Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cinnamon Chip Scones

I made Cinnamon Chip Scones!
I don't know about where you live, but the time around Thanksgiving cinnamon chips are really a scarce commodity (being there's a tea room less than a mile from where I live, all the grocery stores near me get cleaned out!) But before Thanksgiving I was shopping at a grocery store across town and was able to snag 3 bags of chips!!! WooHoo.  Today I finally made some scones. 

Here's the recipe...just in case you get a hankerin' !  LOL

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream (Don't substitute anything else for this, it won't work!)
cinnamon chips (I threw the whole bag in!!! - I don't think that ya should but I love cinnamon!)
3 TBSP melted butter (to brush on tops of scones.
Additional sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling on top

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon chips in a medium mixing bowl.  Pour in heavy cream.
Stir ingredients until just combined.  Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead lightly  7-8 times - do not overwork the dough. 
Shape into a round, about 1 inch thick and cut into 8 wedges.
Place on a foil covered baking sheet (I used parchment paper!) so you don't have to spray with cooking spray.
Brush the tops of the scones with melted butter and sprinkle tops with sugar and cinnamon
Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes until just lightly golden brown (watch the bottoms!)  NOTE:  if you happen to want to put the whole bag of chips in...you might need to adjust the cooking time to a little longer.

You can serve with whipped cream, but as you can see, I didn't wait!  LOL

I'm linking up to

Thursday, December 24, 2009

CHRISTMAS EVE GIFT (I'm copying Cheri!)

I was just visiting my friend Cheri's blog and she had the sweetest tradition!  Her grandmother started it, and I'm going to steal the idea and make it "our" family tradition too! LOL   You really should go visit her blog, It's So Very Cheri and read it!   On Christmas Eve, they answer "CHRISTMAS EVE GIFT" if you call.  If you've been "got" then you have to give the person who said CHRISTMAS EVE GIFT a small token.  She said, like a pack of gum, or something inexpensive.   She said that family members call each other trying to be the first to say "CHRISTMAS EVE GIFT".  So fun, don't you think?  Go read it, because I can't tell it better than the originator!  LOL

PS, my answering machinE always answers my house phone, but if anybody calls my cell phone....Game on!!!  LOL

CHRISTMAS EVE GIFT!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Greetings!


Have a wonderfully merry Christmas, and please, don't forget the reason behind the season.

,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I just had to share this site!

My hubby just forwarded this site to me.  It is hilarious.  I've been sitting here for 20 minutes typing in Christmas songs.   It's so funny.  And, for grins - type in a NON-Christmas song and listen to them!!
I tried to copy a pic for you to see but can't right click it, so just go here.  It's so fun!   http://www.sundog.net/carolofthechins/flash/card.swf

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Craft - What I did with wooden eggs




I made two quick-n-easy crafts from those little half wooden eggs.  The package called 'em  "split robin egg"
Here they are: 


For the angel:  Just a little paint and either wing wood findings, or two small hearts (I've used both, this one was made with the wooden wings but I couldn't find 'em when I made the other batch, and the two small hearts worked just fine!  For her "hair", I just took a few strings of yard, tied them in a knot and hot glued the knot to the top of the egg and fayed it a bit.  You can tell the painting of her "outfit" and face is not elaborate.  You can do this!  If you feel more comfortable doing it on paper first, go ahead.  I think if you study the pic, you'll get an idea or personalize it anyway you want.

For the snowman's hat, I just used some scrap material, but I have used a child's sock .  Just cut a tube.  You don't even have to sew the tube, you can glue a seam and hot glue a pin back to the back and you're done.  Tie it close to the top.  Really quick (except for the drying time for the paint, it's a matter of minutes!)  Make a homemade card and punch a couple of holes in it to pin it to the card with the appropriate sentiment from you and you've got a super quickie gifty!   
I used to make pins to give to the doctors I worked for at Christmas and the card said "Your annual token tacky Christmas pin".  One doctor actually would call ahead the first week in December, and ask what day I was giving out the token pins.  (He said he would never call them "tacky"   LOL!)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Freezer Foods Friday Continuing on the theme of Cookies


I thought I'd continue with the cookies theme I posted last week, but instead of a recipe, I'd give some information on freezing cookies.  Just in case you got way more cookies than you can possibly eat right now from all the cookie exchanges, or you were over-zealous in the kitchen making up cookie mixes!  LOL

Freezing unbaked cookie dough


Most cookie doughs freeze extremely well and can be kept frozen for up to 4 or 6 weeks. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the dough will absorb any odd odors present in your freezer if it's not properly wrapped and sealed. To prevent this smell-sponge effect-as well as freezer burn-wrap the dough securely twice. It's also a very good idea to write the type of cookie dough and the date it was frozen on the outside of the package. When you are ready to bake simply let the dough defrost in the refrigerator. This will take several hours, so plan ahead. The cookie doughs that freeze best are shortbreads, chocolate chip, peanut butter, refrigerator, sugar, and brownies, just to name a few. The types of cookie doughs that do not freeze well are cake-like cookies and cookies that have a very liquidy batter, such as madeleines and tuiles.

