Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Covering office chair

I am covering our office chair at home. My good friend gave me old office chairs from her work, the seat keeps falling off of mine whenever I stand up. They are also a nasty blue color, but what do you do when they are only $1? Here is the fabric I am going to use. I am inspired by another blog to do this. Kerry is always redoing something, it makes me want to change the things that we already have instead of buying new. It saves our landfills.

I purchased Krylon paint in purple to spray paint the chair, I am also going to get a funky fringe. It should be fun.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Fiesta Ware

I got fiestaware for Christmas. Steve was perturbed that I knew what I was getting, but I couldn't have been happier. I had the chance to take advantage of the 50% off sales that went on around the holiday to expand my collection exponentially. It was a ton of fun.

I love the little personal casserole dishes, and the bread plate, and the serving bowls, oh, I Love it all, especially the fun colors!!!

Each year we get Steve's brother Scott and his wife Deb something for Christmas, generally it is a HY-Vee basket that is done with fruit, we add wine and cheese. This year I saw a dish that I knew was perfect for Deb, so I got it and we customized it for them. I love this dish, and managed to wait until they were all gone before going to get one for myself:

This is the basket that Steve received from a friend, they left it sitting on our front porch, it was full of fruit, chocolate, wine and other little tidbits, we love it! He brings one to us every year. So far we have never been home when he sets it there:

When Steve and I went to Galena, Il in the summer, we got a very expensive dish at a little shop that sells items brought over from France. I noticed the glaze is fading, how disappointing is that? I wish I knew the name of the store, I would call to voice a complaint. I love the dish, but lord, it shouldn't have glaze that fades, or at least I would think not.

Isaac never asks me for anything. He did, however ask me to make him cheeseburger soup:

And the pecan pie I made in my new Fiesta Pie Plate:

Blogging by mail package

I must apologize to Liz Shaw from Australia for not posting photos sooner of her amazing package sent to me for the Blogging by Mail event that I participated in. She sent the most adorable sugar cookie cutters, I love them!

Because Steve and I found ourselves with an empty nest, she sent an egg timer to me, I thought it was a stupendous idea, and will use it often, I love boiled eggs. But I like them soft in the middle, this little creation will help me to get them just right!!

Steve used the little peeler last night to get the potatoes ready for homemade chicken and noodles. It was a great little tool. I like it much better than the hand held ones, it is somehow easier to use.

Love the little notepad that is a purse. Karen and I are huge purse people, so this was perfect!!!

The box was perfect, and so fun to get something from Australia!!!! Thank you Liz!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge Dec. 25, 2008

This is another one that is perfect every time. Don't start the time until it is a rolling boil you can't stir down. Makes a 9x13 pan. Approximately 5 lbs of fudge. Another great gift!!

Creamy peanut butter fudge

• 4 cups white sugar
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
• 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
• 1 (16 ounce) jar peanut butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, brown sugar, butter and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil for 7 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in marshmallow creme until well incorporated and melted. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth; spread in prepared pan. Let cool before cutting into squares.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Morning Pancakes

I'm putting this here today because you'll need to mix them up tonight if you want them Christmas morning. Since I found this recipe years ago in a magazine, we have had these on Christmas morning, or for family gatherings.They are truly special.

Overnight Oatmeal Raisin Pancakes

please note: you have to start these the nite before

2 cups buttermilk
2 cups oatmeal (old fashioned, don't be using that quick cooking stuff)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup butter melted and cooled
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix buttermilk and oatmeal, cover and refrigerate overnite. Before cooking, stir in eggs and butter. Stir in raisins. Add all dry ingredients. Let stand 20 minutes before cooking. Use about 1/4 cup batter for each cake and cook. If your batter is too thick, you can thin with up to 3 Tablespoons buttermilk.

My notes: I usually mix up all the dry ingredients the nite before that way, all I have to do is throw it in with the wet. I am not in the kitchen measuring and making a mess while by family eagerly awaits the gift opening.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Marilee's Meatballs. Dec. 23, 2008

This is another good one, at the hospital where I work, one of our co-workers died of breast cancer. Every time there was a potluck, we were to bring her meatballs and remember her. This recipe is known all over the hospital, and has spilled into many communities because of Marilee, so here is to you, girl. You are gone but not forgotten:

Marilee’s Meatballs

3# Meatballs (I buy them at the grocery store)
1 jar chili sauce ( it is in the grocery section with A-1, etc.)
1 can sauerkraut (drain if you don’t like it soupy, the regular sized can, not the big fat one)
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 c. brown sugar

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan, heat, pour over meatballs. Keep warm in a crock pot.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Toffee recipe

One of the women at work makes this incredible toffee, she shared the recipe with me, GAW, it is good.

