Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cookies all crumbled and new batch started for 2016

Another year has passed and both good and not so good things have occurred. Being me, I like to document and remember and reflect on it all.  Here goes…..

2015 Family and Friend Events

January -  Mister’s remaining brother died, and a dear friend died.

February - Great nephew (age 14) just had cast off broken ankle then broke wrist in sledding accident soon after.

March -  Friend’s husband died.
March - Longtime beach friend fell, broke neck vertebrae.
March - Grandson (age 13) broke clavicle

*June - Great-Great Grandson born.

July - Grandson (age 26) fell down sewer hole on job when ladder broke and fractured foot and ankle. December - Same Grandson diagnosed with acute lymphoid leukemia and is being treated.

July - Daughter (age 55) had 8th back surgery.

Sister (age 73) fell at home and broke wrist and arm. August - Same sister fell down indoor flight of stairs middle of night. September - Same sister diagnosed with bladder cancer and is being treated.

*September - Nephew (age 44) married.

October - Significant Other of son (age 57) diagnosed with colon cancer and is being treated.

November - Great niece (age 7) broke arm.

December - Friend’s husband died.
December - Old friend fell, broke wrist, arm, ribs, spleen removed, concussion.

New Stuff After Sale of SC Trailer in June

14KW Generac Stand by Automatic Generator Installed
Ford Escape SUV (We downsized and updated from Truck) 
Power Recliner - Leather 
Freezer 14 CU
EGO 56V Wireless Leaf Blower
Vizio 28” Flatscreen TV for kitchen
KitchenAid Deluxe Edition Stand Mixer “Red Workhorse”

Repairs
New Storm Drain Constructed.
Electric Junction box under sink shorted and was repaired.
Dock barrels and deck repaired and replaced.

So now all of my various directories have been updated for the year 2016.

By the way, I baked a lot in 2015 and will try to exceed my skills in that department. It's a goal!

Baked….

Jan.
Snickerdoodles
Caramel Raisin Cookies
Feb.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Peanut Butter Bars
Mar.
Amish Applesauce Cake
Apr.
Chocolate Bundt Cake
May
Vanilla Poke Cake
Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake
Jun.
Bread Pudding
Bread Pudding #2
Jul.
Chocolate Bundt Cake
Lemon Bundt Cake
Aug.
Pumpkin Pie
Applesauce Cake
Peach Pie
Apple Pie
Wild Plum Leather
Sept.
Pumpkin Pie
Peach Crescents
Applesauce Cupcakes
Molasses Cookies
Oct.
Apple Pie
Apple Pie #2
One Bowl Apple Cake
Pan Apple Cake
Nov.
Willie’s Apple Bundt Cake
Cherry Snack Bars
Dec.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Gingerbread Men and Cookies
Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Oatmeal Cherry Cookies

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas to ALL!


please click on image

'Twas The Night Before Christmas...Mom Style

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the abode
Only one creature was stirring & she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,
while visions of X-Box & Barbie flipped through their heads.

Yes, and dad was snoring in front of the TV,
with a half constructed bicycle propped on his knee.
So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
which made her sigh, "Now what is the matter?"

With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs, and saw the old man.
He was covered with ashes & soot, which fell with a shrug,
"Oh great," muttered the mom, "Now I have to clean the rug."
"Ho Ho Ho!" cried Santa, I'm glad you're awake."
"your gift was especially difficult to make."
"Thanks, Santa, but all I want is time alone."
"Exactly!" he chuckled, "So, I've made you a clone."

"A clone?" she muttered, "What good is that?"
"Run along, Santa, I've no time for chit chat."
Then out walked the clone - The mother's twin,
Same hair, same eyes, same double chin.
"She'll cook, she'll dust, she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy, watch TV and rest.
"Fantastic!" the mom cheered. "My dream has come true!"
"I'll shop, I'll read, I'll sleep a night through!"

From the room a bove, the youngest did fret.
"Mommy?! Come quickly, I'm scared and I'm wet."
The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."
"Hey," the mom smiled, "She sure knows her part."

The clone changed the child and hummed her a tune,
as she bundled the small one in a blanket cocoon.
"You're the best mommy ever. I really love you."
The clone smiled and sighed, "And I love you too."
The mom frowned and said, "Sorry, Santa, no deal.
That's my child's LOVE she is going to steal."
Smiling wisely, Santa said: "To me it is clear,
Only one loving mother is needed here."

The mom kissed her child and tucked her in bed.
"Thank You, Santa, for clearing my head.
Sometimes I forget, it won't be very long,
before they'll be too old for my cradle and song."

