Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Awesome-Tasting Food!! (Christmas)

For the month of December Awesome-Tasting Food is going to be about Christmas goodies that we've tried over the years. If you'd like to see a certain recipe on here then comment with your ideas.

This week is something I love and only found out about last year. One of the easiest Christmas treats I have ever made. I gave this treat to friends and I know if tasted really good.

Pretzel Treats

  • Bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels
  • Hershey’s Kiss or Hershey’s Hugs
  • M&M’s candy. You can also use peanut M&M’s 

     Heat the oven to 200F. Set a number of bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss or Hershey's Hug.
     Bake for 4 to 6 minutes (the white chocolate will melt more quickly), until the chocolate begin to just melt. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press an M&M into the center of each Kiss.
     Allow the treats to cool for a few minutes, then place them in the refrigerator to set, about 10 minutes. Place handfuls of the candies in clear plastic bags and tie on colorful ribbons.

Have fun cooking!!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

awesome weekend

I had a terrific Thanksgiving weekend and I hope you did too.  

My weekend really started on Wednesday because I quit school for the rest of the week and did some cooking. The only thing I really ended up making was garlic salad. That takes a long time to shred cabbage.

Charis made this pretty pumpkin roll. I didn't get to try it, so that must have meant it was good. 

Thursday I got up early (well...for Thanksgiving) and took Addy to go get Newspapers. We do the whole Black Friday shopping thing and since we don't get the paper to our house we still needed to get all the ads.  It was great because one of our local radio stations just started playing Christmas music. Being outside, driving a truck, and listening to Christmas music goes real well together.

Around noon we headed for my cousins for our "Thanksgiving Dinner."  We had a great time and good food. After lunch our friends from India taught all of us how to play Cricket. In a way it is like baseball, but I still didn't get all the rules. confusing...but a ton of fun.

That evening we took our cousin Sarah home because she was going to go shopping with us. Back at the ranch (yeah, that's our house) we pulled out all the ads, scattered them all over the table, and poured over them until they tore...they ended up that way by the time we were done. 

The plan was to get up at 3 and head out, until Mom decided to go to Walmart at 10 p.m. No one wanted to be left behind (execpt Dad) so we all headed out. Walmart was a zoo, but, oh man, it was so much fun. Being in a crowded store is like my favorite thing.  Everyone ended getting pretty much what they wanted which was surprising considering the amount of people. We went back home for a 3 hour nap and then headed out to Kohl's. 

After Kohl's we had to wait for JoAnns to open. My cousin Sarah, Addy, and I went to see if we could grab some coffee, hoping Starbucks would be open. Meanwhile Charis and Mom were the unlucky one having to wait in line. Cheers!!! it was open and with a long line, but who cares. The coffee was good and woke me up.

Shopping continued until lunch time where we ended up at our traditional food shop. By then everyone was dead (as usual) and after lunch we all went home and took big long naps. In fact I when I woke up I thought it was morning...

Thanksgiving weekend started my official Christmas season. I think this is the best time of year.  Tomorrow I'm going to set up our Willow Tree Nativity scene. It looks like this, minus the background and wisemen.

Did you have a good Thanksgiving??


Thursday, November 24, 2011

thankful five

 This year  I'm very Thankful for...

1) My whole family.
   This picture was taken a year ago, but it is the only one that has all of us.

...and then later on came Yoanna!!

She has changed a lot.

2) Shyann. The BEST dog in the whole world!!

We've had her for at least 3 years.

3) My awesome flute teacher!!  No, I don't have a picture of her. I been taking from this new teacher for over a year now and have felt very, very blessed with all I'm learning from her.  

4) Starbucks or you could say coffee in general. :)

5) All my great friends. I don't what I'd do without them. You guys are great. There are a lot more I just can't fit them all in here.

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!!!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Awesome-Tasting Food!! // cupcakes

Last year when we were waiting in line at Target on Black Friday, we started looking at this cupcake book called "What's New, Cupcake?"  My Aunt ended up getting the cook book for us and I have loved it ever since. Some of the cupcakes are harder than others.
Indian Corn Cupcakes is one of the recipes I haven't tried, but it looks like a ton of fun.  I think they would make good table decorations on Thanksgiving. I'd guess you'd have to start working right now though.

Indian Corn Cupcakes

• 24 vanilla cupcakes baked in white paper liners
• 3 sheets Phyllo dough, thawed
• Vegetable cooking spray
• 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
• 3 1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
• About 4 cups assorted Jelly Belly jelly beans in russet, orange, gold, cream, and brown colors. See here.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with crumpled foil. Cut the Phyllo sheets crosswise into 3-inch-wide strips, tapering both ends. Drape the stacked husks on the prepared pan, shaping them over the crumpled foil to make curves. Spray lightly with vegetable cooking spray. Bake until the Phyllo is golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. (The husks can be made up to 1 day in advance and kept in an airtight container.)
2. Tint the vanilla frosting pale beige with the cocoa powder.
3. Working with 3 cupcakes at a time, spread some of the pale beige frosting on top. Arrange about 5 straight rows of jelly beans, side by side and close together, on each cupcake. (Try to select flavors that go well together, such as toasted marshmallow, banana, cappuccino, and chocolate pudding.) Repeat with the remaining cupcakes, frosting, and jelly beans.
4. For each ear of corn, place 3 cupcakes end to end on a serving platter, aligning the rows of jelly beans. Arrange the Phyllo husks on either side of the corn.

