Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My favorite cookie recipe

Thanks to the asking of a couple of wonderful blogs I am going to post my favorite cookie recipe. But first let me tell you about the blogs.

The first I came upon from a giveaway posting. It is from a young wife and mother named Crissy. She was offering up for some fortunate soul this amazing clutch she made.

Isn't that the cutest thing ever? I tried to bribe her with a promise of this recipe, but alas, the random number generator was my nemesis. Crissy post recipes and nice stories of her life, as well as the occasional crafted giveaway.

The next blog asking for this amazing recipe is none other than Ree herself.

Yes, we are tight like that, sometimes she just needs my help and inspiration.
Ok, not really. I am entering a contest from her and her amazing recipe site

of which I am a member under the name theretiredmama

I had to put in that info so that I can try to win her latest giveaway, a Kitchen Aide mixer. Of course she also uses the dreaded random number generator so my chances are nil. But that is OK. I love the fun and anticipation, and you will love the amazing cookie recipe!

This recipe is taken from the cookbook Cookies For Christmas by Jennifer Darling, Meredith Books publisher. I made a few minor changes.

I eat these for Christmas. I eat these for Easter. I am hoping to eat some for Hanukkah! (That is in two days according to my calendar--- if I make them today and only eat 1 dozen a day I may have some left for Hanukkah)

I especially love to eat these for breakfast!!!

Peanut Brittle Cookies


1/2 Cup butter, softened
1/4 Cup shortening
1 Cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 Cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats (recipes calls for quick cooking but that is just silly!)
4 ounces bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate chips (the recipe calls for chopped chocolate and it might actually work better. The chips tend to stick to the side of my bowl, But I am lazy and the chips are the way I go.)
1 Cup crushed peanut brittle (I prefer to not crush my wonderful brittle but rather to just hammer it into small CHUNKS.)( And I may use a bit more than the recipe calls for. Like 1 1/2 Cups)

The recipe says to line two cookie sheets with foil and then to grease the foil. Please remember to grease the foil unless you want a bit of metal with your cookie. Is aluminum one of the minerals put into vitamins? If so, skip the greasing part. :)

In mixing bowl beat butter and sugar on high for 30 seconds.

(note: I would have a beautiful picture of my vintage 1978 mixing bowl with my lovely 3 speed Black and Decker hand mixer inserted here but Ree's random number generator prevented me from winning last weeks giveaway of a 'fool'-proof Nikon point and shoot camera.)

Add brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Beat scraping bowl as needed.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
Beat in as much flour as your woefully inadequate hand mixer can handle without over heating and starting a small fire. (Note: A large quantity of Baking soda can extinguish a small fire.)

Using a large strong spoon with a lot of elbow grease stir in remaining flour, oats, chocolate chips and all of the chunked peanut brittle.

Drop by heaping teaspoon 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes.

I love to freeze these cookies because I love my cookies hard and crunchy. They also seem to last longer when I freeze them, especially if I bake and freeze them before Poog comes home and discovers them. What he doesn't know about won't hurt him. And I am sooo all about not hurting him. It has nothing to do with my absolute love of peanut brittle . And oatmeal. And chocolate.

Enjoy the cookies. And here is to hoping that I win the Kitchen Aide.

As my daughter would say.....

Peace Love Dove


Friday, November 27, 2009

Signs of a stroke

I found this on another site and thought I should post it for you to read. Since we have a family history it is a good thing to know.

A Little Background Story:

During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening

Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 pm Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't leave this world, they can end up in a helpless, difficult condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this...

A neurologist said that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.


Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions, remember the signs, STR:

  • S *Ask the individual to SMILE.
  • T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
  • R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call an emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flea Market Fancy Freaks

I have found a new blog called Flea Market Fancy Freaks (what a name) and they are having a fabulous giveaway. Check it out!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am old :)

I have just now, this second decided I am old. I am tired of waiting for this arbitrary distinction of age to get here. I want to do all the fun things that come with "being old."

When you are old you are not crazy or weird, but a cute little old lady. (Ok--- so I am not little. But in so declaring myself old then that will happen automatically. Now. NOW! Come on (insert amazingly small number here) pounds fall off. ..... now........)

I want people to look at me and ask if they can help to lift that 40 pound bag of dog food into the bed of my truck. I want people to think it is "precious" that I drive a truck. I can not tell you how many times grown strong men have passed me by in the parking lot while I struggle to heave the bag up out of my cart. Now that I am declaring myself old, I can stop said young hunks and ask for their assistance. After all I am now a "cute old lady."

I can wear tennis shoes to church. With my Sunday best dress. It will not be disrespectful but eccentric

I can eat cold lasagna for breakfast. I already do that. But now it is not strange.

And I can carry cute hand bags. Like this

Little House Pouch Tutorial and not be thought of as odd.

