Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Delicious Apple Cider


I got this recipe from my sister this morning and couldn't wait to try it. It's so good! It was the perfect drink to cure my sweet tooth, warm my bones on a cold evening & made my house smell like fall. One thing that I love is that it tasted just like this smells. It's pretty much the same ingredients except for the cider and sugar. It's the perfect twist on cider.

2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole allspice
2 qts apple cider which is 64oz
1/c c brown sugar
1 orange sliced

enclose cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice in cheesecloth, creating a little bag. In the photo can you see my bag floating under the oranges?

Pour cider and brown sugar into crock pot. Stir and let it warm up until brown sugar is disloved. Add cheesecloth bag. Slice up one orange and put slices in crock pot.

Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours.

Discard spice bag and serve.

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting


3/4 C sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 eggs
1 C canned pumpkin
2 1/2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350

Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add maple syrup and eggs mix well. Add pumpkin and mix well.

In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.

Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix well. Don't over mix though. Drop spoonfulls of batter onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 11 minutes. The cookies don't even out and become perfectly round. The batter pretty much stays the same shape and size as they cook so watch them closely. 11 minutes is pretty much all they need.

Cool on racks and then frost with this recipe...

Cream Cheese Frosting

In a mixer cream 2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, 1 C powdered sugar, 1/4 C Milk,1 Tbsp vanilla and zest from 1 lemon. Not the whole lemon but 4 good sized spots. The lemon adds the perfect zing to the frosting but you don't want too much!

Friday, October 15, 2010

CTR Towels


Okay, I know this blog has been so dead lately. I'm slowly getting things back in order to get posting again.

I wanted to post this though. In our church I was just called to be the teacher for the CTR 7 class. That means that all the kiddos in my class are the ones that will be baptized when they turn 8. So, I wanted to find something special to make for them. A long time ago I saw this tutorial on one of my favorite blogs,
Made With Love and Glue and put it in the back of my brain (and also bookmarked it on the computer) as a fun thing to do as a gift for someone. Anyways, I made it for a girl getting baptized tomorrow.

It was such a fast easy project and pretty much the same thing as these but Rachel has a great tutorial here, and there is also a really cute poem that goes along with it, of course not pictured here. Here is the one Rachel did on her blog...

Such a fun gift to give!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just peachy!


Okay folks. It's peach season and we have these beauties all over the house. I canned some but still have a lot left over. They were starting to get pretty ripe so the spouse and I went on a mad peach binge. Not kidding we made this, this and this within a 24 hour period. We don't plan on stopping anytime soon either!

The last 2 we made together one night while the kids were in bed.

Spouse and I both had never had peaches and cream before. You know the old fashioned way. We basically poored heavy whipping into a sauce pan added some sugar to sweeten it up and let it heat up a bit. It never got to the boiling point, just nice and warm. The heating up part was all spouses idea and he was pretty proud. Then poored it over fresh, sliced, peeled peaches. It really was a very delicious and simple dessert.

Oh, and the sour cream tart wasn't our favorite. Very sour creamy. Too sour creamy. I think it needed to be sweeter and maybe some cream cheese mixed with the sour cream or something. I'm just sayin'.

What are your favorite fresh peach recipes?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hi it's me, Shawna's amazingly talented and beautiful sister Tifani........

Okay so now that I have you here I won't lead you on any longer!!! I really am not that Talented and Not very beautiful either but I try to find things that interest me and go with it!!!!
I love accessorizing with my outfits and when I find a cute and cheap thing to do I am always loving it!!!
This is cheap and oh so easy and there are endless things you can make these out of!!!

First you cut out 3 different sizes of circles out of felt, and one large circle about the size of a cup opening!!
You then find some ribbon of your choice or zippers, I have seen these done out of zippers and they are stinkin cute!!! You start on the outside of each felt piece with hot glue as you go and twirl your way to the middle,cutting off the xtra, tuck with hot glue in the middle and you are done!!! seriously that easy!!!
Then you position all three to the big piece of felt as you wish, I put a pin on the back of this one but you can also do an alligator clip and use it for your clothes, handbags or hair!!! Oh the possibilities they're endless, I need to scream!!!!
I didn't have a pic of me actually doing it so if you have ?'s go here! I hope to take pic's soon of more!!! SO go, go get some ribbon or zippers or what ever your fancy and start twirling!!!

Thanks to my Amazing sis shawna for asking me to guest her blog today!!!! Love ya shamom's

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

There's still about an hour left before Mother's Day is over. So, instead of cleaning up a bit before I go to bed, I'm blogging.

A cute friend of mine had to spend Mother's Day alone since her husband is out of town for a job interview. I thought she needed a little something on Mother's Day since she is an awesome mother and such a good example to me. I whipped up these little cups of goodness. I know they were goodness because I had 2 of them and spouse probably had 3. He knows a good baked good too.


The reason for this post is not to share some amazing cupcake recipe that I use. It is to give you a little trick that I have found that makes boxed cake mixes a lot better. Maybe it's not new to anyone, maybe it's not a trick, maybe it's not as good for you as I think it is. I don't care. It makes me feel so much better about eating a cupcake, thinking that is better for me.

Here's my trick: Whenever I am making a cake out of a box I follow a few rules.

