Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lego Boy

I'm enjoying my quiet afternoon by doing a little scrapbooking ....























To make it quick & easy, I made it similar to the last page I made.  Hey ... once I finally get a book together, the two pages that I made this week will be years apart.

I'm excited to start working on my first post for French Fridays with Dorie now ....

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Conference: Fun Printables


Check out Sugardoodle's website for packets ... they come in a few varieties for all ages of kids.  I think I'll be printing a couple copies of the nursery packet for my youngest 2 kiddies as well as the Sr. & Jr. primary packets for Penguin.  If you have a few minutes, follow some of Sugardoodle's links for Conference activities ... there are endless ideas for games, activities, worksheets, family fun, etc.

My mother-in-law sent me this packet (which I believe is also available on Sugardoodle's website):

I found this page of "stickers" to go with the above packet.  You can print them on a sticker paper or I'm sure most kids won't be opposed to being allowed to use some scissors and a glue stick.
Stickers Prophet Apostles Oct 2010
Finally, good food is a must for conference.  I haven't even thought about what I'd like to make, but I've usually made crepes or cinnamon rolls in the past.  Maybe an apple tart or something that's somewhat acceptable for breakfast. What are your favorite conference yummies?

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just Blogging

Rather than working on my own blog today, I spent several hours this afternoon helping Penguin set-up her own blog.  Part of her schooling during the week is going to be blogging.  And it's also an incentive for her to finish her "required" work quickly so that she can do fun things ... like blog.

I did finish another scrapbook page tonight ... another one with old photos. :)  I'm in the mood for fall & some cooler weather!!
























And I thought I'd share a little something with you, for you.  A blank circle tag.  Use it as a gift tag, for a short note, or whatever your heart desires.  Personal use only, please.



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Monday, September 27, 2010

Young Women Manual 2 Lesson 37: Maintaining Chastity through Righteous Living


The following are some of my ideas and other helps I came across for lesson 37 in manual 2: Maintaining Chastity through Righteous Living.  There are so many directions that can be taken and a wealth of information and ideas available on this topic.

I started my lesson by reading blog posts from a girl who got pregnant before she was married.  She made the decision to place her baby for adoption. Her blog posts are very honest and I felt like she said a lot of things that I really wanted my laurels to hear.  The author of the blog talks about how the guy who got her pregnant can hide the fact that he's having a baby while the world sees that she is pregnant, how she has to sit at home on the weekends while he continues to date & go out with friends, how her choices have effected so many people in her life, etc.  And then after she places the baby for adoption, you can feel her pain & misery as she heals from her lost ... at times she talks about how she just wants to die.

I think this part of my lesson really made an impression on my laurels & they commented that this was their favorite part of the lesson.  You could have heard a pin drop in the room as I read the girl's words from her blog.   The following is the Word document that I made with the blog posts.  Please let me know if you have questions, but hopefully it's fairly easy to figure out who people are that she's referring to, etc.

Young Women Lesson Manual 2 Lesson 37 - Maintaining Chastity through Righteous Living


I used portions of the following two talks for part of my lesson:

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's devotional address given at BYU in 1988:  Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments.  If interested, you can purchase a DVD of this talk or download the audio through Deseret Book.  One of my favorite parts of this talk is when Elder Holland talks about how the two most important commandments deal with how we enter & leave this world.  We don't go around killing people, holding guns to their heads, etc....

Another great talk.  Also by Elder Holland:  (from this talk I used the three reasons for choosing chastity)
LDS.org - Ensign Article - Personal Purity

Other Ideas:

Cute Story

Fun Cupcake Object Lesson

Handouts:

I used gold sequin headbands from Forever 21.  I can't find them now packaged with just the gold headband ... but maybe you can find something similar somewhere else.

SKINNY SEQUIN HEADBAND

Or there are other options on the Forever 21 website like these:


SWEET FLOWER BOBBY PIN SET

Some of the hair accessories come in other colors than what is pictured ... look for ones with "more colors" and maybe you'll come across something in gold.

First I made the following handout.  It ended up not being what I was after, but I thought I'd post it in case someone else can use it.

