Buttery English Toffee

1 lb Butter (do not substitute margarine)
2 C Sugar
½ C Water
2 T Light Corn Syrup
½ C Almond Powder (Ground or Finely Chopped Almonds)
1 12 oz Bag Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
2 C Chopped Pecans (Walnuts or Almonds)
1 Large Foil Pan – 24x12 or smaller

Butter pan or spray with Pam and set aside. Butter sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In saucepan, melt butter; add sugar, water, corn syrup and almond powder. Bring to boiling.

Clip candy thermometer to pan. Cook and stir constantly over medium heat until the temperature reaches 290 degrees (or between soft crack and hard crack stage, depending on your thermometer). Mixture will turn somewhat darker, but be extra careful after 280 to make sure it doesn’t scorch.

Pour mixture into foil pan. Let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle top with chocolate morsels. Let stand 2 minutes until chocolate begins to melt. Spread chocolate, then sprinkle with nuts. Chill overnight, or until toffee becomes breakable.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Homemade Caramels

This is what my boss gives us every year. I wait in anticipation for it, they are so incredibly creamy and good. The process takes her about an hour, she says, and she does a double batch. Some candies it is not a good idea to do that. I am glad she told me this, they make incredible gifts!!


3 c. whipping cream
½ of a 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 c. sugar
2 c. light corn syrup
¼ tsp. salt
1 c coarsely broken walnuts
2 tsp. vanilla

• Line an 8x8x2 baking pan with foil, extending over edges of pan, butter foil.
• Combine whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk in top of double boiler. Heat over gently boiling water (upper pan should not touch water) till warm, reduce heat to lowest setting to keep cream warm.
• Combine sugar, corn syrup, and salt in heavy 3 quart saucepan, mix well. Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. Cook 1 minute more. Reduce heat to medium.
• Carefully clip candy thermometer to side of pan. Very slowly add warm cream mixture, about ¼ cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. It will take 10-15 minutes for the total addition. (For creamier caramels, stir about 3 minutes after adding each ¼ cup of the cream: Winnifred allows about 45 minutes to add all the cream.)
• Continue to cook mixure, stirring frequently, till the candy thermometer registers 242 degrees.
• Remove candy mixture from the heat, remove thermometer from saucepan. Immediately stir in walnuts and vanilla. Quickly pour, without scraping pan, into prepared pan. Allow to stand several hours until set. (Caramel varies somewhat in firmness. If it seems a little soft, refrigerate for a few minutes before cutting. If it is firmer than you like, keep it at room temperature before cutting.)
• Use the foil to lift the candy out of the pan onto a cutting board. Peel away the foil, discard. With buttered sharp knife, immediately cut candy into four squares. Cut each square into 16 pieces, making 64 total. (If not cut shortly after being removed from pan, candy may soften a little and the caramels may lose the clean rigidity that gives them their nice shape.) Wrap each caramel individually in waxed paper. Store in covered plastic container in cool place. Makes 64 pieces. (Makes 3 ½ pounds)
• Chocolate Caramels: Prepare recipe as directed except add 3 squares (3 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, cut up, after adding cream mixture to syrup, stir till melted. Continue to cook candy mixture, stirring frequently, till thermometer registers 242 degrees. Continue as directed.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Recipe Saturday; Cinnamon Toast Pecans Dec. 20, 2008

Isaac's HOME!!! I sure missed him.

I love these pecans and make them each year to put on my cookie trays. They disappear FAST!!

Cinnamon Toast Pecans

2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons White corn Syrup
2 teaspoons sugar
½ Teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
4 cups pecan halves (about 1 pound)

Preheat oven to 250 F. Stir together first 5 ingredients, add pecans, toss to coat. Spread coated nuts in a single layer on a large jelly roll pan. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool, store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Recipe Friday Dec. 19, 2008

I have been searching for the perfect recipe, but I don't have one. Just some old stand by recipes. Today Steve has a pot luck at work, he took my sister Deanne's recipe in the crock pot. It is one of his family's favorite things, and so easy to make, just toss in the crock pot and let it go. I tend to put it on high in the crock pot if I am home, then be sure to stir it often. Low it takes 5-6 hours in the crock pot. Or you can bake it in the oven.

