In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets---some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage.
Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.
" You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies." Psalm 23:5

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate Muffins....
It is a chocolate muffin recipe that I altered a bit and then added milk chocolate chips and vanilla chips. I am waiting for feed back from my taste testers. I was wondering if maybe a chocolate drizzle or ganache would be good on top??? Or would it be over the top???

I bought a mini-bundt pan awhile back and have been wanting to use it. The first time was a failure but this time it turned out pretty what to do with this??? maybe this could use more chocolate topping??? and cream and maybe a cherry.

I am still working on those cappuccino-chocolate chip muffins this time I added white chocolate with the dark chocolate. They were good but still the next morning a bit dry hmmmm....need to figure that one out maybe another egg? or more liquid. I am working on another food blog with my sister-in-law and neice so I feel the recipes I post there should only be of the best quality or at least really, really good. (where you won't notice any defects:):))

( I will be cleaning, Hunter is coming for a few days next week and he NEEDS constant supervision)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


When cooking with a toddler (Hunter-17months old) it has to be fast and easy. He loves bananas so we decided on banana pudding. He was mixing and then thought it needed a taste.
Hmmm...let's see now....

He tasted and said mmm good. Now what does it feel like?

It feels good..are we done yet nana (grandma)

not yet...a little more mixing and don't forget the bananas

mix the bananas in with an upside down wisk

put what is left in the refrigerator where Grandma put hers.

Hunter is a very active child so you have to have some planned activities. It was very cold outside so we could not play out there so I have been cooking a little with him. It can't take to long or his interest will fade and sticky hands will be everywhere.
He will be home with his mom for the next week and then back with me for a couple of days. I am also watching my grandaughter Ellie who is 5 months old so I can't watch Hunter everyday. The daycare lady had her baby and he should be back there in about 6 weeeks . The other grandma has a farm and he will spend sometime there. They are butchering pigs this weekend. That should be fun for them....not me:):)

Monday, January 25, 2010


Look who came to visit Grandma this week...Hunter.
His daycare lady is having a baby so the Grandmas will be helping with his care for the next 6 weeks. I don't think this Grandma will last more than a couple because I have Ellie too. We went swimming to get rid of some of that energy I wish I could bottle up and sell. He didn't want to get dressed right away and this is a messy job for little ones who want to help their Grandmas so we waited to finish putting his clothes on
We are dehydrating pineapple and making fruit leather
He is reaching for a pineapple
and putting it on the tray...he really got pretty good with this.

WOW!!! what a day.
Tomorrow I will have Ellie in the morning and he comes a little later I sure hope I survive the next couple of weeks. I run a free daycare for the grandkids...maybe that is what I am doing

Saturday, January 16, 2010


WELL it is the start of a new year and I really have to try and lose a few pounds, for health reasons, not because I think I am all that fat, although, 4 years ago I was a size 2 or maybe it was 5 years ago. It seemed about the time when the grandkids started arriving I started to pick up weight and 35 pounds later it is beginning to affect my health, which is the only reason one should lose weight, at my age. A grandmother needs a little cush so when the kiddies come around the have a nice soft hug, something to squish against..don't you think?? So Ellie and I have begun walking...where you say in the ice and snow can one walk???

The gym...I can't wait for nice weather to be able to go outdoors but by then I think Ellie will need a stroller or maybe grandma will. She is a lightweight but so was her father so for now I am able to use the front carrier and she loves it. We are starting slow to she if it is safe for her and grandma to go together so I don't anticipate much weight loss but as long as I am moving I think it will be good for me. We are also able to watch TV while walking so we don't lose interest. I put on sesame street for Ellie.