Then I came up with this:



{a single handout}
{a page of 6 handouts}


If you want a handout that doesn't have to be attached to a hair accessory and just uses a quote from the lesson, use these:



{a single handout}
{a page of 4 handouts}

Please feel free to right click, save, and use any of my handouts for your Young Women lessons.


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Friday, September 24, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie

Did you see the movie Julie & Julia?  Pretty cute flick.



{You can watch it on your instant stream
if you subscribe to Netflix.}

Do you want to be the next Julie? Over on my sidebar ... to the right ... →→→...

Click on the "French Fridays with Dorie" if you'd like join nearly 700 bloggers to cook your way through Dorie Greenspan's newest book, Around My French Table.  (I found the book for a bit cheaper than Ebay, Amazon, etc & with free shipping through Barnes & Noble.)  Participants will start blogging about recipes on October 1st.

They are hoping for some Pittsburghers to join in on the fun ... see this article that was published in the Post-Gazette.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Time's Up!

Haven't done a home-schooling post in a while.

Thought I'd share another website that we use on a daily basis.



You can use the stopwatch feature or our favorite (cackle-cackle) is the countdown timer ... great for all those timed-tests in math!

If you have a young musician, you can also use their metronome.

It's free.  It's great.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Facts on Vanilla

My interest in vanilla extract was sparked.

I did some online research.

Did you know....

  • that you are not always getting a bargain on your vanilla extract when you buy it outside of the USA? (ie across the Mexican border)
  • that some vanilla extracts are not even made from vanilla, but from a different plant that contains coumarin, which has been banned from the USA because of it's potential toxic side effect?
  • that coumarin tastes & smells like vanilla?
  • that "bad" vanillas are still imported illegally and can be found in many ethic grocery stores and Mexican restaurants?

When buying vanilla, look for "vanilla bean" as one of the ingredients.  If the vanilla is labeled "extracto de vainilla" or "vainilla", you may want to pass on that particular brand.

In the USA, if a vanilla extract has been made with something other than vanilla beans, it must be labeled "imitation".  Imitation doesn't sound very appetizing to me. 

More fun facts:

Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing vanilla to the United States in the late 1700's. While serving as Ambassador to King Louis XVI of France, he became familiar with vanilla beans and brought 200 vanilla beans back with him when he returned to the United States.



There is no alcohol in your Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. The term Bourbon is a geographic reference to the Bourbon Islands, Madagascar, Comoro, Reunion, Seychelles and Mauritius, off the east coast of Africa. In the 1800's, they were ruled by the French, whose ruling family at the time were the Bourbons.

A few drops of vanilla in a can of paint will help eliminate unpleasant odors!



A vanilla bean under your car seat gives a fresh aroma and helps eliminate musty odors.



The United States consumption of vanilla beans is approximately 1,200 tons per year!



Vanilla beans are hand-pollinated, on family plantations.


The entire vanilla cultivation process, from planting to market, can take from five to six years!

I use Molina vanilla which I buy here in AZ at the Mexican grocery stores.  I believe I was able to find it in Pittsburgh at Reyna Foods down in the Strip District.  I've Googled "Molina Vanilla" to try to learn more about that particular brand, but the jury is still out.  As far as I can tell, it's safe & authentic.  If you want to try Molina vanilla, it's available on Amazon as well as many other websites.



I love vanilla extract and I usually use it in place of other extracts ... like almond.  I often use more than what most recipes call for, but I'm not typically excited to deal with vanilla beans, vanilla paste, and other variations of vanilla.  I found this little conversion chart:

1 vanilla bean = 2 t vanilla extract
1 t vanilla paste or vanilla powder = 1 t vanilla extract

Or just dump in some vanilla!

Anyone out there done any comparisons of vanilla? 

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

News Update

So, I wasn't the winner of the "Funny" photography contest, but I did win a $75 gift card to B & H ... one of my fave stores!!  I'm excited to spend some money there ... or maybe I'll save up and put it towards a more expensive item.  We'll see.


PW's final thoughts: "I almost can’t stand to look at this photo. It’s so adorable and funny. The glasses! The suit!"

