Monday, December 26, 2011



Lemon Sugar Glazed Cookies


This was my first making this particular recipe for Lemon Cookies..and it is by far, the BEST Lemon Cookie I have ever eaten and very easy to make.  I made this cookie the same day I wanted to give as a Holiday Gift, only because I wanted them to be the freshest possible for taste and texture.  This cookie would also be fantastic for any party or shower made in a smaller form.  I for one will be making this cookie recipe many more times in the future...! It's that GOOD!

Recipe

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Cream together butter, eggs, and sugar. Add zest and lemon juice, and ricotta cheese and blend well. Add remaining ingredients and beat until well combined. Drop by small spoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets and bake @375 for 12-14 minutes. Cookies will remain very light creamy in color. Do not over bake. ( I used a small ice cream scoop to make uniform sizes. If you put the dough in the fridge for about 1/2 hour to chill it is easier using the scoop)

IMMEDIATELY remove cookies to cooling rack and glaze while still warm. I topped a small amount of the icing onto each cookie, allowed the icing to soften from the warm cookie and then gently spread the icing around, I also topped with large white sugar granules before the icing set.  Once the icing is spread it does not take long for it to set, so if your wanting to add a little extra sparkle I suggest this be done before moving on to the next cookie...

Glaze

1 1/2 cups icing sugar 
zest and juice of 1 lemon
The glaze will set almost immediately. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Merry Christmas..!



Hoping Santa was good to you...!


The story of how Rudolph came to be
You know Dasher and Dancer and the rest of the gang. But do you recall, the most "Perfect Christmas Crowd-Bringer" of all?
That's how executives at Montgomery Ward originally described Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, who first appeared in a 1939 book written by one of the company's advertising copywriters and given free to children as a way to drive traffic to the stores.
Rudolphs ScrapbookView full sizeA first edition of "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer", bottom, and an original layout, top, part of a special collection at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. The book is from the estate of Robert May, a Dartmouth graduate who wrote the famous story in 1939 as part of a Montgomery Ward marketing campaign.
AP Photo/Toby Talbot
Curious to know more about how Rudolph really went down in history? It's all in the pages of a long-overlooked scrapbook compiled by the story's author, Robert L. May, and housed at his alma mater, Dartmouth College.
May donated his handwritten first draft and illustrated mock-up to Dartmouth before his death at age 71 in 1976, and his family later added to what has become a large collection of Rudolph-related documents and merchandise, including a life-sized papier-mache reindeer that now stands among the stacks at the Rauner Special Collections Library. But May's scrapbook about the book's launch and success went unnoticed until last year, when Dartmouth archivist Peter Carini came across it while looking for something else.
"No one on staff currently knew we had it. I pulled it out and all the pieces started falling out. It was just a mess," Carini said.
The scrapbook, which has since been restored and cataloged, includes May's list of possible names for his story's title character — from Rodney and Rollo to Reginald and Romeo. There's a map showing how many books went to each state and letters of praise from adults and children alike.
The scrapbook also chronicles the massive marketing campaign Montgomery Ward launched to drum up newspaper coverage of the book giveaway and its efforts to promote it within the company.
Near the front of the scrapbook is a large colored poster instructing Montgomery Ward stores about how to order and distribute the book. An illustration of Rudolph sweeps across the page, his name written in ornate script. There are exclamation points galore. "The rollinckingest, rip-roaringest, riot-provokingest, Christmas give-away your town has ever seen!" ''A laugh and a thrill for every boy and girl in your town (and for their parents, too!)"
Rudolph is described as "the perfect Christmas crowd-bringer," if stores follow a few rules, including giving the book only to children accompanied by adults. "This will limit 'street urchin' traffic to a minimum, and will bring in the PARENTS ... the people you want to sell!"
The response was overwhelming — at a time when a print-run of 50,000 books was considered a best-seller, the company gave away more than 2 million copies that first year and by the following year was selling an assortment of Rudolph-themed toys and other items.
But lest this become a story about corporate greed, it should be noted that in 1947, Montgomery Ward took the unusual step of turning over the copyright to the book to May, who was struggling financially after the death of his first wife.
"He then made several million dollars using that in various ways, through the movie, the song, merchandising and things like that," Carini said. "I think it's a great story because it shows how corporations used to think of themselves as part of civil society and how much that has changed."
May eventually left Montgomery Ward to essentially manage Rudolph's career, which really took off after May's brother-in-law Johnny Marks wrote the song (made famous by Gene Autry in 1949), and the release of a stop-motion animated television special in 1964.
Both the song and movie depart significantly from May's original plot, however. In May's story, Rudolph doesn't live at the North Pole or grow up aspiring to pull Santa's sleigh — he lives in a reindeer village and Santa discovers him while filling Rudolph's stocking on a foggy Christmas Eve.
"And you," Santa tells Rudolph, "May yet save the day! Your wonderful forehead may yet pave the way!'"
May's story is written in verse, similar to "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore, and opens, "'Twas the day before Christmas and all through the hills/ The reindeer were playing ... enjoying the spills."
"It's lovely to hear it read out loud, it really comes alive," Virginia Herz, one of May's daughters, said in a phone interview this week.
As a small child, Herz, who declined to reveal her age, didn't think there was anything unusual about growing up in a house surrounded by Rudolph merchandise. It wasn't until she was older that she realized her father's job of "taking care of Rudolph" was a bit different. She tells her grandchildren that their great-grandpa wrote a story about Rudolph, not that he created the character.
"As I child, that's how I felt. I knew my dad had written a wonderful book about Rudolph and now there were Rudolph toys and other things all around us," she said. "But it was no different than the guy next door who sold cars, or the guy down the street who was a painting contractor."
She acknowledges the myths that have become entwined in Rudolph's history — including the notion that May wrote the story as a Christmas gift for his older daughter, Barbara, when his wife was dying of cancer and that a Montgomery Ward manager "caught wind of the little storybook." In reality, Montgomery Ward assigned May to write a Christmas book around the same time his wife was ill, Herz said.
''What's out there on the Internet is a softer telling," she said. "My dad was aware of it and considered it appropriate. There's the softer, romantic version and the more fact-based version."
Herz said her father would be thrilled to see how his creation and its many incarnations have become part of American culture.
"I think he would be startlingly amazed," she said. "It really is an eternal part of Christmas. He would have been amazed."


