Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's Baking?

Just taking a break from my Christmas decorating to share the recipe that I am going to be making during Friendie's nap today.

I couldn't resist a box of assorted vintage Christmas cards, so today I am sharing this little cutie:

A recipe for a very Merry Christmas:
Take a heaping measure of happiness
 and add a cup of good cheer
Then season with spice for a day that's extra-nice
To remember all through the year.

Nutty Apple Muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup 2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups diced peeled apples
1 12 cups chopped walnuts
3/4 cup flaked coconut

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.  In another bowl, beat eggs, sugar and oil.  Stir in apples, nuts and coconut.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fill 18 greased muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday's Secrets

This was suppose to be my "Black Friday" project.
It didn't happen.
So I planned it for Saturday.....
I didn't even attempt Sunday.
Monday morning I got up determined to do it....
and I did!

I can not show the final project yet....
it is a secret.  :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday - - No Thank You

I stayed home today.

No Black Friday shopping for me.

Maybe I have no sense of adventure.

Maybe I am just getting old.

Snow is in the forecast.
So I packed away the autumn decorations...
and added some winter fun to our front porch.

Our friends gave me permission to cut some pine branches from their property.
I was excited to find them with pine cones still attached.

I decided to go with the old toy theme this year.

Our elderly neighbor gave us this sled before she moved to assisted living last year.
I found the skates with the wooden blade guards at the Goodwill....
both are repeat decorations from last year.

This little electric lantern came from the Goodwill...
I especially like the flickering bulb.

Now it just needs a light dusting of snow!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Walking On Thin Ice

This is our 10th Thanksgiving here in Minnesota.
I will always remember our first year here.

We live on a recreational lake.
There is a channel that connects two small lakes.
It is just on the other side of our property.
The channel does not freeze over. 

Because there is always some open water, the waterfowl that do not migrate can be found nearby.
They stick around until the ice houses start showing up.
Right now the ice is very thin.
But there have been years that ice houses are in place long before now.
Over the years we have observed there is one very coveted spot on the lake.

10 years ago there was a beautiful new ice house sitting within the view of my kitchen window.  Someone had pulled it out there behind their pickup truck....then went off to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner.

Now it was our first year in a new community....and my husband was "on-call".  So our first year here I made a huge Thanksgiving dinner for just my own little family.
I spent MANY hours in my kitchen....
cleaning up.
(You know the drill)

The sun was shining and the temperature was was a beautiful day.
A beautiful day unless you parked your new ice house on the coveted spot on our lake.
I watched it slowly sink....
all day long.

The next day there was a photo and interview in the paper....
that happens in small town USA.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Now What Did I Find At The Goodwill?

My youngest daughter is going to be so excited!

I found her a portable sewing machine.
(The machine she got from her great-grandma is in a cabinet)

I needed to order some bobbins before I could see if it worked....
they came yesterday.

The machine is 26 years old....
is really clean....
works great...
and came with 2 manuals.

I know Emily is going to love it!

And I love that it only cost $25.99!

I will pull it out next time she is in the sewing mood....
which rumor has it will be this upcoming weekend.  ;)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lemon Thyme

It sits in my window....

waiting to be used...

waiting a long 'thyme'.

I found a bread recipe on Emily Fay's blog that I am eager to try...
but first I need to buy some fresh lemons.

What would you do if you had a lovely container of Lemon Thyme growing in your window?

Friday, November 18, 2011


I am sorry if my previous post sounded a little 'Scrooge like'.
I am all for reducing the stress of the Christmas season by some advanced preparations....
I just won't decorate or pull out the Christmas music until Thanksgiving has passed.

I have ordered our fresh trees and have requested they don't get delivered until as close to the end of November as possible....but there are no guarantees.
I have also picked up some vintage Christmas items at the Goodwill this past month....
including a box of cards that I think I will incorporate into my decorating this year.

I am also working on a couple gifts....but I know my that list isn't very long this year.
I really won't be a "Scrooge".....once December rolls around.  :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lost In The Shuffle

I went out yesterday.
Each stop had Christmas decorations already on display.
Some were playing Christmas carols.

I really hate that!
What happened to THANKSGIVING????

Thanksgiving will not be lost in the shuffle in our home!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thank You Friend!

A friend stopped by with a treat....

because I have been 'under the weather'.

I am sure that is why I am feeling better today!

Thanks Angela!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


The weather was perfect for a walk among the flags.
There are 1700 local Veteran's whose families have honored them with an American Flag.  
They are all over town.

Each flag has a name and military information.

I paused to honor ours.

Thank you to all who have served and to those who continue to protect our freedom.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hansel and Gretel Lost In The Woods?

I had just vacuumed the floors.
So what was this mysterious trail that lead through my kitchen to the closed door of the toy closet?

It got bigger the closer I got...

I was wondering where my jar of egg shells ended up!