Freezing already baked cookies

Freezing baked cookies is a great way to preserve their freshness. Baked cookies will keep in the freezer for up to 3 or 4 weeks. As with freezing cookie dough, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you don't want your cookies to absorb any odors. I double-bag 'em.  i.e., use those gold old ziplocs, and use the "freezer" kind.  Oh and write the date and the type of cookie on the outside of the package. When you are ready to eat your frozen cookies, just let them come to room temperature, or, for you impatient types, pop them in the microwave on high for about 30 seconds. (Times will differ depending on the size of cookie you're defrosting.) I still haven't come across a baked cookie that doesn't freeze well. So feel free to freeze loads of assorted cookies to keep yourself supplied with yummy goodies, any time.

So, does anyone else have any good tips, or recipes for making ahead?  If so, jump in!




My ornament exchange wrap-up

Remember I promised to tell you about the ornament exchange?  Bet ya thought I'd forgotten, eh?   Nah.  I just came down with a nasty cold, which went into my chest, and turned into bronchitis... yada yada yada...  But I'm much better now and can sit down and funnel through the pics.     I also promised to tell you how I do my ornament exchange too, right?  Well, here's the back of the invitation which explains to the guest what they need to do...


( I "think" if you click on that it'll enlarge for ya)  The "brown bag" part is the fun part!  When they RSVP, I give them a brown (kraft) gift bag.  This is for their brown bag lunch...with a catch!   They must DECORATE the bag!   And the bag they came with is NOT the bag they get.   As with the ornaments, they are to put a tag on it with the "From" filled in, but leaving the "To" blank.   As they arrive, the "to" is filled in with a number, and that corresponding number goes into a basket.  We draw numbers to see who gets what lunch.   Everyone votes on the lunch bags, and while they're eating I (actually this year it was my sister and a cousin!) tally up the votes. 

As they come in I take their picture with their bag (I tried to get everyone, but missed some folks!)


You might notice there is someone in the pics twice,  that's because she painted both sides of her bag.  When someone said "Karen, I didn't know you painted".  She said that she didn't either but had just picked it up recently.  Wow!  Pretty good, eh?

All the "brown bags" are placed on the counter with the other snacks and sweets I had prepared for them.



after the votes had been turned in (I use lots of index cards at my party! LOL) and they have chosen their number, they go pick up their respective lunch bag and "chow down".


Oh, the ornaments are all wrapped and on the coffee table.  We do the ornament exchange "chinese exchange" or whatever you call it.   Everyone gets a number (yet some more index cards used! LOL) and you can take someone else's away, or chose yours off the table.   (I took my sister's away from her!!!)

(I don't know what was going on here, obviously they weren't paying attention to me! LOL) There was another group standing off to the side and it must've been interesting!


I also read a "pass the present" story, where you're supposed to pass the present to the left or to the right...or across..  whatever direction is read in the story.  It's funny to see how confused we can all get.
And the winners of the decorated lunch bags are announced.  We had first, second and third place.



And the grand finale is when I give them all their favors...and guess what?!?  This year, I FORGOT to pass them out!   So there's a big wicker basket underneath the Friendship Tree with 19 wrapped favors!  LOL
Guess I'll be running errands for some time!

Hope you enjoyed the ornament exchange wrap-up!  I love hosting it each year.  I tried having it at night one year and it just wasn't the same.   I'm not sure if I'll switch it up in the future or not.  I guess it's a "to be continued" . 



Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Goodies Recipe Exchange Party!


It's time to Party!
Do you have a favorite recipe you always bring out around the holidays?  It doesn't have to be just sweets.  I love a good dip! It could even be a mac-n-cheese recipe you're famous for!   Ooooh, and what could be better than prizes?!?  Cheri, from It's So Very Cheri has written four different e-books that she has graciously offered to give to four lucky participants!  (If you're one of the lucky four, you will need to visit her blog and pick out what book you'd like).   While there, take a look around her blog.  It's filled with beautiful things, and great how-to's!  Her blog is one my favorite haunts!

 I have some recipes to post from some ladies who don't have a blog and I will come back in the morning and do that, but for now I am opening up Mr. McLinkey to everyone.  Please take the button and link back here so we can all come visit your blog to see your dish you are so famous for!  Tell everybody!  The more the merrier and the more recipes we can try out on our families, and upcoming holiday parties the better!

