Monday, December 28, 2009

It is Time to Blow Out Some Candles

As we are ushering out yet another year I am greeting a new age. Today I have happily skipped into the wonderful age of 54.

Where have the years gone? It truly does seem that I was just 18 years old not so very long ago. My mind still believes that I am 18 but with much more wisdom. I now get a full nights sleep and I do appreciate eating all my vegetables. After all, at my age fiber is so important. LOL

Hugs, Sue

Friday, December 25, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Morning Casserole...A Favorite

Whether it is just SH and me on Christmas day or the whole family and friends I will always make my Christmas Morning Casserole. Now for a "do ahead" (no it is not doody head. I will save that for another post) person like myself this is perfect. I make this the night before then pop it into the fridge and take it out in the morning and in the oven it goes. Depending on how many I have at the house in the morning I will make a larger batch and put it into one of my bigger pans.

I am presenting the recipe as I have it written but I almost always add a little more sausage than what it calls for and I will add a little more onion to the O'Brien hash browns. This is so simple and so yummy.

Christmas Morning Casserole

1 large pkg. O’Brien frozen hash brown potatoes

1 c. diced ham or bulk sausage, browned

2/3 c. grated cheddar cheese

12 eggs

2/3 c. milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Line the bottom of 9 x 13 pan with partially thawed hash browns. Sprinkle with meat. Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour eggs over the meat. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator overnight. Remove the plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


xxoo, Sue

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Cookies

Many years ago I had a neighbor that had a persimmon tree. One day he offered me several very ripe persimmons. I told him I didn’t know much about persimmons and I really didn’t know what to do with them. He told me I could make cookies or breads with them. O.K. but I still didn’t know much about persimmons. Do I chop them? Do I mash them? How does this get into the cookies? Keep in mind this was before the internet so I really didn’t have easy access to recipes using persimmons. He told me that he would get back to me.

The next day he gave me a very sketchy recipe for persimmon cookies. This recipe immediately reminded me of how my great grandma Nanny would have put together one of her recipes. The recipe seemed more like reminders of ingredients. I could tell that this was an old recipe. My neighbor said the recipe came from a lady who was 85 years old. Well, any who, I figured out the recipe and put it into a more recipe like format.

These have been one of our favorite winter time cookies. As a matter of fact I even changed the name to "Winter Cookies".

These cookies freeze well and taste even better after they have been frozen for a week or two. It gives the spices a chance to blend. Enjoy!

Winter Cookies (Persimmon Cookies)

1 cup persimmon puree
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup salted butter or margarine
1 ½ cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp orange juice
3 cups sifted flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cloves
1 cup chopped nuts
Raisins if desired (the original recipe didn’t give an amount. I haven’t used raisins so I can’t say how much to put in. If I did I would use golden raisins)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Thoroughly mix the persimmon puree and baking soda and let stand.

Cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.

Thoroughly mix the vanilla, lemon juice, orange juice and egg into the sugar mixture.

Give the persimmon puree a few stirs with a fork (it will be very gel like) then add to the sugar mixture and mix until blended.

Sift the flour again with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Gradually blend the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Mix until thoroughly blended. Stir in the nuts.

Drop level tbsp of dough, 2 inches apart onto a lightly greased, or parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Makes 5 dozen.

These are a perfect cookie for breakfast. They are cake-like and pair perfectly with tea or coffee.

I want to thank everyone for their get well wishes. I am feeling much better from my annual head cold. As far as head colds this one wasn't as bad as some. I was just tired.

Hugs and love too all, Sue

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Could Mark My Calendar!

I woke this morning with a COLD! I was determined to get through this month without catching one. Every December, like clockwork I get a cold.

My favorite things right now...Kleenex and Vicks. Funny how Vicks reminds me of my great grandma Nanny. That was her favorite cold remedy.

Well sweet friends...back to bed for this girlie. Thank goodness I received my Victoria magazine the other day.
Hugs, Sue

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This and That...

I am not sure this image has anything to do with this post, I just like it! :)

It has been a very busy and hectic few months for me. Between all of the craft faires that Mom and I have been in and replenishing the inventory, we also flew to Austin, TX for our nephew’s wedding. Did I say I also have a full time job? Of course I have...I tend to have my whiney moments. I am a Litigation Analyst and this job has become increasingly demanding over the last 12 months but I so love this job and would not trade it for anything. I prepare my Department’s defense regarding certain matters for our State’s Attorney General’s Office. It really isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Needless to say when I do finally get home I find the quiet of my sewing/craft room just what I need after a long day. It is therapy!

