days gone by.....

Monday, October 31, 2011

Lavender Sugar Recipe

I'm quite pleased with my Lavender harvest this year! I'll be making my usual sachets and lotions & potions for sure, but I'm adding a new twist this year. I'm going to bring Lavender into my kitchen! I'm gathering some great recipes for Lavender cookies, Lavender butter, Lavender sugar!

So I'm getting started with Lavender sugar. Here's the recipe if you want to try it:

You will need approx 2 Tsp Lavender flowers and 1 C sugar. Place the flowers in a 2" x 2" square of cheese cloth secured with a twist tie, place in jar, cover with sugar and put the lid on! Shake every few days for about 3 weeks. Too easy!

The woody stems won't go to waste either ... I'll toss them on the fire and enjoy the wisps of fragrance ..... Lavender is sooo soothing.....


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Making the Best of a Vanilla Bean

So I bought a vanilla bean. They aren't cheap ... but I am! I decided to make the most of it. I cut it in half.

With one half I replenished my vanilla sugar supply. With the other half I decided to make my own vanilla extract!

All you do is put half the bean in 3/4 C Vodka (use the cheap stuff), cover tightly, steep for 6 mos

I marked the calendar and can't wait to see how it turns out!
Having vanilla sugar on hand is heaven! Once you start using it, you'll be hooked. I use it in hot tea, pancake mix, sprinkled on sugar cookies ...

All you do is put half the bean in 2 C sugar, cover tightly, wait approx 3 weeks. Then just keep replenishing the sugar as you use it (leave the bean in and shake it up). The bean is good for about a year.

I love making my own "concoctions"! They're easy to make and cheaper & fresher than store bought.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Severed Fingers for Halloween!

Halloween is my favorite time of year! I love making all the creepy treats! These "severed fingers" are so easy to make and everybody gets a kick out of them. They taste good too!

These are great to make with your kids ....

Simply get a tube of sugar cookie dough, slice a piece and roll about as thin as a pencil. Using a knife, make little slashes to represent knuckles, then press an almond sliver onto one end for the nail. Use food color around the nail for blood.

Put in the refrigerator for about 10 min. before baking so they won't spread too much.

Bake approx 7-10 min. until brown around the edges, keeping an eye on them so they don't burn.

For easy transport and display, I used a red paper plate and glued some cheese cloth on it (so it won't slide around). Drip some red food coloring to look like blood. Stack or arrange your "fingers" and cover with clear plastic wrap! WOW! How cool is that!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Long Lost Family & A Moral to the Story

Had a great day visiting long lost relatives! It's been a little over 30 years since we've been in touch.

A few months ago, my cousin Kris decided to "Google" my sister. One thing led to another and voila! The next thing I know, Brian is whisking us away to Frazeysburg Oh. We stopped at Kris's house where she treated us to lunch while we caught up on who is doing what and such. We shared pictures that we had dug up for the occasion. ( black & white mind you! ) Wow... being in a black & white picture makes me feel old! Then off to see Aunt Vicki.

Aunt Vicki is 86 years old and a hoot! She lives in a gorgeous assisted living facility and you can tell she is adored by all of the staff. She remembered each of us and told stories we hadn't heard in years. After a good long visit and lots of hugs ... we made a date to get together again soon... and promised it would be in a few months... not years!

The moral of the story is: Please keep in touch with family ... keep them close to your heart and don't let them slip away ... time passes faster with each day.

Pictures show *Aunt Vicki dressed as a witch for the Trick or Treaters, *The hallway leading to Aunt Vicki's room (I told you it was gorgeous!), *A little piece of My Family

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Recycled Bunnies

Sarah can't stand anything on her feet so she won't wear one piece footy pj's. Well, I cut the feet off, hem them and add lace. When I cut these bunny feet off I hated to throw them away because they were so cute! So I stuffed them with fiberfill, sewed a running stitch around the raw edge and cinched them up! Cute!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lazy Day Lasagna Recipe

Spinach Ravioli Lasaagna

1 1/2 jars marinaro Sauce
*I used spaghetti sauce*
3 13 oz pk frozen ravioli
1 10 oz pk frozen spinach, thawed
and sqeezed dry
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese

Spread thin layer of sauce in 9x13 baking pan. Arrange ravioli in a single layer, add half spinach, half marinaro & half mozzarella

Repeat layers. Top with Parmesan cheese

Cover with foil. Bake 35 min. Uncover and bake for 15 min more, or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 min.

This is really good and fast! You can even get it ready the night before so you can pop it in the oven when you're ready!

Sacks & Cats

It's a cat thing.....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Post Office Sucks & Pisses Me Off!

Here's a portion of what I just read about junk mail...

"In the U.S. Postal Service’s effort to get out of debt, and a $4.5 billion loss so far this year, the agency is unveiling a new national campaign designed to attract and send out more advertising mail, according to Chicago district spokesman Mark Reynolds.

The postal service is running promotions to try and attract new advertisers, while also easing some restrictions on bulk mailings, a.k.a junk mail. That has some environmental advocates concernend."

Ugh! I hate junk mail ...

Gumby Goofing Around


Monday, October 17, 2011

Hot Pepper Jelly Recipe ~ Easy!

This is one of the easiest recipes I've come across in a while! And I'm all about easy...

1 jar of apple jelly
2 - 3 jalapenos

Spoon jelly in sauce pan. Add chopped jalapenos (wear gloves while chopping!)

