Category Archives: baking

And so it begins…


The next 5-6 weeks will be crazy busy won’t they? I guess it’s what you put into the holidays too. I haven’t had the best few months hoping my hip would improve like my right shoulder did all those years ago-that’s the thing, I’m much older now.

We are having new young ladies at our dinner table tomorrow night, Miss Mary and her little one 6.5 yr old Miss K. I don’t have her mom’s permission to use her name yet. I was busy getting the table ready and I made these desserts also:

The top is a Family Circle recipe simply called ‘Cranberry Tart’. It’s not all the simple-the bottom layer is a goat cheese and cranberry layer. They you cook up a bunch of cranberries and pour it on top. They called for cranberry juice, I used orange juice-didn’t want cranberry overload. And I was suppose to use a pie plate with a push out bottom. I did put a piece of  parchment paper in the bottom, so maybe I can still gingerly lift it out tomorrow.

The bottom is an unbaked pumpkin bread pudding loaded with eggs and cream-a Domino Sugar recipe. I have to make the sauce and it seems like a lot more of the above. I may make half the sauce which should be enough. It is baked and put in little ramekins now for tomorrow. Don’t you love when you can use things you have?

The other food will be turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, asparagus, corn and green beans.

I’ll probably add some more photos tomorrow.

I’ve done very little Christmas shopping. I plan to do a big order from a catalog I like and fill in the holes at my favorite stores like TJ Maxx, etc. I am pretty sure I am skipping holiday card sending this year as it’s so expensive. If you still are doing yours, please don’t feel offended if you don’t get one from us. It may just be this year. I may change my mind, but I have to see.

Stayin’ cool


Not much to report in this neck of the woods. I’ve been wondering outside a little bit, watering things, maybe pulling out a weed or two, but that’s about it. Can’t muster  up going out in the heat over 90 much. Yesterday, both guys were gone for a few hours so I did a little baking and cooking and also made this:

I had gotten the eagle stamp up in Lancaster and thought a new ink pad was black. It turned out to be pink, so I restamped over the pink in black. The pink made a shadow effect.

I was in Big Lots and ‘Larry the Cable guy’ has his name on some mixes, one of which was beer bread. You have to use a bottle of beer and some butter. I made it and it tasted like an Auntie Ann’s soft pretzel with a hint of beer. ; )

I also made a big bowl of Sean’s favorite, potato salad and a cucumber salad from Everyday Food magazine. You peel an English cucumber in long ‘ribbons’ and add diced celery and onion to it. The middle seedy part you put in a blender (I have a bullet one) with a little mayo, Cilantro (love it) and Champagne vinegar (who has that?-I used apple cider vinegar).  Very nice and refreshing with the breaded pork chop.

Tonight I am whipping up Spaghetti All’Amatriciana-it had a lot of bacon in the sauce part! It’s simmering and then you are suppose to ‘process’  the sauce, but I like it chunky. The house smelled so good when I was cooking the bacon. Should be tasty!

I’ve wanted to go geocaching, but it’s too hot. I’ve been looking up some more in the area I have missed and have one to hide, but figuring that one out.

Also am trying out a few contests and sweepstakes through Facebook; I figure that’s a safe way to do so. Someone has to win.

Pass the bottle of Zinfandel please. : )

Unique natural decor


Sean had off on Tuesday, so we decided to go out to lunch as I had a gift card for a Chinese restaurant. I try to eat salmon when I see it on the menu, so that’s what I got on brown rice. Sean had chicken and almonds. We both had egg drop soup. We went over to Pier One and I bought a few sweet things. I didn’t even take anything out of the bag as I had to go to work from 5-10. We then went across the road to Terrain and I took some photos with my camera phone of their unique display:

Gorgeous red Amaryllis 

This was a two tiered tin planter with tiny white Poinsettia around the bottom and dainty Narcissus

This is real cotton in a display. They also pulled it apart to look like a snow covered tree. You can see it in the first photo well.

Sunday and Monday I dedicated to making cookies. I made Chocolate chips, Sour Cream Drops, 7 layer cookies, Peanut butter swirls, Cinnamon chip oatmeal and Rum balls.

 I am on call again in the morning, so hoping not to have to go in, but I’m doubting that. Then they get me again on call Thursday and I work Friday morning. I mainly need to clean the house now.

