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.