Baked Macaroni/Cheese/Corn
1cp big mac
1can creamed corn
1can reg corn (undrained)
1stick butter
1 cup velvetta

Place all ingredients in a 2.5 qt. greased casserole dish. Stir. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, cover for the first 30 min. Stir, remove cover and bake for the last 30 min.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fiesta Ware

I love love love it, and have looked at it for years. I don't know why I never asked for it before, but this year I have noticed the new colors, and thought that it was a company that would be around for many more years.

I was happy to hear that some of our local stores had a 50% off sale going on the last few days. I was able to get a bread plate, 2 serving bowls, a vegetable bowl, as well as a shamrock place setting. I love the stuff. It will be fun to scout it out.

Pryde's in Kansas City Missouri has an entire room full of Fiesta. Steve and I took a trip there a few years ago, I wandered to all 3 floors and spent 3 hours. It was glorious. I thought for sure he would get bored, but he patiently waited while I selected pie plates, fiesta for Karen, and looked at all the new gadgets. It was heaven.

Now I plan a trip back there to look at Fiestaware for me.

I also ordered a plum place setting from Amazon, Olivia won't forgive me if I don't have purple for her! Noah is in luck, orange is a popular color right now, so I have a place setting in that, as well as a bread plate.

The other colors were red, cobalt blue, peacock, shamrock and yellow. I can't wait to get more. I'd love a pitcher and the salt and pepper shakers. A gravy boat wouldn't be a bad idea, either!

Recipe Friday December 12, 2008

My husband loves chocolate, I am not a fan. Each year I make him peanut clusters. This year while searching for something new to take to the art show, I found this recipe:

Peanut Cluster Candy

• 2/3 pound vanilla flavored confectioners' coating
• 1 (11 ounce) package white chocolate chips
• 1 (12 ounce) can peanuts (I use dry roasted lightly salted, crunchier)
• 1/2 (6 ounce) package almond toffee bits (e.g. Heath Bits O' Brickle)

1. Line baking sheets or counter tops with waxed paper.(I do this on a silpat mat)
2. In a double boiler heat confectioners coating until melted, stirring constantly until smooth.
3. Pour in white chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Stir in peanuts and almond toffee bits.
4. Remove from heat and drop by rounded spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Cool for an hour, or until hardened.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Random things

I am posting pictures of the walking stick that landed on Steve's arm a few weeks back when he was cleaning up the yard, it measured 6". I put a ruler down next to it, but it walked away, I couldn't get it to sit still while I snapped a quick shot of it. Guess that's why they are called 'walking' sticks!!

Photos of the bracelet I made,those bracelet beads are not mine, by the way, they were purchased. I finally made heart beads that weren't 'weird' shaped.

The pies I baked, from scratch, then put 1,000 miles on them over the holiday weekend getting them to my daughter's house.

And a few other random things, the blogging by mail package I sent. I posted right after I shipped it to the person I was assigned. I promised a picture, but just now am posting, sorry for the delay. The little pigs are marzipan, to represent my location. Too fun, enjoy the randomness........

Monday, December 8, 2008

Need book ideas

Winter is fast approaching, I need suggestions of good books.

I read Me and Emma as Jodi suggested, a long time ago. I like books that are pre-read and verified as a good read.

I'll wait for suggestions.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Recipe Friday Dec. 5, 2008 Peanut Butter Bars

This weekend I will participate in an art show, displaying my handmade art beads, called lampwork beads. Each bead is made one at a time with a surface mixed torch attached to propane and oxygen. The glass is imported from Italy, some are incorporated into jewelry while others are sold as is or in sets to allow the customers to incoporate it into a piece of their choosing.

I usually make multiple items to take, one of the things will be the Peanut Butter Bars, these are so easy!! I found them on the internet....

Peanut Butter Bars


• 1 cup butter or margarine, melted
• 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
• 2 cups confectioners' sugar
• 1 cup peanut butter
• 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
• 4 tablespoons peanut butter


1. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter or margarine, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners' sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan.
2. In a metal bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Found another one!

Last year when walking down the hill to my building, I found a wallet neatly lying on the ground. I found a business card in there telling me where the guy worked. I gave him a quick holler, found out he worked in the mail room right across the street from me.

