Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Easiest Cookie Recipe!

This recipe is the easiest cookie I have found to make.  If you don't have a lot of time this is great.  It is courtesy of  The Aunt Bee's Delightful Desserts book.  Yes from the Andy Griffith show!    Try it and you will agree!



Carolina Moon Chocolates

1 package dark chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 large eggs
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Blend cake mix, oil and eggs.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Drop from a spoon, leaving room to expand.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.  Makes 3 to 4 dozen.

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sugar Cookie Truffle Cups

These were so easy to make.  This is a Betty Crocker recipe.  There are so many things you can do with their sugar cookie mix!  

Garnish
3
oz semisweet baking chocolate
1
tablespoon shortening
Cookie Cups
1
pouch Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/4
cup butter
1
egg
Filling
2
cups dark chocolate chips (12 oz)
3/4
cups heavy whipping cream

There are a couple of things I did differently.  I reversed the dark chocolate and the semi sweet chocolate.  I bought a dark chocolate candy bar and made the curls out of that.  Also, you need to wait until the filling cools down before you put the curls on or else they will melt! 

Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray.
 In medium microwavable bowl, microwave semisweet baking chocolate and shortening on High until smooth and melted. Pour onto ungreased cookie sheet. Using spatula, smooth chocolate into a thin layer; set aside to harden.
In large bowl, mix Cookie Cup ingredients until a crumbly dough forms. Shape dough into small balls; place each into muffin cup.

Bake 10 to 11 minutes or until set and very light golden brown (dough will puff slightly). Using end of rolling pin handle or spoon, press indentation in center of each cookie to form cup. Cool completely in pan, about 15 minutes. Remove cookie cups from muffin cups to cooling rack.

Meanwhile, to make curly chocolate shavings, use metal spatula to scrape a thin layer of chocolate from metal cookie sheet by sliding spatula edge quickly just under layer of hardened chocolate.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave dark chocolate chips and whipping cream on High until chocolate is melted; stir until smooth.



 Spoon filling evenly into each cookie cup. Press chocolate curls gently into center of each cookie cup. Let filling cool completely before serving. 


 I also got more then 24 cookies out of the recipe. I did have chocolate ganache left over as well! What can I make with that? 







Friday, December 09, 2011

My Holiday Craft This Year!


These were so much fun to make and easy too! 

Glitter!

Feathers!

I really like the black and red ornanments!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Creative Energy

What do you do when you have creative energy? Well, I take the sewing machine down from the attic and use the fabric I bought a few years ago to make valances for the family room! Project completed!





Now that I have the sewing machine down....what else shall I make??

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Still Blooming!

I love this time of year!  I love the changing colors and the cooler weather.  I love the fact that I can still see my flowers blooming.  I believe these will be the last of the blooms though.   The weather will get colder outside soon.  It won't last long though! 


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rain

In every ones life a little rain must fall.  I am having one of those days.

 Even though I know things will get better, I can still have one of those days.  I am allowed. 

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Halloween Decorations are Up!

I have gotten most of the decorations up for Halloween!  Just a few more for outside!   Many of the decorations I have had for years.  Some are hand made.




 When the kids were younger they use to love helping me!  They seem to be to busy now.  Jack thinks many of them are babyish.  He would like more blood and gore!




Some of the decorations are from when I had an office.  Of course I decorated my office...wouldn't you!

And of course they do have their favorite decoration!  Everybody loves Frank!



 I know deep down inside they still appreciate the decorations!  We shall see when the time comes to take them down and put them away! 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Dinner Tonight - Shepherds Pie

I was trying to think of something hearty and inexpensive to make for dinner tonight...then it came to me!  Shepherds' Pie!  I hope the family likes it!  I added frozen vegetables instead of fresh.  I even got Jack to try it.  He did not care for the cooked veggies.  At least he tried it though!

Recipe

Easy Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 cups vegetables - chopped carrots, corn, peas
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones)
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice

Method

1 Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).
2 While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick) in large frying pan.
3 Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat (10 mins). If you are adding vegetables, add them according to cooking time. Put any carrots in with the onions. Add corn or peas either at the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat has initially cooked.

4 Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper. Add worcesterchire sauce. Add half a cup of beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth as necessary to keep moist.
5 Mash potatoes in bowl with remainder of butter, season to taste.



6 Place beef and onions in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. You can use the fork to make some designs in the potatoes as well.

7 Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown.


