Sunday, December 23, 2012

Grandmother’s Apron

I have been eagerly waiting to become a grandmother; however, since I do not have any married children, I should be rejoicing that I am not yet a grandmother.

My sister and I were talking last week, about how wonderful it is to have grandchildren. She has them; I do not. Yes, she tells me it is indeed a joy – you get to enjoy them, without all the responsibilities. The only sad thing is that they do not love you the most. As it very well should be, they love their mother the most.

We reminisced about the excitement we felt in going to our grandmother’s house. Only, we did not get to see her much, because she lived too far away.

Then she told me how her grandchildren do not get very excited about seeing her. They seldom run into her arms to be kissed and loved. So, she has resorted to bribing them – they kiss her and she gives them a bit of money. The littlest, who does not speak clearly hugs her and says, “where’s my dowher?”

What! I cannot believe it! Oh, she assures me that it is true.

Well, I decided if it ever comes to that, my grandchildren would have to give me more than a hug and a kiss! I shall have myself an apron that I wear when they visit. As long as Grandmother has her apron on, we will play a little game of “Happy Times at Grandmother’s House”. Only after I remove my apron will the performance be over, and they shall receive their actor’s allowance.

Yes, I can see it now…happy grandchildren around my kitchen table as I pass out the milk and cookies and collect the hugs and kisses.

Christmas at Grandmother's House

Enjoy the grandchildren!

~~~♥~~~

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Diamond Eggnog ~ Just Right for the Holidays

 Everyone loves this eggnog!
Diamond Eggnog Ingredients
4 + 1/2 cups milk
4 eggs, separated
1 (125g/ 5 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
30ml (or approx 1 oz) rum
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon, ground
Diamond Eggnog Directions
Using a mixer, beat the egg yolks in a large bowl for 5 - 10 minutes; they need to be thick and resemble the colour of butter.
A little bit at a time, add in the milk, condensed milk, sugar and vanilla essence.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.
Slowly fold the egg whites into the rest of the mixture.
Add rum.
Stir gently.
Serve in cups and garnish with ground nutmeg or cinnamon.
Serves: 6. 


http://artschilipepper.blogspot.com/2009/12/thats-not-so-bad-afterall.html

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Caramel Popcorn

Caramel Popcorn
  • 1 c. butter
  • 2 c. brown sugar
  • ½ c. corn syrup
  • 1 teasp. salt
  • ½ teasp. baking soda
  • 1 teasp. vanilla
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn

Preheat oven to 250°. Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Boil without stirring for 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir baking soda and vanilla.
Pour over popcorn, stir to coat.
Place in two large baking dishes and bake for an hour (or less, depending on how chewy you want it) stirring every 15 minutes.
Remove from oven; cool.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Greetings


Hello dear blog Friends,

I will be away for the holidays and will not be back until around the last week in January.

I hope you all have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

♥Hope

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Gingerbread House


On Friday evening, my daughter wanted to go out and purchase a gingerbread house kit so that the two of us could make it that night.

This was a first time experience of me.

We applied the frosting and set up the sides. Next, we frosted the roof into place and began by decorating the ridge top.

After decorating the roof, the front, and the back, we realized the sidewall was slanting inward. I suggested just leaving it, but my daughter argued against that. I lifted the house, and she made the adjustment.

We set it back into place, but then the roof separated and the candies along the ridge began sinking. No soon than we had shoved the roof piece back together, then the wall fell in.

My daughter exclaimed, “Mother, this is ALL your fault!”

“Oh yes,” I said laughing, “how very convenient.” Then we both burst into laughter.

In a desperate attempt to salvage our project, we disassembled the house and rebuilt the sides. After giving the frosting sufficient time to set, we frosted the roof into place again.

Finishing our project, we sat back and basked in the wonder of our achievement. My daughter said, “It really was not your fault, Mother. I was my fault. I should have listened to you at the beginning when you said to wait before putting the roof on.” I knew she never really blamed me.

What fun it was to spend this time together. It was nearly midnight when we went to bed.



Overall, I think it turned out looking pretty good - for a near disaster.

24 hours later… the children ate the gingerbread house.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

We put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving Day. It was an all-day affair. First, we assembled our new tree (a replacement of our beloved 17-year-old tree, which we bought the year our second son was born). Next, I decorated it with 5 or 6 strands each of white and colored lights.

We watched White Christmas while applying the lights.

Lizzy and I spent the afternoon stringing popcorn, first while watching While You were Sleeping, and finishing while listening to Christmas music.

Bill went out to buy the all-necessary traditional eggnog and can of flavored popcorn for our family evening of decorating the tree.

Happy Holidays!



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cheese Balls

It's the holiday season!
I got this delicious recipe from a dear friend.
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard or dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • green olives with pimentos, drained and spread on paper towels to dry while you mix dough

Mix all together in kitchenaid using the flatbeater (or you can use your hands). Scoop up a small amount of the dough and flatten in the palm of your hand. Place an olive on top and close your palm to shape dough around it. Roll between your hands to form into a ball. Place on ungreased baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake 20-25 minutes until just starting to brown.

 Easy "How-To-Make" Photos

