Friday, February 14, 2014

Sewing tales for the Holidays

It has been years since I posted on the blog, and much has changed since the last post.  I am now a grandmother of the most beautiful and amazing little girl.  She has changed my life in ways you can not imagine.  I want to be the best grandmother around!!! I remember when my daughters were young that we would go to my in-laws house and Danielle would always go in to play with grandma's bunny- a muslin bunny that went on many adventures with Danielle.  Now that Danielle has her own sweet girl, I want her to come to grandma's and have a favorite doll to play with.  I have been working on a contest and have of course left it to the last minute, less than three hours even.  So without further ado- I would like to introduce you to Nannie Gnome -



When I first heard about the contest on KidGiddy's facebook page- I got excited about making friends for my granddaughter to laugh and play with.  I know it will be a while before Olivia will be able to make up her own storys and actually play with Nannie, but I hope to have many friends made by then.   I love the sweet gnomes that Kerry has designed.  And look forward to making the lobster when  I have some more time.  I hope to make many of her designs.  Having raised my girls in Maine, I love the sweet designs in Chapter 2-Coastal Waters.   I love the memories of  the ocean, lobster dinners, and long walks on beach.  I hope to take Olivia there someday and show her the many places her mother loved .  Here is the first installment of many-

Welcome Olivia Marie!!

When Nannie received the joyful news that Olivia was finally born she jumped for joy!  Nannie had watch Olivia's mother Danielle many times as she played on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.  Nannie lived in the tall grasses, near the ocean at Ferry Beach State Park.  She would watch the many young children as they frolicked in the waters.  She loved to see Danielle, and her sisters Jessica, Melissa and Tara as they built sand castles and sunbathed.  
 But the girls grew up, went to college out west and moved away.   She knew they married wonderful men and hoped they would soon be mommies themselves.  Olivia is the first child of the Cookson girls, and she looks so much like her mommy. 
Olivia will grow up to love books, barbies and princesses and will love to go to her grandmas house- just like her mommy!! Hopefully she will like to craft with her grandma, to watch the RedSox with Grandpa, and sing like a her mommy and aunties.  Nannie can't wait for Olivia to visit her greatgrandparents in Maine, but until that time, Nannie decided make a Valentine for Olivia's first holiday.  She punched and cut and glued....


Happy Valentines Day

Sweet Olivia!!!

Nannie Loves You 


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I got a text from Jessica at 7:02 am this morning asking for my whoopie pie recipe. Now normally I would be ready to walk out the door at this time of day.  But my 8:00 appointment cancelled at the end of the day yesterday so I was able to actually sleep in this morning- Thanks Jess for not allowing that to happen-haha. 
Well here is the recipe, it is kinda sad that we are seeing this little gem so often here in the west.  We all kinda wanted to keep it a new england secret.  It is similar to an oreo cakester, but sooooo much better.  The key to the filling is marshmallow fluff-which we cannot get here in Utah.  You can use the marshmallow creme in a pinch. 

Whoopie Pies -  Recipe from Celeste Freeman
Cream together:
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup crisco shortening
2 eggs
Add 1 cup sour milk& 1 cup boiling water  to creamed mixture

4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2cup cocoa powder

Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, stir in 1 1/2 tsp vanilla. 
Drop by tbl on ungreased cookie sheet, they spread quite a bit so leave plenty of room (if doing tbl I only do 6 cookies at a time)  for mini whoopie pies, drop by tsp.   Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until center springs back when touched. 

Cooked Filling
6 tbls flour, 1 cup milk             Cook until it becomes a thick paste and cool
Beat until creamy:
1 cup shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Add paste to cream mixture, beat till creamy

Turn 1 cookie upside down, put thick layer of frosting, top with another cookie  (this is a sandwich cookie with the frosting in between two cookies).
Enjoy!!  Fabulous with a tall glass of cold water

Fluff filling recipe  ( I prefer this filling to the cooked mixture)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup powdered sugar  (I find I have to add some extra to make it thick enough to not run)
1 cup marshmallow fluff
mix at med speed until light and fluffy

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Brian!!

