Welcome to my world of comfort food, recipes and discussion.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday Cookie Recipe Exchange!

Happy Holidays to all of you! I love to bake during the holidays. It is a tradition in my family, I have great memories from when I was growing up. We had a schedule on the bulletin board so everyone knew what their jobs where for the baking process. We boxed them and passed them out to friends and family. I still do that with my daughter and I love to give out cookies to our friends. I am hoping you might share some recipes on your blogs so we can all try each others treats. I am going to start with cut-out sugar cookies. They do take a little extra work and time, but it is so worth it and these are delicious.

Sugar Cookies:
1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix together and form dough into a ball. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 2 or 3 hours to get it firm. I use a combination of powdered sugar and flour to roll them out in. I take a handful of dough and roll out and use my favorite cookie cutters. Keep the dough covered when you are rolling out the cookies. Don't let it dry out.
Place them on a cookie sheet and use colored sugar or sprinkles to decorate them.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms are lightly browned

I love these cookies, they are so pretty in a gift box and they are so good and melt in your mouth. Sometimes(when I am patient enough) I leave them plain for baking and frost and decorate them. I use a sugar substitute as my husband is diabetic and they taste just as good.
God bless you all and go bake some cookies!

Monday, November 16, 2009


I have been lucky to meet so many wonderful people through blogging. Beth gave me this award. Thank you and please go and visit her blogs Thru My Looking Glass where she shares great photography, stories and recipes and Dory's Backyard. Dory and Bilbo are Sasha's pals and they are adorable and have great adventures. I have loved getting to know her through blogging and look forward to her posts. If you don't know her, please take a look, you will be happy you did. Here are the Rules for this award:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they've been nominated.
I am not much for the rules, but I will tell you 7 things about me.
1. I am a certified Medical Assistant, but have not worked in that field for a few years.
2. I love movies, horror, mystery and suspense are my favorites.
3. My favorite Disney movie of all time is Beauty and the Beast, I love stories about inner beauty.
4. Like Beth I am also a big fan of Finding Nemo, my daughter and I have watched that movie so many times I am not even sure how many, she is 24 and we love it. Dory is my favorite, I have her hanging on my rear view mirror in my car.
5. I am a baseball fan, Detroit Tigers are my boys.
6. I love to cook and bake and am almost daily entering contests. So far, no luck, but I don't give up.
7. I am a homebody. I would rather be home with my family then any place else.
Here is where I am kind of breaking the rules. I always have a hard time knowing who to pass it on to, so if you don't have this award, please grab it. To all of my followers, thank you for your friendship and God bless you all.
My friend Kris at Hands, House, and Heart Full made me my very own button!! Please go and visit her if you haven't already. She has the most beautiful family. Her blog is a blast, she has great advice and give aways. She is a great person and a friend. Thanks Kris.

I love, love, love baking for the holiday's. I am going to start a cookie recipe exchange this week. I hope you will join me and share your own recipes if you will. It is a way we can reach out to each other and share our lives.

Thank you again to everyone. Anne

Monday, November 9, 2009

Retro Tuesday All Week Long

Please visit The Crazy Suburban Mom for Retro Tuesday All Week Long. This is a wonderful blog and I love Retro Tuesday.

I have always loved this meme and this is the first time I finally got something together that I hope fits in with it. On a recent visit to an apple orchard I found some wonderful things in the barn with the cider and donuts. We devoured the donuts and then took some pictures
The first one is retro in that, it has been many many years since my butt could fit in one of these school desks.
All kinds of old tools on the walls, because I am somewhat clumsy, that is as close as I want to get to those saws.
I wonder if this became obsolete when gas prices went up.

This old stove really intrigued me. I love to cook and bake and just imagining what must have come out of those doors. Homemade breads, cakes, cookies, raccoons. I especially loved the setting on the stove. Set it and good luck lol.

Celibacy can be a choice in life, or a condition imposed by circumstances


While attending a Marriage Encounter weekend, Tom and his wife Charlotte listened to the instructor declare, 'It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other.'He addressed the men, 'Can you name and describe your wife's favorite flower?'Tom leaned over, touched Charlotte 's arm gently and whispered, 'It's Pillsbury All-Purpose, isn't it?

'And thus began Tom's life of celibacy


Have a great week. Anne

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Farmers Market Challenge and Photo Challenge

Thanks to Judy at The Road to Here for another great Farmers' Market Challenge. Please go and visit for more wonderful people sharing local bounty. I copied the following from Judy because I love her wording.
"Welcome to the November Edition of the Farmers' Market Challenge. This is our Harvest Festival!The purpose of this challenge is to raise awareness for purchasing locally produced foods. Be it fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, or any related items we want to know what's available where you live."

