Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Baked Egg recipe was good

Steve got me new Fiesta Ware coffee cups for Christmas. I didn't know what to do with the little cups that came with the 5 piece place settings.....I had a recipe that called for Ramekins. I didn't have any ramekins, so I made do.

Baked Eggs
(serves 2)
4 whole eggs
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 T. fresh parsley, minced
4 T. sour cream or creme fraiche
salt and pepper
Equipment: 2 buttered ramekins, a shallow pan to bake in

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Butter the ramekins and put about half the garlic in the bottom of each, along with a tablespoon of sour cream and half the parsley. Crack 2 eggs into each ramekin, season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining garlic, sour cream and parsley, and place in the baking pan. Fill the pan with warm water until it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekin and place in the middle rack of the oven. Bake until set, about 20 minutes. Serve with toast.

Snowed in for 2 1/2 days: PHOTOS

Isn't it lovely? There's plenty here if you want to borrow a little. I won't be sad.

Isaac is 6'2" the snow is way taller than him after piling it up. This all came from between the house and the garage.

This drift was as high as our kitchen window. OUCH!!!

View out the kitchen window of our house.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Snowed in day 2 1/2

Ok, I've taken CLR to anything that has a water lime build up, now I'm cleaning the junk drawer. Lord help me, how does all this stuff get in this one little spot? I have like 10 9V batteries and 15 or more AAA's. Only 6 AA's. No C's or D's (can tell there are no little kids here opening gifts or needing batteries to make it run).

I'm bored. Taking some chili and a sleeve of crackers to the housekeeper to see how she fared in this weather. She's off today, I bet she is sad she can't do anything on her one weekend off.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

I think we've hit a new record. Generally the kids were up opening gifts early in the morning, today it was 10am before we started, we had the traditional Overnight Raisin Oatmeal Pancakes, a cup of coffee, then opened our gifts. It's never been's been 10 before 6am, 10 after 5 am, even 10 after 4 am one year, but never 10am, the kids would have exploded if they would have had to wait that long!!!

It's nice to be all snug in the house with the snow neck deep in the yard. Nobody has to go to work, we don't HAVE to be anywhere. We're just going to watch old movies, visit and enjoy our company!!!

View out our back door:

Pending, Isaac's computer is hooked up, I don't have a place to stick the SD card...sigh.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Frank McCourt and Julia Childs????

I'm listening to Frank McCourt's book "Teacher Man" on CD in my car. It's all I can do to keep from bringing it in the house to listen to when I get home from work! What a great story, and it was read by the author himself. I just don't know if it would have been as good if he hadn't read it.......

Julie and Julia on DVD. We watched it tonight for the first time, Julia Childs was a hoot, and Julie Powell is going to get some research done on her.

I've got to know more about Julia Childs, the way Meryl Streep portrayed her in the movie was fascinating! What a lighthearted and happy sould Julia must have been.....she and her hubby were so in love.

I was so tickled about the visit from her sister. It reminds me how I feel when I see Karen Jean or my friend in Colorado, (Karen's namesake) The overall sense of joy, love and contentment to just lay your eyes on them, spend time with them and love on them.

I love both of you Karen's with all my heart....I love you more'n my that movie!!!!

Merry Christmas to you all!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays

This year I feel the stress of the holidays. I am generally done with my shopping in Oct. or early Nov. The cookies are mixed and ready to bake, candy is prepared or planned out, and I am ready.

This year I didn't get Steve's list until 2 weeks ago, so had all that shopping to do, it isn't wrapped yet, no cookies mixed or baked. No candies made.

I want to know how you get an invite to a blog that is locked down to people that only are invited??? I had one blog I was following, but after a rough patch it was closed. I think that a new blog was created. I want to reconnect but don't know how.

Maybe I'll get an invite?? I hope so, I love to see the family and hear the antics. SIGH.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Son is home for the holiday

You don't realize how important it is to have your kids near you during the holidays until they aren't here anymore. Our son arrived on Frontier Airlines this evening. It's good to hear him in the house. I love having him home.