A jar that was once full!

Oh "Hansel".....
enjoy your egg shell play....
because tomorrow "The Witch"  "Grammie Gretel" will do a better job of hiding them!

(I saved egg shells to add to my garden soil...
until I found out our dog dug up the garden soil to eat the shells!)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kicking Tee Bars

My son texted me a request...
for "Kicking Tee" Bars.

It puts a smile on my face....
now that the shock is over. 

This is the story behind the "Kicking Tee" bars.

My boys played football.
They were 2 years apart in school.
We enjoyed many football games during those years.
I started making these bars for the players to eat on the bus after their away games.
I needed 4 large pans of bars for every game.
I cut the bars really big and square....because football players are big eaters!

Well...on one particular game night....after the game, but before the bus ride home.....the players started coming up to me and thanking me for the bars.
I was a little surprised to have so much gratitude coming my way, but I just thought the coach must have told the boys, "Remember who to thank"....something he did often.
My boys didn't say a word.

The next morning was Saturday.  The Super Sport's Saturday Coaches Show was on our local radio station.
Imagine my horror surprise when the Coach wanted to put out a big thank you to Mrs. B------- (Me) for coming to their aid by providing a box full of bars.  He proceeded to tell how their team forgot to bring a kicking tee to practice their kick-offs before the game.  One of the boys asked if I had made the usual bars for after the game....and when told that I had, he went and grabbed one and formed it just so.....
and they used it for their kicking tee before the game.

I asked my boys....
and it was true.
And forever after that night, these are now fondly known as "Kicking Tee" Bars.

You can call them anything you like, but if you want to make some hungry football players (or anyone else) happy, 
I will share the recipe:

This will make a 9x13 pan
(I double for a jelly roll pan)

1 cup corn syrup
1 cup sugar
5 cups rice cereal (Rice Krispies)
1  6oz package chocolate chips
1  6oz package butterscotch chips
1 cup peanut butter

Heat syrup and sugar until it starts to boil...medium heat or microwave.
Stir in peanut butter.
Add cereal.
Press into a buttered pan.
Melt chips and spread on bars.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dutch Babies!!!

4 eggs + 1/2 cup flour + 1/2 cup milk = 
total YUM!!!!

Also known as a German Pancake, Dutch Babies are like a buttery popover that you serve for breakfast....or in our case.....very late Saturday brunch.

I could not believe how EASY they are to make!
(Gretchen, I hope you are reading this because now that your chickens are laying, you will be looking for egg recipes...and this one you can almost make in your sleep!)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Put 2 Tablespoons butter in a 10 inch cast iron skillet....stick the pan in the oven while it preheats.

Mix together 
4 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk

Pour into hot pan and bake 20-25 minutes.

I ate mine with maple syrup, others ate it with powdered sugar.
Next time I will add a pinch of nutmeg....
and make two pans!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The $5 Quilt Top!

In 2010 I signed up for a Block Of The Month in Garfield, MN.
Garfield is a small community about a half hour drive down the interstate.
Population 304.
The main attraction in Garfield is the Common Threads Quilt Shop!

The way their BOM worked in 2010 went something like this:
~Sign up
~Pick one of three fabric options
(30's Prints)
(Civil War)
~Pay $5 your first month
~If you bring your block finished the next month, you get the next block free.
~If you do not make it to club, or have your block pay $5 for the next block.

Well, from the title of this post, you may have figured out that I made it to all 12 gatherings with my block completed!
Aren't I a smarty pants!

Let me also mention each of the blocks came already pre-cut!

Now please note that I said this was the 2010 Block Of The Month.
This is the end of 2011.
Notice the unfinished binding blowing in the breeze on this quilt.
I guess Miss "Smarty Pants" better get off this computer and start sewing down that binding!!!!

Oh....and the 2011 Block Of The Month....
the rules changed....
so those blocks are still sitting in their cute little packages waiting to be opened.

Now you all know how much of a procrastinator I can be....
please don't judge me too harshly.  :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Eating Seeds

I was introduced to pumpkin seeds in grade school.
I am not sure when I started roasting the seeds myself, but it is a tradition that my own children expect look forward to.

Of course they always pick the biggest pumpkins....
and make sure there are plenty of them....
because roasted pumpkin seeds only happen once a year!

Because pumpkin carving occurred rather late on Sunday evening,
I soaked the seeds in water overnight.

This is my method for roasting seeds:
~wash seeds and remove any remaining pulp
~melt 1/2 stick of butter in a 275 degree oven on a sheet pan
~stir seeds into the melted butter
~sprinkle seasoning of choice (we use garlic powder and season salt--although some prefer cinnamon and sugar)
~bake until roasted, but stir every 15-20 min.  My pan was very full and took almost 3 hours.

If we grew our own pumpkins, we would be enjoying this treat more often, but for now we just expect look forward to it once a year.