I took his wallet over after calling him and telling him to stay right there. I apologized for opening it, but had to find out who it belonged to. Anyways, he was thrilled to get it back intact, money, CC, debit, etc.

Well, today I found another one, this time it was one of his co-workers. I had to laugh, what are the odds?

I lose mine all the time, but it's usually in that mammoth sized purse of mine.

Found this blog giveaway here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Blog GiveAway

Time's up! I'll draw the name before I leave work at 4:30pm CST. Thanks for playing!!!

Scott, a co-worker drew the name, it goes to Deanne! Congratulations!!!!!!!!

Blog give away: Paula Deen's Cast iron casserole

OK, let's give away Paula Deen's 5 quart casserole in your choice of color! This baby is HEAVY! You have until 2pm CST to tell me your fondest memory of the holidays.

Sorry, only folks in the US and Canada.

Make sure I have an email address or a way to get ahold of you if your name is drawn. You have one week after notification of winning to get your snail mail addy to me. This will be so fun.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Food drive from Work

I just got the official word, my employer does a food drive every year. Our goal this year was to donate 1/2 ton of food. We donated OVER 5 TON of food!!! The official weight is 10,380#..........woohoo!!!

That helps our little town, I did not know, but we order items from the big food pantry in that large metropolitan city, we then have to pay to have it delivered! However, I have offered to pick it up and bring it home with me after work, to save the $600 they are charged to have it delivered.

Leslie, I also hear your hubby has offered the use of his trailer......every little bit helps, doesn't it?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Recipe Friday: November 28, 2008 Nutty Bacon Cheeseball

This is a family tradition, this cheeseball is served for most all family gatherings and holidays. It is a favorite we love to share as a last minute gift with a sleeve or two of our favorite crackers. Enjoy!!!

Nutty Bacon Cheeseball

1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1/2 c. milk
8 oz. package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz. package shredded monterey jack cheese
1/4 c. blue cheese (1 oz.)
1/4 c. chopped green onions (white part only)
1 jar pimiento (2 oz) juice and all
10 slices cooked and crumbled bacon (divide in 1/2)
3/4 c. chopped pecans (divide in 1/2)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. minced parsley
1 T. poppy seed

Place cream cheese in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix for 1 minute. Scrape bowl. ON speed 2, gradually add milk, mixing until well blended, about 1 minute. Scrape Bowl. Add cheeses, onion, pimiento, half of bacon and half of pecans. Turn to speed 4 and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer half of mixture to large piece of plastic wrap. Form into a ball, wrap tightly. Repeat with remaining mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until well chilled.

Combine remaining bacon pieces, pecans, parsley and poppy seeds in pie plate or large dinner plate. Remove plastic wrap from each cheese ball. Roll in bacon mixture until well coated. Wrap in clean plastic wrap & refrigerate until ready to use, up to 24 hours. Yield: 24 servings

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pecan Pie Recipe

I was up until 1am making pies last night, thought I would share our favorite pecan pie recipe.

It was pirated from Mama Dip's.........No, I guess it wasn't.......it's on the internet. I use a 10" deep dish pie tin to make my pie if I am traveling, otherwise I use the collectible Watkins deep dish plates my mother got all 5 of her daughters when we were younger. To fill the disposable tin perfectly, I make the recipe 1 1/2 times.

Pecan Pie

1 c. butter or margarine (I detest margarine, I only use unsalted butter)
1 c. sugar
1 c. light Karo syrup
3 eggs, beaten
1 c. chopped pecans
1 unbaked 9" pie shell

In a small saucepan, melt butter or margarine, do not brown. Add butter and syrup, stir constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, cool slightly. (I sit the pan in cold water to speed this process up a little bit) I start to mix a little bit of the syrup from the pan into the egg mixture to warm it up before pouring it into the pan of syrup. This keeps the egg from cooking if incorporated all at once. (Home-Ec 101) Add eggs, stir well. Add pecans, pour into shell. Bake uncovered for 1 hour at 350, or until firm when shaken.

If using a deep dish pan, you'll have to bake the pie a little longer. I do cover the crust the last 20-30 min. to prevent overcooking or burning the crust.

Pie making is a lost art, I think. I learned to make them 6 at a time each day when growing up in my mother's restaurant. It didn't help me after I got married, I only knew how to make 6 at a time. HAHA

This one is for my son, he loves it. His sister is a pumpkin pie person, she always wanted it instead of birthday cake.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Blog giveaway

How about another one? Any ideas? Want it to be cooking related since this is close to the holidays?