He's a lot easier than his sister. He only wants Chili, Ham and Beans and maybe spaghetti. I think we can manage all 3!!!!!!! What a hoot!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Glitter Ornaments

Karen sent me a video to watch today. These look so easy and would make great gifts.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Recipe Friday Dec. 11, 2009 Peek-A-Berry Boos

I love this recipe, I found it many years ago in a magazine. It's been a favorite on my cookie trays every since. Hope to get a photo when making them for our first annual cookie exchange at work. I can't wait for this, we've been wanting to do it for a couple of years. This year it finally came to fruition.

Peek-A-Berry Boos

* 1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
* ¾ cups Sugar
* 1 cup Butter Or Margarine
* ½ cups Water
* 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
* 2 whole Eggs (large)
* 3 cups Flour
* 2 cups Quick Cooking Oatmeal
* 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
* ½ teaspoons Salt
* ½ teaspoons Cinnamon
* ⅔ cups Raspberry Preserves

Heat oven to 400 F.

2. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar, sugar and butter or margarine until light and fluffy.

3. Add water, almond extract and eggs; mix well. (Mixture looks curdled at this point, but that’s the way it should look.)

4. Stir in flour, oats, soda, salt and cinnamon; mix well.

5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets approximately 2″ apart.

6. With back of spoon, make intentation in center of cookie. Fill in with approximately 1/2 teaspoon preserves. Drop scant teaspoonful cookie dough over preserves.

7. Bake 6-9 minutes or until light brown.

Yields 4 1/2-5 dozen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Annual Cookie Exchange

Snow days always sound funner than they actually are! I have all my stuff ready for the cookie exchange at work tomorrow.

I am all ready for the cookie exchange for work. I've packaged the cookies in little boxes. We're making 6 cookies for each participant, with a dozen brought to taste.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow snow everywhere SNOW!!!


Satellite TV didn't work

When I got home from work last night the satellite TV wasn't working. We watched 'Walk the Line' on DVD. That is a great love story between Johnny Cash and June Carter.

I could watch it over and over. My other favorites are Shawshank Redemption and Tombstone. Hook, Pretty Woman and Top Gun rank up there amongst my favorites. I really am not a movie person....I can't sit for hours and watch movies, I'm generally doing hobbies or working around the house.

It was good to spend a couple hours watching this favorite. Once it was over the satellite worked. Strange, but OK by me.

Today I'm going to change out my phone, hopefully get the Droid by phone has been ready for an upgrade for about 6 months, but I wanted to see what the new phone would do, read reviews and see if there were any good deals. Since there are, I'm going to jump on it!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thanksgiving was fun

Isaac never ceases to entertain the babies while we are there, they have such a good time with him.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Nutty Bacon Cheeseball Recipe Friday December 4, 2009

Nutty Bacon Cheeseball

1 pkg. 8oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c milk

2 c. (8 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar Cheese

2 c. shredded monterey jack cheese

1/4 c. (1oz) blue cheese

1/4 c. finely minced green onions (white parts only)

1 jar (2 oz) diced pimiento

10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

3/4 c. chopped pecans

salt and pepper

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 1 minute. Scrape bowl. Speed 2, gradually add milk, mixing until well blended, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl. Add cheeses, onions, pimientos, half of bacon and half of pecans. Turn to speed 4 and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Season with salt & pepper.

Transfer half of mixture to lg. piece of plastic wrap. Form into ball: wrap tightly. Repeat with remaining mixture. Refrigerate at least 2 hrs until well chilled.

Combine remaining bacon, pecans, parsley & poppy seeds in pie plate or lg. 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 hrs.

Yield: 24 servings.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bake at 350

I have so many holiday traditions, but will have to stick with the cranberry muffins. They are the one thing the family wants each year. We've had them for over 30 years each Thanksgiving and Christmas. The kids love them, and so do the adults. The second recipe is the Christmas pancakes. We have them every Christmas morning for breakfast before opening gifts. A tradition we adopted once I discovered the pancake recipe in a magazine.

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.

