Friday, December 30, 2011

My Christmas Gifts

   I hope each and everyone of you had a wonderful Christmas.  My family sure had a nice one!  It was so fun watching my nieces and Grandbaby opening their presents. This truly was the best part--seeing the joy and excitement in their little faces. It makes all of the hard work worth it. 
  Well,  I received a few of the things that I requested!  The Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a day book and a bracelet and earrings were gifts from my DH. I just love them all.  My DD#1 got me a Babycakes Cake Pop Maker! So many things to do with that--cannot wait to show you all some of my future creations! I received a beautiful sweater from DD#2 and my boys gave me and Tom gift Cards. We are so blessed with our four children.  They aren't perfect but they are really great, caring kids in my humble opinion! Of course I am a wee bit partial!   I am their Mother....I am allowed to be!!
  I plan on making as much bread from scratch as possible this year. Hopefully I will get to the point where I will know the recipes by heart and get it down to the bare minimum timewise. Making my mouth water just thinking about it!
  Cake pops are so fun.  I have borrowed my cousins Cake pop maker before and had a blast with it.  January brings 4 birthdays in our family so I'll need to be making some this coming month. Many pics to come!
  Well, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and hope you have a wonderful New year!  2012 is going to be awesome! (From my lips to God's ears!) It cannot hurt to think positively can it?


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish each and everyone of my followers and readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I hope your holidays are filled with lots of Family, great fellowship, lots of yummy food and I hope very dear memories are made. God bless you and your families and stay safe and snug! Talk to you in the New Year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ba humbug!


Monday my Hubby had a Dr. appt.  at 12:45.  My DD#2 took him to his appt. then went home.  My DS#2 got home from work and couln't find his charger cord for his laptop. My DS#1 came home from work and then I got home.  DS#1 couldn't find his new laptop.  We then couldn't find DD#2's laptop. Then we disovered a camera was missing. I ran into my room and my jewelry box had been cleaned out. Then DD#2 checked her room and her jewelry box was gone along with another little ceramic box she stored jewelry in. The burglars shouldered the back door in and pushed it back closed when they left and no one noticed until we started missing stuff.
  We were robbed!  Cannot wrap my head around it.  Two creepers were in my house! Ughhh.  So Ba Humbug to those that broke in. At least they didn't take our gifts.  The Police thought they just wanted easy things to get rid of for drugs.
   The creepers went next door to my Mom's house and knocked on the door to see if any one was home--when Mom got up to answer the door, the girl ran to the car and they left. The cops said that was a burglars standard way of seeing if anyone is home.  We were ROBBED! So sad that people have to steal from others to support drug habits.  My family has enought problems to worry about besides this.  But to put it in perspective, my friends mom died Monday morning--We only lost things...things that can be replaced. Things are meaningless compared to losing a family member.   So even though we were ROBBED...worse things could have happened. We are still so very blessed.

So Ba Humbug to the burglars and Merry Christmas  to All!
Christmas Blessings,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Treats--Oreo Truffles

Oreo Truffles are so darned good.  My cousin turned me on to these easy to make delicious treats.  To make them Christmassy just sprinkle with Christmas sprinkles or use red or green candy melts instead of the bark.

Here is the recipe:
Oreo Truffles

 1 pkg. Oreo Cookies
 1 8oz. Cream cheese softened
 pkg of candy coating or Almond Bark
 Sprinkles or cookie crumbs

Crush Oreos very finely in food processor. Mix cookie pieces with cream cheese. Roll into small balls and put on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.  Place in freezer for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt candy coating or bark in microwave slowly- stirring every 20 seconds so it will not burn.  Then dip balls into coating and let cool on waxed paper. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs or sprinkles or drizzle with another color candy coating. Be creative and you can let the kids help decorate them!  You will get rave reviews with these!  I made them in White candy coating for my nieces wedding and they were the hit of the reception!


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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What's on my Christmas List

Do you write out a list of gifts you would like to receive from your family? I did this Christmas!
Here it is:
             1. Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day               
              2. A Dehydrator

              3.Family Portrait of My Children and Grandchildren

              4. Jewelry--I love jewelry!

What do you want for Christmas?

Quote of the Week

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
                                                                                                   --Lewis B. Smedes

If you have noticed a theme of forgiveness in the last few quotes--I am struggling with forgiveness just now.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

My aunt had several pumpkins left over from her Fall decorating and gave them to my Mom. So my Mom made pumpkin puree. She was going to freeze it but I had a brainstorm--Pumpkin Butter!  Earlier this year I read an article on the Pick Your Own website on making pumpkin butter. Here is the link:  
You can look around on this website for any questions on canning--it is my go to site!
I used the recipe on that website to make a crockpot full of pumpkin Butter. While they do not reccomend canning it, you can safely freeze it and that is just what I did!  I highly reccomend the Ball Plastic Freezer jars--they have screw on lids.  I think I am going to have to purchase more of the 8 oz. size to store individual servings of homemade yoghurt.
8oz Jars
I plan on giving several of the freezer jars of Pumpkin Butter to family members for Christmas Gifts. It is delicious!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Making the Holidays Less Stressful--part 2

