Tag Archives: Baking

Halloween Shopping For a BIG Treat!

house with thiefWhat a week I have had.  It started with the excitement of watching someone try to break into our home—from cameras looking at a Missouri home from our Arizona home.  If you did not read about it, you can click on this link “How Safe Is Your Home?” and see what happened.  That was Monday, and today is Saturday.

Halloween 1981We didn’t know what we were going to do about Halloween which was this past Thursday.  When we lived in Fulton, Missouri, our home was on a three acre wooded lot.  There were only about 20 homes in the neighborhood.  If there were any children living in our neighborhood, they went into town to Trick or Treat.  I am just guessing because in the six years I have lived in that house, we had no one knock on our door begging for a sugary treat.

Now we are in San Tan Valley, Arizona.  What were we going to do living in a neighborhood with thousands of Jack Niki 01home?  How many kids would come to our door?  Could we be prepared?  Do we even want to be prepared?

My last few years of being a single woman in St. Charles, MO, I quit doing Halloween.  The kids would start hitting the neighborhood before I got home from work.  My living room was in the back of the house, so every time a child rang the doorbell, I would get up walk C3BC3C87-32E8-4037-B040-57E00C627DB4across the room to the front door.  I couldn’t sit on the front porch because it wasn’t very big.  I didn’t know these kids or their parents.  The first year I was at this home, and the kids knocked on the door, I asked them for their story, joke, song, whatever, they did for their treat.  The just look at me like a deer in headlights.  Really?  When I was a kid, I had to tell a joke or do something for the candy given.  Yes, it was a quid pro quo Halloween, you give me something (entertainment) and I will give you something (candy).  By the way, quid pro quo is not illegal, depending on what you are asking for in exchange for something–just thought I would throw that out for those who are not familiar with the term other than in the news.  I just felt like the fun of day was gone.  Just knock on my door, expect me to give you candy, and you bolt, never to see you again until next Halloween.  That wasn’t fun.

Halloween has become such a huge holiday, even for adults, today.  Really?  I know, many of you love the costumes and the haunted houses.  Sorry, I just don’t get it.

Halloween-CandySo, now we are in Arizona, and we are in a family community, and neither of us are excited about what to do on Halloween.  We went back and forth.  Should we stay home, sit in lawn chairs on the driveway (once again a house with the living room in the back), and pass out candy to the hobgoblins who cross our path?  It’s not Missouri, so the weather would be conducive to sitting outdoors.  But, how much candy would we need?  There are 2,700 homes in our community, with sidewalks leading to our home!  Do we buy a ton of candy, and run out, or get left with a ton of candy we don’t need?  I know only two kids in our neighborhood, and they are really sweet kids, but I think they can handle the disappointment of our home being dark for the evening.

We decided not to do Halloween.  We would spend our day running errands, and go out to dinner and then a movie.  Of course, our plans never turn out quite as planned.  I was getting the maintenance done on my Lexus, and we drove to pick up my car.  Let me back up a bit here.  I bought my Lexus in Missouri, and it is housed here in Arizona.  My dealership in St. Louis was wonderful.  They answered all my questions, were kind and polite.  Last year on our way out, I had an issue with my airbags, and when I called Lexus, they told me to find the closest dealership, stop there, get this fixed before we travel any further.  We were a half hour out of Oklahoma City.  I called them, and they put me on their schedule.  When we arrived (during a major rain storm and flooding), the service manager put a note on the board that we were traveling through, and they took our car ahead of others, and within 10 minutes, found the issue—somehow we must have stuck something under the passenger seat, and dislodged the airbag sensor.  They corrected it for free, and we were out of there in 15 minutes.

On Monday we called for an appointment at one of the Phoenix Lexus dealerships, and they made me an appointment for 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning.  We arrived there, and you would have thought you were at the airport.  The lounge was filled with people.  After waiting about 10 minutes, the service writer came to find us.  He said that it would take a few hours to do this work, so he gave us a loner car.  He stated that the car should definitely get done by 3:00 p.m.  Wow!  Five hours to service my car?  