Yes I am old.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's a wrap

This week at our church is vacation Bible school. A lady from our class called and asked if Jim or I would teach and I told her that I am sorry but we both realized a long time ago that working with children is definitely not where God is calling us to serve, that we are just not children people. She stammered and said "No one has ever been that honest with me before."

I have been feeling guilty because thus far I have not really served much in this church.

On Sunday a different lady said that she was needing food for the workers while they are on break. Yay-- right up my alley. Tuesday I took 4 dozen cookies and a coconut pound cake. The problem with taking a cake is that you can not snitch some for yourself. I need to make another one of those-- the smell is wonderful.

Today I took 6 dozen wraps. What fun they are to make. So girlie. And bonus--- easy to snitch one for your own lunch! As usual I did not taste test them until well after they were delivered. I made two different kinds:

Grilled chicken and artichoke

flour tortilla
chicken breast strips grilled in olive oil, lightly floured (salt pepper to taste)
cream cheese
sweet onion grilled in olive oil
artichoke hearts
1 can rinsed, pressed dry and chopped
chopped Romaine leaves

cut chicken in to thin strips then assemble ingredients on flour tortilla, roll into tube now roll into a piece of parchment paper. Secure with toothpicks one on each end, cut in half on an angle and viola!

Chicken Bacon Avocados

flour tortilla
chicken breast strips grilled in olive oil, lightly floured (salt pepper to taste)
ranch dressing (made from sour cream-- it is thicker than from a jar)
cooked bacon cut into1/2 inch strips
Swiss cheese cut into 1/2 inch strips
avocado cut into 1/2 inch strips
shredded Romaine lettuce
assemble as described above

Now that I have eaten them for my lunch I can tell you that I liked the avocado wrap better. The artichoke was good but not flavorful enough . Maybe the cream cheese needed some spice mixed in. Or maybe I needed to leave out the Romaine and add more artichoke.

I will try again someday. For now I need to clean up my kitchen. Blech!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009


My wonderful husband bought me a new keyboard that is raised in the middle. It is made to reduce hand stress such as carpal tunnel. It makes your hands turn inward thus your arms are resting on the desk.

My typing style is the hunt and peck method. I am actually quite fast with this method. This hill and valley thing has totally thrown me off my game. I can not tell you how many mistakes I am making (more than my usual spelling atrocities.)

I love Poog, and he certainly meant well. Poog likes to buy me things. He is not a shopper, but if he happens to be at a place that is selling something I often end up with a gift. Just so you know my husband is a workaholic. The only place he goes to is work.

One year I received a lot of jewelry. Some of it was cute and fashionable. Some of it, not so much. Turns out that his place of business was hosting crafters in the lobby on Fridays. My husband bought me a necklace set and when I loved it he thought he had hit the gift-giving-without-having-to-think mother lode. I received 6 gifts that year all jewelry, all from the same crafter. The last one was a pink daisy on a black cord. In my tween's, when I thought of myself as a hippie, I would of loved it, but I think I have grown a bit since then. (Though I still wear a pair of fun earring I bought when I was 15.) After the pink flower BD gift I asked Poog if his stash was depleted. He confessed 'Yes' the pink flower necklace was the dregs. I thanked God, and Poog, and told him I was well set up with costume jewelry for awhile.

My husband's job takes him to trade shows and conferences. Poog is a computer engineer (geek). I have a plethora of Microsoft gizmo's. Coffee mugs, flashlights, flashlight pens, flashing light pens, flashing light flying discs. Flashing is a very big product advertisement strategy in the geek world. Microsoft is great but I wish my husbands work would take him to a antique dishware fair. Or maybe advertise by giving cute crocheted hot pads.

This raised in the middle keyboard that I am typing on is a gift from his last conference. Sweet, sweet thought but it is making my typing slow and my wrist hurt. Go figure!

You know, lets nix the advertising on crocheted hot pads idea. I don't want a Microsoft logo on my hot pad. I can see them now, in each double crochet a little LED light flashing to illuminate the bottom of your glass casserole dish.

Whoa---actually---- the geeks might be on to something.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Warning this is sad.

We have a few acres of land on which we would like to graze a couple of cows. Mostly I want the cows so that I can have the agricultural exemption on our property taxes. I also want them so my as yet unconceived grandchildren will have something to pet and feed Dandelions to. Dandelions I have a lot of.

It has been raining every other day for the past month. This is truly a blessing, the grass is growing, the wildflowers are gorgeous and the lakes are totally full. The problem is that the ground has been too wet to mow with the tractor. A heavy tractor can really rip up the ground. On Saturday it was finally dry enough for me to knock down some of the taller vegetation.