  One of the biggest stress relieving activities you can do, is to get your Christmas shopping over and done with before December.  As you are on vacation, shop for Christmas gifts.  Keep an eye out for things your family would love to receive. For example, when my daughter went to Indianapolis, she priced pj pants at the pro shop at Logan Oil field.  They were outrageous.  She stopped at Walmart and found Colts pj pants for less than half of the price.  As her Father is a huge Colts fan, he LOVED her gift.  On a small weekend trip, I found a jar of Hot pepper jelly for my Brother who loves all things HOT.  He will love this as part of his Christmas basket I make for him.  Shop all year round--especially just after Christmas. You will be amazed how much time you have free in December if your shopping is completed early.  Also, wrap your gifts as you go.  Be organized.  Start a list of people you hope to buy for then mark them off when you get them completed.  This will keep you on track with who and what is left to look for.  It can also save you money if you budget out how much to spend on each person. Just remember to keep your list well hidden or it will become a major SPOILER!
    Use a calender to keep track of all activities for the month of December. Do not accept every invitation--limit the number of activities for each child--just say NO.  Your sanity will thank you for this!
   Plan your menu and get all supplies in early that you can.  I realize you cannot buy perishables early, but you can get your cookie baking supplies in and much of your dinner menu needs.
    Let your family pitch in and help.  Children love to make cookies and dip pretzels.  Let them help you.  I have a big cookie/candy making day in the middle  of the month so I have many cookies, dipped pretzels, almond bark, candy and goodies ready at the drop of a hat for parties, gifts, or work.  This is a HUGE help and the kids will never forget the Cookie/Candy day with Mom.  Remember,  making great memories with your children is one of the most important aspects of the Holiday Season.
  Accept offers from guests to make or bring a dish for the party. They will feel good about contributing and it will take part of the load off of you.
 For your holiday meal, making dishes ahead can save so much time.  Again, let your littles help--setting the table is a good thing for younger children.  Let the tweens help make their favorite dish.  Teens can make pies, or cakes. Maybe your children will learn how much work is involved in making the holidays special, and appreciate you more!  Well, we can always hope!
Hopefully, using some of the above tactics, you can relax and enjoy your holidays!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Treats--Kentucky Pulled Cream Candy

I have attempted to make the delicious Kentucky Pulled Cream Candy several times to no avail.  I had a batch that turned to sugar when I poured it onto the marble slab. I had a batch that just stayed like taffy and wouldn't cream.  Finally I gave up for several years.  Then I heard about a class at Fantasy in Frosting-our local baking/decorating place. My cousin and I signed up and the class was last night.
  The main thing I learned is that this candy is very difficult.  Our instructor even had a flopped batch last night.  Made me feel better about my unsuccessful attempts!  
Good thing the ingredients are not too expensive!

  Here is the recipe:

   Ky Pulled Cream Candy

3 cups Sugar
1 Stick Pure Butter
1 cup  water
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Boil water in large heavy saucepan. Add sugar and stir until clear. Slice butter into small pieces and add to water and sugar. Let cook with out stirring until it reaches 260 degrees(hard ball). Pour mixture onto a buttered cold marble slab(some people leave the stone outside in the cold weather to chill. You can also put it in your freezer. Do not pour it onto itself--pour in lines down and back until you have most of slab covered. Sprinkle with vanilla and let cool until lukewarm. Use the heel of your hand to test for lukewarm temp--it is the most sensitive part of the hand--just above the wrist.   Pick up the candy and roll as you go.  Butter your hands or wear gloves and pull the candy and twist as you go. Keep pulling until the candy looses its gloss--this can take quite a while and is a good job for 2 people.  Pull some more when you think you are done.  The candy should start to retract back when pulled and loose it's  gloss. Keep twisting the "Rope" and then cut with buttered scissors into small pillows onto a large buttered tray. Keep pieces from touching and then  cover with a large plastic bag.  An unscented garbage bag will work. Candy can take up to 48 hours to cream.  Humidity is a problem for this candy so you will have more luck making this when not raining. Some people even pull the candy outside because the cold temps help. Also, pulling a full batch is pretty strenous, so you can half the recipe for easier pulling.
  The candy should just melt in your mouth.  If it doesn't and you have sugar crystals in it you can use the pieces for coffee creamer!  If the candy gets too hard while trying to remove it from the slab it will crack like broken glass--just pitch it--not salvagable.
  If you like your candy with colors, just add a few drops of food coloring to the water. You can also use different flavors instead of the vanilla. 
  Well, If you are brave enough to try this, good luck. It is truly worth the effort involved!  This candy MELTS in your mouth!

Hope you enjoy this Kentucky Christmas Treat!



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quote of the Day


Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge, and dares forgive an injury. --E. H. Chapin

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Treats--Pretzel Kiss Bites

As I was shopping last night, I found pretzel rounds at Meijer and snatched them up because they are so hard to find. Visions of the Pretzel Kiss Bites danced in my head!
These are so easy!  Just put your pretzels out on a greased cookies sheet. Place a hershey kiss or rolo inside and put in a 200 degree oven for a couple of minutes. You do not want them to melt, just soften up. Remove and place a M and M on top and let cool. You can put a pecan half on the rolo to make a turtle type treat.
Did I tell you they are easy peasy?And quick too! A great treat for kids to help make --Enjoy!