Melt jelly over medium heat, turn heat up to boil. Boil for 2 min. while stirring. Warning! Do not breath the vapors!

Pour into decorative sterilized jelly jars. How easy is that! This is great over cream cheese served with crackers.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grammies Cherry Cookies Recipe

I love making quick drop cookies! I tried this recipe last night from my new book "Simple Gifts 50 Little Luxuries to Craft, Sew, Cook & Knit" by Jennifer Worick.

350. 10-15 min. 3 doz

1 C butter, room temp
2 C flour
1 tsp salt
6 Tbls sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on
2 tsp vanilla
1 to 1 1/2 C candied cherries, chopped
1 C chopped nuts

Cream butter & sugar together. Add flour, salt, & vanilla.

With spoon, fold in cherries & nuts.

Drop by spoonful on cookie sheet, flatten with fork, sprinkle with extra sugar ( I used Sparkling sugar ).

Bake until edges begin to brown.

Tip: put nuts in a ziplock baggie and use a rolling pin to break them up

Tip: I always use a cookie scoop to measure drop cookies. That way all the cookies bake evenly.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

How to Clean Cast Iron

We picked up these cast iron lids at a garage sale a couple of months ago & I just got around to cleaning them! They were both a little rusty, but believe me, I've seen worse!

Never use soap to clean cast iron! I don't care what Heloise says!!

Use a non metalic mesh scrubber and hot water. Scrub until there is no more lose rust (it might have some discoloration -but that's ok). Next wipe a good amount of vegetable oil all over. Place in 350 oven for an hour and let cool. Wipe off excess oil. That's it! See the before & after.

To maintain your cast iron:

Never use soap. Just scrub with hot water, place on medium burner to dry, oil lightly & wipe dry.

Dust Mop Tip

You can use your dust mop to clean your stairs as well as help you down when you've had one too many mimosas.

Meatloaf Recipe

I never thought I would use a recipe for meatloaf! But I don't know how many times I've made great meatloaf ... then not so great meatloaf  because I never made it the same way twice! Well .... duh! I finally found a great recipe that I've made several times & guess what? It's ALWAYS great! BTW ... this recipe makes 2 loaves, so you can freeze one for later!

Meat Loaf 400 1 hour

2 lbs ground chuck
2 eggs
2 C soft bread, torn in pieces
3/4 C minced onion
2 Tbls horseradish
1 tsp salt
1/4 C milk
1/4 C ketchup
1 Tsp Dijon mustard

Mix eggs, horseradish, salt, milk, ketchup & Dijon mustard in bowl. Break up ground chuck in a big bowl. Add egg mixture, onion & bread crumbs. Mix well. Shape into 2 loaves. Top with ketchup. Sometimes I sprinkle some brown sugar on if I'm feeling adventurous!

Bake and let rest for about 10 min. 


Friday, October 14, 2011

Who Moved My Cheese?

You must read this book! Trust me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

In Honor of Steve Jobs...

a true visionary who will be sorely missed. Thank you for transforming my world of communication.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Dalai Lama

Dill Sauce / Dip Recipe

1/4 c mayo
1/2 c sour cream
1/8 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbl fresh dill chopped

Mix & chill

This is great on salmon patties, with veggies or in a pumpernickle bread bowl.

The Wheel of Fortune

Karma, the universal law of cause and effect.

Homemade French Fries

Sad Humor

Last of the corn

Raymond munching down!

Wine enhances meditation...

Pumpkin Humor!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Play dead Hannah .....

Good girl!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Aaaaahhhh..... I create my own paradise ..... you can too.

My New Fedora ...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hints & Tips

Wash & dry your herbs ... then freeze them in ziplock baggies. This is a great way to have herbs on hand in the dead of winter!

Gettin in shape Gumby

Hints & Tips

Slice your sausage & freeze individually on a cookie sheet. Put in freezer bags. Take out what you need when ready. Easy!

Thought for the day .....

I spent about 40 years despising a teacher that devastated me in Junior High School. Every so often when something would "trigger" the memory, I would envision myself marching up to him and saying, "Listen you S.O.B., how dare that you treated me the way you did! You have no clue how bad you made me feel!" (I'm sure you have those imaginary conversations too ... please don't ... they aren't worth it)

Anyway, while boarding a bus for a fun day of gambling - OMG! There he was! Sitting alone on the bus! (he looked so old) Well, here's my chance I thought. All those years of practicing my "By God I'll show you speech" could happen right this minute.... but the more I looked at him, old & alone ... and me surrounded by friends & family ... I couldn't do it, it just wasn't there. So I cheerily said "Hi Mr. L" (his name doesn't really matter). He smiled and said Hi and acted like he remembered me (I don't think he did).

We arrived at the Casino and everyone parted ways .... I thought, what a shame that I wasted so many years being bitter ... for nothing really.

On the ride home, the driver announced another trip was planned for October. When we were back and getting off of the bus, I saw him slowly rise from his seat. I caught his eye and said, "See you in October?" He smiled and nodded.

Now I will look for him in a whole new light......

Pioneer Woman Pot Roast

My very first pot roast made in a cast iron dutch oven .... a garage sale find! The roast was sooo tender. I love Ree Drummond and I'm thrilled she has her own show on Food Network!

Girls Gone Gambling!

April & I yucking it up in the back of the bus.