Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dariy Queen birthday cake...

My daughter picked out her birthday ice cream cake, she gets a DQ one every year. Usually it's with pink border and red letters, this year she picked out a strawberry shortcake cake. When I first saw it, I wondered why in the heck they had croutons on a cake. LOL They are little squares of cheese cake, yum. Then ofcourse she had Pizza Hut pizza. :P

There's a number of ice cream cake recipes online, but I want to experiment with graham crackers, oreos, ice cream toppings, things like that. I know that you can mix oreo crumbs with hot fudge ice cream topping for the middle and whipped cream for the frosting. They take the middle out of the oreos, I wouldn't, or maybe I would and eat the middle myself. LOL You can line 2 round pan in plastic wrap, spread ice cream in it and freeze overnight, put the oreo/fudge mixture on top of one,(I'd freeze that before putting the top layer of ice cream on it), then put the other pan of ice cream on top and melt some ice cream just enough to spread over the whole thing. But I'd like to experiment with caramel ice cream topping and sprinkle the sides with graham cracker crumbs, just play around with different things.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The holidays...

In the grocery store tonight I passed the rolls I use for Thanksgiving and walked past a cart of Christmas items on sale. I started missing the scents and cooking of the holidays. It went by so quickly this year for some reason, it was summer, Fall flew by and Christmas felt like it was over before it began. I don't know why, but other people said that, also.

What I do like is not worrying about how many presents I need, what would be the main perfect present or what else do I have to get ready for Christmas Day. Now I love it, don't get me wrong, it's my favorite time of year and we always have a wonderful time. But what I absolutely loved tonight was having the extra money, it was so cool going into Target and buying some baking items, just because.

I always buy some things throughout the year and every year say I'm going to be mostly done by Christmas, which I never am. There's always birthdays to do, things to plant,apple and strawberry picking, things like that to take up money. But I'm determined to grab some things thru clearances and coupons this year, like Michaels,Joannes, Toys R Us, the Disney Store, Bath n Body, these places have some good sales in a year, and by gosh and by golly I'm taking advantage of them this year.

I love the internet, I really do, but I think we buy too much online and making it harder on stores, because these old businesses are folding left and right. If you get on mailing lists you can get great coupons and deals in your inbox. I really need to get back into food coupons again, gives me more Christmas money. :D Lists are great, menu planning really helps, bulk is the way to go, I love Costco.

Christmas is the biggest family event of the year,(unless it's a baby or wedding),which makes it the most stressful because it's expensive. I have peace at that time, but stress also when it comes to the gifts. I want more peace through most of it. We bake, listen to Christmas music, the movies, Yankee candles, decorating the house and the beautiful tree. I want to have more of that time, than stressing on how much money do I have this paycheck for presents. I also want to have some afghans made to send to a ministry during Christmas, and some baskets,everytime I watch the Preachers Wife, I want to make up some baskets for people.

So I feel if I had more things already finished and made by Christmas, it wouldn't all pass by so fast, it would be a planning here and there through the year. I'll let you know how that works, because it's easier said than done, but how cool would it be to actually see this work.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Do you remember kaleidoscopes we had as kids, they were cheap, but the best little toy. It wasn't these cheap plastic ones they have now, I swear I believe the end of it was glass, not plastic, but you could turn the end around. I remember being mesmerized with that little toy.

I found this one at Borders before, (I'm still not ever getting over them closing Borders), please bring Borders back. Anywayyyyy, the outside is pretty, the color is mainly when you turn it on something, but it does look pretty when you turn it around, good effects. I'm sure I've seen them sold somewhere else, will post it if I see them. They're bringing all these vintage toys back, because they were the best and the kids love them, (that would include me). ;D

Monday, January 16, 2012


We made our old brownie recipe, that's my little powdered sugar shaker next to the plate. I've had this recipe forever, it's more cake like, I like a fudgy, so I'll post both.

