If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Monday, December 30, 2013

Pleasant productive day

I woke up early as usual and got my normal morning routine things done- fixing husband's work lunch and morning coffee, doing my Bible study and earning some Swagbucks. 
Then I went through my coupons and the newspaper ads from yesterday to plan out my errands, 
Before I shopped, I did some small sewing jobs like turning our old and worn hand towels into cleaning rags by cutting them in half and zig-zagging the raw edges. 
I added some length to another pair of jeans for the long legged grand daughter. I used purple polka dots to go with the purple stitching on the pockets. 
This baby shirt was a gift and had a design on the front that we didn't care for. It is a nice heavy weight shirt so to make it wearable, I put a fabric appliqué over that design. 
One of my errands was to stop at CVS for a prescription refill. CVS had Christmas, gifts and toys marked down 75%.  I got a few toys for future gift and also got this cute retro design hot air popcorn popper for $5
LED lantern was $2.50 at the CVS clearance. It will be perfect to use in our tornado safe room. 
This cubby shelf is from Walmart and was bought for our play room, because don't we all want to get organized for the new year? With just a few hiccups, I even managed to assemble it all by myself.  
Tomorrow, I hope to get the toys put in it. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Smoked Turkey Soup

Our lunch today was so good!
For Thanksgiving, my family was at our home. I did a lot of the cooking and my brother brought a big smoked ham and smoked turkey. The meats were cooked at a restaurant on the campus of the university in our town and were both delicious. 
I've made turkey soup a number of times but always with a baked turkey, never a smoked one. 
The Thanksgiving turkey came with a recipe to make soup so I wraped up and froze the carcas after my husband carved it.
I did not read the recipe until after I had already simmered the carcus with water and celery, then strained and chilled it so I could de-fat it. According to the recipe, I was supposed to sauté onions and cook the turkey with onions and spices.
I ended up just heating the broth and cooking 1 cup of rice in my 2 quarts or so smoked turkey broth. 
Then I added 2 jars of Red Gold brand medium salsa (I bought it really cheap about a year ago and still have 8 jars) some leftover smoked turkey from our Christmas Eve turkey that my husband smoked, some frozen corn and a can of drained pinto beans. 
We ate it with a little grated cheddar cheese and tortilla chips. 

From now on, I will save all turkey bones, whether baked or smoked, to make broth.  
This smoked turkey soup really tasted good on this cold, windy Sunday. It was thrifty, easy and had a lot of good nutrition in it too.

In the top picture is the leftover soup in a half gallon jar- I think I can have smoked turkey soup for lunch all week! 

Verse from Today
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, (Exodus 34:6 ESV)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Highlights

My sons showed up in matching sweaters, but not matching hairstyles or
Matching boots. 

Fun gifts
Sweet family time with great grandparents and great uncles and lots of cousin playtime too.
Christmas Day food 
7 layer bean dip, fresh fruit platter, veggie platter with dip, triple crock pot filled with Rotel Velveeta dip, meatballs, and little smokey sausages in barbecue sauce
And of course, lots of cookies, some candy and a pound cake. 

After Christmas

My daughter got this gingerbread house kit on clearance at Walmart for $3. My brother, the wreath maker, put it together with his great nieces, Elizabeth and Andie. Elizabeth was interested in making the house look pretty but Andie was just interested in eating the candy trims.

Old Santa and New Santa
My mom made the felt and cloth Santa about 50 years ago, he looks pretty good after all this time I think. 
This year, she crocheted the outfit for a new Santa doll. He is plastic and I bought the undressed doll at Hobby Lobby at a clearance sale. 

Mom made his outfit with supplies she had on hand. Can you see Santa's rhinestone belt buckle? New Santa has a bit more bling than old Santa. He also has eyeglasses.

That's how we had our family time here in Oklahoma. Our decorations are still out and will probably stay out for another week or so. 

I hope you all a happy Christmas, however you celebrated. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cut out Christmas cookies

That sugar cookie recipe I mixed up and goofed up over the weekend was baked today, the recipe called for 3 cups of powdered sugar but I didn't read the recipe right and put in 2 cups of table sugar. 
They turned out just fine- I may even just change the recipe and make them this way every Christmas, 
Trees and Santas
Cutters are by Aunt Chicks - an Oklahoma company now called Grammas Cutters
We like our sugar cookies with lots of homemade frosting and coconut.

