Thursday, December 30, 2004

Pecan Tassies

These are miniature pecan pies. They were quite popular when I made them for our annual lasagna feed.

Makes 48 Active 22 min Total 1 1/4 hour (includes chilling dough)

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted better (I used margarine)
6 oz cream cheese
2 cups all purpose flour

3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp unsalted stick butter, softened or melted
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Decoration: confectioners' sugar

1. Dough: Beat butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in flour until just blended. Shape dough into a 1-inch-thick disk, wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes until firm.
2. Heat oven to 375F. Have ungreased miniature muffin pan(s) ready. (Mini muffin cups measure 1 1/4 inch across bottom.) Note: I used paper muffin liners in the mini pans.
3. Divide dough in quarters. Roll each portion into a 6-inch-long log. Cut 1 log in 12 equal pieces. With floured hands, flatten each piece to a 3 inch round and fit into a muffin cup (dough will extend above the cup).
4. Filling: Beat first 5 ingredients until well mixed. Spoon 2 tsp into each muffin cup; top with pecans.
5. Bake 20 minutes or until pastry is brown and filling is set. Cool briefly in pan on a wire rack, then carefully remove cups, loosening them with tip of a knife if needed. Place on rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Dust tassies with confectioners' sugar.

From Woman's Day, Festive Holiday Cookies

I prepared the filling while the dough was chilling.


Monday, December 27, 2004

Local Information on the Web

If you are looking for information about the Seattle area, here are some web sites I use quite a bit:

Have fun!


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Grandma Yaw's Raisin and Nut Cookies

These are yummy cake like cookies. I'm not too fond of raisins so I usually leave them out.

1 cup cold coffee
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup margarine
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins

Dissolve soda in coffee. Work brown sugar into margarine. Add eggs. Mix in coffee mixture. Add flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir in walnuts and raisins. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

These don't taste like coffee at all. If you aren't supposed to have caffeine you can use decaffeinated coffee.


Sunday, December 19, 2004

Fun games on the web

There are several fun games to play on the web if you want to relax and waste some time.

Winter season games
  • Make snowflakes
  • Pingu throw is a game where you help a Yeti (Abominable Snowman) hit a penguin across the ice. Not for people who have problems with cruelty to animated animals. : ) There are other games on this site that look fun. Look under online games. Alden is playing this game right now and having a great time.
  • Elf Bowling only works on PC's unfortunately (at least this version) and has some rude bits, so not a game for the easily offended.

Other time wasters
  • Neopets is basically a collection of little games with a metagame to pull it all together. Basically, you adopt or create a virtual pet (up to four) and play games to earn points used to buy food, toys, and other stuff for your neopet. Fairly addictive.
  • Furious George and the Cross-Country Crime Spree is a funny game with limited replay value. Still, it can be pretty silly. More for adults than kids.
Disclaimer: The owner of this blog is not responsible for any side effects of playing these games such as staying up too late, bloodshot eyes, or damaged relationships. Play at your own risk.


Saturday, December 18, 2004

Grandma Hardin's Hungarian Nut Rolls

2 1/2 pounds margarine or butter
3 dozen eggs
14 packages yeast
2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons salt
15 pounds flour
6 cans evaporated milk (15 oz cans)
3 cans water

nut mixture
2 cups of finely chopped nuts (walnuts usually)
1 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

Melt margarine and set to cool. Heat milk, add salt and sugar. Let cool to lukewarm. Beat the eggs together and add to the milk. Add yeast and let set for 10 minutes after stirring. Add about 6 cups of flour and mix. Then add the cool margarine and rest of the flour. Knead and let raise. Punch down 2 times and let raise again. After final raising, make into small buns and let raise again. Mix nut mixture for filling. Roll out each bun into a rectangle and spread filling on the dough. Roll dough into a small loaf shape. Let raise in pans. Before putting in oven separate egg and use beaten yolk to spread over rolls. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.

This takes all day to do. My grandmother knew how to cook for a small army and always made these at Christmas. If you don't want to deal with eggs measured in dozens and flour measured in pounds (or don't have industrial sized mixing bowls), I've reduced the ingredients to 1/3rd of the recipe and 1/6th.

1/3 recipe

3 1/3 sticks of margarine
12 eggs
10 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 t salt
20 cups flour
2 cans evaporated milk
1 can water

2/3 cup nuts
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg

1/6 recipe

1 2/3 sticks margarine
6 eggs
5 1/4 teaspoons yeast (2 packages would probably work)
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 teaspoon salt
10 cups flour
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 can water

1/3 cup nuts
1/6 cup sugar
1 egg

I made the 1/6 recipe last year and ended up using about 2 cups of nuts and 1 cup of sugar for the nut mixture. I don't know how she managed to spread it out as far as she did. I also don't know how she rolled it out as thin as my memory says that she did. So, they came out pretty good, but not exactly how I remember. Mom says they came out pretty close. I was pooped by the time I was finished and my grandmother made 6 times as many of these rolls. I may get adventurous and try the 1/3 recipe size this year. We'll see.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

House Organizing and Cleaning Part 2

So, if you don't want to dig through the sites in my previous post for some nuggets of wisdom, I'll tell you some of the things that have worked best for me.