Christmas Pancakes


  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup raisins


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the oats and buttermilk. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next morning: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the oatmeal mixture, eggs, butter, and raisins. Stir until just moistened. Allow batter to sit 20 minutes before cooking. If batter is too thick, add buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time, until the batter reaches the desired consistency.
  3. Heat a lightly greased, large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle for each cake. Cook pancakes until bubbles appear on top, flip, and cook until lightly browned on bottom.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Recipe Friday Nov. 27th Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin cookies

Got this recipe from TastyKitchen. They're really good, a soft cookie if you like that kind. Steve would rather eat chocolate chip all the time, but I am not a chocolate fan.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
2 c. flour
1 1/3 c. quick cooking oatmeal
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. butter or margarine softened
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. sugar
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
3/4 c. raisins

Preparation instructions:

  1. Measure dry ingredients together, combine well. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease baking sheets, (I used parchment).
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine butter or margarine, brown and white sugars together, beat until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla, mix well.
  3. Add flour mixture, mix well. Stir in nuts and raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonsful onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 14-16 min. or until cookies are lightly browned and set in the center. cool on large bakins sheets 2 minutes, remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 4 dozen 120 calories per cookie.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Breast Cancer Pink Glove video

Once this video gets 1 Million hits there will be a large contribution to the hospital where it was filmed. Pretty fun.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009

Hello all, have a safe and happy holiday. Our son is now in his room enjoying solitude, a luxury he is denied while at school. He's watching his favorite shows and I just made him go shave his face. He doesn't run out of razors too much while gone. I think he has a nice face and I want to see it.

It's good to be home, I'll sleep so much better in my own bed tonight. Pies are almost done baking, tomorrow I'll do the muffins, then we'll go to Steve's brother's house to have Thanksgiving with them. They're excited to see Isaac, he's not been around much this summer. We haven't seen him since July, hard to believe it's been that long.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pumpkin pie, Holiday and Thanks

I'll be off to get Sonny tomorrow.

I've baked Mike's pumpkin pie, I'll deliver it to him at work tomorrow along with a cool whip for topping. He enjoys getting one to share with the neighbors on Thanksgiving. I have made him a pie every year since we started working together (2001??) . He's always speechless and not very gracious. I mean that with all the sincerity in the world, you have to KNOW Mike to appreciate that remark. He's my most favorite person in the world to poke and pick at..........he takes it all in good stride. I've adopted him to be my brother. SHHH!! Don't tell him, we want him around to enjoy the holidays.

Here's my masterpiece, they always look best when it is a pie you aren't taking for your own family to allow them to see your pie making skills. (or so it seems)

While on our trip to Arkansas with my dear in laws Steve got me a Pandora bracelet. I just LOVE it, I've gotten birthstones for all the family members, Eeyore, a giraffe, my favorite animal on the ark, a snake because my grand kids love to chase them in the yard. A 'mother' charm because I think that defines your greatest accomplishment in this world, esp. if the children turn out good!!!! An owl for my baby girl who is such a 'hoot', a to go coffee mug because I am a fan of mochas, lattes and cappuccinos.

It has ballet slippers for my little 'performer' Miss O. It's a ton of fun getting charms for it, I've worn it almost daily since I got it. Thanks STEVE!!!!

I wish I could have gotten a better photo of Eeyore, he has a gold bow on his rear end, it cracks me UP!!!! I collect hearts so I have a gold heart on there, and a pumpkin, we were in Arkansas in Oct. so that one is to remind me the time we spent with Jim and Joyce, they are so special to us all the time. So happy we could spend a week with them on that bus trip.

Thursday we'll give a special "What/Who I am thankful for" prayer to Kim, Kevin, Pattye, Pete R, Sharon, Barry, Chadd, Linda, Betty, Scott, Mark, Marc, Paul and Lianne.

I am so thankful for healthy grand kids, sisters Michelle and Wendy, Riles, the 3 Study kids, and most of all my good friends, they're the strongest of all because they put up with me for 3 days in Tucson every year many years in a row, Feb. 2010 will soon be included. Matt, Aimee and Sandy, I'm sorry......naw, not really!!! Let's don't forget RHONDA who endured all of our antics...she was the sturdiest of all because she was expecting her last little boy during that trip, we didn't make her sick ONCE!!!

Oh and my newest most delightful friend RUTH. I love her open honest personality. What I love most is she plays no games, shoots from the hip and leaves no question where you stand. Without all that you can get down to the business of enjoying each others company and becoming good fast friends. I adore her already and we've only known each other a short time.

