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Monday, December 27, 2010


A FEW OF MY CHRISTMAS RECIPES

BANANA PUMPKIN TART
This is a new one for me this year. I like it.
Originally from The Barefoot Contessa via my friend Bobby T.
Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter
Filling:
1/2 cup half & half
1-15 ounce can pumpkin
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 large egg yolks
1 pkg. (2) teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 ripe banana mashed
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Decoration:
1 cup heavy cream 
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Orange zest
Oven 350
Crust:
Combine cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Mix well and press into bottom and sides of an 11 inch tart pan with removable bottom (I used a spring form). Bake 10 minutes then cool to room temp.
Filling:
Heat half & half, pumpkin,brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until hot. (I used a double boiler) About 5 minutes.
Whisk the egg yolks in another bowl and stir some of the pumpkin mixture into the eggs, then put it all into the pumpkin mixture and stir well. Heat the mixture over simmering water another 5 or more minutes until  it begins to thicken, stirring constantly so eggs won't scramble. Remove from heat.
Dissolve the gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water and add it with Mashed banana and orange zest to pumpkin mixture. Mix well and set aside to cool. Whip heavy cream to form soft peaks then add 2 tablespoons white sugar. Carefully fold whipped cream into cooled pumpkin mixture and pour into cooled tart shell. Cool overnight. I covered it and put it in the freezer so it would be easier to cut and serve. Remove from freezer a few hours before serving and whip 1 cup heavy cream to soft peaks, then add  1/4 cup sugar and continue whipping to firmer peaks. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and using piping tube, decorate sides and center of tart. Sprinkle with orange zest and serve.
Note: Next time I would use two bananas for a stronger banana flavor.


 GUMDROP CAKE

My Mother-In-Love gave me this recipe way back in the 60s. It was originally from a Workbasket magazine. I have been making this for my family since then but use more walnuts than the recipe calls for.
1 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs beaten
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups applesauce
1 teaspoon soda
1 Tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 ounces small gumdrops cut in half (no black ones)
2 cups rasins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tablespoon butter
Oven 325
Line two 9X5 loaf pans with greased parchment paper or heavy paper.
Sift flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Fry walnuts in 1 Tablespoon butter. Mix nuts, raisins and gumdrops together with 3/4 cup of the flour mixture Set aside to cool.
Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs. Mix in flour and spices alternately with applesauce. Dissolve soda in hot water and stir into batter, add vanilla and nut mixture. Bake 11/2 to two hours. Test with toothpick. Don't over bake. cook and wrap in foil.

TWO LAYER WALNUT BARS
I found this recipe in a very inexpensive little baking book several years ago. I love these things!
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1  tablespoon water
2 eggs
11/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
Oven 350
Cut butter into flour mix in water and press into a 9"square pan. Bake 15 minutes.
Beat together the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add coconut and walnuts and spread over bottom crust. Bake 25 to 30 minutes longer.


GINGERBREAD PEOPLE
Many years ago my Mother-In-Love gave me a gingerbread cookie cutter that she used to make cookies for her children. It was very old then. I used it to make cookies for my children and then my grandchildren and this year for my great grandchildren. I can't tell you how it delighted me to watch the little ones hold these up, look them over then bite the heads off just as the generations before them have done. LOL I am expecting a picture from my grandson of his little boy Ethan enjoying his and will post it when it comes.

3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ginger
11/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup unsulphered molasses
Cream shortening and sugar, add egg and beat well, then add molasses, then dry ingredients. You can chill it if you want but I didn't. Roll out and cut in shapes. bake about 10 minutes then set on rack to cool. It's really fun to mix up different colors of royal icing and decorate these. You could put names on them if you want.




Oops!
Well this is what happens when you find the one recipe that everyone loves.
I found this one so long ago I can't even remember when it was but they have always been a family favorite. We make them every Christmas and Thanksgiving and sometimes just when we have a craving.
OATMEAL CARMELITA'S
1cup flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 cup quick oats
3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts
3/4 cup caramel topping
3 tablespoons flour
Oven 350
Combine flour, soda,salt,oats, brown sugar and butter. Mix well. Press half into the bottom of a greased 9X9" pan and bake for 10 minutes,
Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and walnuts then mix caramel topping with 3 tablespoons flour and drizzle caramel topping over chocolate chips. Be sure it doesn't touch the pan sides or it will stick.
 Cover with remaining oat mixture and pat down gently. Bake another 15 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and will have a super new year!
God Bless


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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

MY MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS

 I strung lights where I could reach fairly easy. I took this picture tonight while a five point buck watched nearby. I hurried!! I'm sort of scared of those antlers!

 Matilda looks bigger than she actually is. I got this tree at a yard sale last spring for $5. Great buy! The lights are already on it too.


 I used a variety of ornaments this year, Some new some old and some VERY old.


 This little wooden car is so cute.  have old photo's of ancestors sitting in cars that look much like this one except the colors.