I found the story of Rudolph very interesting...wouldn't it be great if corporations would bring back some of that  mentality of being part of "Civil Society"..!!?



Wednesday, December 21, 2011





Today my Bestie and I had our annual Holiday gathering of exchanging gifts and then dinner.  This year was no exception Kathy surprising me with gifts that are so me....the first picture below I am holding a Cupcake Timer from her daughter, Amy.  The second picture is a Lantern Post from Kathy to which quickly found a home on my Fireplace Hearth. I had a strand of Rice Lights I had picked up a while back and knew they would be the perfect final touch to the Lantern Post. I gifted Kathy the Sock Snowman and Ladies I made along with some homemade goodies.  Kathy LOVES snowmen! Her home totally reflects her love for Mr and Mrs Frosty...








The lit tree to the right is a Norfolk Pine I purchased this Holiday Season and decorated for Christmas.  I will keep the lights on and place it in my Sun Room after Christmas.  Since our beloved Yorkie, Pete is no longer with us I am able to once again have plants in the Sun Room. Pete claimed the Sun Room as part of his territory and he was not fond of anything "green" in this part of his domain...  I tried many many times over the years with different plants in this area only to be reminded by Pete he did not like the "green" stuff..!  He even chewed a wicker planter I had an artificial plant in..!  I guess he figured if he can't kill the plant, he'll kill the planter..to which he did!  But, I wouldn't have traded him for any plant or planter and miss him every day..especially this time of year. Pete had his own matching family Christmas Stocking and that stinker knew on Christmas morning he got goodies also from Santa..!  

It's hard to believe in a few days  Christmas will be here...

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, December 19, 2011


Sock Snowmen and Snow-ladies....


This craft of Sock Snowmen and Snow-ladies was so easy and fun to make.  And very inexpensive, which is a win for me!  I'll link the post for complete instructions at the bottom of this post.  








So Easy...!! 


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Flash Mob performs the Hallelujah Chorus at the Lancaster Central Market


I wish I had been at Lancaster Central Market yesterday when the
"Flash Mob" was there...!!
In the Midst of the singing was my Son's Middle School Music Teacher...
I recognized him immediately....my son not so fast when I showed him the video;/ response was, "Mom, seriously..that was what? 9 years ago!!".....Son, 9 years ago really is NOT that long ago when it comes to memory...Geezz 

Enjoy the Video!!! 


Wednesday, December 14, 2011



Cinnammmmonnnn, Please...!!

This Cinnamon Spread is just.....finger lip smackin good!



If you ever had the Cinnamon Butter served at the Texas Roadhouse, this spread comes very very close to same yummy recipe.  

Warning:  You must eat topped on a warm piece of homemade bread, warm muffin or toasted bagel..
*you get the idea:)
This spread would be great for any time of the year and event, no matter how big or small.

Recipe

1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

I mixed the cinnamon and nutmeg together with the brown sugar...making sure brown sugar is free of ALL lumps... I then added the soft butter and mixed well with mixer until very smooth and fluffy.  Chill and serve over warm bread....