Lastly my hubby and those 2 children I am most proud of, thanks for putting up with your crazy wife and your lunatic MOM.

If you're wondering why all this 'mush' is coming early, I'll be traveling most of tomorrow and Wed. When I get home I'll spend the rest of Wed. baking, Friday I'll be traveling again, I won't have time to post!!!

Thanksgiving recipes Nov. 23, 2009

Cranberry Delight Spread

1 8oz. package cream cheese
2 Tablespoons concentrated orange juice
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tablespoon sugar
zest of 1 orange
1/4 c. finely chopped pecans, optional
1/4 c. finely chopped dried cranberries

Town House Crackers

1. In bowl of electric mixer, combine cream cheese, orange juice, cinnamon and sugar on medium speed until smooth.
2. Fold in orange zest, pecans and cranberries. Refrigerate. Garnish with cranberries or zest of orange. Serve with Town House Crackers. Makes 1.5 c. spread

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving recipes

Some things just bear repeating. I'll repost the cranberry muffin recipe, it's one of our best.

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, assemble and bake on Thanksgiving or Christmas day.....all I have to do is cut the shortening into the flour. 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.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Recipe Friday Nov. 20th Sweet Potato Casserole

This is a traditional casserole we cook every holiday, we don't do sweet potatoes with marshmallows on them since finding this recipe. It's the bomb.

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1/2 c. white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. melted butter
1/2 c. cold milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon butter
1 c. chopped pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray one 2 1/2 qt. casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, 1/4 c. butter, milk and vanilla. Pour into prepared dish.
  3. Mix together the brown sugar, flour, butter and pecans, sprinkle over casserole.
  4. Bake at 350F for 25-30 min.

This recipe is also available at Tasty Kitchen.

Got the crud

I spent the whole day in bed today, I was up for about an hour to drink some hot tea and take some ibuprofen. I ache, my throat feels swollen, I can hardly swallow, and I have a ton of drainage. I just don't have time to be sick!!!

I'll be at work tomorrow at 0600..........the refrigerator there needs a good cleaning. Then I'll catch up on my work from today.........and then go see New Moon after work.

I am looking forward to that, I rarely go to the movies, but this one I can't miss.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I hate hospitals.........even if I work in one!!!

Little sis called me from an emergency room. She had some weird symptoms, told me they were admitting her, Steve and I went over to sit with Jason to see what was going on..........she had a test, will have more tomorrow.

When we left she looked like she'd been put through the ringer. She was ordering dinner when I left.

I'm praying for her to be ok, maybe just need a pill and nothing else.

Keep her in your thoughts, would you please????

Friday, November 13, 2009

Baked Potato Soup Recipe Friday Nov. 13th

Baked Potato Soup

4-6 large baking potatoes
½ cup butter
2/3 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 green onions chopped
1 ¼ cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
12 slices cooked and crumbled bacon

Bake potatoes in a hot oven until tender, cool. Cut in half and scoop out pulp; set aside. Melt butter, add flour, stir and cook over low heat until smooth. Gradually add broth and milk, cook over medium heat until mixture is thick and bubbly; stir often. Add potatoes, seasonings, half of the green onion and cheese. Heat thoroughly. Stir in sour cream. Add extra broth or milk if necessary for desired consistency.

Garnish with remaining green onion, cheese and crisp bacon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Holidays are coming

I'll be driving 9 1/2 hours to get my son here in a week or so all by myself. I plan on listening to books on tape to make the trip go faster. I don't mind being alone at all, but it is a little daunting taking off for such a long drive!!!

I can't wait to see him, he is a homebody, he likes to be with his family. Not one to venture out much, he's like his Dad in that respect. Steve was always at home when he was growing up, he had one friend that he always hung out with, but for the most part he was home with the grandparents that raised him from 3 years on up until we married.

I'm glad Sonny is happy to be with his family, he adores his niece and nephew who in turn worship him, they can't wait to see him whenever they come for a visit. It's such a blessing to have good family.

I guess I'm counting my blessings way before the official holiday when we do that.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Torching weekend

I spent the weekend torching at The Flameworx Studio in Omaha. It was so much fun! Got a chance to study and practice our techniques learned from Andrea Guarino-Slemmons class at said studio. She was an incredible teacher, we were very fortunate to get her to come from Oregon to see us in the Midwest.