 I have a set of these little angels and usually have them on my tree each year.



these beautiful balls were a gift and I love them!!! The picture doesn't do them justice at all. The flowers are pink and lavender and the ribbon is pink.

 These balls are very special too. I remember exactly when I got them. My youngest daughter and I were shopping and I saw them and remarked how pretty they were. When we got home she took them from her bag of purchases and gave them to me. That's just the kind of sweet daughter she is. I have three more of them too! Violet Balls 'and' girls too! 

 Another sweet little angel. There are three in this set.

 The little Drummer Boy is a favorite Christmas song. This little drum looks as if it's just waiting for someone to pick up the sticks.


Another old fashioned Angel. All sparkly gold.

 I've had this angel for several years and have posted her before. I love the blue and silver together in her gown.



 This wreath delights me. My friend Bonnie gave it to me. The angel's wings are fiber optic and change color. I need to straighten the bow.




A few large branches blew off the huge, old fir tree out back during the last big wind storm. I made use of some of the greenery. this is on my kitchen table.

 I don't usually collect Santa's but this whimsical old guy won me over!


 I made these kissing mouse angels in 1980 at a ceramic class. I have always liked them but wish there was some way I could rig up some mistletoe over them. LOL!



Another blue angel. Did I ever tell you that I really like the color blue. LOL!!!Actually I am changing a bit and now like red and purple too.



Another cute Santa hangs beside my front door. I actually prefer snowmen but this one had Santa in the center.


This is another story, well at least another post. I'll save till next time and also post a few of my favorite Christmas recipes.
Till then, a very
MERRY CHRISTMAS ! 

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Monday, December 06, 2010

WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING

I have slowed down a lot on my posting. Sometimes life happens and there are other things to do. Here are a few of the things that have been keeping me busy.


 Halloween came to my house in the form of several little trick-or-treater's. These are some of my great grandchildren, all sugared up and having fun.

 In my town we have to have our septic system inspected every three years. My daughter and I took the class and became certified to inspect mine. Thanks to her wonderful husband who did all the heavy work for us and my ex who dug a drainage ditch, it's all done, passed inspection and I'm good for three years!
My front yard is a little messed up but can be fixed.



 Thanksgiving was ushered in with a heavy snowfall. The ride to my middle daughters home in the country was interesting to say the least. My son-in-love drove one of the three car caravan and I was with him and three of my great granddaughters. Yes I prayed. LOL
The kidlets couldn't wait to don their snowsuits and play in the cold stuff. Here Kenny and little sister Victoria are making snow angels.


 Four generations here. In back are my youngest daughter Cyndi, me, her son David holding his youngest, Madalyn and in front are David's two oldest girls, Hailee and Julia.




 Some of you may remember me posting about my friend John who lives in Maryland. He managed to come out for a visit and we had a really fun week. In this picture we are on a new ferry built at a shipyard close to my place. My son-In-Love works there and invited us to go on a test run out around Bellingham Bay. It's a beautiful ferry and will be serving New York.

 John wanted to see our old grade school. We were in second grade together there but don't remember each other. At that age we were only interested in lunchtime and recess. LOL
The principal gave us a guided tour of the entire school including lunchrom and restrooms and even got to wander around in our second grade classroom. I am amazed at how small it is. And the cloak room where I had to go when I was naughty is really tiny. Seeing the school again was lots of fun and they let me borrow several scrapbooks with old class pictures. I took photos of the pictures because the pages were too big to fit in my scanner. We really had a good time while he was here.


 My sister Bonnie has an incredible gift of woodworking. I have posted some of her work before. Most recently she has been carving Indian flutes. She brought several in, and we three sisters got together and tooted to our hearts content. I need to get on the net and hear some Indian Flute music so I will know what it's supposed to sound like. I recorded an hour of 'our' music on a cassette. FUN!!!
 Bonnie has had more practice and she plays quite well. We have so much fun when we can have time together. Barbara lives next door to me but I don't see her very much. Bonnie lives in the county but in a small town about 40 minutes away so I don't see much of her either. I need to start driving more.



Here are a few pictures I got off the net. When I see pictures like these where animals are nurturing critters of a different species It always reminds me of the verse in the Bible about Leopards lying down with lambs, etc. And in the Lord's prayer where He said, "On earth, as it is in heaven."
I have raised chickens and know that when they want to be mama's they will adopt whatever is available. One of my little Banty's set on a light bulb for several weeks until I replaced it with baby chicks I got at the feed store.
The little puppy under this hen found a warm place to sleep and the hen found a baby to take care of. I do feel sort of sorry for her little chick just standing there.
No room at the inn.

Here's another hen who found kitten's that needed a mama. She sits so dutifully and patient. I wonder if she is waiting for baby chicks to hatch from them. LOL!!!!
~~~~
I pray all is well with you and yours and old man winter isn't giving you too much trouble.
God Bless All.

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