In other news ....

Have you seen this?



I need a Thanksgiving gift.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Young Women Manual 2 Lesson 36: Honesty

Yesterday I taught lesson 36: Honesty.  I was really worried about having too much time leftover at the end of class because it looked like a somewhat short lesson in the manual, but we had some good discussions and ended up running out of time and not being able to finish the lesson.  I used the following talk in my lesson: 

LDS.org - Ensign Article - We Believe in Being Honest


I printed copies of it for each of the girls and went over a few different parts of the talk that I had highlighted and felt were the most important parts for my laurels to hear and discuss.

These are the handouts that I used.  I have them available for you in two different forms.  A page of four handouts for easy at-home printing:


Or a 4x6" copy of the handout for printing at a photo lab:
{Please use matte or lustre finish!}

We were at Target late Saturday night and saw some Halloween goodies in the bakery section.  Nothing had spiders, so I decided late Saturday night that I wanted to bake a goodie to go along with my lesson ... something with a spider on it.  If you're not up for baking, check around with your local bakeries or I think anything with a Halloween theme could be fun & cute.  I also wanted an excuse to try a new cupcake recipe and my laurels always make good guinea pigs. :) While I was at Target, I grabbed some candies that I used to make spiders for the tops of my cupcakes. {Why is it SO hard to find black shoestring licorice??} I had some leftover chocolate frosting in my fridge from Turkey's truck party, so I went with a chocolate chip cupcake recipe because I thought it would go nicely with the frosting I already had.  Other options would be to buy some fake, plastic spiders ... maybe even some spider rings ...  or that fake spider web stuff ... to go with your printed handout.



Chocolate Chunk Cookie Cupcakes
{Thank you, Martha!}

Makes about 2 dozen

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/2-inch chunks



•Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.


•Put butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk. Stir in chocolate chunks with a rubber spatula.


•Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup. Bake until pale golden and a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire racks; let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

family day

This past week we braved the heat and spent 3 or 4 hours at the Phoenix Zoo.  It was actually not too bad.  We drank lots of water and cooled off in misters and splash zones several times.  I don't think I came home from the zoo with any photos, but I was in the mood to make a scrapbook page before bed tonight, so I pulled out some photos of a previous trip to the zoo....


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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Coming Soon from EVMCO

If you were able to attend one of the Lamb of God performances on Friday or Saturday night (or one of our other past concerts) & you liked what you heard, please mark your calendars for the 2010-2011 Season EVMCO concerts!  If you haven't been to see an EVMCO concert yet, you are truly missing out!!  *Note: there will be two performances each night for our next three concerts.

All the Bells on Earth Shall Ring
Saturday, December 4th
5:00 & 7:30 pm
*Featuring Christmas classics for choir, symphony, and bell choir.

We will be doing this arrangement of I Saw Three Ships:




Bring the World His Truth
Saturday, March 5th
4:30 & 7:30 pm
*Featuring Messiah in America: an oratorio composed by Brett Stewart, depicting the story of Christ's visit to the people on the American continent.  Showcases preeminent and professional LDS soloists from across the USA.

Amazing Grace
Saturday, May 21st
5:00 & 7:30pm
*Featuring country music sensation Collin Raye.

All performances are at the Mesa Arts Center.  For more info, visit http://www.evmco.org/ or http://www.mesaartscenter.org/

Tickets for our Christmas concert go on sale
Friday, October 1st.


I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to be a member of the EVMCO Orchestra.  Performing The Lamb of God was an amazing experience.  Two sold-out shows (I had friends trying to get tickets a week before the Saturday concert and they were told it was already sold-out), awesome soloists, lots of support in the audience from family & friends, countless comments afterwards, & my testimony of Christ has been strengthened in a way I never imagined possible.  For three weeks, I submerged myself in music concerning the Atonement & Resurrection of Christ. The best compliment we got was early Saturday morning ... an email sent to the entire orchestra saying that our Friday night performance was just as good and sometimes better than the London Symphony recording.  WOWSERS!!! 

AZ Republic story about our concert.

If you are interested, CD's are available HERE.