Serves four.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 25, 2011

Hello!  It has been awhile!  The summer went by pretty quick!  The kids went back to school two weeks ago.  I am glad to be back in a routine.  It keeps me sane!  I am looking forward to the Friday night high school football games!  The first one is tomorrow night!  My son the senior is a kicker for the team.  His team won 4A state champs last year!  This year we have a new coach and a new team.  I hope they will do well.  My youngest son is on the team for 7th grade football.  He broke his finger the third day of practice.  Hopefully in a couple of weeks he will be able to play.  This is his first year and I am just happy he is sticking it out.  My daughter wasn't sure if she was going to take classes this year at the community college.  Thankfully she did sign up for two classes.  She is still not sure what her major will be.  I am very thankful for the the time I have been able to spend with my children since I was laid off from work.  We will not be able to get this time back.  I continue to look for work.....I have not turned anything down.  I am hopeful something will come my way!  Until then I look forward to just being MOM! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Growing a Little Something


It is now time for the growing season.  My husband us usually the one that takes care of the vegetable garden.  He is doing his thing this year but I thought I would try my hand in it since I am not working at the moment.  When we were first married and living in our townhouse I was the one who originally did the gardening.  With kids and going back to work full time I just wasn't that into it.  I started some tomato seeds and a little herb garden for the window.  They have already started sprouting!  The were both inexpensive kits.  I bought them at Dollar General.  Love that store!  Now I need to figure out where I will put the tomato plants.  Dennis has already started his plants and he has a lot.  I was thinking about doing a box garden.  The soil here is clay and I hate it! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cover Letter

Okay.....so I just spent about an hour creating a cover letter for a job.   I am not good at self promotion!  Maybe that is what my problem is.  I just cannot seem to find the words to describe myself and what I have to offer!  I think I need help!  Ugh.....I am trying though. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Doula

I have been exploring different career paths lately.  One thing that I am looking into is becoming a Doula.

Doula is a word that has most closely become associated with a woman who provides non-medical support during labour and birth, and also the postpartum period.

I first became interested in this practice 13 years ago.  There is a lot of information out there on the Internet.   I was able to speak with a local Doula on Friday.  She was very informative.  She suggested that I watch a documentary by Rikki Lake called "The Business of Being Born". http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/  I was blown away!   I suggest anyone who is pregnant or wants to become pregnant to watch this movie!   I am going to attend one of there local meetings tonight.  I am not sure if this is my path....I won't know unless I try. 

Monday, March 07, 2011

The Switching of the Closets

Okay, I have so many cloths that I keep them in two closets.  Every spring or fall I switch my wadrobe.  I switched to spring/summer wadrobe today.  Bottomline...I have too many cloths!  I am not wearing half of them.  Part of the reason I am not wearing half of them is because alot of them I would wear to work.  Since I am not working they are just hanging in my closet...waiting.   Some of them I will incorporate into non-work wordrobe.  It is funny though, after the past two months I have really simplified my life.  I could definately only live in jeans and a t-shirt!  After seeing all of the cloths that I have there will be no reason for me to want to buy anything new! 

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Getting Ready for the Big Day!

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How Do I Value Myself?

Thursday is the day I file my weekly unemployment claim.  It has been nine weeks since I lost my job.  It is funny how things have changed since that time.  The first few weeks I had to clean, clean and clean the house!  I felt like if I was not doing something then I was not valued.  I looked around yesterday and I noticed that I had let a few things go!  I will be getting right to those cleaning projects today.  I have lightened up on myself a bit.  It is okay for me to sit down and relax during the day.  I hope my family finds value in me and it is not just that I am home not doing anything!   I try to have dinner prepared every night!  Sometimes you have to eat leftovers though.  We are on a budget!

 Don't get me wrong....eventually I will have to find another source of income.  I am continually looking everyday.  I have sent resumes, networked and looked into taking classes.  I keep coming back to photography.  This is something that I have loved since I was a kid.  I remember getting my first camera (it was a  Polaroid) for either my birthday or Christmas.  I think I was 10??   Many camera's later....I still love it.  I am looking into getting a DSLR now.  With not working though...it is on the back burner for now.  I do have a great Kodak Digital Z980.  I recently took an online photography course.  I am now looking at taking a course at the community college.  I am the only one in my way though!   Somehow I always manage to talk myself out of things.  I have to stop doing that!  Does anyone else have that problem?