Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas

Hello My Friends..!
It's the Last Weekend to get those last minute gifts... 

Thank goodness my shopping is complete.  The internet is the best invention, EVER!
I use Amazon alot for shopping and Christmas Time is no exception.  It's wonderful being able to review an item and read reviews before making a purchase.  I have only had to return one item in the past several years shopping with Amazon and have been very pleased with the many purchases I made.  My son has Prime Shipping due to his job, if there is an item with high shipping costs he will use his Prime Account and save me the shipping costs.  A win-win..!

Here are a few homemade gifts I made for this years Holiday Gift Giving...

 I made these illuminated jar with personal pictures on them for those I am gifting to.
Very easy...I used Vellum Paper, chose a picture from  my computer and printed.  Then I cut the picture down to size and wrapped around the jar sealing it with Mog Podge....I placed a battery operated flicker candle inside. You can also place a small votive candle inside and burn.

 The blotchy look on the jar is a frosted look I wanted created with the Mog Podge.  The look turned out to my liking, it does look much better than in the pictures.

 Here are some Mason Jars I spruced up a bit.  I took labels I had or downloaded them to which I customized them, mod podged them onto the jars and also gave the jars an all over Frosted Look...The lids I spray painted black.  Put some labels on with a very thin rope and filled with Tea, Coffee or my Homemade Cocoa.
 This jar is a very Old Jar I purchased at my Aunt and Uncles Auction.  I gifted this to my Besties' Daughter filled with Cocoa.  These jars can be used as a storage container and displayed on the counter.

 This label is one I personally created..

 I made a Card Holder for a few friends and family members. 
Clothes Pins made Prim on one side and clipped to a thick rope tied off and looped at the ends...

Lastly I made some homemade Cranberry Almond Biscotti

This was my first time making Biscotti and I am very pleased with the outcome.
It's perfect..! The taste, splendid!
And it was much easier to make than I had anticipated..

 That's all I have for now...I was able to gift 6 people with my homemade items...
I hope they enjoy them..:)

If your out and about shopping this weekend, please take caution and be safe....!
There are people and cars...EVERYWHERE!

Have a very Blessed and Wonderful

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Making Sweets With A Sweet Boy

The Saturday after Thanksgiving has become an annual cookie baking day with my Bestie and very good friend from way back in elementary school.  We each prepare a double batch of cookie dough of whichever cookie recipe we wish to bake and bring the dough(s) along with containers to my home for a full day of baking, eating, drinking and many many laughs....
Fortunately I have a very workable kitchen for cooking and baking with my "make to order" oak kitchen table having 10 boards.  I think we used 4 this year... :)

Our Holiday Cookie Menu:

PB Blossoms
Chocolate Chip-Plain and with Nuts
Old Fashion Raisin Cookies
Decorated Sugar Cookies 

We get better with organization with each much fun! 
I make a large pot of Chili to munch on throughout the day so we have something other than sweet cookies in our bellies.  The Chili helps to balance it out a bit...;)

Later in the day we had a very special little visitor who decorated his own Sugar Cookies. Son's little buddy who is 14 months and very bright and active.  I forgot how much energy these little guys have at that age, but we so enjoy him and love when he comes for visits.

Here are a few pictures of the Holiday Baking...I hope you enjoy!

As you can see by the photos, we all had a fun time...
Especially Sam!
He decorated and then tasted a little and then a little more.

Sam's hair style is due to him being cleaned up quickly by Mommy after he ate his supper before decorating and taste testing...
Uncle Jere had Sam trying every different spoon in the drawer to eat his Ravioli with , from his own toddler spoons to full size spoons. 
Needless to say, Uncle Jere was having just as much fun as Sam trying to decide which utensil worked the best.  

We finished up around 5 o'clock with the last of the baking. 
Then we ate some more chili, drank some wine and relaxed a bit.

What are your favorite holiday cookies and do you bake each year?

Thanks for stopping by and remember to slow down and enjoy this crazy time of year..!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

 This is how my day ended...with a piece of my Grandmother Myers's 
Pumpkin Pie.  I must say, this year my pies are the most tastiest or I was so hungry for a piece of grandma's pumpkin pie I wanted to savor every bite. 