Cakelike Brownie

4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
(if you don't have that, use 3 TBSP cocoa and 1 Tbsp crisco per ounce of unsweetened chocolate)

2/3 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt( I never use that much salt, only a dash)

Heat the unsweetened chocolate and shortening, (or the cocoa and shortening with the shortening ) over low heat, best to use a double boiler just till it's melted and remove from heat. I don't get it too hot so it doesn't cook the eggs.

Mix sugar, eggs and vanilla in with the chocolate mix, then stir the remaining ingredients. Spread in a greased 13x9x2 and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, don't overcook. You can sprinkle powdered sugar over when cooled, but frosting is better.


Fudgy Brownies

Bake at 350 degrees and in a 13x9x2 pan.

Melt 12 oz of semi sweet chocolate chips over low heat, stirring so it doesn't scorch;

When almost fully melted, add 2 sticks of butter and melt those;

Turn off heat;

Add 1/2 cup of Hershey’s Syrup, a teaspoon of vanilla, and 4 eggs, just slightly beaten and stir well;

Stir in 1 cup of flour and 1 1/2 cups of white sugar;

Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13 pan;

Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


So how many have old recipe cards like this one below? This is my old brownie recipe, which I need to rewrite into another book.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Peaceful Sundays

I love Sundays, my favorite day of the week. I remember growing up and being at my Grandma's house, I can still smell the fireplace wood burning and her cooking. Grandma made everything special, a true Southern woman from Tennessee and made the best biscuits and gravy you ever tasted, (most southern gals say that).

She made the biscuits in a bowl, with some shortening, like the size of a walnut dropped in the middle of a ditch in the flour and then the buttermilk, she knew exactly how to mix it with just the right texture for the biscuits. It was always the same bowl and she'd put the flour up for the next meal. She'd cut and pat the big biscuits and put a little saved grease from the sausage on top of each one.Oh my gosh, I've not tasted anyone or restaurant that could make them as good and the gravy,mm, I could live off those. I'd be a bajillion pounds, but love it. LOL

Her fried chicken, mashed potatoes, Carrot cake and just about everything was fried, I can taste the cornbread now. I love my old iron pans and use them everyday, because of her. She'd make cream potatoes,cream corn, and cobblers on top of the stove burner. The best blackberry or peach cobbler with the dropped biscuits on top. She also had a cornbread pan where you can cook the cornbread on top of the burner, I have one, also.

I loved going blackberry pickin' with her, despite the fear of seeing a mountain bear, eek. I never did see a bear, but imagined I heard them everytime. :D So much fun to walk on the dirt roads barefoot, with the smell of the honeysucles along the roadside, and it was so beautiful. I would never walk barefoot now, because I'm terrified of snakes, kids aren't afraid of anything, except me with bears.

Sundays, with the peaceful feelings and special Sunday meals, always reminds me of her and the hours I spent watching her cook and sitting at the table with her eating. I know she watches over us and still prays for us as she did everyday of her life here. There's a special place with the Lord for Grandmas that are so much loved.


Blondie has got to be the sweetest girl online, she does fantastic work.

Here's her site...

Love her site... I just saw her Christmas ones last night, they are adorable. How do I keep missing all these wonderful things?

She also has an Etsy Shoppe...

I appreciate these so much, I know how much work it takes to do them.

My Granny Bobbles...

When I posted this Granny bobble blanket yesterday, I just fell in love with it. I definitely had to try it, I know, I know, I have other projects going. ;D Above is what I worked on last night and here's her pattern again and her granny bobble, so pretty...

I've done a couple of baby ripple bobbles, but because I love the bobbles I wanted to do this one. Can you imagine how heavy and warm it will be. Anyway, I'm using a Red Heart Really Red and Vanna's Choice Dusty Green. I can't seem to get the green right on the camera, it's prettier than what it's showing up here. Green and red are my two favorite colors together.

*UPDATE* Okay, here's the lowdown on the pattern after working on it more. I love it, but it seems the middle makes it not lay flat, somehow if the first row wasn't there, it would lay flat. I'm thinking about gathering the first row up and putting a rose over top of it, to mask the gather. The next one I make I'll go straight to putting the second row as the first row and see how that works. See below in this photo I've bunched up the first row and it lays good.