Give me an idea what you want to see. WOOHOO!!!!!! I love to do this.

How about the new Paula Deen cast iron cookware? This is such a pretty thing:

I love the holidays

I am up late tonight prepping everything for the holiday. We'll soon be visiting our kids. I made the pie crust, the pumpkin pie filling, ground the cranberries for the muffins, zested the oranges, chopped the nuts and measured all the flour for the muffins. This in preparation to go see the kids. It's 7 hours to Isaac, then 7 hours to Karen. We'll visit then leave on Friday to take Isaac back to school. He'll be back soon enough for Christmas. He is homesick really bad. I miss him, it will be good to see him and have a good visit with Noah and Miss O.

Cleaning house tomorrow, been doing laundry and running around all day today.

Have a good Thanksgiving if I don't get back here.

GO PIONEER WOMAN, she and I get ready for holidays by preparing and organizing early. I Love that!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A time of thanks and giving

I try to spend my time looking for good in people and helping people. Recently I was pleasantly suprised to discover that sometimes you are judged by your actions and nothing else in life. One of the local women in my community and I signed onto a blog to win a contest. I posted my entry and so did she, but I didn't know she had entered the same contest. I was checking up on the contest late one night, around 11:30 to discover she had gone back to the blog and left a message to the blog owner to tell her that I should win. I cried, I couldn't believe that she did that. I am not much of a crier, but it touched me to discover she had noticed my efforts to help others. The idea was to post something that you did to help another person but made you feel good about yourself. Leslie recognized that I try to donate time, materials, manpower, whatever it takes to help people less fortunate than myself. Thanks, Leslie, you will never know how that made me feel.

I grew up in a home with 8 children. There were some financial challenges for my parents having all those children along with lack of education and blue collar jobs. We ate, we survived. However, I know there were times when it was very difficult for them (mom and Dad) to provide for me.

Friday I took hours off work to ring the bell at the Salvation Army kettles to bring in money for folks that are hurting during these rough financial times.

I remember when my little sister had kidney disease. My folks struggled with having enough money as well as cash for the medications, dip sticks she had to have done on her urine up to 6 or more times a day depending on how ill she was, they also had to make a 100 mile round trip to the hospital many times a day when she was hospitalized. There were no drug cards to help pay for meds in 1976. There was no offers of help, money, food, etc. for them. They sucked it up and did what they could. I give because I hope it helps somebody else in a situation like that.

I only know that I get great pleasure in helping others. I hope you all do, too.

I just learned from our local pantry that they need blankets, crackers, flour, oil, cornmeal, and spices. Their canned goods are looking good right now, but if you have a few extra dollars, please think about helping them out. Even take them 1 item, it all adds up.

You never know when a tragedy like cancer or a horrible illness will hit your household. You might need that helping hand. I am a firm believer in what the Word says, to give and it will come back to you 10 fold.

Happy holidays, be thankful for what you have and Give what you can, the feeling is priceless.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Recipe Friday Nov. 21, 2008 Cheeseburger Soup

It is tradition that we have this soup during the holidays. This recipe is also available on Allrecipes.com. The photo that is displayed there right now is mine.

Cheeseburger Soup

• ½# hamburger
• ¾ c. Diced Onion
• ¾ c. diced carrots
• ¾ c. diced celery
• 1 tsp. basil
• 1 tsp. parsley flakes
• 4 Tbsp. butter
• 3 c. chicken broth
• 4 c. diced potatoes (I use frozen cube hashbrowns)
• ¼ c. flour
• 8 oz. velveeta
• 1 ½ c. milk
• ¾ tsp. salt
• ¼ tsp. pepper
• ¼ c. sour cream

Brown Hamburger, set aside. In same pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter, add vegetables, (not potatoes) cook to tender. (about 10 min) Add chicken broth, potatoes, hamburger, basil and parsley. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cook until potatoes are tender. Now melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, add flour, cook 3 min. or until it bubbles, add soup- boil for 2 min. Turn down heat, add cheese, melt the cheese, add milk, salt and pepper. If it needs thickened, we use a little instant potatoe flakes to give it a good thicken. Take off heat, stir in the sour cream. Yield: 2 ½ quarts.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cookbook drawing

I am drawing a different name, I have not been contacted by the winner.

