Thursday, December 29, 2011



I'm not a great fan of Barry Manilow but the question he asks at the beginning of this video caught my attention.

He asks, "I think we place too much importance on New Years, don't you?"

So I ask, What say you?  Do we place too much importance on New Years , especially New Years Eve? 

What is New Year's and New Years Eve to you?
Is it just an excuse to party?
Is it a time of reflection?
Is it a time of making resolutions?
How important is it?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Baking Time-- The Christmas Story and A Medley

                     Christmas Medley.

By: Gary Morris  Vince Gill  Mary Chapin Carpenter  Trisha Yearwood

The Christmas Story, As Told To The Children

A long time ago in a land very far away a very special event was getting ready to happen.

The government had told the people living there that they must go  and register in the census.  For some folks it was a long way and of course they didn’t have cars back in those days so they had to walk or ride a donkey or whatever they had.

Well, there was a young couple named Mary and Joseph who had to make this trip.  Mary was going to have a baby just anytime so this was really a difficult trip for her to make but she had to go.  Of course all this had been planned by God many years before and even told about by Isaiah so this was all according to a greater plan.

Well as I said, it was a long way but Mary and Joseph made it. When they got to the town, Bethlehem, they found it was really crowded and they couldn’t find a hotel room, which was not a good thing because it looked like Mary was going to have her baby just any time. They finally found a man who said they could stay in the stable behind the Inn.
It wasn’t much but it was all he had, so Mary and Joseph made their way to the stable where the animals were kept... Probably some cattle and maybe some sheep or even a donkey.  At least it was a place out of the cool night air and they could use the hay to make a comfortable bed.

Well it wasn’t long before Mary told Joseph that  it was time for the baby to be born.  Of course they didn’t have hospitals and such so Joseph helped deliver the baby and they wrapped him in a soft cloth called swaddling cloth and since they didn’t  have a baby bed or cradle they placed him in the manger. It was nice and soft, filled with hay and the baby slept.

In the meantime out in the  country there were some shepherd's watching their sheep in the night time.  Well lo and behold all of a sudden there was an Angel right there on the side of that hill where the shepherds were.  Can you imagine how shocked and scared they were?  The Angel said, “Don’t be afraid.”  “I have some great news for you and for all the people in the world to hear.”  There is a child born tonight and he will be the savior of the world. He is the Christ that was told about that would come.  So go to Bethlehem and see the child, you will know who he is because he will be wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
Then there was a whole bunch of Angels singing and saying, “Glory to God in the highest . And on earth Peace and good will to all people”

Well, the shepherds got up and off they went to Bethlehem and sure enough there they found the baby Jesus, just like the  Angels said they would.  They knew that this was Jesus and they fell to their knees and worshipped him and then they returned to their flocks.

Way over in another part of the world some wise men had been watching a big bright star and wondering what it meant.  In all their reading they decided that it meant that a King had been born so off they went to find him and to take gifts.

They had a long way to go and might have gotten lost but they followed the star that God gave them to follow.

 When they got to Jerusalem , which was not to far from Bethlehem they stopped at the castle where King Herod lived. He was the ruler of the country and not really a nice man. Of course he had heard about a King that was to be born and was jealous and afraid that he might be replaced.  He told the wise men to find the new king and then come and tell him so he could go and worship him as well.

 Eventually the wise men arrived and  they found Mary, Joseph and  little Jesus.  The Wise Men had brought fine gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh,  those two things are expensive good smelling stuff, to present to the new king. They presented their gifts and worshiped the new King and then God sent an angel to them and said for them not to tell Herod because he was a bad man and would kill the child.  So they went home in another way.

Of course Herod was mad and he was scared that he was going to be replaced so he ordered all the new born babies under the age of three to be killed but Mary and Joseph were warned by an angel and  took Jesus and went to another country to live for a while.

So that’s how Jesus was born and we know that He grew up and taught us many things. Most of all we know that He came to save us from our sin.
This is why we celebrate Christmas.
The gifts from Santa , the big dinners are nice and  of course we always enjoy being together with our family but all in all it should be all about Jesus.

