Monday, July 25, 2016

No-Bake Granola Bars

 Oh Yum!  These no-bake granola bars are my new, favorite pick-me-up.  You can cut them into bars or shape them into balls, for a cool, summery treat.


 I'm using my bee teacup, which goes along with my honey ingredient in the bars.


 Little bits of chocolate and dried cherries gives these bars a nice flavor explosion.  Wouldn't they make a nice lunchbox treat, too?

 

No-Bake Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats
1 ¼ cup peanut butter
1 cup ground almonds
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup dried cherries
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini)
1/4  cup sliced almonds
Put all ingredients in a mixer bowl and blend well.   Spread in a 9x13 baking dish and refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting into squares.  You could also refrigerate the mixture and then shape into balls, if you prefer. 

Yes, Nana's Cooking Camp is still going on!  Three of my seven grands made homemade vanilla ice cream and Debbie's Can't Leave 'Em Alone Bars, which are easy and kid-friendly.  These kids sure enjoy cooking and are great little helpers!

This sweet fella always wants to make German Pancakes when he spends the night.  How can I resist making memories with him, when I ask what he'd like for breakfast, and he gives me the look of "You know what I'd like, Nana"!  He always helps with the buttering, sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon and rolling the pancakes up, because he knows the reward at the end

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer Berry Muffins





Ahhhh yes, to relax after crafting and sewing for  the Sweet Tea Challenge, at Thistlewood Farms,  I think I'll enjoy a summer berry muffin and some iced tea !  The pink depression glass pitcher belonged to my late mother-in-law.  By using a glass plate, I can see the pretty napkin that I made for the challenge.   Come on over, for I have enough to share! 

 

Here's my submission that I made for the challenge, and you can see how easy this project is by visiting my previous post here.  You can also see all the submissions for the Thistlewood Sweet Tea Challenge there, too.  

Summer Berry Muffins, adapted from Kitchen Scoops

 

I had to share the recipe for these muffins because they are so good!  The batter was sturdy enough for the berries, and they didn't sink.  I will be  using this lovely recipe again, which reminded me of a moist, vanilla pound cake.


2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plus 6 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided use (I used Sparkling Sugar for sprinkling on top)
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup fresh strawberries, capped and quartered (I used raspberries)
1 cup fresh blueberries, stemmed
1 cup fresh blackberries (I needed to chop, as they were large)

1. Center an oven rack and preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. In a medium bowl combine all but about 2 tablespoons of flour with the baking powder, salt and ½ cup sugar. In another bowl combine milk, eggs, butter and vanilla. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until mixed. Sprinkle the remaining flour over berries and toss to coat. Fold berries into batter.

3. Spoon batter into 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the remaining sugar over the top of each muffin. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until muffins are light golden brown. Muffins will not test done with a wooden pick because of fresh berries. Allow to cool 5 minutes before removing. Serve as desired or remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store muffins in a tin or glass sealed container (plastic will make the muffins sticky) for up to 3 days.

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I was featured!
Tuesday Cuppa Tea 

Thank you for your visit!  xo



Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sweet Tea Challenge at Thistlewood Farms


 Recently some Texas bloggers met at Jemma's lovely French country farmhouse,  for a day of arts and crafts and a wonderful lunch.   Jemma, the hostess with the mostest,  blogs at At Home With Jemma,  While there,  we had the pleasure of meeting the bubbly and enthusiastic Karianne from Thistlewood Farms. We were also gifted some charm packs of KariAnne's new fabric line,  in our gift bags from Laura, who blogs at Decor To Adore.  We were challenged to come up with  what we would do with our charm squares.  Both Laura and Judith from Botanic Bleu demonstrated beautiful crafts.




 Here are the charm packs that we received!  I was especially smitten with the Sweet Tea pack!  Hmmmmm....I wonder why?!

 

I got busy and started sewing for the :


Since I love making mug rugs, I thought that these little squares would make an adorable design.  I quickly got busy on my machine, and did an in-the-hoop mug rug.


 Here's the finished watermelon mug rug.  I love the soft colors and it's perfect for my iced tea in my mason jar.



 I also knew that I wanted to make a Disappearing Nine-Patch design with nine of the squares. I wanted to make something that I would use and enjoy.  To make this , you sew the squares in rows of three and then join the three rows together,  normally leaving a dark square in the middle.  


After the squares are all sewn, you cut down the middle from the top and from the side.  You then arrange them however you like.  Once you rearrange them, it makes it look like a complicated design, but it's not, as you can see below!


This is how I arranged my Disappearing Nine-Patch,  and since I like to decorate tea trays, I added white rick-rack and backed the design, to make a pretty napkin.  I'm also thinking that I could stuff it and turn it into a pretty pillow for a guest room, when I redecorate my late beloved's office space.  The napkin is what I submitted for the challenge.  Please go to Thistlewood Farms blog to vote.

