Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Family Cookbook

I wanted to mention in a bit more detail our family cookbook. If your family doesn't have one, you should consider making one. I did one for my family and gave them as Christmas gifts in 2000. They are very handy to have around. But basically, I contacted all of my family members and gave them a deadline for recipe submissions. After I got the recipes, I typed them up on my computer in the format I wanted (including title pages for the sections), then had them printed off at the printer's. I then bound them together but putting them into three ring binders. I used a 3 hole punch to punch the holes evenly. It takes a lot of time to get it all together but in the end, it is well worth it.

As a bonus, I'm including another famly recipe here.

Mexican Dip

Refried Beans
Taco Seasoning
Sour Cream
Taco Sauce
Shredded Lettuce
Chopped Onion
Chopped Tomato
Shredded Cheese
Tortilla Chips

Mix refried beans and taco seasoning together. (I will do one packet of taco seasoning per can of beans). This is spread on a round platter and usually just takes the one can of beans. Next, spread the taco sauce on the bean mixture. Then put sour cream on top of that. Layer on lettuce, onion, tomato and cheese. Serve with tortilla chips.

Sharing Another Recipe

I thought I would share another recipe while I have our family cookbook out. It's for Kidney Bean Salad.

Kidney Bean Salad

2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 small chopped onion
salt and paper to taste
enough Miracle Whip to mix.

Mix it all together and refrigerate until time to eat it.

Black Friday

We're hitting the Black Friday sale at Wal-Mart once again this year. It has become a tradition for our family. Everyone gets into it. Last year we even took one of our sons. But usually it's my husband and I and all my sisters. Lots of fun and we go out to breakfast afterwards. Happy shopping everyone! Be safe too!


Thanksgiving is just two days away. The kids are on vacation at school until Monday now. The ladies and I at work, worked super hard the past two days and we got everything done plus some, so we do not have to work tomorrow. We are also off Thanksgiving as well as Friday. So it's a five day weekend for me. Yippee!
Tomorrow, husband and two of the kids and I are doing some errands out of town.....pharmacy, cellular provider shop, Wal-Mart, etc.. We have to pick up medications, pick up a repaired cell phone and turn in the loaner, and then do a variety of things at Wal-Mart. I would also like to go to Dollar General but I can't remember what it is that I'm looking for. I will surely remember when I've had time to let my brain think.
Tomorrow afternoon, we will start in on the cooking for Thanksgiving Day. I'm making 24 Hour Salad, cooking the hams so we can slice them up and reheat them on Thursday, baking the pies, and making the hot rolls. That's a lot to do, but it will be ok as I don't want to do it all on Thursday morning. We'll be cooking the turkey then and making all the side dishes as well. Those sides are mashed potatoes and gravy, noodles, stuffing, corn, green beans, and deviled eggs. I've probably left something out. LOL
Thanksgiving Day is a family day for us as we also like to watch the Macy's Day Parade, watch football games, and eat. LOL I also like to try and fit in a viewing of "White Christmas" before the evening is over. It's my favorite Christmas movie and we've watched it almost every year since I was a kid on Thanksgiving Day.
We will be having some company for dinner as well. My mom, of course, as well as my Uncle, and who ever else shows up. That makes a total of 11 so far when you count my sister and her three kids that live with us.
Hope everyone has a happy and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

I wanted to share my recipe for 24 Hour Salad. It's a family favorite that my sister-in-law has made for years.

24 Hour Salad

Head of Lettuce
Head of Cauliflower
Head of Broccoli
1 lb. bacon
3/4 C. Parmesan cheese

2 c. mayonnaise (small jar of Hellman's)
1/2 c. sugar

Tear lettuce into pieces. Break off the cauliflower and broccoli heads. Chop onion. Fry bacon until crisp and break into pieces.

Layer in a big bowl as follows:
Bacon pieces

Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top. Mix dressing and spread over the top of the parmesan cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Stir just before serving. If you stir it too early, it will get "soupy" too fast. You don't want that.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Recipe - Dipped Marshmallows

I wanted to share a very simple holiday recipe that we make every year. It was given to me by my friend Lynda Downes from Northern Ireland. Once she told me about this, I wondered "why didn't I think of that before?".

Dipped Marshmallows

Big Marshmallows
Chocolate Bark

Melt the chocolate bark in a double boiler. Once it's melted, insert a toothpick into each marshmallow and dip the marshmallow into the chocolate to cover. Place on waxed paper for the chocolate to harden.

Optional tip: Once you've coated the marshmallow with chocolate, you can then dip it into various toppings like coconut, sprinkles, chopped peanuts, etc..

Crochet Lip Balm/Chapstick Holder

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote my first crochet pattern. It's for a lip balm/chapstick holder. I am giving three of these out as gifts to some of my nieces at Christmas time. I thought they were really cute and interesting so I wanted to share my pattern with everyone. Here it is. If there are any mistakes, please feel free to let me know. I went back and tested it by making another holder, but I could always still make a mistake.

lip balm/chapstick holder

small amount of worsted weight yarn.
size I hook.
needle and thread
key ring

ch 2.
row 1: work 8 single crochet in 2nd ch from hook. join with sl st to first sc made.
rows 2 - 10: ch 1, 1 sc in each sc around. join with sl st to first sc made. at the end of the last row, after sl stitching to join to the first sc made, ch 1.
row 11: sc in the next 4 st. ch. 1. turn.
rows 12-16: repeat row 11.
row 17: sc in the first st, ch 2, sc in the last st, ch 1. turn.
row 18: sc in first sc, 2 sc in ch 2 space, sc in last sc, ch 1. do not turn.
sc evenly down the side of the "flap" then around the top of the "circle" then backup the other side of the "flap". sl st to join in the first sc of row 15 which is the last row of the flap.
finish off. weave in ends.
insert chapstick into the holder, fold flap over, figure out where the button hole meets the front of the holder and mark the spot where you need to sew on a button. then sew on the button.

i'm going to attach a key ring to the holder so it can be hung inside of my daughter's backpack so she won't lose it. or she can hang it inside her purse.

