Create your dreams every day...

Create your dreams every day...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fingerless Gloves, what's the point?

OK---initially I had the same thought, too. Why in the world would you want a pair of Fingerless Gloves? Didn't make sense to me, either. You wear gloves to keep your hands warm, and with nothing to put your fingers into, they are going to freeze! While I definitely wouldn't advise wearing them while trying to build a snowman, I do have some uses in mind.

  • Great for typing when you need some extra warmth!

  • How about driving, easier to change the radio dial.

  • In the car, answering your iPhone (not while driving, of course!)

  • Easier to use the camera for outdoor photo shoots! (as demonstrated above)
These were a quick, easy knit! And, they match my red coat. Love 'em! Off to scrapbook, just got some goodies in the mail. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate.....

Now that I have your attention...Peanut Butter and Chocolate make quite the combo, don't you think! These cookies are so easy, I don't really think you could call this a recipe. We always include these in our holiday baking and this year will be no exception. I only had two left to photograph because I forgot to take the pic before I put them in the freezer. In case you need a reminder, here's the directions.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough (I use ready-made)
Small Reece's Peanut Butter Cups
Spray Oil
Lightly oil small muffin pan. Slice cookie dough into 1 inch thick pieces, then cut each piece into 4 smaller pieces. Place each chunk in muffin pan. Bake as directed on dough package. When cookies puff up and are lightly browned, remove from oven. Quickly press unwrapped peanut butter cup into center of each cookie. Let cool before removing from pan. You can place them in the fridge for a bit to hasten cooling time.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bet ya can't eat just one.....

This is my all time favorite cookie, the Spritz. A double-batch is sharing space in the freezer with the Snickerdoodles and the Chocolate, Chocolate Chip. I just hope I can save them long enough to share them with my family at Christmas time. If I eat them now, that would defeat the purpose of "baking ahead", right? This recipe came from "Betty Crocker's Cooky Book." It's an easy one to double!
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/12 tsp. salt
1 tsp. almond flavoring
2 1/4 cups flour
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, salt, and flavoring thoroughly. Work in flour. Using 1/4 dough at a time, force dough through a cooky press on ungreased baking sheet in desired shapes. Bake 6 to 9 minutes, or until set but not brown. Makes about 5 dozen cookies. Enjoy!

Away from home....

This layout was put together about a week ago. The pics were taken right after KK and his girlfriend moved into their very first apartment. I remember driving all the way to Pittsburgh that day in the POURING DOWN RAIN! Dear hubby had endured some oral surgery the day before, and wasn't in the "all clear" to drive yet. We took the kids to lunch, bought groceries, purchased a new lamp for the living room and just hung out for a while. I have vague memories of moving into my first apartment, (back in the 70's!), but no photos or scrapbook pages. It would have been fun to look back on them now, to remember more of the details. So.......being the scrappin' maniac I am, I wanted to make a page for KK to have to add to his "stack" of memories.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Little, Tiny Baby Caps....

These tiny baby caps are going to travel far, far away, but they are going to a great cause. Right before Thanksgiving I read a post on "One More Moore" about making baby caps for Haiti newborns out of recycled t-shirts. I thought it was a unique way to donate my sewing talents, plus they were made out of something that all of us already own hanging in our own closets. They were so easy to make--the bottom of the cap is the bottom hem of the t-shirt, all you had to do was cut them out and sew up the sides! The first mail-in date was early December, so I didn't have time to make as many as I wanted. I'm watching for another deadline date, hopefully it will be after Christmas! You can read more about it "here".

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

These are so easy.....

I have to give credit to Becky Higgins ( for this recipe. She featured it on her blog a couple of weeks ago. These cookies were so easy to make, and they are so tasty. I tried them once with white chocolate chips, and once with mint chocolate chips. They're very easy and so yummy, they stay really moist for several days--if they last that long!!
1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 c. oil (I prefer olive oil)
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes. Yield: About 3 dozen cookies

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Little Yarn...

I mentioned in a previous post about finding a cute little knit shop when we went to Eureka Springs for our anniversary. The tiny shop butted up against the drive beside our cottage. I had just enough room between the side of the building and the passenger's side of the car to get into our vehicle.

The owner was so sweet and helpful. She showed me around and gave me time to browse. There was even a large, comfy "hubby" chair with reading material to keep my other half happy and occupied while I was drooling over all of the colors and textures on the shelves. One of my purchases is pictured above. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I really liked the colors and the "thick and thin" texture of the yarn. I ended up knitting a very quick scarf using a ribbing stitch, then I added some fringe at the ends to show off the reason why I purchased it in the first place.
I bought the cool needles there, too. Aren't they fun?! After knitting a couple of evenings in a row, this is what I came up with. I've already worn it to work twice, it keeps me extra toasty!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cookie Time!

One of my favorite cookies, to eat and to bake, is Snickerdoodles. They're easy and quick, use regular ingredients I always have on hand, and they freeze well. Snickerdoodles are always included in my holiday baking and are a big hit when we go on car trips, especially our annual "Girl's Trip". The following recipe was taken from my "Betty Crocker's Cooky Book" I mentioned in my previous post.