I was kinda stuck behind a soloist's stand for the concert:




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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Meant for Each Other: An Adoption Story




Or read the story HERE.  Very nice interview that puts adoption in a positive light.  I don't know that I agree 100% with everything Scott says, but I really enjoyed the article & interview, so I wanted to share.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but  please do not leave comments with profanity!

I also came across this blog today.  Check it out if you have been involved in or are interested in trans-racial adoption.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Truck Party

For nearly two months, everything in my boy's world revolved around his "truck party".  He had no problems deciding what kind of party he wanted for his birthday and he was one excited little guy.  I never imagined that I'd have so much fun planning a truck party.

 
The Invites:

 
{Sorry - had to scratch out all the personal info}

 

 

 
The Menu:
Sandwiches - mini ones made with homemade rolls
Car shaped cheese
Pasta Salad with wheels
Potato Salad
Chips
Truck-shaped watermelon with grapes as the wheels.
Desserts
 

 

 

 
For dessert we had chocolate cupcakes with ice cream & truck shaped cookies:

 
I had more cookies than cupcakes, so that's why we put some cookies in a pail.  (For a tutorial on how to make the lollipop cookies go HERE & HERE.)

 

 
At Ikea, I found a very large plant pot that was the same shade of green as my polka-dotted green tablecloth, so we used the pot for sodas & waters.  Centerpieces for tables were easy cause I just used trucks from the toy room.  If you happen to be in the market for cones, I checked around online and the best deal on cones was at Target.

 

 

 
Oh, almost forgot .... Disney's Car movie fruit snacks in a dump truck:

 

 
My hubby had the job of making truck music CD's.  Here are some songs that we included on our CD's in no particular order and possibly a lot of un-official song titles, but I think you get the idea.

  • Drive my Car - The Beatles
  • Freeway of Love - Aretha Franklin
  • Fun, Fun, Fun - Beach Boys
  • Greased Lightening - John Travolta
  • I Get Around - Beach Boys
  • Bicycle - Queen
  • Last Train to Clarksville - The Monkees
  • Let's Go - Cars
  • Little Honda - Beach Boys
  • Life in the Fast Lane - Eagles
  • Life is a Highway - Rascal Flatts
  • Little Deuce Coupe - Beach Boys
  • Magic Bus - the Who
  • Mud on the Tires - Brad Paisley
  • Mustang Sally - Wilson Pickett
  • No Particular Place to Go - Chuck Berry
  • Pink Cadillac - Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Real Gone - Sheryl Crow
  • Roadhouse Blues - the Doors
  • Come Go with Me - Beach Boys
  • Route 66 - John Mayer
  • Sh-Boom - the Chords
  • Shut Down - Beach Boys
  • Take it Easy - Eagles
  • Ticket to Ride - Beatles
  • Trampled Underfoot - Led Zepplin
  • Truck Driven Man - Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Where the Blacktop Ends - Keith Urban
  • 409 - Beach Boys
  • Big Yellow Taxi - Counting Crows
  • Car Crazy Cutie - Beach Boys
  • Cement Mixer - Alvino Rey
  • Drive - Alan Jackson

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Finalist!

It was just posted .... My A-dor-able Turkey is a finalist!!!!!!!!!!!  Go cast your vote!! ☺

http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography/2010/09/funny-finalists/


Some fun comments:

Katie B. - Frolicking Night Owl’s reminds me of a mini version of Elton John…I love it! They are all great!

Eric - (replying to Katie B's comment) I agree. Something about that one makes me laugh everytime.

Carrie H - I love the frolicking night owl shot too – the kids face is classic.

Steder -The kid with the sunglasses– too funny. He’s like an Anne Geddes caricature of Donald Trump. Again, made me smile, lots.

Mandy - Great stuff! My faves: Suprasheera, Frolicking Night Owl and the baby in the kitchen sink. :)

Pam - I LOVE the one of the baby wearing the sunglasses! What a grin!

Myra - Baby with the pink sunglasses. Priceless.

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Young Women Lesson 35 Manual 2: Wise Choices

Angela's Lesson Helps are becoming my favorites on SugarDoodle's website.  I added her blog to my sidebar under "YW Helps".

