Monday, January 26, 2015


We don't stop playing because we grow old, 
we grow old because we stop playing. 
{G. B. Shaw} 

{photo taken May 2014}

So, taking advantage of the Florida Resident discount pass we bought last year . . . .
we are off to the "happiest place on earth" for a few days.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

salad fixins

My sister-in-law, Tracy, gave us a package of Salad Fixins from Sam's Club. 
Our salads have never been the same . . . 

It contained: 
Sesame Sticks, Raw Sunflower Seeds, 
Slivered Almonds, Cranberries, and Pepitas.

We have begun making our own and never serve a salad without it.

Ours contains: 
Whole Wheat Sesame Sticks, Sunflower Seeds, Sliced Almonds, 
Dried Cranberries, Pepitas, and Dried Edamame Beans.

Mixed and ready to go.

You could make your own by combining any of your favorite healthy snacks. 

I guarantee it will make every ordinary salad into a gourmet feast.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

the blessings of friends

At the beginning of this new year I have been reflecting on
what a blessing it is to have such dear friends.

Looking back over the years I marvel at the variety
of places where we have met new friends.

We are so fortunate that our lives have
crossed paths with such amazing people.

childhood, high school, college, camp, work, athletics, clubs, blogging, church,
hometowns, family, bowling, biking, traveling, in-laws, retirement

Monday, December 22, 2014

asleep in the hay

Thanks to our local Goodwill Store
our Christmas decor now feels complete . . . 

The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay

Monday, December 15, 2014

belleair beach

Last week we visited Belleair Keys where my father-in-law lived for 20+ years.
We had a flood of memories from days gone by. 
Happy times spent with "Grandpa Jim" at the beach. 
While there, we were so fortunate to have a long conversation 
with 92-year-old Sylvia Holstein who remembered Jim Sr.
as a good friend and shared great stories with us.


by the way . . .  Sylvia Holstein
is an amazing woman 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

cookie decorating

This is the first time in 33 years we won't be with any of our children for Christmas. 
So . . . we needed to recruit friends for the traditional cookie decorating. 

Thanks Cindy and Tom.

Last year , , ,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Chocolate Cherry Cordials {#10}

photo credit: The Law Student's Wife

Chocolate Cherry Cordials
makes 30

For cookies:
½   cup butter, softened
1   cup sugar
1   egg
1   tsp rum extract
 1 ½   cups flour
¹∕³cup cocoa powder
¼   tsp salt
¼   tsp baking soda
¼   tsp baking powder
30   maraschino cherries, drained and patted dry with paper towels
2   Tbsp sugar, for coating

For glaze:
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. rum extract
¾  cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg, and rum extract until light and fluffy. Add flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat well.

Flatten about 1 Tbsp dough. Place a cherry on top; mold dough around it. Roll in sugar. Repeat with remaining dough.

Place cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake 8 minutes. Cool on a rack.

For frosting:
Combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth. Use a small amount of frosting on each cookie.

I have more cookies recipes that we enjoy but none of them "say Christmas" so . . . 
I would love to know what your favorite Christmas cookie is.  
Perhaps you could leave a a link to your cookie in a comment.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Saltine Cracker Toffee Brittle {#9}

photo credit: savory sweet life

Saltine Cracker Toffee Brittle

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
11 oz pkg dark chocolate chips
40 saltine crackers
1 cup chopped nuts {optional}

Line a 12x17 cookie sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
Lay crackers in a single layer on foil.
Stir and bring to boil; boil for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and add vanilla
Pour hot syrup over crackers spreading as necessary
Bake 5-10 minutes in 350ºF oven until syrup bubbles
Remove from oven.
While hot, sprinkle with chocolate chips, let soften and melt, then spread.
Sprinkle with nuts.
Let cool.
Refrigerate until hardened.
Break into pieces like peanut brittle.

Recipe from Tracy Hack

Monday, December 8, 2014

Fern's Butter Tarts {#8}

Fern's Butter Tarts

Sure thing about Butter Tarts is that one needs to be in no hurry because dripping any drops of filling make getting the tarts removed from the  pans an ordeal.

Crust for 28 tarts and 1 single pie crust for the freezer or double batch tarts

5 cups all purpose flour
2 1/3 cups cold shortening
1 tsp salt
1 egg plus 2 tsp vinegar and enough water to make 1/2 cups liquid


2 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp vinegar 1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnuts

Roll out crust as for pie.  Use a biscuit cutter or canning jar lid to cut circles that fit your tart tin.  Place pastry circles in the tins and carefully spoon filling to go half way up the crust. If they are overfilled, the filling will boil up over the edge of the pastry and make it almost impossible to remove the tarts.
Bake at 400* F until crust is golden brown.

Recipe from Fern Winger via Debby Alianelo

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Chocolate Pretzel Treats {#7}

photo credit: the creative kitchen

Chocolate Pretzel Treats 
Salty pretzels combine with sweet chocolate for these fun treats

Bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels
Hershey's Kiss or Hershey's Hug
M&M's candy

1. Heat the oven to 350º. Set a number of bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss or Hershey's Hug.

2. Bake for 2-4 minutes (the white chocolate will melt more quickly), until the chocolates looks shiny or feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press an M&M's candy into the center of each Kiss.

Use a straw to press the M&M into the Kiss. It keeps your fingers out of the chocolate and helps to give them all a neat and uniform look.

Allow the treats to cool. You could place them in the refrigerator to set for about 10 minutes. Place handfuls of the candies in clear plastic bags and tie on colorful ribbons.

From the Recipe Box of my sister-in-law Tracy