 ~~~♥~~~
http://artschilipepper.blogspot.com/2009/12/grams-cheese-balls.html

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

~My girls~
Vintage Thanksgiving Postcard
Source: flickr.com via Darla on Pinterest

 

Wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving Day!

My Thanksgiving Day Menu

Thanksgiving Morning:
It is just after 2:00 A.M. – I am having my first cup of coffee and spending a minute to visit you before I start my day. Here is a quick photo I snapped when I got up, to share with you.

I was so excited about today that last night I could hardly fall to sleep. I woke moments before 12:00 A.M. not feeling sleepy at all. I told myself that the next time I woke up I would get up, knowing that by that time I was sure to be waking from a deep sleep, which I did. Nevertheless, promises are promises, and now that I am up, I am delighted to be starting my day.
~ My Thanksgiving Day Menu ~
Turkey
Gravy made with heavy cream ~ (A special treat for the holiday)
Sausage Stuffing ~ (My recipe)
Mashed Potatoes
Elegant Scalloped Corn
Cranberry Sauce ~ (See Jessica’s Post)
Yams
Fresh Homemade Rolls
Fruit Salad
Served with: Sparkling Cider
http://pleasantsimplicityathome.blogspot.com/2011/11/sausagecracker-stuffing.html
~ Desserts ~
Date Nut Bread ~ (My recipe)
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pies
Pecan Pie
Key Lime Pie
Served with: Coffee and Cream
~~~♥~~~

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

S’uthun Supreme Pecan Pie


On Thanksgiving Eve (which I like to call Thankfuleve as in - Thankfuleve I have a daughter to bake with me.), I always spend the day baking. Today, my daughter and I baked two loaves of date-nut bread, two pumpkin pies, a pecan pie, and an apple pie.

~~~♥~~~

I am trying a new pecan recipe: S’uthun Supreme Pecan Pie
“Ya’ll might have a hard time keeping this pie around. Best to double it!”
3 eggs
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoon flour
½ Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cups maple syrup
               (I chose this recipe because of the maple syrup.)
1 ½ cups broken pecan pieces
1 cup halved pecans

Beat eggs until light. Blend in the melted butter, flour vanilla, salt, sugar, and maple syrup. Sprinkle the broken pecans over the bottom of the pie shell. Gently pour the mixture in, and then make rings of pecan halves, starting from the middle and working out until the surface is covered/ Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue baking for about 40 minutes. Let cool before serving.
Makes one 9” pie

~~~♥~~~
I am also trying a new piecrust: Alan Carter’s Pie Pastry – from Better Homes and Gardens.

Mix:
3 ¾ Cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
½ - 1 Tablespoon salt
½ Teaspoon baking powder

Cut in:
1 ¾ Cups unsalted butter, leaving chunks the size of peas

Combine:
2/3 Cups ice-cold water
2 Tablespoons sour cream
1 Teaspoon vinegar

Add liquid all at once to the flour mixture (This step is the reason that I Like this recipe.). Quickly stir to distribute. Do no overmix. The dough should be slightly crumbly. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. The finished dough should break, not stretch. Divide into three portions; shape into disks. Use at once or wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days. Or freeze up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator if frozen. Makes 3 single-crust pastries.
~~~♥~~~