The weather in Michigan has been beautiful this past weekend. My family and I took a ride to a local orchard for some fresh apples, cider and of course warm homemade donuts.

We chose the apples already picked, but if you were interested you could pick your own. They had a nice variety. We took home some red delicious and macintosh.

I thought this was too much fun. I wasn't about to climb up there with my bad back, but there were lots of little ones getting pictures taken on it.

There was a nice little area with goats to feed and pet.

Thank so much to Judy for sponsoring these great Farmers' Market Challenges. What a great way to encourage us to enjoy local products.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday Tips

I found this in a newsletter I get from the ASPCA. I thought it was important, because even if you don't have pets, the consequences can affect us all. Please follow the link to email your Senator, it is so easy to do and only takes a minute of your time. Thank you
Please visit Kris at Hands, House, and Heart Full for more important tips and
info. She has some
amazing ideas for fabric softener sheets.
"Dear Animal Advocates, Championed for over 10 years by the late Senator Edward Kennedy, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) is a federal bill that would phase out the common practice of constantly feeding antibiotics to food animals when they aren’t sick. Large-scale livestock and poultry producers have become overly reliant on antibiotics. By keeping animals on these drugs all the time, factory farms can become ever more overcrowded and unsanitary while circumventing the disease outbreaks that these poor conditions ordinarily would produce. Therefore, curbing the use of antibiotics may prove to be an incentive to raise animals using more humane and sustainable methods.

This is not only an animal welfare issue, however: it is also an issue of human health. Scientists agree that the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture is contributing to the increase in antibiotic-resistant human diseases. These illnesses are especially costly and difficult to treat. What You Can DoVisit the ASPCA Advocacy Center online to email your U.S. senators and representative urging them to support and cosponsor the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act. You may use the same link to read about this legislation in greater depth. "

Have a great week Anne

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween to all of you!! We love Halloween in our house. I think because we all love Fall so much. I am following the Brenda Photo Challenge and this weeks theme is "Halloween". http://brendaphotochallenge.blogspot.com/2009/10/next-challenge-and-theme-10-31-09.html
I like to bake cookies for the neighbors and for the adults to enjoy while the kids are trick or treating. We get between 100-200 kids every year. It is a fun night, I hope the weather holds up this year. It has been raining and cold the past few days. My husband bought me a wonderful present just for fun. It is a baking pan that has dividers for brownies or bars. When you are done baking and it has cooled slightly, you just lift out the divider and you have 18 perfectly cut pieces of whatever you baked. I have seen it on TV and mentioned it, so he surprised me with it.

I have used it for brownies and bars and it works wonderfully for both. It didn't do so well with a regular cake mix, it came up too much and baked over the divider and was hard to get out. I was just experimenting with it. The bars I have here are apricot bars and the recipe follows. You can use a regular 13x9 pan, I just wanted to show you my new pan.

Apricot Bars
1 and1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 and 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter(1 and 1/2 sticks)
1 and 1/2 cups apricot jam(or any flavor you like)
Preheat oven to 350
Grease a 9x13 inch pan
In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, oats and brown sugar. Cut in butter until very crumbly.
Pat 2/3 crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and then spread the jam over that. Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top. Bake for 35 minutes and cool before enjoying.
Nothing on Earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night. ~Steve Almond
Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen,Voices whisper in the trees, "Tonight is Halloween!"~Dexter Kozen
I'll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween. ~Author Unknown
A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween. ~Erma Bombeck
Be safe and have a wonderful weekend

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Know the difference between a cold and H1N1

Please visit my friend Kris at Hands, House, and Heart Full for more important tips and info.
Know the Difference between a Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms

Fever is rare with a cold.
Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases.
A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the H1N1 flu.

A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.
A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the H1N1 flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).

Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
Severe aches and pains are common with the H1N1 flu.

Stuffy Nose

Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.
Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.


Chills are uncommon with a cold.
60% of people who have the H1N1 flu experience chills.


Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.
Tiredness is moderate to severe with the H1N1 flu.


Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
Sneezing is not common with the H1N1 flu.

Sudden Symptoms

Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.
The H1N1 flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.


A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
A headache is very common with the H1N1 flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat

Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.
Sore throat is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.

Chest Discomfort
Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
Chest discomfort is often severe with the H1N1 flu.