We decided that rather than going all the way home, almost an hour away, we would go to our favorite shopping area, walk around, get some lunch, and waste time.  Dennis suggested we see a movie, but the service writer had not yet called to tell me if there was anything else the car needed.  Finally, it is 3:00 p.m., and I have not heard from the service writer, so I called to see if my car was finished.  He told me to go on home, that I could get the car the following morning.  Wow, this is just the 40,000 mile maintenance.  At 5:00 p.m., he called me and said they just got my car in and went over what they found and recommended.  Okay, let’s back up again.  Lexus of Superstition Springs gave me an appointment for 10:00 a.m. for routine maintenance, and didn’t get it to a mechanic until around 4:00 p.m.  What is wrong with that?  Why would you give me an appointment for a time that apparently you know is hours away from working on the car?

One of the items he recommended, I was very reluctant about but said I could go with it.  He said he had to order it, but not until I paid in advance for it, and it would arrive within 10 days.  I just rolled my eyes (I was at home on the phone—he didn’t see) and said okay.  The next morning we are leaving for the dealership, and I sent him an email and told him we were on our way to pick up my car, and that I decided I did not want this other thing that would take 10 days, just wanted to pay for the maintenance.  When we arrived, I went to the cashier to pay, and she informs me I pay the service writer.  So, once again, I am waiting.  He comes out to get me, and he asks me if I got his email reply.  I had not looked at my phone.  Here is the kicker.  He stated in the email, and I will quote, “Too late. It’s already installed.”  Really?  I was told I had to pay up front for it.  He didn’t have my money—he should not installed it, but because it was installed, I had to pay for it.  The email, didn’t say sorry or any apology—just a “too bad, so sad” message.  Oh, he gave me a 10% discount, like that would mean anything.  I bit my tongue, and we bolted from that dealership.  

IMG_0390We went out to lunch, and then I told Dennis I wanted to go look at a RAV4 at the Toyota dealership.  It was a car I was thinking about, and I just wanted to look.  I told him, that we will go and look, and we will not buy anything.  I also said that we will not drink their bottled water because they put stuff in it to hypnotize you to wanting to buy a car (that’s a joke).

A young lady met us as we pulled in and asked how she could help us.  She took us over to the RAV4’s on their lot, and we talked about the bells and whistles I wanted in the car.  I do like bells and whistles!  Actually, I love technology, and I wanted a car with the latest and greatest technology.  She handed me the keys and told me to test drive it, and just keep it under 100!  

This car drove like a dream, and having a camera rear view mirror which actually showed not only the lane behind me, but on both sides, was most impressive.  There was so many things about this car that I loved.  We came back in, and she asked what it would take for me to purchase the car.  I wanted to know what they would offer me for my car.  I really wanted this number because I knew someone who told me he wanted to buy my car.  She came back with an offer, and we both shook our heads no, and thought we were done.  She once again asked the question, turned the paper around to us and handed a pen to write in what we wanted.  I handed the pen to Dennis, and he wrote a number that I thought was pretty crazy.  Her eyes got big, and she wasn’t sure if that was possible.  Well, they lowered that trade requested by $2,000, but deleted $2,000 from something else so that the price would be what the bottom line was that Dennis had written down.  Now she was ready to make the sale.  I got panicked.  I had told this other person that he would have first option on my car.  I had to get ahold of him.  The sales lady looked confused because she just gave us an offer we couldn’t refuse.  Dennis looked at her, and told her that I was a retired HR manager, and that ethics is huge to me, and when I say I am going to do something, I do it.  

She said, okay, go ahead and see if you can call him.  I sent a text and didn’t get a response.  I called him.  I asked him if he could match what they offered, and he replied he could not.  He was hoping the price would be like $5,000 lower.  He said told me to trade the car.  He also thanked me for calling him and allowing him first option.

So, what did I do?  I handed over the Lexus to them.  I drove out a brand spanking new Toyota RAV4 with a total of three (3) miles on the odometer!  I did not buy the car I test drove.  As lovely as it was, I wanted a red car, with leather seats, and all the bells and whistles.  We had to go to the back lot to see find my future car.  It was scary.  I just had IMG_0391the Lexus maintenance done, and it seemed wasteful, but in the long run, I still needed to buy tires, and the work I had done, may have helped what Toyota could have offered on the car.  In the end, it was a win/win for us all.

From the time we walked into the dealership and the time we left with a car was about four hours.  Why does buying a car take so much time?  Yes, we looked.  We test drove.  We sat down and dickered back and forth on the price.  She got approval.  We went to financing and did paper work.  Not only that, the next morning was spent calling the insurance company to change coverage, moving my satellite radio from the old car to the new, and cancelling my Lexus Enform which is like OnStar, and return to the dealership with the other set of Lexus keys and title.

