Monday, September 17, 2018

Cowboy Cookies

 I just had to buy some pretty sunflowers from Trader Joe's to use with one of my favorite plates.   We can enjoy some Cowboy Cookies with a cup of tea, and sit by my waterfall.  


 This teacup goes with so many things, and I just love the pattern.



Yield: Depends on size of cookie

Cowboy Cookies

This recipe comes from Cafe' 43, when my friend Joy and I went to the Bush Library. I had copied this recipe years ago from a magazine,  but it made such a large amount. This recipe is half, and printed out on a package of the cookies.  The cookies are so good!

ingredients:

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 rounded teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup oats
2/3 cup coconut
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips

instructions:

Cream butter and sugars.
Add egg and vanilla, and beat together.
Add flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, and beat until blended.
Stir in remaining ingredients. 
Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. 
Created using The Recipes Generator



 I had some oral surgery this past week, and my daughter and her two oldest came to visit me.  I loved seeing their smiling faces!

 This little sweetie came to spend the night with me.  We always have breakfast and tea in bed!  Of course we did some baking together, which is always fun for us.  

 I'll leave you with a happy photo of sunflowers, which always make me smile!


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Monday, September 10, 2018

Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers


 How about some spicy appetizers to serve at your next party?  I actually served these as a main course for my meal, along with a salad.  If you don't mind some heat, I think you'll love these. 





Yield: 40 halves

Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers

Try these for when you want a spicy appetizer, or do as I did, and serve them as a meal!

ingredients:

20 jalapenos (cut in half)
1 and 1/2 cup cooked,  shredded chicken (I used chicken thighs, but use a rotisserie, or whatever you have)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup smoked cheddar (I used a Mexican blend of cheese and a few drops of liquid smoke)
1/2 cup buffalo hot sauce (I used Frank's)
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles ( I omitted because I didn't have any)

instructions:

Slice the jalapenos lengthwise, removing the seeds and membranes.  I wore plastic gloves!  Place the jalapenos on a baking sheet.
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the filling, except the blue cheese.
Add 1 tablespoon of the filling to each jalapeno half, and then top with the blue cheese.
At this point, you can refrigerate them. 
When ready to bake, preheat your grill, and when ready to cook, place the jalapenos on the indirect heat side of the grill.
Cook the jalapenos for 8-10 minutes.

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This sweet granddaughter, Ella, turned 8 years old last week! 










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Monday, September 3, 2018

Best Baked Beans

 Happy Labor Day!  Today I'm sharing my favorite baked bean recipe that I got from my friend, Debbie, at Mountain Breaths.  I've been making these beans for several years now, and have never posted the recipe.  Debbie didn't mind that I share this great recipe.  To read Debbie's post, you can go  to read about the Best. Beans. Ever.  They are so tasty, and if you are ever in need of making baked beans, I encourage you to try this recipe.  I'm using a vintage tablecloth that my mom gave me years, and years ago.  It's a soft flannel, and perfect for picnics.  The one plant this is looking so good is my purple oxalis (shamrock) plant.  It is getting so big, and I love the little flowers that it always produces.






Best Baked Beans

These beans are so tasty and I'm sure will be loved at your next family function.  I could eat them as a meal!

ingredients:

 

     1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
     1 cup chopped onion
2 cups kidney beans (drained) (I use a 15.5 oz. can)
2 cups butter beans or Great Northern (drained) (a 15.5 oz. can)
2 cups pork and beans (I use a 28 oz. can)
1/2 cup catsup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp. garlic powder


instructions:

Brown the bacon and onion in a skillet; drain. Set aside.
Combine all the beans in a bowl, stirring gently. Stir in a mixture of the catsup, brown sugar and garlic powder.
Add the browned bacon and onions to the bean mixture and mix gently.
Spoon into a two quart baking dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Monday, August 27, 2018

Vanilla Madeleines

For today's tea in the garden, I am using a beautiful vintage, embroidered lunch cloth that my forever friend, Joy, brought back from her vacation.  Joy and I went to the Bush Library to see the First Ladies Exhibit, and we had lunch there, at Cafe 43,  to belatedly celebrate her birthday.  I was so busy gushing over the lunch that I forgot to take pictures.  My lady vase is holding the few flowers that I could find in my garden. 


Just look at the pretty detail on this lunch cloth with the beautiful embroidery, and the blue crocheted edging.  Joy even did some repair work on part of it to make  it perfect!   Isn't it the perfect tea time cloth?  I am grateful for my friend in gifting me this work of art that someone so lovingly did.

I crocheted the tea cozy in a granny square pattern, and then joined them together at the bottom.  For the top, I chained a cord, and then wove it though the top, about an 1 and 1/2 down.  I like the way it turned out, and I was able to finally use it on this pretty tea cloth.  I'm using my Royal Albert Petit Point teacup, in the front, and my Rosina teacup in the back.  Of course, some Tazo vanilla bean macaron tea sounds perfect with the vanilla madeleines, don't you think?  Which cup would you like to choose? 


