Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Slow Cooker Chocolate Pudding Cake
18.25 oz package chocolate cake mix
3.8 oz package instant chocolate pudding mix
2 c. sour cream
1 c. water
3/4 c. oil
1/4 t. salt
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
non-stick vegetable spray
whipped cream or ice cream
Combine dry cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, eggs, water, oil and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. pour into a slow cooker sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Serve topped with whipped cream or ice cream.
1 1/2 cups crushed peppermint candies (leave wrapper on candy and keep in bag, pound with a hammer to crush)
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow cream
Combine all ingredients and stir over medium heat until crushed candy dissolved. Keep in refrigerator until about 30 minutes before serving. Makes 2 cups. Delicious over vanilla ice cream.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Our Favorite Salad
1 head iceberg lettuce
1/2 head lead lettuce
2 large granny smith apples, diced
1/2 lb red seedless grapes, halved
3/4 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
1/2 c. banana chips, chopped
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. sunflower kernels
Tear lettuces into bite sized pieces. In separate bowl/bag mix walnuts, banana chips, dried cranberries, and sunflower kernels. Sprinkle over salad just before serving. Add apples, grapes and cheese. Add salad dressing to taste.
Honey Poppy Seed Dressing
1 t. dry mustard
2 t. poppy seeds
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. minced onion
3 T. sugar
2 T. honey
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 1/4 c. salad oil
Mix dry ingredients. Add vinegar and honey. Beat in mixer on low speed. Add oil slowly. Continue to beat on medium; increase to high.
I don't know where this recipe originally came from but Kenny D's grandma "Gooey" used to make it every year for the woman's fellowship Christmas bazaar. It's not your typical cream soup, it's thin (which fools me into thinking it's healthier) but so flavorful and delicious. And it makes a boatload too, 4 quarts. I like to package it in 1 pound deli containers and I usually get at least 6-7 cona.
Gooey's Broccoli Cheese Soup
2 T. oil
6 c. water
6 bouillon cubes
3/4 c. dried minced onion
8 oz. fine egg noodles
1 t. salt
2 (10 oz) boxes, frozen chopped *broccoli*
6 c. milk
1/8 t. garlic powder
1 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed
Mix oil, water, bouillon cubes, and onion together in a large pot. Heat to boiling, stir until bouillon cubes dissolve. Gradually add noodles and salt so that the mixture continues to boil. Cook uncovered for 3 minutes. Stir in frozen broccoli and garlic powder, cook for 4 minutes. Add cheese and milk, cook slowly until cheese is melted. Do not cover when cooking or reheating.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
As a side note, Marcella saw my bedroom last night and made the comment that the pictures on here do not do it justice. My monitor is a little darker than most so when I edit my photos I make them pretty on my end (well, I do the best I can with what I have to work with). I have no idea what they look like on your end. Just come over and see it in real life...and have a bag of Floor Sweepings too :o)
Alda suggests keeping this basket (I used my grandpa's old enamel wash basin) full all year of different seasonal goodies. Right now I don't have a good place to put this. The bowl is currently sitting on the dresser. My front door opens right into my living room/stairway and I have six little hands which are as curious and think they are as hungry as the day is long. I'd like to find a little table to place by the door with maybe a mirror above it. I am going to keep my eyes open for ideas and I'm open to suggestions.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The added bonus was the delicious aroma that tickled my nose when I came back home. I might just have to zest a lemon more often, if only for the aroma!
Monday, December 15, 2008
The basic recipe can be found here. My original recipe is called Chocolate Cherry Sugarplums and has a few changes to it. Instead of adding the cherry and frosting before baking, the original has you press the cherry halves into the cookie immediately after removing from the oven, then frosting when cool, which is what I do. And none of this drizzling stuff, slather it on. Actually the frosting is so fudgy I usually just put a dollop to cover the cherry and it spreads on its own. The recipe yields almost 2 1/2 dozen but the frosting will easily frost 5 dozen so I always double the cookie recipe but you could just as easily halve the frosting recipe.
I understand her plight and don't have many answers. I am slowly learning that my childhood traditions don't have to be my children's traditions. I am trying to let go of the control I like to have over how things look and feel. Mr. Steady recently found a great quote that basically said you can't force true joy, it just comes in little pockets, small snippets and you relish it while you have it, then wait for it. You can find it everywhere you look but you can't plan for it.
What I want and what I get are usually not the same thing. So I compromise, and I won't lie to you, sometimes I do not do so willing. I have to step back and ask myself, "What result am I going for here?"
Remember my cupcake compromise?