* never add the yolk of the egg, only whites plus one more white
*never add oil, add applesauce

For example, the box my mix came from said to add:
1 1/3 C water
1/2 C vegetable oil
3 eggs

I added:
1 1/3 C water
1/2 C applesauce
4 egg whites

I also fill the paper baking cups to the top and bake it for the minimum amount of minutes. So, if it says to bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, I bake them for 20

I have used this on all different kinds of cake mixes and it has never not worked. They come out so fluffy, moist and light. Never undercooked. I don't know why, it just does. Try it!

Let me know if you have any questions...
The cute cupcake toppers I got from TomKat Studio
They just happened to match some cupcake liners I got from hobby lobby a while back.

I also used this recipe for the icing and it was delicious! I think it was from Wilton but I can't remember.


1 stick softened butter
1 stick softened neufchatel cheese (cream cheese)
4 C powdered sugar (1 box)
1 Tbsp. milk

cream butter and cheese until smooth
add sugar one cup at a time
add milk and mix until smooth (about 30 seconds)

This was the perfect amount for 18 cupcakes. Double the recipe and you'll get 5 1/2 cups of icing.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sugar Cookies

My friend Deb posted this recipe on her blog. She really is an amazing cook so when she talked about how good these cookies tasted I really wanted to try them. She was right. They're amazing. They're thick, soft, moist and really good. Here's the recipe.


Sugar Cookies (Marcae R's recipe)

6 c flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 c salted butter (softened)
2 1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
4 TBSP milk

preheat oven to 375

whisk together flour/salt and set aside

cream together butter and sugar

add eggs, milk, vanilla

add flour mixture slowly and beat on low until combined

Divde dough in half and form into two balls. Flatten into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour

On a floured (or p sugared) surface roll out dough to desired thickness (they will not puff up a ton so if you want them thick- as she made them- roll them out as thick as you want them to be). She used a big flower cookie cutter so they were delightfully giant.

Bake for 10-12 minutes- she usually takes them out early- like 8/9 minutes. Let them set on pan for a min or two if you do.

Cool and frost (delightful receipe to follow)


8 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/4 c butter (softened)
1 tsp vanilla
powder sugar

mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla til creamy then add powdered sugar to desired consistency.

I didn't make the icing but I will on the next batch

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentine Jars...

If you've read my blog before you know I have a hard time throwing things away. One thing I keep a stash of is jars. Spaghetti, salsa, spices, you name it. There is so much potential. I made these jars pretty much like the Thankful jars here. Just different goodies. You really can't mess these up and can make them for any holiday. Cut a strip of paper wide enough and wrap it around your jar. I decoupage mine but you could use tape or a glue stick or whatever you have to make your paper stick together at the ends. Just make sure you pull it tight so it stays after the glue dries. Then do the same thing to the edge of your jar lid. Then fill jar with sweets. So easy!
Don't forget to give it a little bling bling. I used ribbons and chip board letters on these. I just used a hole punch on the chip board letter big enough to feed thin ribbon through and tied it.




I have a space in my cupboard that I keep my stash of jars. Some are ones I decorated a while ago, waiting to be used. And don't worry about the sticky labels on the jars. A little goo gone and they come right off.
What do I use the cinnamon jars for?


It just so happens that when you buy these on clearance after the holidays. Like cheaper than a quarter clearance.


You can mash them up into fine powder (or really fine chunks) and they make a cute little jar of something sweet to give away with hot chocolate or sugar cookies or whatever you can add peppermint powder on. It takes a good beating to get them powdery so it might help if you think of something really frustrating and let it all go as you're beating your candy canes.


They already come with the little tops for dispensing powder so it's perfect.


Next time you make spaghetti or nachos don't throw the jars away. Store them for a rainy day and [re]beautify them into something cute!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Help Me Say Thanks...

So, I have this super, awesome, amazing sister. Tiff...

(Tiff and Brian 11/06)
She has helped me in so many ways. She has bent over backwards many many times to help me out. I had a harder time than I thought while Ben was gone on his rotation. When I told Tiff that after him being gone for about a week she said, "we'll get you up there, we'll find a way".She came and got my kids for me and watched them so that I could make the trip up to see Ben.

While I was in Alamosa I went to shop after shop looking for the perfect thing to say Thank You! I couldn't find anything that really did the trick. I left bummed thinking I was going to make her something for the baby. The drive home from Alamosa was about 11 hours so she ended up bringing the kids back to me so that I wouldn't have to travel the 3 extra hours (on top of the 11 hours) to Safford to pick them up. She brought them all the way back to me. She is so caring. This isn't the first time she has helped me out either. She'll call and ask me when she can take the kids so that Ben and I can get away. Not only is she this way to me but she is this way to everyone she knows. She's a great example of serving others.

A very talented photographer, Holly Brimhall is having a little contest for a newborn photo shoot and I nominated my sister as a way to say thanks for everything she has done for me. Her baby is due in March and it was perfect timing to qualify for this photo shoot. I was so excited when I saw this morning that Holly had chosen her as a finalist in the contest. Here's where I need your help. Vote for her. Tifani Cluff.

She is an amazing person and has also endured a very tough pregnancy and she deserves this. She'll pee her pants if she wins. Not only from being 8 months pregnant but from excitement too! Help me tell her Thanks for everything she has done by voting for her!

Go here and vote

Thanks a million!