Please put the button and direct folks to the party and then come back here and link up  your post.  If you link up and see that your link isn't here, please check that you have linked to my blog for the party.  If you haven't, your link won't appear here, but if you have and still don't see your link, please, re-enterWe want everyone to be able to come to your blog to visit you!





Sunday, December 13, 2009

Angel Give-Away Winner announced

It's now officially Monday morning (ok, it's 1:00 AM, but it's Monday!)

Im announcing the winner now because I wanted to announce also my Christmas gift!  See, I'm so totally full of surprises!  Makes you want to follow me even more, eh?!?   Maybe take my button to your blog too, you say?  Fantastic I say!  LOL

First the winner:  Alicia from Titere con Bonete.    Alicia e-mail me with your mailing address so I can get this out to right away!

NOW  as my Christmas present (so to speak) to all who were following my blog at the time they commented I want to "bless you" with Hope this coming year.  That means,  all my followers who commented on this angel post, will get their own "Hope" angel!   Now, it won't be all at once, ( I've got to make her for you).  I checked, and I counted and that means there are 7 more folks who followed me .
Since I've been wanting to play the "pay it forward" thing that's going around the internet, this will be my way of paying it forward, but instead of three people, I've chosen the 7 followers.   Now, the way that I've been reading on the internet they do this is I have 12 months to do it.  Don't worry, I won't take that long!  But I do need the addresses from:
Brenda
Pam
Fredamans
MaryRC
Pippirose
Misty
ittybittyandpretty (you follow me on twitter so I think that counts too!  - would love to have you on my followers list here too -smile!)

So ladies, get me your addresses, and when your "Hope" is done and ready to fly to you, I'll email you and let you know.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Getting to Know You Christmas Meme

Thanks to Cara and Jenn from MOMentum of motherhood.  They tagged me in this Christmas "Meme"   Getting to Know You.

Here goes:

1. Have you started your Christmas shopping? Sure!  I usually do that all year long!  LOL.

2. Tell me about one of your special traditions. My annual ornament exchange!  I love doing this.  Gives me a chance to be with the girls and it's "our time"!

3. Are you a Black Friday Shopper? Not this year!  Though I am considering going to the "pajama party" next year in Ellenton!  Shops open up at midnight and you're supposed to come in your pj's!  I might not shop, but it's a good excuse for a party with the girls!!!

4. When do you put up your Tree? As soon as hubby will let me!!!  LOL.   This year I put it up early.  Like the second week in November early.

5. Do you Travel at Christmas or Stay home? Stay home.  I have a huge extended family and we all live around each other.  Christmas Eve is a big deal.  There's so many of us (like other people's family reunions I guess) and there are probably close to 80-100 people on that night.   It fluctuates in attendees according to how many people our family "adopts" for the evening!   and Christmas morning we go to hubby's family for breakfast and gifting.   THEN, and only then, do we celebrate "our" Christmas together.

6. What is your funniest Christmas memory? Oh my, with a family this large, there's always something hilarious!  I can't name just one!

7. What is your favorite Christmas Movie of All time? A Charlie Brown Christmas.   Nobody can read the biblical account of the birth of the Christ Child like Linus!

8. Do you do your own Christmas Baking, what’s your favorite treat?    oh yeah!  Remember the Christmas Eve I spoke of?  I'm always assigned "dessert".   Yippee!   I think the most popular are the red velvet bon bons I started bringing 5 years ago.  Then something else.  I don't know really, they like the bon bons, but I hate dipping the chocolate.  I like to try out something new every year along with the standbys!

9. Fake or Real Tree?  Fake.  I'm tired of the "tree's revenge" on my carpet!  Besides, one price one year.  Done!  I always sing the song as I'm putting up the Crystal and Pearl tree:  "Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree,  We've had you since 1993"    LOL

10. What day does the actual panic set in to get it all done? You mean you only have one "DAY" ?!?!?  LOL

11. Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve?  No but I am into the wee hours on Christmas Eve-EVE!  (the 23rd).

12. What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas? I love going to my nephew's house after the BIG Christmas Eve with the whole family and watching my great neices and nephews open their gifts and see their faces.

13. What Christmas craft do you like the best?   Ornaments, and food gifts

14.Christmas music. Yes or No? If yes what is your favorite song? Definitely!!!  Mary's Boy Child by Boney M, or Three Degrees   and Walkin in a Winter Wonderland by the Eurythmics

15. When do you plan to finish all your shopping? Monday or Tuesday for one of the youngest neices,  the adults are getting gift cards!  LOL!

Thanks guys!  Now I'm supposed to tag 5 of my blog friends... here they are:

Debbie  from Love the Decor

My frind Kim from Cheap Chic Home

Pam from Country Mouse City Mouse

Audrey  from Audrey's Country Crafts

Audra from I'm Just a Girl

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tomorrow is my party!