On our drive to the dealership, I tested some of the technology.  I had it on cruise control with radar.  It kept me in my lane.  The car has adaptive cruise control, so as the car in front of me slowed down, so did my car.  Then the car in front of me came up to a red light.  I had my foot near the brake, but I waited, and the car slowed down, and then stopped without me touching the brake.  I will not normally do this, and will brake on my own, but it was amazing to see that this really did work!

So, Happy Halloween to me.  I like my red Halloween costume which I shall wear for many years.  

I am not sorry for the decision I made.  I am sorry I took my car to the Lexus dealer before checking out the Toyotas, but in the long run, it will be okay.  The night I got home after buying the car, I was really stressed out from the whole ordeal of the day.  I couldn’t sleep—it was after 3:00 a.m. before I fell asleep.  Check this link if you wonder what makes you sleep.  I was exhausted yesterday.  By dinner time, I was not functioning.  I was so tired that Dennis and I decided we both needed to cancel any plans for running around today and do things at home we want to do.

Dennis has been busy on his computer scanning hundreds of documents so he can shred these papers.  Yes, we are techie, and we prefer our information in the cloud rather than all over our home.  Then he plans to hit the mountain for a four mile hike.  For me, I decided, I will bake.  Baking relieves tension for me.  The ingredients are waiting, and before I post, I will add photos of the baking experience today.  By the way, most of it is going in the freezer, some being given to friends, and just a tiny bit of this baking available for us to eat today.

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Orange Cranberry Scones

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Chocolate Chip Cookies w/pecans

What’s Cookin’?

While I am in Missouri I am working on the list of things I plan to take to Arizona when we go at the end of the year.  I will still have a home in Missouri, so I cannot strip out this house completely. I have a few cookbooks, but I have decided that for the time being, I will keep  most of them in Missouri.

bettyI got thinking about the cookbooks and recipes I have used over the years.  I learned to cook by instruction from my mother and using “Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cookbook.”  She (Betty, not my mom) was the gold standard when I was a teenager.  My mom cooked basic food, and what she cooked was very good, but she didn’t go far out of her comfort zone to try new and unusual recipes.  Her desserts existed of oatmeal cookies, nut chiffon cake, and pies.  The cake was her signature dessert.  It takes a lot of talent to make one, and as much as I bake, I have not been able to accomplish that task.  The is the one baked dessert that alludes me.  My mom couldn’t bake a pie, or should I say, she couldn’t make a pie crust.  She would purchase pie crust sticks that looked like a butter or margarine stick, and roll out a not so tasty pie crust.  We still enjoyed her pie.  I mean, can you make a bad pie?  No, but you can really work to make an excellent pie.  Back to cookbooks.  My sisters and I used Betty Crocker to learn to make the things other “Americans” were cooking, like chocolate chip cookies, a new casserole, things that weren’t in my Serbian mother’s repertoire.  

Instead of taking a group of cookbooks to Arizona, and leaving a group of cookbooks in Missouri, the one cookbook that will go with me will be a revised one from one I first put together in 1993.  My two oldest sons had moved out of the house and moved to their own place.  They were stumped when it came to making themselves meals.  I told them that “if they could read, they could cook.”  All they had to do was get a cookbook and follow the directions.  So, that year I put together a cookbook for them of the recipes they would ask me about that were their favorites from growing up. I compiled about 20 recipes, put them in plastic sleeves in a binder.  I named the cookbook, “If You Can Read, IMG_8794You Can Cook.”  I cut out pictures from magazines or used family photos to tape to the page, and photocopied the pages.  There was no scanners like today.

It was such a hit that when my younger boys went out on their own, they also wanted a copy of the book.  In 2009, I revised the book, made corrections to the typos, scanned photos and artwork, added a few new recipes, removed some that no one was really using, and printed copies for all four boys.  I figured that the two older boys needed an updated copy.  I titled the 2009 book, “Mom’s Favorites — Food, That Is!”  All my kids, their current spouses (yes, some have changed since then), and their kids were all featured on the cover, purposely playing on the words of “mom’s favorites.”  In 2016 I edited the book again and added new recipes—that version was called, “Yum!,” subtitiled, “An Updated Mom’s Cookbook, Just for You from Me! 7/2016.”

doocyWhile I am writing this blog, an article popped up on my news feed.  It was about a cookbook published by Steve and Kathy Doocy.  Of course, I had no idea who they were, but as I read on, I discovered that he is the host on the Fox News morning show.  What struck me was the name of the cookbook, “The Happy Cookbook.”  I clicked on the link to Amazon and read the introduction to the book.  I am always looking for good cookbooks, even if I am lucky to really use only one recipe in it.  What I found was that he and his wife complied this cookbook with the recipes that bring back memories of their childhoods, their dating, their kid’s favorites, and favorites from famous people he met along the way, like Dr. Oz. 