Darling Cissy still wants to come and bake after school, when she can, and this time she chose to make Madeleines.  She learned how to alternately add ingredients, and how to properly fold those ingredients into the batter.  It thrills this Nana to know that she wants to come over for special time with me.

 


Yield: 30

Vanilla Madeleines

These little gems are the most delightful teatime treat! Be careful to watch them, as ours were done before the allotted time. They can quickly over brown! Be sure to plan ahead, as the batter needs to refrigerate for 45 minutes.

ingredients:

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour , sifted or whisked, to aerate

instructions:

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter, then set it aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and salt until they're light yellow and very thick. Stir in the vanilla and butter-rum flavor. Add the flour and melted butter alternately, using a folding motion (be gentle!), so the batter loses as little volume as possible. Refrigerate the batter, covered, for 45 minutes or so, until it's thick.
  3. Scoop the batter into the lightly greased wells of a standard-size madeleine pan, using 1 slightly rounded tablespoon of batter for each cookie. (If you have only one pan, bake in sequence, keeping the remaining batter refrigerated).
  4. Bake the madeleines in a preheated 375 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes (ours were done in about 9 minutes) , until they're light brown at the edges. Cool in the pan for several minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack.
  5. Sift a light coating of confectioners' sugar over the madeleines just before serving.  Store cookies in an airtight container.

NOTES:

If you forget to get your eggs out in time to bring to room temperature, a quick way to do it, is to put the eggs in a bowl and cover them with hot water for about five minutes.
Created using The Recipes Generator


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Monday, August 20, 2018

Homemade Play Dough and Memories


 On August 16th, it was the fifth anniversary of my beloved Rich's passing.  I invited the family over to enjoy his favorite dessert of Ice Cream Dessert with Peanut Butter Crust.  I was planning on showing a picture of it, but when I went to get the pan out of the freezer, someone had finished it off!  You can check our favorite recipe here


 I saw all of my four children on the day, but not everyone at once.  Some had to leave early, and one came later with this bouquet of flowers. 

 This little Harper came and spent the night, and she was soooo excited for her visit to my house.   Her parents were on a staycation for the week.

 My youngest son and DIL came to pick Harper up and take her on an outing, and left little Hayden in my care. She is such a sweetheart!

 Cissy came by and she was excited to feed her baby cousin! 

 Harper is enjoying her dance class so much, and Nana wanted to make her a tote for her shoes.

 Here's her new tote I made for her, and a shirt that I embroidered, which you can see below. 

 This little ballerina reminded me of Harper, and she loves getting presents from Nana!





Homemade Play Dough

I got this recipe over 40 years ago from my friend Susie, who lived across the street from me.   I've never tried another play dough recipe other than this one.

ingredients:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
food coloring of your choice


instructions:

In a heavy saucepan, mix the flour, salt and cream of tartar.  Add the water, oil and food coloring.  Cook for 3 minutes or until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. 
Knead slightly, while still warm.
Store in an airtight container.
Keeps for weeks!
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Monday, August 13, 2018

Almond Cake

 It was awhile back that I read about this fabulous sounding  Almond Cake on Susan's blog, Savoring Time in the Kitchen.  I knew that I wanted to make it and even ordered the Rehrucken  cake pan from Amazon., which describes the cake as one that is enjoyed in Germany and Austria. I finally got around to making it, and oh, is it ever tasty.  You can read about it on Susan's post here.  One of my friends let me borrow her Norske Nook Book of Pies and Other Recipes, and the Almond Cake recipe was in it, also. However, in the Norske Nook cookbook the baking time for the cake was 1 hour and 15 minutes, which in my opinion, would be way over baked!

I thought I'd use some pretty, summery teacups for my tea, in honor of the pretty cake.  The two on the right are Royal Albert ones gifted to me in a set of five from my youngest son and DIL, and the one  on the left is a Gracie teacup from a dear blogging friend.  I love rotating my teacups so that they all get used and loved. None of the flowers came from my garden, but came from the bargain section at Kroger's, which was a tip from my daughter! 


Yield: 12 servings

Almond Cake

I left out the vanilla and doubled the almond extract because I wanted a pronounced almond flavor to the cake. If you prefer, use 3/4 teaspoon vanilla and 3/4 teaspoon of almond.

ingredients:

1 and 1/4  cups granulated sugar
1 egg
1 and 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2/3 cup heavy cream  or milk (I used milk)
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt  (I omitted )
1 stick melted butter (I used salted)
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds (optional)



instructions:

Toast almonds on a small baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for approximately 5-7 minutes, watching carefully so they don't burn.

Beat together sugar, egg, extract and heavy cream, (or milk).  Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and add to mixture. Fold in melted butter and blend until smooth.

Prepare the Rehrucken pan by spraying with non-stick baking spray (I used Baker's Joy).

Place toasted sliced almonds in bottom of prepared pan and then pour in batter.

Bake at 350F degrees for about 40 minutes (my cake took 50 minutes).   A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean and the cake should be brown around the edges.