I like to take Angela's ideas and add to them a bit or kinda make them my own, but it's not too much work cause she has some great ideas!  I went with her cookie theme.

I started my lesson by hanging up a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, but I started listing all the things I had to do this past week and why I didn't have time to go to the store to buy ingredients ... I had to bring what I had at home.   We made the recipe "my way".   I replaced the butter with vegetable oil and told the girls it's all the same cause both make us fat.  Baking powder was used instead of baking soda, pepper instead of salt, dark corn syrup instead of brown sugar, York Peppermint Patties instead of chocolate chips, and we put the whole egg in ... shells & all.  I had a helper pouring in all the ingredients for me and then she stirred everything up.  I used Angela's wording and talked to the girls about using our agency to do things "our way" or God's way.

Here are the recipes for chocolate chip cookies & God's recipe for happiness all ready for you to print.

Man 2 Lesson 35 Recipes

I also used Angela's idea to talk about the story of Joseph & Potipher.  I felt like it was a great example of using our agency and how our consequences (good or bad) are sometimes delayed.  I scattered some of the quotes from the lesson manual throughout the lesson and we closed with this short video:



For a handout, I baked chocolate chip cookies for the girls & attached one of these tags to each bag of cookies: 
I made 4 handouts to a page so you can print at home
with 8.5x11" photo paper or cardstock.




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Friday, September 10, 2010

Honored

One our favorite bloggers, The Pioneer Woman, selected one of my photos for her current "Funny" assignment.  I was pretty excited to see one of my favorite smiles smiling back at me from her website!!  I was trying to figure out how many photos have been submitted for this assignment and I got to about the 7,000th photo & gave-up. Photos are chosen based on creativity, clarity, color, and how well the submitted photo falls under the assignment category, which is "funny".

My "winning" photo was this cutie:



So, everyday for 5 or 6 days, Pioneer Woman will select some of her favorites.  And then from her favorites she selects finalists.  I'm not sure if she takes into account how many people leave comments saying they also love my photo, so if you want, leave some love on her blog.

To see my Turkey in all his glory on PW's website, go HERE.

And just for memories, here are some of the comments that other people have left:

Pioneer Woman - “I die.” (To quote Rachel Zoe.) Precious. (I had to Google Rachel Zoe!)

Karen G -  And pink striped sunglasses with a suit and tie?! Oh my word, its Tim Gunn with a little Mondo flavor!! Uber cute!

Tabitha - Love the baby with the glasses and the suit!

Crystal - The last photo with the pink sunglasses…. what a schnookums!!

Angela - The last photo by Sir N. That child looks like a baby Sir Elton John! What a RIOT!

Diamondkelt - ... That last baby picture is hysterical though.

Krissy - What a great group of hilarious photos. The kids really make it. My favorite is the last shot of the baby in the suit and tie probably wearing his mom’s big striped pink sunglasses. And that smile…what a winner. I had a few good laughs out of this group, but that last baby really sticks in my mind.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lollipop Cookies

{Part 2}



If you missed Part 1 from yesterday, go here to catch-up.

After your cookies have completely cooled, you can decorate them.  I made a glaze ... it dried, got hard, and had a very nice shine.

Sugar Cookie Glaze
This recipe made enough glaze for 15-20 cookies.

1 C Powdered Sugar
2 t Milk
2 t light corn syrup
1/4 t vanilla (or be like me & just pour a bunch in)
Food Coloring

Pour the milk in to a small bowl and then slowly add the powdered sugar ... maybe about 1/4 cup at a time; mix well after each addition.  I just used a fork to do my mixing.  DO NOT put the powdered sugar into the bowl and then add the milk.  I tried that on my first batch and I ran into much difficulty & ended up having to add more milk which made my glaze too runny and then the glaze seeped into the cookies instead of floating on top of the cookies. (That is why the cookies with the orange glaze don't look as nice as the cookies with turquoise colored glaze.) Add your remaining ingredients.  The glaze will seem thick, but my thicker glaze turned out so much better than my thinner glaze.  If you really want it more runny, the recipe recommends adding more corn syrup.