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Thank you for your visit!  xo



Monday, July 11, 2016

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies at Nana's Cooking Camp

 Three of my grands and I decided to make our very favorite soft sugar cookies.  When I mentioned the name of the cookies, they all said, "yeah"!!  The daisies in my lady vase are from my garden.  They're a special variety that do well in Texas.  I started with three plants and now I have a whole row of them.


 Doesn't this pretty teacup that my sister gave me, look perfect with the cookies?  I think so, too!


 Don't the kids look proud with their bakery cookies?  Yes, we get sprinkles all over, but it's so worth it.

 The dough for these cookies chills for an hour, which gives us time to play several rounds of Uno.  You can see how the kids have grown from this post.  I'm sharing the recipe again, in case you'd like to make some big, or little kids happy!

 

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

 
Cookies
 
4 1/2 c. flour
4 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening (I used butter-flavored)
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
5 t. vanilla
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder & salt & whisk together.  In bowl  of mixer, combine the butter, shortening & sugar & beat until soft & fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each & scraping down the bowl   Blend in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients mixing until incorporated & evenly mixed.  Cover & chill for 1 hour.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.  Scoop the dough into about a 2" ball & roll.  I used my ice cream scoop for this part.  Flatten the cookies slightly & space them about 2-3" apart.  Bake 10-12 minutes.   Don' t overbake!  The cookies should remain very light in color.  Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes & then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Frosting
4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
2 t. vanilla
5-6 T. milk (plus more, if needed)
food coloring
sprinkles

Cream together the powdered sugar & butter with an electric mixer.  Add the vanilla & milk.  The frosting should be fairly thick.  Divide into bowls for coloring & tint.  Spoon the frosting onto the cooled cookies.  (Add a little milk if the frosting thickens.)  Top with sprinkles before the frosting sets.
Store in an airtight container.  These cookies will stay soft & delicious for several days, if they last that long!!!

Yield: about 3 dozen good-sized cookie

On June 30th my Mom celebrated her 87th birthday and my sister and I took her to a restaurant that had the most beautiful patio, with a waterfall, and all these gorgeous flowers and plants.

My Mom is always coordinated from head to toe, and always has on a pretty belt, too.  You can see that she wore pretty yellow sandals in the above photo.


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Thank you for your visit!  xo





Monday, July 4, 2016

Buttermilk Pie and Meeting Blogging Friends

 Today I'm sharing an award winning recipe that I received when touring the McKinney Home and Garden Tour. It's so good!

 This sweet teacup that I received from the last teacup exchange always puts a smile on my face!

 My teacup planter is thriving with the Angel Wing begonia.  I wish I had thought to take a picture of what is started out like after the winter months. 



 Recently I met up with two blogging friends at a new to me restaurant, called Rise.  Eilis, who blogs at My Heart Lives Here, is on the left, then me, and then Bonnie, who blogs at Living With Thanksgiving.  Eilis and I had met twice before, and Bonnie, whom I had never met, but "knew", was in from Alabama, visiting family.  Bonnie's DIL suggested this restaurant and oh my, we all loved it!  It was such fun visiting!  We each had a salad,  and like good friends would do, we shared a ham and cheese souffle'.

 Of course, when women are together we just HAD to try two desserts to share! I must tell you that the souffles' were so perfectly prepared and were heavenly.  We had the chocolate souffle' and the bread pudding souffle'.  What a delightful afternoon it was with friends at a fabulous restaurant.

Now for the pie recipe....When I toured the McKinney Home and Garden Tour recently, a lady of one of the homes was sharing recipe.  She told the story that this Buttermilk Pie was served to President Truman on the USS Missouri, and he liked it so much that he asked for the recipe.  The Steward of the ship refused (can you imagine??) to give him the recipe, but in 1994, the recipe was released.  Although my picture doesn't do it justice, it really is a wonderful pie!  Barbara Wagner, who shared the recipe, has won several awards with this recipe. 


Buttermilk Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 1 recipe Pastry for Single-Crust Pie (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted**

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, gradually beat sugar into softened butter with an electric mixer, beating until mixture is well blended.
  2. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Combine flour and salt. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
  4. Beat in buttermilk until mixture is well blended. Pour into the Pastry for Single-Crust Pie.
  5. Sprinkle pecans over the filling in piecrust.
  6. Bake in a 300 degree F oven for 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes or until the buttermilk filling is set. Cool. Store pie in the refrigerator. Makes 8 servings.

Note

  • * To make 1 cup sour milk, place 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup liquid; stir. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes before using it in a recipe.

Note

  • ** To toast the chopped pecans, spread them evenly in a shallow baking pan. Bake the pecans in a 350 degree F oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until they're browned, stirring the pecans once or twice during the baking time.
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God Bless America!  xo


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