The winner is: BrandiLynn-uh-ohmommys*

Please get your snail mail addy to me.

****Wow, this book goes all the way to our neighbors from the North in Canada****

Friday, November 14, 2008

Recipe Friday Nov. 14, 2008

This has been a family favorite for 30 years, this recipe was found in a magazine when I first married. It's been a family tradition for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I generally place all the dry ingredients into a zip lock bag a week before the holiday, this allows all the seasonings to meld into the flour, giving the muffins a much better flavor. I also grind the cranberries, zest the orange, and then put them into a freezer container with the vanilla and orange juice. We like them fresh baked, so I grab it all and assemble and bake. It's so great to have all the work done ahead of time.

Cranberry Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups chopped cranberries
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Cranberry Spread:

1 (8 ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray or grease a 12 cup and 6 cup muffin tin. (I use the large muffin pans and double the recipe.)

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. (I mix this all together in a zip lock bag a week before the holiday to let the spices flavor the flour. I leave out the orange peel as it can mold inside the bag.)

Cut in shortening; stir in juice, vanilla, eggs, cranberries and nuts. Pour into muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes or until brown.

Prepare the topping in a saucepan over low heat by whisking together the cranberry sauce, brown sugar and margarine. Cook until heated and smooth. Remove from heat and serve as a spread for the muffins.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cookbook Drawing

I had a coworker draw for the cookbook yesterday, he drew: DENISE. I'll get that in the mail right away, thank you all for making comments. It is a ton of fun to give things away. I love this little cookbook, I hope you do, too.

The blogging by mail package was received by Lindsey, she has photos on her blog of all the goodies inside.

I spent this past weekend melting glass, I hope to have photos of the beads I did, and the one I won, as well as the one the instructor gave to me.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Blogging by Mail: My box is ready

It is late, but my Blogging By Mail box is ready to go!! Yahoo! This was so much fun to do, it will be on the way tomorrow. I got a picture of everything I put in there, but will wait until Lindsey receives it before I post a picture.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Recipe Friday: Crock Pot Stroganoff

I got this recipe off the glass forum I go to, I have not made it before. Sunday I am making it in the crock pot so I can make beads all day.

Crock Pot Stroganoff

3 pounds any kind of lean roast cubed
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 package cream cheese
1 16 oz container sour cream
1 large package egg noodles or rice

Ok here goes its so simple
In a large crock pot add beef, canned soups and dry soup mix and stir together. Put the crock pot on high and walk away for 8 hours.

about 15 minutes before you are ready to eat start boiling the noodles or rice.
While that is boiling cube the cream cheese and add that and the sour cream to the beef mixture and stir together.

When your noodles or rice are cooked al dente just drain and serve beef stroganoff over either.

Remember to sign up for the blog give away below!!!

EDIT: This was fantastic, nice flavor, and so easy!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blogging by mail and Give-A-Way

I am going to give away Paula Deen's new book. All you have to do is comment on your first memory of cooking. Please make sure I have a link to your blog or an email address to contact you should you win. The deadline for this to end is Nov. 10th. I'll put all the names in a hat and have my co-worker draw a name. Good luck!!!

I have one item I have been looking for to add to my BLOGGING BY MAIL Box. I found it, I'll run get it on my lunch break, then get my box in the mail. I hope my person isn't irritated that it isn't in the mail yet, but I so wanted to get this one thing!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Karen called me yesterday to let me know she was in the midst of a very nasty allergic reaction. When she told me what was happening, she was in the process of losing her airway, or close to it. I had her hang up, call her MD and get going.

Turns out she is allergic to Pine Nuts. Now she has to carry an epi pen and be prepared if she should ever have another reaction, she'll have to inject herself, or Bryan will need to do it if she is unable.

Lord have mercy.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Bash 2008 a success

Here are some pictures of the Halloween Bash. We have Deanne as Esmerelda the witch, Cindy as the Bugtender,Those are bubba teeth, and Dianne as the Pirate Princess. We have pictures of the space where Dr. Insane had his lab set up, Esmerelda's lair, (photos don't do it justice) and some pictures of the food tables, and some of the kids. There were 73 at the first party for the little kids K-5th grade. The 2nd party was for the 5-8th grade, it was from 7-9:30pm, we had 83 in attendance. I think they all had a great time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Recipe Friday: Halloween Bash is TOMORROW!!!

