Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Decorating cookies part 2 ......

Declan was unable to come over and decorate
cookies with us a couple of Sundays ago
because Jacquelyn had the they were all
trying to stay away from all of us so as not to spread
those nasty germs

He finally was able to come over one day 
and here's a couple of pictures.
this was his first time decorating cookies.....he took
a bite of cookies about every 2 minutes while decorating!

haha....but he sure had fun


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pot Pourri ......

Want to make your house smell good....

try this

lemons, oranges, cloves, bay leaves, and cinnamon
add water, bring to a small boil and then leave on simmer


Monday, December 29, 2014

Soup recipe .....

I love eating soup
and especially during the cold winter months
here's a new recipe I tried......don't know
who to give credit to but thank you, it's delicious!!
This is an easy and fast soup to put together
my only tip......have everything ready, chopped, measured out, etc.
makes it so much easier
tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced medium
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup quinoa
1 large carrot, cut in to 1/4 inch pieces
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 - 24 oz can black beans
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
preheat a 4 quart pot over medium. Saute onion in olive oil with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and saute with the onions for a few seconds. Then add tomato, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook for a minute or so, just to break down the tomatoes a bit.
Add quinoa, carrots and bay leaves and then pour in 2 cups of the broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes or so. Add the remainder of the broth, the black beans with their cooking liquid and the cilantro. Cover, bring to a boil, then remove the lid, lower heat to simmer and cook for 10 more minutes.
Remove bay leaves and serve topped with crushed tortillas, avocado and cilantro.
We did not use crushed tortillas but we did top with chopped cilantro.
below the onions, garlic and tomatoes cooking
this soup is wonderful.......I will be making this a lot!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Thanksgiving part II .....

We celebrated Thanksgiving with my side
of the family on the Sunday after Thanksgiving
My niece Aimee and her husband Alex hosted again this year
which we are all so grateful for........they have a really nice and
large house so there's plenty of room for everyone
and of course I never, ever seem to take very many pictures
when we are all together. But in my defense, I would rather talk
and laugh and enjoy being there!
below is Alex taking a picture of the turkey!

Our 3 beautiful children......and my sister photo bombing the picture!!

our sweet son Jake

beautiful nieces......Alison, Abby, Mallory and Gabby


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Declan spent the night ......

Jacquelyn, Bucky and Declan spent the night with
us on Thanksgiving
it's fun to see our little guy in the morning
kids are just so happy when they wake up, full of energy,
loud and fun
here is he having his breakfast.....


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Snowmen ....

I'm pretty sure I put pictures of these cute
little Target snowmen every year but they
just make me they get a
blog post every Christmas

they sit right there where I can see them
when washing dishes.....aren't they cute!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas goodies ....

Jacquelyn and I started working on our Christmas goodies
last Sunday. Seems we don't have many days to bake so we
worked hard all day! Our reward.....we went out for dinner :)

We made peppermint bark, buckeyes, haystacks, chocolate spoons
and peanut butter fudge.

Then our next day of baking we did the Russian Tea cookies and sugar cookies.
New this year is the Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters
this was the winning recipe in the Pillsbury bake off......the winner
is from the county where we live

below Jacquelyn is dipping the spoons in chocolate
then we sprinkled them with crushed peppermint
some of them we drizzled white chocolate and then the others
we sprinkled crushed Heath candy bars
these are great for stirring up your hot chocolate

below is the cut up and baked pieces of Pillsbury pie crust for
the peanutty candy clusters

you just melt shortening, white chocolate, and peanut butter
together. Then you mix that with salted peanuts and heath bar pieces and then
very carefully add the baked pie crust pieces.
Drop by spoonful onto wax paper

We always have fun baking our Christmas goodies
Jacquelyn gives these as gifts to her co-workers
I give them to neighbors and friends as gifts
and try to keep enough around for us to enjoy too!!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Decorating cookies ......

We decorated cookies with the boys on Sunday
I baked 5 dozen sugar cookies for them to decorate
Jacquelyn came down sick with the flu so they were unable to come over
I saved a bunch of cookies so that Declan could decorate on another day
But Maddox and Gabe sure had fun.......

and of course I forgot to take pictures of the finished cookies
but the boys did a great job

And afterward decorating cookies we ate a
delicious spaghetti dinner!!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cinnamon Buns ....

I started making Pioneer Woman's cinnamon buns a few years back
I made them for my parents and siblings and gave them
on Thanksgiving weekend. They were already frozen so they just
saved them for Christmas morning.
Then I would make another batch closer to Christmas for our
Christmas morning and to give to a few close friends
I will warn you on this.....once you start making them for
people, you really have to stay with it!! haha.......everyone loves them
and though it takes a little effort and time, they are fun to make.
Today one of my dearest friends Janace came over and we made
a batch......8 tins of buns!
Now tonight I made another batch and was able to get
10 tins of buns. All a matter of how you roll them out and
roll them can vary
I follow Ree's recipe to a T! I even measure out my dough
once I roll it out......10 inches wide, 30 inches long
and here are my only tips.......
have everything ready to go, makes it so much easier
when you pour the butter on the dough, just use your hands
to spread it out...and cover every inch of the dough

notice I already have my tins all lined up and buttered so when I start
slicing the dough, they are all there ready to go

next you sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon and just make
sure you get every bit this point it's really too messy
to try and use your hands so just sprinkle it all over

then comes time to roll it up.......and you'll have the butter, sugar
and cinnamon oozing out but that's fine, just smear it on there as you
roll it. It is easier if you have 2 people doing it but tonight it was
just me and it rolled up fine.

after you slice  them up, just cover with kitchen towels and let rise
for about 20 minutes. Look at them there.......all comfy in
pretty red Christmas towels :)

and once they come out, put the icing on right away.....and smother them
good in the icing. I only bake 2 tins at a time so sometimes your icing
can start to harden a little....if that happens just add a few drops of
milk and whisk it up some more.
These are by far the best cinnamon buns I have ever had.
a little warning though......they are very addictive!!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Elf on a shelf ...

Elf on a Shelf is all the craze.......everyone's doing it!
But what I'm wondering is when and who started all of this
because over 50 years ago.......yes, it's painful to type that
my Momma had some little Elves that she would put throughout the house.
She told us those Elves were watching us and they would report back
to Santa if we were good or bad

They had little outfits that were red and white stripes
and a tiny bit of tinsel around their neck

to be honest, they used to creep me out a little
until I got old enough to understand that really, they were
just little plastic head elves

a few years back, Momma gave each of us one of those Elves
and I bring him out every year.
He sits on my book shelves in the den and he is
the "Original Elf on a Shelf"

and here's my December chalk board.....idea from Pinterest


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 ....

We sure did enjoy our Thanksgiving
except that we missed Momma terribly
I dreamed about her on Wed night
I dreamed that it was Thanksgiving, I was standing at the kitchen
sink washing up some dishes and I saw her walking up on the deck
I went to the door and said....."Momma, I thought you were gone"
she answered...."Well, I'm back!"
and that was it.....I don't remember anything else
sweet to see her in my dream
We had 12 for dinner
and as always, we ate about 5:30, half time of the Dallas game
Despite an awful showing of the Cowboys, we really enjoyed dinner
and here's just a few pictures from dinner......I didn't take to many
This is me modeling my apron that Momma gave me last year
it has a inside pocket for your cell phone!

These dogs just know that they will be getting
turkey dinner later spoiled


out newest grandson John Thomas

3 brothers

Declan has become quite obsessed with's cute