Everything was so delicious..
The fresh turkey from the poultry farm to the creamed corn.

We survived another year of a Thanksgiving Dinner Blessing.

I hope your day was filled with family and friends with an abundance of food and many blessings with many more to come..

Now comes the craziness the next few weeks of Holiday Shopping.
Thank goodness for  Cyber Shopping :)

Thanks for stopping by,


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Can't Stop Now.........

Hello Friends...! I know it's been a few weeks since I stopped by.  Life has been whizzing by so quickly with Events and getting ready for the Winter Months.  UGH...
You all know how much I dislike the Cold and Ice.  Love the beauty of the Snow, just not all that comes with it. 

A few things I've been up to.....Last Monday on Veterans Day, my cousins had an Auction for their parents home and all personal belongings.  That my friends, was a very difficult day!  My cousins, (brother and sister) have been planning for this sale for quite a while, knowing that it was inevitable and needed to be done.  My Aunt was my Father's Sister whom we All were close.  She passed several years ago and since then it's been a large void in our family.  My Uncle has moved to a Retirement Village where he is very comfortable and safe.  My cousin had asked me to be at the Sale for support, to which I had no reserves about attending.  We arrived about an hour before the sale and it really took me for a blow seeing all their family belongs scattered through out the lawn in the rear, side and front of the property.  The sale started promptly with household items, with the Property Auctioned at 12 noon.  There were 48 Couples at the first Open House, that did not include Singles.  The second Open House brought 23 Couples and a few Singles.  Plus a few private showings.  So we knew the Property was going to sell that day and more than a few wanted it.  The location of the Property is in my hometown of Lititz, PA (Coolest Small Town In America) and in a very upscale neighborhood.  Another plus, a nice corner lot....
The property did in deed sale that day..!  The highest bidder was a young female teacher.  She has been teaching in the Lancaster area for a few years with a lengthy commute.  My cousin was very please to hear this young teacher was the new owner, hence her daughter is about the same age and also a teacher to which my Aunt and Uncle were so proud.  
I was able to purchase their coffee table I really really wanted and hubs purchased my uncles 'like new' generator.  I also bartered with someone at the sale who purchased a box of many items.  He really only wanted one item in the box, leaving some Mason Jars I had my eye on.  I was able to get him down to 6.00 for 6 jars.  Two of the jars are the collector blue jars, one being worth about 25.00.  I'm going to clean them up, fill them with some sort of food and gift them for Christmas.  
After the sale, my cousins, hubs and I went to dinner to relax and reminisce our time spent at their parents home. It was a very bittersweet day...!  

This past weekend we attended a surprise Birthday Party.  The birthday boy was very was great meeting some new folks and bumping into a childhood friend/neighbor I haven't seen in many many years!  Such a small world....

This week we're having a Seafood dinner for a family member who is having a birthday soon and then it's getting ready for the big T-Day...! 

I hope your doing well and have a nice Thanksgiving Day....!  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friend Meeting Friend....

I had the pure pleasure of finally meeting my friend, Karen who I have come to know over the years through blogging. Karen's blog is...
 Karen is from Wisconsin and has family in Lancaster County which brings her and her husband to PA several times a year.  Karen Loves my hometown of Lititz!  We have tried several times to meet up when she was in the area, but with her busy schedule while she was here and mine the days were always cut too short for a meet up.  Finally, we made it happen!

Karen contacted me when she knew of her most recent plans coming to Lancaster.  We immediately agreed to meet for lunch in Lititz at A Tea Affair.  We were hoping for another blogger to join us, Teresa from Teresas Primitive Treasures . But unfortunately, Teresa was not able to break time!
My cousin Linda, however was also able to join us for High Tea.  This was Linda and Karen's  first time at A Tea Affair, so it was very exciting to share their first time experience with them. 

Here are a few photos of our Luncheon....