Update again... The bunching in the middle was making me crazy. I tried taking it all out, using a smaller hook for the first four rows, that didn't help. So now I'm doing ch 5 in between every bubble, seems the problem is the corners need to be in a better corner position, wanted to see if this gives more room to lay flat. So far it's working and I've worked 9 rows. Still the same pattern, just 5 chs between each bubble now and 5 chs in between the corner bubbles. I'm also using a one size smaller hook, instead of my favortite G hook, since the 5 ch is making the holes bigger. I use that hook for just about everything, it's in the background on my blog, it's so worn, I love it.

Here's the baby granny popcorn afghan I did with the bobbles,(they're actually popcorn stitches), but bobbles sounds cute...

I actually made a bigger one than this by just increasing the chain at the beginning, didn't get a photo, just was bigger, because I love working it.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup...

Here's the recipe I found...

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Yield: About 2 1/4 cups syrup
Serving Size: 1/4 cup syrup

* 1 1/2 cups water

* 1 1/2 cups sugar

* 4 cinnamon sticks

* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

* 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree

Heat the water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. Use a whisk to stir in the remaining ingredients. Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Try not to let the mixture come to a boil.
Place two thick paper towels on top of each other into a fine mesh strainer set over a large measuring cup. Strain the syrup through the paper towel lined strainer. (Cheesecloth and coffee filters work well here, too.) Pour the strained syrup into a storage bottle with a lid and keep in the refrigerator.

To make a hot pumpkin spice latte:
Stir together 1 1/2 tablespoons of syrup to each shot of espresso. Add frothed milk and stir to combine. To make an iced pumpkin spice latte: Stir together 1 1/2 tablespoons of syrup for each shot of espresso, then add desired amount of cold milk. Serve over ice cubes.

To make a pumpkin spice iced coffee:
Stir together 1/2 cup of milk to 1/2 cup toddy (iced coffee), then mix in 1/4 cup syrup. Serve over ice. To make a pumpkin spice blended coffee: Stir together 1/2 cup of milk to 1/2 cup toddy (iced coffee), then mix in 1/4 cup syrup. Pour into a blender, add 2 cups ice and mix until well blended. Optional: Add a teaspoon of white chocolate powder when blending.

I tweaked it, because I've ran out of nutmeg,so I put the same amount of water, sugar and pumpkin, but for the spices, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of cloves, 1/2 tsp ginger and a tsp of pumpkin pie spice, whoa, this made it really spicy, love it. I also cooked it 10 minutes on medium heat, but didn't boil and I didn't strain it. I love it, used enough today to not use sugar and just put french vanilla creamor in my coffee. I always keep jars of things I like to use over again, so I put the syrup in a Strawberry syrup jar and a honey jar.

It's also great in tea, makes it tastes like Christmas Tea. I keep the syrup in the refrig, so I heat what I'm going to use for about 10-15 seconds in the microwave. You don't have to, but it will cool down your drink a bit if you're using creamor, also.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cracker Barrel...

We went to Cracker Barrel for our anniversary, because I love it. I love the restaurant and the store in it. It's so much fun to see the things from our childhood. I saw Clove gum, can you believe it? Anyway, the food is great, the atmosphere is so country, I feel at home. I want to pull out my oil lamp and set it on the table.

I'm going to add some links to this post, because there's alot of women who offer free patterns for their beautiful patterns.

Here's a really pretty leaf tealight holder...

Here's a sunburst hotpad...

Dyeing yarn with Easter egg dye, never tried that, it's pretty...

A hexagon Tote...
The Hex Tote Video Crochet-A-Long

Granny bobble blanket, really thick, and will keep you warm...

Puffed Daisy Hexagons

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Snowflake Snowcatcher has awesome snowflakes, but she asks they're not sold or the pattern reproduced on another page. So,here's her snowflake on the link that I think is the most beautiful one I've ever seen. I love her site. Here's a pic above of the one I've done, but haven't stiffened it yet. Here's three I've completed unstiffened, the beautiful one is to your left...

Hot Spiced Apple Cider...

Here's three Hot Apple Cider recipes.