IMG_1861That is exactly what my cookbook is.  It started by the boys asking for their favorite recipes after they moved out of the house.  Then I added some from friends and family, and some of the recipes bring me back to my childhood, like my mom’s oatmeal cookies or my grandmother’s pumpkin cake.  I have a recipe from my ex’s grandmother.  She had this amazing mostaccoili recipe.  (If you are from St. Louis, you know what that is.  If from other areas of the country, you may call it ziti).  Her recipe was unconventional.  It has bacon instead of ground beef, and cheddar cheese.  So, I lovingly call it “Irish Mostaccoili” since the recipe came from Nellie Kilgore Gibler, as Irish as it gets. It is a nice way to have recipes we love from our extended family.  My sister, Judy, gave me her blueberry muffin recipe.  She died in 2012.  Whenever I make her muffins I think of her, and if I am serving them to guests, I tell them it is her recipe, and I honor her by doing this.

I am now adding all my favorites, and Dennis’ favorite recipes.  They are recipes that remind us of our time dating and being married, of my childhood, and of when my kids were little, of big family Christmas or Thanksgiving dinners.  I am not well known like Steve Doocy (even though I didn’t know who he was), so I don’t think doing a fancy publishing job would be smart—I would have 10,000 cookbooks stored in boxes in my basement, and when I finally permanently move to Arizona, where I will have no basement, I would have to donate the books!  Ha!  

I am now rewriting my cookbook, because that is what I do every so often, and I need a copy for Arizona, I think I should add stories about the people who shared their recipes, and also about the memories these recipes bring.  Maybe when completed, I will offer it for sale on my blog, much cheaper than publishing a book and selling on Amazon.  

My tummy is growling just thinking about it.  I don’t think I am a special cook.  I am a most adequate cook.  I am a better baker than a chef.  There is real magic in baking.  If you are curious about that, check out my old blog about being the “Baking Queen.”

One of the things I like to do with this book is print the pages and put them in plastic sleeves in a binder.  It can sit on my counter as I prepare a recipe and any spills can be easily wiped off.  I am also a bit of a messy cook.  I have even photocopied some of my other cookbook pages and put them in the binder in the sleeve so I can be the sloppy cook, and not have to worry about messing up the published cookbook.

My mother always used to say, “The way to a man’s heart was through his stomach.”  I don’t know about that, but I do know Dennis enjoys everything I cook and everything I experiment with.  Unfortunately, though, food has calories, and really good food has lots of calories.  I have really backed off a lot of baking these past two years.  It makes me sad, because I love doing that so much, but I tend to eat what I cook!  

IMG_8782I was looking though my cookbook collection, which I have purged in my effort to downsize.  The collection is now my favorite ones that I really use, and a couple I might use.  One cookbook I have I got from Dennis’ mom, who will be 100 years old next month.  The book is titled, “The Settlement Cookbook,” and the subtitle is “The Way to a Man’s Heart.”  This particular cookbook is the 4th edition of the 1910 edition.  There are now 40 editions of this cookbook, and in 1991, they removed the subtitle!  If you click on the link of the title, there is an article written in 2017 about the history of the cookbook—most interesting.  Also, apparently in 1910, people did not bake cookies.  They baked cakes (categories butter, sponge, tortes, small, and fried).  I wonder what year cookies got added to the cookbook.  I know my mom made her style of oatmeal cookies when I was a kid, so at least back to the 50’s.  Toll House cookies (chocolate chip cookies) got its start back in 1938, so I guess the cookie craze started rolling out about then in America.  The Settlement Cookbook starts out with advice on how to set a table, how to air out a house, dust, and sweep. 

IMG_8793I will take recipes from my cookbook collection: “The Betty Crocker Cookbook,” “The Pillsbury Cookbook,” “The New Family Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen, “The Pioneer Woman Cooks a Year of Holidays,” and the Missouri State Fair “Come Home 2018 Official Cookbook Award-Winning Recipes from 2016 and 2017,” among others.  I will add recipes from them to the new edition of my cookbook.  

