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

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I have been a slave to my kitchen for the past week. I did stop and make myself this cheery Christmas egg salad for lunch one of the days. A lettuce leaf with half and avocado filled with egg- salad and a few Roma tomatoes sliced on the side. It was really good!

We bake lots of cookies here at the cottage for Christmas week and Christmas day. Every good Scandinavian has a least 7 different cookies on their Christmas buffet. These are for my son-in-law Nate. I don't have a name for them it is a Ritz cracker filled with peanut butter and dipped in milk chocolate. You may use any chocolate you like but he is fond of the milk chocolate.

WE also have at least 3 kinds of quick breads. This is Cranberry-Orange Bread. We will also have Date-Nut Bread and Eggnog Bread and if there is time there will be Lemon-Poppyseed( I am working on this recipe, not happy with the one I have)

This is a bar cookie called Cranberry-Coconut Pecan, a very good one. We have Springerle, Snowballs (Grandma Dows Recipe), Berry butter Nuts(My dads recipe) Sugar cookies. Gingerbread cookies, and Almond Roca cookies. There may be a Gingerbread House next year if little Hunter is up to it. He will be 3 by then and hopefully his attention span will be improved.

This year there will be an assortment of mini-cheesecakes. Pumpkin. Turtle, and regular with a variety of toppings. The pumpkin has a ginger cookie for a crust, the turtle has a chocolate wafer and the rest have a vanilla wafer.
(sometimes I cannot find a chocolate wafer and then I will use the vanilla)
This is the pumpkin with a spiced sour cream topping
We have Peanut Brittle ( My dad's Recipe)
and Caramels ( I made this a family favorite)
and this year for the first time Almond Roca. This is a favorite of my mother and I hope to send her a small sampling (she is diabetic so a small sampling is all that is allowed)

I was at the craft store doing last minute shopping and found these cute red cupcake domes so I bought 2 for the Buffet

They add a bit of color don' you think?
Now what will I put in them?

I wasn't able to post all the pictures but I hope you enjoy some of these treats yourself
If the recipe is not posted here you will find it , in the next few weeks, at either or
~Merry Christms~

Saturday, December 18, 2010


~Welcome to my Cottage~
Winter is almost here and the decorating is almost finished for Christmas. The baking has begun and the shopping for Christmas Dinner will be completed on Tuesday. The coffee is on or if you prefer many Teas, Cocoas or instant Ciders are available. Come and sit awhile, there are cookies too!
This picture is out of order but I have always said I am still learning how to use this crazy machine. A corner in my kitchen

This is the picture I wanted to begin with because it is the most important reason we celebrate Christmas. Without Christ there would be no Christmas. I am a personal follower of Jesus and because of Him I will be in Heaven someday. This is the small hallway leading to the kitchen and living room.

As you enter our humble cottage you will find a new bench in the foyer`it has two drawers and a big basket. The winter here in Minnesota is harsh and requires lots of extra clothing. I now have a basket for all the gloves and scarves, a place to sit to take off my shoes( the snow, salt and sand ruins carpets and floors) and drawers for keys and stuff.
The stockings are hung by the chimney with care...while the snowmen watch for St. Nick

The small trees on the side do light up but I am not sure if I will have them lit yet.
The childrens corner is almost ready. The snowman plate will have a few crackers or goodies for the wee ones. Hunter who is 2 and Eleanor who is 1 will be joining us, both their mommies are expecting their second child, one in February and one in July . The train will also have a couple of surprises in it. Mr. Moose likes reading to his friends..Mr. Bear and Lilly

The top of the T.V. cabinet

Mr. Snowman holds a small light

A full view of the wall

This still needs some work but it will be nice to have treats here where the guests may serve themselves.

Some of these packages will be leaving with us on Christmas Eve. We are spending the evening with Pauls sister who just moved here from southern California. If you look close you can see the snowflake on top of the tree, it is white and sparkles. Yes, that is snow covering the ground outside the window and the temps have been barely above zero. This room is almost finished. I still need curtains, an accent rug and a few lamps.

If you look close here you may see the pinecone garland on the mirror??? A little tweaking and this will be ready for the big day.

All that is left is the setting of the table and the preparation of the food . Thanks for coming, did you want another cup of coffee or a slice of cranberry-orange bread?
~Merry Christmas~

Thursday, December 16, 2010


This is a great way to use fresh cranberries. I like it best with the fresh berries but you may substitute the crasins if that is what you have.
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a medium mixing bowl combine flour and sugar, cut in butter with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs, stir in the pecans. Press this mixture into a 13x9x2 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. While this is baking make the filling.

1 1/4 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
2 eggs beaten
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped cranberries
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Combine the sugar and flour. Stir in the eggs, milk, orange zest and vanilla. Fold in the cranberries, coconut and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. When crust comes out of the oven pour this over and bake for 25-30 minutes more. Just until the tops is lightly golden. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack and then cut into bars. I say what ever size yoou like but it should make about 36 bars. Mine never does, I like them bigger so about 24 for me.
I found this recipe in a Better Homes and Garden magazine but I have altered it a bit to my liking. You may use 3/4 cup of coconut if you like coconut. I have tried this and I like it. It isn't to much, in my opinion. My daughter Michelle likes this one alot. I started making it when we moved to Minnesota 10 years ago. Most of my family lives in Washington state and so it was up to me to do all the Holiday baking. I like to try a few new things every year and have to change them out for some of the old things but it works well for us. If I made it all I would never get out of the kitchen and I would be 500 pounds and unable to cook.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Here we are at the Christmas table. I purchased all the linens at the Target clearence sale last year. I just decided on the plates this year.
I think I will have to put the napkin on the side or it will hide the cute little snowflake

This is what I have so far for the centerpiece. I was thinking of having 8 small gifts around the wreath and each guest could take one after dinner...maybe a truffle or small ornament.

I hope to be finished decorating soon and then I will be able to share some more pictures. We are going with a winter-snowflake decore` this year. It seems I always run out of money before I run out of
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 6, 2010


This was Parent-Child Dedication at our church this past Sunday. Ellie was dedicated and the family was there to witness. She is getting a little nervous and wanted Grandma for just a minute. Hunter was trying to make her relax.

A big smile for the camera for a little practice.

Pastor Steve praying over Ellie and her parents

Grandma was trying to get some pictures and hopes God understands

Then it was off to Ellies house for lunch and gifts.
WE got her a water globe with a cross and a beautiful saying about the Lord keeping her.
It played amazing grace. We had the front engraved with her name and date.
Hunter thought it was another birthday
He is going to be a big brother in February

What a little cutie

Ellie liked all her special gifts

Here she is opening a beautiful plaque from auntie Cheryl and Jo

We had to take a small break Ellie wanted Hunter to share in all the fun

A cute lamb from Aunt Lucy

An engraved photo album from Aunt Mary,Uncle Nate and Hunter

What a fun time and a blessing for Ellie to know everyone will be praying for her to grow in the Lord and follow the path he has for her.
~God Bless you Eleanor Lorraine Rolfzen~
Dedicated on December 5, 2010