Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Contest

Marye at Baking Delights is having a contest! The winner gets a mega yummy chocolate cookbook...ok, the book isn't chocolate, but it is full of chocolate recipies! Go check her site out. She's an awesome cook, and I do mean awesome! The site is full of yummy things to eat, and I could gain 5 lbs just reading it.

Well, speaking of chocolate cooking, and Christmas. Here's a recipie I found in a baking catalog that came in the mail. The cataloge is called The Baker's Catalogue and dh and I just flip thru it and drool. Anyways, here's the recipie.

Coal Cookies
1/2 c unsalted butter
1 1/3 c brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 c Dutch process cocoa
1 1/2 c flour (whole wheat or all purpose is fine)
2 c semisweet chocolate chips (or a mixture of raisins, chips and nuts)

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with parchment, or lightly grease a mini-muffin pan.

In a medium bowl, cream together butter, sugar, bking powder, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt. Add the eggs, beating until smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder, then th flour; the dough will be stiff. Mix in the chocolate chips, or the chips/raisins/nuts.

Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls (about 1 1/2"balls) onto the prepared baking sheets, or into the mini-muffin cups; a tablespoon cookie scoop is the perfect tool for this. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes for the baking sheet, or 15 minutes for the mini-muffin pan. They'll look not quite done in the center. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool for 10 minutes, or the mini muffins to cool for about 20 minutes. Gently squeeze and shape the cookies into uneven balls, to resemble chunks of coal. Yield: 3 dozen cookies

When this recipie arrived in the mail, we just had to make it... LOL We didn't use the espresso powder ( I hate coffee), and used a mixture of chocolate chips, raisins, and slivered almonds, because that's what we had. YUM!!!!! They did not last the evening. I wish I had pictures, but I don't. LOL I think this recipe is going to end up a Christmas regular.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Marye at Apron Strings meme'd me.... here we go.


well, my boring life continues.
1. England- don't be impressed, I was born there, left when I was 2. I have no memory of it.
2. Cheyenne, WY- this is where the military moved us when my family left England
3. Casper, WY- mistake. 'nuf said
4. Cheyenne- yup, back here.


1. housekeeper for a hotel
2. cashier at a truck stop
3. customer service for a catalogue
4. babysitter.

1. Crablegs, hands down
2. Sushi
3. french toast
4. hot tea with cream


1. Dhavefest- it was in Wisconsin... relaxing and fun
2. Devil's Tower -my honeymoon. I think that counts as a holiday
3. San Diego- visiting my brother
4. Disneyworld. Ok, that wasn't a holiday, I was there performing with a children's choir I was in at 13.


1. a 3000 acre ranch, just about anywhere. Someplace I could relax.
2. in bed... I'm tired
3. some fancy-shmancy all expenses paid spa where I could alternate sitting in my room knitting, getting a massage, and reading a good book
4. Heaven-'nuf said


Now, here's where I falter.... I really don't know many bloggers, so if you read this, consider yourself tagged, and leave me a note so I can read it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lousy day....

Monday was a very lousy day.... My sweet little cat, Isis, had to be put down. He was 14.5 years old. He had quit eating this weekend, so I took him to the vet Monday morning. They found a mass in his abdomen, and suggested he be put down. I miss him....

Friday, November 16, 2007


well, I finished Rowan's longies.... and they're huge on her! Oh well. I learned a lot, and I'll keep working on them. She can grow into them. Know that I know how they work, I can change them around to hopefully fit better. They were really easy. I also just tried to throw together a hat for her. Made up my own pattern... well that was too small. It's a newborn size. feels like I can't do anything right. I'll keep it too, put it in my nb box for the next baby.

I figure I'll keep up with my Christmas plans here. I have a majorly hard time enjoying Christmas. The whole thing just depresses me. Everyone expects the house to get decorated, carols playing in the background, a tree, perfectly trimmed, brimming with presents. Reality is, my house doesn't get decorated, everything I try to put up, the children trash. If I try to put out decorations, they become toys, swings, etc. Christmas carols, I really don't like them, never have. I can think of 2 I like. The Carol of the Bells, and Silent Night. Tree: see decorating. I love the look of glass ornaments, can't have them, they get smashed. I go with the plastic ones, they break them. I try having them make ornaments, it turns into a fight because "Liberty has the purple and won't share, Michael got more glitter than Natasha, Jamie's jealous of Noah's paper." And the presents? highly overrated in my opinion. Last year, every toy we got the kids, or that the grandparents got the kids, all but 2 were broken by the end of the week. What is the point? It's just wasteful. It's depressing. I remember being excited over the McDonald's gift certifcate my grandmother would send me every Christmas, the puzzles I got, and nothing was more amazing than a brand new coloring book and new crayons. Now, there is so much fighting for children's attention and parent's money, it's just not worth the effort. And we try very hard not to focus on things, but it is still so saturated. My children are noticing. When Christmas items are in the store before the middle of Oct, they don't like it either. But then the cataloges come, and the toy displays in the stores, and the whining begins. I will be the first to admit, my children are not up on all the most popular toys, that is by design, but marketing is marketing.

Well, this year is different. I told the children a month ago, that the money we would spend on junk for us is going to a much better cause this year. The $100 we would normally spend on the kids is going to Gospel For Asia. I sat down and showed them how we could give animals to help the Untouchable class in India have something to eat, to raise, to share. How we could give a sewing machine for $80 to provide a trade and income for a family. How for $25, we could provide a water filter to improve their water to help them stay well. The children were enthralled. Now, lest my mom thinks my kids aren't getting anything for Christmas, they'll be getting new gloves, new night clothes, and some new books. Things that will be used, things that can last. I think it's good for them to take from the overabundance that we have, and to keep less for themselves, and help those who have nothing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chocolate Pudding Cake

How completely and totally decadent is this?! This is the Chocolate Pudding Cake posted by my dear friend, Marye, on Baking Delights. You have to try this!! The fact that my oven doesn't work right now has been frustrating. It was so nice to be able to spoil my family with a homemade dessert. I can justify cooking meals in my roaster, but have shied away from anything else. (It's hard to get things in and out of my roaster without burning my hands....)

So satisfied that they totally dug in... I topped it with whipped cream, Jim wanted vanilla ice cream on top. You really have to try this recipe. If you are a chocoholic, then it is manditory. It starts off with the cake batter on bottom, and a hot water/chocolate on top. While it cooks, the cake moves to the top, and the liquid to the bottom to become this amazingly gooey, yummy chocolate pudding. It was insanely easy to make, Michael helped, but he could have easily done it himself. I cooked it in a 9" square glass cake pan. Apparently it wasn't big enough, because the pudding boiled over a bit (but wiped up easily with a paper towel). Not sure what size dish to cook this in next time, but there will definately be a next time!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Rowan's Dedication

Here's some pics of Rowan's Dedication.

Pastor Shaun Sells praying over Rowan.

Isn't this quilt beautiful? An online friend, Ginger, and her girls made it for me. It makes an amazing backdrop.