Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

It's that spooky day of the year where all the children get to dress up and go out trick or treating!

Yngwie is too old for trick or treating:( But last year he and his friends went to a Halloween Party dressed as the rock group Kiss. They had so much fun! They won first place for the best costume. My friend and I had made the costumes from clothes from the Goodwill and lots of glue, paint and glitter!

Yngwie and I will be going up to my grandmothers tonight to hand out candy. I'm also changing the hooks on the back on her necklaces to the kind that are magnetic so it's easier for her to put them on.

Here's a shot of our SpongeBob and Yngwie "jack o lanterns"

Here is the recipe for the cream cheese sugar cookies! We like these so much better than plain sugar cookies. The cream cheese gives them a much richer taste.
Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
1 c. sugar
1c. butter, softened
1 (3 oz.) pkg cream cheese
1/2 tea. vanilla extract
1/2 tea. almond extract
1 egg
2 1/4 cups self rising flour
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, almond and vanilla extracts and egg. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out 1/3 at a time to 1/8" thickness. Cut into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1" apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 7-10 minutes in preheated oven or until light browm. Cool cookies completely before frosting.
Hope everyone has a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pumpkin Carving Party!

Good Morning!

Last Saturday our family went to a pumpkin carving party hosted by the fun, witty and wonderful "H" family!

Mr "H" was teasing me that he was going to be on my blog, so Mr. "H" here you are!!!!
We had a wonderful time! There was lots of fun, friends and of course, FOOD! I made some cut out cream cheese sugar cookies that I will share the recipe for tomorrow.

Everyone did a great job on their pumpkins! Yngwie did Spongebob and Dear Husband and I did musical notes and guitars on ours! The Pukin' Punkin" was compliments of Yngwie's friend Garrett!
Tomorrow is Halloween! We will be heading up to my Grandmothers house in town to help her hand out treats to all the little "spooks" in her neighborhood. I really miss trick or treating! If it was acceptable for adults to go, I would!
Hope everyone has a blessed day.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Show and Tell

Today for show and tell I have a couple things and neither of them photograhed very well.
The first one is my cape that I had told ya'll I was making. It is from brown cordoroy that I got at the thrift shop for $1.00!

It was very easy to make and fits so well! The pattern shows where you can make them in fleece, so I am going to try that too.

Secondly I want to show you the great and wonderful things that I received from Stephanie from This was from Peas Halloween swap.
Oh My Goodness! I was jumping around the kitchen like a kid at Christmas! There was a carvable pumpkin and the tools to carve it, scrapbook papers, Halloween buttons, leaf hooks, a ceramic tea light pumpkin, Halloween votives with the orange & black candles, a glow in the dark pumpkin candle, a Boo hand towel, a black frame, a flickering pumpkin light, a glow in the dark skeleton pen, a glittery (and I love glitter!) BEWARE sign, an iron on "ghouls night out", some autumn spice mix and some Hybiscus seeds from her very own garden! I was so excited! Thank you Stephanie! I love it all!
Head over to and join the fun.
We are going to a pumpkin carving party tomorrow and I can't hardly wait. There will be good food, good fun, and great friends. Who could ask for anything more!
Have a great weekend

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fall Fun

We are finally we are getting some much needed rain! It rained almost all day yesterday and rain is predicted every day through Saturday. We need it so badly. We are 13 inches below normal. The warm weather still continues, even with the rain. We are about 10 degrees higher that what is normal this time of year.

This weekend we took our convertible and went for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The weather was gorgeous. We hiked down to the old Niagra Power Plant. It is a pretty easy hike, down to where the Roanoke River rambles through. The power plant still supplies some power to the area. The river is so low that we could climb rocks where usually it is covered with water.

This panoramic view of the Roanoke Valley was taken from the top of Roanoke Mountain. The ride up the mountain has to be driven very slowly as it is a one way road and very steep and curvy, but the view is well worth the wait.

I am looking forward to a Pumpkin Carving Party that we will be going to this weekend! I am usually pretty traditional when it comes to carving pumpkins, I do the triangle eyes and nose and snaggled toothed grin. But, Yngwie and Dear Husband and pretty artistic. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!
Have a blessed day!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pecan Cheesecake Bars

I am not a fan of pecans or pecan pie. But, I really liked these! I made them Saturday for my son and his friends and they loved them.