I was able to find a set of four small round plastic containers with lids at the Dollar Store..they worked great for storing this spread and also look quite nice for Gift Giving.  I actually made two pounds of this recipe at one time and divided the spread into the containers.  With each container I will add a fresh loaf of baked bread.  The loaf will be pre-sliced and packaged in a clear heavy plastic food bag to ensure freshness should the receiver want to freeze the bread.  Freezing the bread is the smart thing to do if your like me and do not eat bread everyday....

The one recipe I have left on my list to bake for the Holiday Season is a batch of Lemon Cookies with a Lemon Glazed Icing.  I wanted this cookie to be as fresh as possible for Gift Giving.

Thanks for stopping by...
K
 





Tuesday, December 13, 2011



Marshmallow Heaven...

My blogger friend, Christine over at "Wash, Fold, Put Away and Repeat" posted this Homemade Marshmallow Recipe and I knew I had to try it!!

See recipe below...






3 packages unflavored gelatin (1 box has for packets inside)
1 cup ice cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch

Nonstick spray

Prepare a 13x9" pan by spraying with nonstick spray and dusting with confectioner's sugar and cornstarch. Reserve the remaining sugar/cornstarch mixture.

Empty gelatin into mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment. Pour 1/2 cup of the cold water over the gelatin.

Stir 1/2 cup of cold water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes and attach a candy thermometer.


Once the mixture reaches 240F (almost 10 min), quickly remove it from the heat and pour into the mixer with the gelatin. Turn the mixer on the lowest setting until the gelatin and sugar are combined.

Increase the mixer speed to its highest setting until the mixture is unbelievably thick. This will take up to 15 minutes depending on the mixer. Add the vanilla and whip to combine.







Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.






Dust the top with confectioner's sugar. Let it sit for 3 hours (I let mine sit over night since it was getting late). The longer, the better.

Turn the mixture out onto a cutting board. ...one that has been heavily dusted with even more confectioner's sugar and corn starch. Prepare a bowl of several tablespoons of cornstarch and confectioner's sugar. Set aside. Using a knife or metal cutter dusted with cornstarch or confectioner's sugar, slice the marshmallows. Place individual marshmallows into the bowl and turn to coat. Store in a zip lock bag or glass jar.




The only thing I would do different...
Make a Double Batch!!

I saved all the left over pieces for ME..!!!






Monday, December 12, 2011




Santa came early this past weekend......



I came home after a fun filled Saturday to my Christmas Gift of a new microwave from my Favorite Son..!!  The microwave that was replaced had a long life span of 26 years, it was time to retire it to the waste management facility that cost me $10.00 for them to safely dispose of it...

Saturday started very busy at the Salon and ending with a Birthday Party for my Niece's little Sweetie, Miss Aubree...Miss Aubree had her 1st Birthday Party on Saturday, and I have to say that I have not ever been to a child's 1st party where the child really did enjoy themselves the entire time..!!!  Aubree was so happy during the entire party, never tiring or becoming grumpy or "done" with the party and cake thing...!!  

Below are a few pictures of Miss Aubree during her first Birthday Party, you be the judge of her excitement and charm:)



Birthday Girl is Stylin..

Aunt Kathy and Miss Aubree


This smile was seen through out the party..!!

Stylin a new hat


Opening Aunt Kathy's Gift



"Around The Farm Animal Sounds" Book
 My personal trend has been for many years, to gift an educational book that is age appropriate.  Miss Aubree also received a Red Ruffled Sweater from Aunt Kathy which was quickly placed back into the package by her mother, I wasn't fast enough to get a picture...

Look at that smile



Yes, I think Miss Aubree had a fun first Birthday...!



*I think our church needs a new highchair;/

Thursday, December 8, 2011



 Let The Festivities Start...





 Baking preparations for my annual Christmas party at church...



Serious baking took place yesterday with finishing touches completed today...
One large Chocolate cake with PB Frosting, Two cakes in form of Christmas Trees with one being chocolate with PB Frosting and the other a yellow cake with PB Chocolate Frosting.  Five dozen of cupcakes with the PB or Cream Cheese Frosting and Brownie Cupcakes with a Cream Cheese Frosting...
All will be given as prizes during the party, except for the Large Chocolate cake which will be put on the buffet table for dessert..

After this week, I can finish my craft for gift given and prepare my Christmas package which heads south, destination..Texas!  Three special kiddos watch and wait for that package to arrive every year...:)

Enjoy this special time of the year, it's a bit hectic but so much fun..!!



