Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cranberry In Phyllo

Easiest recipe ever... No cooking, no baking... Updated from last years recipe
What you need
1 pkg Athens Phyllo Shells (15 Shells)
1 cup of cream cheese, softned
1/4 cup of Cranberry Sauce or Relish (I used Relish)

I simply blend about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of Cream Cheese (I use the food processor for this- but a mixing spoon works as well). Rechill.

Then I take my mini ice cream scoop and put a scoop of the dip in each phyllo shell. Rechill. Serve.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Well for my first cookie recipe, I have to admit to being hornswaggled by advertising... an ad for Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix that had a recipe for making mint chocolate chip cookies using their Sugar Cookie Mix. I thought I could do this without the pre mix - Why not use my own sugar cookie recipe? Easy to work with, I love this recipe. I would imagine you could use your own standard sugar cookie recipe.
Sugar Cookie Recipe
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make them Mint Chocolate Chip:
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
6 to 8 drops green food color
2 pkgs of Mint and Dark chocolate chips
Or 1 Package of Creme De Menth chips and 1 package of Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add the mint extract and the food color- Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on cooling racks.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

(Some) Salvation For Clamshells

Ohhh Trader Joe's--- the store you love to love, except for the plastic buffet that awaits... I mean I get it- health rules and such mean you have to plastic wrap or bag some items, but I never understand the clamshells for 4 apples. And yes I know other grocers do this to... I dearly love "Grapples" an apple that tastes like a grape, but they can only be found at Mainstream Grocery Chains and only in a clam shell- same for those delicate pears and such. Well now Ready Made magazine has a solution - or rather a ReUse idea- I just got my new edition- in the Reader Tips section, one gal wrote in to reuse those pesky clamshells to store christmas ornaments... And they added the idea to also use them to store keepsakes and such. If you have smaller ornaments, egg cartons are the way to go for them! Same procedure- just use each egg compartment for an ornament.

Great Idea! And now thanks to her and Ready Made I can have Grapples again!

Of course, as always I party with the best:

Hump Day link

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vanilla Gifts

I got 7 bottles of home made vanilla out of a 5th of bourbon! I got my small bottles today. So scratch 6 gifts off my list (Yes I have 7 bottles... you think I ain't keeping one?). I am giving these, along with a quart jar of vanilla sugar for gifts this year. Thanks so much to Abbie for this gift idea from her blog

Of course, as always I party with the best:

Hump Day link

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Joke

(Note this is a re-cycled post from two years ago!)

A joke from my Uncle Art - Happy Thanksgiving folks!

A young man named John received a parrot named ' Chief ' as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary. Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back; John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer.

For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute. Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer.

The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said, 'I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior. ' John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude. As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued,

'May I ask what the turkey did? '

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cars for Christmas

OK I admit it... I am 50 and I still play with cars. Actually this all started with the fake tree. The stand for it was missing a piece (probably why it was 50 cents at a dollar store) but I brought it home anyway. That was 5 years ago. I bought the truck and trailer at a garage sale. Then I figured out that by simply putting a gasket flange on the truck with a bushing it would hold the tree. Then the idea of putting my collection of Disney "Cars" on it came along- so I made ornaments out of them. Throw in some battery operated LED lights and a few other ornaments (Hallmark) bought at a thrift store and some chevron cars and there you have my Automobile themed tree.
The gang is hoping to go to Route 66 for the Holidays!
Luigi says "Buon Natale!"
Tow Mater wishes everyone a gosh dang Happy Holidays!
The trailer is hauling a sweet load of Sweet Sticks candy.
The ornaments are easy to make. Simply drill a small hole in the top of the car about the center, and screw in a small eye screw or a cup hook and hang.

I only attend the finest parties at:

Hump Day link


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wreath time

I made two wreaths, one for me, one for mom- I take centerpiece wreaths bought at Trader Joe's; add a nice bow and hang. I use the centerpiece wreaths because they are smaller and fit the window in the door better. I use one of them there new fangled 3M self sticking hooks to hang it on the glass.

I only attend the finest parties at:

Hump Day link

Monday, November 22, 2010

Agave Chocolate!!!

I have found it. And it is Good. My Eat Local store now stocks Woodring Agave Chocolate sauce. Chocolate a diabetic can use!!! Better than bitter sugar free Hershey's syrup, I made some fake crepes and used it in place of Nutella. Sniff, at last. You need to warm it first for ice cream, but it is so good. Rich and Fudge-like, great stuff. The gal at Eat Local told me they use it as chocolate syrup for espresso at their Queen Anne store! The Nelson family has been making great preserves, marmalades, chutneys and pickles for 40 years and just recently added their Agave sweet line of Chocolate Sauce , Apple Butter , Marionberry Fruit Spread , Pumpkin Butter And Red Raspberry Fruit Spread All sweetened with agave nectar! They also sell regular sweetened products as well. Read more about Agave Nectar here.
Endorsement Disclaimer- Woodring Northwest did not pay me for this endorsement, and while I would welcome samples I bought my own. I use this product and believe in it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

20/20 Vision

Saturday I attended the 20/20 Vision Art Sale benefitting Burien Arts. There were a lot of great pieces there for sale, all donated by great local artists. I bought three pieces:

This photo by Jayme Schlias will look great in my kitchen
This piece by Joey Bates will look great in the living room

"Time and Direction" By John Unbehend
A great piece on wood. I think this will go in the study

Saturday, November 20, 2010

No Giveaway winner

Ok it's apparent that no one is interested in my latest giveaway. No one entered the Bags on Board dispenser give away. So no prize winner. Maybe someone on FreeCycle will want it. My feelings are not hurt. Sniff.