I have two months to get the new version of my cookbook together and printed.  It will get a new name and cover design.  If any of you have a great idea for the name, let me know in the comments—your ideas will be considered.

Whose cooking has inspired you?  Where do you keep all your recipes?  Have you found any you have not used in years?  I have and am wondering if I should give them a try again, or let them go to the recipe graveyard.  What is your favorite cookbook?

food quote

 

    

Baking Queen

When I was a teenager, my parents’ company office had grown out of our house to a location a few miles from home. Therefore, when I came home from school, my mom would call and tell me what to prepare or put into the oven to start dinner. It was my job to start dinner. She would complete it when she got home from work. I was pretty good at this task except for when I fell asleep watching TV, or when I would be on the phone with my friend, Frannie. Fortunately, Frannie’s parents were also business owners whose office was in their home. If my mom would get a busy signal trying to call me, she would call Frannie’s mom. They had two business lines, so she could always get through. She would ask if I was on the phone with Frannie, and if so, she would ask to have Frannie to tell me to call my mom. Answering machines, then call waiting, and texting has eliminated that issue!

00 roast beefI would get instructions on what to start for dinner. I became quite adept at cooking meals through my teen years, that served me well later in life. Cooking meals didn’t excite me. I am still good at it, but it doesn’t excite me. What excites me is baking.

There is such a difference between baking and cooking. When I stick a roast in the oven, no matter what ingredients I add to the roast, it comes out looking like a roast. Yes, it is delicious, but there is no magic. Chicken looks like chicken, green beans look like green beans, on and on and on.

00 flourNow baking — that’s a different story. There is magic in baking. I take a group of very different and strange ingredients, and the final results are something that looks nothing like the original ingredients. Most of those ingredients do not taste good alone. Don’t try to eat flour or shortening alone. Depending on the quantity and what ingredients are added, magic happens. Actually, this is probably chemistry that happens, but since I am not very scholarly when it comes to the sciences, I prefer to call it magic. The truth is, it is probably all chemistry or physics (too bad I never took those courses in school)!  When I take these baking ingredients in different quantities, depending on the recipe, the final results look nothing like the ingredients from the start.  Amazing cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, and desserts magically appear from these ingredients.

There are a few basic ingredients that go into most baking recipes:

00 rollsFlour – Oh, that white stuff.   I use King Arthur’s general purpose flour. I just feel better that it is not bleached with chemicals, like regular white flour.  I won’t go into all of that except that Canada and Europe have banned the use of the chemicals that bleach flour, so it just seems safer to use unbleached flour. It looks the same and works the same as bleached flour. There are plenty of different types of flour, but for my purposes, my recipes I am discussing are using general purpose flour.

Salt – It is the key to waking up flavors, creating balance of sweet and salty in the recipe. In bread and rolls, it controls the fermentation rate of yeast. It has a strengthening effect on the gluten protein in the dough.

00 cookiesLeavening –  There are three commonly used leavening agents:  baking soda, baking powder, and yeast.  Both baking soda and baking powder are considered dried leavening. Baking soda is a sodium bicarbonate and it reacts quickly when it encounters an acid, whereas, baking powder is sodium bicarbonate along with two acids, thus “double acting” that you see on the label of baking powder. This causes the leavening action to be slower over a period of time allowing rising, in such things as cakes and muffins. It will give a lighter texture than rising with just baking soda.  Yeast is a single-cell organism, which needs food, warmth, and moisture to thrive. It converts its food (sugar and starch), through fermentation, into carbon dioxide and alcohol. It’s the carbon dioxide that makes baked goods rise.

muffinsFats – Which is more evil, fats or sugars? It depends on who you read or whose documentary you are watching.  I think both can be dangerous. We just have to keep all things in moderation. Fat in baking contributes tenderness, moistness, and a smooth mouthfeel to the finished products, and can serve as a flavor enhancer of blended ingredients while contributing its own distinct flavor. Fats include anything from butter, oils, shortening, or lard. (I have never baked with lard).

Sugar – This is the yummy stuff, that adds sweetness to the recipe. Granted there are several things that can be used for sweeteners, such as honey, agave, a number of tasty (but scary) artificial sweeteners, and then, of course, brown sugar. Granulated sugar is scary enough, but this isn’t about health, this is about the magic of baking.