The recipe comes from the Sept/Oct. issue of Southern Lady.

Pecan Cheesecake Bars

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour

1 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar, divided

1/2 c. butter, softened

2 cups finely chopped pecans, divided

2 (8oz) pkgs of cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. milk

2 tea. vanilla extract

1/2 c. light corn syrup

1/3 c. butter, melted

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and 3/4 c. brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resemble coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 c. of pecans. Press mixture evenly in bottom of a 13x9x2 baking pan. Bake 10 minutes and cool.

In a medium bowl combine cream cheese and sugar. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add milk and vanilla, beating until combined. Pour into cooled crust. Bake for 15 minutes and cool for 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine 3/4 c. brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter and eggs. Stir in

1 1/2 c. pecans. Pour over creamed cheese mixture in pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until center is set.

I refrigerated these and though they were better served cold.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Love Halloween!

I really like the whole Halloween scene! I like the ghoulish jack o lanterns, the funny witches, and the friendly ghosts! I love to see children in their princess or Power Ranger costumes, tripping up the sidewalk in apprehension of what kind of candy they will get. Now that Yngwie is too old to trick or treat, we go to my Grandmother's house to pass out candy to the trick or treaters on her street.

Here a couple of photos of my Halloween Tree and Villages. The tree is new. I had been using a table top Christmas tree, but when I saw this one at TJ Maxx, I couldn't resist. I bought the pumpkin garland and the candy corn lights last year and they fit right on to this tree. I found the little ornaments with the bats, Frankenstein, etc.. at a gift store in town. I also have some rubber "body parts" on the tree.

The little villages and people are just things I have found through the years. The Peanuts characters I got at Hallmark a few years ago and the squirrel and the owl are just little figures I picked up at a thrift store and they wanted in on the fun. There is a hodge-podge of a lot of different things going on, but it's fun to look at all lit up at night.
Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Finally Fall!

Fall has finally arrived in SW Virginia. This morning the temperature was 48 degrees and that cool foggy mist is hovering near the ground. When I went out to feed the dog and cat, there were 5 deer standing under my dogwood tree. Of course I ran and got my camera, but alas, when I returned they had ran away.
Yesterday was a beautiful day with the high only 71 degrees. A perfect day for making candy apples. I'm sure there is a way that you can make the candy part from scratch, but I just bought the mix at the grocery store.
Start with clean apples. (if you get them at the grocery store like I did, make sure y0u wash them in hot water to get that waxy film off of them.
Boil the mixture with 2 cups of sugar and bring to the hard ball stage on your candy thermometer. (If you don't have one go buy one, they are great!). Carefully dip each apple into the mixture and swirl to make sure the apple is completely covered and place on a lightly greased pan.
Voila! Beautiful candy apples!

I also made a "pumpkin girl" similar to the one in the Martha Stewart Halloween magazine. I couldn't find the right "natural" elements to do the face so I just painted it on. I am working on making a cape. I bought the pattern this summer and last night I cut it out of some brown corduroy that I bought for $1.00 at the thrift store. So if it doesn't turn out right, I really haven't lost anything but the time I spent making it. I'll get back with you on the progress of that!
Hope everyone has a blessed Sabbath.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Records Being Broken!

Summer is still holding her own around here. The record high for today is 86 degrees, the expected high for today is 92! We broke yesterdays record as well. We also have only had less than an inch of rain since June.

This is very frightening to me as we are hearing of neighbors whose wells are drying up. We are conserving water the best we can by limiting the time on showers, only washing dishes once per day and washing them by hand, not in the washer, and these is no watering of plants outside unless we get it from the lake.

I guess the one good thing about hot sunny days is that we are still spending alot of time on the lake. We broke our own record yesterday by swimming and tubing on October 7th. Our old record was last year and the last swim day was October 3 and we all turned blue from the cold.

The lake water is down too. This island is usually just barely above water. As you can see we were able to anchor our boat beside it and walk over to it without getting wet!Our heat wave should be over by the end of the week when the weather is supposed to be back to normal, around 60-70 degrees. Let's just pray for rain.
Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Holiday Cooking Blogger Style! is hosting a holiday recipe blogger cookbook (well, virtual cookbook!).