I half-heartedly entered the craft faire holiday season in September not expecting to sell a lot of my totes so my inventory was miniscule at best. I only had about 20 totes on hand when I started. This year I would have been happy to just make my table fee. I do the shows mostly for Mom. She makes the cutest felt ornaments and she always does well and being on a fixed income any extra money is most welcomed. Much to my amazement it seemed everyone wanted one of my totes. Fast forward… I was buried in my sewing room since September using any spare moment I had replenishing the inventory. My totes take about 6 hours to make. I painstakingly do a lot of hand work that cannot be seen. This mostly involves tacking down stabilizers. Yesterday was my last show for this season. I had 10 totes and came home with only two! That may not sound like a lot of sales but it really is because my items could be considered on the pricier side for a craft faire. Almost all of my totes were bought by people who were going to give them as a Christmas gift. Every time I heard that I just wanted to cry from joy. Not that they were buying one of my totes but the fact that they were buying something hand-made for someone special. My shelves are almost bare and knowing all of my totes that I lovingly constructed will be enjoyed by someone on Christmas makes my heart happy. O.K. enough about all of that, I wanted to finally share some pictures with you!

This is just a very small sampling of Mom's felt items. She has at least 25 different designs. Everything is lovingly stitched by hand.

A lady once asked her where she got the die cuts to make her ornaments. Imagine the look on her face when Mom told her that she cuts everything out with scissors. I swear the woman looked at my Mom like she had lost her mind. She could not get over the work and the detail. When Mom use to make her clothes all of her buttonholes were done by hand. They were the most perfect buttonholes you ever saw. To this day I have never seen a buttonhole done by a machine that can compare to hers.

Mom has been making these little guys for at least 25 years.

My humble offerings

I use fabrics that I like. This year I went with the "how cute is that!" fabrics. Last year I went mostly with elegant and traditional fabrics. I guess this year people were looking for cute!

Have a blessed week.

xxoo, Sue

P.S. I will be posting some of my favorite recipes soon!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Red and Green...The Colors of Christmas

Have you ever wondered why the traditional Christmas colors are red and green? I recently came across an article that explains this. It also explains some of our other traditions that we associate with this most blessed time of the year. Now whether this is correct I cannot say for sure but I certainly have to agree with this notion.

Red symbolizes the blood that Jesus spilt to redeem us from our sins.

Green is the color of life. Therefore, green symbolizes the potential for eternal life that Jesus' sacrifice made possible for all of us. The evergreen tree is green all year round. So it also symbolizes eternal life.

The flame of a candle, the lights on the tree and the star are all meant to remind us of the new star that appeared to proclaim the birth of the sweet baby Jesus.

The bell is a reminder of the bells worn by sheep. They provide a means for the shepherd to find the sheep that has wandered from the flock and become lost. They symbolize our pleas to the Good Shepherd for guidance back to His flock.

The candy cane is shaped like a shepherd's staff. It symbolizes the responsibility that we all have to be shepherds, to help each other and guide each other back to God.

Finally, the bows on the top of the presents are symbolic of brotherhood. It should be a reminder that, just as the ribbons are tied together, we should all be tied together by the knowledge that we are all God's children and therefore brothers and sisters.

Have a blessed day,
Hugs and love, Sue

P.S. I have a very nasty virus on my computer at home. It is so bad that it won't let me access any antivirus software. This virus somehow bypassed my McAfee. It may be awhile before I can get back to regular posts (not that I was posting regulary anyway :)). Things have settled down for me and I was so ready to start posting again. I have so much to share with you! In case you are wondering, I am doing this post from work during my lunch break.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Am Smitten

I visited the Shabbyfufu blog (gotta love the name) and was completely overtaken by the squeal elves. Now when you come across a home that simply makes you giddy from all its cottage cuteness you can’t help but let out little squeals of delight. These are a few pictures of the romantic Christmas d├ęcor that made my heart skip a few beats.

Isn't she beautiful? Did I hear a squeal?

Oh my

Perfectly white. Who says white doesn't make a statement.

I think this table is dreamy.

Subtle Christmas decor.

I am loving this dresser.

This is only a sampling of pictures of this lovely home. There are more pictures at Shabbyfufu.

Hugs and much love to everyone, Sue