Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easiest Ever Strawberry Cookies...From a Cake Mix

I promised to post this recipe Saturday, and totally forgot. Sorry, but I'm here now to share.
I have made these for years, and don't know why it never occurred to me to share this with you. I think this recipe originally started out as a lemon cookie, but since there are strawberry farmers in my family, why not strawberry?!

I made these one year for my aunt's annual "Sisters Tea" (they're some of the strawberry farmers I mentioned). They couldn't believe how simple they were to make. I gave the recipe to one of my cousins (really, there's no reason for a written recipe as long as you can remember the 4 ingredients. LOL) and she made them for her children's teachers for Christmas. She had offers to pay her for more. I'm pretty sure, her fame preceeded her to her kids' next grade! Here's all you need to know...

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies
One box of Strawberry Cake Mix (I've used 'em all, so pick your favorite)
1 egg, slightly beaten
One 8 oz tub of CoolWhip, or any generic frozen whipped topping
Red food coloring (optional)
* 2 cups confectioner's sugar (for powdering the cookies after baked)

Combine all ingredients with an electric mixer. Now here's where you have a choice: Either drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheet first, or you can drop tablespoonfuls into powdered (confectioner's) sugar before baking. I tend to go back and forth. Up to you.
Bake at 350 for approximately 10 minutes. Check cookies, at about 8 minutes. You don't want them to be crisp, just chewy. Lightly browned around the edges.

Let cool, but when still slightly warm (slightly!) drop into powdered sugar to coat and then place back on cooling rack.

Notes: About food coloring. This is up to you. If you don't use the coloring, no biggie, your cookies will just be pink. But if you'd like a stronger color, more like strawberries, then I say go for it. Just a drop at a time though, until you like what you see. :-)
These cookies can get a bit aggravating because they'll be sticky before baking. I just coat my hands/spoon/scoop (whatever you're using to drop the cookies) with some powdered sugar to try to help.
Use the powdered sugar to coat your cookies

Tah-Dah! You're done. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For some reason I was going over old posts and came across The Day I Knew My Husband Loved Me
I'd love it if you'd go with me down memory lane and go there and read it.   I still feel the same way, and just wanted to say that.

Thanks for indulging me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

seeing beauty through another's eyes

With all due respect to Mr. Emerson, I'd like to take a little poetic license  and make that  "Never miss an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful"... through the eyes of someone else...
I hope you won't mind.

This past weekend, my husband and I traveled out of state to the funeral of his grandmother.  We visited with family my husband hadn't seen in years.  It was an opportunity for him to show me places from his childhood as I listened to his, and other family member's, memories. To put pieces together that helped mold him into the man he is today. I met his uncle Ed. He was a man of few words, and pretty much kept them to himself.  Not the kind to just walk right up and engage you, but once he got to know you, you could see what a kind heart he had.  I knew of, through stories from my husband, the farm his uncle Ed had worked on all of his life and I asked for a "tour" of the farm.  

As four adults and one little girl climbed into his gas powered "golf cart" he drove over what seemed to me as miles and miles of ground.  He named every plant, every kind of animal he used to raise, showed me 2 ponds and a couple of streams on his property.  I hung on his every word.  Not because I'd never seen crops, (I have farmers in my family)  but because I was seeing this through his eyes.  This land was so much more than his livelihood through the years.  It was his passion.  Time had not been kind to his body, but he found strength and comfort in this land.  Though he wasn't much of a "church goin' man", I got the sense he knew of God, not so much from his people, but felt his presence from his handiwork.  I'm grateful I was able to experience this through his eyes.

Update:  June 7th this giant of a man was laid to eternal rest.  I consider it an honor to have met such a great man with a kind heart.   He will truly be missed.  

Monday, March 12, 2012

My quest for Macaroni and Cheese

Who taught you to cook? That's assuming you do cook, of course. A lot of people say their mother did. Mine didn't. When I got married, I had no idea how. I could heat up a can of La Choy Chow Mein. And heat it up I did...regularly. My husband recently reminisced about those dinners we had during the first months of our marriage. He said it was good, but I'm telling you now, we haven't had a can of that in 31 years! LOL Do they even still make that stuff?

My mom, and grandma were both wonderful cooks but they didn't own many written recipes. It was all in their heads. And when I'd ask, my mom would start out helping me, but then take over. She said it was easier. I'd end up losing interest and leave the kitchen. Fast forward to married life. Now I had to cook. Um.... uh oh. My very first job was in medical records at a local hospital, and every day I'd ask all the other ladies in the office what they had for dinner the night before. If I liked the sound of it, I'd ask them how they made it. So I began to build my own library. I'd pour over magazines, and cookbooks (I'm still a cookbook junkie!) and I found I really loved to cook...bake mostly.

I love to cook for people, and bake gifts. There are two dishes I really want to learn to make "like mama", and that's her cornbread dressing (out of this world!!!), and her macaroni and cheese. So my quest for the perfect macaroni and cheese continues. I've had this recipe tucked in my notebook for years (probably back when I was building my library - yeah, that long ago).
Do you have a favorite mac - n- cheese recipe? I'd love to hear how yours differs from this one. Do you put bread crumbs on top? I don't, because, well, mama never did it. LOL This one comes pretty close but I'm always looking for "the one"!

Macaroni and Cheese
1 (1 lb) box elbow macaroni
1 pound mild Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup margarine, melted
6 eggs
2 (13 oz) cans evaporated milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook macaroni in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain well and dump into a big bowl. Add grated cheese, reserving 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top. Stir in cheese until melted.
Stir in margarine and eggs - no need to beat first, just stir well to distribute evenly. Add milk.
Mixture will be fairly liquid. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle reserved cheese on top and bake in a 350 degrees oven for 30-45 minutes - or until set.

Care to help me on my quest for the perfect macaroni and cheese? I'm all ears.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

Before I announce the winner, I have another announcement...  I've decided to give away 2 (TWO) gifts.
But, since the picture I took of the memo keeper is on my phone, and I'm charging it, there isn't a picture.  But it's the same colors, only in reverse.  Think of it as a positive/negative theme.    So, two people were chosen out of the proverbial "hat".  

And now, if I could have a drum-roll, please maestro...

Sharon Howeth  from AZ
Katherine  from Katherine's Corner

Congrats ladies!   Now if you'll just send me an email with your mailing address, I can get them off to you this week!   

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Happy Birthday...To Me

It's my birthday, and I  choose to celebrate by doing it in reverse.  I'm giving one of you a birthday gift!  
Now, since I'm the kind of girl to celebrate all week (I'd celebrate all month if I thought I could get away with it) I will draw the winner on Saturday (March 10th).  What will your gift be you say?  Well....

I've been working on making some of these memo organizers for my etsy shop and thought, "hey!  why not reward one of my readers?"  LOL     So, this is your "present".
uh... sorry, the cash and cards stay with me.

So, here's what you have to do... Leave a comment.   
Now, you don't have to, but if you want to follow me on twitter, Pinterest, Google know, all the ones I mentioned in the post below.  That would be really cool of you.
Oh!  If you tweet about this, please leave another comment.  I'll count that as two entries - but you don't have to!


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