 I hope it is at your house.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

For those who would like the more traditional version plus the story as you may never have head it heard it, you may go here

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Baking Time-- A Poem and Some Music


 Bob Seger Lil Drummer Boy 2010

                  A CHRISTMAS POEM

T'was not the night before Christmas
but was getting close.

The stockings weren't hung by the chimney
and no one seems to care.

The rooms were a clutter with wrapping paper
and all.
I can't seem to find the tape or scissors at all.

The dog thinks the toys are all his
and has marked each one with teeth marks as he gnaws.

The cat explores each box
scratching and sniffing and oops that ain't all.

It comes too soon to leave so fast
In a few more days Christmas will be in the past.

We all were so busy, running around in a tizzy
so the real meaning got lost, we were too busy.

On the night before Christmas
a long time ago
A child was born but few seemed to know

In all the years that have come and gone
the greatest gift that was ever given
has gotten lost... we're too busy livin'

So maybe it's time we slowed things down
and took the time to remember...

Jesus Christ
The Reason for the Season.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Baking Time + Some Music


Enjoy  some Christmas in Dixie with Alabama while you make the great Ham and Cheese Ball, our recipe for today.

Now what would a Christmas Party table be without some sort of cheese ball?   How about a Ham and Cheese ball? 
That's today's recipe. I hope that some of you will give this a try and let me know how the folks liked it. 

                                                HAM AND CHEESE BALL 

2- 8oz pkg.of Creme Cheese
1/2 lb of sharp cheddar cheese shredded.(Save time and buy it already shredded)
2 tsp of minced onion ( color it up by using a Bermuda onion)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp of dry mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 small can (1/4 oz) deviled ham (if you have some baked ham chop it and blend it until the consistence of deviled ham. I often leave the ham a bit courser than deviled ham)
2 T parsley chopped ( for some added zest use Cilantro)
2 T pimientos, chopped (if you want it zestier, use 2 T of Rotel chopped tomatoes,  green chilies and lime.)
Chopped Walnuts or Pecans(either are good)

Combine al the ingredients except the walnuts. Form a ball and chill. Roll in chopped walnuts or pecans.  

Now that should set your mouth to watering. Serve it up with wheat crackers, if you have it zesty, use tortilla chips or spread a small amount on a small warm tortilla, roll and slice into pieces. Now that's some eating.

Hope you have fun making and eating this great treat.  Got a special cheese ball recipe?  Share with us.

Christmas Baking Time-- Just Music Today


Time for some fun as the count down to Christmas Eve gets underway in earnest with Ray Stevens and his version of Santa Claus is Watchin' You.  So you better watch out and you better be good. 

Recipe's for more goodies coming tomorrow.  Until then have fun.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sunday Music Time


Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo - O Holy Night / Cantique De Noel

Two of the most outstanding voices that the world has been blessed to hear.  Nothing more needs be said in way of introduction.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Saturday Fun Time- No Recipe, Just Fun Christmas Music


 Alvin and the Chipmunks- Christmas Song

Anyone who grew up in the very late 50's and the early 60's will remember Alvin and the Chipmunks.  
Their squeaky little voices and constant antics with Dave made them one of the most popular groups of the time.  Their records sold like hotcakes and soon their Saturday morning cartoon show was a must for every kiddy, especially those under the age of 10.
In the 70's there was a resurgence of Alvin and the Chipmunks along with their songs, especially around Christmas time.  It was the songs and antics during Christmas that nearly drove parents insane. 
Once again the squeaky voices were heard on the airwaves almost non-stop and in many toy stores.  I for one thought that if I ever heard Alvin and the Chimpmunks again that I would pull out my hair or do something even more drastic such as using their records for target practice; One way of killing off the pesky little critters without actually harming one little bit of fur on wee little heads.  Of course my daughter would have cried her eyes out had I done such a thing. I survived as I am sure many of you did as well.