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Busy Making Christmas Cards

Celebrate the winter holidays and warm the hearts of those you love.

~~~♥~~~

Well, I have not had a chance to blog this week. With Thanksgiving around the corner, next week will even be busier than this week. Just wanted to let you know what I am up to. I am having fun making cards and other stuff.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Vintage 1940's Car

Hello everyone,

These photos were taken around 1984. Knowing how much I loved old cars, One day my sister came into the house and saying, “Hey, Hope, there is an old car parked in front of our house.”

Grabbing my camera, and a couple siblings and a nephew to serve as models, I rushed out to take a few photos before the car was gone.

Later I found out that the fellow who owned this beauty had parked it there and had gone off with my father.

Our families became friends, and my sisters and I had the pleasure of riding in the awesome car with the mother and girls.

~~~♥~~~


So Many Reasons


Source: flickr.com via Hope on Pinterest

Many of us have abundant reasons to give the Lord thanks. I am thankful for warmth and food; the very basics are true blessings, indeed. I am thankful for the wealth of little blessing I enjoy each day, such as, a variety of breakfast choices, plenty of clean towels and linens, cheerful holiday lights adorning my windows, and pleasant company.

I pray that I am always thankful, even if I have no earthly reason to give thanks.

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
~~~♥~~~
I have to admit that this vintage typewriter piqued my interest.

Linking up with:
Thankful Thursdays Button



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Update

You might recall my post Big Holiday Expectations ~ in which I announced my goal of losing 10 pounds in 5 weeks.

Did I accomplish it? No. However, it is not all bad. Last week of October, I stepped on the scale and was 7 pounds down. I gave a bounce, just in case that scale wanted to change its mind. No change. I stepped off and stepped on again. No change. Another few bounces. No change. So, I guess it’s official.

I still have more to lose, but with the holidays and all the yummy temptations before me, my immediate, realistic goal is for a slow and steady decline in weight, but more importantly, a plan of not gaining any weight.

This week, I purchased the above 1950s Butterick Sewing Pattern (8321). I hope to make it during the holidays. I won't look like the slender woman on the pattern, but I think it should look nice. I have not received the pattern yet; I am trusting it was cut neatly, for I an not am expert seamstress.

~~~♥~~~

Cozy Autumn Morning


~ Every Morning is a time for tea. ~
~ A cheerful breakfast in good company ~

Weekday breakfast in our home is a simple affair. When the weather is cool outside, my children prefer to have something from the oven ~ usually muffins. Our simple breakfast include fruit and yogurt...served with tea (and coffee for me).

~~~♥~~~ 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Doughnuts ~ Quick and Easy

A Year with Grandmother ~ 365 Days at Grandmother’s House

Day 35 of 365 
~~~♥~~~ 
quick doughnuts


Homemade doughnuts have always been a tradition in our family. Only, I have never made them. I have always wanted to, but have been too afraid to try. I keep saving doughnut recipes. These doughnut look like they would be quick and easy. I am going to have to try this idea. Do you have a favorite doughnut recipe?

Video and Recipe Here
~~~♥~~~

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Time of Thanksgiving ~

Sandy @ HOB NOBBERS has a wonderful idea. She calls it ~

Thanksliving.

Sandy writes:
"Thanksliving this month! Instead of thanking God for our many blessings ON ONE DAY this month, let's thank Him EVERY DAY for all those things we receive, including those we often take for granted. Let's make this month a month of  THANKS-LIVING! Of living our lives in a moment to moment awareness of gratitude. It can change your life!
I'm going to post daily through the month of November expressing gratitude to God. Won't you join me?"

