Monday, August 30, 2010

Fall Leaves and Acorn Cookies

fall cookies
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These cookies and tags were for a bridal shower.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Making mosaic stepping stones

Using lots of Broken things like terra cotta pots, milk glass, stained glass, china

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cajun Potato Salad

Cajun Potato Salad - Find the recipe here This is a very different kind of potato salad- It is so filling we had this for dinner with a lettuce salad.

2 lb Red Potatoes Small
1/2 cup Red Onion Chopped
1/2 cup Green Onion Sliced
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley minced
6 tablespoons Cider Vinegar divided
1/2 lb Kielbasa smoked or Cajun sausage sliced
6 tablespoons Vegetable Oil or Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 Garlic cloves minced
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 20-30 minutes or until tender; drain. Rinse with cold water; cool completely.

2. Cut into 1/4 in slices; place in a large bowl.

3. Add onions, parsley and 3 tbs. vinegar; toss.

4. In a medium skillet, cook sausage in oil for 5-10 minutes or until it begins to brown.

5. Remove with slotted spoon and add to potato mixture.

6. To drippings in skillet, add mustard, garlic, pepper, cayenne pepper and remaining vinegar; bring to a boil, whisking constantly.

7. Pour over the salad; toss gently.

8. Serve immediately

Saving our pet toad

This big toad has been hanging out in in the garage. We rescued him tonight
I am playing with my new phone to see if I can add blog posts from it. I think it was too dark to take a photo

Monday, August 23, 2010

Baking: Chocolate-Covered Cherry Delights


* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries
* 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
* 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
2. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and stir until smooth. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls about the size of a walnut (larger if desired). Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press center of each ball with thumb.
3. Drain cherries and reserve juice. Place a cherry in indentation of each cookie ball.
4. In a saucepan, heat condensed milk and chocolate chips until chips are melted. Stir in 4 teaspoons of cherry juice. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of mixture over each cherry and spread to cover cherry. (More cherry juice may be added to keep frosting of spreading consistency.)
5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Back to school paper Craft for Treats

Last Thursday was the 1st day of school. Cade is in 7th and Quinn is in 4th grade- both happy and excited to start although they love summer! Today is the start of the 1st full week- They will be exhausted by the weekend. We have something every night after school- it all starts up again- football, athletic meetings, scouts, piano and guitar, orthodontist ....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Baked Beet roots with yogurt walnut dressing

I was looking for a way to bake beets- I am going to give this recipe a try for dinner with our favorite baked chicken.

"This dish will look superb on your table anytime of year, but is especially good as a cool summertime course. The beets are served at room temperature with a chilled yogurt dressing."
3/4 cup walnuts
5 medium beets, thoroughly washed
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups greek yogurt
1 minced hot green chile peppers

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 red chili pepper, minced
1. Spread walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes. Chop coarsely.
2. Butter aluminum foil. Pierce beets with a fork, and wrap with foil. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 1 hour, or until tender. Cool.
3. In a medium bowl, beat yogurt until smooth. Mix in green chile pepper, coriander, and walnuts. Season to taste with salt. Chill for 30 minutes.
4. Peel beets, and quarter without cutting all the way through. Place in a serving dish, and spread open. Spoon dressing over beets, and garnish with cilantro, and minced red chile peppers.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Garden in August

I love the rain we are getting this morning- The flower beds are so dry and I have so much weeding and deadheading to do- I am looking forward to some cooler weather so I can get caught up outside. With School starting this week, I am anxious to spend my mornings outside gardening!! August is beautiful with all the fragrant 'Honeybell' hostas in bloom and the black-eyed susans full of color- so many hummingbirds and butterflies to enjoy!!

Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear and Alien squeeze toy Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for Gavin's 4th Birthday- Preschools are sure into Toy Story right now!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Baking and Reading: Chocolate Mint Softies

I have been reading " chocolate Chip Cookie Murder" it is part of a Mystery series by Joanne Fluke. I purchased this book a long time ago by accident for something for Cade to read ( no wonder he was not into it- he said he thought they were old lady books) and then I discovered that the book that I bought for Cade was part of this series of mysteries that the Master Garden ladies were sharing and passing around. So part of my summer reading has been this murder mystery. These little books are full of recipes mixed in with the story which makes it fun.
Here is an index for all the recipes in the books recipes

Chocolate Mint Softies

"From Joanne Fluke's "Candy for Christmas""

2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate squares
1/2 cup butter , at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar , firmly packed
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large eggs
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon chocolate extract (if you can't find it, use vanilla)
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cups flour (packed down)
3/4 cup pecan pieces coarsely chopped
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate squares , melted
1/3 cup butter , room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cream (about) or 2 teaspoons milk (about)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, rack in the middle position.
2. Line cookie sheets with foil and spray with cooking spray. Leave little "ears" of foil sticking up on the sides, large enough to grab later.
3. Unwrap squares of chocolate and break them apart. Put them in a small microwave safe bowl, melt them for 90 seconds on high. Stir them until they're smooth and set aside to cool while you mix up your cookie dough.
4. Combine butter and sugars together. Beat on medium speed until smooth. (Less than a minute).

5. Add baking soda and salt, resume beating on medium for another minute, or until incorporated.
6. Add egg and beat on medium until the batter is smooth (another minute).
7. Add the peppermint and chocolate extracts, and mix for about 30 seconds.
8. Shut off the mixer and scrape the bowl. Then add melted chocolate and mix again for another minute on medium speed.
9. Shut off mixer and scrape down bowl again. At low speed, mix in half of the flour. Once incorporated, mix in sour cream.
10. Scrape down bowl again, add the rest of the flour and beat until fully incorporated.
11. Stir bowl with a spoon a few times. Mix in pecan pieces by hand.
12. Use a teaspoon to spoon the dough onto the foil-lined cookie sheets, 12 cookies to a sheet. (If dough is too sticky, chill for half an hour and try again.).
13. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until they rise and are firm.
14. Slide the foil from the cookie sheets and onto a wire rack. Let the cookies cool on the rack while the next sheet is baking. When the next sheet is ready, pull them onto the counter/table and slide the new foil onto the rack. Keep alternating until all dough is baked.
15. When all the cookies are cool, set them out on wax paper for frosting.
17. Put broken chocolate squares into a microwave safe bowl. Melt on high for 90 seconds. Stir until smooth and set aside.
18. When chocolate is cool, mix in the butter. Then stir in the powdered sugar.
19. Mix in the vanilla extract and the cream. Beat the frosting until it's of spreading consistency. (This is no-fail frosting, if it's too thick add more cream, too thin, add more powdered sugar).
20. Frost your cookies and leave them on the waxed paper until the frosting has hardened.
21. When the frosting has hardened, arrange the cookies on a pretty platter. They store well in a covered container, when separated by wax paper.
22. If you don't have time to frost, coat the cookies with powdered sugar while they're still warm. Do a second sprinkling once cool.

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