Just pull your tried and true recipes out and join the fun! I have been browsing the recipes and I have gained 5 pounds just reading them!

This recipe comes from a local caterer. When I first heard about it I thought "YUCK" but after the first bite I was hooked!

Cheese Slaw
2 cups grated swiss cheese
3/4 c. mayonnaise
3 green onions chopped
4 oz. jalapeno peppers, chopped
4 oz. banana peppers, chopped

Mix all ingredients together and chill. If too firm to spread after chilling add a little more mayo. Serve in a hollowed out cabbage head with crackers.

Aunt Ruth's Orange Salad
1- 9 oz. Cool Whip
1 small container of cottage cheese
1 large pkg of orange jello
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
1 can crushed pineapple, drained

Mix together the cool whip and cottage cheese, add orange jello and mix well. Stir in pineapple and oranges. I save a few orange slices to decorate the top of the salad. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Dreamsicle Fudge
If you like "dreamsicle" ice cream bars you will love this fudge!
3 c. sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter (not margarine!)
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1- 7oz. jar marshmallow cream
1 - 12 oz. pkg vanilla chips
3 tea. orange flavoring
orange food coloring

Mix sugar, butter and milk in large saucepan. Boil to softball stage, about 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add marshmallow cream and vanilla chips. Mix well until all is melted and smooth. Remove 1 cup of the mixture and set aside. To the remaining mixture add the orange flavoring and food color, mix well. Pour into a greased 9x113 pan. Pour the reserved mixture over the top and swirl with a knife. Cool completely and cut in squares.

This next recipe came from a Southern Living Magazine probably 15 or 20 years ago.

Santas Hats
Using Santa Face mugs, put 1-2 scoops of vanilla ice cream into each mug. Then pour Sprite over the ice cream. Using the canned whipped cream, squirt on top of the ice cream to make a pointed hat shape. Sprinkle whipped cream with mutil-colored sprinkles.

Happy cooking!


Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday Show and Tell

Good Morning! Each Friday, Kelli at hosts Show and Tell! It's lots of fun.
This week I am showing some of my Halloween and Fall decorations.
These cones that I made are just hanging in my craft room for the time being. They are waiting be filled with candy, mini flashlights, pencils, and a handmade Halloween bracelet, to give to my co-workers.
These little spooks sit in my kitchen.
Mr. Jackolantern adorns my dining room table. He is pretty special as he is the very first Halloween decoration that I bought after I got married. 27 years ago.
Frankie here, has to sit in the corner of the front porch! He is quite gruesome. Yngwie saw him at the store when he was about 4 years old and had to have him! He carried him around with him for weeks, this thing was taller than he was! Every year when I start putting out fall and Halloween decorations, he reminds me to get our Frankie!
And lastly, while this really isn't a "fall decoration", I love the way my house looks with the flowers blooming in the fall. I know most people don't really like marigolds, but I do. I love their beautiful fall colors and their pungent smell reminds me of fall.
I hope everyone has a wonderful week-end!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

End of the Garden :(

It's that time of the year when I must put my vegetable garden to rest until spring.

We had a wonderful garden this year! The only thing that didn't grow was the pumpkins. I'm not sure what I'm going wrong, someone said it may be cucumber beetles. I have made alot of notes about what I want to do different next year. I want to plant fewer of the same things and add more variety. I don't like pickles so what can you do with 8 bushels of cucumbers! I am also going to plant more varieties of flowers. I have already bought a few seed packs online and I have a plant starting shelf that my husband built for me, so I'm already getting excited for next years gardens!
The above photo is one thing I will not plant again! Gourds!!!! They took over almost half of the garden space. I had no idea that these things run like they do.
These peppers are something that I will plant again. They are called chocolate peppers! Who doesn't like chocolate! Actually they are just a dark burgundy or brown in color and they taste just a little sweeter than your average green bell pepper. I love the color and the taste!

My poor little pear tree! Every year this scrawney little pear tree, who thinks it's larger than it really is, produces so many pears that I spend quite a bit of time pulling pears off so that the branches don't break. It is also a struggle to beat the wasps and bees to the pears. They seem to love them.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!