The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."
With the clone by his side, Santa said: "Goodnight.
Merry Christmas, dear Mom, you'll be all right."
Sometimes we need reminding of what life is all about.
Especially at times when the Holiday season shouts,
and all we do is clean, bake, and procure.
You get the picture -- I'm sure.

So stop for a moment and hug that little one so dear,
whether he/she is 2 or 35, or even older this year.
For they are the gift that God gave us from Heaven above,
and what a special gift to be treasured, with endless LOVE!

May The Real Meaning Of Christmas Be With You All Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The BEST COOKIES EVER!

I made a batch of these and I have NEVER made a better bunch of cookies! Honestly! NEVER!

They are sweet, chewy, and soooooo tasty. I found the recipe on the internet a while ago and never made them. From past experience I know that oatmeal batter is very stiff and I was afraid of burning up my hand-held old mixer. I'm not strong enough to mix it by hand. Today was the day because my new red workhorse is fun and great for heavy batters.



 Dried Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
 A recipe from cooks.com

 1 1/4 c. butter, softened (Use REAL butter!)
 1 1/4 c. packed brown sugar (I used dark brown)
 1 egg
 1 tsp. vanilla (I used pure almond)
 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
 1 tsp. baking soda
 1 tsp. salt
 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
 3 c. quick or old fashioned uncooked oatmeal
 1 c. dried cherries (I soaked them in cider, then squeezed out extra fluid. Apple juice or brandy would also work well, I think)

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla (or almond). In a bowl combine flour, baking  soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to creamed butter mixture, mixing well. Stir (I used mixer) in oatmeal and dried (soaked) cherries. 

 Drop by a rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-11 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet, then remove. Makes 5 1/2 - 6 dozen cookies.  
YES!

Not as tasty but a joyful bunch!
Festive Wiley and Friends
Click on image to join in the fun!

Stressed Santa

  A Christmas Story

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more. 

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.

Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.
Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.
The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?' 

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.
(author unknown)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Greetings!

   

THE CHRISTMAS GAME:

All you need are sturdy paper plates and pens for each player.
The host tells the players to put their paper plate on their head.
Then the host will give a series of instructions for the players to draw on their paper plates (that are on their heads) without looking.

Here are the instructions:
1. Draw a line for a floor.
2. Draw a Christmas Tree. Add decorations if you feel so inclined.
3. Draw a star on top of your tree.
4. Draw a fireplace with a mantel next to the tree.
5. Draw a stocking hanging from the mantel of your fireplace.
6. Draw a present below the tree.

After the six steps have been given, let everyone look at their masterpieces.
Get ready for a serious giggle fest.

Then have players count up how many points they received by following this rubric:
1. 2 points if the tree touches the floor.
2. 2 points if your stocking is touching your mantel.
3. 1 point if your star touches your tree.
4. 1 point if your star is above your tree.
5. 1 point for every Christmas ornament ball that is ON your tree, etc.
6. 1 point if your fireplace doesn’t touch the tree (it’s a fire hazard!). 
7. 1 point if you actually drew something decorative on your stocking (or something cute, like a tiny kitten peeking out).
8. 2 points if your present is under your tree.


The player with the most points should receive a really awesome prize!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Finally - White Stuff

        snow !
Now we are in the mood!
Quick! Click on image before snow melts!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

And the Winner is.......!

                   LEMON COOKIES

1 cup sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon YES! DO THE WORK!
1 stick butter (room temperature) NO MARGARINE!
2 1/2 cup sifted flour (I didn’t sift)
1 large egg (room temperature)
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice YES! USE AN HONEST-TO GOODNESS LEMON.
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Additional sugar on which to roll cookie logs

Blend and beat together the zest, sugar, butter and egg. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon juice. Blend well. Divide the mixture into 2 portions. On *foil, form each into a long cylinder. Wrap and chill for **several hours. When ready to bake, roll the dough in sugar and slice 1/4-inch thick. Place on buttered baking sheets, leaving room between each cookie. Bake at 400°F for 8 to 10 minutes.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen Large ones or 4 1/2 dozen small ones, depending on how long and broad your rolled dough cylinders are.