Cool cake in pan for 30 minutes and then place a serving plate on top of the cake pan and invert to release the cake.

The cake can be sprinkled with powdered sugar, served with fresh berries, and whipped cream, or sliced through the middle and filled with whipped cream. 
Created using The Recipes Generator

This cake is so tasty!



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Monday, August 6, 2018

Happy Tea Time Birthday for Cissy

 To celebrate Cissy's 11th birthday which is this week, I took my daughter, Molly, and granddaughter, Cissy to a high tea at a local tearoom.   Cissy looks so pretty, doesn't she?  Besides being pretty on the outside, more importantly, she's pretty on the inside.

  The Chocolate Angel tea room serves a kid's menu, besides the adult menu,  for tea at 3:30. We had our own private area for our tea.  Underneath the glass table, they have old fashioned pictures of weddings.   The brown things sticking up, are our napkins! The tea room is decorated in a shabby chic style, with different teacups at each place setting, some with matching saucers, and some without. 

 Here is a picture of the three of us ready to enjoy our tea and laugh as only three generations can, with fun memories, and happiness!


Here is a picture of our dessert course, with a macaron, mini brownie, and a frosted thumbprint  sugar cookie.  Cissy chose the Chocolate Angel's Signature White tea for our main course, and then their Toasted Pecan tea, which is pink in color,  for our dessert course.  We had a wonderful time celebrating this sweet girl's birthday!  Thank you for sharing in our joy.



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Monday, July 30, 2018

Fun Girl Time!


 I was simply beyond thrilled to  have my three oldest granddaughters come over to spend the night!!  Avery is on the left, Cissy, and Ella.  Avery and Ella are sisters.  We started the evening off with dinner at Chick Fil A, and then back to Nana's house for a  special spa treatment......


 Ella, since she was the youngest, went first.  We started with a coconut facial mask, while she soaked her feet. 

 Cissy was next in line.  When I had each girl alone, I told them why they were special to me. 

 Avery, being the oldest granddaughter went last.  I wanted to make sure each of them knew that they were loved by me.  After drying their feet, I then let them choose a polish for their toenails.  We chatted away while I pampered them, and I had special alone time with each of them.   

 Here are the sweet cousins enjoying a card game of Old Maids.  We also had hot fudge sundaes, and in the morning I made red velvet donuts. 

 

Of course, at Nana's house, we always have a tea party!  The girls chose which cup they wanted to use.  

 

Thank you so much for coming to visit my special time with these dear little loves.  As you can see, I am forever grateful. 


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Monday, July 23, 2018

Millionaire Bars

We are having record highs here in the Dallas area, and whew...we must quickly eat these Millionaire Bars before they melt.  I did make a fresh pitcher of iced tea, and I'll pour you some.  I had to borrow my basket from my coffee table because the high temperatures have been hard on my flowers.


 The kids and I were excited to try this recipe for twix-like bars, and they didn't disappoint.  They learned how to make shortbread, and homemade caramel, and to use a thermometer. 



 We also took a field trip to Carlo's Bake Shop (of Cake Boss fame).  I had a gift card that a dear friend had given me, and I thought it would be fun to share with my sweet grands that come to my cooking camp.  Caiden chose cookies and cream cake, and Cissy chose red velvet.  They only ate part, and took the rest home.


 Here's my sweet fairy garden, that I had to spiffy up.  At least it looks cool and refreshing. 

 I used to be able to enjoy sitting on this sectional every evening,  before the record high's barreled in.  Hopefully, I'll be back out there again soon.  Right now about all I do is go out and water and then head back to the A/C. 



Yield: 32 bars

Millionaire Bars

The recipe called for unsalted butter and then added salt. We used salted butter, and left out the salt.  We're tricky like that!  If you like Twix Bars, you'll love these!

ingredients:

For the Shortbread Layer:

  • 12 tablespoons butter at room temperature, but not too soft
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour 

For the Caramel Layer:

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup or light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate:

  • 8 ounces  semisweet chocolate, chopped (I think milk chocolate chips would be better)

instructions:

  1. Make the shortbread layer: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add flour and salt, and beat on low just until the mixture is evenly combined and the texture of coarse sand.
  2. Tip mixture into prepared pan, and press down firmly into an even layer. Bake until top is dry and light golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  3. Make the caramel layer: In a medium saucepan, combine condensed milk, butter, Golden Syrup and salt. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until it has thickened and changed from a milky yellow color to the color of butterscotch pudding, 10 to 20 minutes. It should read 220 degrees to 225 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the bottom from scorching. Stir in vanilla extract. Immediately pour the caramel over the baked crust and spread it into an even layer.
  4. Prepare the chocolate: In the microwave or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate in short bursts, stirring often. Spread melted chocolate in an even layer over caramel. Chill until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. To serve, cut the parchment-free sides away from the pan with a sharp knife, then transfer the shortbread to a cutting board using the parchment overhang. Cut into 32 small bars.
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Won't you join us for our July Garden Link Party?
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