Tomorrow (Saturday) is my annual ornament exchange.  I originally started having a cookie exchange back in the 80's, but people started complaining about not wanting to bake all those cookies.  I know, right.   So then it became an ornament exchange and I've been doing ornament exchanges for about 17 years.  The attendees have changed faces during the years and circumstances have also changed with the "old timers", but it's still a "look forward to" event.   Honestly, you'll hear ladies tell other ladies who want to get on the invitation list,  "there's a waiting list".  (there kinda is!)
Anyway, since I probably won't be posting tomorrow...party and all ya know.  I thought I'd post some of the past invitations, which I'm told have become "works of art".  LOL

I don't know why I didn't save invitations before 2007 or I'd have more to bore you with.  LOL



2007





When I blog about the party, I'll show you the back and that will explain how I do my exchange.  It's loads of fun!

Right now, I've got to get in the kitchen and try to salvage a botched cake! (more on that later too!)

FREEZER FOODS FRIDAY


Today is Freezer Foods Friday, and I have a great freezer food!!!  COOKIES!!!   Yes, these are totally freezable!  I was holding off on these for the Christmas Goodies Recipe Exchange on the 15th.  Please come back and link up for that!  See the instructions here.

Now for the cookies.  These are Butterfinger Cookies.  My hubby goes on annual golfing trips with his buddies from church (yeah, a golf "mission trip"  LOL) out of state.  I made cookies for the trip.  I don't think he wanted to take them, being off with "the guys" and all, but he took them with him on this long car trip.  After several miles, they started commenting on how hungry they were getting but not wanting to stop yet.  So, hubby announces he brought cookies.   A few (very few) miles later, I get a call from the car... I hear yelling "thank you's" from all the men and wanting to know if I could ship some to their destination because the ones I sent were all gone.   So, these cookies passed the "guy test" too!  LOL  Here's my recipe:



Butterfinger Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
5 Butterfinger candy bars (2.1 ounces each)  chopped

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg whites.
Stir in peanut butter and vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture.  Stir in candy bars.
Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
This yields about 4 dozen. 

Here's the freezer part:  (LOL)
I make the cookie dough, roll into balls and then put in the freezer until frozen.  Remove from the pan, rack, or whatever you placed them on in the freezer,  and put them in a ziploc bag to keep in the freezer.  I usually put into the bags however many I am  planning on making at a time.  They freeze really well.

Ok, now it's your turn.  Do you have a great freezer food,  or make-ahead recipe?  Link up to your blog post.  And please be kind and link back to here so everyone can see the posts.  Thanks  bunches!



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Welcome to My Christmas Open House tour



I'm so excited you're here!  Come on in and make yourself comfortable.  Here, where's my manners?  Would you like a cup of hot apple cider?  There's plenty of yumminess on the kitchen counter.  Go ahead and dig in.  There's no formal order here!  Just enjoy!
First is the living room, but I call it  the "old room" because it's where we started accumulating antiques...old things.  LOL 


Have you heard me say enough that I like shiny objects?!?  LOL  I love baubles and bling.


You remember the crystal and pearl tree post, right?  Well, here it is again.  Beause, well, because it's in the "old room" . 


 
and just to remind you, the one beautiful rose in the branches up front, is in memory of my father.






My mother gave me this Nativity scene last year.  I begged for it actually!  It's by Mark Klaus and he does such beautiful, intricate work.  I have his ornaments too, (you'll see those later)  Look at it when the light is on -



My mother gave me this egg last year at my ornament exchange (hostess gift?)  It's so neat.  It has four oval doors that open up to reveal a rotating angel scene.  Plays music too.
and of course, can't forget my nutcrackers!  I put them on top of the quilt rack that holds my cathedral window quilt. 
 
I got this quilt (below) at an after Christmas sale at one of the Mennonite restraunts in Sarasota.  It's silk and velvet!  
 
Did I mention I love quilts ?  LOL
 
 

Here's the other Mark Klaus ornaments I spoke of...

 
 I really wish I could do these justice.  The carvings are so intricate.  Below is my attempt to show you the one ornament that is sitting on a stand in front of the others.  It rotates inside (with music) and I've taken shots of both sides (inside)
This is in my kitchen cupboard (usually where I store my cookbooks)
 
The two pieces have lights on the inside, here's a pic of them with the light on...

 











I just realized, I don't have any Christmas pillows!  Don't you think that antique church pew needs one, or three?  LOL
Well, thank you for coming. I hope I hadn't bored you too much.  Do come back and visit.  I so enjoy our time together!
I'm joining in on these parties,  come on over and view other beautifully decorated homes.  I'm sure you're welcome there too!

Merry Christmas!
I'm linking up to Holiday Haven's Christmas in July Party!

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