My helpers- almost 5 year old Gavin was a help, spreading frosting and dipping the cookie tops into coconut and sprinkles. 17 month old Braeden kept us company and sure enjoyed his cookie, but he wasn't much help this year- in time I think he will though, 
My mother and aunts first made these cut out cookies more than 50 years ago. We have them every year and I hope we always do. 

I have posted lots of desserts and sweets lately, but this will probably be the last sugar laden post for awhile.  Once Christmas celebrating is over, we will back to eating lots of salads and fruits. 

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Staycation in Oklahoma and Christmas baking

We are still on our stay around home vacation and it has been fun.
We were in Texas and Arkansas last weekend visiting our parents. 

Monday, we took a leisurely drive home and stopped at this Amish store in Atoka.
We had lunch in Coalgate at this small, old fashioned diner. 
Tuesday, we took a day trip to Chouteau to a much bigger Amish store.
It is a cheese store, lunch diner, country store and bakery all in one building.  We did some souvenir shopping there including some canned goods, bread and cinnamon rolls from the bakery, a few spices and an assortment of kitchen tools that are all made in the USA, except for the plastic knife.
that pretty doily was made by my mom
Some of the canned goods from the Amish store. These will be on the relish plates next week.
We had a delicious supper in Sand Springs at this small Italian place called Napolis.
Another trip on Wednesday- we had lunch at The Cattlemans.  We also wandered around the shopping part of the stockyards, then drove to a new outlet mall in Oklahoma City and finished up Christmas shopping.

One more trip on Thursday, it was my birthday and I was treated to a manicure, pedicure and also had my hair done at my daughter in law's salon.  Then we had lunch with our son and grand daughter. 

I really did have my hair done and it looked great at the shop but it was just windy that day so you can't really tell I this photo. 
That night, more of our children came to our home for supper.  I made a salad and cooked frozen pizzas.  It was a happy birthday for me all day long. 

When we woke up Friday morning, we talked about going somewhere, but we decided to just stay in our town. We did a few errands and my husband did a couple little fix it jobs around our house. 

Traveling is fun and I am glad we went, but I am truly a homebody- happy to be home now. My husband doesn't have to go back to work until after Christmas. 

Besides home repairs, he is staying busy picking out pecans. 

All week long we had pleasant warm weather, except for the wind. 
But it turned very cold yesterday with freezing rain last night and today. 

So today was a perfect day to stay in the kitchen and work on Christmas food. 

Salad dressing- just Good Seasons made with balsamic vinegar but it is family favorite
Salad crackers- oyster crackers seasoned with dry ranch dressing mix, dill, onion and garlic.
A double batch of Mexican wedding cookies
Oatmeal coconut cookies
In the top left are Shaker Spice cookies 
Peanut chocolate clusters- I used a jar of salted peanuts, about 16 ounces,  1 bag milk chocolate chips, 1.2 bag semi sweet chips and 1/2 bag white chocolate chips.  I melted the chocolate over low in double boiler made of a small stock pot with water in it and a Pyrex bowl with little handles for the top.

I also mixed up a double batch of sugar cookie dough to chill to make rolled cookies- but I goofed up and did not realized it until they were already mixed up.  The recipe called for 3 cups of powdered sugar but I used 2 cups of regular table sugar mistake.  Sweetness wise,  I think it will be about the same but I am not sure of the texture.  So,  next week,  I will bake a few samples and see if they taste and bake right.  If not,  I will start over.  Frosted sugar cookies with coconut are a family tradition.  

Below is part of the big batch of cracker toffee candy- so easy and delicious, just be sure to spread out the cooked butter- brown sugar mixture as thin as possible so you have thin crispy toffee, and not thick hard toffee that could break a tooth.  I use the recipe in the link but I use enough cracker to cover a 10 by 15 pan that is lined with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Except for a few left out for snacks, all the treats are now packed in pretty tins and in the fridge or freezer to stay fresh for next week. 

so what's cooking in your kitchen?  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

In my mom's sewing room

one more post about Texas........

