Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!
I will be starting my Christmas break today. I am looking forward to time with my family and enjoying our first Christmas with our Megan. What a Christmas this will be for us! I will be returning after the first of the year. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and the best for a healthy and happy New Year!

Glass Ball Picture Ornaments

I have been busy finishing up last minute Christmas gifts. This year one of the gifts for my step mother-in-law is ornaments with pictures of the grandkids. This is what you need to make the ornaments: glass ornaments balls (purchased at Michaels 4 for $2.94), shredded paper (purchased at Wal-Mart for 0.94 cents), ribbon and scrap scrapbook paper (if you want to make a tag), and pictures of your choice.

Cut your picture into a circle.(I cut out circles on scrap paper to get the correct size I needed.) Then roll your picture up so you can slide it through the top of the ornament. Once inside it will pop back open. You may need to play with it a little to get it in the correct position. I used my cake tester and a pair of tweezers to help out as needed. You then put shredded paper behind the picture to cover the backside of the picture. Attach a ribbon for hanging and a tag if desired. I just wrote Merry Christmas 2007 on my tags.

Sorry for the quality of the picture. It was hard not to get a glare when taking a picture of a glass ball! These ornaments are simple and inexpensive to make. Who wouldn't love to receive a gift with a picture of their little ones!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Snow Fun

We have been having snow fun for last few days. Megan isn't so sure about walking in the snow. She keeps falling over! It is very funny to watch.

Since it is to cold to stay outside for long, I brought the fun inside. I filled some bowls with snow and added some spoons and measuring cups. All the fun of snow in the warmth of our kitchen. Megan loved this! She played with the snow for almost 45 minutes!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another First!

For dinner the other night we were eating corn on the cob. Megan keep eyeing the corn and we could tell that she really wanted it. I wasn't certain that I wanted to give it to her since I worried that she might not be able to digest corn yet. After several times of reaching for our corn and saying "I need" We decided to let her have a taste.

We could hardly get the cob away from her. She keep saying "no" when Daddy tried to take the corn away. Everything was cleaned up from dinner and she was still hanging onto her corn! Needless to say she loved it!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Cookie Time!

This weekend my sister and I gathered at my mom's house for our annual cookie baking. Each year we usually try a new recipe. This year we tried the Neiman-Marcus Cookie.

2 cups butter
24 oz chocolate chips
4 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 8 oz chocolate bar, grated
5 cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts

Measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder. Cream butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda. Add chocolate chips, grated chocolate and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375. Makes 112 cookies.

I made the entire batch, but I would suggest you half this recipe. It makes lots of cookies and the mixer wasn't so happy with the amount of cookie dough. I will be making these again. I really liked the texture the ground oatmeal gave these. A nice twist on the standard oatmeal cookie. Enjoy!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Banana Bread in a Jar

2 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
4 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups mashed, ripe bananas
1 t vanilla
3 1/2 cup flour
1/2 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t salt

Grease jars with vegetable shortening.

Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs. Add buttermilk and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix well and then add bananas.

Use 1 cup batter for pint jars and 2 cups for quarts. Makes 7 pints. Do not overfill your jars to prevent spillage. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. (I found that it needed a longer baking time.)

I finally did it! It turned out very well. The bread is very moist. It takes a little bit of maneuvering to get the bread out of the jar. Even with the wide mouth jar it is a little tight. All in all I call it a success and think these will make cute gifts!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Love a Great Deal!

Just in time for holiday baking I was able to purchase each 5 oz can of Carnation Evaporated Milk for .25 cents a piece at my local Big Lots. I had been purchasing a store brand for .44 cents a can. Since they don't expire until October 2008 I might be heading back to stock up a little more. I thought some of you might want to check out your local Big Lots. Thanks for the tip Mom!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Checking In

I just wanted to check in and let everyone know that all is well at my home. Just very busy! We spent Sunday at my sisters. They needed to replace their water heater. It started to burn, but luckily the breaker flipped and it wasn't able to catch fire. However, my sister did wake to the smell of something burning at 4 that morning. Very grateful that the breaker flipped!

Monday morning I went out to do some shopping and them hurried home for nap time and do work on some much needed laundry. My sister-in-law is home for Christmas from Hawaii. Last night went went out to dinner at Olive Garden (Yum!) with family and then back to the in laws to visit. We got home just in time for bed!

Today I have an endless supply of children needing care. I have my niece (23 mos) and nephew (4 mos) from 6:30 -4 and then my occasional afternoon kids are coming this morning also. (Dad is a police officer and was needed in court this morning.) I will have two of my sister's children this afternoon. They are 4 & 5 so they should be helpful with the little ones.

As you can see life is moving along swiftly around here. I hope to be back to posting very soon. Until then... Have a great day!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Question of the Day

Has anyone ever make bread in a jar? I found some recipes for quick bread, such as banana bread that you bake in a mason jar. You all know how much I love mason jars and my hubby loves banana bread. I thought this might make really cute gifts.

I have added bananas to my shopping list. Unless I hear this is total flop I plan to give it a try.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

First Snowfall!

A couple of pictures from my back porch this morning! We only have maybe 2 inches with a couple of more expected today. It finally feels like it should be Christmas!

This is Megan's first snowfall. I can't wait to take her outside. Waiting for Daddy to return home is going to be so hard!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


2 1/2 T unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c light corn syrup
1/4 t salt
2 tbs pure vanilla
powdered sugar

Combine gelatin and 1/2 c cold water in bowl of electric mixer with whisk attachment. Let stand for 30 minutes.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 c water. Dissolve sugar over low heat. Once dissolve wash down side of pan with wet pastry brush to dissolve sugar crystals on side of pan. Attach candy thermometer. DO NOT STIR. Let cook until reaches 244 degrees (full ball stage). Remove from heat.

Turn mixer on slow. Slowly and carefully add to gelatin. Bring mixer to fast speed. Let mix until triple in size. About 15 minutes. Add vanilla.

Pour marshmallow into pan that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar. For thick marshmallows use a 8x8 pan. I want thin marshmallows so I spread them on a baking sheet. Allow to sit overnight to stiffen up.

Snow is in the forecast for tonight. What a treat it will be to sit back with a cup of hot chocolate topped with a homemade marshmallow and watch the snow fall!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Fudgy Problems

I made peanut butter fudge yesterday. I would like to say it was yummy, but I can't! This frustrates me to no end! I can not make a good batch of fudge. To me it always taste gritty, like the sugar is not dissolved. Last year I made it exactly like the instructions, and this year I let it boil a little long, with the same results! Mom and my sister use the same recipe and their fudge turns out creamy and delicious.

Sorry, no picture to show. Chuck said it is okay and took the fudge to work. Those guys will eat anything! Part of me thinks that I should admit I am a fudge failure, but the other part of me will be in the kitchen trying a new batch today! What can I say, I am a glutton for punishment or maybe just a little persistent!

Any ideas on how to get rid of that gritty taste?