Monday morning I and my pup Reggie were out enjoying the morning. I am trying to give Reggie a bit more freedom thus I am letting him wander without a leash but with a large jingle bell clipped to his collar. Reggie kept going over to an area that was out of my sight as I sat crocheting a baby blanket (also for my as yet unconceived grandchild). I would go get him, get his attention focused on something in the front yard where he was in my sight and then go back to my rocking/crocheting. Reggie kept wandering back. After we had preformed this little dance about 3 times I decided to look at what had his interest. There on the freshly mowed ground was the bottom half of a turtle. The top had apparently been caught in the blades of the mower. Such a sad sight to my eyes, but pure heaven to a puppy. I got the shovel and disposed of all of the parts I could find.

Today Reggie is still sneaking off to that area of the land, called by his curiosity, I tell myself, surely not by his hunger.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


It's a rainy day and I can't go out and play. Who needs the rain anyway?

This is a rain song that my children and I would sing when we were cooped up and going stir crazy. I don't know if I made it up or if it is off of Sesame Street or some such show. We would all sing the line and then someone would say an answer like "the trees." Then we would all sing the line again. Of course the fun in this was to try to come up with new and unique answers like "the earthworm." I know, you are thinking 'the earthworm' is unique? Yes it is, when the captive player is 5.

I have been singing this song a lot this week. I am no longer feeling blessed by all those things that need the rain. They and their precious rain are starting to get on my nerves!

Then tonight the sky cleared and I saw a hint of blue-- right before the sun went down.
I am dreaming of tomorrow and planting Zinnia seeds on my hillside for the forth time! I have become the Johnny Appleseed of Zinnias. If you are between Dallas and Houston and see Zinnias growing along the creek beds, I, the rain and my barren waterlogged hillside are to thank. This month I have personally kept the Burpee seed company in business.

The sun will come up tomorrow. The weatherman on TV is being a naysayer but I have hope. I saw the blue of the sky and all is right with the world.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sick puppy

My puppy is sick.

He is laying in his little bed with his head flopped over dragging the floor, motionless. Yes motionless!

I know I should be ecstatic. How I have longed for times like this. How many times have I said 'If you would just sit still for 5 minutes I could ...............' Now he is still and my mind blank of what that all important .............. was.

I know what is wrong. He is suffering from a trifecta of Rabies shot, new heart worm medicine and teething. I need to bring out the carpet shampooer to eliminate the evidence of his ailment.
But for now, I hold him. He lays willingly in my arms and looks into my face as I stroke his ears. No squirm, no little paws running in place desperately trying to reach the ground to set off on a new adventure. I should be loving this, this calm, this respite.

Soon, I know, he will jingle his bell to go outside to chase bugs (should probably add tasty, crunchy June bugs to the trifecta list.) But for now, we will gaze into each others eyes and speak of undying love.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I love apples!

This may come as a shock to my family because, if truth be told, I really don't like apples very much. I hate to bite into one and get the peel stuck in my front teeth. I hate not knowing if the latest Gala apple purchase is going to be juicy or mealy.

My dislike of apples goes back to my youth.

When I was growing up we lived next door to a parsonage. That sounds so grand and evokes visions of a English country setting with a rock house that has moss growing on it. But no, I grew up in the desert and the parsonage was a house in a normal city block, it just happened to be owned by a church. This parsonage had a few apple trees in the backyard. Every year when the apples were ripe, full of worms from non-care and falling to the ground my mommy would send us sneaking over the wall to 'steal' apples for "Apple Pie Day." As my mother was a saint (do all children think their mothers are saints?) I am sure she had permission from the Reverend, but to us kids the fun of 'stealing' and not getting caught was wonderful. We would each fill a bucket with apples for our own individual pie. Yes, that is right! Our own, individual pie. I am not talking a miniature version of the real thing, I am talking about a full scale pie. My mommy would peel, cut out the wormy parts and slice up enough apples for 6 full size pies. The counters were covered with flour and pie crust that had been rolled out using my great grandmothers rolling pin. The smell of cinnamon and sugar and apples was pure heaven. And on that early fall night, one time each year of my youth, my family would eat apple pie for dinner. No meat, no vegetable, just our own pie with a glass of milk and a slice of cheese for those who wanted it. Ahh the memory------- except for one thing----- I hated apples. I loved the pie. I loved the crust. I loved the cinnamon. I loved the sugar!!! It was just those pesky apples I could not stand. Don't get me wrong, I ate it. Are you kidding me, pass up dessert as your whole meal!!! It just didn't thrill my 'entire' soul like it did my siblings.

My mommy also used to make apple dumplings every once in a while. This entailed taking a whole apple, peeling and coring it, filling that hole with cinnamon, raisins and pecans, then encasing the apple in dough. Everyone loved this dessert. I would say 'No thank-you.' Please realize this was in a time when candy and soda were a huge treat, not an everyday occurrence as they are now. Passing up dessert was passing up your one chance of sugar for the day. A very big deal! But I was not allowed to only eat the dough, I had to eat ALL of the apple. Not worth it.