(*I used parchment paper instead of foil.) (**I chilled for 4 hours.)
~~~Cookie Contest~~~

What will win? Beauty? Texture? Flavor? The complexion is free of blemishes and bright, the shapes are varied, the bottoms are quite tan and they smell really nice! They also have a reputation for being easy.

Everyone has an old cheese slicer with the roller missing!
You all have your favorite cookie sheet, correct?
YES! The tan bottoms show they are fully baked.
Well, we did have to taste a few. There are only about 48 left!
And the winner is…..
     FLAVOR!!!
The runner up is…..
          TEXTURE!!!
Last but, oh well, never mind…..
                  BEAUTY!
click on cookie image to enjoy the view

                                                           

Friday, December 18, 2015

Silliness




Feeling silly…Made a lady for the men. She’s too fat to hang. One guy was cold so I gave him a scarf. 

Leftover dough made 8 plain ones which will be hung on my tree. Soon......
To smell the ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon - click on image.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Final Touch



Click on here to enlarge photo
Six down, ten to go! I do NOT like the decorating part. That is for others, but not for me. I just used what I have on hand and they will be complete. 

Next project: Lemon Jumbles like my Grandma used to make and roll out on her marble-top table.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My Men...



If you have never made REAL gingerbread men to hang as decorations you MUST at least try one time! 

My cutter is an old 8 inch tall cutter and he usually hangs on a wall as a decoration. I may have used him for cookies once before, but I can’t remember. 
I put my new red workhorse in to action to mix it all and therefore, was stuck with the dough for the men. Hadda move on… 

They are nude at this time and a very tough bunch of guys. Sometime tomorrow I will put clothes and faces on this gang. 

I actually got bored with only being able to produce 3 men at a time and quit with a little dough left over so I made balls with the extra dough and pressed them down with a glass after rolling them in sugar and punched holes after baking, to decorate as ornaments. Well…maybe. I poked holes in  them only in case I felt motivated to decorate.
Click to view cookies larger
Put on your best choppers! These are tough crunchy critters and they are absolutely delicious. I know because I couldn't resist a taste!
Recipe:
Gingerbread Cookies:

5 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup shortening, melted and cooled
1 cup molasses
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Combine flour and other dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg and vanilla. Add flour and dry ingredients. Mix well and divide into thirds on pieces of plastic wrap. Wrap thirds and place in refrigerator for at least three hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Take cookie dough out of the refrigerator one section at a time. Dust chilled dough with flour and roll out to *1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks then decorate however you choose! *Makes 3-4 dozen cookies or gingerbread men. 

*1/8 inch for big men.
*Or sixteen 8" men! and 8 round cookies! 

To hang on a tree or use as a gift tag, insert a toothpick at the top when cookies are just out of the oven to make a hole. Tie a ribbon or wire through the hole after decorating.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Lost is Found

When looking for my old (of course it's old) rolling pin under the kitchen counter corner cabinet, I came across these two older platters. The ceramic one was under the very large turkey roasting pan and the enamel tin one was under the ceramic one. I thought I had broken and tossed out the ceramic one years ago when I looked for it last year. I had totally forgotten about the tin one from Sweden. 

Well, I have decided that I will no longer put them back waaaay under there! When I get down to reach in that cozy far-away corner of no-man's land, I just plain cannot get up without help. They are easily accessible now - in my living room. 
Vintage K.E.R. Sweden Enamel White/Blue Oval Serving Platter
17 1/2" x 12"
Royal Cauldon Oval Serving Platter
15 1/2” x 11 1/2” Pattern ROC4 (Rose)

Oh, by the way, I was going to attempt to make gingerbread men - LARGE eight inch ones. I may get to it yet. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Surprise!


I was a VERY good girl this year so Santa Came early! 
I wonder what the new expectations are…for me…..
It sure produced 60 great oatmeal raisin cookies made from scratch -  in a breeze!
Please click on image
OH! The options!



Thursday, December 10, 2015

Then and Now....

Then - December 12, 2014
NOW
He is starting to melt away
This is the best we can do today!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Made with Love

Christmas Decorations from Loving Hands...

It is the time for renewing our appreciation for the efforts made to decorate our homes and trees at Christmastime. 

My mother was always crocheting it seems, and her projects at Christmas were simple and endearing. She made items for all four of us through the years. Here are a few to show you. My daughter now proudly displays them in her home during the season and they will be passed on in the future, as I have done. 
I have a special “beach friend” who also has made many many hand-made gifts for ALL of her friends through the years and I have been one of the lucky recipients. I treasure these. I have saved as many season's gifts to decorate, from all friends as they are signs of love and peace for me.  
Made in 1972
I too, have made a few. I've kept these. 
I wish I had kept more of the ones my children made for us. Here are a sample.
  PLEASE click on image to view details!