Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In Between

Christmas Tree 2011
 I love the "in between" time. After Christmas day and before New Years Day. It's my time to space out and do just "whatever" While I don't have to be up and dressed to take anyone to school. No more shopping, wrapping, anticipating.
Daddy brought home a giant bag of cuties!!
We had a wonderful Christmas. That being said... "Things" are never quite the way I think they will be. Thomas Kincaid and Norman Rockwell are nice but not really our reality.
Wreath close up. I dissolved the glue gun webs.
 Let's face it, It's a major production here. Getting the dinner all prepared and on the table at the same time and warm. In the past when the girls were small I used to get myself so stressed out, I could barely relax and enjoy myself.
Daddy brought me this beautiful bouquet. LOVE the Lilies
 This year was different, in that I made myself slow down and enjoy the moments. It worked. ( it also helps that the girls are grown) I wanted to concentrate on what's really important. WE are BLESSED. We have a warm safe home, food to share and people to share it with. We have the love of our family and friends, and most importantly we have our faith.
Christmas Eve 2011
 and shock of shocks......My stocking was actually crammed full!!! It's usually the most empty hahahaha  I wanted to share some of my favorite, special quiet moments with you.....

Santa found our house again...whew!!

Even the weens got special treats.

mmmmm spinach dip

Before dinner treats

 Allison bought Her,Daddy and Jennifer matching Whistle Swolt shirts.
 And now I'm slowly starting to put away my Christmas treasures until next year. This is the Angel Carol gave me.
 The table piece Allison made has been broken down into several other little arrangements.
 The tree will be the last thing down. I'll try to keep it up til new years.... (rolls eyes)
My Americanas are laying up a storm. I couldn't resist showing you my Green Eggs and Ham. hahahahaha
I am praying that you all had a wonderful Christmas. Now let's get on with the New Year...whatdaya say..
Blessings, Sue

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I have found it!!! I have been looking for a really good pumpkin scone recipe for a long time. I finally found one that was great. With the tweaks I made, it's PERFECT. I like my scones moist, not to sweet, and just spicy enough. These are they!!!
Scones are a small Scottish quick bread, popular world wide. Basically it is just a biscuit, in fact in Canada and the US. it is called biscuit and scone interchangeably.  The first mention of the word scone, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is 1513. The word itself may derive for the Middle Dutch- Schoonbrood or fine white bread. It may also be from schoon- pure and clean. Check out wikipedia for more interesting information if you're interested.
 Moist Pumpkin Scones

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs white sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves and ginger
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins  (optional)

6 Tbs cold butter, cut into cubes
3 Tbs milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg

I made mine in the food processor. Sift all dry ingredients into food processor. Add cubed butter and mix until it looks like bread crumbs. Add wet ingredients and cranberries and mix into a dough. Pour out onto a lightly floured cutting board  and knead a bit to make sure the cranberries are mixed in fairly evenly. Shape into a rectangle approx 12" by 4". Cut into triangles by cutting first into thirds and then cutting each square into triangles. corner to corner make a criss cross. I ended up just cutting mine into smaller rectangles. Bake at 425 degrees for 14 to 16 minutes. Mine took 14 on a parchment line cookie sheet. Make the icing.

Spiced Glaze

1 cup plus 3 Tbs powder sugar
2 Tbs milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
a pinch of ginger, ground cloves, salt

Sift all dry ingredients together and throw away the too big bits that won't sift. Add the milk and whisk.
Put as little or as much as you want on your cooling scones.

Brew yourself a mug of steaming coffee, or tea. Put a log on the fire, grab your book or stitching, put up your feet and enjoy!!!! Next time I'm going to add walnuts. SOooooooooo good. Let me know if you make them and what you think.

Blessings Sue

Monday, December 19, 2011


 I can't believe the time is going by so darn fast. I've been spending this year being devoted to a NO STRESS Christmas, and I guess while I wasn't looking IT WORKED. I'm stress free and actually enjoying things this year.
 If you have been reading for awhile you already know about Allison's Annual Gingerbread House. If not I will share with you that every year since Allison was around ??? I'm thinking 8 years old, she has been making our Gingerbread House decoration. It has been fun to see the changes throughout the years.
 This year we bought a bunch of different decorating candies.
 And again I had to tell her over and over and over add nauseum... That she was going to get a stomach ache if she kept eating the royal icing. hahahahah I guess that's my part of the tradition. This year however she took her own zantac and layed down and didn't even tell me. hahahahhahaahahahahah
 Loving the icicles.
 And the path to the doorway.
 Beautiful, isn't it!!!
 I made a snowman. bawahhhaahahahahahahh It never made it to the actual lawn on the house. Ugly little bugger huh? hahahahah
 This is the sky last night. We have been having off and on rain and the skies have been glorious.
 Allison collected a ton of mistletoe at the ranch . We now have it hanging from the doorways. I forgot to photo oops.
 And the entire reason for the season. This is the very first Christmas decoration Daddy and I ever bought. So I guess this makes it my oldest decoration. I know its my most beloved. It can't be Christmas until this nativity is set up on center stage.
I remember when we got it. Of course money was all but non existent and we went to Sears looking for just the right one. I am definitely attached to it. I feel great joy every year when I unwrap each piece. I even love wrapping them back up with love for the next year.
Whats your favorite Christmas decoration. I would love to hear.
Stress free blessings, remember.. THE real reason we celebrate this Holy Holiday. Sue