We also felt like a sprintime lunch when we went home so I made Chicken Salad. I roast a chicken breast with bone and skin on, it gives it more flavor but you can use boneless skinless also. I add chopped celery and greenonion but again what ever your preference is, a sweet onion, I think is best. We add a little garlic powder about 1/4 teaspoon. It is best if you make it ahead of time and let the flavors blend, at least a couple of hours before using. If you have a family that doesn't like any vegetables in their chicken salad you can substitute cerlery seed 1/8-1/4 teaspoon, onion powder 1 teaspoon and the same 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. We like ours on toatsed Cottage bread or Crossiants.

And then there was the WINTER pasta salad because we usually eat pasta salad in summer. I used two differnt bottles of Itialian dressing, a roasted tomato one and zesty one, one box of tri color pasta and then chopped green pepper and canned petite chopped tomatoes--one can. This salad is very versatile , you could add mushrooms, olives, what ever you like and it lasts at least a week in your refrigerator.

Here is my electric fireplace. I really..really miss a wood buring fireplace but out here in the frozen tundra wood is harder to come by and you can lose a lot of heat up that chimney. Our last home had a gas fireplace and that was nice. This one really isn't that bad and I can turn it off and on when ever I want. It still has a nice effect and feels almost like a real one.

I found this little welcome sign at Target on clearence and thought it would go nice on the fireplace mantel but now I have to figure out what else might go with it, now that all the Christmas stuff is put away

Our wall finally has some pictures!! We have been looking for awhile and finally ageed on these, with the mirror. My husband is much more involved in the decorating process this time and so there has to be much more compromising (on my part I think)

These two are called IN SPRING and CARRIAGE ROAD

These two are called AWAKENING and RIVERVIEW
The riverview is simaliar to what we see here.

The salesman in the picture store said this was called SERENITY and then I had to have it. We are downsizing and trying to have a slower, simpler life and putting all things in perspective for soon we will be retiring . We are looking forward to what GOD has instore for our future. This picture was perfect makes me feel calm and serene:)

WEll... this is just a little glimpse into my life this month of January where the ground is frozen , so no gardening is happening and it is quite cold most days to really venture outdoors too much. We are thinking of taking up some winter sports or activities, like SNOWSHOE or CROSS COUNTRY SKING but that requires equipment we don't currently own so I resolve myself to baking and working on my cookbook.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The fog is freezing to the trees. These pictures were taken with an i-phone so they are small I forgot to enlarge and am not sure if they will when you click on them but anyways we are freezing here at the cottage.

When it is so cold and barren outside I like to bake so today I thought I would use up some of that leftover isn't freezing inside

Eggnog bread and muffins. I like to make both so I ususally make a pan of muffins and a loaf of bread with the same recipe. This is one way I can make sure I don't eat it all. I like to share my goods and see what people think. Maybe someday I wll do a cookbook or something. A portion usually goes with my husband to work but lately when my son comes to pick up baby Eleanor I send some home with him. I worked on this recipie for two years it is really starting to come out good...

If you like eggnog.
There are pecans and golden rasins in it so you can rationalize eating it for breakfast.
The icing is just powdered sugar and a little eggnog ..I add 1/4 teaspoon rum flavoring
or you could use the real thing if you like.

AND THEN....there is the chex party mix I have been playing around with. We had all the kids and grandkids here this Christmas so I wanted to make it child friendly/ I substituted the pretzels for fishy crackers(the pretzel kind) and used the parmesan cheese ones and some cherrioes. No wheat chex because nobody seems to like them. It is fun trying to make up new kinds to snack on and you can even make it healthy (or at least a little bit) I make up my own nut mix with all the kinds we like. I never buy mixed nuts. I use 3-4 tablespoons Worcestershire, a (whole cube) 1/2 cup butter, season salt the same as the recipe and 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon onion powder. To my surprise the kids really liked it and they were not snacking on sweets all day.

And when the weather has you down...take one look at this little miracle and you just have to count your blessings. I have the great honor and pleasure of watching this little cutie 4 days a week. She is really becoming a little person and some days really pulls at your heart strings. I think she is going to be a shy one. We read the shy little kitten yesterday and I think she really enjoyed it. My grandaughter Eleanor Lorraine named after her two grandmas who passed away in the last three years.