So for Saturday Fun Day, which hasn't been around for a while, I thought that I would refresh the memories of those who grew up with the Chipmunks, those of us who survived the children years of listening to Alvin and his gang of critters yelling at Dave and for those of us who are grandparents and are once again hearing about Alvin and the Chimpmunks. 
Can you believe it? I actually heard one of their songs on the radio as I traveled around shopping, spreading Christmas cheer. 

So enjoy and make sure that your now grown children listen to the song as well and bring in the grandkids to listen as well so they will immediately demand a Chimpmunk record or CD.
If you still have yours as I do mine be sure to volunteer to give them to the grandkids.

Karma, I believe it is called, is wonderful , isn't it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Baking Time-- Easy Recipe

Here is a recipe for something that I have seldom seen on tables in recent years. One doesn't see the recipe in magazines or pictures of it on fancy holiday tables.  One wonders why when it is such a delicious morsel.

                                 How long has it been since you have had Egg Custard Pie?

Here is a recipe for Egg Custard Pie made in a blender that my wife's Mom use to make.

1 13 oz can of evaporated milk
1 cup of Sugar
3 Tbsp Flour
3 Eggs
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine Milk, sugar, flour,eggs, butter and vanilla in the blender.
Blend on Medium speed for 30 seconds or until ingredients are totally blended but not foamy. (30 seconds usually does it for me)
Pour into a heavily greased and floured pie pan. (Glass works best)
Sprinkle with nutmeg
Bake for 45 minutes or until firm.
A crust will form on the bottom as it is baked.

Now, there is an old fashion recipe made easy with the use of a blender. Give it a try for sure this Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Baking Time - A Sure Favorite and a Bit of History

                                                    Red Velvet Cake.

Now where in the world did Red Velvet Cake come from? Some say it was an invention by a chef at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel  but what about the recipe's from old southern cookbooks dating back to the mid 1800's?  Many a church "cook book" contained recipe's for 'Velvet Cake", some red, some silver and some gold so the origins seem to be a mystery. 

Perhaps it all began when John A. Adams came along. His family-owned food colorings and extracts business had fared well since its inception in 1888. But housewives of the Great Depression had little use for his brand of frivolity and sales slumped. So he began setting up displays in groceries throughout the Midwest and parts of the South. These featured Adams Extract Company products under a huge color photo of the reddest Red Velvet cake ever seen. A free copy of the recipe (modified to include Adams Best Vanilla, Adams Butter Flavor, and two bottles of Adams Red Color) came with every purchase. In the austere climate of the day, Red Velvet became a sensation.

Over the years, Adams' entrepreneurial gambit took on a life of its own. That Red Velvet recipe circulated widely throughout the Midwest and South, reprinted in regional newspapers and evolving as each editor embellished it in tiny ways. By 1972, James Beard discussed three recipes for Red Velvet in American Cookery. All three featured shortening and dye. Given that Adams swapped butter for shortening in his recipe as an excuse to bolster sales of Butter Flavor, the family resemblance seems clear.

What started as an innocent ploy to sell some food coloring has turned into a gross game of one-upmanship as bakers vie to achieve the reddest of reds; as if redness alone defined the cake and not a fine crumb and the rich taste of cocoa and brown sugar. On the other hand, dye deniers, oblivious to Adams' influence, have reconnected elaborate back-stories involving World War Two, thrifty bakers deprived of sugar, and beet juice. I can count my responses to these stories on one hand. With one finger, in fact. Care to guess which one?

Well, there you have it, a brief history of the Red Velvet Cake. The mystery remains unsolved but the cake is even more popular today than in yesteryear.
It is one of the most "made" cakes at Christmas time and so without delay I offer you the Original Red Velvet Cake Recipe by Betty Adams of the Adams Extract Company.

