Tuesday, November 30, 2010

REDnesday - Christmas Cheer!

Courtesy of Flickr and Other Flickr Members

1. hi!, 2. Wink wink, 3. Christmas Tree Girl, 4. Vintage Linen Half Hostess Apron, 5. White Holly and Candle, 6. Points on Silver, 7. Snowman Cookie Jar, 8. our Christmas stockings, 9. Vintage Christmas Mini Ball Ornaments - Sweet Holly Berry Mix


The Christmas boxes are coming out of storage at Teacup Lane and my our decorating frenzy has started.  

Of course the whole house is  a mess because one can't clean while one is decorating.  At least I can't.  I'm trying to find places to stash all the non-Christmas stuff - some things go in drawers or closets and some go behind our living room sofa - on a temporary basis of course. 

Do any of you hide your stuff behind your furniture?      

Our refrigerator (that we thought was fixed after repairs that cost almost $300) is still producing those lovely huge ice cycles in our freezer.  So the GE serviceman is coming again today...when the house is all upside down!  Ugh....  

Enough of me... there are more REDs to enjoy with our host, Sue, at 


It's A Very Cherry World


for REDnesday!

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Sugar Cookie Finale

SUGAR COOKIE FINALE

Setting up my baking section

This is the second part to my Sugar Cookie Recipe - baking and frosting the cookies.  

Click here to read all about mixing up the cookie dough.


BAKING

On Saturday I baked the sugar cookies.  I set up my rolling and cutting area on our kitchen island.  I use a glass cutting board to roll out the cookie dough.  That's my Mom's old wooden rolling pin with the red handle from the 1940s.  I line the cookie sheets with parchment paper.  I use a small tin container to dust flour on my cutting board.  And I put out my cookie cutters.  The oven is pre-heated to 375 degrees.

The cutting board is dusted with flour and I'm ready to start rolling out the cookie dough.
The first cookie sheet is ready to roll out.
Cutting out the cookies.

I put the cookie dough back in the refrigerator between each tray of cookies to keep the dough chilled.

Cooling the cookies.

I baked all of the cookies for  8 minutes.  
This batch made 164 cookies - 13.6 dozen!

FROSTING

The Frosting table is set up.
On Sunday I set up the frosting table.  

I cover it with freezer paper and set out the cookie toppings and utensils.

The ingredients.  Butter is not in photo.

The ingredients for the butter cream frosting recipe:
  • 2 pound package of powered sugar
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons evaporated milk 
  • gel food coloring
  • assortment of cookie toppings
Cream butter first and add and mix in powdered sugar.  Stir in vanilla.  Add evaporated milk gradually and beat until frosting is of right consistency for decorating or spreading. 

To frost all 164 cookies it took two batches of the butter cream frosting recipe and we only had a little left at the end.  This frosting sets up nicely and is easy to spread on the cookies.   We like lots of frosting but if you like to go light on the frosting you may only need one batch of this recipe.


Don't do as I did on the first batch mixing the butter and sugar together.

It's easier to cream butter first and then add the powdered sugar.
Then add and mix the vanilla.  The final step is to add the evaporated milk.

 I whip up all of the ingredients together to a nice consistency.
We put food coloring gel into individual bowls for each color.

The final product - 164 cookies all frosted.

I started this process at 2 PM and finished at 5 PM.  It's not hard to do just time consuming.  I'm lucky because my hubby helps me frost or it would take me even longer.  But I'm slow in the kitchen.  When I was younger I could bake and frost in one day.  

After the cookies set up I put them in Tupperware containers separating each row of cookies with wax paper.  And into the freezer they went all ready for Christmas.  

Boy, I'm glad that project is finished.  Hubby mentioned while we were frosting the cookies that he would like chocolate chip cookies too.  

So, I guess I'm not done baking yet.

Joining:

Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special (here)
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mosaic Monday - Christmas 2 x 2

Courtesy of Flickr
1. Pink Christmas Crepe Ruffle Tree, 2. Christmas tree ornaments, 3. Santa Pop, 4. Middleton "Merry Christmas" Go Round

I thought I would share with you some lovely photos I found on Flickr from other Flickr members. 

Please join Mary at The Little Red House (here) for more Mosaic Monday!





