Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving ideas

I downloaded some Thanksgiving ideas and I must say, I like everything. All are from Pinterest which is easy than browsing the entire Internet for ideas. I love cute turkeys, especially those made with candy corn--my favorite candy.

I always pick up some take out boxes for my guest since I want to share and not have so many leftovers. I usually get mine at the dollar store. I would really love some of those pie containers.

Evergreens, leaves, eucalyptus and a pretty candle make a great centerpiece.

This looks like a nice wreath made from sparkly paper and tied with a bow. Simple and perfect.

I like the ideas for a kids table above. The ships are a perfect idea because the kids can help with them.

A welcoming basket of fall flowers and little pumpkins. Very sweet.

Candles make a festive tabletop. The twine and newsprint is perfect. It doesn't have to be fancy to be nice.

Above is kind of sweet and a little old-fashioned. I can deal with old-fashioned. New is so old.

The photo above made me excited to try a new recipe for green bean casserole. A gluten-free version, of course. I will just have to make my own onion rings, too. I hope mine will be really good.

A silly turkey tie. I'm game.

How many times have I posted a food sculpture. This cheese ball won't make you cry fowl! 

Vintage . . . Ah-h-h-h-h-h. I think it is so cute.

This is a great idea. This is what the day is all about.

I have seen gift jars filled with candies for other holidays. Why not Thanksgiving?

Burlap is still in this year and why not. It is organic and looks great with sunflowers and daisies.

I have one of these tall, thin vases. It would also be perfect filled with pumpkins and/or squashes.

I love candles and cinnamon together because hot candles will make the cinnamon fragrance drift throughout the house.

Little pumpkins with candles and fresh greenery. These little suckers are hard to cut but they do look good.

Pine cones and place cards pair up rather nicely. I am planning to do this one this year.

Kids really love google eyes. I think this would make a cute craft for the kids' table.

I know I won't make these this year but I love toasted marshmallows and pumpkin anything.

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls. That is just too luscious.

This is a sweet potato cake with toasted marshmallow filling, candied nuts and cream cheese frosting. I saved the best for last. I really want to make this at some point. My sister was wondering if we could make a sweet potato cake and this looks unbelievably good. I really did save the best for last.

I hope your Thanksgiving planning is great. I have my turkey, now I need to decorate.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Scufffle or action hoe

It is widely known that I like to go to yard sales. Sometimes, to my husband's dismay, I come home with things he thinks are (in his opinion) real duds. Other times, like this past weekend, I come home with something I have been searching for--and I mean retail in stores.

This past weekend, I found my scuffle hoe, stirrup hoe or action hoe.

It is a tool my friend Charlotte Nelson recommended as a great garden weeder and her favorite tool. I have looked at all the local hardware and big box hardware stores around and they just don't carry this tool in our area. I also looked online and found them, but with shipping they were just way too expensive.

My barely-used scuffle hoe was $5 and I just can't wait to use it in my garden. One of my best buys. I have recently been searching for useful garden tools at yard sales and I hadn't had too much luck, but Friday I walked up on a bunch of yard tools. Lying in the middle of them on a piece of plastic, was my scuffle hoe. The weather was terrible with a drizzling cold rain. I was not so sure I had picked the right day to shop but I was so happy I did venture out since I found this long-sought-after tool.

I am in hopes that I will like my new, old-fashioned tool as well as my friend Charlotte does. Now I can't wait till it stops raining so I can try it out!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What would I do without Hershey's?

I know that people the world over have a love affair with chocolate, but especially every year in October, I don't see how I could make it through the month without Hershey's--especially Hershey's cocoa.

October is when I have to make at least two and sometimes three birthday cakes for people in my family.

Below is the cake I made for last Saturday's birthday party. It was a large two layer sheet cake with pink butter cream/whipping cream frosting. (Really it was one cake recipe per layer.) Everyone really seemed to love this one and I received more than one hug for making such a great tasting cake. I think they should really have been thanking Hershey's because their cocoa is a staple in my home all year round. Also, the recipe I used for the layers is the one that is always listed on the can. (The only difference is that I substitute buttermilk for the milk.)

Saturday's cake was just perfect. Moist and tasty but I will tell you, frosting a dark chocolate cake with a lighter color, in this case pink frosting is challenging. It takes a heavy crumb coat and then a heavier coating of frosting--but people really love it. (It's kind of like painting a lighter color on your walls after red or purple!)

I have often made this recipe with decorators chocolate frosting and it is rich and yummy. The "Perfectly chocolate" cake is so good. It is kind of surprising when you have to add a cup of hot water to the batter but it makes a really, really great cake.

I don't even remember what kind of cake we had below but the frosting was made with Hershey's cocoa. (Too bad I was in too big of a hurry to dot the i or cross the t.)

The gluten-free birthday cake above is a yellow cake with a cocoa frosting and the GF pumpkin below is made with cocoa for Halloween.

I also use Hershey's cocoa in my baked chocolate pie. It's a family favorite.

I was on a diet once where a recommended snack was mixing cocoa with ricotta cheese and sweetener for a pudding-like snack. It could have been better but it helped stop the craving.

My cousin mixes cocoa with honey and she says it is one of the best snacks in the world and my daughter makes chocolate oatmeal for her family. I have never been able to try that one. I like oatmeal but there is something wrong about adding cocoa.

Another thing I like about Hershey's cocoa--the box is basically the same, even though it is plastic now, rather than metal as it was in my childhood days. I love it because it is the same wonderfully chocolaty, always the same product you can always count on. May it never change and I will continue to cook the perfectly chocolate recipes for my family and friends.

Even with the crazy world we live in, we can always count on Hershey's.