Before we get to the recipe, there is a little gal that is a friend of my duaghter. She wants to win some scrapbooking stuff on a blog. All you have to do before 5pm tonight is go to this blog site leave a comment that Rachel Arnold of ONe Life One Chance sent you. The more people that do that the more votes she'll get and hopefully win.

So, I am going to post the recipe for the eyeballs. They are very popular! I have to make them every year. But that may not be many more, my sis is selling her house, we won't have a space big enough to do the party after this year.


Yields approximately 9 dozen bite-sized eyeballs

3 oz lemon gelatin (can be sugar-free)
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup pineapple juice
8 oz cream cheese (can be lowfat/Neufchatel)
1 cup mayonnaise (can be fat-free)

Dissolve lemon gelatin in 1 cup water in double boiler, add marshmallows and stir to melt. Remove from heat. Add pineapple juice and cream cheese. Beat until well blended. Cool slightly. Fold in mayo. If you have a truffle candy mold or round ice cube trays, pour the mixture in the molds and leave to set in the fridge. Otherwise pour into a deep ceramic dish and chill until thickened or firm enough for scooping into eyeballs. Using a melonballer, scoop full balls of the mixture and set aside for decoration. To decorate, use liquid food coloring and an old detail paintbrush and get creative. You will need black food coloring for the pupils. Also, if you are in a hurry, instead of painting the colored irises, you can carefully dip the ball in a small pool of food coloring to approximate the iris, but still paint on the pupils.

I purchased Truffle Molds from Mangelsen's for this, it works out great. The recipe yields quite a few eyeballs. It fills a nice round tray. The recipe came from this site. I display mine on a round tray, also.

The first year I made them, they were much neater. Last year I was pressed for time, and it shows if you look at them close up. But, the kids love them. We had 116 kids last year. This year we are splitting the party up, the elementary age kids will be first, the junior high kids will be 2nd. We'll be so tired, but it is so much FUN!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I won I won

I entered a blog contest and won. Here are the items, it really made my day. I don't know, I have a little kid in me, I love to get packages!

Here is the bracelet I made with Blue Healer's beads, I didn't get a good photo of them,but if you click on the photo, you can see it up close. The beads are called Autumn Leaves Discs. They are located on the 2nd page of her ETSY if you want a set. I got 23 beads total. Good price, I think!!! I LOVE This bracelet and wear it all the time!!

It is sad to get rid of things that you have had for a long long time. Such is the case with our old TV. Steve and I put signs up all over town, and at his job. I thought somebody would want it for kids to play games on, etc. But I was wrong. Good Bye TV. We had you longer than Isaac.

A good time was had by all.......

The sister's breakfast was a ton of fun! The highlight of the evening for some was the Haunted House, followed by my lame car taking a big ol' vacation at a very busy intersection!! One of the sister's got a picture of us sitting at a 4 lane stoplight while my little sister gave my battery a JUMP. That didn't work, so they ended up pushing it UPHILL, I found a parking lot that had a downward slope that I coasted into. I would have loved to been behind them and gotten it all on video, it had to be a hoot!!

When the going gets tough, you can count on them, I know that.

After all that excitement, we ended up back at the condos and spent the night drinking wine and visiting. Deanne and I couldn't sleep, so we snuck off down the hall and watched TV in another condo. We ended up going to bed at 3:30 am, and then I couldn't fall asleep worrying about my car.

I ended up spending a good portion of Saturday just trying to get the car home. Later I got a call, just as I was getting ready to take a much needed nap, I got a call we were going to dinner at 5:30. So, we went out to dinner and went to have dessert at Ron and Linda's, then I went home and fell into bed. Sunday was a wash, I did the laundry and slept most of the day.

I sure thought I posted a photo of the bags for art in the bag:

This event was held to earn money for non profit cancer organizations. My girlfriend was the guest of honor. Because of family commitments, see above, I was unable to attend this event. It bummed me out because Donna and I have been friends for many years. The bags were made by my little brother's wife, Brandy. She is cool like that, always doing whatever you ask her to do. She had the honor of having her work posted on a website, too.