I'll do the 2nd Friday Art Walk on Friday. I'll have my torch set up to demo glass bead making. It's always nice to allow folks to see the entire process. The first time I saw it I couldn't tear myself away.

Have a good week!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Daylight Savings time..........

Oh how it messes up my schedule. I barely get used to the previous change and it's time to do it all again.

Planning a trip to see the babies for Thanksgiving, I'll make pies and our cranberry muffins. It is a long drive. 9.5 hours to go get Isaac, then 7 hours from him to Karen. But it is worth it to have the kids together. I wonder how many more years we'll be blessed enough to have them all with us during the holidays?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Flavor Of The Month Oct. 2009 Pumpkin

Bake at 350

These cookies are a tradition for my kids when they were growing up. They loved to decorate the faces. I miss doing them every year.

Pumpkin Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

  • 1 package Yellow Cake Mix
  • ½ cups Quick Cooking Oatmeal
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 can Pumpkin, Pureed (16 Oz.)
  • ¼ cups Butter Or Margarine, Softened
  • 1 container White Frosting Or Your Own Favorite Frosting Recipe
  • 3 bags Candy To Decorate Pumpkin Faces. I Use M&M's, Candy Corn And Mini M&M's
  • Food Coloring (green And Orange)
Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease cookie sheet.

2. Mix together all ingredients (except candy for decoration, frosting, and food coloring) until well blended.

3. Drop cookies by 1/4 cupfuls onto prepared cookie sheet. With the back of a spoon, flatten to a round pumpkin shape; move a little dough to the top in a ’stem’ shape. (You will decorate this with green frosting to resemble a pumpkin stem.)

4. Bake 350 F for 14-20 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown.

5.Divide and tint small portions of frosting with green food coloring, the other portion with orange food coloring.

6. Once cookies are cool, frost the stem with green frosting, and the rest of the cookie with orange frosting.

7. Decorate faces with M&M’s, gum drops, dots, licorice, candy corn, etc.

Recipe Friday delayed for Flavor of the Month

I am baking the Pumpkin Pecan Tassies for the Flavor of the month right now. They smell wonderful. It will be fun to see how they turn out. I've only used store bought pie crust once before. A foreign substance for me. I generally make my own pie crust. But since this has been such a busy week, I cheated.

Bake at 350

Pumpkin Pecan Tassies

1 15-oz package rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crusts (2 crusts)
3/4 c. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 c. half and half, light cream or milk
1/3 c. chopped pecans
1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Maple Syrup (optional)

  1. Let piecrusts stand according to package directiosn. Preheat oven to 350F. unroll piecrusts, use a 2 1/2 inch round cutter to cut 12 rounds from each pie crust. Gently ease pastry rounds into the bottums and up sides of 24 ungreased 1 3/4 inch muffin cups.
  2. for filling, in a large bowl, stir together pumpkin, granulated sugar, pumpkin pie spice and sale. Add eggs, stir until combines. Gradually add half and half, cream OR milk, stir just until combined.
  3. For topping, stir together pecans, brown sugar and melted butter.
  4. Spoon about 2 tsp. filling into each pastry lined cup. Top each with a scant 1 teaspoon pecan topping. . Bake in preheated oven about 35 minujtes or unitil filling is set and crust is golden brown. Remove tassies from muffin gcups and cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, drizzle tassies with maple syrup just before serving. Makes 24 tassies.
To store: Place tassies in a single layer in an airtight container, cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Before serving, thaw about 1 hour at room temperature.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Random Photos

I made treats for the Arkansas Bus Tour. Rice Krispie treats were for me and Steve, the gooey nut bars for Jim and Joyce. Jim must not have trusted me because he brought candy bars!!!:

The rest are photos from the trip, the train, the view from our balcony in Mt. Magazine Lodge. It was fun and I am so glad I got to go with Jim and Joyce, we met great people on the trip!

Downtown shopping, they had a little park, so cute. Just down the street from the Crescent Hotel.

Waterfall in front of the Mt. Magazine Lodge

View from our balcony at Mt. Magazine Lodge. The bus tour is the way to go, we stay in nicer places than Steve and I normally pick! HAHA

Steve and I on the train leaving Van Buren, Arkansas

Nice old train has been restored. It was considered very high class back in the day. I believe it was an 1886 train.

