Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Recipes Found (they've been lost for nearly 4 years!)

In the year 2010:  Finally after nearly 4 years, (yes 4!), I found my favorite cookie recipe.  
But how sad that when I baked them, they weren't as fabulous as I remembered!! LOL.......... too funny. Isn't this always the way it is?
I remember our favorite chocolate chip cookies from when I was very very young. They were the best ever! Then we got a new oven. And we could never get the cookies to bake to perfection!! It was so sad. I wish we had had an oven thermometer back then and maybe that would have solved our problem. We think it was the oven temperature that made the cookies the best. But I don't think we have ever succeeded in duplicating them, maybe we never really tried hard enough? We maybe just moved on and were happy because they still tasted great, even if the texture wasn't perfect? I hope I don't have to move on from my favorite shapes........................
So after baking my favorite Shape Holder Cookies in my new (now 4 year old new) oven, (meaning a different oven) they did not come out how they used to bake up! What's up with that!! 
Maybe I did not make the dough correctly? Maybe my oven temp is off? I know I baked the first batch too long, could that be the problem? But the second batch wasn't much better. 
So many variables............ now I have to figure out how to make my favorite cookies work here and anywhere they get baked!! 
However they still have a good taste and that might be what ultimately counts. 
They are not the best tasters, but they are good, at least we think so. They were the best shapers though, they kept the shape you put them into before baking. That was fun. 

Shape Holder Cookies

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp baking powder
3 1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder (optional)

bake at 350 degrees F for 6-8 minutes.

  1. Cream butter and sugar. 
  2. Add eggs and vanilla. 
  3. Mix/whisk baking powder, salt, cocoa and flour together. 
  4. Gradually add dry ingredients.
  5. Roll out on floured surface and cut shapes or use cookie scoop and make 'ice cream' balls, my favorite way of doing this recipe!

The following recipes are ones that I used on a regular basis when we lived in Ruby Valley and the kids were younger. Now I have found these recipes too, and I am happy! I might make some of them up this next week and see if we still like them too.  

The muffins will be great for grab and go breakfasts. You can add lots of fun things to make different variations, the recipe is a basic recipe.

Favorite Sweet Muffins

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

  1. Beat egg, stir in milk and oil.
  2. mix in remaining ingredients just until flour is moistened.
  3. Batter will be lumpy!
  4. fill muffin cups 2/3rds full- grease cups if not using paper liners.
  5. bake in middle of oven.
  6. immediately remove from pan after baking.

I have been making pancakes for the kids for breakfast for the last couple of months. It isn't too labor intensive and I really love the feeling of doing a warm breakfast for them in the mornings. I have not done this for many years if really ever and I love taking care of them and sending them off with a breakfast in their tummys. Starting the day with breakfast is very healthy! and I do try to make my pancakes using healthier ingredients.
However, the following recipe is typed as I used it years ago, without any healthy habits alterations. So, I will be substituting Splenda for the sugar and leaving out the oil, or using applesauce. Then it will be better for my kids.

Delicious Pancakes

1 egg
1 cup milk
2 Tb oil
1 cup flour
1 Tb sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tb vinegar
  1. Beat egg, add milk and oil. 
  2. mix in dry ingredients.
  3. beat until smooth.
  4. add vinegar and stir in thoroughly.
  5. cook on heated griddle.  

This pizza dough was an easy fix dough and we used it many times in the old Ruby Valley days. However, I always did make it up in the Bread Maker on the dough only cycle. I am not one to make bread dough and knead by hand when the dough cycle on the Bread Maker will do. 

Calzone - Pizza dough

2/3 cup warm water 80 degrees
1 tsp active dry yeast
 2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tb olive oil

Bake at 500 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.

  1. Place warm water in a bowl, stir in yeast.
  2. allow to sit at least 2 minutes until bubbly.
  3. Place flour, salt, oil in mixing bowl and beat for 10 seconds.
  4. add the yeast mixture.
  5. beat for 1 minute, until dough is well combined.
  6. Knead for 2 minutes.
  7. Let rise for 30 minutes.
  8. divide dough into four pieces for calzones or makes a 12" round pizza.

I am very happy that I found my long lost recipes! And now they are on the Internet and I should never loose them again!! Happy Blog Site Storage!!!