You all have a great Thanksgiving!!


Monday, November 21, 2011

barn wood?

After spending too much time on Pinterest this week, I've decided that you could make anything in you house out of barn wood. I've actually gotten some neat ideas on using barn wood.  Here's a couple...

This shoe stand with a counter could go in your mud room.

In case you can't tell, the island is made out of barn wood. :)  I think the colors are pretty too.

Here you could just use the doors. They look like they're on rollers.

I really like the head board. 

This is my all time favorite. Stairs.  Aren't those pretty?  The only problem in getting splinters. I wonder how you could keep it smooth.

Or just forget the house and turn a barn into a house. Interesting idea. 

What do you think? Do you like the wood? I'd love to know.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

black friday?


Who is looking forward to Black Friday?  (Don't worry, I'm all into Thanksgiving and I'll probably do a post if I'm not too busy.)  Every year my family likes to head out early to get a few deals and just have fun in the crowds. My Dad makes the whole thing a total blast. I never stood in line at midnight until 5 and I don't every plan to do that. Part of the reason we go out is because it feels like Christmas is just getting started and everyone is excited. It is so much fun to be out with people even if it looks like this...

Or you feel like you're never going to get inside when you're in a line that looks something like this...

I think it is so much fun and I wouldn't miss Black Friday shopping for anything. Well, ok, maybe if it was something important. 

So, what about you? Do you go shopping on Black Friday? I've got a pole on the right where you can tell me.   I'd love to know if you have any traditions or shopping ideas. You can tell me in the comments.


Friday, November 18, 2011

belated trip post...

So, a couple of weeks ago my family took a trip out east. Our destinations were North Carolina and Pennsylvania. One of my brothers lives in N.C. and we were going to a conference there anyway, so of course we had to see him. Then married sister and her family lives in P.A. Most of us hadn't seen where she lived and we hadn't seen Yoanna in a LONG time.

I had this problem on the trip with making these freak out faces. I think Addy and I were getting bored waiting for everyone else to load up.  Yes, we have awesome trips!!
When we got to the conference center in Ashville, N.C. I dropped off the guys because they had a luncheon to go too. Charis, Addy, and I went on a hunt to find a Starbucks. Thankfully, right before the trip my Dad bought "Roada."  Yep, even our GPS got a name thanks to him.

The conference was awesome and I learned a lot. It seemed to just fly by way to fast. I met so many new people and then had to catch up with all the ones from the year before.  If you'd like to learn more about the conference click here.

The conference center was so pretty. Some of us took a hike in the beautiful mountain behind it. This was on the way back. We decided to stay on the road instead of the trails. 
October is the best time of year to take a road trip across the US.
btw, Charis would want credit for this photo. :)

 Charis, Isaac, and I

After the conference we went to go see where my brother Isaac is living. A couple of days later we headed to P.A. with him along. We stopped at Fredericksburg, V.A. to see the battlefield. Since we had watched Gods & Generals it was very interesting to where the battle happened. 

 One of the houses, that is still standing, was full of bullet holes. It would have been creepy to there during the war.  The picture had to be taken from the window because the doors were locked.

Picture time again. (feels like we're always taking photos.) l. to r. Isaac, me , Titus, Addy, and Charis. This one turned out pretty good. Just felt a little weird getting your picture in a cemetery...

 Once we were done with the battlefield we took a walk downtown. I love downtowns and this one was really cute and old. Also, some of us had to stop at the local coffee shop. :)
Next stop is P.A., but it still 5 hours away. We had too say goodbye to Isaac because he had to go back to N.C.

Seeing my sister Kelsey again was so much fun. I spent an afternoon alone with her and that was when Yoanna warmed up. I don't think she liked everyone sticking their face or camera in hers.  The scenery in P.A. is very pretty...and different from Kansas. Some of us went rock/mountain climbing. At one point there was a rock slide on the side of the mountain which makes you able to see for a long ways.

There are rocks as big as you up there. 

They're also very, very beautiful.

Yoanna and I got some photos before I had to go home. Sad to see her go. I couldn't tell if she was.

Can't wait to see her again someday.

On the way home we stopped at Gettysburg. I'm standing on one or their lookouts. I told her to stop...
I never realized how much there is to see at Gettysburg. We only had about an hour and a half. Still, we only got through two of the stops on their tour. Either that means we're slow or just a lot of stuff to see. 

Addy and I in the same lookout.

Titus, me, and Addy in other memorial. This one had a tight spiral staircase built in 1907. 
I'm surprised they still let people go up in it.

Here, I found a picture on the web of what it looks like from the outside. Right underneath the dome where the square shape ends is where they let you go out on top. There are more memorials like it that we didn't get to see. 

