Wednesday, October 24, 2012

There IS a cure for the Summertime Blues....

Welcome Summer!  Today my sweet cousin surprised me with a summer party outside in her yard.  Look at all the cute things she had for us.  When I drove in, it felt like the pages of a cool magazine....
 Everywhere her yard is filled with beauty...  Such a breath of fresh air!
Just the cure if anyone is thinking of having the Summertime Blues! or especially if you are not!

Lake Effect

Today my dear friend suggested we meet at the lake for a visit, to talk about our Beth Moore James Bible study, and for prayer....  The weather was perfect...  God was so perfect, and we had a soul-soothing time.

She told me on the phone she was bringing us something to drink.  The icy orange surprise was absolutely fabulous!  She said it was even healthy!  I fell into the spell of kind of Dreamsicle slush ambrosia....  and look how cute! She made the whole thing into a party!

The healing words of the Bible study, cool lake air, and the acceptance and care of a friend were priceless!  She is a long-time friend, a lifelong angel sent as a gift from God....  When you can be yourself and still know someone loves you----  it is a gift.  I am blessed!  @@@@@@@@@@@@@--- you also know who you are!

Sunrise Punch recipe --  Pioneer Woman
2 cups orange juice
2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons meringue powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
Fill rest of blender with ice and blend! Yummy.

Getting the Horse Before the Cart

 More shots of another Saturday trip...  This beautiful team was "parked" outside a farm house where we bought a quart of fresh molasses..

 Home made bread...  and another cart with some festive pumpkins.

And finally, this  miniature pony and cart...  It was adorable.  I don't suppose Amish horses mind being in a picture.  I never take photographs of any of the people...  I have to stash those in my memory.

Here is a recipe for some wonderful Apple Butter.  My Aunt Hazel made this often, and I made it at home.  If we get to an orchard, this will be on my to-do list..  Right now, I would say it is "cart before the horse" as my gramma used to say.


6 lbs. apples
1-2 quarts sweet cider (Grandma used 2, I use 1 because I can cook a shorter time. Grandma thought longer was better)
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Cook the apples in the cider and press through a food mill or sieve. (I just mashed with potato masher).   Mix in sugar and spices to taste. Pour pulp into a non-reactive pan (I use an old enameled roaster) and bake at 250, stirring every hour or so, until "thick enough". If I'm in a hurry, I start at 350, then turn it down after a couple of hours. I usually double or triple the amount, so mine takes a long time to cook down. This amount will still take several hours.
When it's "thick enough", pour into hot jars and Boiling water bath 10 minutes for half pints or pints, 15 minutes for quarts.  Seal.  If you want to skip the seal step, this will freeze or keep in the refrigerator for a long time.

Comfort Food

When the nights blow cold but the days are pretty, I love to use the slow cooker and spend time with other things...  This is a favorite....  reminds me of my mother's pressure cooker steaks from my childhood!


Slow Cooker Round Steak


  • 3 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 pounds boneless round steak
  • 1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup water


  1. Place the potatoes, onion, and carrots in slow cooker. Cut steak into six pieces, then place the meat on top of vegetables. In a mixing bowl, combine the soup mix, soup, and water; pour over beef.
  2. Cover, and cook on Low for 7 to 10 hours.

Kitten, Kitten... Kat.....

My son sent me a quickly-snapped photo of my dear little cat, Sally...  She is a happy camper,snoozing away on his couch....  Is there anything more peaceful than watching a cat gently snoozing away an afternoon, a morning, an evening....????  Well, perhaps doing the snoozing, too...  That might be peaceful and fun...

However, it's Autumn...  who wants to sleep when it's so beautiful outside?  I have decided to finally bake the cookies featured on "The Good Witch" series, Harvest Moon cookies.

Here is the recipe.  Stay tuned for results...  Hey, it's an almond cookie dipped in chocolate.  I think it will be fine, huh?

Harvest Moon Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup ground almond meal ( I ordered mine from Amazon)

Preheat the oven to 350˚F
Cream the butter and slowly add in the sugar.  Add in the vanilla and almond extracts and the almond meal.  Work in the flour gradually. Wrap the dough in wax paper or parchment paper and refrigerate for 2 hours. 
Line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. These are delicate cookies, so don't handle them too much. Divide the dough into 2 batches, leaving one in the refrigerator. Divide the dough into small 1 teaspoon sized balls and place them on a cookie sheet and slightly flatten with the heel of your hand or a spatula. Bake until just slightly golden brown on the bottoms, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool the cookies and drizzle with white or dark chocolate or cover 1/2 of the cookie in chocolate. Serve with cocoa or chocolate milk for dunking.