1 Tsp soda
1 cup of buttermilk
1 tblsp vinegar
1/2 cup shortening
1-1/2 cups of sugar
2 eggs
1tsp "Adams Best" Vanilla- of course any brand of Vanilla will do but I am being true to the recipe.
2 1/2 bottles Adams Red Color
3 tblsp cocoa
2-1/2 cups of sifted  (cake)flour 
1 tsp salt

Cream shortening, sugar, eggs and flavors.
In a separate bowl make a paste of cocoa and food coloring; add this to first mixture.
Alternately add flour and buttermilk
Mix soda and vinegar in small bowl ; add to batter.
Blend all ingredients together.
Bake in 3 9 or 10 inch pans for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Let cool completely before frosting. ( Frosting recipe follows below)

There are two kinds of frosting but I use the cooked frosting rather than the non-cooked. I will  give the cooked first followed by the non-cooked.

3tblsp Flour            
1 cup Milk
1 cup Shortening
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Sugar
2 tsp Adams Best Vanilla; again use your favorite vanilla
1/4 tsp Adams Butter Flavor

Cook milk, flour, salt until thick, stirring constantly. Let cool
Cream shortening and sugar very well and add flavors.
Combine to first mixture and beat well until thoroughly blended.
Apply to cooled cake starting with the bottom layer and working upward. Finish off with applying to sides of cake. At least that is the way I do it. :D


No-Cook Icing
 1 cup sugar
 1 cup shortening
 2 tsp "Adams Best" Vanilla
 1/4 tsp Adams Butter Flavor
 1/2 tsp salt
 1 cup of Milk (appx)

Sift confectioners' sugar. Blend 1/2 of the sugar with the shortening, flavors and salt.
Alternately add the rest of the sugar and enough milk for smooth spreading icing. 

There you have it. Now bake one and impress all of your friends and family. You can also tell the story of the cake for those with an interest in history of cooking and folklore while sipping a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon,(A rich red wine with red fruit mixed with spice) or perhaps a
Madeira which is a sweet wine with a hint of caramel, almonds, & hazelnuts.  Either way, Cheers and enjoy the Cake.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Baking Time -- An Easy Bake Cake


I haven't made this cake in years.

The recipe came from a friend of mine from many years back. She was a lot younger than I but was always baking me cookies, brownies and such. She made this cake and sent it to me the first Christmas I was in the military. It could have tasted like cardboard and it still would have been good but I remember it being delicious and the men in my unit , at least those who were lucky to get a small slice, agreed. They all added notes to my thank you letter and of course were asking for more goodies.  

That was in 1964, a very lonely Christmas, one that I shall never forget.
Here is the recipe:

3 cups of self rising flour
1 cup of butter
2 cups of sugar (yes, you can use Splenda)
2 eggs
2 cups of applesauce
4 oz of coconut
1/2 lb of green candied cherries (8oz = 1 cup)
1/2 lb red candied cherries (8oz= 1 cup)
1 lb of chopped pecans. (16 oz = 2 cups)

Mix together the flour, sugar, softened butter, eggs and applesauce.
When adding the next ingredients do not use a mixer, mix by hand(I use a wooden spoon)
Fold in by hand; coconut, cherries and pecans.

Pour ingredients into a greased tub pan

Bake for one (1) hour at 300 Degrees

Bake and enjoy. Know someone in the military who is away from home for the first time at Christmas?  Bake an extra and send it to them. If not a cake, some Christmas cookies. They will certainly appreciate it just as I did those many years ago.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Baking Time --With Music to Make the Holidays Merry & Bright


Here is a quick and fun recipe that is sure to be a hit with the kids or grand kids. They are fun to make and fun to eat as well. Of course they can be used for decoration as well but either way, make a batch and have fun while you listen to a very appropriate song for this December Baking Blog with Ticker.


6 (At least, 12 is better) pointed ice cream cones
2 1/2 cups of sifted confectioners' sugar
1 unbeaten egg white
1 tablespoon of water
Popped Pop Corn
Red Cinnamon candies
Green colored sugar

Sugar, egg white and water.  Stir until well blended.
Cover each ice cream cone with 2 tablespoons of frosting mixture
Press kernels of popped corn into frosting on cones
Decorate with red cinnamon candies( lots of other candies, silver etc, that can be used_)
Sprinkle each of the cones with green colored sugar.