1 cup shortening (part butter or margarine)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cram of tartar
1 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and eggs thoroughly. Blend flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt; stir in. Shape dough into 1" balls. Roll in mixture of 2 tbsp. sugar and cinnamon. Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 min. These cookies puff up at first, then flatten out. Makes 6 dozen cookies. Note: You can use self-rising flour, just omit cream of tartar, soda, and salt. If the bottom of the cookies are browning too fast (because of the cinnamon) turn oven down 10-15 degrees after the first batch. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A word (or two) about cookies....

I love cookies! I love to bake them, smell them, eat them, share them. There's just something very comforting to me about cookies. Home-baked ones, of course. Now don't get me wrong, store bought will do in a pinch. (Uh, think Robin + Famous Amos!) But seriously, there's just something really special about a warm, gooey, fresh out-of-the oven cookie! Do you ever bake cookies on a Saturday morning and find them all gone by the end of the day? Yeah, me too. One of my favorite cookie cookbooks is "Betty Crocker's Cooky Book". It's a softbound, 156 page treasure! I'm not sure how long I've owned it, at least 20 years. I remember buying it at a school book fair one year when I was teaching. You can tell by the worn cover how much it has been used! It's my favorite go-to recipe book when I'm looking for something sweet to bake. Some of our family favorites come from this book, like Spritz Cookies and Snickerdoodles. I should have these recipes memorized, I've made them so many times. But you can tell by the stained, worn pages that I still turn to them over and over again. My favorite time of the year to bake is during the holidays, and that time has arrived. Since we're expecting a new grandbaby this holiday season, I'm trying to be more prepared by baking ahead of time and freezing what I can. Guess what I baked today? How 'bout I show you in my next post! Hubby is working on my computer, so I haven't had the chance to load my pics today. Yeah, cookies!!!

My Turkey Report....

I realize this is a little late, but I just haven't had the time or energy to update since hubby got home from Mumbai. Things are finally settling back down now, so here we go........ I promised to report back on how the Thanksgiving turkey turned out. As I mentioned in a previous post, I tried a new turkey brine this year, and it turned out really yummy! Last year was the first time I tried a turkey brine. To tell you the truth--I'd never even heard of brining a turkey! I'd always just popped it into a large cooking bag, and let the oven do the rest. Easy enough! Anyway, last year I saw a recipe that sounded interesting over on Pioneer Woman's blog,, and decided to try it out. It's certainly not as easy as marinating chicken breast, but it was worth the wrestle. I usually cook 1-2 pounds of chicken at once---but my turkey weighed 20 pounds, and hubby wasn't home to help lift it! It wasn't a pretty sight to watch, but it turned out really tasty! Here's the recipe, for next year of course, if you're interested.

1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 cup kosher salt
1 1/2 gallons water

Combine the orange juice concentrate, orange slices, lemon slices, lime slices, thyme, pepper, garlic, bay leaves, salt, and water in a large stockpot; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. (Adding ice cubes will hasten this step.)
Wash and dry your turkey. Make sure you have removed the innards. Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Place the bucket (I used a large cooking bag and placed it in my roasting pan) in the refrigerator. Allow turkey to marinate 1 to 2 days before cooking. (I left mine in for 24 hours) remove the turkey carefully. Drain and discard the excess brine and pat dry.
Cook the turkey as desired reserving the drippings for gravy. Keep in mind that brined turkeys cook 20 to 30 minutes faster. (recipe from

I'm a little behind....

I'm sorry to be so late updating hubby's ordeal. He's home and he's safe! It's been crazy busy since he got home.I'll try my best to review.

  • After being taken safely back to their hotel, they were there to stay until they could get a flight to return home. As I mentioned earlier, his hotel was under tight security, with extra guards in place, so he felt fairly safe. With no where else to go, he spent most of the evening on Wednesday and all day Thursday in his room, only venturing out twice to eat at one of the restaurants on the premises. He didn't even order his "Thanksgiving" dinner on Thursday, he had salmon!
  • He had access to some of the news stations and India newspapers, but as we compared notes, there were several "reports" that differed. So, we really weren't sure how accurate any of the news accounts were.
  • After meeting with security officials they made the decision to get flights as soon as possible to return home. They would be starting home Saturday morning, India time. He would arrive in Tulsa Saturday evening, our time. (When he realized he would be home in time to watch the OU game on TV he was so excited, what a bonus!) The airport was 20 miles from where they were staying, about half-way between the hotel and the city. Thankfully, they sent security with them again on their drive to the airport. The airport was packed with people trying to leave the area. Reporters even tried to interview hubby, but he gracefully declined! His original tickets were booked for first class, but having to change to an earlier flight home, all they could get was coach--but, what are ya gonna do?
  • Flying 24 hours "coach" made for a loooooong flight home, but he was so glad to touch down in Tulsa. He has taken a whole week to recover. I think the ordeal took a lot more of him than he realized at the time. Hopefully, he'll be back to himself by Monday!
  • Because he arrived and left his office in the dark--very few photos! Cameras weren't allowed in the workplace, so he left it in the safe in his hotel room. Because of his cancelled "excursion" into the city--no photo opportunities there. He was in Mumbai for 2 weeks and only got 30 pictures! Can you imagine my response? An avid scrapbooker sends the camera with hubby all the way to India and he comes home with only 30 pics! After giving him a really hard time, I have to say I totally understood why he didn't get more. He did get pictures around the hotel, one of the motorized rickshaw, and 2 of the Mumbai airport! I guess the good thing about it is, it won't take me very long to document his trip!!

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