Monday, November 29, 2010


A Holiday Full Of



Friends, Family and Fun




And no matter how you try to hide it…



***I need to take more photos next year.  Better photos.  Alas.  We had this lovely event at my wonderful in-laws house.  Thank you Gary and Susan for all the hard work!  What a wonderful day!***


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Apple Butter

019 This is just a staple in the fall.  My mom always made homemade applesauce.  She would just whip it up and I remember the house would just smell delicious.  Since the cool weather has officially arrived and the warm sweaters are out,well,it is time to warm up the kitchen with some cinnamon and spice.  I used this recipe from the Southern Living slow-cooker cookbook.

Here are the ingredients straight from the book.

15 minutes or less to prep—Awesome!

Overnight Apple Butter

1 cup firmly packed brown butter

1/2 cup honey

1/4 apple cider

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground mace

10 medium apples, peeled cored and cut into large chunks

The book recommends a variety of apples to create a “complex” flavor but I just used a bunch that I got from Costco on super sale and I had all the other ingredients on hand.  I take that back-I had to buy the mace—which why the heck did I do that when I only needed an 1/8 of a teaspoon?!  Oh well.

You put everything into the crock pot on low and let it cook down for 10 hours.  I did this overnight and when I woke up the house smelled so good.  Then, since I didn’t have a Foley mill, (sad face) I put the metal sieve over the top of the crock pot and took the apples out a bit at a time and mushed them through with the back of the spoon.  It worked.  A bit time consuming but it worked.  When this step is complete crank the Crockpot up to high and leave apples in an extra hour so the apple butter thickens up.  Next take out of cooker and put in a bowl in the fridge.  I have now put the butter into little mason jars and are ready to hand out a few as gifts.  Spread it on toast in the morning…mmmmmm.  So good.017I had to include this picture too.  Lil made the labels for the apple butter.  This is her turkey.  I love it and had a hard time parting with that jar.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Feather Bed Rolls

017This wonderful recipe is from my mother-in-law.  She got it from her mother-whom I think got it from a neighbor.   At any rate, I love these sticky delights  they call “Feather Bed Rolls”. I can truly eat them until I feel sick. 
I have had this recipe for quite sometime but found it daunting to make them when my MIL can make them perfectly.  I plucked up the courage and baked some  for a Mops meeting the other day. And they were eaten up!  I was so proud of myself—too bad I brought breakfast  the wrong week.  Typical me.  Since they were a hit I thought I would post the recipe.  So hear you go…Enjoy!
1 cup shortening—plus a little
2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs (well beaten)
1 cup boiling water
2 cakes or packages of yeast
7 cups bread flour
1 cup lukewarm water
Mix the sugar and shortening till well blended.  Add boiling water and let cool.  Add well beaten eggs and yeast which has been dissolved in the lukewarm water.  Add flour and salt and place in a well greased bowl and cover.  Let rise for at least 2 hours.  Shape into rolls and let rise again.
Now if you are like me, this might stress you out, but no worries! Here is how you do the rolling and shaping…
Flour the surface of your counter.  Take the dough out of the bowl and onto the counter.  Roll out into a rectangle (ish) shape.  Brush the dough with butter and then sprinkle the whole thing with sugar and cinnamon.  My mother-in-law uses brown sugar.  I goofed and used white but I didn’t get any complaints.  Next roll up into a long log type shape and slice into circles.  Make these more thin than thick. 
Now how to cook these up--wait first we have to make the yummy goo! 
Butterscotch Topping
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
Plus one tablespoon light corn syrup
Melt down sugar, butter and corn syrup and  and put it in the bottom of an 8x8 pan.  For this entire recipe you will need 3 8x8 pans so you can do the above recipe 3x.
If you would like to add nuts, (chopped pecans are nice) now is the time to do it.  Arrange rolls on top of goo and nuts and bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  For all my organized friends—you can do all of this recipe 1 day ahead of time.  Do everything but bake it (duh) and cover with saran wrap and put in the fridge-when ready just pop the 8x8 pans in the oven (minus the saran wrap) and bake up!  Mmmmm your house will smell so good!  Have fun making these delicious delights and try not to eat them till you feel you are going to pop.  Good luck and I would love to hear if your family loves them too!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Birthdays sending you to the Poor House?

