Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Girls, Don't Let Your Snickerdoodles Roll"

" A merry heart does good like medicine.." New King James Version

I've had several friends ask me to put my Snickerdoodle recipe on the blog. First I think my title may need an explanation. For any of you who have ever made these cookies before, you know the last step before putting them on the baking sheet is to roll the dough into balls and dip them in cinnamon sugar. If you're not careful the little guys have a tendency to roll around on the cookie sheet as you're putting them into the oven.
Now for the story...........
When I was first married we attended a church in San Diego where the women's group met every Wednesday morning to bake all kinds of cookies, to quilt, and to plan outreaches. We had a standing order from the employees of three local banks for over a hundred dozen cookies every week! But not to fear......our group was led by a precious little old lady who, in my very young and inexperienced eyes, seemed to know everything there was to know about being domestic. If the truth be known, most of us younger ones were rather intimidated by Mrs. Brown! But get the job done she did! From overseeing the quilters, coordinating potlucks and missions programs, to keeping a watchful eye on the dozens of pans of cookies that were baked every week, she seemed to have it all under control. And her favorite mantra to us was always, "Girls, don't let your snickerdoodles roll!".  You see, the recipe calls for the dough to be rolled into walnut size "balls", dipped in the cinnamon sugar, and placed on the cookie sheet. If you get in too big a rush to put the pan in the oven the little cookie dough balls tend to roll around....hence, her warning to all us "young ones"!  At times we found it humorous.....but to this day I remember things I learned from her. At a time in my life when I wasn't even quite sure how "domestic" I wanted to be, Mrs. Brown was a big, albeit intimidating, influence on all of us.

Finally here's the snickerdoodle recipe.....I've always thought snickerdoodle was such a funny word anyway. So on this lovely Sunday afternoon in March, bake yourself up some snickerdoodles, laugh a little, and enjoy a merry heart. It's good for you!

Mrs. Brown's Snickerdoodles
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/8 teaspoons cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons white sugar
4 tablespoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl cream together the shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar. ( I like to mix the ingredients in my KitchenAid mixer, but it can be done by hand or with a hand mixer). Stir the eggs into the creamed mixture. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture until well blended. In a smaller bowl mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon together.
Now for the fun part. Roll the dough into walnut size balls and place in a the cinnamon sugar mixture until well covered. Place a dozen balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, spacing evenly.
Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be slightly brown. TIP: It's very important to take them out before they look really done! They will firm up as they cool.
Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire racks. I usually get about three dozen cookies out of this recipe. These cookies store best in an air-tight container or bag. If you want to only bake a few at a time this dough will keep in the fridge, covered, for a week or so and you can remove as much as you need at a time. Especially great if you like to eat your cookies warm.

For more delicious Sunday recipes visit Tamy at Three Sides of Crazy and Janet at Our Family Story.

Monday, March 9, 2009

More Blue Scrappin"

Since I got so many positive responses to last Monday's post, and requests to see more of my scrapbook pages , I thought I'd show a few more "blue" pages today.
Every year on the fourth of July we have a pool party, or go on a picnic, or do something that generally involves large crowds and lots of fireworks. Last year, 2008, was a little different. We wound up taking a long drive in the country, stopping by our favorite little General Store for lunch, and then.........well the pages tell the rest of the story......................

and then then rains came....................

(doesn't that sound like a great line from an old dramatic Hollywood epic?)

To see my Scrapbook pages from last Monday's post go HERE.

To check out other Blue Monday posts at Sally's you can go HERE.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Showing Our Funny Cheese Faces on Foodie Friday

