Monday, December 19, 2011

Think, Thunk, Thought...

Have you ever had a thought.
A persistent thought.
A naggingly persistent thought.
A goading, naggingly persistent thought...

As you might well imagine, I have had such a thought get into my head and set up camp.
At first I wasn't sure what to do with this thought. But it didn't give a hoot. 
Its the ruminating sort you see.

Being a quietly recurring thought was getting it no where, so it kicked it up a notch last night. Talking over the Walkman plugged snugly into my head, it started out slow, then started to grow, (I've watched the Grinch a lot this week, does it show?).
I fell asleep with it gnawing on my mind. I woke with it still firmly in place.
So being the tenuous person I am, I have decided to give it the voice it has been longing for.
It is a frightening thing to do.
To make changes.
Even slight ones.
To trust the unknown.
But this thought has pushed me to the cliff's edge and the only way to go now is to stand still or to awkwardly gracefully leap and just pray it looks more like a swan dive than a belly flop...

The thought you might ask... Its time to make changes, to listen to my instincts, my vibes, my intuition, my heart, and change up my blog.

It may take a while to get her going, but it is the works even as you read this.
In the mean time, May you have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting For Christmas

decorative christmas divider

The Day Before Christmas

We have been helping with the cake,
And licking out the pan,
And wrapping up our packages,
As neatly as we can.
We have hung our stockings up,
Beside the open grate.
And now there's nothing more to do,

Waiting is by far the hardest thing to do when it comes to Christmas.
Especially when your a little person with 'Wish Book Dreams' dancing around in your head.

We spend a lot of time watching for Elf foot prints around the window sill's, speculating on such important topic's as,
'Did you know that Elves can talk to cat's and dogs?!'.,
'Can I add just oneeee more thing to my Santa letter, even if I already mailed it?',
"Frosty and the Grinch, are not friends. But I think they both like dogs.",
'Do you think I can open two presents on Christmas Eve this year?'

All the Christmas song's are sung, then sung again. Sampling the goodies and making "Christmas Surprises" is starting to make our tummy's hurt a little.
Then when everyone is home from work, and the darkness of early night begins to encroach... The warmth and magic comes alive with all the lights and music and laughter shared, and the Christmas  watching ritual's begin anew....
Yes, I think the waiting for Christmas Day to come, is the hardest part about Christmas...
Once you have everything taken care of that is!

decorative christmas divider

I've Been Waiting for Christmas

I've been waiting for Christmas,
And it's almost here.
I've been waiting for Christmas,
Santa's getting near.
Can't you hear the sleigh bells ringing?
Reindeer up so high.
Can't you hear the children singing,
As they watch the sky?
decorative christmas divider

The Grinch (exerpt) ~Dr Seuss

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store?
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fabulous Fakes

Back when I was a younger woman, the only way to make Christmas candy was to pull out the big heavy cast iron pot, and slave over the hot stove, in the hopes that, what ever you were making, would not burn.
Otherwise it was trashed and you had to start over.

I guess it was about twenty or so years ago now, that I attended a women's night with my church, where they proceeded to amaze and delight us with homemade candy, while we worked on other projects. At the end of the work night they had a stack of papers with those delicious candy recipes on.

Imagine the chatter that ensued when we saw the lists of ingredients!

Allow me to share.

Just a note: "Summer Coating" can be replaced with microwave melted chocolate chips and work just fine.

Dollar Mints
Melt chocolate flavored "Summer Coating" over warm water, in a double boiler. With a fork, dip "Ritz" crackers into coating. Tapping off excess. Slide coated cracker onto wax paper. When it has hardened, place into a shallow, plastic container (such as Tupperware) Make layers, with wax paper in between, placing small balls of cotton with a small amount of mint flavoring on them in a few places between layers. Put the lid on tightly and let stay 3-5 days. The peppermint flavoring will permeate through the coating and the crackers.

Peanut Butter Bites
Spread peanut butter on a cheese cracker (I like Nabisco Cheese Nips). Top with another cracker, making a sandwich. Dip into melted chocolate flavored "Summer Coating", slide coated sandwich onto wax paper and let harden.

Turtles and Frogs
Line a Cookie Sheet with foil or waxed paper. Brush with shortening. Pile small mounds of nuts, leaving an inch to an inch and a half between mounds. Unwrap a Caramel and pinch into a flat disc. Lay on top of a half of a walnut or pecan and slip into a 300 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Watch it carefully! You want the caramel to just soften and encase the nut. Dip in chocolate flavored "Summer Coating".

Place twisted pretzel's on a foil lined cookie sheet sprayed with Pam, Place a Rollo on top, slip into oven until the Rollo is softened, remove from oven and press a walnut or Pecan half into the center.

Candy Spiders
5 oz. Can of Chinese noodles
1 Can Salted peanuts
2 6oz. pkg. Butterscotch morsels
Melt morsels and add other ingredients, mix then drop by the teaspoon full on waxed paper.

Hello Dollies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 Stick (1/2 cup) melted butter in a 9X12 cake pan.
Sprinkle 1 Cup of Graham cracker crumbs over this. Sprinkle 1 Cup of coconut, then 1 pkg of Chocolate chips. Cover with a can of sweetened condensed milk and bake at 350 degree's for 15 to 20 minutes.
Cut into squares and serve.

Now for my favorite fakes...

