmas Goodie recipes on my blog already. The reason I am doing this is because I know that in todays times we have to plan ahead for buying the extra ingredients for our recipes. Also this gives us a chance to try out new recipes before making them for our families and gifts.

Chicken Wing Appetizers

I've made these appetizers for several family gatherings. I've never had to take home any leftovers.

1 cup Kraft Thick N' Spicy Barbecue Sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
3 1/2 pounds chicken drummies

Combine barbecue sauce, juice, red pepper and rind. Place chicken drummies in two 9x13-inch baking pans that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Brush with barbecue sauce mixture. Bake at 375 degrees, 40 minutes or until tender, turning and brushing with sauce mixture every 20 minutes. Serve with remaining barbecue sauce mixture. Approximately 3 dozen chicken appetizers.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Old-Fashioned Cornbread Dressing

My mother made the best Cornbread Dressing. I asked her for the recipe one day and she told me how she prepared it. She just put a little of this and a little of that.....well you get the idea. So, I went surfing on the internet and found this recipe. It is the closest to being Mom's Cornbread Dressing.

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup margarine, melted
12 slices day-old bread, crumbled
2 to 2 1/2 cups turkey or chicken broth*
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 8 or 9-inch square pan. Blend first 8 ingredients about 20 seconds. Beat vigorously 1 minute. Pour into pan. Bake 20 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, crumble cornbread into a large bowl. Saute celery and onion in margarine until tender. Add sauteed veggies and remaining ingredients to crumbled cornbread, stirring well. Spoon dressing into a lightly greased 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 8.

*Use 10 3/4 ounce can of chicken broth and 1 cup water instead of the turkey or chicken broth.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sharing Recipes

I thought I would start sharing some of my favorite recipes. I'll try to share at least 1 or 2 recipes per week, depending on how busy I am during that week. This week I will be sharing a cookie recipe that I made every year for my Christmas Goodie Baskets that I make for family and friends.


1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sugar Mixture:
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together shortening, sugar and eggs thoroughly. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Stir into shortening mixture. Roll into balls the size of walnuts. Roll in Sugar Mixture. Place about 2-inches apart on an ungreased pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown but still soft. Makes 5 dozen 2-inch cookies.

Note: Cookies will puff up while baking and then fall when cooling. This is normal.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Harvest Season is coming to an end

Harvest season is coming to end at my home this year. I still might get some apples to can and dehydrate....not sure. I've spent the last few days canning green beans, carrots and Veggie soup. I also did some dehydrating and freezing. I'll post photos of my canning in a couple days.

Some of you might wonder why I do so much canning. Both Rich and I grew up in families here in Southwestern Oregon that depended on the timber industy for their income. We both had stay at home Moms.

My family always had a big garden. We would preserve all we could for winter food. Dad worked in lumber and plywood mills that would often close in the winter for weeks. Then all we would have was unemployment checks that went for payments. So we would rely on the foods that Mom had preserved and the other food that she would stockpile during the summer. Dad usually had a hog growing for butchering every other year. We had chickens to provide eggs and meat. We would go to local farms and buy corn, pears, apricots, and apples. We would go out into the onion fields after harvesting was done and pick leftover onions. We picked wild blackberries and made jelly and froze berries for pies. To us, this was everyday life.

Rich's family didn't have a garden. His parents would stockpile their groceries during the summer months for winter. Rich's Mom would can some fruits. They would purchase beef from Rich's Uncle Everett and fill the freezer.

So, you see both Rich and I grew up in families that prepared for winter and emergencies. So, it is only natural that we do the same thing.

Health issues are another reason that we like having our own canned fruits and veggies. Rich and I both have to watch our sugar and salt intake. It is amazing how much sugar and salt are in commercially canned fruits and veggies. It is unbelievable.

What really brought the issue of salt in canned foods to my attention happened a few years ago. My Mother was prone to strokes. My niece, Sarah called me one night and told me that they had just called the ambulance for my Mother....they thought she was having another stroke. The paramedics came and when they checked her blood pressure it was 315/185. They immediately transported her to the hospital. They were able to get her blood pressure down and sent her home the next morning. I found out later what had brought on the attack.......she had ate a can of chili and saltine crackers for dinner. After that I started seeing how much sodium was in processed foods and it was a real eye opener.