Cookie love


Well… I finally got around to whipping up a few batches of cookies. I started with chocolate chips and did some 7 layer (Sean’s favorite) and some with a cookie press. That cookie press didn’t work too well. I got a Martha S. one I found for $1 at a resale. I think my dough got too warm. I squeezed out about 2 dozen and forgot the sprinkles on the first batch. I will do a few more tomorrow. I’m happy to be getting this done. Cookies are a  special part of Christmas to me.

Sean is bringing me home ingredients for Rum balls (update-he got the wrong kind of cookies-I needed Nilla wafers and he got those rectangular vanilla wafers) . And I love Chocolate Swirl Peanut Butter cookies too. I hope I have enough peanut butter! Opps.

Sean and I went to Walmart and Peebles in Parkeburg (near Lancaster) after church last night. He had given me a gift card for my birthday and I got  Monkees (they were my brother Don and my favorites as kids for a time) and Christmas karaoke cds. I bought myself a little karaoke machine and Brian hooked it up to a tv Sean used at PSU. The lyrics are right on the screen. I ordered popular music and Beatles cd to use. I do like to sing (I have a soprano voice and have sung in choruses and choirs in the past), so this is for me to blow off some steam or pretend I am a popular singer. ; )

I went in the Peebles and it has half the merchandise that our store has here! But believe me, I used that discount for some shoes and clothes at this store too.

I am placing an order at a place near Brian’s work for some meat and cheese platters, tea sandwiches or fruit. I got a voucher from LivingSocial for $40 worth of food for $20. I have to give them 48 hours . It’s near where my uncle lived and mom said their sandwiches are great. What’s nice is that they give you half orders, so I will probably order a few things.

I hope everyone is taking time to relax. I was on call today, they didn’t need me. I work two days (one morning, one evening) and am on call two more days. They are having a little party on the 24th (I don’t work that day) and I only heard about it through the lady at the cosmetics counter. I haven’t signed up to be in the ‘Secret Santa’, but I do have a gift for it. I just can’t believe not one manager mentioned the party to me. I guess I’m stuck in the back of the store and they all talk up in the front. I was talking with a young lady in the ladies’ clothes (she’s about 19-20) and probably her parents are my age. We were laughing about something just when the manager came around the corner. It was 8:40 pm and they were closing at 9. He couldn’t let it go and asked if I had something to do in my department.  I did a lot that night and I guess he was still peeved that I didn’t notice I was on call Thursday. Sean gets his schedule online-much easier. Oh well…nice to have some spending money!

Belgium Waffles-yum


I finally located my Belgium waffle maker after it was missing for many years. I almost ditched it for a new one, but cleaned it up and started using it again. I had a whole grain mix that just called for adding liquids which was fine, but nothing compares to a plump ‘real’ Belgium waffle:

You just don’t want to do this:

Which I did on the fourth one! What a mess. I forget that the tablespoon of baking powder will really make them rise and overflow. Plus I didn’ t want to make a fifth one!

Here’s the recipe from the Food Network site:

Belgium Waffles
2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
Nonstick vegetable spray for coating waffle iron
Confectioners' sugar
Fresh berries
Whipped cream, recipe follows
Ice cream, optional

If you don't have Buttermilk in the house, here's what you can do:
Milk (just under one cup)
1 Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice-let sit 5 minutes

Here's my doll Olivia with a new mask on:

And the remnants of the much talked about snow:

And the remnants of the much talked about snow:

Halloween is just around the bend


I ‘do’ Halloween decorating just for us as we’ve never had trick or treaters here which is a bit sad. I do love ‘nice’ Halloween decor such as owls, pumpkins and witches. The owl shown is a new purchase this year and I looped the cross stitch I did around his neck.
Girl statuary with glow of lights
I found the little girl up in the emporium in York, PA.
Halloween tree in a blue vase
One of the legs broke off of this little tree, so I kind of stuck it in this cobalt blue vase. I should hide the broken part, but it does not neat with the blue.
Cute little pumpkins. The ‘smiling’ one in the middle changes colors.
Halloween Barbies
I only have a few Halloween Barbies, but really like these gals.
Happy Halloween! Give all treats, no tricks if you can.

Me stuff-I had a tooth fixed today and looked like ‘The Scream’ painting for a few hours as my lip was pretty swollen from the injection. After it went down, I saw a big mark on the inside where the dentist must have gotten me with an instrument or something.  I’m still having sinus issues as was the dentist! Wow, we must need a hard freeze!