With Karen at Lunch

With Karen and my Cousin Linda
 We each had our Pot Of Tea...I think between the three of us, we had 6 different Teas. 
Our First Course was a Blueberry Muffin with Strawberry Jam.
Second Course was a fresh Salad and Soup.
Karen enjoying her Vegetable Soup

I chose the Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Our Tea Sandwiches and Desserts
 Our Third and Final Course of Tea Sandwiches and Desserts.

 We each brought our Desserts home, it is just so much food!

We had a very enjoyable time as we chatted and ate our scrumptious lunch.

My Hand Made Gift from Karen

Outside picture of A Tea Affair

Several outside tables and chairs make a very comfortable outside area

The day was so nice spending it with Linda and getting to know Karen on a more personal level.  We're hoping to meet up again during her next visit.
And the Santa she gave me, already has a home!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing our day at 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Recipe Pumpkin Pie Spice


This is a short FYI for those who suddenly find themselves in need of 
"Pumpkin Pie Spice" for a recipe and do not have the "Pumpkin Pie Spice" on hand.
Here is the Ratio and ingredients for the Pumpkin Spice:

For Each 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice:

  2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 

(Picture from Internet)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Caramel Chocolate Apples

As are the instructions to how I made my 
Caramel and Chocolate Apples.

Start with fresh apples that are uniform in size.  

 I purchased my apples from a local orchard where they were picked early morning
the day I purchased them.  Since they came directly from the orchard, there was no shine on them like you find on grocery store bought apples.
If you use apples with a shine, the shine must be removed first before coating them with the caramel and or chocolate.  This can be done by washing/soaking them in a vinegar bath and rinsing well with cold water.  Dry the apples completely, you do not want any moisture or water droplets to get into your caramel or chocolate.
Insert sticks of your choice. I also lined my Jelly Roll pans with parchment paper and taped down the sides on the under side of the pans.

 Time to melt the Caramel.  I used Caramel Bits, which are unwrapped. I found mine at Walmart in the candy isle.  They were very hard to find, but worth the time it took to find them.  I purchased 10 bags for 60 apples and used 9 bags with very little left.

 I recommend you use a large measuring cup to melt the caramel.
Follow the instructions on the package for melting with the microwave.

As you can see above, the caramel melted very nicely. And using the measuring cup,
the heat remained in the glass to keep the caramel at the right consistency for coating.
I took a spoon and scrapped off a good portion of the caramel from the bottom of the apple before placing on the pan.  The caramel will still pool a bit at the bottom but not as much if you scrap off the bottoms. 

After the caramel set for about 30 mins. I then melted my chocolate in another measuring cup in the microwave.  If you want to tint a white chocolate as I did,  you use an oil base food coloring.  Do not use the food coloring  you would use in cake batter.  Add the color after the chocolate has melted and mix well.
I used a plastic bottle to apply the chocolate on top of the apples. 
Here is a picture of the plastic bottle and funnel I filled with the chocolate

After I added the chocolate to a few apples, I placed chocolate morsels or peanuts on top of the chocolate.  If your working with Peanuts, I suggest you package those without peanuts first so no peanut dust or pieces get onto them.  So many people have sever peanut allergies....
I then did a thin drizzle with the chocolate from the plastic bottle.

Let them set for about two hours.  Do Not Put them in the refrigerator. 
The apples will sweat and have moisture on them.  That is not a good thing!

Gently pull them from the parchment paper and place them in a sturdy wrapper.
I found these on Amazon.

Here is the completed process wrapped and sealed.
The bags are 5X11. 
I made labels with a message from the Bride and Groom.  I placed the labels on the bags before I placed the apples inside. 
You can add a bow or any other decoration you wish along with the closure.
We opted to not add any additional closure.

Here is a picture of the Bride's very good friend and Significant.  They came early to the reception as we were setting out the Apples and this is what I saw when I turned around...Too funny!
The Apples were a huge hit...!  Guests were eating them at the reception to which I had many raves and compliments...!
I also was contacted from the Groom's Mother asking me if I could do an order for a personal friend of hers.  Unfortunately, I had to decline due to time constraints.
Next Time...

If your unsure of the instructions, please feel free to contact me...



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