Friday, December 22, 2017


Tuesday was the last time this year that I will go be going into Hillcrest Thrift Shop to volunteer.The shop will be closed the day after Christmas, which would have been my next time to go in. I thought I would make them some gingerbread and this recipe just happened to be the Recipe of the Week at As it turned out, it was just perfect for the occasion. When I left and told them I would see them next year, that sounded so strange. 

It is hard to believe that 2017 is almost over. This has been another good year full of many blessings. We vacationed in Florida, Southeast Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, northwest Arkansas, and Tennessee. We also visited several times our older son and his family in Colorado. My theater group (Friends Janice and Fran and myself) enjoyed The Phantom of the Opera, Beautiful, the Musical, 42nd Street, Fun House, Waitress, and Les Miserables. Our granddaughter Madison played softball this year for the first time (summer and fall) and grandson Tyler played t-ball again this summer. One of the reasons we moved to Kansas City from Ventura, CA was to be able to experience activities with our future grandchildren. I just wish we were closer to our CO grandchildren. I miss too much of their lives. We remodeled one of our bathrooms this month and hope to do some more remodeling in the kitchen, and the other two bathrooms next year. Having lived in Ventura, CA for 21 years, my husband and I have been (and continue to be) greatly affected by the Thomas fire in Ventura and the surrounding areas. It just breaks our hearts seeing pictures of the aftermath. They are talking about it continuing in 2018 before it is completely under control. Friends who lost everything, friends dealing with the conditions, and the firemen putting their lives in danger to fight the fires are all in our prayers. I hope 2017 has been a good year for you, too.


1       cup melted butter (2 sticks)
1       cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2    cup molasses
2       large eggs, lightly beaten
1       cup applesauce
2       cups flour
2       teaspoons baking soda
2       teaspoons ground ginger
1       teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 - inch baking dish, or use baking spray with flour.

Combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and molasses in a mixing bowl.

Add the eggs,
stir in the applesauce and
beat well.

Sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon together.
Add to batter. Stir well, scraping sides of the bowl and mixing thoroughly.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before cutting.

This applesauce gingerbread is great just as it moist. If you want, you could add a dollop of whipped topping or a lemon sauce.

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Tuesday I went back to my dentist to get my permanent crown. I messed up and didn't take them anything when I had the prep done so I wanted to make them something extra special. I was going to make some chocolate covered cherries, but they didn't work out. (So glad this doesn't happen very often.) When they didn't work out, I had a very short time (less than 2 hours) to come up with something else. 

Fortunately, the night before I had a (text) conversation with DIL Sara re some cookies she had made and had when we went to CO for our Christmas with them. She couldn't find the recipe, but generally remembered how she had made them. I also remembered a little of what she had told me. (I just never got around to making any after we got back home.)

I am so glad I had remembered them and asked her the night before because I was able to get them made in the two hours time and they were a big success with Dr. G and his staff. Office Manager Dee said they tasted like Girl Scout cookies. (She had to eat one as soon as she saw them.)


A sleeve of Ritz crackers
Candy Cane Kisses candies
Chocolate coating wafers or a bag of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

First lay out a single layer of Ritz crackers on a cookie sheet.

Unwrap peppermint Kisses and place one on top of each cracker in the center.

Place in the oven to melt slightly the Kiss (about 3 to 4 minutes).

Remove pan from oven and press another cracker on top of each Kiss to flatten it.

Remove and place on another cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes. (I left mine for 30 minutes and they were fine.)
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate coating wafers or bag of chocolate chips in the microwave following the directions on the bag for melting.

Coat completely the cracker sandwich cookie in the melted chocolate.
I lifted the cookie with a fork and gently tapped it against the side of the bowl to knock off excess chocolate.
I then took a toothpick and ran it under the fork to wipe off the excess chocolate underneath the fork. (I didn't get a picture of that because I only have 2 hands.)
I sprayed my cooling rack with cooking spray and laid the covered cookies on the rack over another cookie sheet. You could place them on a sheet of wax paper if you prefer. If you do use the rack, make sure you cover the rack completely. I had a few stick near the edge because I didn't get it sprayed well around the edges.

I didn't, but if you like you can sprinkle the tops with candy sprinkles before returning them to the freezer.