  1. Morning and Evening Routines. Both the Organizer Lady and Flylady talk about the importance of written morning and evening routines. Start out with a short list. Here's an example of a morning routine: Make the bed, get dressed to shoes, empty dishwasher, check calendar for appointments. An evening routine could look like this: Water plants if needed, shine sink, check calendar, lay out clothes for tomorrow, brush teeth. Once you have the routine down, you can add something.
  2. An Inspiration Area. This is one spot in your home that you make sure is all clean and shiny before you go to bed. Flylady uses the kitchen sink as her suggested inspiration point. The idea behind the inspiration point is to have something to give you a sense of accomplishment. Also, the inspiration area has a tendency to spread. Once you clean your sink, then it's natural to start cleaning the counter next to the sink, then the other counters. . .
  3. The Timer. Flylady says, "You can do anything fifteen minutes at a time." A lot of times people look at a task and are overwhelmed by the size of it. If we tackle a job fifteen minutes at a time, we eventually get there. Also, if it's something you don't want to do, you can tell yourself, "I only have to work on it for fifteen minutes." Sometimes, if I can just get started on a project I'll end up working on it even longer than fifteen minutes. Using a timer means that you don't have to keep looking at the clock. I like to "race the timer" to see how much I can get done in the fifteen minutes. One last thing about timers. If I'm having a bad day and can't even get myself to do fifteen minutes, I'll do five minutes instead.
  4. Mt. Vernon and Mt. Vesuvius Methods. These are from the Organizer Lady to give you an idea of where to start if you have a mess to deal with. I'll let the Organizer Lady explain it. Look at Step Three on this page.
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  6. Be Nice to Yourself. Flylady says, "Your house didn't get messy in one day, it won't get clean in one day." Beating yourself up over what you've done or not done in the past is not going to help.
Anyway, so there's some tips from me to you. I hope they help.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Getting Your House Organized and Clean

Here are some websites that I've found that have been helpful figuring out ways to organize and clean your house:

  • Flylady has been helpful for me. She focuses on feeling good about yourself and setting up routines. The rather large downside is that she seems to think that everyone who uses her system is a Christian Stay-at-Home-Mom. If you can keep from getting put off by her "God Breezes" and assumptions, her program is really good. You can sign up for her email list and get about fifteen plus emails a day that consist of reminding you to do things, pep you up, or sell you one of her products (usually in the form of a testimonial). The reminders are the best part for me, since they help me stay focused.
  • Get Organized Now helps with figuring out how to organize particular things. She also has tips on prioritizing your time.
  • The Organizer Lady is a leaner version of Flylady with one or two emails a day if you join the email group. Her group is good if you are more of a self starter and just need help getting started, Flylady is good if you need more handholding.

Let me know if you come on any other sites that you've found really helpful and I'll check them out.



Monday, December 13, 2004

Alden's Xmas list

This is what Alden wants for Christmas:

  • an Action Replay for Gameboy Advance
  • Leaf Green version of Pokemon
  • Ruby version of Pokemon
  • Nintendo DS Starter kit
  • Charizard Gameboy Advance SP
  • a bunk bed
  • Scooby Doo and the Loch Ness Monster DVD
  • Kyogre Gameboy Advance SP
Don't blame me for this list, this is what he says he wants. I personally don't see why he needs all those Gameboys, he can only play one at a time. : ) He insists he can play two at a time.


Dear Santa,

I've been a pretty good girl this year. Here's my list of what I would like for Christmas.

  • a clear see-through umbrella
  • a small crock pot
  • a new chemise
  • new slipper socks from Nordstroms like these
  • 29 gallon or larger fish tank with stand
  • an electric hair straightener
And of course, there's always my Amazon wish list.

Thank you for all you do,

December 27, 2004


Ron gave me a huge 72 gallon fish tank (he's going to build a stand for it) and my Mom and Dad gave me a crock pot. Yeah!


Sunday, December 12, 2004

What to expect


I don't intend to use this blog as a day to day journal like a lot of people seem to do with their blogs. I want to use this as a space to put a few pictures, some links, and lists. I don't have a crystal clear vision of how this will turn out, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know. Otherwise, please keep your body parts inside the ride at all times.