Baking and cooking-Yesterday I broke an egg on the stove top when I went to put it in a pot of water, so I mixed together Trader Joe’s gingerbread-yum! Had an egg sandwich today with one of the last tomatoes from the garden-that’s pretty darn good to still have a tomato when it’s almost November.  I made turkey chili for dinner which was pretty good.

Roasting and Baking


I have some scrumptious Roma tomatoes roasting in not only their juices, but also, olive oil, a bit of garlic plus salt and pepper. Smells really good in here! I plan to freeze some, but also use some with pasta. The Romas (plum) are about twice what we normally get! Glad we moved the garden over!

Then I wanted to use a zucchini, maybe two, but alas, this recipe only called for 1 lousy cup. I am doing good using the zucchini anyway!
Quick to mix up with a base of butter and confectioner’s sugar. Glad I had some parchment paper (forget I did) as they came off of it nicely.

They are a bit crunchy from the cornmeal…not alot of zucchini taste, but good!

We’ve had a rainy weekend down here. We all did a lot of sitting and vegetating yesterday. Today I got my clothes ready for a little trip this week coming up. It took me an hour to decide and I think I need more than a tote bag, but it will do I guess. Brian is the one who has problems packing, like remembering to locate his swim trunks. I was making him try things on which he didn’t like. I like to have one dressy outfit, though not many people dress up to eat out. Shame on them!

Just Passing Through


I had a lot of fun making this card. When I was tidying up, I ran across the bandana print on the bottom and remembered I had the kids in their cowpoke outfits. The map of Montana is the curtains, like they are on a stage.
The desk is assembled, but alas, I didn’t know I needed to buy the hardware kit too! We may have some of those toggle screws because by itself it weighs 40 pounds. I think Zoey’s hubby would be cringing at having to drill those kind of screws in the wall. I will use the two drawers for mainly ink pads and stampers. I think I will need to get a new file cabinet as the plastic one I have is awful! The drawers stick and I can’t get them closed most of the time.
I just went and got a free prep kit this afternoon (saved me $40), but my tests will be on the 16th now! Next week is crazy busy for me-the Phila. Flower show, the dentist, a family event plus a trip to my late Uncle Don’s house to pick some of his things out to keep. His daughter and her family (my one cousin hadn’t seen or spoken to my uncle for years) were over there cleaning out closets. His daughter said there are some trunks in the attic that may be stuff that was my grandfathers! It will be neat to see what’s in there. I have a bird painting and carved bird he gave me already. My cousin said most of his clothes were sent to Haiti. I ‘dislike’ doing this and I sure hope it doesn’t smell like pipe smoke in his house or I will lose it. The house will be sold ‘as is’. I think I would have gone to IKEA and had them redo the kitchen and maybe get some new things for the bathrooms, just to modernize it a bit.
My house smells like hyacinth right now as I bought some potpourri at the
Hallmark store this afternoon. It is smelling a bit strong now, but I know that stuff will fade out. Nice to have a spring like smell in the house.
Here’s the Lemon Almond Pound cake I made and it’s gone already!
Lemon Almond pound cake
I want to make some chocolate chip cookies next.
I watched the Oscars as I did see a few of the movies nominated-‘Toy Story 3’ and ‘The Social Network’. It’s neat to see a few 50 yr olds win-Melissa Leo and Colin Firth.
I’d love to attend a fancy event like that once in my life-lol

Homemade pretzels


Homemade pretzels, originally uploaded by DianthusMoon.

Well, Barbara mentioned she made homemade soft pretzels,so of course I being a Philly girl, had to make some. I started them in my bread machine and when I went to turn them out to make the ropes, the dough was really sticky. I followed a recipe, but perhaps the machine over-kneaded the dough. I got it to work, and this is what I got and they weren’t bad! I had to use Italian coarse salt, so you are seeing some herbs on the pretzels.I think I’m making too many things with yeast lately (Di*Giorno pizza today) as our tummies are a little ‘pouf-pouf’ you get my drift.
We did survive the blizzard! Yeah! We had our power, but my mom and brother didn’t for overnight. It was rough. We had a nice sunny day today, so that helped. The guys had to do a terrible lot of digging. We had 2-3 feet snowdrifts around the vehicles. It’s been the snowiest winter in over 100 yrs in these parts. I really look forward to seeing grass again.