Sunday, January 28, 2018

Two Peas in a Pod

I love baby showers.
There is so much excitement when a family is expecting 
new little one.
Extra exciting is a baby shower for twins.

Our church family is expecting twin girls 
just any day now.  
A precious baby shower was given last Sunday 
for the expecting couple.  
What a cute theme!

Two peas in a pod!!!
The feature dessert was made from white chocolate.
How cute is that?????

Our church is so blessed with people who love to share their talents in honoring others.  I think this theme was a definite hit.

And, we were all in love with these cute paper tea cups.

These two little girls were definitely showered with lots of gifts.
And you can bet, when they arrive, they will be 
showered with lots of love.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Cream Cheese Breakfast Bake

I love traditions!!!
Our family has several.
Everybody knows who is bringing what at each holiday meal, and if that person's dish is not there, questions are asked as to why it was not prepared.  Our family Christmas breakfast always includes this cream cheese breakfast dish.  It is easy to make and delicious!

You will need:
(For a small casserole dish)
(Double the ingredients for a 9"x 12")
1 can Crescent Rolls
1 box softened Cream Cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup melted butter

Begin by greasing the bottom of the pan.
Spray Pam or butter will work great.
Divide the crescent dough in half and spread half to completely cover the bottom of the pan.
This may seem impossible at first, but crescent dough is very pliable and moves easily with your fingers.

Beat the softened cream cheese with a mixer and then add the sugar and vanilla.
Beat until smooth.

Spread this mixture on top of the dough.

Now, carefully place the other half of the Crescent dough on top of the mixture.  This is a little tedious and requires patience.  As you can see, mine did not look so great to start out with, but I just kept pulling and stretching until it covered the entire pan.

Pour the melted butter on top of the dough and spread around to cover the dough.

 Now mix about 3 Tablespoons of sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  You can adjust these amounts to your taste.

Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the sugar.  I sometimes add a little more cinnamon.

Now bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until brown.  I always test the center of the dough to make sure it is not doughy before I remove the pan from the oven.

Slice into squares to serve.
This makes a very special breakfast side dish.
Our breakfast on this day included cheese eggs, ham, sliced banana, and Cream Cheese Breakfast Bake!
Leftovers can be reheated and served another day.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Hallelujah Tree

A few years ago, my daughter and I decided to decorate one of our cedar trees for the birds.
We called it our Hallelujah tree.
The Hallelujah tree has now grown tall and spindly and will no longer work for a bird tree.

This year, we decided to decorate a new tree that I had planted a few years ago outside of my kitchen window.  
It was the perfect size for a Bird Tree.
If nothing else, it made for some great pictures.

Our decorations came from leftover Christmas foods.
We cut out circles from stale bread, spread on egg whites, then sprinkled on bird seed.  
A hole was made in the top of the bread with a straw, and then the bread treats were baked in a 200 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  
The next day, we added string for hanging.

 We sliced a few oranges that were beginning to go bad and baked these on a cookie rack in the oven for about 3 hours at 200 degrees.  
I was just as happy with the oranges that we did not bake, but simply sliced and threaded on a string.

We made several stringers with leftover store bought popcorn, oranges, cranberries, and dried fruit from a trail mix.
These were easily strung with a large needle and some heavy red thread.

The decorations that were probably the most fun to make were the bird seed creations.  We mixed 2 packages unflavored gelatin with 1 cup hot water.  Then, we added 6 tablespoons light corn syrup and 1 1/2 cups plain flour. 
 Last we added 8 cups of bird seed.  
This gooey concoction was put in cookie cutters and muffin tins to create shapes to hang on the tree.  
We used a straw to add a hole to the top of the cookie cutter ornaments.  
The muffin time ornaments, we placed a sting in the middle of the goo and let them dry with the string inside.  These just needed to 
dry overnight.

 I love that I can see this tree from my kitchen window. Now, we are just waiting for the birds to come and enjoy!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Comfy and Cozy

It is a new year! With a new year comes the challenge of taking down Christmas decorations and setting up the home for the winter.

Some years, I wait until Jan. 2 to tackle this challenge.
This year I decided to get a head start, so our home would be cozy for New Year's Eve.
There are 5 things I focus on when redecorating our cottage in the Big Woods.

The first is moving at least one piece of furniture to a new location.  The change just gives our home a different feel.  I decided to move this washstand to a place where a table had once been.

I am liking the feel of this new arrangement.

 Step 2 is to add some cozy lighting with lamps around the house.

I was excited to find a remote device at an after Christmas sale at Lowes that allows me to turn all my lamps on and off at the same time.

Step 3 is to be sure to have a few live plants positioned around the home.  
Bringing in fresh cut flowers is another way to fight off the winter blues.

For number 4 a basket of blankets is a must!  Temperatures in the Big Woods have been in the single digits this winter with more in the forecast.  
These blankets are going to feel great.

A final suggestion is to pick up a few inexpensive picks of flowers or greenery at Hobby Lobby.  This is a very inexpensive way to add a pop of color here and there.

Happy Jan. 1, 2018.
May your home be cozy and full of love.