"A Southern Mom, Daughter, Sister, Granny, Dog Lover, Crafter, Painter , Java Junkie Queen, and Friend".

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Semi-Homemade Christmas Bread! Yummy!

Happy Tuesday Everyone,

Several years ago, when I lived on St. Simon's Island, Georgia, there was a tiny restaurant in village that sold Christmas Kringle and Christmas bread every year at Christmas. They ordered it directly from a German bakery, and to say it was good is an understatement! People would start adding their names to the list in August, and some folks just left their names on the list permanently!

Now, let me tell you, I love bread! All types of bread.....you know how in the old medieval  movies, they would show prisoners being thrown into the dungeons and, telling them that they could have nothing but bread and water! Well, my saying has always been, "make sure it is good bread" and throw me in! So, thinking of all that wonderful and delicious Christmas bread I use to buy from that restaurant, and researching all types of Kringle, Stollen, and bread recipes, I decided to try and make a semi-homemade version.

I bought frozen bread dough from Kroger. I let it thaw and rise in a bread pan. While the dough was rising, I placed a cup and half of dried cranberries in water, so they could soften up. Several recipes suggested soaking cranberries, raisins, or what ever type of fruit in rum also, but, I had none on hand. I chopped a cup of walnuts and lightly toasted them in the oven. I then mixed the drained cranberries, toasted walnuts with a 12 ounce container of ricotta cheese, about a teaspoon of fresh grated lemon zest. After mixing all this well, I then added a half cup of powdered sugar to add some sweetness to the mixture. By, this time the dough had risen and I floured my counter and rolled it flat. I then spread the ricotta mixture on the dough and then rolled it back up and placed in a greased loaf pan. I baked it in a pre-heated oven on 350 for about 20 minutes or until bread was golden brown.

When I took it out I brushed it with melted butter and then sprinkled it with powdered sugar and, oh my goodness, it was delicious!

Tastes so good!

I learned several things this go around, one of which is that I put to much of the ricotta mixture into the bread, which made one side of the bread explode out with the mixture, which I didn't show you...lol! I will make it again, and again, I say thank you Mama for my love of cooking.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Countdown Clock and Memories!

I just love Christmas and always have! It has always been such a wonderful time with our family! Family gatherings......awesome food.....the surprise of waiting for Santa! I just had to find a Christmas countdown clock to help me know how long I had to wait til the magical time happened...hehe.....so adding a Countdown Clock was just what I did. I just love that cute polar bear! So many memories flood my mind.....such as the year that Santa brought my Daddy a red Schwinn bicycle! We got up that morning and were in awe of all our gifts.....and of course there were goodies in our stockings!

When lo and behold, we saw a note sticking out of Daddy's stocking....it was a letter from Santa to Daddy.....the letter stated that "Santa had been watching Daddy all these years and knew that he was a good man...husband....and Daddy" and that "Santa wanted him to know that he hadn't forgotten him and all good things come to those that wait" and for him to go look on the front porch! Well, we all went and ran to throw open the door and what to our surprise sat there, but, a red Schwinn bicycle for my Daddy!

I will never forget him, in his blue and white terry cloth bathrobe and his "whiteie tighties" and his slippers hopping on that bike and taking off down our street! Oh, how I wish I had a pic of that. My Daddy now suffers from a very rare brain disease called Pic's Disease and Normal pressure Hydrocephalus and is very ill, but, to me, this memory and so many others are what make this time of year so special....so counting down to this happy time just makes sense.....

Love you Daddy and Blessings to each of you,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

DIY Frosted Candle Holders!

Happy Hump Day Everyone,
Okay, go with me down memory lane....back to when you were a small child and Christmas was coming.  The tree would go up with all the lights and tinsel and bows and decorations. The garland was hung all around the porch and candles or lights were put in the windows to light Santa's way.......and there was a chill in the air!
Our Christmas Eve ritual every year was Mom and Daddy loaded us into the car and off we went to The Steak House, a locally owned restaurant that had the best steaks and homemade potato chips! They were awesome and we ate basket fulls! There would be other families and friends and it was always a grand and exciting time. Then it would be back home to get ready for bed and Santa.  I remember when the weather would be really cold and the windows would have ice or frost on them and how they lights in the windows would look.....all frosted over and glinting!
So, yesterday when a friend sent me a picture of a DIY easy frosted candle holder, I knew I had to make some. I had the jars.....the glue(was out of Mod Podge and the glue worked fine)....the lights and even had some Epson salt. The procedure was easy....clean each jar and then paint each jar with the glue. I quickly rolled each one in the Epson salt which I had poured onto paper on the desk.....and let them dry(about 3 hours) before placing the lights in them. I did one big jar for my friend and two smaller ones for other neighbors and I love the way they look and the memories they brought to mind:

 Of course, you could use real candles or tea lights, but, I chose a small string of min-lights for the large jar and two led tea lights for the smaller jars. This was an easy and enjoyable project and i think you ought to give it a try!


Monday, December 8, 2014

My Whimsical and Humble Christmas!