Baking Today

Well...I'm baking today. Or I should say that I baked today. I'm finished now. I am the Band Booster President for our school band and our yearly fundraiser is a monthly movie night for the kids at school. The K-6th grade views their movie first and the 7th-12th grades view their movie afterwards. Part of the movie experience is going to the concession stand and the band parents provide baked goods for sale. We also have popcorn and pop. So, my contribution to the baked items are peanut butter cookies. Normally, I would bring brownies but other parents are bringing them this time. With my working every day now and also the kids having a home ball game tomorrow night, it meant that I would have no time to get the baking done on Monday. So, today was baking day.
The cookie baking got me into the mood to bake, so I made the family blueberry muffins as well as chocolate chip muffins for breakfast this morning. This is something they really like and I seldom make. I ended up with a total of 5 dozen muffins and whatever isn't eaten up today will be put in baggies and froze for later on. They are easily thawed and make great on-the-run breakfast items as well as quick items for lunch boxes.
This in turn led to me think "Shelly, do you want to bake some brownies now?" and I almost did it. But I have to draw the line somewhere. LOL So the baking experience ended for the day and I cleaned up the kitchen so I could get back to my computer and the blogging I need to accomplish today.

Christmas Is Coming

Christmas is coming and I'm getting into the spirit of things quickly. On Nov. 1st, we put up our Christmas tree. I know, I know....we got it up really early this year. But with the kids involved in sports plus all the school activities and also my working back out at the farm during the pecan season, things are very, very hectic around here.
Yesterday, my husband completed the "putting up" of all the outdoor lights and decorations and I finished up all the Christmas cards that we will be mailing out.
We have simplified the list of cookies that we will make for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays this year by purchasing the buckets of pre-made dough from the kids' fund raisers this past month. We will make a few extra goodies like peanut clusters, dipped marshmallows, chocolate covered pretzels and buckeye balls but most of these items will be given as gifts.
About three or four weeks ago, we had our annual family meeting (those that live in our house get to vote) and we decided on the Thanksgiving and Christmas menu's. Thanksgiving will be a traditional meal of turkey and ham and all the trimmings. Christmas will be non-traditional and will consist of steaks, twice baked potatoes and a variety of other favorite dishes that we seldom have.
I am diligently working on the homemade gifts that I will be giving out. I'm getting more and more of the gifts done and now I just have a couple of afghans left to crochet and one altered book to make. The baked gift items will be made closer to the actual gift giving time. I'm sure that somewhere between now and then, I will decide on a couple of more gifts that I want to make so I have to leave myself plenty of time to do them in.
My mom has been over to visit several times this week as she needed to view our Christmas decorations so she could start getting in to the spirit herself. She has had a small tree the past few years and has decided to go all out again this year with her bigger tree. Even my sister Marie has gotten into the spirit of it all and has put up her tree early as well. She said it was a huge relief to have it up already as she also has a place to put all the presents she's been buying early. Our whole family gets into the shopping early thing and then we put the presents away so no one will find them and we all have a tendency to misplace something and not be able to find it when it's time to bring them out. I still haven't found the poster we bought for our daughter last year. *sigh*
So, what are you doing to get ready for Christmas?

I'm stuck on...the Ugly Duckling Blanket

As you can tell by the title of this post, I'm stuck on the Ugly Duckling Blanket crochet pattern. I have found that it is so easy to customize this pattern to fit your needs. By the way, here is the pattern link for it again. http://www.craftbits.com/project/charity-pattern-4-1-2-hour-crochet-afghan It's not actually called the Ugly Duckling Blanket. It's called the 4 1/2 hour crochet afghan. So, what makes it the Ugly Duckling Blanket? You use all your leftover yarns and hold two strands together of two different colors while crocheting. You can make it striped or you can make it a solid color. I've done both. At first, I didn't think that the striped ones would be cute, but they were. I've done two of these for two of my nieces. Each stripe was 10 rows and then I switched off. The solid ones that I have done also look nice. I've done them in my niece and nephews favorite sport team colors as well as my two sons. I have a Raiders blanket in gray and black, a Colts blanket in royal blue and white, a Yankees blanket in navy and white, a Mizzou blanket in gold and black and am now working on a Longhorns blanket in orange and white. That will leave me two blankets to go...a red and white one for our school colors and a purple and white one for a friends school colors. As for the edging, I took the darker color of the two yarns and used it. The pattern calls for two rows of edging but I did four rows instead. Now, for the younger kids, this pattern works fine. The blanket will turn out more like a lapghan or throw. For the older kids, I made it a half size bigger by chaining 96 at the beginning and doing a total of 90 rows instead of 60. I think this is a great all around pattern and if you haven't given it a try, you should sometime. I plan to use these blankets at outdoor sporting events when the weather is cool or cold. The younger kids will be using them in their mom's vehicle during cold weather as well as at the football games. The blankets are easily folded up and stored in the vehicle. They also make good throws for the couch when you're curled up reading or watching TV. So...if you are looking for a project to work on sometime, this might be a good one to try. It works up really quickly.