Please stay healthy! Anne

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tuesdays Tips: 9 Healthier foods for kids

Please visit Kris at Hands, House, and Heart Full for more Tuesday Tips or just go visit her because she is a wonderful person. I found these tips on Lifescript.com. I think they are interesting and could be adapted to "kids" of all ages, not just little ones.
1.Mac ‘n’ cheeseThe blue box of Kraft macaroni and cheese is a classic kid’s meal, but it doesn’t rank high with most nutritionists.
A one-cup serving has 380 calories, 14.3 grams fat (4 grams saturated) and a whopping 749 milligrams of sodium.
Sneaky swap: Use healthier out-of-the-box brands like Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese, which has 280 calories, 4 grams fat (2 grams saturated) and 430 milligrams sodium. It’s made with natural ingredients and organic wheat pasta.
Even better, dress it up. Swap in whole-grain pasta and throw a few veggies into the
sauce, Schmidt says.
Use veggies that blend in, such as shredded steamed carrots and diced cauliflower. If your kid won’t freak out at the sight of green, add nutrient-rich steamed broccoli, spinach, kale or peas.
2.Hot DogProcessed meats are tops on the list of dietary no-nos.
“Bologna, bacon, hot dogs and sausages are high in sodium, carcinogenic nitrates and saturated fat,” Schmidt says.
But “you don’t have to outlaw stuff,” according to Chef Ann Cooper, author of
Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children (Collins Living). “Just serve something with real ingredients,” like an all-beef, natural hot dog that doesn’t have nitrites or nitrates
Sneaky swap: Shelton’s Organic Prairie, Lightlife, Applewood Farms, Healthy Choice and Diestel Turkey.
Compare a single, bunless Oscar Meyer wiener, with 147 calories and 13.6 grams of fat (5.6 grams saturated), to Organic Prairie uncured chicken dog, which has 70 calories and 4.5 grams fat (1 gram saturated) and no nitrates or nitrites.
Serve it on a whole-wheat bun with a side of veggie sticks and lunch is done
3.Grilled CheeseHot off the grill, dripping with butter and oozing with melted American cheese, this sandwich is a crowd pleaser with everyone. It’s also a calorie and fat bomb.
One grilled cheese can easily weigh in at 500+ calories, with more than half of those from fat. So how can you lighten its dietary load?
Sneaky swap: “Use naturally low-fat, low-sodium cheeses such as mozzarella,” Schmidt says.
Grill it up panini-style with mozzarella, fresh tomato and basil and a drizzle of olive oil. It’ll be the newest household hit
. Peanut Butter & JellyGrape jelly on white bread with a blob of peanut butter is a typical kid’s go-to lunch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give them many nutrients, particularly the fast-food variety. One Panera kid’s PB&J has more than 400 calories, 17 grams of fat and 22 grams of sugar.Sneaky swap: Use whole-grain bread, no-sugar-added jam and all-natural peanut or almond butter. Throw in sliced bananas for extra potassium and vitamin B6, then watch your kids gobble it up.
5. Chicken NuggetsWhere do you begin with this nutritional nightmare? For starters, nuggets are a highly processed industrial assortment of chicken parts, additives, preservatives and chemical flavorings.
The original chicken McNugget contains 38 ingredients ranging from tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), dimethylpolysiloxene and other tongue twisters to partially hydrogenated corn oil (aka trans fat).
If a food doesn’t sound real, chances are it isn’t. Serve real chicken instead.
Sneaky swap: At the drive-thru, order chicken strips. Yeah, they’re breaded, fried and high in calories and preservatives, but chicken is still the main ingredient.
6.French FriesNo nutritional good comes from the French fry. Why? “Fried foods add unnecessary saturated fat and salt to kids’ diets,” Schmidt says.
But you don’t have to give up the potato. Sneaky swap: Baked sweet potato fries. They’re higher in vitamins A, B complex and C, and potassium - and a snap to make. “Slice sweet potatoes into sticks, toss in a little olive oil and roast on a baking sheet at 400°’F for 5-10 minutes on each side.” No time? For a quick, store-bought alternative, buy frozen baking fries. “Alexia Organic makes a delicious potato or sweet potato fry for baking,” Schmidt says.
7.PizzaSurprise! Pizza can be a healthy meal.
Just not with pepperoni or sausage. One slice of Pizza Hut’s Pepperoni Lover’s pizza has 330 calories, 18 grams of fat (7 grams saturated) and 800 milligrams sodium.Ditch the takeout. Let kids make pizza from scratch, Schmidt says. Frozen whole-wheat dough, low-sodium sauce and mozzarella provide a good base for piling on thin-sliced peppers, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, artichoke hearts and more. The possibilities are endless.
8.JuiceJuice sounds healthy, but most fall short of nutritional gold.
The problem? Even 100% fruit juices are not as filling as the actual fruit, says William H. Dietz, M.D., director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the CDC.
“If you serve the juice equivalent of a piece of fruit, the brain doesn’t do a good job of registering these calories,” he says. That’s because an orange has bulk and is more filling.
Still, juice doesn’t have to be off limits, especially in warm weather where drinking plenty of liquids is important. But serve no more than 4 ounces a day for children under 6; 8 if they’re older, Schmidt says.
Also, give them 100% juices and dilute them with one-third to one-half water. And break out of the clear-fruit juice box every now and then.
Sneaky swap: “Apple and white grape juices are relatively low in nutrients and high in sugar compared to other juice varieties,” Schmidt says.
A good alternative is V8 V-Fusions, a fruit-vegetable blend that offers natural fruit sweetness with veggies — “a lifesaver if your kid refuses to touch the real stuff,” Schmidt says.
But “they shouldn’t be a long-term substitute. Juice – even fresh-squeezed – is a concentrated source of sugar,” she says.
God bless you all and have a great week. Anne