These are pretty for decoration and not bad to eat, at least that is what the grand kids say.  I'll take their word for it. Just the same make a batch , have fun and listen to the Christmas music. 

If you have decorating ideas and recipes to share feel welcome to do so.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Music Time

It's the Season and people are all in a hurry, scurrying to and fro looking for a perfect gift that they may never find but will settle for something that strikes their immediate fancy.

We all remember the lines around the blocks and malls on Black Friday, the pushing , shoving and even fighting to get a place in line in order to secure that one perfect gift  After all was said and done those who found the perfect gift had to stand in line to pay for it.
It just makes one wonder why people aren't standing in line for the Perfect Gift, one they don't have to pay for, because it is free.

Question is, Where Is The Line to See Jesus  "The Perfect Gift" that you don't have to buy  because the price has already been paid?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Baking Time- Real Easy and Good Too

  Coffee Cake, Sure looks a lot like Monkey Bread but by either name , it's gooood!

How many times have you wanted to make a "fancy" coffee cake. You know the one that has all the delicious looking honey dripping over loads of pecans on what appears to be a delightful cake made of yeast bread. But then you say, Nay, it is too hard and takes too long to make the yeast dough and let it rise and then it might fall before I can get it baked. 

Well folks, I've been there done that and it ain't a bit of fun.  HOWEVER , I have an easy recipe, no yeast dough to make and no worry or fuss over rising and falling dough and it is as delicious as it looks. When you work and are cooking for a family all the short cuts available are welcome even if you have sworn to only do "real baking". 
So forget about feeling bad cause it is not cheating, it's just managing your time and resources well and get busy making this great Coffee Cake. 


1/2 cup of sugar (yes you can use Splenda)
1/2 cup of chopped pecans or almonds or walnuts if you prefer.
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 packages of refrigerated biscuits( I use GRANDS. If you want the flavor you can use the canned yeast rolls but you have to let them rise according to the directions on the can.)
1/3 cup of butter or margarine, melted
1 cup of Apricot Preserves (or other preserves to suit your taste. I have used HONEY but it can get a bit sticky if not careful .
Combine sugar, nuts and cimmamon; sprinkle 1/4 cup mixture in a greased
9 inch ring mold ( a bunt pan will also work)
Cut each biscuit in half; roll into ball shape.
Dip each ball into the butter(margarine)
Layer biscuit balls, cinnamon mixture and 1/2 cup preserves in ring mold.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Invert on serving plate; top with remaining preserves. 
Serve hot with a delicious cup of coffee or tea.  It serves 6 to 8 people.

So there you go a quick and easy breakfast Coffee Cake for the weekend. Bake and enjoy. 

I have many of these quick coffee cake recipies and I am sure that you do as well. Feel free to share then with us.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Baking Time-- Try Them. Not Difficult

Does anyone remember Bon Bon Cookies?  Are they cookies or are they candy?  I can remember eating these delicious tidbits by the dozen as a child and never questioned which they were . All I knew is that they were delicious and yes, they still are. These are slightly rounded which lend them to decorating as snow balls, etc.
The goodies inside and the toppings on the outside are only limited by your imagination.
Try a batch of these goodies and use them as centerpieces for a festive Christmas table of sweets or just as a box of goodies to take to a friend.


Mix throughly:

1/2 cup of soft butter
3/4 cup of sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla

Mix in with hand: (yep just what it says, use your hands)

1 1/2 cups of sifted flour
1/8 tsp salt

Wrap level tsp. dough around filling ( a candied maraschino cherry or well drained maraschino cherry, pitted date, gumdrop, or 1/2 tsp of mixture of 1 sq. unsweetened chocolate, melted, and a 1/2 cup shredded coconut. The fillings are only limited by your own imagination so let it run wild.)