I only use Wilton's Icing Colors when I need to color my food.  A 1/2 oz container of color will sit on your pantry shelf for like 10 years if you store & use the coloring properly.  I always take a clean toothpick, dip it into the color, and then dip my colored toothpick into the food that I'm coloring.  It doesn't take much coloring to color your food.  If you must add more coloring, get out a clean toothpick ... don't double-dip your toothpicks.  Toothpicks are nice cause you can just throw them away when you are done with them.  FYI: red & black are the hardest colors to make & use the most coloring.



Once your glaze is ready, use it immediately and spread it onto the tops of your cookies.  I just used the back of a metal spoon to push the glaze around on the cookie and make everything smooth & pretty.  If you want sprinkles on your cookies, you have to add the sprinkles right after you glaze the cookie because once the glaze has hardened and dried, the sprinkles will not stick.



Now, if you want to put your lollipop cookies into a pail ...

I headed over to Michael's ... again ... good thing it's only a mile from my house!  I was after some of that green floral foam stuff ... like this:





(This is what you do NOT want!)

Good thing I called one of my BFF's, Natalie, on my way to Michael's.  Natalie creates the most beautiful & creative floral arrangements!!  She's the woman to call if you are getting married.  She reminded me that the green foam stuff would just crumble and not hold up my heavy cookies.  Natalie told me to get the harder styrofoam that comes in white or a glittery green.  I found it on the same aisle as the soft, green stuff.  I opted for a disc of white styrofoam that would fit nicely into a pail.

I filled the bottom of my pail with rocks & trimmed the styrofoam disc a bit so it would sit about an inch from the top of the pail.  I then pushed my lollipop sticks into the styrofoam and quickly learned that if the stick pokes all the way through the styrofoam, then the cookies won't stay up where you want it to stay.  So you have to kinda gauge how far down to push the sticks so that they're down far enough but not so far that they go all the way through.  If a stick pokes through, just take it out & pick a new spot for it.  Next time I think I'll look for a thicker styrofoam at Michael's.  Questions?

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lollipop Cookies or Cookies in a Pail

{Part 1}


This post is really for me.  I want to remember how I made these cookies in a pail cause I had to do a bit of investigating and research to ensure that they turned-out the first time.  And I want to take note of what I'd do differently next time.

Day 1: Make sugar cookie dough & refrigerate overnight.  I use my Momma's recipe for sugar cookies cause it's got sour cream in it.  Sour cream makes everything better!

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Yields 2-3 dozen according to Momma, but I did HALF this recipe and got 41 cars & trucks.

2 sticks of unsalted butter @ room temp.
1 C shortening
3 C sugar
1 tsp salt

Cream butter; add shortening, sugar & salt.  Cream again.  Add remaining ingredients:

4 eggs
6 heaping Tbsp sour cream
4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
7 C flour (add slowly)

For best results, cover dough in bowl & refrigerate overnight. 

Day 2: Use flour on counter & rolling pin when rolling out dough. Roll out dough to about 1/4" thick and use favorite cookie cutters.  Transfer your shapes to an un-greased baking sheet, use one of these babies to help ya:


Note the long handle, angles & somewhat sharp edge for scraping. 
These spatulas will save you from pulling all your hair out.

I'm pretty sure you can use one of your 40% off coupons
at a place like Michael's to get a Wilton spatula like this.


Once your cut-out shapes are all transferred to a baking sheet, gently push a cookie stick onto each of the cookies so that your cookies look like lollipops.  I was able to push my sticks down pretty far without the sticks showing through on the fronts after the cookies had baked, but be careful to not push the sticks all the way through to the front.  Keep in mind that you will not be able to load your cookie sheet up with cookies cause you won't have room for all the sticks.  I made neat rows with my unbaked cookies and I think the most trucks I was able to get onto a sheet was about 11 cookies ... this will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutters.

Almost forgot ... you must use sticks that are meant for the oven!  Do NOT use the lollipop sticks ... they say right on the packaging that they are not meant for the oven.  On the cookie aisle at Michael's (I'm sure other craft stores carry them as well), I found a couple different sizes of cookie sticks which CAN go in the oven.



