Tuesday, January 29, 2008

WFMW: Valentine's Day Gifts for Teachers

I love Valentine's Day! All that pink and red... In addition to all the grown-up romantic plans, I plan fun activities for my boys that day... heart shaped pizza, strawberry milkshakes, gifts, etc.

Just like you, we have many people with which to "share the love" on Valentine's Day. In that list of special people we count our boys' teachers. We will be sending a simple gift for them to enjoy with thier families on Valentine's Day.

The teacher gifts are pretty and simple. I wrap up a boxed cake mix (special Valentine's Day mix or red velvet), a tub of icing to go with the cake mix, and a Valentine's Day dishtowel. (Red hots or pink M&M's can go along with this too.)

Pretty and simple. That's what works for me.

Leave a comment and then head on over to Shannon's to catch up on some more great tips.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

An Award!

I am so excited!! Penguins and Ladybugs bestowed upon me an award. A kindness award. I feel so honored! Dash right over to her blog to see why it is easy to be kind to her.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Can't Decide Cookie

Chocolate chip or chocolate chocolate chip? Go ahead. Put both hands out in front of you with your palms up and "weigh" your choices. Chocolate chip or chocolate chocolate chip. Hey, why choose when you can have both!?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Beat butter and sugars. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Beat in the baking soda, salt and flour. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside while you make the chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Beat butter and sugars. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Beat in the cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and flour. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Preheat oven to 300. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop out a small ball of the chocolate chip cookie dough. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop a small ball of the chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough. Use your hands to make one medium ball of cookie dough with both kinds, taking care not to mix them. Bake for 8-12 minutes.
Very cool looking cookies that are large and soft! Yumm-o!

I found this recipe at allrecipes.com. Lots of good stuff over there!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How to Enjoy South Carolina Snow!

Last Friday (1/25) it snowed here in South Carolina. (The second time in one week!!) And this time the kids were awake and got to enjoy some fun in the snow.
Now, snow is a unusual occurence in South Carolina, so if you ever see some rare South Carolina snow employ the following tips:
* Stare in wonder at the snow. Especially if you, like S, don't recall ever seeing it!
*Play with toys left in the yard. These toys will have a slight dusting of snow. Try to push that snow into a small "snow nugget". Marvel at the melting "snow nugget".
*Stick out your tongue in hopes of a huge flake landing right on your tongue. (Technique is important here. If you really want a flake to land on your tongue you are going to have to bend your head back.)
*Try catching some in your hot little hands. Well, at least pose for a picture trying to catch a few flakes.
*Zipped coats are optional. Any true "snow gear" really not neccesary. Afterall, by the time you find even the mittens the snow will be gone!
*Return from the now wet and rainy backyard to put on warm pajamas and sip hot cocoa.
*And, of course, extra whipped cream is always a good thing.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Okay. It only lasted a half an hour or so. Then it started to rain. And rain. And rain some more. But, hey, it snowed in the South!
And, here is a totally aweful pic of myself taken by myself (hence the funky angle and wicked chin action), but I had to share it so you could see that giant snowflake about to land on my nose!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

WFMW: An Egg for an Egg...

And a tooth for a tooth. No, wait that isn't how it goes! :) Oh, never mind. I was going to talk about eggshells!

Yes, eggs and eggshells. I do a lot of baking and much of my baking is done with small hands assisting. And I don't' know why, but little (and not so little) kids get the biggest kick out of breaking eggs. Something about that satisfying CRACK and BREAK I bet.

Little ones love cracking the eggs, but most people aren't wild about crunching those eggshell bits that occasionally work their way into the baked goods. Breaking the egg into a small dish helps a bit so that if the eggshell does break off it is easier to scoop out of the small dish rather than the entire batter bowl.
But what a frustrating ring around the rosy with the eggshell bit and your spoon (or finger)! Don't you get frustrated when the little bit goes this way and your spoon goes that way?

Well, what WORKS FOR ME is to use the eggshell to help. I take the broken half of the egg (wash it if you have to get it out of the trash!) and use that piece of eggshell as a scoop to remove the eggshell bit in the batter! For some reason the little bit of eggshell doesn't "run" from the eggshell scoop! No more crunchy eggshell bits in your baked goods!

Looking for other tips? Go visit Shannon’s blog.
Eggshell free Oreo chunk cookies baked today. Yummy...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Nothin' Says Celebratin' Like Fondue!

I know New Year's is gone in many of your memories as the stores rush to sell you pink and red valentine's, but I just wanted to post a few pics and a few recipes. So let's take a little wander back to my New Year's Eve Celebration!
Our family chose to celebrate the arrival of the New Year with plenty of home grown fan fare and pajamas. Game boards and electronic games were the entertainment while the dinner was coming together in the kitchen.

Dinner was mini sausages, bread chunks and apples dunked in cheese fondue. Chocolate dessert fondue followed our cheese fondue. What could be tastier than fruit, marshmallows and pound cake dripping in chocolate?

After the tasty fondue dinner (served on holiday paper plates) we returned to our living room to make sleeping bag nests to watch movies. We were all wearing our jammies as the original Herbie the Lovebug movie played on the dvd player and everyone was wide awake. (Ooooh the anticipation.)

Just before midnight we poured "toasting beverages" (champagne for the grown ups and Sprite for the kiddos) and turned on the tv so we could watch the ball drop. We counted down and then kissed and toasted and ran into the driveway to light sparklers.

Cheese Fondue

4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1.4 t cinnamon
1/4 t mace
1/4 t nutmeg
1/8 t salt
5 T flour
2 c apple juice
Mix the spices and flour. Add a small amount of the apple juice to the flour/spice mixture in a seal able jar. Shake until smooth. Pour in a saucepan and whisk in the rest of the apple juice. Stir in the cheese. Let simmer a bit and then dip away! Warmed (mini) sausages, hunks of bread, and green apple slices were very good dipped in the cheese fondue.

Chocolate Fondue
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 T butter
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 T water
t vanilla

In heavy saucepan, over medium heat, melt chocolate chips and butter with sweetened, condensed milk, and water. Cook and stir constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add vanilla.

Serve warm with "dippers" (pound cake cubes, strawberries, banana slices, marshmallows, etc. Store leftovers in fridge. (Makes a great ice cream topping, also.)
Warning! Here's what can happen with too much fondue and too little sleep! (S, the following afternoon.)

May God grant you His many blessings in 2008!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

WFMW: I Need A Hot Date... (and a cookie)

Alright. I'll admit that I have the Hot. I just need the Date. :)

Today Works For Me Wednesday is about asking for a tip rather than offering a tip. So, I'm looking for date night suggestions so that my husband and I can spend some time reconnecting. What works for you in the dating department?

For other Works for Me suggestions and questions visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Oh, yeah, I know I already asked for one tidbit, but could I push my luck just a bit? Wanna share your bestest cookie recipe? I got a big ol' mixer for Christmas and I'm looking for Cookie recipes!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

2, 4, 6, 38 Who Do We Appreciate?

Just about everyone says that December is a very busy month. Yup, but in our house we not only we celebrate Jesus' birthday that last week of the year, but we also celebrate my middle son, D's birthday, and my dear husband's birthdays as well.

D turned 6 and part of his celebrations included Dairy Queen!
My husband turned a lot more than 6 and I have to tell you that my man loves pie. Here he is overlooking his birthday pie fiesta... bumbleberry, chocolate creme, and deep dish apple. (Mental note: let pies cool before piercing them with birthday candles. ;))