Return the covered cookies to the freezer for another 30 to 60 minutes. (Once again because my time was limited, I just left them for 30 minutes. They were ready.)

I put the melted chocolate I didn't use in the refrigerator and will remelt and finish using it up by making some more.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


For the last few weeks I have been taking sweets to our Sunday school class by requests. It all started when I made some Cranberry - Orange Scones from the Biltmore Estate and took to church to share with the members of our class who were helping out with hospitality. Mike said why should the class eat the donuts that the church offers, when I could bring something for everyone.  When it came up in class the next week, Rick immediately requested something with cherries and then Jim asked for chocolate. 

Well, last Sunday was our last meeting for this year and Rick who had been leading our study on Hebrews thought it would be nice to have members bring food for a brunch. Since I had Jim's request left to honor, I said I would bring brownies. 

I found Sue's Brownies in The Farmhouse Kitchen cookbook, Amish Community Cooking from Greenville, PA. Since I wanted to cut the brownies in shapes instead of squares and Matthias & Naomi Mast's recipe made such a large pan (11 x 17 - inch pan), I thought it sounded like the perfect recipe to try.

The brownies are delicious cakelike - brownies. Even though they have what I consider a lot of sugar, they don't taste real sweet. I was really pleased with my idea to cut them in shapes. I wasn't really happy with my attempts at decorating them and took icing to the class for anyone to decorate one. No one did. I would have liked seeing their ideas. You can see my attempts at the bottom.


1-1/2       cups butter (3 sticks)
2-1/2       cups sugar
6             eggs
3/4          cups cocoa
3/4          teaspoon baking powder
3/4          teaspoon salt
3             teaspoons vanilla
3             cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 11 x 17 - inch pan.

Cream butter and sugar together til smooth. 

Add eggs.

Combine the dry ingredients - cocoa, baking powder, salt, and flour in a medium size bowl with a whisk.

Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.
Beat til smooth.

Add vanilla.

Spread batter
evenly in prepared pan.

Bake for 35 minutes.

For variation sprinkle with chocolate chips before baking. (I would have done this if it hadn't been that I wanted to cut the brownies into stocking shapes.)

While still warm sprinkle with powdered sugar (if you like).

Let cool before cutting.

I cutout stocking shapes with my stocking cookie cutter to take to our Sunday school brunch.

Can decorate with icing, if you like. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


If you read my blog, you have probably read that I don't do appetizers well. I don't really know why; I just don't. Whenever I find a good one to make, I get excited and hope I will remember it the next time I need to make one. 

Thursday night we went to Friend's Patricia and Gary's Open House that they have for their street every Christmas. (We don't live in their neighborhood, but she invites us because we are friends and in Tasty Bunch together.) I made the Chocolate and Peanut Butter Truffles which were a big hit. Friend Carol brought her Stuffed Dates. (She brought them last year also.) I had forgotten about them until she mentioned to me earlier in the day that that was what she was bringing. I took one bite and announced, "This is what I am taking tomorrow night to the Friends' Couples' Bridge Christmas party." I remembered how good they were, I had just forgotten about them. I thought I had shared it last year here, but when I looked, I couldn't find it.

Well, guess how I spent the hour before we went? If you said, "making some stuffed dates to take to the party" you are right. I actually got them ready for the oven but waited to bake them in the oven until it was closer to time to leave. That way they were still warm when we got to the party.


1       lb bacon, fried limp and cut in half
3       oz. cream cheese (You can use fat free or reduced fat)
sliced almonds
1       lb pitted dates (You can use whole dates and remove the pits)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Cut bacon slices in half (I had 23 dates so I just took out 12 slices of bacon) and
fry til limp.
I placed it on paper towels to absorb some of the grease.
Slice dates in half (down one side).Remove pit if necessary.

Pinch off a piece of cheese and place inside date.

Top with one or more almond slice(s) and close date.

Wrap with half slice of bacon and
secure with a toothpick. 
Place on a baking sheet and
bake for 10 minutes. (I placed my wire rack in the bottom of the jelly roll pan and placed wrapped dates on top of the rack to bake and baked them for 15 minutes to cook the bacon a little bit more.)

Remove from oven and place on paper towel to absorb excess fat. (Since I had baked them on the wire rack, I didn't do this.)

These are so awesome. Everyone loved them at the party.