If you try them, I hope you have good luck with them and enjoy them too.
I always end up altering my recipes a bit each time, mostly because I don't precision measure, I do use what I have on hand, and I, well sometimes I just am weird and just make things. Many happy accidents have been enjoyed by my family and I over the years. But sadly, most of them have never been replicated!! I have sometimes taken the time to write my alterations down and that has been good and then I could replicate a good change, but those are few and far in- between!
Oops! I am rambling. Have a great day..................


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

1 pkg (8oz) Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softenend
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 heaping Tbs cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 oz (2 squares) semi-sweet chocolate, melted
6 oz white almond bark
colored sugar sprinkles, crushed candies,

1) heat oven to 350 degree F.
2) beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until well mixed.
3) mix in melted semi-sweet chocolate.
4) stir/whisk flour, cocoa & baking soda together.  Add to creamed mixture. Dough will be stiff and you may have to finish mixing by hand/strong spoon.
5) make small balls and roll into 3 inch long ropes. Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bend the top slightly to resemble canes.
6) bake for 10-12 minutes, until puffed up and set.
7) remove to wire racks and cool completely.
8) melt almond bark. I melted mine in a freezer zip-lock bag for about 1 minute. Follow melting instructions on the almond bark package. Clip a small bit off one corner of the bag for drizzling.
9) Working with small batches of cooled cookies, drizzle with melted bark and immediately sprinkle on decorations. Let coating firm up and then store in covered containers.

Dough will be stiff. It may seem too sticky to roll, refrigerating 30 minutes will help. I find rolling in my hands quickly worked fine. If I spend too much time on a cookie, it will soften up and get stickier. So work quickly. I also make the balls with my small cookie scoop and drop them on a glass plate that I stick in the fridge between batches. That helps to keep them cold and make for easier rolling.
Butter should be used as the texture and baking properties will change drastically if margarine or butter substitute is is used.
Also, do not over bake. Remove when centers are set.

These are quick and easy. I usually make the cookies the night before I decorate them. So it really seems quick. We love these, I love these. Mostly because they are part chocolate!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Upcoming Wedding and Reception- idea photos

One of my 5 beautiful nieces is getting married this December and she has chosen to have a cookie buffet for her reception plate.

Here are some ideas for cookie platter/stands that I am sending to her and her mother to see if they want to use them.

One with a Christmas theme. I have 4 of the same candlesticks.

One very tall, green spiral goblet. Might be able to borrow 3 more.

Here is one candlestick, a margarita goblet, the tall spiral
and a pretty juice glass in the front.  Again I have 4 candlesticks
and only one of each of the rest.

The juice glass. 

this one is just for fun as it is a cookie mug!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Photos of Shari with 36 pounds removed!

August 20, 2009
October 15, 2010

September 1, 2010
October 15, 2010
September 1, 2010
October 15, 2010
August 30, 2008


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Angel's Birthday is Today!!

Happy Birthday Baby!

Do I really have to pose with my cake?

My presents all decked out.

Cheesecake was the cake of request.

The wind kept blowing the candles out.
But it looked really pretty with the reflections off the tin foil.

The kids each had a quarter of the cake.  Then
we took the other 2 quarters home and they finished it later.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Take Shape for Life Post are Moving

(don't click on the above link with the title or you will go to the actual page of this post!  Click below for my new Blog!  See you there!!)


I am moving my Take Shape For Life posts to a new Blog, 
so come visit me here:  

Take Shape For Life: Day 5

Take Shape For Life: Day 5
August 27, 2010 - Friday

Today was a very good day.  Still no hunger pains.  In fact I was late on getting lunch because I lost track of 'feeding' time and wasn't hungry.  That is good and bad at the same time.

The process of feeding my body every 2 to 3 hours helps my body understand that I am not in starvation mode and that I have plenty to eat and that I don't need to hold on to my fat stores.

It is pretty wonderful that scientists and doctors have realized that our bodies store energy for hard times.  The problem is that for nearly 40 years, my body has been prepared to take care of me during the famine times that I let it believe were coming.  I have been carrying my 2 year food supply on my body frame- (OK, even as big as I am my stores would not last me 2 years!  I really do know that!)

My phone holds my desired eating schedule and an alarm sounds when it is time to eat.  I don't hear it all the time, but I generally stay on track.  I also don't want to get used to hearing an alarm and having it become a trigger to eat.  So I have to be careful with my alarms- if I could have a dedicated sound that was only for food maybe that would work.  But as of now, the calender alarm sound is for all notifications and that really could be dangerous.