Place 1" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake until set but not brown. Dip tops of warm cookies in Icing( recipe to follow). Decorate with chopped nuts, coconut, candied fruit, chocolate pieces, peppermint pieces, etc. Again the toppings are only limited by your imagination.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes. Again bake only until set, not brown as this will cause the bon bon's to be crunchy.

If you wish chocolate dough blend in 1 sq. unsweetened chocolate (1 oz), melted.

This makes about 1 1/2 to 2 dozen cookies.


1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp cream
1 tsp vanilla
food coloring if desired (think of all the Christmas color possibilities that color can add.)
For Chocolate Icing:  Add 1 sq. unsweetened chocolate (1 oz) melted, and use 1/4 cup of cream. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


One of my favorite cookies is the Russian Tea Cakes.  They are quite simple to make and delicious for any time of the year .  Mom always made them around Christmas time because they look a bit like small snow balls and when placed with cookies of various colors and shapes , like the Green wreath cookies and ginger bread men cookies, they create the festive theme of snow and winter time.  One thing for sure, you can't eat just one of these.

As you read the recipe you will see that it calls for vanilla, I add, as my Mom did, almond extract which gives the cookies a very delectable taste, different from "plain vanilla". Try it , I think you will like it.


Mix thoroughly:

1 cup of soft butter
1/2 cup of sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp of vanilla  ( Here I add almond rather than vanilla, try it, you'll like it)

Sift together: 

2 1/4 cups of flour
1/4 tsp salt

Mix in:

3/4 cup of finely chopped nuts (pecans work the best or you may use almonds if you like)

***Chill the dough. Roll into 1" balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet. ( cookies do not spread )
Bake until set, but not brown.  While still warm roll in confectioners' sugar. Cool and then roll again. 

Bake at 400 degree (moderately hot oven) for 10 to 12 minutes.

This will make about 4 dozen 1" cookies.  (It is closer to three dozen for some reason when I make them but it is a good portion which should last at least an hour or so. hahah)

*** Someone wrote and said they didn't understand Chill the dough or for how long. Chill the dough until it is firm. Chill at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator or a bit less in the freezer section. They can be left over night in the fridge if you don't have time to bake immediately.  I often make up several batches of cookies that require chilling and leave them for a day or so before baking. They are chilled when they can be sliced with a knife without mashing flat or until they are firm enough to roll without being gooey.  That is about as simple as I can explain it.  
These go real good with Russian Tea as do the Molasses Cookies.

Here is a recipe for INSTANT RUSSIAN TEA that you can keep handy in a jar for the times you just would like to have a nice spicy hot cup of tea.  You may have your own but this is one that I have used for a long time. It is quick and easy to make and INEXPENSIVE to make.

2 cups orange-flavored drink mix (Tang)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup instant tea powder
3/4 cup lemon-flavored instant tea powder ( this is optional or you can use instant lemonade mix if you prefer.)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves

In a large bowl combine all ingredients.
Mix well. Store in an airtight container.

For Tea: Put 1 Tbs of mix in a mug.
Stir in 1 cup boiling water.
Adjust amounts to taste.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Baking Time--Some Skill Required

This recipe calls for molasses which may be hard to find in some parts of the country, well at least real good molasses.  Many of the brands found on store shelves contain corn syrup to stretch the real cane molasses.
Growing up in the mountains as I did I watched molasses being "worked" as it was called on many occasions.  Good molasses are made from cane which my grandfather grew each year so we could make fresh molasses for our own use and to give away. He and grandmother (Mammy) gave away gallons of the sweet delectable stuff.

It is not an easy task. The cane is cut and brought to the grinder and wheel where it is fed into the grinder. 
The old mule turns the wheel round and round, round and round squeezing the juice from the cane .The juice is strained and in turn placed in a large kettle, ours was copper and then cooked with constant stirring with a large paddle.  
The "green froth" is skimmed off and the juice continues to cook. Eventually it looks brown in color. It is strained into fruit jars through either cheese cloth or course flour sacks, depending on what you had on hand. 
The longer they sit, the stronger the molasses get, at least that has been my experience in recent years. They will sugar up on you after they are opened if not resealed real tight.