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Saturday, November 27, 2010

'Tis The Season! Sugar Cookies!

Courtesy of Nan of Retired in Alaska

HURRAY The Christmas Season has STARTED!

It's the official start of the Christmas season now that Thanksgiving is over.  You will noticed I've changed my template to reflect Christmas too.  

Yesterday I mixed up the cookie dough for our Sugar Cookies.  Today I will bake them and tomorrow I will frost them.    This is a family recipe from my MIL.  It was her mother's recipe.  It makes 11 - 12 dozen cookies.  The recipe can be halved.  

Here's some highlights from yesterday.

The ingredients
I like to measure everything out before I start mixing.  The recipe calls for six to eight cups of four.  I put six cups in one large bowl and the remaining two cups in a small bowl.   I found out if I measured and added the flour as I was mixing I would lose count of the cups.  Now I know I have added the first six cups and then I add as much of the last two cups as it will take.   

Start with the sugar and shortening
Creaming the sugar and shortening.  Eggs will be mixed in next.
Adding the eggs one at a time
Salt, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda mixed in small red bowl.
Adding salt, nutmeg, baking power and baking soda.
Alternating the milk and flour mixture.
All mixed up.

TEACUP LANE'S SUGAR COOKIES
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups shortening (I use Crisco)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup sour milk (to sour milk add 1 tsp vinegar to regular milk)  I use low fat milk.
  • 6 to 8 cups flour
Cream sugar and shortening.  Add other ingredients (eggs one at a time), then nutmeg, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Last thing is to alternate adding flour and milk.  I usually can add all of the flour into the mixture.  It thickens up so a good mixer is necessary.  My old Sunbeam mixer started to smoke when mixing the cookie dough several years ago so I bought a KitchenAid mixer and love it.

I put the cookie dough in the refrigerator over night to chill the dough.   Roll out with your favorite cookie cutters and bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for about 8 to 10 minutes.  It makes about 11 to 12 dozen depending on the size of your cookies.  As I mentioned the recipe can be halved.  

Last Christmas my BIL gave me the ultimate compliment telling me that my cookies were as good as his Mom's.  I was so pleased!  Hubby and his twin brothers especially like lots of frosting on their cookies.   

Today I will be busy rolling out the cookie dough and baking the cookies.  I'll take more photos of rolling out the dough and frosting to share with you too.  Tomorrow Hubby will help me frost them.  The only other cookies I make are chocolate chip which I will bake later in the week.   These freeze well too.  I freeze them until Christmas.  I take three large cookies tins back home for our brothers and their families at Christmas.  

Let me know if you try our family recipe.  These are delicious!

These are from last Christmas 2009!

Update:  Second part of Sugar Cookies (baking and frosting) posted (here)!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks!

biggest turkey facing right
Courtesy of Flickr
By garlandcannon


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Hubby and I are celebrating Thanksgiving at home with roasted turkey breast, dressing (stuffing), gravy, white corn, cranberry sauce, rolls and for dessert - pumpkin pie with whip cream.    

We don't eat as much as we use to so this meal is just right for us.

It will be a day of relaxation for us.  Yeah...even retired folks need a day of relaxation.  LOL!    

And it will be a day of giving thanks. 

Vintage candles inherited from hubby's parents.  Aren't they cute?

No football for us - we never watch it or follow it.  No...not even Hubby.    


But I do plan on watching the 84th Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in NYC on TV this morning.

First Mickey Mouse balloon to appear in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade [1](Originally the Macy's Christmas Parade), Thursday, November 29, 1934. Location: Broadway and 105th Street, New York City, NY.
Courtesy of Wikipedia
1979 parade
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Pillsbury Dough Boy
Pillsbury Dough Boy
Macy's Parade 2009
Courtesy of Flickr 
By DOTCALM9


God Bless Each And Every One Of You!


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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Our Christmas Garland on a Shoestring

Making the garland...

Our Shoestring Christmas Garland

Last year we strung fake green garland around the front door and we liked it so well we decided to do it again this year.  This time I put it together in the house...much easier...last year I struggled to put it together outside.  See you can teach an old dog new tricks!

All the materials I had on hand so it basically didn't cost us anything to do the garland this year.  