The real bummer is, the blog or website for this hasn't been updated to say how it went. I thought that they would have done it by now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Recipe Friday October 17 2008

This is a good idea, I think, if you need sweetened condensed milk and don't have any on hand:

Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/3 cup boiling water
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup powdered milk (recommended: Carnation)


Using an electric mixer, blend together water, butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Add powdered milk and blend until thick. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I added a picture: Vote daily for the no kill shelter please

Petfinder and the Animal Rescue Site are teaming up on a challenge that will result in a total of $100,000 in grants to shelter and rescue groups. To give The Cat House a chance to win up to $25,000:

1. Go to The Animal Rescue Site.

2. Click on the 'Click here to give' button.

3. Click on the 'Vote now' button, it is hard to see, it is upper right.

4. Search for The Cat House Lincoln, Ne

5. Click 'Vote'.

6. Repeat daily until December 14th.

From my friend BETH: While we're up against some pretty big shelters and rescues for the big prize, there are also grants to the shelter with the most votes in each state. As I write this, we're #7 in Nebraska, out of 23 groups that have received votes, so let's get out there and click our way to some money!

Trotted around on my lunch break, look what I found, these are foot long suckers:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Blog Give-Aways

I am doing the Blogging by Mail, it sounded so fun! I really want to make the box special that I send to the person I am assigned. I'll see what I come up with.

I love Pioneer Woman, she gives away stuff all the time. If I were to have a giveaway, what would you want to see?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mice...oh how I hate them!

I love fall weather, but this time of year we get a mouse or two in the house. I have an arsenal of mouse traps that I keep in a 2 gallon zip lock bag at the ready at all times. It consists of those cheap wooden traps, sold 4/$1 at the Dollar Store. The best thing I have found is the electronic mouse trap. Purchased from our local Wal-Mart store about 4 years ago. When all the wooden traps fail to trap the intruder, this one NEVER fails. It is available at Menard's. I am going there right after work Wed. to get another one!:

All you do is put a 9V battery in it, turn it on and wait. The mouse enters a little tunnel in the trap to gain access to the peanut butter you so cleverly smeared on the back of the trap. Once inside, there's a metal plate that 'puts him to sleep'. It is very humane. I really hate to kill them, but if you ask our daughter what nightmares occur when you DON'T eliminate them..........well, we'll just let it go at that. (ask her about the 35 member family that set up house in our garage at our old location) It was not very pretty. I am deathly afraid of mice, I had a hard time believing she convinced her dad to let 'JUST ONE' go............ha!

Tonight I am making Karen's recipe for Apple Butter in the crock pot. I'll post the recipe on Friday if I have a success. So far the house smells great while they cook.

Tomorrow we are helping a local man run for sheriff of our county. We're doing a dinner in the small town close to us, population 25, I think.(I stand corrected, I just googled it, as of the last census in 2000, there were 215 living there. Who knew??? WE'll grill burgers and hot dogs. The candidate will be available to answer questions. Then we'll call it a night.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Recipe Friday Oct. 3rd 2008

Recipe Friday

In preparation for Halloween,I have the mice cookie recipe. We are freaks about Halloween! I love the recipes that we find, the Halloween bash is going to carry on this year, even though my sister has her house up for sale, the party is in her outbuilding every year.

This time, I am going to tell you about a neat kit sold for making pretzels for Halloween. Wal-Mart is selling them for around $10, everything you need to make the pretzels is in there, except the pretzels.

They are too cute, the witch's fingers are so adorable.

Here's the mice recipe I used last year:

Mice Cookies

4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs

1/3 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
24 silver dragees decorating candy
1/4 cup sliced almonds
12 (2 inch) pieces long red vine licorice (chocolate if you can find it)


Melt the chocolate, and combine with sour cream. Stir in 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
Roll by level tablespoonfuls into balls. Mold to a slight point at one end (the nose).
Roll dough in confectioners sugar (for white mice), and in chocolate cookie crumbs (for dark mice). On each mouse, place dragees in appropriate spot for eyes, almond slices for ears, and a licorice string for the tail. I used these little black sugar balls I found at Mangelsen's for the eyes, they are PERFECT!!

Refrigerate for at least two hours, until firm.

Yield 3 dozen

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cont'd Trip to see grandbabies

A few more photos of the kids, they had a thing for the bibles in the hotel room. They each had one, carrying it around. It was funny. Noah was reading Olivia a story about Jesus and the shepherds. They also wrote tons of notes all over the hotel guest pads. They really have imaginations. Olivia loved looking at magazines on the sofa with Karen and I. In the one picture where Noah is sitting on the bed, he is looking at the Mormon bible. Olivia has the Gideon Bible.