1/2 gallon apple cider
12 cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 c. orange juice
1/2 c. lemon juice

Heat apple cider. Add all ingredients. Allow the mixture to simmer for half hour or more.
Makes 12 servings


2 qts. apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1 tsp. whole all spice
1/4 c. brown sugar
8 orange slices

Combine all ingredients except oranges in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve into mugs or glass pitcher. Garnish with orange slices.

Hot Spice Apple Cider

Mix 2 quarts of apple cider with 1/2 cup of light brown sugar. Put 2 whole nutmegs,4 crushed up cinnamon sticks, 16 whole allspice, 16 whole cloves in a cheesecloth piece, tie it off with string and crush it just a little being careful not to tear cheesecloth. Put the cheesecloth spice ball in the apple cider and tie the string on the handle so it doesn't hang down and catch on fire on the burner. Bring it to a boil and simmer on low for 30 minutes. You can keep the spice ball and use again, put it in refrigerator, it's also great to put in simmering potpourri. I love oranges in the potpourri, also.

Caramel Apple Spice drink

Caramel Apple Spice drink

Apple juice steamed with cinnamon dulce syrup. Then the drink is topped off with whipped cream and caramel sauce. I just use the ice cream caramel syrup. Starbucks sells cinnamon dulce syrup, if you don't want to make it, but I'd also check at Target's coffee area, they might sell it. Then you can sprinkle a little cinnamon, if you like. Starbucks uses Treetop Apple juice...

Cinnamon Dolce Syrup


1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

In saucepan mix both sugars, flour and cinnamon together. Then add the water and vanilla extract. Heat on medium heat until a rolling boil. Boil a few minutes until it thickens to syrup consistency. Cool and serve.

Number of Servings: 35

Snowflakes, Cloves and other such stuff...

I'm working on a snowflake afghan,started some in pink and red and then white and red. I'm using Deborah Norville, I love her pink and red yarn.

Snowflake Afghan

Hexagon (make 59)

Rnd 1: With light color ch 2, 6 sc in second chain from hook, sl st in beg sc.

Rnd 2: Ch 5 (counts as dc and ch 2), dc in first sc, *(dc, ch 2, dc) in next sc, repeat from * 4 times; sl st in 3rd ch of ch-5.

Rnd 3: Sl st to ch-2 sp, ch 3 (counts as first dc on this and following rnds), (dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in first ch-2 sp, *(2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in next ch-2 sp, repeat from * 4 times; sl st in top of ch-3.

Rnd 4: Sl st in each st to ch-3 sp, (ch 3, 2 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 1) in first ch-3 sp, *(3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 1) in next ch-3 sp, repeat from * 4 times; sl st in top of ch-3.

Rnd 5: Sl st in each st to ch-3 sp, (ch 3, 3 dc, ch 2, 4 dc, ch 3) in first ch-3 sp, *(4 dc, ch 2, 4 dc, ch 3) in next ch-3 sp, repeat from * 4 times; sl st in top of ch-3. Cut yarn and fasten. [6 pointed snowflake]

Rnd 6: Join dark colored yarn by making a slip knot on hook and joining with an sc in ch-2 sp, (ch 1, sc) in same sp, *working in sps between dc, hdc in each of next 2 sps, dc in next sp, 2 dc in next ch-3 sp, trc in ch-1 sp on rnd 4 (below), 2 dc in same ch-3 sp on rnd 5, dc in next sp (between dc), hdc in each of next 2 sps, (sc, ch 1, sc) in next ch-2 sp, repeat from * 4 times; working in sps between dc, hdc in each of next 2 sps, dc in next sp, 2 dc in next ch-3 sp, trc in ch-1 sp on rnd 4 (below), 2 dc in same ch-3 sp on rnd 5, dc in next sp (between dc), hdc in each of next 2 sps, sl st in beg sc.

Rnd 7: Ch 3 (first dc), *(dc, ch 3, dc) in ch-1 sp, dc in each of next 13 sts, repeat from * 4 times; (dc, ch 3, dc) in last ch-1 sp, dc in each of next 12 sts, sl st in top of ch-3.