This is my mom's sewing room and their computer is in this room too,  and lots of interesting photos are on those walls too. 
Years ago,  it was my wreath making professor brother's bedroom.  That is his college track team photo in a black frame just about in the middle of the room photo. 

Mom got this Accuquilt machine recently.  I was not really familiar with it but it is special gadget for cutting quilt pieces and other fabric craft pieces especially accurate.
The Accuquilt opens up like a waffle iron.
These dies are used  to cut the shapes. 
Mom says it is easy to use and cuts the pieces so perfectly,  she was so happy that the pieces sew together so nicely when they are the exact same size. 
this a green scrappy quilt she has been working on. 
This is a felt penny rug- the circles are perfect and felt is hard to cut as it shifts around when just using scissors.   Mom says the Accuquilt does waste  fabric than the traditional way of cutting fabric but that is not really an issue for her as she has plenty of fabric. 
If you have some extra money and like to do really perfect quilts,  you might want to look into an Accuquilt.  I think Mom ordered hers online. 

Some of the pictures on her sewing room walls
Mom's Senior picture- she was valedictorian and FFA sweetheart. 
My grandfather on my dad's side on a cool motorcycle- probably around the 1920s
My dad with one of his colts when he had  a few horses on his hobby farm.  I like his polka dot cap. 
Dad again,  with my son Bobby when he was about 2.  Now Bobby is 32 and looks like a Duck Dynasty body double.

Mom has always, and I mean always, done handwork. This is an embroidered picture- look at all that perfect satin stitches on the 2 horses.  I think she stitched this when we kids were little.  If you look in craft room photo, there is a pair of deer picture just to the left of this horse picture that was in the same series and stitched about the same time. 

We are back in Oklahoma now and I didn't take any other photos while we were in Texas so this will be last Texas post for awhile.  My husband is on vacation from his job this week and we are doing some sightseeing day trips around Oklahoma so I'll have some posts on those soon.

Hope you are all getting those last minute things done to be ready for Christmas, it is just a few days away! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cooking in Texas

We just got back from a weekend trip to see our parents. I did some cooking while I was there.
First I made Struesel Puffs, a muffin recipe my mom saved from Family Circle magazine approximately 1970. She made them often and we all liked them. I baked and entered them in a 4-H food show and got a blue ribbon. 

I baked Struesel Puffs so many times when our children were all at home. This was a normal Sunday before church recipe and I always doubled the recipe back then. 

Fresh baked Struesel Puffs on my parents dining table

Streusel Puffs

2 1/2 C. All purpose flour
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 C. milk
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 beaten egg
Grease a standard 12 muffin tin. Combine 1/2 C. flour and the brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut in 2 Tbsp. butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside. 
Mix remaining 2 C. flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in remaining 6 Tbsp. butter until crumbly. Combine egg and milk in a small bowl; add all at once to the flour mixture. Stir lightly, just until liquid is absorbed. Batter will be lumpy. 
Divide batter between 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
Serve warm after baking. They are still good the second day if reheated. 

Mom found this recipe on Pinterest and asked me to bake them,  I made them just like recipe except baked them in a 10 by 15 airbake pan instead of the 13 by 9 pan the recipe called for. We liked them a lot and think that thinner is better.  It was an easy recipe and makes a big batch. 

Pepperoni Lasagne that my brother requested. I just used a recipe from AllRecipes.com but substituted 1/2 pound diced pepperoni for the ground beef
A meat loaf
Boomer, my brother's dog, wagging his tail as he was hoping to get a few bites of meatloaf. 
I also made pimento cheese to eat on celery and crackers and cooked roast beef, mashed potatoes and 2 pounds of baked carrots. 

They will be able to heat and eat all week.  I wish we lived closer so I could cook for them more often. 

On our last trip to Texas, I took photos of beautiful bluebonnets along the highway.  
This trip was not as pretty as we drove through about 100 miles of highway lined with  ice storm damaged trees. Some trees were broken down to the ground, others had hanging or fallen broken limbs and some trees were split down the middle. It is going to be a big long job to clean them up.