The same thing goes with sugar. When I can my fruits I add about 1/2 cup sugar to 1 1/2 gallons of water for my syrup. That amount of sugar brings out the natural sugars in the fruits. When I can my veggies I add a dash of salt to each jar. That amount of salt brings out the natural salt in the veggies.

Another thing that I try to avoid is my foods is MSG. We found that if Rich eats foods laden with MSG he gets severe headaches. So, I've been cutting way back on any convenient foods. There are other preservatives that are just as bad. I also have to watch for almonds in everything. Almonds trigger Rich's asthma. I made Cherry Ice Cream several years ago and added almond extract to it. Rich took a couple of bites and had a severe asthma attack.......we was at my parent's place about 40 miles from the nearest hospital. I thought for sure we was going to have to rush him to the hospital. He used his inhaler several times and finally started breathing a little easier. Not too long after that he some cereal that had almonds in it and the same thing happened. So now we avoid almonds in his foods.

Now it is time to do some fall cleaning both inside and out and get ready for winter.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Starting Halloween Early

Usually I wait until closer to Halloween before I wear my Witch's costume. Today I put it on a little early.

I've been getting these stupid phone calls about my CREDIT CARDS.........I don't own a credit card. Today I decided to wait and listen to the whole recording and try to then talk to a REAL PERSON! I got a real person on the line.......I explained that I was getting these calls from their company 2-5 times a week for the past few weeks. I told him that I wanted my name removed from their list.......he hung up on me! I can't believe the nerve of some of these telemarkers.......yes, they might need a job but they are a pain in the A.........! as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks for listening to me being on my soapbox about telemarkers. They rate right up there with most grocery baggers in my opinion!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Shirley........4 years old.

Monday, the 14th I will be celebrating my 57th birthday. I know that most ladies don't like to reveal their's never bothered me.

Rich and I will be celebrating my birthday the following weekend. Rich has the week off and we have several things planned to do during that week. One day....not sure what day....we are going to the Oregon Coast. Rich is taking me out for dinner one evening.

Dad and Mae are taking us out to dinner to celebrate my birthday after they get back from their trip later on in the month.

Halloween "Box of Goodies" Giveaway

Hudson's Holidays is having a awesome Halloween giveaway. Check it out and enter today.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning

Every time I hear the song "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning" by Alan Jackson I think back to September 11, 2001.

Rich and I both had the day off and had decided to sleep in that horrible morning. The phone rang and Rich answered. It was our friend, Brian calling. He was crying and kept telling Rich to turn on the TV......he just kept repeating it over and over. I jumped out of bed and went into the living room and turned on the TV. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.......I screamed for Rich to come into the living room and see what was happening. We sat there for hours horrified with what we was watching on the TV. We just couldn't believe that we had been attacked by terrorists.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fall is in the Air

The cute little one is in the photo is my niece, Claire. She is about 15 months old. She is so sweet and I can hardly wait to see her.

This morning it sure did feel like Fall is upon us. When I took Rich to work this morning it was a cool 42 degrees here is Southwestern Oregon. It was a quick reminder that we need to get the van heater repaired. It is supposed to be 80 degrees this afternoon.

Yesterday morning the furnace kicked on for the first time this year. Misty (our cat) came running into the bedroom and insisted on Rich getting up. She had smelled the furnace and was warning us that something wasn't right in her home. We praised her for waking us up!

Dad and Mae are traveling again this year. They arrived at my Aunt Velma's home in Siloam Springs, Arkansas yesterday afternoon. I don't know exactly where they will be going next. With never know.

We hope to get away to the Oregon coast soon. It's been a long time since we have had a chance to go to Gold Beach. We love seeing the area and especially the Jetty Cats. The Jetty Cats are well taken care of by several volunteers. They built houses for them and feed them daily. They take donations to provide veterinary care for all the cats. If they can be tamed they find forever homes for them.

We love to go down to the beach just outside Gold Beach toward Pistol River. We walk along the shore and sit and enjoy all the sights that Mother Nature has to offer. I love to find rocks, shells and driftwood. I'm hoping to find some driftwood to make Icicle Santas and Snowmen. Hopefully I'll be able to find some pieces and will post if I get some finished. Rich is always cringing when he sees me dragging home driftwood, rocks, shells, etc from our trips. Although, he did say the driftwood was pretty out in the garden area.

Well, I better get busy as I have to run into town and do some errands.