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree...

 How lovely are your branches. We got our tree  last week. It was an adventure as always.
 It wasn't the least bit cold, well maybe a tad chilly. I took my sweater off as soon as we got back to the truck. I had my tank top on underneath.
There were plenty of really nice ones.
 And plenty of not so nice ones. I'm rather picky so my tree getter's and turners were kept busy. Of course we got "THE BEST TREE WE'VE EVER HAD". (neither of the above passed the very intense scrutiny)
 Jennifer came over
The girls did the preliminary decorating,
 I lit a log and put up my feet. Watching is good.
 Later when all was calm and all was bright, I finished up at a more leisurely pace. My angel on top
 Me and Daddies first ornament.
 Hung the stockings... The nativities are up, but I'll show you those pictures later.
 Allison brought home the most beautiful live arrangement. She is getting really good at this.
 It has red and white carnations. Noble Pine, Princess Pine, Cedar and Juniper, along with pine cones and golden ornaments. The red candle will be lit for our celebration dinner. I love, love, love it!!! Thanks for stopping by. More Christmasy pictures later.
Blessings, Sue

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Depression Cake

A few years ago my mother gave me an amazing gift. It seems that when my Grama passed away, one of her sisters or one of my Aunts wrote down and gave to my mom all of the recipes she had in her kitchen. My mom then hand wrote and compiled them all into a book. One for each of my daughters and one for myself.  The other day I received a call from Carlye with the idea of her and I, deciding upon a few of the recipes and cooking, baking them "together". She said " Mom, you could blog about them". So the first recipe I will share is called Depression Cake. 
 Depression Cake is a type of cake that was made during The Great Depression Era, 1929 to the late 1930's early 1940's. There are quite a few recipes but for the most part, it contains no sugar, no milk, no eggs, no butter. These items being hard to get or way to expensive at the time. I'm sure that each cook made due with the items she had on hand . My Grama lived on a farm.
 It is called many other names as well. War Cakes and Boiled Raisin Cake. The Boiled Raisin cake dates back to the American Civil War, but I can imagine it going back even further.

Raisins are boiled to make a syrup base, then added to the dry ingredients.
 Which I sifted all together.
 I then made a well in the middle and added the raisins, liquid and melted butter.
 I mixed it by hand like any other quick bread.
 I was really amazed at how it puffed right up and turned out so beautifully brown. It made the entire house smell good.
 And its moist and delicious. It reminded me of a gingerbread and so I added a bit of whipped cream to my piece last night. Which I know.... isn't authentic...... since it calls for a powder sugar and water glaze or to be sprinkled with powdered sugar. But... darn it, it's Christmas and I had a bit of whipped cream left in the can and......... neither is the paper plate I'm sure but who's judging....seriously hahahah
So here it is.... My Grama's Depression Cake Recipe

1 cup raisins
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons shortening or lard....yeck I use butter (melted)
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg.

Cook raisins in water in a small saucepan, simmer  until 1 cup liquid remains. Set aside to cool. Sift all dry ingredients together into a bowl. Make a small well in the middle and add plumped up raisins. Add liquid and melted butter. Stir until smooth. Bake in a 9 inch square pan for 35 to 40 minutes. Or toothpick comes out clean. At 325.

I used a round cake pan and I melted the butter and added it to the dry instead of creaming the butter and the sugar together like the original recipe called for. After boiling the raisins I scooped them out and had only about 1/2 cup of liquid so I added water to make one cup. I'm not sure if this is because I boiled them to long or that I left them to "cool" for a long time while I went to Michaels and they soaked it all up. heehee either way it worked perfectly.

Try it!!! I reallly like it and will make it again. I bet it would be good for people who have allergies as well, and with a big fat layer of cream cheese frosting!!!!

I'll let you know what and when we decide to make the next recipe in our adventure. Until then