Happy Monday Everyone,

Gosh, I've been bad again....I haven't posted in over a week!  I did go out of town to visit my son and granddaughter, and have been under the weather a smidgen, but did get my Christmas decorations done and up!
I made my wreath out of garland I got On Sale at Big Lots, just wrapped in a circle and wired together and adorned with colorful and sparkly flowers! My front door is also guarded by two large toy soldiers that had been my Mom's......and with a Merry Christmas door mat, well, Come on in!
Last year I made a Merry Mail sign, which has ribbons hanging below to hang your holiday cards on and I use plain white clothes pins. I have a table beside my desk which has all my favorite candles, so on it, I placed one of my favorite large Elves.....isn't he a cutie? Then into my kitchen, let me introduce you to The Duffie Tree! My maternal grandmother, Zonia McDuffie, whom we referred to as Duffie, had this silver aluminum revolving Christmas tree when I was growing up.....with a multi-colored wheel that spun around at the base which made the tree change colors! Do you remember those? So, here is my tree in honor of Duffie, right beside a root of her Christmas Cactus, which I just love! In my kitchen window I have my lights and some more of my nutcrackers.
This year, I downsized on my tree, got a small one, and covered it with the bright and whimsical colors that I love....surrounded by more of my Santas and whimsical elves......a new television from my son and more Santas and gingerbread men:

They aren't the fanciest......priciest......biggest......I've had all those before......this year.....it is all about my family.....and to tell you the truth.....I'm happy with my humble life now.....Life is good!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to you My Friends!

As, I was spending the day at my Mama's helping cook the Thanksgiving Feast, because that is always what it is....I began to think of you, my blogging friends. I know in my heart that most of you, if any of you, will i ever meet. But, I feel like over these almost 3 years, you have become such an integral part of my life. You have been here to give me advice on projects.....praise on projects.....and, just here if I needed you. And, so I felt I needed to say Thank You.

I can't even begin to say thank you enough to all the wonderful and amazing people that I read from and learn from everyday. I feel that I have grown as a person and a crafter/artisan because of each one of you. I even learned how to make and bake my own treats for my four legged baby, Odawg.....he loved them!

Most of all, I feel like you are my part of my family....you have shared your happy times and sad times with me......there have been births shared and even the lose of loved ones.....and I with you. I so wish that I could reach right through my screen and give you all a hug and share a cup of coffee with you. Maybe, one day, I can save enough money and go to one of the awesome conventions out there, but, until that time.....let me say a big thanks to each of you and letting me be a part of yours.....so, from my family to yours.....Happy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Snowmen Family For Mama!

Happy Sunday Evening Everyone,
It is a very rainy and windy evening here in rural South Georgia! I'm not going to complain because we need the rain. So, let me tell you a few things about my Mama...first, she has been married to my Daddy for 59 years! Can you believe it! You hardly ever hear of marriages lasting that long now of days, and I have to admit....she needs a Crown for living with my Daddy all these years! Just joking!

She has been the best wife to Daddy, the most awesome Mama to us four children, the most wonderful to her eight grandchildren, and the most supreme GG to her two great-grandchildren! For, the past several years, she has been the main caretaker for my Daddy who is severely disabled now.....and she does every day without question. I so remember when Christmas came around she loved getting the house ready for all of us to come home......and now, she can't do everything she use to. 

As most of you know, last weekend I participated in a wonderful Christmas Craft Show. I had been painting and crafting for several weeks. I had used  an old cabinet door and painted a snowman on it, and it sold at the show, which I was excited about. But, I didn't know until after the show, that snowman painting had been my Mama's favorite, So, this week I got busy painting her a snowman painting. All i had was a rather large piece of wood, so I decided to paint a snowman family....representing my Daddy, in blue....Mama, in green, her favorite color, and her great granddaughter, Kenzley in pink, and Alan, her great grandson in blue like GDaddy! I gave it to her this week and I would give a million dollars for her smile when she saw it:

 I Just love it and I know she loved it also....I'm so thankful for her every day! Love you Mama!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Homemade Mushroom Soup

Happy Saturday everyone,

This past week has brought cold, chilly weather to rural South Georgia and my cravings for winter soups and stews has begun. So, I had brought a pack of Baby Bella mushrooms on sale for $1.49 and I knew I had to do something with them soon. They were nice and fat and I knew they would be perfect for soup.

I started by using a tablespoon of butter....then when that was melted added a tablespoon of garlic(crushed) and a good splash of olive oil. I then placed the cut up and chopped mushrooms into pot and stirred. I then added a good splash of Worcestershire sauce. I let that stew together until mushrooms were started to turn colors. I then added about a cup of chicken broth....vegetable or beef broth could be used, but, I used what I had on hand. I also added two bay leaves and a sprig of rosemary from my garden. I left the bay leaf in during the whole process, but I took the rosemary out after almost 5 minutes.

I covered the pot and let cook for about 5 minutes. I then took a tablespoon of flour and mixed with water....it turned out to be about a 1/4 of a cup, maybe a little less, and poured into soup and let it thicken. I then added a cup of cream and a cup of milk.....after, I sprinkled about a teaspoon of nutmeg into soup....to give it a little something extra. I had all things on hand, so this soup cost me the $1.49 for the mushrooms....it was delicious!

My pictures are not the fanciest, but, I think you can tell how good it was and I certainly enjoyed it.