Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Kansas!

The state of Kansas celebrated its 151st birthday yesterday, January 29.

These fun sunflowers were for a class birthday party today!

I made the big Kansas cookie for the teacher. (Since I hand-cut this one, I sure am glad I live in a pretty simple shaped state.)

My darling daughter said "Wow! Those turned out a lot better than I thought they would Mom,  They actually look like real flowers." Thanks dear. ;^)

Thank you Joan for your order! 

Happy Kansas Day!


Friday, January 27, 2012

On a Personal Note: Toilet Training and Counting Cards

Toilet Training was NOT on the agenda for today.  Frosting was the plan for the day.

However, my 22 month daughter, Little L., had different plans.  While I was working away with Curious K, making frosting, carefully counting and measuring 12 cups of powdered sugar, Little L. toddled into the bathroom and took out the potty seat, took off her pjs and diaper, and sat to do her work, too.  WOW!

So, we took a 45 minute break from frosting to create a sticker chart, hang the Elmo potty sign, read a potty book, etc.  When we were all done with that fun, I returned to the frosting, very thankful for these....

I had just added my 8th cup of powdered sugar, when duty called.

My 1st grader, Reader R, invented them.  If you have little helpers in the kitchen, you should have a set.  If you have ever lost count while measuring flour or powdered sugar, you should have a set.  They are wonderful, especially for the mom-baker, who may have an interruption or several, during any mixing session.  Also, they give one more, (clean) hands-on helping activity for your sous-chef, that is also a stealthy learning opportunity at the same time.

So, sorry if that was TMI, but the counting cards have saved my frosting more than once... I thought they might help you too!

One final note:  On my third girl, I do know that 22 mos. is YOUNG to toilet train and expect any success, however diapers are an expensive item in our budget, 4 dozen cookies per month, so I am always willing to encourage a child who is interested in learning.  Also, while I am being over personal and just so you know how really goofy I am, whenever I am toilet training, I have a funny mental flash to this song by Steve Green, based on Proverbs 22:6 -

 "Train up a child in the way he should go; 
   even when he is old he will not depart from it."

I am not completely sure that God was referring to toilet training, but I since I believe that the Bible gives us "all things that pertain to life and godliness" (I Peter 2:3b) and I haven't found any other verses that pertain to toilet training, I figure this applies. ;^) 

I think I see fancy underpants cookies in my future! ;^)

Happy Baking (and Toilet Training)!

P.S. - I do promise to return to sugar cookie posts in the very near future. I am working on two orders right now, and I am about four behind in posting, so you'll see lots of fun cookies soon!  

Monday, January 23, 2012

We Interupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

... to bring you: Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies!

So, we had two Curious George parties a couple of weeks ago, (I know, I haven't posted the photos yet... OK...), and that meant that in addition to the stockpile of bananas that I had already stashed in the freezer to hide the fact that we didn't eat them fast enough, I also had about a dozen extra bananas destined for bread.  However, the idea of dozens of loaves of banana bread, on top of the two that are already in the freezer, sent me looking for something, ANYTHING else to make instead. 

Well... YIPPEE!  Because I found and tried this recipe for Banana Cookies from the Laurel Brooke Bed & Breakfast, which was in my new Weston's Bed & Breakfast Recipes Past & Present 2010 cookbook. (THANK YOU!!!)  The original recipe came with a recipe for frosting, which I think I am going to skip because these are so yummy the way that they are! ;^)  I also added the oatmeal and the chocolate chips.  I made a double-batch and baked 2 dozen according to the recipe, (they would be good this way for a more delicate affair, like a tea party), then added the oats and baked 2 dozen more (perfect for breakfast) and then added the chocolate chips and finished it up the batch  (a yummy treat).  They are all really good, but the final product is my favorite.  Next time, I might try to add some nuts (although my kids don't care for nuts), or even some wheat germ, so I can keep pretending that these are almost healthy cookies. ;^)

