Cream Cheese Cookies

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Cream Cheese Cookies

1/2 Cup unsalted butter

3 oz. cream cheese

1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 Egg

1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

Preparation:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Set out butter, cream cheese and egg until it reaches room temperature. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mixing:

Place butter and cream cheese in mixer bowl and beat for one minute. Add sugar and baking powder to the mixture. Add egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Add flour and continue to beat until thoroughly mixed. Chill for at least 30 minutes for drop or roll cookies, one hour for sliced/rolled cookies. For roll cookies, shape into tube about 2 inches round and wrap in plastic wrap and cool. When dough has cooled, remove plastic wrap and slice dough about 1/4 inch thick coins and place on a prepared cookie sheet with coins about 2 inches apart. For drop cookies, after dough has cooled, scoop out dough by rounded teaspoons full and roll into a ball between palms of hand. Place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

Baking:

Bake for 9 to 12 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes and transfer to wire racks until completely cooled.
Recipe makes approx. 2 dozen drop or rolled cookies. Rolled cookies can be embossed before baking.

Cream Cheese Cookies

Cream Cheese Cookies

Strawberry Pie

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“Strawberries are a genuine masterpiece and should be considered a beautiful and delicious work of art.”

“Strawberries are a genuine masterpiece and should be considered a beautiful and delicious work of art.” Mama

I have explained in a previous post who “Mama” is to me and how she influenced my life. She was a genius in the kitchen, a patient listener always, and quite possibly the worlds best ever grandma!
Whether you decide to cook them up and make jam or maybe slice them and add some sugar to create an All American Strawberry Short Cake, or make a delightful cool refreshing pie, you can’t go wrong with these little red beauties!
Today I am sharing with you her recipe for Strawberry Pie. It is light, refreshing and oh so DELICIOUS and juicy!
First you will need a baked pie crust.

Pie Crust Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco is the best)

4 to 5 TBS water (very cold)

Preparation:

Combine flour and salt, cut in shortening with pastry blender or two forks until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add water until dough no longer clings to sides of bowl. Roll into ball and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-minutes. When dough is chilled roll out on a lightly floured surface to about an 1/8 inch thickness. Fit loosely into a 9 inch pie plate. Trim dough to about 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under and flute edge. Prick bottom and sides with fork. Bake at 425° until crust is golden brown (approx 10 to 12 minutes).

Filling Recipe

Ingredients:

4 TBS Jell-O Brand gelatin
3/4 cups sugar
4 TBS Corn Starch
1 1/4 cup water
2 quarts Strawberries

Preparation:

While the crust is cooling clean, cap and slice 2 quarts Strawberries (do not crush).
Mix all ingredients (except strawberries) in sauce pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Continue to boil for 1-minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool for about 5-minutes. Fold in sliced strawberries until completely covered with glaze and pour into pie shell. Refrigerate until chilled. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

Fluffy Homemade Biscuits

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Golden Fluffy Homemade Biscuits

Fluffy Homemade Biscuits

Is that biscuits I smell cooking?

That was a question I asked myself a lot growing up! Almost every morning the sweet smell of baking biscuits woke me from a very sound sleep. I think it was my grandmother’s way of getting three very sleepy kids awake, fed, dressed and off to school on time. Mama (that is what we called her) was a baking, chicken frying, pot roast making and all-around cooking genius, and I knew that I had to get up, get dressed and get into the kitchen as-soon-as-possible to get my share of those fluffy delicious biscuits before my two older brothers got there and ate them all! We could also look forward to ham or bacon to go with those golden beauties. She also made her own jams and jellies that were always on the breakfast table along with butter and ice-cold milk. My favorite jelly was apple. On Monday mornings we almost always had gravy to go along with our biscuits. Talk about stick to your ribs! Going to school hungry was not an option at our house, we always left for school well fed and ready to learn. Another breakfast favorite was cinnamon toast and hot cocoa, which I will post here in a few days. We were also treated to day-old glazed yeast donuts that she grilled with butter, that will also be posted soon. She usually served those with apple juice.

Mama also always made sure we had a hug and a kiss before we left for school. That always felt good on a full tummy!

I hope you enjoy these made-with-love biscuits. Don’t forget to load them up with butter and jelly!

Fluffy Homemade Biscuits

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour sifted

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

4 TBLS unsalted butter (chilled)

3/4 cup milk

Directions:

Sift flour with baking powder and salt Cut in butter with fork or pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs

Add milk all at once and mix until mixture pulls away from bowl

Turn out on lightly floured board or parchment paper

Gently fold dough onto itself several times (Approx 1/2 minute)

Roll with lightly floured rolling pin 1/2” to 3/4” thickness

Lightly flour rim of biscuit cutter and press into biscuit dough. Be careful not to twist cutter as it will cause biscuits not to rise during baking

For fluffy – tall biscuits, place cut biscuits with sides touching on baking/cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (separate biscuits during the last five minutes of baking).