Rnd 8: Ch 1, sc in first st, sc in next st, *3 sc in ch-3 sp, sc in each of next 15 sts, repeat from * 4 times; 3 sc in last ch-3 sp, sc in each of next 13 sts, sl st in beg sc. Cut yarn and fasten.


Using dark color, whipstitch hexagons together forming 5 strips of 7 hexagons each and 4 strips of 6 hexagons each. Whipstitch strips together (7,6,7,6,7,6,7,6,7).


Row 1: With right side facing join light color with an sc, sc in each st around; sl st in beg sc, ch 1 and turn.

Row 2: Sc in first st, *trc in next st, sc in next st, repeat from * around; sl st in beg sc. Cut yarn and fasten.

Finishing: Weave in all loose ends.

My daughter got me this little Nutcracker at Joannes for Christmas, I love nutcrackers, but he's beautiful. :D I also have my collection I've started of the Peter Pan books. I really love reading, but whenever I get free time, I can't stop picking up the crochet hook.

It snowed yesterday, we didn't expect it, wasn't in the forecast, so it was a great surprise. It just covered the ground some, but was so beautiful. I love snow, we're having a warm winter, I don't like it, because I like at least some snowstorms to keep us in the house all bundled up, so peaceful. It's like everything stops, they go play in the snow, you know I didn't mention me, I'm not crazy, it's cold out there in a snowstorm. :D It can still happen,though, but it's almost the middle of January.

We did our clove oranges again,we do them every year, it makes the house smell wonderful. Put the cloves in, you can buy cheap cloves, squeeze it some around to get the orange juice out a little and sprinkle with all over with cinnamon. Anything left over in the tray makes good simmering potpourri.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Starbucks Christmas Blend

My daughter gave me a Starbucks giftcard as a Christmas present and I got two more bags of the Christmas Blend with it. I always get one for myself as a present, but I'm in Christmas Blend Heaven when I found more at our Starbucks. They're usually gone before Christmas.

Starbuck's Spiced Holiday Coffee

2/3 C. ground Starbucks Christmas Blend or other dark roast coffee
4 cinnamon sticks, crushed or broken into small pieces
6 C. water
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
2/3 C. honey
Half-and-half or milk

Mix together the coffee and cinnamon sticks. Using the coffee-cinnamon mixture and the water, brew coffee by your customary brewing method. Add the cardamom and honey to the hot coffee and stir until the honey dissolves. Serve warm. Pour about 2/3 cup coffee into each glass. Pass the half-and-half or milk.

Christmas Blend and Keurig Reusable basket

First of all let me say I love my Keurig coffeemaker, but their reusuable basket is the biggest waste of $20 I've ever spent. I've read all the comments online and most agree. I've tried all the suggestions to try and get the flawed gadget to work, nope. Still grounds everywhere, all in the whole basket area, all over the bottom of the tray. I don't know why they haven't made a replacement for it knowing it doesn't work and still ripping people off who think it will.

Sooooo, my husband suggested putting some grounds in a coffee filter, tied it off with a bread tie and sit in the gray basket you get with the reusable basket. But it didn't work, the water doesn't go thru to the inside grounds and it's just water in the cup. I said forget it, I just plopped the coffee filter with the bread tie on it in the hot cup of water and let it sit, to seep it and kind of dunked it some. LOL It actually worked, because the thing worked as like a tea seeper.

I should have kept my old coffee maker I gave away when I got my Keurig just for my coffee beans with my scrumpdiliuptious Starbucks Christmas Blend. I was pouring the hot water thru a coffee filter into the cup, but seeping the little coffee filter ball in the cup made the coffee taste better. I'm getting another little coffee maker for use when not using my Kcups , but it was fun playing with our little experiment.

Christmas Decorating..

Every Christmas morning we have french toast and beef sausage. For the french toast, I just put some milk in about four eggs, cinnamon sugar, orange extract(usually use vanilla extract, except for special occassions),and another dash of cinnamon, mix it up. I have a long electric pan they sell at Walmart or Target, so much faster, just melt some butter and it will cook six pieces at one time.