We had the great opportunity to go to dinner tonight with some great friends, Brian and Sue Wilkes.  We first met the Wilkes when they moved to Maine several years ago.  They live in Kaysville, and have been some of our very best friends for a very long time.  They make me laugh so hard.  Brian does this fabulous little river dance that has me rolling on the floor.  It takes a lot of coaxing, but is so worth it.  Sue of course looks like a million bucks every time I see her.  I remember the first time I saw her at church, I thought to myself, no way will she be nice- she is just too pretty.  She is going to be this snooty standoffish woman.  Boy was I wrong- she is beautiful outside and IN!!  I just love them both.  I love that Sue and I both are addicted to diet soda- she likes coke & I like pepsi, so when we go out to dinner our husbands order water and we smirk and order our diet cokes. 
I am going to share a very secret recipe, that I always get asked for.  We had open houses at work when we finished our new office, and when I served these meatballs, I have had several offices call for the recipe.  This sauce works equally well on frozen meatballs as kielbasa.  Whatever your preference may be!!

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

1 cup catsup
1 cup grape jelly
frozen meatballs or kielbasa, sliced

Melt catsup and jelly together.  Pour over meatballs or kielbasa in small crockpot.  Cook until warmed through out. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Its been way too long

I've spent the last hour reading the blogs of three of my four lovely daughters.  Each makes me smile in a different way.  I am so thrilled to see Tara so happily married and in love.  I knew on the eve of the wedding, when her fiance was in charge of making sure the headbands were made, because it was something important to Tara, that he was absolutely perfect for Tara.  He wielded the glue gun, cut felt, rolled the fabric flowers and kept everyone going.  I am so happy to have Scot as a son-in-law. Melissa is smitten with Daniel, who is treating her like a princess, which is just what she deserves.  She is also a person who always shows gratitude, no matter how difficult her life may be.  But the one that touched me the most was Jessica's.  She is one of the most amazing young ladies I know, who makes me laugh until my sides hurt.  I cried when I read her blog, and the struggles that she has with her self esteem.  I am soo very proud of her goals for this year, and will follow her blog very closely to see how her detox and weight loss goals are progressing.  She is taking a course to become a nutritionalist, and I cant wait to see the difference she can make in her life, as well as others.  Danielle is a teacher, and she is so busy that she does not blog.  I do get to talk with her several times a week, and love the times that we chat on our way to work or home from work.  Mark and I have recently downsized our living conditions, we moved into a townhome.  We are still trying to get used to having less room, and I am trying to sort through and get rid of unneeded things.  My goal this year is to SIMPLIFY!!

Sunday is Superbowl, which to me means great food and commercials.  Only time I actually watch the game is when the patriots are playing.  I will share some of my favorite recipes for when we get a group together over the next few days.  The first recipe is for Artichoke Dip, from a wonderful friend of mine named Darcia Tippets.  Yes, it does call for 8 cloves of garlic, this is not a typo.  It is very fattening, but delicious.  It will seperate as it cooks, so don't be surprised.  If you want to make it just a little bit more healthy (haha) you can add spinach to it. 

Hot Artichoke Dip

 1 can artichokes (packed in juice), drained
7 to 8 garlic cloves
4 oz grated parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonaise

place in small casserole dish, bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Serve with crackers, pita chips or french bread slices. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sweet and Salty Party Mix

I had a pampered chef party a week ago and made the Sweet & Salty Party Mix.  This is a delicious caramel corn with chex, pretzels & nuts.  DELICIOUS!!  It is a Pampered Chef recipe, that can easily be made gluten free by not using the pretzels (just replace with something else).  Enjoy!!