Ok now the molasses are made so lets make ginger cookies or as we called em molassee cookies.
**This is not one of the instant cookie recipes but a made from scratch cookie. The recipe is fairly old. How old, I have no clue but my grandmother (Mammy) and my Mom used it for years and I  have followed suit

Mix throughly:

1/3 cup soft shortening
1 cup of brown sugar (packed)
1 1/2 cups of dark molasses

Stir in:

2/3 cup of cold water

Sift together and stir in:

6 cups of flour (sifted)
2tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon

Chill the dough. Roll out very thick (1/2").
Cut with a 2 1/2 inch round cutter (if you don't have a cutter a glass of similar size will do)
Place far apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until, when touched lightly with a finger, no imprint remains. If you over cook them they will be tough and flat instead of fluffy and light.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes (again check by the touch test to determine how long they need to bake as ovens differ.

This will make about 2 1/2 dozen of fat , puffy 2 1/2 cookies

To make gingerbread men use the same recipe as above except mix in one additional cup of flour(sifted), cut with a gingerbread man cut out. Use raisins for eyes, nose mouth, shoes and cuff buttons. You can use candied cherries, gumdrops or even the red cinnamon drop candies for coat buttons.  Use a easy make icing to frost the coat, sleeves and such. 

For those who need to cut out or cut back on sugar here is an additional recipe called Cookie Jar Molasses Cookies. These are crisp and thin but have ZERO sugar. Great with a cup of your favorite tea or cocoa.

Heat to boiling point and then remove from heat:

1 cup of molasses

Stir in:

1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp soda
2 1/4 cups of sifted flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ginger

Chill dough. Roll out real thin (1/16") and cut into desired shapes.
Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until set.
Don't over bake or they will be bitter
Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes (preheated oven)
This will make about 6 dozen 2 1/2 inch cookies.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Music Time.

The first line of this song is the beginning of the Christmas Story.
He came as an infant, walked among mankind, was crucified , buried and rose again on the third day and then ascended into heaven.

He will return as The King that all were looking for at the time of His birth.

And now, If That Isn't Love, I don't know what is. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Baking Time--Even For The non-Cooks

Thursday I offered up a recipe for THE BEST CHOCOLATE COOKIES with some "power ups' for them.

This is such an easy recipie that anyone can do it and the kids or grandkids will love helping out with the making of them, expecially the rolling of the dough into the ball shaped pieces and then placing them on the baking sheets.


What a great cookie for serving when friends drop by unexpectedly or when a few friends are invited over just to chat.  They make a perfect "tea cookie" for those who still do tea or have time to do so.  Too bad the custom has been replaced by "chat" on the 'puter or texting.  The personal touch has been lost when it comes to conversation and "entertainment".

1 Box of Lemon Cake Mix (any brand will do but Duncan Hines is good and usually less costly than some of the others.)
1/2 cup of oil (again I use canola, you can use what you wish)
2 eggs
granulated or confectionery sugar to roll the cookie dough balls in. ( in this case I like the bit of crunchy that the granulated sugar gives when baked)  Later on you may want to make a batch and leave off the sugar for a "power up" topping.

DIRECTIONS:  Mix ingredients until well blended ( as a note, don't use a mixed as this dough is thick and sticky) adding the eggs one at a time. Scoop out the dough using a table spoon or a melon ball scoop, rolling into round ball shape. Roll these in the sugar mixture and place on a baking sheet. Place in the pre-heated oven (350 degrees) for 12 TWELVE minutes. Remove and allow to cool for TWO (2) minutes before removing from cookie sheets.

