Krafty Aunt Kathy

January 1, 2013
When we were home for the holidays, we were invited to my Uncle Larry and Aunt Kathy’s house for a Christmas party.  We had a wonderful time with lots of food and relatives.  We hadn’t seen most of them since our year in South Korea.  I was shocked to find out that my Aunt Kathy who I’ve known, well let’s not go there, a very long time is a crafter!  She took us into her craft room and showed us these beautiful wreaths she had been making.

 I was in love along with my sisters.  There were gorgeous!  And her craftroom was spotless, definitely putting mine to shame.  It was so organized too again putting mine to shame.  Rocketman thinks I just have too many things but that’s a whole another story. 

I came home with this one.  She can make them for any season and in any color.  I told her she should open an Etsy site and sell them.  What do you think?

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Ghosts of Christmas Past – Mine

December 29, 2012

For Christmas, we went to Illinois to stay with my folks.  It had been a few years since we had done this and when I stepped into their home, I found myself thrown back in time.  I had forgotten all the crafts I had made for them over the years and it was wonderful to see my crafting Christmas past.  I wish I had kept some of these for myself when I created them long ago but at the time when you make 100 of something, you are really sick of looking at it. It was at the time in my crafting career when I was doing lots of craft shows.

 Santa stuck in a chimney.

 

 

 A Lucia commemorating my mother’s Swedish heritage.

For breakfast one morning we went to the Stockholm Inn.  It was Christmas Eve and packed.  We came in the back way and we could tell it was going to be a long wait.  I asked the hostess how long the wait would be and was told 40 minutes to an hour.  We decided that would be too long (I’m so impatient when it comes to things like this) and we made our way through the restaurant to the back entrance.

Right by the back door was a long counter with only a few taken seats.  Even though we could sit across from each other, we could sit next to each other .  I suggested eating there and we all agreed.  The waitress, Carmen, was a hoot and put on quite a show for us as the chairs quickly filled.  We had to wait a long time (30 minutes) for our food but it was worth the wait.

A gentleman sitting down from us sat down and asked Carmen if she had any Wheaties or Cheerios.  She said, “Honey, if you came in for that kind of food, you better just get up and head out to the nearest grocery store and make it yourself.  We don’t serve that kind of food here.”  She was hilarious. 

Rocketman isn’t the type of guy to split a meal but it’s a favorite thing I do with my mom.  We both get plenty of food without leftovers.  We went with a bacon and cheese omelet and it was delicious.  My Dad got their famous Swedish pancakes and Rocketman went for a ham and cheese omelet.  We even were serenaded for a time and sang a round of “Jingle Bells.” 

Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas everyone!!!  This was given to me by a friend who knew I would appreciate the craftiness!  May all your Christmas wishes come come true.

Thank You Grandma

December 22, 2012

I was out the other day shoveling the coating of snow we had received the night before when I noticed a couple bird flocking to the huge tree in our front yard.  As I shoveled back and forth down our driveway, I noticed more and more birds in the tree.

What surprised me the most was that I was basically scraping the driveway with each pass making a loud scraping noise.  Usually this would drive birds away.  Soon I found the top of the tree covered with birds.  It was a pretty windy day and they were holding on for dear life.  I ran to grab my camera to get a shot of it.

It made me think of my Grandma whose been gone for many years now and how she loved to watch the birds outside her window.  They brought her so much joy along with of course, “Days of Our Lives.”  I just knew she sent them to me to let me know that she was thinking of me.  It made the shoveling go a lot faster thinking of her and the memories we shared.  Thank you, Grandma.  I miss you so much!

Salted Nut Rolls

December 20, 2012
Salted Nut Rolls
Ingredients
1 (7 ounce) jars marshmallow creme
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 (17 ounce) bags caramels, unwrapped
16 ounces salted peanuts
 
Directions
1. Knead together the marshmallow creme and powdered sugar. I use my fingers to make sure it is mixed well.
2. Shape into small fingers.
3. Place on waxed paper lined cookie sheets and freeze.
4. Melt caramels with water over a double boiler (or microwave).
5. Use a fork to coat creme fingers in caramel mixture and then roll in chopped peanuts.
6. I wrap each one in Saran wrap.


Oatmeal Rounds

December 19, 2012
This is our daughter’s favorite cookie, bar none!  It’s mine too and it’s really healthy because of all the oatmeal in it (not really) but don’t spoil it for me.
Oatmeal Rounds
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
 
Directions
1. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
2. Stir in sugar and oats.
3. Cut in shortening and butter till crumbly.
4. Combine 2 tablespoons cold water and vanilla: sprinkle over mixture mixing until moistened.
5. Shape into two logs 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in wax paper and chill.
6. Slice thinly.
7. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
 
Makes six dozen.


Fantasy Fudge

December 18, 2012

This is the original recipe that appeared on the Kraft Marshmallow Creme jar. I don’t know why they would change the recipe because this one is sheer perfection.

Fantasy Fudge
Ingredients:
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup margarine or butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 7 oz. jar Kraft marshmallow creme
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts
 
Directions:
1. Combine sugar, margarine and evaporated milk in a heavy 2 1/2 quart saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling for 5 minutes over medium heat stirring constantly.
2. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate till melted.
3. Add marshmallow creme, nuts and vanilla.  Mix until blended.
4. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.  Let cool and cut into 1 inch squares.

I Miss…

December 18, 2012

                  I miss the cute Christmas cakes you would find at the Baskin Robbins in Korea.

I miss my girls: Jennifer, Hannah and Hellena.  I don’t know how I would have survived South Korea without them.

I got my first Korean Christmas card from Choi.  He was my yoga buddy and friend.  I miss him and his adorable family too.

He even printed out his own greeting instead of the Korean greeting the card came with. 

We spent Christmas last year in Myeongdong, South Korea.  This year it will be spent with family back here in the States.  It’s good to be home and cuddling grandbabies. I’ve been baking up a storm and you can get the recipes over at my cooking blog

Peanut Butter Blossoms

December 17, 2012

This is by far Rocketman’s favorite cookie. I’ve made it for years and it was only this year that I decided to read the entire recipe before starting (something I’m know to do when cooking). I was shocked to find out that you put the kiss onto the cook AFTER baking. I had always done it before. I followed the directions exactly and it went perfectly. Now my cookies don’t have Hershey kisses with burn tips. Who knew!!!

Also something I learned was to NOT used a cookie sheet.  Several of the little peanut butter balls rolled off as I placed them into the oven.  They ended up on the bottom of my oven. I switched to jelly roll pans to prevent this from happening.  Another reason I think I had a problem is I have a new stove with two ovens.  The lower one is convection which I used and having to bend so low, I must have tipped the cookie sheet.

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Ingredients
48 Hershey Kisses Milk Chocolate
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Granulated suger
 
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl.
3. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar, bean untl fluffy.
4. Add egg, milk and vanilla, beat well.
5. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat into mixture.
6. Shape dough in 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a kiss into center of each cookie.
8. Remove from cookie sheets to wire rack and cool completely.
 
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.


Oatmeal Scotchies

December 17, 2012
Oatmeal Scotchies
 
Ingredients




1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
11 oz. package Nestles Toll House Butterscotch Morsels

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl.
3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
4. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and morsels.
5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
6. Bake 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheets for two minutes, remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 4 dozen cookies