Bake at 425° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Yields 10 to 12 biscuits

Upcycled Chandy

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Upcycled Yard Sale Find

The weather on Friday was perfect to spend the morning browsing local yard sales. I thought I was looking for candle holders but when I found this little beauty for $5 I knew I wanted it! It was battered and needed lots of TLC (sorry I don’t have a before picture, the Truck Driver had it taken apart and primed before I could grab the camera) which it got. After the Truck Driver took it apart to check for faulty wiring (which he found) and to give it a light sanding and some a bath with TSP, I grabbed the spray paint and gave it a new outlook on life! New wiring, new chain, electric box for hanging, and paint, total cost $20! We installed it above our repurposed dinett set (see below) that made its debut on our side porch last week. We love the look. Yard Sales ROCK!

Looking Good!

Restored for outdoor dining

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Repurposed Dinette Set

I have been working on an oak table and 4 chairs that I purchased from a thrift shop and a resale shop last month. The $10 table came with medal legs that at first looked so out-of-place with the table, but after some sanding and epoxy paint they looked great. The table got a good sanding and 3 coats of exterior house paint. I chose sandpaper for the color in an eggshell finish. The $2.50 (each) ladder back chairs were in a natural finish and needed a good cleaning with TSP. After drying they were lightly sanded and painted with spray paint, in turquoise.  The chair seats were recovered with a remnant fabric I had saved from a previous project that I did in 2009. The wheat back chairs were in my garage just waiting to be used again after several years of being in storage. They were also cleaned with TSP to remove layers of furniture polish and then sprayed with the turquoise paint. The entire project cost about $45 and will be a great addition to our porch for outdoor dining. The items on the table were also thrift store finds. I love the cow weathervane! <3

About Me

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I am a Wife, Mother, Grandmother and former News Editor. I have been married to the same man for 38 years. Thirty Eight Years? WOW! That’s a long long time. We currently live in the Heartland of America and I love it. I was born in Lubbock, Texas, smack dab in the middle of the 20th Century (1950). My husband (who will from here on will be known as the ‘Truck Driver’) says I am a mid-century model. I like that :-).
My Mother always told me she found me in a Prairie Dog hole. Prairie Dogs are the town’s mascot and they even have their very own park!

Growing up I learned that “A Texan is always a Texan, no matter where they roam.” When I was a young girl we roamed to Bakersfield, California. Those were the early days of Buck Owens and the Bakersfield Sound in Country Music. Merle Haggard, Dwight Yokum, Bonnie Owens and so many more have carried on with that tradition throughout the years. Although the music has nothing to do with who I am, I thought I would throw that in.
When I was a t’ween (what a word) we moved to Southern California and that is where I met the Truck Driver. He wasn’t a truck driver then, he was a glazier and a builder and he was from the Midwest. “Really, the Midwest? I love the Midwest, I am a Midwest girl at heart I told him.” Later I had to correct that a fess up that I was a Texan. You know….A Texan is always a ……. You get the idea.
Life rolled on and we became the VERY proud parents of a boy in 1978 and a girl in 1981. Life was good, good, good! In 1983 our son was turning five and it was time to send him to school. The Truck Driver and I decided that it was time to roam to the Heartland to raise our children, so here we are almost 29-years-later. I have learned a lot about weather and small towns, and coping, (scratch that comment) getting to know who-is-who and who is related to who and living life in the open, so-to-speak. I still love it!
In 2000, we became the grandparents of a beautiful little girl and in 2005 a grandson was added to our family.
In 2002, the Truck Driver became a truck driver. He was excited to see new things and go new places. He is in North Dakota this week. He is so in-love with our family and we are all in-love with him.
I will add more about all of these wonderful people as time goes on, but today I just wanted to introduce us a bit.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope I get better at this and that you come by often.
Until next time…….

Texas Sheet Cake

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Texas Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake

This is a fluffy, “Sweet Tooth” satisfying DELIGHT! The nuts are crispy and a wonderful layer to this  time-tested desert. My Grandmother and Mother both made this cake and was always a welcomed addition to family dinners and potluck gatherings. I have made this cake for my kids and grandkids for years and the response is always, “This is so good!”

Ingredients for

Cake

2 C Flour (for fluffier cake use 2 Tablespoons (Tbls) less flour)

2 C Sugar

1/2 tsp Salt

2 Sticks Unsalted Butter (diced for better melting)

1 C Water

3 Tbls Cocoa

2 Eggs

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 C Buttermilk

1 tsp Vanilla

1 tsp Cinnamon (feel free to add a dash more if you like)

Directions for cake;

Stir flour, sugar and salt into large mixing bowl.

In sauce pan bring butter, cocoa and water to a boil stirring constantly.

Pour over the flour mixture.

In separate bowl, Stir eggs, soda, buttermilk, cinnamon and vanilla together.

Add to the flour/cocoa mixture.

Bake in greased (I use Bakers Joy Pan Spray) sheet cake pan for 20 to 25 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick in center of cake after 20 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick comes out clean.

While cake is baking, make frosting.

Ingredients for

Frosting

1 Stick Unsalted Butter (diced for better melting)

3 Tbls Cocoa

6 Tbls Milk

3 C Confectioners Sugar (Powered Sugar)

1 C Chopped Pecans (toasted at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden)

1 tsp Vanilla.

1/2 tsp Cinnamon (plus a dash more if you like)

Directions for Frosting;

Mix together; cocoa, butter and milk. Cook until bubbly. Add toasted nuts, powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Cook until blended and smooth.

Pour over hot cake and allow to cool. This might take up to two hours.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Approximate Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 1 Sheet Pan