I'm doing a double post today, combining Foodie Friday hosted at Designs by Gollum and Show & Tell hosted by Kelli at No Place Like Home.
Be sure to drop by these lovely blogs and take a look.
Every October when I take my grands to the Pumpkin Patch we like to all make a little something special in the kitchen when we get home. This usually involves making something autumn-like or something really goofy.
This past year we made what we called Funny Cheese Faces. These were basically just refrigerator biscuits rolled out to 3 1/2 inch circles, layered with two or three types of cheese, decorated, then baked.
When they were finished baking I plated them on top of little cardboard toes that I drew free-hand and the girls colored. They are simple and delicious. I modified the recipe from one in the Pillsbury Children's Choice Cookbook. They all decided they wanted them filled with just cheese instead of the ham mixture called for in the original recipe. You can read about the cookbook here, and check out a cookie recipe from the same cookbook here.
Kylie's funny face......looks like she used black olives for hair, green olives for the eyes, a sweet banana pepper for the nose, chopped pimento for her mouth, and mild yellow pepper rings for hoop earrings.
This is Christian's little freckle face. She too used olives for eyes, but she gave hers eyebrows out of black olives......a big banana pepper nose, yellow pepper rings for lips, and of course pimentos for those cute freckles.
Kenedee wanted to create a monster face and I think she succeeded, didn't she? Not sure exactly what all is on this one, but she had a plan and she stuck to it! Anyone who knows Kenedee gets it! :)
Fiona said her funny face was asleep. And look at those rosy olive cheeks. Here's how to make them........ Ingredients 1 can of large refrigerated biscuits
2 or 3 kinds of sliced cheeses
(use 2 or three of any kinds you like)
Various olives, sweet peppers, pimentos, pickles
(anything you think would make cute face features)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Separate dough into individual biscuits and roll each into 3 1/2 inch rounds. Place half of them on ungreased cookie sheet. Cut cheese slices into quarters and layer as you like on the rounds. Place another round on top but do not seal. Decorate each face and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. These make a great little supper when combined with bowls of tomato or chicken noodle soup! Dessert was another fun and simple recipe
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pizza
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cups flour
2 cups miniature marshmallows
6 oz. package (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, butter , peanut butter, vanilla and egg; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Stir in flour. Press dough evenly over bottom of 12 or 14 inch pizza pan, forming a rim along the edge.
Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with marshmallow and chocolate chips; continue to bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until marshmallows are puffy and lightly browned. Cool; cut into wedges. Store in tightly covered container.

Every Puppy Needs a Boy ~ Erma Bombeck

Since I haven't posted any pictures of our Puppy Patrick on my blog yet, I thought today would be a good time to do it. He just got back from a walk around the neighborhood with Jim and now he's spread out on the cool tile in the bathroom. The temps are in the 70's today, certainly not hot, but I guess he thought it was......the tile floor in there is his favorite place to cool off. This Phoenix doggie better toughen up because the truly high temps will be here before we know it!
Here he is when he first became part of the family last June ........he's about 9 weeks old .
We had not had a dog for many years......Christopher decided we needed a new puppy to go with our two kittens, Cohen and Miss Molly so he started doing a lot of research on the internet. One afternoon in June he found a breeder all the way out in Queen Creek that had a litter of Golden Retriever puppies that were ready for new off we went. After being introduced to his grandparents, parents , and 3 cute little brothers and sisters, we chose Patrick. No question. He just stood out to all three of us and we immediately knew he was the one!
It wasn't long before he fit right in. When the monsoons came in early July he did not know what to make of the stormy weather and wet ground. It took him a little while to know it was okay to go ahead and do his business even though to him it seemed like the whole backyard had changed. Very puzzling.
On Christmas morning hanging out with the fam by the fire. :)
This is one of my favorite pictures of him. We took this early one morning at the beach on our last trip to San Diego. Once again a new experience. What are you supposed to do with those crazy cold water waves? Maybe we'll take him back this summer when the water has warmed up a bit!
Now it's hard to remember what we ever did without him. Stay tuned....his first birthday is coming up next month.....and there's a party in the making.....planned in part by the four little girls .....a family BBQ with the three other dogs in the families as special guests. Who knows how it will all turn out! One thing I do will be interesting!
This should be fun for everyone today. Go on over to Dog's on Thursday and check out lots of other furry friends.....enjoy.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"I Cannot Live Without Books" ~ Thomas Jefferson

Tam at The Gypsy's Corner is hosting "Three or More Tuesday". Don't forget to go on over and see everyone's posts today.

There' nothing like getting lost in a good book. I can remember actually being thrilled when I learned to read. I just couldn't get enough! The Christmas that I was in second grade I told my parents all I wanted was a chair of my own and books. That's all. My two younger sisters were appalled! They thought I had lost my toys? As it turned out my Dad insisted that I get a doll (which he always picked out for us) but for the most part I got my wish. On Christmas morning there was my chair and a big stack of books! I was in heaven! Today I want to share three of those books......the three books I received from the Bobbsey Twins series.