Eggs – What eggs do in a recipe is pretty easy to explain. I’m not talking about egg yolks or whites only (they have some differing results). When you cook an egg it gets hard, fried, soft boiled, hard boiled all hardens the egg. So when an egg is added to a recipe, as the item is baking up such as a cake or muffin, the egg gives it firmness. It holds everything together.

Other ingredients – chips, nuts, fruit, cocoa, etc. – used for flavor and texture.

00 assembly lineI learned how to bake in home economic classes in high school. Before that, I did what I would call minor baking at home. We used a box cake mix, a box muffin mix, and pie crust sticks (I have never touched one of those things since I have learned how to make a crust). I think I found the magic back in those days. I learned how to bake quantities, doubling cookie recipes for Christmas, making several pies at one time for Thanksgiving. I have become more adept at my baking skills and organization. If I have a lot of baking to do at one time, such as for IMG_0001Thanksgiving, I measure all my ingredients, put it in small zip-lock bags, and label the bags. The day I am doing all my baking, because pies must be fresh in my opinion, I have all these bags lined up with the ingredients and it becomes an assembly line of quickly putting together each pie. Rather than being overwhelmed baking all my Christmas cookies in a day, I make one kind of cookie a day. I hold out a few for tasting, and the rest get put in freezer bags and frozen immediately.  I don’t see them for weeks, and they don’t call my name, tempting me to eat them before its time.

00 oven cookiesThere is something therapeutic about mixing the ingredients. I put a musical playlist on the speakers in the house—Christmas music, or something that just makes me feel good. A year ago, we did a minor remodel of the kitchen. I had the cooktop removed from the island and moved to a counter on the perimeter. Then a new top was put on the island which gives me an 8 foot prep area. I have worked in kitchens with next to no counter space, so this is a joy to be able to have room for all the ingredients and work area, and it helps me stay organized and focused during preparation. I have found that if I am rushing, I will miss an ingredient or not make the recipe properly. That’s why the music plays, ingredients are in order, and I have the kitchen to myself to concentrate.

rollsFlour, sugar, fat, and salt, seem to be the basis of baking recipes. Then take those added flavorful ingredients, be it fruit or chocolate, vanilla, other flavored extracts, add it, and bake. Magic happens! Nothing looks like the basic ingredients that I began with.  I am always in awe seeing the recipe rise in the oven, brown, and its look is totally different that what it looked like when I slipped it into the oven.  Magic!

Add apples, sugar, and cinnamon, and I have the ingredients for an apple pie. Yet, if I take the ingredients of flour, salt, fat, eggs, and baking powder, I may have muffins or a cake. All of these ingredients are basic with the exception of the flavoring and how it is put together. Put together the same basic ingredients in different quantities with blueberries, and make great muffins, or once again, those same ingredients, with added cocoa powder, and baking powder, and make a chocolate cake.

little cooksOh, this is magic! I love to see the smiles, the ooh’s and ahh’s, from those to whom I serve these recipes. It is in the creation.

I have even taught the grandkids how to bake.  We have had many baking sessions, and they have fun and especially enjoy the fruits of their labors.  We try to make enough for them to take some of their creations home.  They have experimented by making gooey butter cake with a devils food cake, they have made skeleton cookies for halloween, learned to makes cinnamon rolls, and black bottom cupcakes.  A couple of them have loved baking (or maybe just the results) that they IMG_6634continue to do baking at home.

All this is so wonderful, and laden with enormous calories.  I have struggled with weight all my life, so I have found ways to enjoy these magical delights, and not pack on the pounds.  I bake now only for special occasions.  That includes having guests, or attending a party, and of course, holidays.  As I stated earlier, I freeze my Christmas cookies as soon as I remove them from the oven.  If there are any leftover desserts when guests go home, I love to load them up with the goodies to enjoy in the following days.  Who doesn’t love receiving a gift of baked goods? I try not to have any left over for me afterward.

I believe that we are created in God’s image, and when we create, be it photography, cooking and baking, painting, quilting, writing, singing, playing an instrument, and too many other creative things to mention, we are sharing God’s image. What a blessing. What a joy. What a privilege!

Stop by my home sometime. Give me a heads up. Maybe you will see and taste what new creation has come from my oven!

P.S.  Did I make you a little hungry?

00 Verse