Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Did You Miss Me?

It has been a LONG time since I have felt the urge to blog but with Fall right around the corner I am feeling a bit nostalgic. One of my favorite things about Fall is the cooler weather and the changing of the leaves. In our family we also have a tradition of going to the pumpkin patch and picking out pumpkins, sampling the fresh apple cider and our favorite "treat yourself",apple cider donuts. This recipe is courtesy of All You magazine....guess what I'm doing next weekend?

Apple Cider Donuts
2 cups sugar
1 TB plus 2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 TB unsalted butter
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
6 cups vegetable oil for frying

Line baking sheet with parchment. Line a large plate with paper towels. In a paper bag, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 TB cinnamon, shake to mix well. Set aside.

Bring cider to a boil over medium heat. Cook stirring occasionally, until cider reduces to 1/2 cup (about 20 minutes) Let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl whisk baking powder,salt,1 cup flour and remaining sugar and cinnamon until well combined. In a small bowl whisk butter,eggs yolk and cooled cider until well combined. Add cider mixture to flour mixture; whisk until smooth. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and mix until just combined. Dough will be slightly sticky. Refrigerate 10 minutes.

Pour oil into a large pot and attach a candy thermometer to side (thermometer should not touch bottom of pot) Heat oil over medium high heat until it reaches 375, watching and adjusting as needed to keep oil from overheating.

Turn dough out onto a well floured counter top and coat fingertips with flour. Pat dough out to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a doughnut cutter or two round cookie cutters (one large and one small) cut out doughnuts and holes. Transfer both to lined baking sheet. Gather scraps and re-pat dough cutting as many doughnuts as possible.

Working in batches carefully slide doughnuts into hot oil. After about 1 minutes doughnuts will rise to surface and begin to brown. At that point turn over and fry 1 1/2 minutes longer. Transfer to lined plate to drain. Bring oil back to 375 before frying another batch. When doughnuts have cooled for a minute add to bag with cinnamon and sugar and toss to coat. Remove to clean plate and serve.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kettle Corn

just wanted to share this super-easy kettle corn recipe from Rachael Ray....my kids loved it (me too)

Kettle Corn

1/4 cup vegatable oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup popcorn kernels

Place first three ingredients into large pot; mix up till sugar is incorporated into the oil. Add popcorn kernels.Cover pot. Heat on medium high or high heat till kernels start to pop, make sure to keep the pot moving at all times so that the corn and sugar do not burn. When popping slows turn off heat and remove from burner. Wait a minute before opening the pot lid; pour into a large bowl and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pay It Forward This Christmas

These gift ideas do double duty; not only can you give to those on your Christmas list but also others in need.

Starbucks has their red travel mug for the holidays. a dollare from each sale goes directly to the Global Fund; an organization that fights AIDS/HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in needy countries.

Find it at most Starbucks locations or at starbucks.com $15.95

Mo Smells the Holidays~adorable scratch and sniff children's book 10% of sales go directly to the Best Friends Animal Society which supports animal shelters

Find it at retailers nationwide or mosnose.com $17.95

The Hunger Site is offering up a beautiful Turkish ceramic keepsake bowl. For each bowl purchased 25 cups of food will be donated to those in need. At $6.95 it's a steal.

Find it at thehungersite.com/store

All profits from the bay,olive,eucalytus branch wreaths are donated to Meals on Wheels.

Find them here lindsayolives.com Prices start at $30

Hot chocolate anyone? St. Jude's is offering up these incredibly cute marshmallow fudge snowman tubes for $6 each or 2 for $10
100% of the proceeds go toward finding cure for and treating pediatric cancer.

Find it at stjude.org/shop

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lucky Dog

Lucky Dog.... Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named 'Lucky.' Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy.
Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing. Mary or Jim would go to Lucky's toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky's other favorite toys.
Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.
It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease....in fact; she was just sure it was fatal.She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders.
The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her...what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary's dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won't understand that I didn't want to leave him! The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.
The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable.
Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn't even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap. Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn't come to her when she called. It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed.
When Mary woke for a second she couldn't understand what was wrong. She couldn't move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem.
She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned!
While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life.He had covered her with his love.
Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every day.
It's been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free. Lucky still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure.

Remember.....live every day to the fullest. Each minute is a blessing from God. And never forget....the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care for us.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pearly Bites

Pink frosting
Small, round wafer cookies
Yogurt-covered raisins or peanuts
White frosting
Black food coloring
1. To make each oyster, spread a layer of pink frosting on the bottom of a small, round wafer cookie, then gently press a yogurt-covered raisin or peanut on top. Position another cookie as shown, anchoring one edge in the frosting.
2. Dab on white frosting eyes, then use a toothpick dipped in black food coloring to add pupils.
*Recipe and picture found here: http://familyfun.com

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Bee's Knees

Friday's fun picks

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Looking for Something Fun ?

I got this recipe and idea from a great website called Kaboose
This is for Salt Dough:
2 parts flour
1 part salt
1 part water
Mix together well, if needed knead the dough. Roll out and use cookie cutters to make different shapes or make your own creations with your hands. If you want to use these little trinkets to hang on backpacks use a toothpick to make a hole big enough to fit some string through when they are done baking.
Place on cookie sheet and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours at 250 degrees. Let cool and then paint.