Now, I have joked that "I never met a cookie I didn't like" but that is not the complete truth.  I am actually very discerning when it comes to cookies, and even more so now that I am around them ALL of the time.  I only eat the REALLY yummy ones.  That said, I REALLY liked these, AND because I REALLY like YOU, I am going to share the edited recipe... (NOT MY COOKIES THOUGH.. you'll have to bake your own! Although, if you need bananas, give me a call.  ;^))

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 c. Crisco
3/4 c. light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
2 ripe bananas, smashed

1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream shortening, sugar, egg, vanilla, and bananas.  Add dry ingredients.  Drop on greased cookie sheet. (I used baking parchment instead.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Makes about 40 cookies.

The note on the original recipe says that they freeze really well, too, although, my cookies will probably not make it to the freezer this time. ;^)


Thursday, January 5, 2012

On the Twelfth Day of Cookie Christmas...

Sweet Sarah gave to me, 14 cookies baked into a wreath...

And a random sampling of all of the ones I missed...

"J" is for Jesus!

These cookies remind me of my three girls... 
Reader R. would obediently have her cookie tucked under her wing for safekeeping. 
Curious K. would be caught nibbling, "Just a taste."
Little L. would just be standing there, all adorable,
with a sticky grin and a look that said "What candy cane?"


Amazing "Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream"   I wish I could remember where I found the reciepe. (When I do, I will add credits and a link, here.)  I topped the real ones, for Christmas, with a chunck of chocolate/peppermint bark.  These I decorated to look like my family: His, Hers, 3 little girls!  
I am such a cheeseball!

My sweet Little L!  She is the best helper!
She got this adorable apron for Christmas!

 Well,  there you have it.  Christmas... finally over.  Actually, we just exchanged our last presents last night, so I guess it is time to take down the tree and put the Christmas cookie cutters away until next year. 

Merry Cookie Christmas!

Kid's Cookie Bake Cookies!

P.S. - Lessons learned: No one wants to see Christmas cookies in January, not even me.   All of my cookie friends have TOTALLY moved on to Valentine's Day.  Plus, this all would have worked out a little better if I had PLANNED what I would post on each of the 12 Days BEFORE I started.  (And, I should have made a "Wise Men" cookie or something for tomorrow, but I didn't.) Oh well...  MERRY COOKIE CHRISTMAS, anyway!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On the Eleventh Day of Cookie Christmas...

Sweet Sarah gave to me, Eleven Cheerful Cardinals...

These were for the annual William Jewell ~ Alpha Gamma Delta ornament exchange.  I thought they we appropriate because the Jewell mascot is a cardinal, and I couldn't muster up the squirrel with a wreath that I really wanted to do.  I LOVE red and white together... so I included some snowflakes too.

This fun cookie was the hostess gift for my dear friend, Mary Catherine.  She sent me a postcard like this from the U.K. with a container of my favorite British "Biscuits" after I found out I was pregnant with my third child... What a blessing that I will never forget.  I still have the postcard, and used it to create yummy "Thank you!"

I also was really happy with these red and white ornaments, too.  They were also inspired by my Isaiah Bible Study, and were a gift to the leaders of that study.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool."

Isaiah 1:18
Merry Cookie Christmas!

Monday, January 2, 2012

On the Ninth Day of Cookie Christmas...

Sweet Sarah gave to me, nine Reindeer Noses...

These aren't quite right... I started to run out of brown icing and tried to stretch it too far.  Nevertheless, I thought they were hillarious! Unfortunately, I can't remember where I saw this great idea... but it wasn't mine... oh, well.

Merry Cookie Christmas!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

On the Eighth Day of Cookie Christmas...

Sweet Sarah gave to me, Eight Outrageous Ornaments... (whew, where's Reader R's new Thesaurus when you need an "O" adjective...)

Plus, a couple fun extras...

Merry Cookie Christmas!

Happy New Year!

Best Wishes
to you and your families
in the New Year!