Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Project Destash: 36 Pillowcases

December 23rd: The day designated to pick up the Momma from her apartment to have her join us for our Christmas celebrations. Almost four hours driving as it was the Eve before Christmas Eve...the Friday starting the holiday weekend...even the normal shortcut didn't work this time.

December 23rd: The Momma's birthday...and no, I can't tell you how old she is, as it's not polite to tell a ladies age (and she'd probably smack me for doing so)!
- We had Chinese food delivered for dinner (her choice...I managed to choke down a few bites so I didn't appear rude)
- We celebrated with a Chocolate Chocolate-Chip bundt cake, but only one candle!

December 23rd: I delivered 32 pillowcases to the senior apartment complex for distribution....pirates, ducks, cats, dogs, flowers, chickens...all were a big hit!  They definitely were worth all the effort...the smiles were priceless!

And the big surprise?  There was a tug-of-war over the garlic pillowcase!

Recipe...Christmas Jello Salad

It goes by many different names...Pistachio Jello Salad, Pistachio Ambrosia, or Pineapple-Pistachio Delight.

In our house, however, it is the Momma's Christmas Jello Salad...a delight at any time of year, but it joins our table every year for Christmas Dinner. The Momma doesn't know where this recipe originated from...but her best guess is from one of their military friends.

1 box instant Pistachio Pudding mix
1 large can Crushed Pineapple in juice, undrained
1 small tub of Cool Whip
1 small can Mandarin Oranges, drained
1/2 bag Miniature Marshmallows
1 cup Maraschino Cherries, drained and halved (Optional)
1 cup Walnut Pieces (Optional)

Important Note
This salad will only set in a glass dish/bowl.

1. Mix together Pistachio Pudding mix and Cool Whip until mixture turns green.
2. Stir in all other ingredients.
3. Place into glass serving bowl...sprinkling the top with nuts.
4. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Daughter Bakes....

The dear daughter has been back from college since last Friday evening.

Today she decided to bake cookies to share with the family on Christmas Day.

Today I left the house to run errands.

Today I received a phone call while out running my errands..Mom, you might want to pick up some butter while your out.

Today I went to the market to pick up more butter. Thinking to myself...why in the world would we need more butter at the house?  There were two pounds in the refrigerator.  

Today I came home after running errands....to a scene very similar to the one pictured above.

How can one person manage to use every dish and appliance in the house to make four batches of cookie dough, not even the cookies themselves, and create such a clutter?

Seriously, can you tell me?

And, NO...I am not cleaning it up.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Recipe...Peanut Butter Blossoms

Christmas is coming...house is being decorated...and the cookie jars are out.

Cookie JARS? Yes, I have four cookie jars that are sitting out on a table that simply must be filled for all to enjoy.  The penguin jar has Oh Fudge; the Santa jar has sugar cookies. The Christmas tree and snowman jars need something still..

Last night I started going through recipes thinking of what should go in the Christmas tree jar and cam up with the ever famous Peanut Butter Blossom cookie...my favorite because it mixes chocolate and peanut butter together. What could be better than that?


1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
48 Hershey Kisses

Toni's Process
1. Unwrap all Hershey Kisses.
2. Place the first nine ingredients in the bowl of your mixer and mix until creamed. Remove bowl from mixer, cover and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Remove bowl from refrigerator and shape into 1-inch balls.
5. Roll balls in the 1/2 cup white sugar and place on cookie sheet (ungreased) approximately 2 inches apart.
6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until very light golden brown.  Immediately remove from oven and press one Hershey Kiss into the center of each cookie.
7. Remove from cookie sheets onto rack for cooling.

Note: Although I love the flavor of these cookies, I would love to tried these cookies with Peanut Butter & Co's Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter...more chocolate is always better, right?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Recipe...Oh Fudge

Fudge...that magical treat...how I love thee!

I used to use the recipe on the back of the Marshmallow Creme jar....boiling and stirring for TEN minutes to allow the mixture to get to the proper temperature.

But not any more!

One of my canyon friends shared a recipe a while back that was super easy...and not overly sugary...just the way I like!

- One can condensed milk
- One bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- One cup milk chocolate chips
- One half stick butter
- One teaspoon vanilla extract

Official directions: Put all ingredients in your favorite saucepan and heat slowly just until combined.  Pour into a greased 8X8 pan and place in the refrigerator for two hours.

Toni's directions: Put all ingredients into a glass dish and microwave in minute intervals until just combined.  Pour into a greased 8X8 pan and place in the refrigerator for two hours.

Cut and enjoy!

PS: If you prefer a more sugary taste, just switch the proportions on the semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips...same process.

PPS: If you're one of those nutty people, go ahead and throw in a handful of nuts.

Christmas Tree Rag Quilt

One less UFO in the cabinet...one fabric bin empty...

Presenting the Christmas tree rag quilt...

OK...the picture's  not so great...sorry about that. I'm electronically-impaired this week.

But at least it's finished, washed, and hanging up for Christmas...that is until the Dear Daughter comes home for Winter break and takes control of it.

Monday, December 5, 2011


The Christmas Story leg lamp stocking....

I shall hang it proudly this year.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Recipe....Hummingbird Cake

I have to confess...often there is a banana or two that doesn't get eaten quick enough in our home.

We don't throw them out...we make Hummingbird Cake with them.

Hummingbird Cake? I thought that was the absolute funniest name for a cake when my friend gave me the recipe.

But I made it at home...

My husband and daughter were there....

I put it out on the counter to cool before adding the cream cheese frosting and went out to run some errands...

Got back home and the cake was over half gone....hmmm, wonder how that happened.


- 1 package  plain yellow cake mix
           (basically any plain mix...this time I used a white cake mix as it's what I had)
- 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple packaged in juice, undrained
- 2 medium or 3 small ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
           (I usually skip the mashing part, as my mixer will do that for me)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
          (canola, corn, safflower, soybean or sunflower will work if you don't have vegetable oil)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 (Note: there are actual formal steps to use; however, I'm choosing to give you the abbreviated
  version I use...LOL)
1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray/grease your pan...traditionally it will be two 9-inch round cake pans, but I use a 9X12 pan.
3. Place all ingredients in your mixer.  Beat until combined. Pour everything into your pan.
4. Bake until you can't stand it any more, as the smells filling your house are so yummy...usually around 30 minutes for the cake pans and a bit longer for the 9X12 pan.
5. Remove from oven and place in a safe, secure place to cool...remember, your husband and family will want to eat it immediately.
6. Once cooled, smother the whole thing in cream cheese frosting...and then throw a handful of nuts on for decoration.
7. Enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Windy Here...

Living in Southern California has its good points...the sun usually shining, both the mountains and the beach no further than an hour drive, and awesome fresh food...

Even living in the sunshine has it's occasional drawbacks...earthquakes, fire, rattlesnakes, and winds.

The past two days we've had winds..and not just an ordinary breeze.  These winds were measured up to 65 mph.

We are lucky this time..no structure damage to the house.  However, they did leave a few reminders of their power..

We'll be busy cleaning up this weekend....