Monday, January 25, 2016

Paper Bag Apple Pie

 National Pie Day was last Saturday, and I decided to make a paper bag apple pie.  I'm having some Almond Biscotti tea that my friend Margie, from Tea In The Valley sent me recently.  Thank you, Margie!  Oops, I can see my reflection in the glass of the fireplace!

 I'm using my Johnson Bros Friendly Village Ice House teacup.  It's perfect for the chilly weather we've been having. 

 Here's my apple pie, fresh out of the paper bag.  I ended up using a Trader Joe's grocery bag, taking off the paper handles, and using paper clips to close it up.

The pie was really tasty, and you can find the recipe  here from King Arthur Flour.  

Even though I loved the flavor of the pie, I sooooo missed the wonderful smell of apple pie  baking in the oven.  Smelling a paper bag in the oven is, well...not my cup of tea!   I liked the idea of precooking the apples in the microwave for five minutes before placing them in the pie shell.  I will definitely do this again because I don't like under-cooked apples in my apple pie.  However, I'll be skipping the paper bag method from now on! 

I'm sharing this with these lovely parties:

Thank you for your visit!  xo

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cozy Village Mini Cakes

When my grands and I made the cozy village cakelets, back in December, I had a few leftover, which I stuck in the freezer.  I pulled those out today and sprinkled them with some powdered sugar "snow" and put them on my snowflake-edged plates that I found at Kroger several seasons ago.  My teddy bear is dressed for the occasion, and I'm sharing my old copy of Frosty the Snow Man, back from 1976.  My little electric candle has a snowman bulb to shine some glow on my tea table.

Here's a close-up of my mug, which I'm having some Constant Comment tea, that goes well with the citrus flavor in the cake.

Aren't these the sweetest little cottages?  I had my two little neighbor boys over to decorate some, also, and the oldest, who is eight, said on the way out, "Thank you, Miss Kitty for having us over.  That was so kind of you."  Oh my goodness, my heart just melted right there on the spot!

Snowy Village Cake Recipe, courtesy of Nordic Ware:

2 and 1/4 cups flour
1 and 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 cup butter, melted
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange extract
 grated orange peel from 1 orange

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour Cozy Village Baking Pan; set aside (I used Baker's Joy).

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine yogurt (or sour cream), butter, eggs, vanilla and orange extract; beat on medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well blended.

Add dry ingredients; blend on lowest speed, scraping bowl often, until well combined.  Beat on medium speed 1 minute.  Stir in orange peel.

Spoon half of batter into prepared pan, filling each well 3/4 full.  Tap pan onto countertop to release air bubbles.  For best results, spread batter up to reach the top edges of each well, so it is slightly lower in the centers.  Set remaining batter aside.  Bake for 22-27 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pan.  Invert cakes onto cooling rack and cool completely.  Wash and dry out pan.  Prepare pan as previously instructed.  Repeat filling and baking procedure with remaining batter.  Decorate as desired.

Makes 12 little cakes.  I'm sure this would also make one large bundt cake.

Here's the little cottage all decorated with icing and Rice Krispie treat trees.  Teddy Grahams are the greeters!  

I just realized that I never shared this photo of the five of my seven grandchildren with their adorable cottages.  They all turned out so cute and everyone could take one home to enjoy and not have to share.  We used tiny candies, and sprinkles, all on foil covered cardboard .  Don't they look proud!? 


I am sharing this with these lovely parties:
Foodie Friday
Weekend Potluck  


I was featured!
I was featured!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Birthday Pizzelles

 My little sister's birthday is on the 13th,and I made some pizzelles and mailed them to her because she loves them, and I love her!  I saved a few to enjoy with a cup of tea. Happy Birthday, Amy!

 My sister sent me this Gracie teacup for Christmas.  Isn't it pretty?  It's navy blue and light blue with gold trim .  Can you see the toile design inside the cup?  I love surprises like that!

 My Lizzi Kate Winter cross stitch design is finished and looks cute with my Goebel sledders, given to me from my dad, back in the late 1970's. 

 For my pizzelles, I used this recipe that I shared before, but this time I took the advice of Lynn, from Happier Than A Pig In Mud, and added three tablespoons of cornstarch to the bottom of the 1 cup of flour, which makes the pizzelles light and crisp.  I thought about decorating the pizzelles like snowflakes, like Mary, from Home Is Where The Boat Is, did here. However, I didn't think that the pizzelles would stack as well to pack. 

This beautiful hawk has visited my backyard 8 times since my beloved hubby passed away, and three times since December 29th of this year.  The very first time that the hawk visited was on the Christmas Eve after Rich passed away.  The hawk will stay perched on a branch for so long, just hanging out and facing into the window. The tree is an East Palatka Holly tree and is an evergreen, with pretty red berries in the winter. 

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:
Thank you for your visit!  xo

Monday, January 4, 2016

Black-Eyed Pea Soup and a Wonderful Giveaway Winning

Being a girl that was born in Pennsylvania, and brought up in Ohio, my Mom always fixed pork and sauerkraut for New Year's Day.  This year  I changed it up and fixed a pot of Black-Eyed Pea with Sausage Soup to bring in the New Year.  

 I'm using a favorite Winter teacup that's marked Clarence, Bone China, Made in England.  I love the pine cone spray inside the teacup


 I saw the recipe for this stew on The Today Show, but adapted it to make a soup.  I was pleasantly surprised by how flavorful and spicy it was.  I will definitely be making this soup again.  Here's the adapted recipe:

Black-Eyed Pea and Sausage Soup:
    • 1 lb. Italian Sausage (I used a mixture of hot and mild)
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced(I'm not sure this is needed with the hot Italian sausage)
    • One 14-ounce can Italian tomatoes, drained and chopped
    • 3 cans black-eyed peas, drained
    • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth 
    • 1 cup water
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus leaves for garnish, optional

1. In a large dutch oven, brown the sausage.
2. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño to the dutch oven and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until just beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the black-eyed peas, along with the broth. Season lightly with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer until the soup is heated through.
3.Add the chopped cilantro, season with salt and pepper and simmer the stew for a few minutes.    Spoon the pea-and-sausage soup into deep bowls, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve. 

Recently I won a ThermoWorks  Chef Alarm, which was coordinated by Jean's blog at Delightful Repast.  This probe can be used for so many things, one of which I used for my Civil War Starter Bread, to make sure that reached the proper temperature.  As you can see, Jean even asked what color I would like to pick for my Chef Alarm, and of course, I picked red! 

Once a year, I splurge on a beef tenderloin for Christmas Eve, in honor of my late Beloved Husband, who loved to have it for our family's Christmas Eve meal.  The probe was used for this,  to make sure that it reached the perfect temperature.  Thank you so much to ThermoWorks for this Chef Alarm, and to Jean, who reviews these fabulous products and coordinates it all.  I know I'll be using it to check the temperature of so many things.  


Pope Francis has declared this the Year of Mercy, and I had been learning about mercy this Advent season.

Here is a prayer that I wrote for my family for Christmas. I was so hoping that it would be meaningful:

I pray for God's Mercy for each of you and may you bring God's love and mercy to everyone you meet.  Mercy is a gift that you can give and receive.

I pray, also, for peace in the world, in my home and yours,  and peace in myself and for all of you.  Amen.

Happy New Year to all my friends.  Thank you for all your thoughtfulness and kindness that you've shown me throughout the year.  You mean the world to me.

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Thank you for your visit!  xo

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