Materials:

  • three six foot fake green garlands from Michaels ($2 each);
  • red plastic ribbon (two rolls at $1.37 each);
  • spool of wire;
  • ribbon maker;
  • plaid ribbon;
  • white plastic tie tags;
  • white pine cones (from our yard).
The plastic ribbon doesn't make the best bow but it should weather well.   I used plastic tie tags to hook the three green garlands together..in the middle...at each end...and between each half.  I used the wire to attach the ribbons and the white pine cones to the garland.  Hubby hung it up for me using plastic tie tags.
We decided not to put ornaments or lights on it...we rather liked the more natural look. 


Looking Good!

We had to cut the ribbons strings off so they wouldn't catch in the storm door!  

Presenting our front door garland!

It's looking pretty good for spending less than $15 in materials found around the house...wouldn't you say?

We love it!  

The only decorating left outside is to do the front door.  That's pretty easy.  I'm glad we finished this early because I heard it was going to be colder this coming weekend.  

Please join me for:
Make It My Day at Backyard Eden
Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Artie at Color Outside the Lines for Vignette Fridays


Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Wendy at The Shabby Nest for Frugal Friday
 Tammy at Tinsel & Company for Deck The Halls Friday (here). 
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Cielo at The House in the Roses for Show of Your Cottage Monday

Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday  
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

REDnesday - Santas, Snowmen and Creatures

Courtesy of Flickr and Other Flickr Members

1. Better Watch Out, 2. Snowman Candles, 3. santa, 4. santa and chimney, 5. vintage santa 2, 6. hiding., 7. fenway in scarf., 8. smiley, 9. Santa convention Nov' 2010


Our Christmas Lights are up outside.  

We set the timers from 4 PM to Midnight.  This is the earliest we have EVER turned them on.

I'm putting together a Christmas Garland to hang over our front door.  

I will be baking our Christmas Sugar Cookies over Thanksgiving Weekend.  It's a three day process for me.  Mix the dough first day, bake the second and frost the third. 

What do you have planned for Thanksgiving?     

More REDs to enjoy here and at our host, Sue, at 

It's A Very Cherry World


for REDnesday!


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Monday, November 22, 2010

And The Winner Is...

The Give Away!
Thanks to all of you who entered my first Give Away for my first Blogoversary!  

Your sweet comments and kindness overwhelmed me.

I had so much fun selecting the gifts...believe it or not...much thought went into it.   

Enough of that...I'm sure you want to know who WON!

Using the True Random Number Generator...the winner is:




Congratulations Crochet Lady at Crochet Life!  


Please email me your address so I can mail your gift to you.


  Until next time...thanks for making my first give away so much FUN!    


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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mosaic Monday - Vintage Christmas

Courtesy of Flickr and other generous Flickr Members

1. Vintage Poinsettia Print Apron, 2. Lot of Mini Vintage Glass Christmas Ball Ornaments - Assorted, 3. black scottie, 4. Custom Teal Bottle Brush Tree, 5. santa and two bears, 6. Sending Goodies to their New Home!, 7. Peppermint Tag Swap, 8. doggie plane, 9. Winter Church Vintage Greeting Card


Please join Mary at The Little Red House (here) for more Mosaic Monday!



Don't forget to enter my First Give Away (here)!  

It runs until Sunday night 11/21 at midnight.  

It features RED and Christmas!






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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Show and Tell Friday - Vintage Baby Dress

Beautiful smocking and embroidered pink flowers

My paternal Grandmother (whom I adored) was an excellent seamstress and made several baby dresses for me.  Luckily my Mom saved them for me.  

This one is a little beauty, a light blue pastel satin fabric, beautifully hand embroidered and smocked.   I can imagine my Grandmother sewing this for me and I think she would have been so pleased that I still have it all these years later.   

I think it has held up nicely considering it is over sixty years old.  

Pretty embroidered cuff

I feel pretty!

This is the first of four vintage baby dresses I will be sharing with you.   

Thanks for visiting and many thanks to all for the sweet birthday wishes.  


Please join:  
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday



Don't forget to enter my First Give Away (here)!  It runs until Sunday night 11/21 at midnight.  

It features RED and Christmas!



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