Sam Walton's daughter, Alice is building an art center featuring American Art called Crystal Bridges. When finished Steve and I would like to return. She's buying paintings for more than $32M to put in this structure.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kids were here....

It's really late, the kids were here to visit........I finally got the photos rotated. I am kinda tired. Tomorrow night I have a hair appt. Then maybe my life will get back to normal.

Miss O always singing, dancing and entertaining us.......she's going to grow up to be the bestest singer, EVER!..........or so she says!!!

My Noah Benoah, content to play with his GI Joes or Star Wars....

Miss O loves to be in the center of attention.

Miss O loves our whirlpool tub.

Here I am in the backyard of the haunted hotel:

Steve on the back porch of The Crescent Hotel:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gooey Mixed Nut Bars

These were made for our Arkansas bus tour, they are pretty sweet! Taste like a pecan pie bar on steroids:

Gooey Mixed Nut Bars

Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup butter
1 pkg. 2 layer size yellow cake mix
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
2 cups mixed nuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with foil. extending foil over pan edges. Coat foil with nonstick, cooking spray; set aside. In large bowl, use a pastry blender to cut the 1/2 cup butter into the dry cake mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minute or until lightly browned and set. Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, the 1/3 cup melted butter, vanilla and cinnamon; Whisk to combine. Stir in mixed nuts. Pour nut mixture over warm crust. Bake about 30 minutes more or until bubbly around edges and golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. using edge of foil, lift uncut bars out of the pan. Cut into bars. Makes 32 bars. To store: Layer bars between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Marlsgate Plantation!!!

I think for me the highlight of the trip was the plantation we just went to visit today, Mr. G. is the host, he fed us the most amazing southern "Dinner" of ham, rice, sweet potatoes, green beans and homemade dinner rolls.

His hospitality is unrivaled, Steve enjoyed the finery in the home as much as I did. There are at least 3 generations of beautiful linens, dishes, lighting, furniture, etc. HE was most gracious in opening his home and acres to the bus tour. We would love to come back and see how it is all done.

His mother and his brother were there to assist in serving the noon meal, running the gift shop and welcoming us to their home. It was so much fun.

Tonight is a tour of the USS Razorback Submarine and a dinner boat ride. We're looking forward ot it, we are at the presidential Holiday Inn in LIttle Rock, it is impeccably spotless.

Last night we stayed in Mt. Magazine Lodge, in a state park, the only thing I have ever stayed in that was more beautiful for a lodge area was Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National park.

I am dreading the end of this week. It has been great spending time with Jim and Joyce and the others on the bus. There are about 10 or 12 people from our area that we know that are on the bus, it has been fun.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wal-Mart...WHO KNEW????

Arrived in Bentonville AK today.....last night we saw a special on Sam Walton on TV, what could be more timely than that? Turns out today's tour was of Sam Walton's first store in Bentonville, a little 5 and dime store. He was a persistent person! Just goes to show you hard work and persistence pays off, you can be successful financially if you are willing to work and sacrifice.

Our tour guide told us that she learned 3 things living in an area that produced 5 billionaires

  1. Frugality
  2. Persistence
  3. Focus

I thought this was interesting. The Wal-Mart family is worth 280.8 billion $$. To put it into perspective, she told us 1 billion $$$ is 1,000 millions........WOW!!!

The tour guide's mother was a seamstress, she used to patch the jeans the 3 Walton boys wore about every 2-3 weeks. At one point her mother pointed out to Helen that the jeans had to have something left to patch. Mrs. Walton told her to just do the best she could. Apparently she watched every dime......which I believe is how they keep their billions.

All in all, it was a very interesting first day on the trip.

There are 3 billionaires from this area:

  1. J.B. Hunt
  2. Tyson
  3. Wal-Mart

Sam Walton was the one in first place......they have a Wal-Mart museum here that we walked thru that I found to be extremely interesting, I could have stayed there much longer.

Tonight we ate at Bill Clinton's favorite restaurant, AQ chicken. It was good, the service impeccable!

Tomorrow is a train ride, I'm excited about that. Really enjoying the time spent with Jim and Joyce.