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Flowers from a Friend

My friend Judy at The Road to Here just celebrated her 300th post!! To help us celebrate with her, she passed on this beautiful photo. Its not an award but a gift from a friend. I wanted to post it to say thanks Judy for being my friend. Judy has the most incredible blogs, she is an artist with her camera. If you have not had the chance to visit her, I encourage you to do so. You will be so happy you did. Thanks again Judy and I look forward to several hundred more posts to brighten my day.
Love ya Anne

Monday, October 12, 2009

Where Germs Live!!! Tuesday Tips

Please visit Kris at http://yesiknowwhatcausesthat.blogspot.com/2009/10/vinegar-uses-tuesdays-tips.html? for more Tuesday Tips!

Halloween is almost here and unfortunately flu season is already upon us. I found some tips and info that I thought was interesting to pass on to you:
"Worried about you or your kids picking up the H1N1 flu or other diseases at school, restrooms or the mall? There’s good reason: Viruses and bacteria run rampant on surfaces you touch every day. We blow the lid on the 8 germiest public places. Plus, get tips for outsmarting infection... " Unfortunately, going anywhere people congregate can boost your chances of getting sick, says Philip Tierno, Ph.D., author of The Secret Life of Germs (Atria) and director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University's Langone Medical Center. That’s because disease-carrying bacteria and viruses live practically everywhere — shopping malls, grocery stores, playgrounds, petting zoos, restaurants. They can survive up to two hours on shopping carts, escalator handrails, even doorknobs before they find their next victim. "
"We encounter about 60,000 types of germs every year, but if you’re healthy, there’s no need to fear going out in public,” Tierno says: Only 1-2% are potentially dangerous to people with normal immunity."
Plus, the body has an incredible ability to fight off germs. Special cells called neutrophils and lymphocytes (white blood cells) attack any microscopic invader.
1. Grocery store Germiest items: Shopping cart handles and seat buckets
Germ-free fix: Use disinfecting wipes on handlebars and seats - many stores now offer these at the entrance. And be sure to wash veggies and fruits before eating them.
1. Children’s playgrounds Germiest items: The swings, jungle gym and other equipment
Germ-free fix: Wash hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer after returning from playground, using the bathroom and changing diapers. (Rub hands together for 20 seconds under clean running water, the CDC advises.)
3. Public restrooms Germiest item: Sink
Germ-free fix: Avoid touching moist surfaces and wash hands thoroughly after touching sink faucets and soap dispensers. And use a paper towel to turn the water off.
4. Offices Germiest items: Telephones and desks
Germ-free fix: Once a day, wipe down your desk, phone and keyboard with anti-bacterial wipes or cleaners.
5. Restaurants Germiest items: Table surface, high chairs
Germ-free fix: Carry sanitary wipes to swipe the tabletop and high chair when you’re seated.
6. Libraries Germiest items: Countertops and surfaces
Germ-free fix: Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands after thumbing through books or touching countertops.
7. Cruise ships Germiest item: Handrails
Germ-free fix: Wash hands frequently throughout the day and before touching your mouth or face, especially when smoking and eating.
8. Malls Germiest item: Escalator handles
Germ-free fix: Don’t touch them. But if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer afterward.
I took this from:
H1N1: Where Germs Hide
By Nicole McEwen, Lifescript Staff Writer
Published October 09, 2009

At the day care I worked at they would have the kids sing"Happy Birthday" song while washing there hands. They had to wash the whole time until the song was done.That was a good amount of time to get the germies off.
I hope you find this helpful. Stay healthy and enjoy the Fall. God bless you Anne