Goal: Bring 20 cupcakes to a harvest party for second graders
What I wanted: Imperfect, homemade confections in foil cups
What I got: Store made, too perfect, obnoxiously colored cupcakes
Benefit: With the time I saved, I carved pumpkins with the boys and made memories
Goal: Send Christmas cards to loved ones
What I wanted: Homemade, cool, hip cards with a mod color scheme (please don't steal that design, I'm starting now on next year's cards).
What I wanted: Eclectic little cottage with Necco wafer or Shredded Wheat roof, a little fence made of pretzels and mounds of glittery snow
What I got: A sugar high
Benefit: The boys and I had fun and they have a gingerbread house they can be proud of and take joy in.
Maybe our expectations are too high. Maybe we're looking for perfection. I wonder if my children even know what perfection is. They would probably look at my perfect gingerbread house and their gingerbread house and still decide they liked theirs better. So this year I am purposing to let them guide me a little more. Allow my children to set the agenda. Not run the show, mind you. But I want the freedom to decline a party invitation just to stay at home with a board game and a bowl of popcorn. Maybe that's not the answer to my dear friend's question but I'm going to give it a try.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
The boys and I made Floor Sweepings tonight. Some may call it White Christmas mix. Sorry I don't have pictures to share. Here's the recipe:
6 c. Cheerios
5 c. corn Chex
4 c. pretzel sticks
2 c. M&Ms
2 c. cocktail peanuts
1 lb white chocolate bark.
Mix all but bark together. Melt bark and pour over cereal mixture. Mix well and pour out onto wax paper to set. Break apart when set to bite sized pieces.
Planning on making cookies for our ladies' Christmas party and cookie exchange on Saturday. Looking forward to extending His grace and seeing what truths He has for me today.
I pray that your day is a blessed one - He loves you and He wants you to rest in His promises.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I bought one of these frames then later found two more in brown that matched it. Mr. Steady spray painted them for me (do you see a pattern with Mr. Steady and the spray paint?) and now I just need to buy matching mats for them. But until then we'll enjoy them this way for the winter.
For the "J" and "Y" I found a font I liked in Publisher and flipped it the letters on the monitor so they were backwards. Then I traced them onto vellum by holding up the vellum to my monitor. Then, using transfer paper, I traced them onto the *back* of my black scrapbook paper. Then I cut them out and applied with adhesive. The "O" is just a paper snowflake cut out of plain white printer paper. These frames are 10x13 so I took reversible scrapbook paper and when I cut the 2" off the side for the 10", I applied it to the top of the other side to accommodate the extra 1" and let it overlap a bit.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
It's not perfect and it's not exactly how I wanted it but I like the way it turned out and I love the message it sends to my honey and me.
I also remembered a decoupage book someone had given me. I dug the book out to see what I could find. I was pleased to find some butterflies that would compliment the room. Now what to do with them? I pulled out a couple of pieces of card stock and mounted paint chips on it. Then I mounted the butterflies on pop dots and added them. Paint bristles in black paint for the antennae and the first picture was done! I popped it into a thrifted picture frame I picked up for $0.69 that Mr. Steady spray painted for me and was thrilled with the results.
Next I had a larger picture frame Mr. Steady had also painted. But I didn't have a larger piece of scrapbook paper. So I took some fabric left over from the throw pillows and hot glued it to a piece of cardboard. I printed out a scripture that I liked, mounted a tiny caterpillar and a bigger butterfly and added them to the frame.
Stop back next week for more cheap, cheap artwork.
Friday, December 5, 2008
I thought this looked like it might make a good Christmas present, or perhaps stocking stuffers? Thank you Godiva for your great customer service!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Remember the Advent Calendar Pockets I told you I was working on? Well, they are finally done! I borrowed the idea from Jenny and adapted it to fit my decor. You can find the pattern on her blog. Jenny used cute little dangles with a Pennsylvania Dutch flavor to them. I wanted to incorporate the scripture readings from our Jesse tree ornaments so I simply numbered my dangles and wrote the scripture for each day on it.
I chose to leave the pockets themselves unnumbered, mostly because I couldn't get my numbers to look right when I stitched them on. I tea stained each dangle and the string. I really like the way it turned out, there is another row of pockets on the top of my mantle, as we have a double mantle.. I thought Jenny's idea of including a peppermint bark in each pocket was rich but the boys don't care for peppermint so I put two Hershey kisses in every other pocket.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
That's what I am, thanks to God and this lovely group of my dear sisters. I was gifted with a pampering shower to celebrate Mr. Steady and my renewal of our marriage vows. We were given our bedding and lots of beautiful treats, including pillows, the flower wall hanging in our room, candles, trays, towels, words, pampering treats and best of all, love and prayers.
See that one there in the bright green jacket holding the pillows? She's the mastermind behind this and really quite onery. But I love her to death and thank God for her everyday - such a friend! Thank you dear heart!