After that they dropped me off at the airport. You see, I had to fly home earlier because of some things I had going on. The rest of them didn't want to leave yet that way I got to fly!!!!!!!!!  I LOVE FLYING!!!!!!!! I got stuck in Atlanta for 2 extra hours, which was great.  Do you like to fly? Or have you ever flown before?

Well, I've gotta stop now and get busy. Hoped you enjoy it.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Awesome-Tasting Food!! // pumpkin whoopie pies

For the past couple of years (I don't think I'm going to do it this year) I've made these little guys for my Dad's side of the family Thanksgiving dinner. It is so much fun preparing these treats that I know you'll like them. They also make the house smell good when they're baking. Enjoy.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
    In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, water, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Drop by 2 tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. 

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon  pure vanilla extract

    In a small bowl, beat the filling ingredients until smooth. Spread over the bottom of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies. Store in the refrigerator. Makes up to 2 dozen.

    Also, when I make the whoopie pies, I always cook them a little less then what they say.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Authentic People Party...

Hello Peoples,
  On my list today was to make a blog post. And Rear Window's blog party started today so I decided to join.  So, all I'm doing is answering these fun questions. It's pretty cool. If you'd like to check out click here.

1} Little or big, practical or frivolous, what is one of your favorite items in your house?
 That isn't hard to answer at all: MY BED!!!  ...or my nice, new butterfly, lime green chairs that I broke down and finally bought.

2} What is your favorite household chore?
It's not that I don't like anything that much, but I don't have a favorite. I wash dishes a lot.

3} What's your favorite thing to get at Starbucks (or your favorite coffee shop)?
I like totally love this question because I am a die hard Starbucks fan. I finally got my gold card!!!! Yeah!!   
Right now my favorite would have to be a Cinnamon Dolce Latte. 

4} What is your favorite pizza topping?

5} Waffles or pancakes?
 Um......they are both ok. Now, if we're talking about Russian pancakes then pancakes for sure.

6} Do you like to play games? If so, what is your favorite?
CatchPhrase. When you come to my house request that game and my team will beat yours. :)  jk   It's an interesting way to get to know people.

7} Have you ever let anyone win a game?
Maybe if I was playing with a little kid I did.

8} Have you ever dyed your hair?
Never,  I love my hair color. It gets highlights in the summer. Anyway, hair dye causes cancer and a friend told me that a girl died after she died her hair black. scary.

9} Do you make your bed every morning?
Almost every morning 

10} Do you like carpet, tile, or hardwood floors?
Well, at one house we had hardwood floors. They were always cold in the morning. At this house I have carpet and it gets dirty easily. 6 of one and a half dozen of the other.

11} If you could put one thing in a safe under your bed, what would it be?
Probably my flute...I can't think of anything else.

12} What's your favorite condiment?
Freshly ground black pepper. It smells good.

13} What was the last thing that made you laugh?
Right now we're watching my almost-2-year-old cousin. He's kinda funny.

14} Think fast...what's the first song that pops into your head?
When We're Together. It's the song on Courageous when the little girl dances. Very sweet.

Okay, I'm done. I've found these questions very interesting and fun to answer. 
Now if you want I'd suggest to go to Abigail's blog and join the party.  (i love blog parties!!)
I forgot to add photos, but I'll save them for another post. I'm in a hurry because I have a symphony rehearsal tonight. I'd rather be making cards...

And yes, I'm still going to post something about my was awesome!! 


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Awesome-Tasting Food!! // pita bread

If you're like me, then you like pitas. Spread with butter or stuffed with something like chicken salad, you can eat these anywhere. What I liked even more was making them. Working with yeast can be weird.  This recipe has only 4 ingredients so it can't be to hard for you. 

Traditional Pita Bread

1 pkg active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoon salt
3 to 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in water. Stir in salt and enough flour to form a soft dough. On a floured surface knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Don't let rise. Divide dough into 6 pieces; knead each 1 minute. Roll each into a circle (at least 5 minutes) Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Place upside down on greased baking sheets. Bake for 5-10 minutes at 500 degrees. Cool on wire racks.

Top (or stuff) with anything of your choice. Tell me if you try something really different.


Saturday, November 5, 2011


I just had to show you all this picture of me and my niece.  

 We both have the same facial expressions. :)

More pictures from my trip will come later...


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Awesome-Tasting Food!! // chocolate malt crispy bars

Do these look good or what? Only takes 25 minutes to mix up and then you can eat 'em. I actually haven't made this recipe before, but they sound awesome.


Chocolate Malt Crispy Bars

  • 4 cups malted milk balls, divided
  • 1 package (10 ounces) large marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1 cup malted milk powder, divided
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

  • Chop 1 cup malted milk balls; set aside. In a Dutch oven, combine marshmallows and butter. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until melted. Remove from the heat; stir in the cereal, 3/4 cup malt powder and chopped candy. Press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. pan.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Stir in remaining malt powder. Spread over cereal bars. Top with remaining malted milk balls. Let stand until set. Cut into squares. Yield: 2 dozen

  • ~Susanna
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