The Bobbsey Twins quickly became some of my favorites. They were published from 1908 until 1979 and were written by several authors, all under the pseudonym Laura Lee Hope. I think there were 72 titles in the entire series.....I read many of them but from other sources like the library. These were the only three I ever owned. As you can tell they are well-worn by now, but I'm so glad I still have them. These particular volumes were ones that were in the bookstores during the 1960's, hardbacks with colorful glossy covers. The stories were the original ones but with updated covers. Over the years I've collected some of the earlier ones, which I'm always thrilled to find, but these remain my favorites.

In the first book, seen at the top, you get introduced to the Bobbsey twins of Lakeport. There are two sets of twins in the family.....Nan and Bert who are eight years old with dark hair....and Freddie and Flossie, the four year olds who are blond and feisty. Their father owns a lumber yard and their mother is a SAHM. Of course the twins are always having all kinds of adventures. I can remember reading late into the night, with my eyes drooping, so sleepy I could hardly stand it, but too engrossed in their latest antics to put the book down and go to sleep. Finally my mom would see my light on, come in and tell me I had to call it a night. In the second book the family takes a summer trip to Meadowbrook farm where their cousin Harry lives. More exciting least it seemed so to a 7 year old.

Finally, this last book. The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore, was probably my favorite. . I don't know why exactly but I remember reading this one several times. In this volume they take a trip to the ocean to visit their cousin Dorothy at her seashore home in Ocean Cliffs. Probably I like this one because I loved going to Charleston to the was just a two hour drive from where I grew up. We usually only spent a couple of days there at a time......but the Bobbseys spent the entire summer! The Christmas I received all the books was a special one for me. I loved my books! But you know what? That evening I remember my sisters asking me if I wanted to play with some of their new toys. Even then I knew I had special sisters! So I put my books down and we spent the rest of the evening playing......and in the next few days I read some of my books to them. For a second grader it was the best of both worlds.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

February in Blue

It's already Blue Monday again. Sally is hosting this event so be sure to go on over to her place and check out all the other blue posts for today!

I guess you could call me an avid Scrapbooker. I don't think you would consider me a fancy scrapbooker though......I like to keep things fairly simple.....simple is good and is definitely a timesaver when you have as many photos as I do to scrap! I have a scrapbook for every year I have been married (since 1970, you do the math). I have to pause here and remind everyone that I was married as a mere infant! :-) Seriously I do have that many and I have grandiose dreams of creating a scrapbook about my life and Jim's life growing up....year by year since we are the same age.......showing what was going on with us at the same time even though we were coasts apart. So far that one is just in the "someday" stage.

Now to the reason I'm talking about scrapbooking on a Blue Monday! I scrapbook chronologically, month by month. The other day while showing a friend something from my 2005 album, I noticed that in the month of February over half of the 25 pages for that month were done in being the sharp one that I am I thought of a post for Blue Monday.

In 2005 I switched to digital photography and also to digital scrapbooking.....which proved to be both a time and a space saver for me.

Here are a few of the pages from that year.

The winter of 2005 in Phoenix was an unusually wet one. None of us complained, we just enjoyed the welcome desert rains. This first page shows photos I took while we were out, just hours after I bought my camera. I used the blue in particular to try to capture the feeling of those lovely afternoons that February.

By the's true....I am married to a ham.

Since I consider these "family" scrapbooks, I always refer to Jim as Dad and myself as Mom, even though in real life we never call each other that. Pet peeve of mine when couples seem to have forgotten one another's names!

Two of our grandaughters and a day at Cortez Park.

Like father, like son.....Christopher has the same ham in him. Really, they both
humor me....... a lot!

We were all pretty wet by the end of the afternoon so it was a good thing we had a warm cozy fire, dry clothes, and warm cups of hot chocolate to go home to.

Here's another page done in blue...a special day in my Grandson's little life.

We had just enough of that famous Phoenix warmth to keep us from actually
getting cold! There were some beautiful sunny days too where we took advantage
and worked on some remodeling projects.......we finally replaced the arched nursery window we had put in when Christopher was just a baby.....replaced it with a larger one to let in lots of light into the newly enlarged family room.

Of course I couldn't leave out the page about our little brother-sister duo....

And finally........

.......... the last page of February for that year was a beautiful double rainbow that appeared across the field from our home. It was absolutely breathtaking. The month of March proved to be much sunnier and lovely in its on right.......but that February brings back special memories.....and I'm glad I have the photos to help me remember that February in blue.