WE love you Ellie thanks for being born.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

LEMON POPPYSEED MUFFINS (and grandpa with Ellie)

Here is a quick muffin recipe for when you don't have a lot of time

1 package of cake mix
(yellow, lemon or white)
1 package instant lemon pudding mix (3-4oz.)
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup water
4 eggs
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
(I like freshly squeezed)
1/4 cup poppyseeds
Put all ingredients, except poppyseeds, into mixing bowl and mix until combined.
then beat for 4 minutes and fold in the poppyseeds.
you may make muffins or loaves out of this recipe.
2- well greased loaf pans Bake for 35-40 minutes
2 -12cup muffin pans Bake 20 minutes.
(add the instant pudding even if your cake mix has pudding in it already)
I like to add a little lemon icing to it
1 cup powdered sugar and 3Tablesoon lemon juice
Drizzle over loaves or muffins
Grandpa watched Ellie while I went to the dentist

Looks like they got along quite well don't you think??

She has started putting everything in her mouth(teething) but no teeth yet

We sure are enjoying being grandparents.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Here is a muffin for all the coffee lovers out there.
Cappuccino-Chocolate Chip Muffin
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
cream together till light and fluffy
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
add egg and beat well then add vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (i use sea salt)
sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with wet ingredients
1/3 cup milk
2-tablespoons instant coffee or espresso powder
added to 2 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon coffee-flavored liqueur (optional)
(add 1 tablespoon more coffee powder and 1 more tablespoon boiling water if you choose to skip the liqueur)
fold in chocolate chips
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
( if your dough is too stiff add a tablespoon of milk at a time untill it is the right consistency)
(muffin batter is thicker than cake batter)
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes
makes 12-14 muffins depending on how full you fill the cups
I used a regular muffin pan
I added a bit of whipped cream on top with just a touch of cinnamon sifted and then some chocolate sprinkles. The cream and cinnamon help to finish the flavor of a cappuccino
If you prefer more chocolate you could add a little of chocolate cream or fudge topping.
Eleanor fell asleep in the bouncy holding on to her teething toy for the first time
she is getting bigger everyday. What a sweet girl she is and a joy to have around.

When it is too cold to go outside bake something and enjoy it with a hot beverage:)
only -2 this morning and snow is in the forecast
Maybe this will help to chase those WINTER blues away.

Monday, January 4, 2010


'' Snowman Soup"
I was told you have been real good this year
Always glad to hear it
With freezing weather drawing near
You will need to warm the spirit
So here is a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick
Just add hot water, sip it slow
It is sure to do the trick
1 package hot chocolate mix
3 Hershey kisses
10 mini-marshmallows
1 candy cane
Place in a small ziplock bag or in a snowman mug or both!!
Makes a nice gift:)
When the weather outside is frightful,
Snowman soup can be delightful.
May it warm your spirit and your soul.
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!
when you feel a chill or 'brrrrrr'
Use the pepermint stick to stir.
Add hot water and sip it slow.
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.
For your naughty friends:
"You have been naughty,
so here is the scoop.....
All you get is
Place some mini-marshmallows in a plastic bag.
tie it up with a pretty bow and add the poem
My sister sent me a different poem but I could not find it so I am sending this one instead.


Grandma, Hunter and Ellie witing for the food to start on New Years Eve

Alyssa taking a break from swimming..It sure helped to keep them busy during their visit. This summer it will be the new splash park in town.
The girls wanted sparkley shoes for Christmas..Alyssa recieved silver ones and...

Madelyn got hello kitty ones in pink and silver.

This was the table on Christmas Eve now I will be thinking of Valentines Day...hmmm...let me see ...there should be lots of chocolate...chocolate caramels, chocolate sugar cookies, chocolate truffles...well I better get planning:)