Friday, November 19, 2010

This blog is now Carbon Nuetral

carbon neutral shopping coupons with kaufDA.de My Blog has gone "Carbon Neutral." I found this cool thing via Jonah the raise a green dog's blog. As Jonah says
"through an initiative, originally started in Germany by the “Make it
Green” program, that has the goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. All I had
to do was blog about the program and in exchange they will plant a tree for this
blog and thereby neutralize my blog’s carbon footprint for the next 50 years!
Everyone can make a small contribution to the environment.
Why not try
! The trees are planted in Plumas National Forest in Northern California by “The
Arbor Day Foundation
” their partner in the US for the “My blog is carbon
neutral” initiative. The “Arbor Day Foundation” is a non-profit conservation and
education organization with the goal helping reforest 5,500 acres of Plumas
National Forest with 792,000 trees".

Imagine Romeo... 792,000 trees in one spot! Doggy Nirvana!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas earrings

Earrings should be like my cousin Bertha... Big, dangly and fun. So this year, I am again making earrings for my girl cousins and friends out of christmas ornaments (Just hoping I remember who I gave them to last year so I don't make an embarrasing repeat) Easy to make - just buy some earring loops and christmas balls (preferably plastic as opposed to glass- in case of breakage) take the ornament loop out, place the earring loop on the ornament loop and it looks like something from Tiffany- the 80's singer not the jewelers.

I only attend the finest parties at:

Hump Day link

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My garden is a shoebox!

Photo: Earthbox

Laetitia Mailhes, a blogger on Yahoo Green, was writing about "Growing Food in a Shoebox"
What she is talking about is not literally growing tomatoes in your old Nike box, but rather taking a small amount of space, like a pot, and growing food in it.
Earthbox, a Pennsylvania-based company, has been proposing that folks do this since 1994. Its concept is beautifully simple and effective: Bring nature to you in the form of a food-growing box designed to yield gorgeous, delicious crops with minimum effort. No farming skills necessary. Just enough direct sunlight and follow the instructions! Earthboxes while Pretty and pretty much all inclusive to container gardening are a tad expensive. But I am told they are worth it. Anyway take a read of Laetitia's post and tell me what you think of container gardening in the comments page. I know this about it… You can get some very satisfying results.
Mailhes writes in her post:

"Witnessing the miracle of nature at work, from a seed buried in the soil to a plant ready to be picked and enjoyed, is bound to transform our relationship with food.

In fact, this is precisely the premise that inspired Seb Mayfield to create the One Plot Pledge campaign that launched in Britain on March 25. Mayfield says:

I've been enrolling people into growing their own food because I believe it is crucial for them to experience the delayed satisfaction of watching something grow. Once this experience has captured their imagination, it is a lot easier to bring them into the conversation about food security and farming-related environmental issues."
So do you try any container gardening at home?
Also, what if any, types of containers do you have?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hunting the Wild Tofurkey!

For my mother- Ok, Mom. So I bought a ToFurkey. Deal with it. Get over it. I am not swearing off turkey (or chicken, duck or goose) I just thought I would try this TOFURKEY to see if I liked it.
My mom's first reaction was "you're such a bleeding heart". Which pissed me off. Since when is entertaining the idea of not killing a bird for a meal make you a "bleeding heart?" Really, mother? You are the one who raised me to eat different foods and trying other's cultures, not keeping a closed mind. Well anyway I have ranted enough about mother.
So I had this TOFURKEY to cook. It had wild rice stuffing already in it. So I Just followed the directions on the package and roasted it for an hour and a half. I have to say - the texture is meat like and very pleasing; the aroma is very good; my tofurkey roll came stuffed and with gravy- the stuffing was unbelievably tasty, the gravy, as with most "store bought gravies" was a little salty. And best of all Tofurkey passed the "sandwich-ability test" Made a great sandwich the next day! So I would definitely buy it again and I would definitely serve it to guests! And lets talk affordablilty- I bought a "6 serving" tofurkey, it comes with Stuffing and gravy for under $10 at Trader Joes- that comes to a measly $1.67 per serving!

TASTE- 8 out of 10
Texture- 8 Out of 10
"Sandwich-ability" 8 out of 10
Cost- 9 out of 10
So in short, The TOFURKEY Surpassed my expectations! A few turkeys are breathing a sigh of relief!
Whatsmore? There are tremendous recipes on the inter-webs for some amazing things to so with your Tofurkey, you can deep fry it, use the left overs in a stroganoff. Makes a Meat Free Monday so much more interesting!