1601 Lillie’s social calendar has been grueling lately.  She has had so many birthday parties it is making my head spin.  It is so much fun to go to and see all the kids excited to play with their friends and open their gifts!  It seems hard to remember getting so worked up about holidays and birthdays but to see the joyous expressions of the children…priceless.  But if you have ever had a month like me (with a million birthdays at once-okay really just three kids and two family members but… ) it can be a leeeetle dreadful on your wallet.  Cue the moths.

One afternoon I was flipping through the Land of Nod catalogue I came across this bin of goodies.  Eureka!  The answer to my problem.  Am I going to buy this?—heck no!  I am going to steal the idea and get all my goodies at the dollar store.  Holla!  I can put together this little ditty cheaper and minus the shipping and handling fee.  I packed the colorful container with craft sticks, google eyes, beads, stickers, markers, construction paper, glue, glitter, tape and spangles.  The list goes on and on.  I spent $50 and some odd change.  Divide that by 3 (which is the number of  kids birthdays for November)and you have spent roughly $17 a package!  Awesome!!

Here are a few extra ideas you could add in for some more fun but will run up the overall cost of the gift.

A copy of Harold and the Purple Crayon or a book from Eric Carle would be a great addition.

I love the idea of a big roll of craft paper or the non coloring book. (I am still searching for a link to this one).

Include a good craft, how to or rainy day activity book for kids.

Or you could print a variety of free or low cost images from the web. 

Robert Sabuda has a great site and links to making your own pop up cards

This etsy seller has cute pdf files for sale too.  So drop some card stock in your printer and include a little extra something in your art boredom buster art kit.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Soccer Ball Cupcakes

1587 1597 1599   1591

Wouldn’t you play soccer if you get delicious cupcakes like this?  They were deeee-lish-ous and made by a wonderful mom on Lillie’s team who should really go in the business!  She made it all sound so easy breezy but this would take me forever!  What I do remember is that they were originally a box mix (A BOX MIX??? wha???) with some razzle dazzle of crushed up Oreos and and sour cream.  And to make the Oreo look like a soccer ball-marshmallow fondant!  We all know fondant looks pretty but it tastes well…I will leave that one for you to fill in.  But marshmallow fondant = good and pretty.  And yes that is an Oreo cookie on the bottom of this perfect cupcake.  I have to quit talking about this cause it just makes me want another one to eat.

Cupcakes aside –how was the soccer season you might ask.  Well, Lillie has graduated from picking daisy flowers to watching her shadow and chasing butterflies. On a good day, she would run with the pack.  When I was pregnant with Lil, we had a friend joke that we were hatching the perfect German athlete.  Hmmmm.   Time will tell on that statement but we do have the perfect little girl(spoken like a true mother).  One who worried when others were knocked over, was over dramatic when she was knocked over, who hugs her coaches and teammates and who still waves to me when on the field.  I will take it.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jewelry Tutorials

I had the honor of being asked to do a craft demonstration at my local MOPs meeting.  On the agenda are three easy earring designs.We will create a dangle, a stacked and a joined earring.  Make sure you have your  pliers, wire, findings and come join in the fun cause I have made some video tutorials!

Eeeep!  Video tutorials?  I mean it seems a natural step.  Everyday for 10 years I got in front of a classroom of kids.  The most visited blog post of mine is Lil’s Barbie Birthday Cake (don’t quite know how to take that one).

So I had Jake create an impromptu mini tripod that he could man while I create these little demonstrations.  Did I mention I have a very patient husband?  Well, whilst creating the videos I became overly aware of every rustle , creak, and pause in my diatribe.  When I went back and watched… oh. my. goodness.  I could be the next movie feature for mystery science theatre.  Especially when I bug out my eyes!  Me:  “Lets Begin!”  Set Directions: Bug out eyes like crazy person.

Oh well.  For better or worse I am going to post. Humility is a good thing.  If you stick with my blog and I do more “helpful” tutorials, I will strive to at least keep my hands on the screen.

PS— High Def-you are a cruel, cruel mistress.