Sunday, December 4, 2011


December is such a busy time of year with shopping, decorating and baking.  And lets not forget the fun holiday get-togethers.  This year I truly feel as though I have an early handle on the busy month a head.  My holiday craft items have been purchased to which I will start to construct this week for gift giving.  Shopping has been started with little to be done for completion, along with knitting and holiday cookie baking.  Saturday I mixed double batches of chocolate and peanut butter blossoms, and sand tart cookie dough.  Today (Sunday) my bestest friend and I started baking around noon the dough I had prepared, along with two different chocolate chip dough recipes Kathy (bestie) brought to bake.  The afternoon of baking was so relaxing as we chatted away catching up on the happenings of our busy lives....I must confess, having prepared the dough a day or two a head of time really is the way to do a massive day of baking.  For the large amount of cookies baked and a few short breaks, our total time was about 6 hours from start to finish.  The key, prepare ahead and be organized the day of baking.  Also, plan and make a light lunch that can be eaten as you work, this cuts the munching down on all those yummy cookies you've baked and suffering later with an outrageous sugar high:) 

We were so busy baking not many pictures were taken, but I did manage a few...
below is Kathy and I with a pan of chocolate chip, Kathy's recipe of dark chewy and light chewy with walnuts.  Her chocolate chip cookie recipe is one of the Best I have ever tasted...!!




Pictured are the dark chewy chocolate chip and chocolate blossoms..


After the baking was done....a little Wine to enjoy!


We both have enough cookies to start the season off with sharing and gifting.  I have a Lemon Cookie topped with a lemon glaze I will be making this week sometime.  I also will be baking mid week for our annual Christmas Party at Church for this coming Friday.  I donate several different flavors of baked goods as prizes/gifts for those who win door prizes and games we play during the party.  The Christmas Holiday Season gives me a good reason to bake and do all the fun things I so enjoy doing...


I'm hoping to attend a Christmas Concert also during the holiday season.  There is just something about a concert of all your favorite Christmas Carols being sung by a Chorus...
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this magical time of year..!









Thursday, November 24, 2011

Post Turkey Dinner

The beautiful flowers were a gift from my cousin Patti....

The table after all the preparations and Thanksgiving Dinner is done for another year!
I LOVE Thanksgiving...it's that one day of the year you prepare all your favorite dishes and desserts, and enjoy them with family and friends...
Some years you have more at the table and some years a little less, but it's all the same in the true spirit of giving Thanks...And with each year that comes and soon passes, I have so much to be thankful for..!!

Now it's time to get in the Holiday Spirit of Christmas...
I have started my Christmas shopping...Yes, I most certainly have!

I've really scaled back over the years with the amount I gift, as in quantity to one person.  My mother was one to know exactly what one liked and shopped all year long for Christmas gifts.  If she was out and about, found something appropriate to one's personal likes or taste, she snatched it up and saved it for Christmas.  I have a tendency to do the same.. it saves you a lot of last minute shopping and searching.  My big down fall shopping all year long is remembering what I already had purchased and sometimes where I hid it....:)

Here are a few great Black Friday deals for the Kitchen featured at

Regularly $55, it’s $28.99 on Amazon...
 I've had my eye on one of these Immersion Hand Blenders for quite some time, but wasn't liking the cost.
I'm Glad I waited..and I got FREE shipping..!!
Merry Christmas to ME..:)

If your venturing out to take advantage of the specials and savings for Black Friday,
be safe and have fun!!






Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Today was, purchase the Turkey Day..
I came home with a big boy of 20 pounds!

This Thanksgiving will be a mixture of friends and family at the table. I love to cook and fill the table with those who enjoy to eat:)

My stuffing and desserts are made and safely tucked away in my deep freezer, except for a chocolate cream  pie, which I will prepare the day before Turkey Day. I am all for preparing what food can be prepared a head of time so the day itself is not so over whelming and pleasant for all, cook included!

Don't you just love Turkey Day??!!

The one day of the year you can eat til you bust and not feel guilty!!






Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pumpkin Cheese Muffins







Filling:
  • 8 oz. / 250 gr cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Muffins:
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger

Topping:  Optional....I did not top my muffin
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts



Directions:
  1. For filling...combine cream cheese, sugar and egg in small bowl and mix well until smooth.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine oil and sugars.  
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Mix in pumpkin puree.
  5. Combine all the dry ingredients; add to batter and mix just until incorporated.
  6. Grease muffin puns.
  7. Put a spoonful of batter in the bottom of each muffin well (less than 1/3 full).
  8. Drop a rounded teaspoon of cream cheese filling in the center of each muffin.
  9. Top with remaining batter, spreading to cover cream cheese completely.
  10. Sprinkle with crumb topping if desire
  11. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes

This was my first time using the muffin/cupcake mold from Pampered Chef...
I wasn't sure how the muffins would turn out, I must say...
I am thrilled with the results and form of the muffin from the mold!



I placed the muffins into the Tulip Paper Cups I had on hand,
these worked fantastic with the round bottoms that formed from using the mold...








 Using the Tulip Papers enabled the muffins to stand on their own with the round bottoms..
YAY...I am very pleased with the outcome and the taste..
Two Thumbs Up!!
 This container is ready for delivery to a family member who has been hospitalized for the past week...
She has her certificate in Culinary, I hope my Muffins pass the test;)





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