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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Snickerdoodles...


It's no secret, I love cookies!! Elizabeth, unfortunately, has the same gene in her body- the Cookie Monster gene!!!! It's just something we must bear, I suppose. Sigh.

Smile.

To cope? We bake, of course!!! And as much as we enjoy baking, we also enjoy giving them away, too!! Keep a few for yourself and gift a neighbor with a few!! Fun!!

These Snickerdoodles are WONDERFUL!!! Thanks to Smitten Kitchen for providing such an incredible recipe!! They were still crispy the day after we baked!! YUM!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Whoopie Cookies...


I do realize that most people that eat these little lovelies call them Whoopie Pies. However, I make them small, so we refer to them as Whoopie Cookies around here.

These are T-R-O-U-B-L-E, I'm telling ya! Don't say I didn't warn you!!!!!


Whoopie Cookies

Cookie:
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup hot water
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Frosting:
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 T milk

To make the cookies, heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, stir together flour and cocoa and set aside. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water and then add the milk and set aside. In another bowl, beat the shortening and sugar with a mixer until fluffy. Add the egg and beat another minute. Mix in half of the dry ingredients and then half of the wet ingredients; repeat.

Drop the batter by heaping teaspoons, about 2 inches apart, onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool thoroughly before removing from cookie sheet and make sure they are completely cooled before icing.

For the frosting, use a mixer and cream the butter, shortening, vanilla and powdered sugar until fluffy. Add the milk, 1 T at a time until the frosting has a creamy consistency.

Fill the flat side of the cookies with frosting and put two together to form a sandwich cookie.

Makes 2 dozen. And BOY do they disappear FAST!!!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fall Surprises...

Almost 3 years ago, I asked y'all to help me with the name of a flower that suddenly popped up in my yard. Tammy was smart enough to google it and found out that it was a Spider Lily!! I never planted any of these, but one just suddenly popped up in 2006!!

Lo and behold, y'all! It's happened again!! The Spider Lily wasn't here in 2007 or 2008 but this year it not only popped up again, but it brought friends!!!! Look!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mushroom Beef Pizza....


When I make homemade pizza, this is the one that Mr. U requests- Mushroom Beef. Yum.

The dough? I don't make the pizza dough in the bread machine anymore (I got rid of it about a year ago)- I prefer to mix it by hand. Same recipe ingredients, I just mix it all together then I knead it by hand for about 3 minutes, put it in an oiled pan to rise until doubled and then shape into pizza.

The sauce? Oh, the sauce is best if made a few hours before so all the flavors can come together. Seriously good.

The topping? Sautee 1 pound of ground beef and then drain. In the same pan, toss in a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil and let the butter melt. Add fresh chopped mushrooms and toss to coat. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and you're done in about a minute.

The order? Roll out your pizza dough in your pan (which you have lightly sprinkled with cornmeal so that it doesn't stick) and then spread with the sauce. Next even distribute the cooked beef and sauteed mushrooms. Top with the cheese of your choice- ours this day was fresh mozzarella and a lot of it!!! Bake in a 450 degree oven until the edges are brown and the cheese is melted- about 15 minutes. (But REMEMBER that ovens vary!! Be sure and watch your pizza carefully!!!!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I love my slow cooker!!



I don't know about y'all, but I LOOOVE my slow cooker (or crock-pot, whichever you prefer to call it). Not too long ago, I discovered A Year of Slow Cooking. Y'all GO CHECK IT OUT!!! She's got some seriously yummy recipes on her site AND she created a cookbook, too!!!!

And if any of y'all try her recipes out, let me know how they turn out!!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ceiling fans.... oh my....

I can NOT believe I am going to show y'all these photos.

Oh dear.

All summer long we've kept the ceiling fans on. If we turn them off, it's usually because we are leaving the house. So who ever noticed they were dirty? And BOY are they dirty!! Just look!!!!!!!!!!!!!


(Go ahead... click on it! You know you want to see that icky dirt up close!!!!)


And this is the dust that came off ONE ceiling fan!!!!




WHY am I showing y'all these horrifying photos?? So that this scene is NOT repeated in YOUR home!!!! Do your family a favor and go right now and look at your ceiling fans and see if they are dirty. If so, CLEAN THEM!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATE: Y'all!!! Mrs. B just left a comment and said "
One thing that I've found that helps is to polish them with furniture polish and then the dust doesn't seem to stick to them as easily." What an EXCELLENT tip!! Thank you, Mrs. B!!!!!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Italian Polenta Cookies...



These cookies from Martha Stewart are wonderful!!! The photo above is how Martha says to shape them, but I got tired of doing it that way and decided to roll them into balls and smoosh them with the bottom of a glass so they look like this...



Oops! Looks like someone snuck a little bite there!

No matter how you shape these, they are TASTY!!!! The texture reminds me of a pecan sandy but the flavor is slightly sweet with just a hint of lemon. Perfect!!!!

Italian Polenta Cookies
(from Martha Stewart)


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Italian polenta or coarse yellow cornmeal*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, polenta, and salt in a bowl.

Put butter, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add egg and egg yolk, one at a time, beating after each addition to combine. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 7/16-inch star tip (such as Ateco #825).

Pipe S shapes about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide, spacing 1 ½ inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Chill in freezer until dough is firm about 30 minutes. Bake cookies until edges are golden, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies on parchment to wire racks; let cool about 10 minutes. Remove cookies from parchment, and transfer to racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

*I ground my corn meal fresh and used that instead of polenta. YUM!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Things for today...

Is it Friday already? Why didn't the week fly by this quickly when I used to work fulltime outside the home????

We are LOVING the cooler temperatures that have settled in our area this week. For all I know, it could be back in the upper 90s next week, so we're definitely going to enjoy this while we can!! Windows are all wide open- FRESH AIR!!!

A cute little kitty cat wondered up to our church Wednesday night after church. Two different families said they would take her home Sunday if she was still here. So what's our family to do? Well, feed her of course!! Elizabeth LOVED discovering her still here this morning.




Mr. U and I are finishing up our homestudy work today. My most dreaded task, the scrapbook, is almost ready. I know, I know, most of y'all probably LOVE scrapbooking, but not me. I'm doing my best with our portfolio, though, because I know some sweet girl will see them one day and, hopefully, choose our family for the child she is carrying.

Some friends of ours are having a housewarming party this weekend. Hmmm. What kind of gift should we take to a housewarming party? Any ideas?

On today's menu is Sausage Lentil Soup and French bread with a dipping sauce that reminds me SOOOOO much of Carrabba's!! I'll be sure and share those recipes later on!!

I've got a little tidying to do today and then I'll vacuum tomorrow night and wipe down bathrooms quickly. I do love to take care of our home.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!! Make time to be in the Word!!!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A late summer surprise...

We were outside earlier today enjoying the WONDERFUL mid 70s weather we're having. I knew I smelled a heavenly scent!!! Sure enough, on the far end of the house, our gardenia bush is blooming again!! I LOVE when flowers surprise me by blooming unexpectantly!!


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Give This Christmas Away....

It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts- especially when it involves Samaritan's Purse and Operation Christmas Child.

I'm sure many of y'all are already involved in making shoeboxes each year, but if not, please watch the video and then head over to Samaritan's Purse and read how you, your family and your church can get involved this year.

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