Now, I love apples.

I love Apple Brown Betty, apple cake and yes, apple pie. I am sitting here eating a piece of wonderful apple cake I made yesterday. A cup of coffee and apple cake for breakfast! I would take a picture to show you the cute daisy plate and mug set that I am eating it off of, but I am not that kind of blogger yet. Someday.....

So bring on the apple tree. I can deal with the worms just like my mother. Just don't ask me to eat one without crust or cinnamon and plenty of SUGAR.

Maybe I haven't changed at all.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Amazing Women

I have been reading some blogs written by some amazing women lately. These young wives and mothers seem to effortlessly do it all. They bake their own bread, sew clothes for themselves and their children, wrangle cattle, home school their children and come up with endless creative projects to teach and entertain. Somehow on top of these daunting tasks, they also keep up a well written blog that not only entertains but teaches both worldly and spiritual lessons. I get tired and numb brained just reading about their lives much less trying to live like them.

I am beginning to think that I failed as a mother. More then that, I failed at taking advantage of all that life has to offer-- not to mention all that I should be offering back to life. I try to remember when my children were young. I think that a successful day was when I managed to get the laundry folded and a supper of macaroni & cheese and cocktail sausages on the table.

Was I ever as entertaining as these blog women? I told my children stories, but I never took it leaps further and made them a play set to reenact that story. My poor children-- all of the memories that they missed out on.

I was gratified to read one mother state that what she blogs about is the good times, not the times when she is at her wits end. But still, a month of her posts of good times and good activities far outweighs a year of my families. My children can remember their favorite Friday night television shows but I doubt they can remember a favorite 'made with Mommy' craft.

I have failed. I want to sew puppets for my babies. I want to teach them about art by helping them paint their own masterpiece on freshly stretched canvas.

All of my childrens sidewalk chalk art has washed away.

I want to take beautiful pictures of my childrens feet. I want to add photoshoped sunlight behind their tow heads in the pictures I have taken of them fighting the dragons in their coats of armor that I have forged myself.

I want a do over! Same children, same husband but just a wiser, more fun and more energetic me. I am in despair!!!

Ahh-- enlightment. I have heard the voice of God, or maybe the loving spirit of my own mother in my heart......

"That is what grandchildren are for."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cowboy Stadium

I sent this our local radio DJ. They were having a survey on what to call the new Dallas Cowboy stadium. Just thought I should share my idea.

Heard you talking today about naming the new cowboy stadium and a caller said to name it the Corral. Good name, but I think we should take it further.
I think the tunnel that the visiting team runs through should be called the "Chute." Have a big sign painted over it. A chute is a contraption that a cowboy uses to hold the cattle for tagging and for castration. I like the visiting team thinking of castration.
We should also have next to the tunnel an actual chute (on wheels) with a Whistling Ray ish type character standing there, rattling it, wearing dirty duds with a big gleaming knife in his mouth.
On the other side of the tunnel should be a chuck wagon with a cowboy with a big hot iron skillet all ready to fry up those cowboy oysters. We could even sell them in the concession stands, maybe with girlie pink icing and sprinkles.
Intimidation works!
Tell Jerry if he wants to use my ideas I require 3 season tickets---- 50 yard line--- 10 rows up--- shady side when the roof is open!
Intimidation works.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Getting started

Hello all of you out there. By all of you, I mean my daughter Chêz. I am starting this on-line blab session at the her request. Chêz has recently turned my life upside down by introducing me to the world of blogs. I have met some wonderful women who sew, cook and wrangle cattle. I do none of those things-- at least not well.

I live on a 'wannabe ranchette' where I cook daily (except on weekends!) I try to sew but instead spend the hours yelling at and pleading with my machine to not tangle the thread, and where, due to water and fence issues, we do not have any cattle to wrangle. But hey, the land is all mine. :)

Today I am sitting at the computer because I am so sore that I can hardly move. Did I get this way by cutting trees for fence posts? Putting in a summer vegetable garden? Mowing the weeds that I hope one day will be eaten by my named but as yet unpurchased cows Milk and Cookie? No. I am sore from playing my new Wii.

Poog and I yesterday bought a Wii with the sports package. I have wanted one ever since I saw some lunatic jumping around a screen in the middle of the mall. Tennis without the weight of the racket, and more importantly, without having to chase the ball. Pure heaven I tell you what, I tell you!

Poog and I got home around 3 and immediately set up and started playing. Next thing we knew it was 11:30. Can you say addictive?

That brings me to this morning. My back is in spasms. My wrist is swollen and my arm and shoulder are on fire. But of course, this afternoon I went bowling. My top score is a 232. Whooyee!

So Chêz, I hope you are happy with my blabbing. My puppy needs attention now.