Rocca Rectangles

Line a large cookie sheet or Jelly roll pan (10 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches) with tin foil. Turn the edges of the foil up to form a pan. Spray with Pam. Put a single layer of Saltine crackers on top of the foil, cutting the last row to fit.

In a heavy pan put:
2 cubes (1 cup) Butter
1 Cup Brown sugar

Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes, stirring as needed. Pour carefully over crackers and use the back of a tablespoon to cover. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle a package of chocolate chips over the top, can slid back into cooling oven to help melt them, then use the bake of a tablespoon to spread the melted chocolate over the top, can sprinkle chopped nuts over the top (If you like nuts that is).
They break into squares really easy when they are warm or cooled.

Cheater Cherry Chocolates

Use a sheet cake pan or large cake pan 9x 13 inch.

4 packages of semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 Cup chopped Spanish peanuts
3/4 Cup Chunky peanut butter
1 Can Cherry frosting
20 to 25 (30 if using a large pan or want a thicker center) Large Marshmallows

Melt 2 pkg. chocolate chips and peanut butter and peanuts in microwave safe bowl, mix. Spread in the bottom of the Pam sprayed pan. Chill in fridge while you melt marshmallows in microwave, then add the can of frosting, stir until mixed in good. Spread this over the top of the chilled chocolate layer. Chill while you repeat the top layer of chocolate and peanut butter and peanuts. Spread over the top of the chilled cherry filling. Chill. Cut into squares and eat or wrap or set on a plate and enjoy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Honey likes divinity.
When we were dating, almost thirty seven years ago, I tried to make some for him.
Oh, It looked so pretty resting there on the thin layer of waxed paper covering one of his Aunt's plates. I slid it into the fridge until he arrived.
I was so proud that I had made this delicacy for him.
However, that is not what was pulled from the refrigerator shelf.


That, was his Aunt's plate covered with a gooey, sticky, slim covered piece of wilted waxed paper.

And bless his country boy heart, he tried to eat some of it, then he told me, It did taste better than it looked, quickly and quietly he did add, But you should maybe not try that for a while, after all it's the thought that counts.

Taking his advice to heart, and knowing that divinity is a very touchy thing to make.
I mean you have to factor in the weather and humidity. Probably what color your wearing and the direction of the wind.


I waited these thirty six years to give it a try again.
The first experience was traumatic to my ego  , not really safe for human consumption, such a flop.
Then recently a friend of mine mentioned that she was going to give it a try, for someone needing it for memory reason's.

Whell now.

That got me to thinking, it has been a really long time since Honey has had divinity.
And a few days before I had found this really old recipe and thought if I couldn't trust a great grandmother who could I trust?

Today was the day to try.

The sun was shining.
It hadn't rained or snowed for a while...
The weather was on my side.
So praying for divinity loving angel's help. 
To work I went.
Before long the sugar mixture was boiling happily while I dug out the electric mixer and beat the egg whites to perfect texture.
While mixing everything together I got a little worried, because you see, it was causing my poor old (really old) mixer to struggle and even smoke a little.

Nuts added.

And that right there is only because Honey likes them, not me.

The waxed paper had been spread out in advance, so all I had to do at this point was drop teaspoon sized globs of the divinity mixture onto it at this point...

And it is pertiful! (Both pretty and beautiful).

So good it melts in your mouth.

I guess that's what I could call the "Sweet taste of success"...

Thanks Divinity loving Angel's!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Busy Weekend Round 1

With the count down started in earnest things are kicking into high gear around here to meet self imposed dead lines.
While MomMa has been busy baking I have been busy making.
Her cookies turned out as tasty as they were pretty. Three batches of three different kinds later, they were off to deliver... the first round of Christmas sweetness.

I was busy on the other side of the kitchen making flowers...I love flowers.
I have added to my collection from HERE added a few Yo-yo's to the mix and Viola!

What I have noticed as I've been making is this: why does my list of things to make seem to only come to mind scant weeks before Christmas instead of in time to actually get the projects done?

Next year I will try to do better and miss this mad rush of last minutes things, sit back and enjoy the magic a little more :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Cold Day Soup...

December was carried in over night on a most frigged arctic 80mph wind. It must have been determined to get here and get here fast!

On days like this it always feels like a hot soup day to me.

One of our family favorites, is also ridiculously, really, super easy.

Hamburger soup.

I slave over the hot can opener... I mean the hot stove to make the soup, and ask the master's of bread stick's to please whip up their specialty, Butter Dipped Bread Sticks :)

Cold Day Hamburger Soup
(Makes a pretty good sized pot full Serves 8 single servings or 4 with seconds).

1 Pound Ground beef
1 bag cold slaw OR 1 small head cabbage
1 Large can thick chili 
2 Cans Minestrone soup
1-2 Small can's Tomato sauce
Sharp cheddar cheese

Brown the ground beef, drain off excess liquid.
Dump in the soups, chili and 1 can of tomato sauce. Stir to mix, add in the cold slaw/chopped up cabbage, stir.
It will be very dry to start. Please resist the temptation to add more liquid-as it cook's down, it will produce its own liquid.
Stir often it to make sure it doesn't burn to the bottom... Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Simmer uncovered until the cabbage is cooked.
Stirring often.
If you would like to add the second can of tomato sauce at this point, go ahead.
Grate your cheddar cheese and sprinkle some over the top. Let it get a little melty.

Be careful not to burn yourself and...Enjoy.