Bake at 350* F for about 10 minutes. I usually start checking them around 8 minutes, but might end up cooking them for 12 minutes ... just depends on my mood.  Let cookies cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet.  Very carefully (& using that handy spatula again) transfer your cookies to a wire rack.  Allow cookies to cool completely before you lift/touch them anymore.  You don't want to do anything that might cause the stick to loosen from the cookie while the cookie is still warm.

To Be Continued ....

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Talking Pennsylvanian


My dad sent this to me yesterday in an email.  Had to share it will all my P-A friends out there!!

Once a Pennsylvanian, ALWAYS a Pennsylvanian!

About Pennsylvanians:


  • You've never referred to Philadelphia as anything but "Philly" and New Jersey has always been " Jersey"
  • You refer to Pennsylvania as "PA" (pronounced Pee-ay). How many other states do that?
  • "You guys" (or even ‘youze guys’ or 'yinz', in some places) is a perfectly acceptable reference to a group of men & women.
  • You know how to respond to the question "Djeetyet?" (Didyoueatyet?)
  • You learned to pronounce Bryn Mawr, Wilkes-Barre, Schuylkill , the Pocono's, Tamaqua, Tunkannock, Bala Cynwyd, Duquesne & Monongahela.
  • You know what a "Mummer" is, and are disappointed if you can't catch at least highlights of the parade.
  • You know what " Punxsutawney Phil" is, and what it means if he sees his shadow.
  • And we know Lancaster is pronounced Lank-ister, not Lan-kaster.
  • You know how to get 'rid' of things and how to read up.
  • You can use the phrase "fire hall wedding reception" & not even bat an eye.
  • You can't go to a wedding without hearing the "Chicken Dance," at least one polka & either an Italian song (sung in Italian,) or "Hava Nagila."
  • At least 5 people on your block have electric "candles" in all or most their windows all year long.
  • You know what a "Hex sign" is.
  • You know what a "State Store" is, and your out-of-state friends find it incredulous that you can't purchase liquor at the mini-mart.
  • You own only 4 condiments: salt, pepper, mustard & ketchup.
  • Words like hoagie, crick, chipped ham, sticky buns, shoo-fly pie, pierogies whoopie-pies, & pocketbook actually mean something to you ... That's PA slang for purse!
  • You not only have heard of Birch Beer, but you know it comes in several colors: Red, White, Brown, Gold.
  • You know several places to purchase or that serve Scrapple, Summer Sausage and Hot Bacon Dressing.
  • You know the difference between a cheese steak & a pizza steak sandwich, and know that you can't get a really good one outside PA. Except Atlantic City on the boardwalk.
  • You live for summer, when street & county fairs signal the beginning of funnel cake season.
  • Customers ask the waitress for "dippy eggs" for breakfast.
  • You know that Blue Ball, Intercourse, Paradise, Climax, Bird-in-Hand, Beaver, Moon, Virginville, Mars, Bethlehem, Hershey, Indiana, Sinking Spring, Jersey Shore, State College, Washington Crossing, Jim Thorpe, King of Prussia, Wind Gap, and Slippery Rock are all PA towns … and the first three were consecutive stops on the old Reading RR! (PS – That’s pronounced Redd-ing.)
  • You know what a township, borough, and commonwealth is.
  • You can identify drivers from New York , New Jersey, or other neighboring states by their unique & irritating driving habits.
  • A traffic jam is 10 cars waiting to pass a horse-drawn carriage on the highway in Lancaster County. (And remember .. that’s Lank -ister!)
  • You know several people who have hit deer more than once.
  • You still keep kitty litter, starting fluid, de-icer, or a snow brush in your trunk, even if you now live in the south.
  • Driving is always better in winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
  • As a kid you built snow forts and leaf piles that were taller than you were.
  • Most of your graduating class consisted of mostly Polish, German, & Italian names.
  • You also know someone who lives "down the lane"
  • We don’t go to the beach, we go ‘down the shore.’

YEAH!! THAT'S "PA" AND WE LOVE IT


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