Maybe there is a 'take medicine app' that would work for me?  I will have to look into that.

So for my Lean and Green today, I went again for dinner time.  I fixed 2 boca burgers, with a touch of catsup and mustard.  A half a pickle spear, lettuce and 2 tomato slices.  I wanted to use the lettuce as a bun, but was too lazy to pull out the head of lettuce and grab a leaf.  I just ate torn lettuce pieces with the burger.  I also had a lettuce salad with mixed veggies- dices of tomato, radish, cucumber and mushroom.  It was a large filling meal.

Overall:  Great day!  I have lost 6 pounds since starting Monday.  I sure my weight loss is different from yours, but I am thrilled with it!!!  It has been a wonderful day and now I am very content with the way of eating and grateful that the hunger pains and cravings for sugar, salt, fats and chocolate have subsided.

Keep Up The Great Work!!


Take Shape For Life: Day 4

Take Shape For Life: Day 4
August 26, 2010 - Thursday

Lean and Green
OK so do you want to know what I had for dinner?  

I baked some chicken breasts and then cubed them, weighed them and put them on top of 2 cups of lettuce salad.  Then I added a Tb spoon of chopped tomato and a bit of sliced radishes.  I also put a few, several drops of green taco seasoning as my dressing and the rest of my Parmesan cheese puffs, leftover from afternoon snack. (croûton)  Not that I like croutons, but I thought I would try it that way.  It was way wonderful eats and very filling!
Ryans meat was sliced and he drizzled BBQ sauce on them and he had a salad too.  He could only eat half of his plate.

Michael ate his meat sliced, with the salad on the side.

Rachael has yet to eat.  Not sure why she doesn't want to eat yet.  

Now I have a little meat juice, chicken broth to use tomorrow- maybe I will add it to my chicken noodle soup instead of all water............... just thinking.............  Well, Hubby thought he would put the juice out for the cat. That way the pan would be empty and he could wash it.  So I have no broth for tomorrow.  I can stop thinking now.

I have not been as hungry today.  YES!  In fact I was pretty, am pretty full after eating dinner.  Good day overall.

I have been eating my Brownie snack for the last hour.  There are still two bites left.  It is good.  I am just content and not feeling hungry, in fact I still am full from dinner.  But the diet plan says to have an evening snack so I chose to have a brownie.  

I am supposed to be eating my snack at the table and focusing on it 100%, but old habits die slowly.  And I really wanted to get a few things done on the computer, so here I am typing, figuring, logging my daily foods and blogging as I eat my brownie.  

But bottom line is: I AM NOT HUNGRY!!!  I love it!!!!

Overall:  Great day.  Successful.  Awesome.  Not Hungry!!!!  Oh and I have lost 4 pounds since Sunday.  8 pounds in the last week.  So I am doing just great.  I had energy enough for the day and was able to take the garbage out to the neighbors and back without a problem.  (Garbage truck drove by our house and I realized he didn't stop.  I looked and our can was not out to the curb, so I had to take it across and down the street.  But thankfully I was able to do that.)


Take Shape For Life: Day 3

Take Shape For Life: Day 3
August 25, 2010 - Wednesday

Wednesday and Day 3.  What a great day!  It has been so much easier today.  I have not needed hardly any extra helps today.  I finished my special soup yesterday so I was hoping I wouldn't need it today.  I did add a pickle spear as a snack today, but didn't need anything else.

I felt liberated!  I was not craving sugar, salt or fats!  Maybe the transition phase for me has come and gone?  I hope so.  For the lean portion of the Lean and Green tonight, I made turkey burgers.  I defrosted the turkey burger and added one egg white and half a can of mushrooms, that I whirred in the Magic Bullet before adding it to the meat.  Then I had my hubby crank some salt and pepper into the meat mixture.

I grabbed a handful of meat and plopped it into the frying pan that was sprayed with Canola Oil Pam.  I let them firm up and then flipped them to cook on the other side.  Then back to the first side to complete cooking.

We had green beans and salad for the Green.