Sweet & Salty Party Mix (by Pampered Chef)
1 pkg (3-3.5 oz) microwave popcorn (about 5 cups popped)
2 cups minature pretzel twists
2 cups dry-roasted salted peanuts
2 cups oven-toasted rice cereal squares
1 cup butter  (2 sticks)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat over to 300. Prepare popcorn according to package directions.  In large bowl, combine popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and rice cereal squares, set aside.  Combine butter, brown sugar and corn-syrup in a 2 quart saucepan.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Continue to cook without stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, carefully stir in baking soda.
Pour caramel sauce over popcorn mixture.  Stir until evenly coated.  Spoon onto large pan, bake 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Transfer popcorn mixture onto large parchment paper, cool completely.

Friday, August 27, 2010

5 pounds of Hamburger, $5.00- now what??

While picking up just a few groceries yesterday, I found hamburger (80%) for $.99/lb so picked up 5 lbs.  Since it is not lean, I will not use it in a meatloaf but instead we had hamburgers last night and I just cooked up the the rest of it this morning.  I have bagged up a couple of sandwich bags of cooked meat to add to recipes with just salt and pepper.  Made a shepards pie for the freezer and will make a pasta dish for the freezer with spaghetti sauce (from a bottle, adding some of the ground beef), pasta and cheese on top.  I have found disposal aluminum containers at the dollar store, 4 for $1 and it is about 7" across, fits two servings perfectly, has a cardboard lid so you can write the contents on top with cooking directions.  I made chicken casserole and baked ravioli the last cooking day, so easy to take from the freezer the night before or before going off to work, when I get home I just have to bake it and dinner is done.  I am planning on making some meals to take to Danielle for her freezer since she has just started a new year of teaching and I am sure she is overwhelmed. 

What to do with Hamburger??
Upside-down Spaghetti
Spaghetti Sauce
Shepards Pie
Taco Soup
Taco Salad

Upside Down Spaghetti  (original recipe from Betsey Hyde)
Combine and Spread in Bottom of Casserole Dish
Layer 1:1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 8 oz pkg sour cream
Layer 2: Brown:  1 lb hamburger with onion and green pepper (to your liking- as much as you like)
Layer hamburger mixture onto of cream mixture
Layer 3: 1/2 pound cooked spaghetti
Layer 4: 1 32oz jar spaghetti sauce
top with Mozzarella Cheese, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
Bake at 325 for 1 hour

The upside-down spaghetti can easily be divided between 2 smaller dishes, can be frozen as well.  Great dish to have in the freezer for those times that you get a call to bring in a meal to someone!!

Shepards Pie
1 can cream of corn
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 lb hamburger, cooked & drained
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine ingredients in bottom of small casserole or glass dish.  Top with mashed potatoes (left-over or instant).  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese or slices of american cheese.  Bake at 350 covered for 30 minutes, uncover, bake for additional 10 -15 minutes to melt cheese. 
makes approximately 3 servings, can easily be doubled, just be sure to put it in a container that is the appropriate size.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Apple Crunch Pie & Zucchini Bread

Okay, Tara asks for the apple pie recipe at least a couple of times a year, and the first request has come, so I am going to share it here so she can have access at anytime ;)  It is from a church recipe book that my friend Betsey Hyde gave to me, I think the recipe is actually from her mother-in-law.

Apple Crunch Pie
mix in plastic bag:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Shake 4 cups of prepared apple slices in flour mixture.  Put apple mixture in unbaked pie shell and sprinkle 2 tablespoons lemon juice over apples.
Crunch topping:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
Melt butter first and crumble over top of apples.  Bake at 325 -250 for 1 hour.

** I do not add the lemon juice, but do add an extra tsp of cinnamon to the crunch topping (I will usually make two pies at once and triple the topping, so that each pie gets 1 1/2 recipes of topping.

Zucchini Bread   (recipe from Kirsten Likes)
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
1 tbl vanilla
3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbl cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix oil, sugar & vanilla together.  Blend dry ingredients together.  Add to sugar mixture, add zucchini, milk & nuts.  Bake in 2 greased and floured loaf pans or 5 greased & floured mini loaf pans.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour, remove from oven, let cool 10 minutes and then remove from pans.

Well, I am off to read the second novel in the Hunger Games series.  Hope you enjoy the recipes!!