 ~~~♥~~~

I certainly look forward to hopping over to see her daily notes of thanksgiving and share my own reasons to be thankful.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Leaf Garland and Holiday Lights


Every year on November 1st I hang white lights in my front windows in celebration of the Holiday Season. For our family, the holiday season is from the week of Thanksgiving Day, to New Years Day, but we like to start getting in the holiday mood beginning today.

~~~♥~~~

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tea Time Memories

~~~♥~~~

 ~ October ~

1993

This is my oldest child at her playhouse having tea with her Jane Anne doll.

~~~♥~~~



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Peach Tea and Roses


Just for no reason at all, my husband gave me these beautiful roses yesterday. 

I love roses, especially because they dry into such lovely bouquets. I don't always get rose with baby's breath, but it adds so much to the dried arrangement.

My husband does not really understand my love of dried rose. I actually think I get more pleasure from the dried flowers, maybe because I don't have to fret over them dying. Seeing roses slowly die and drop their petals is heartbreaking. So, I usually hang them to try before they have time to expire.
~~~♥~~~



Monday, October 8, 2012

First Pumpkin Pie of the Season

On Saturday, my daughter picked a small pumpkin (one equal to two of these small pumpkins in this photo) from our back yard. I washed and cut it into two. She cleaned out the side. We baked it at 350 degrees for 1 hour. She removed the skin and measured out the pumpkin. We had exactly 2 cups of pumpkin. Just the right amount for a 9" pie.

We used this Joy of Cooking Pumpkin Pie Recipe. I have to say that this pie was so much tastier than making one from a can of pumpkin.

She made the pretty leaf decoration. 

We had such a wonderful time baking together.

~~~♥~~~

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Canadian ladies!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Busy-Day Current Scones

cabinets


Today we make a quick batch of current scones for tea time. We set the table and put on the tea. Mmmm, fresh hot scone straight form the oven smell so tempting. My daughter breaks a little nibble off a scone as I carry it to the table. She catches my eye, and I give her a wink.

Busy-Day Current Scones

In a hurry? Just drop dough from a large spoon into 8-equal mounds on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten to about 1/2-inch thickness with floured fingers, and bake as directed.

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup firm butter or margarine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Heat oven to 400ºF.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in egg, vanilla, and just enough of the whipping cream until dough leaves side of bowl. Stir in currents.

Brush with additional whipping cream; sprinkle with sugar crystals.

Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; carefully separate wedges. Serve warm.
~~~♥~~~

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Penny-wise Chicken Pie

~ Canadian Inspired ~
(Notice the maple leaf?)

Oh, the gals on the block are tempting me with such delicious goodness! First Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose posted her Tasty Beef Pot Pie . Then Jessica at Chronically Vintage wrote a wonderful post about her Penny-wise Chicken Pie. I just had to make myself a chicken potpie for dinner last night. (I already had chicken in my refrigerator that need to be used.)

I used Stephanie’s pastry recipe, and a slightly changed version of Jessica’s chicken pie recipe.
The results? Everyone liked it and even wanted seconds.

"Wow! This is really good!" exclaimed my husband. "Is this a new pie crust recipe? It's the best pie crust that you have ever made!"

 ~ Well, I guess I have Stephanie and Jessica to thank for my success. Thanks, girls!

~~~♥~~~

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Garage Sale Treasure


After our morning exercise last Saturday, we passed a garage sale while driving home. My husband looked over at me and asked if I wanted to stop. No, I did not. I have a small house, and I cannot fit much more into it than it presently holds.

"Let's just have a look," he suggests. "I will buy you anything you want, Honey”, he says with a drawl, and laughs. Such a big spender… I told him that I just might take him up on that offer.

Well, I did see something that I have been looking for – a teacup and saucer. However, I am a tightwad, and I will not spend $10 on it; I want it for $5. So, I passed that one up and am still looking for my hidden treasure.

My husband found a shelf for $5. It was a good price, but I don’t know where I am going to put it just yet.

Just as we were leaving to go, he saw this lovely bowl with the green grapes and leaves pattern. It was $3.00, and I was not sure that I wanted to spend that much on a bowl at a garage sale. We both like grape patterns, so I gave in and bought it. Then I was so glad that I did; as soon as I held it in my hands, I fell in love with it. I am such a fickle girl!

~~~♥~~~



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