I put a tsp of mustard and ketchup on my burger that only weighed 3 ounces.  Pilot and Hubby got about 6 ounces each.  I got the leftovers.  Angel wasn't hungry so she made a sandwich later when she was ready to eat.  Since my Lean was so lean, or small; I made 2 eggs cooked in the crumbs from the cooked turkey burgers.  It was like having bacon bits, in texture that is.  I loved the little crunchy bits.  I don't like bacon bits, but I like turkey bits.

Overall: Day 3 was very successful. I feel wonderful.  It was a very wonderful day.  I feel successful and empowered!  Onward.......................


Take Shape For Life: Day 2

Take Shape For Life: Day 2
August 24, 2010 - Tuesday

My soup rescued me again today.  I probably was not as hungry as yesterday, but one would never have know it.  I was grateful for my soup.  I also ate some pickled cauliflower, in fact it was the rest of a 40 cal bottle that I opened yesterday to help with my need to eat!, crunch and chew.  Most of my issues are with sugar, salt and fat withdrawal as well as having a need to eat crunchy things.

Lean and Green
Tonights meat and vegetable was a stir fry.  I chopped up some turkey, red and green bell peppers, celery, zucchini and mushrooms and stir fried them in my secondhand Wok like pan.  It is now my favorite pan and it only cost me $2.00. !  I cranked some Lemon pepper salt over the food and splashed some soy sauce into the pan.  Not much of course.  But enough to taste good.

Dinner was enjoyed by all.  Of course we had a nice veggie salad on the side.  I don't use salad dressing, but then I have always tried to avoid them unless I am in a restaurant and then I get blue cheese and ranch to mix. I put some green taco sauce drops in my salad and was just fine with that.  I have used lemon juice in the past but it is getting too strong for me in my older age.

I can't wait to get some money in so we can have some fresh broccoli and green beans and other veggies.  Canned green beans and lettuce salad is going to get boring.

So I have been crunching a little ice today as well, but only when they are nearly soft enough to crush with my hand.  I am NOT crunching fresh hard ice cubes, I don't want trouble with my teeth.

I ate about the same amount of calories today as yesterday, and pretty much the same 'extra' stuff (my soup, other snacks) as I did yesterday.  In the future I will be sticking to the plan much closer and only having the snacks they recommend.  But I had to make it through this second tough day.

Overall:  Day 2 has been a success.  I am glad it is over.  I made it just fine.  

If I can do it- you can do it!


Take Shape For Life: Day 1

Take Shape For Life: Day 1
August 23, 2010 - Monday

I made it through the day, but it was a very difficult struggle.  I miss my sugars, my salts and my fats!  Where did my cheese go?  My breads were gone too.  It was really hard. But I know that this phase will end after the adjustment period is accomplished.

I am pretty sure I will be done with the cravings and feeling hungry in 3 or so more days.  The program study materials say 3 to 5 days, I think.  And I know that I was completely satisfied and not hungry when I was on a full liquid diet years ago.

I decided that in order for me to make it through this most difficult day, I was going to have to take matters into my own hand.  So knowing that I was leaving a very high caloric diet and stopping all my vices and trying to get by on way more than half the calories I was used to.

Here is how I handled my first day needs for more food.  I chose not to follow the Medifast 5/1 recommendations for the first and second days.  So today I made a huge pot of soup.  Well it was about 6 cups worth.  I put in a package of coleslaw mix, 4 ounces of diced raw mushrooms, 2 celery stalks, a cup of diced zucchini, a medium green tomato finely diced, a small red tomato diced and a handful of chopped radish greens.
I sautéd the veggies in a sauce pan in their own juices.  When they were getting tender, I added 4 cups of water and chicken bouillon granules for the 4 cups of water.  Then I let it come to a boil and turned it down to simmer and blend the flavors.  I also cranked a couple of  cranks of Lemon, Pepper, salt seasoning into the soup.

I then ate as much as I needed for Day 1's lunch- which was the time I found myself the hungriest. I believe I had about 3 cups.  This did help curb my hunger pains.  But I realized that I was not exactly hungry, but just craving those foods I was choosing to avoid for the next couple of months.  I also had to grab a couple of dill pickle spears and some celery sticks throughout the day.  But I made it and still was way under 1000 kcal for the day.   OK, I was at 850 kcal for today.  Which is where I will be on most days anyway.

So the plan is to finish the soup tomorrow and make it through day 2.

Overall:   Day was a good day.  Successful in that I did not eat excess carbs, sugars and fats.  Success!