POWER UPS:  Grate lemon peel and roll dough balls in the peel. I also use the sugar mixed with the peel for this . (Orange peel grated is delicious also)

If you can find fresh mint leaves this time of the year you might wish to try this:  Make a small batch of "simple syrup" (that is sugar and water boiled. I use equal parts to start and add sugar if necessary to "slightly thicken".  You can add some Orange flavor liqueur or Lemon flavor, half cup of liqueur, half cup water and cup of sugar.  Mix in the mint leaves into the simple syrup and allow to stand until the mint flavor is to your liking. Brush the tops of each cookie making sure that you get a piece or two of mint leaf on the cookie.  It makes a bit of a glaze on the cookie. I have brushed the tops prior to baking to insure a glaze and then added just one more swipe with the mint leaves in the mixture after the cookies are slightly cool. 

Adding orange slice candy pieces to the cook dough is also a treat for the little ones.

To really POWER UP make a Creame Cheese Lemon Frosting and top each cookie after they have had time to cool slightly or make a stack cookie by putting the frosting on one half and topping with another cookie. I would suggest that you double your recipe if you are going to make these.
The frosting recipe is for a double layer cake so you may want to cut it in half. The icing will keep refrigerated for a week or more if it is too much. I have actually used only a third of this but found it difficult to get the consistancy just right. You may have a different recipe and that's ok by all means use it and if you wish share it with others.


  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 drops yellow food coloring(I only use two drops or maybe three. I don't care for the real yellow look.)


  1. Beat cream cheese and butter in a bowl until combined. Beat in powdered sugar and lemon juice.
  2. Beat in 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups more of powdered sugar till frosting is of spreading consistency. Stir in a few drops of yellow food coloring.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Baking Time--Even For The non-Cooks

This is what you will be getting on Ticker's blog from now until who knows. Well at least until after New Years. 

You can read all the political stuff at everyone else's blog site and comment away.  You can go to a separate blog site for food and stuff from one of our other blogger friends sites, but only on Jus'Sayin' can you find such delectable goodies from now through the rest of the Holidays.

Most of these goodies are for those with a sweet tooth and who won't care if they put on an extra five or ten pounds from now until Christmas time. After all you can always make a New Year's Resolution to lose those extra pounds and not worry about it until then. 

I love to cook and I love to bake. I was fortunate to have a Mom who also loved to cook as well as a grandmother that I called Mammy and both taught me well, starting about the age of 5 or six.  

My first attempt at a cake came at the age of eleven. My Mom was in college and didn't seem to have the time to bake all those great chocolate cakes that I and my Dad loved so much.  I complained one night at the supper table (yes, we had supper, not dinner where I grew up) that I sure did miss having chocolate cake for dessert.  Mom said, "Then why don't you bake one and we can all enjoy having chocolate cake."  She showed me where her recipe was located and were I could find all the ingredients.  No we didn't open a box mix and stir up a cake real quick in those days, we made them from scratch.
Next day this eleven year old got up the nerve to give it a try.  I followed the recipe to the letter and when I was ready to pour the batter into the cake pan, lo and behold, I had enough for three pans so a triple layer cake was in the making.  
While the cakes were baking I commenced making the icing, again from scratch. 
Now anyone who has made icing from scratch knows that sometimes it can turn out a bit "sugery". In other words it ain't creamy and has the consistency of chocolate sugar.  Fortunately mine turned out creamy on first try. 
Somebody up above must have been watching over this eleven year old boy because that's the only explanation that I can offer for the success. 

The cake turned a little side wonkie,( it was not stacked just exactly right and there was a bit more icing on one side maybe than on the other) but nevertheless it was ready for supper that night.  
I held my breath as Mom sliced it and placed it on the plates with a generous scoop of ice cream on the side.  I was turning blue by the time Mom and Dad got the first bite swallowed and then the sun began to shine in my little boy heart as I heard both Mom and Dad say, "Son, it is delicious"!.  
Then the other words came out of my Dad's mouth, "...and you cook just like you Momma, you dirty every pot in the kitchen." Truer words were never spoken for I had a mess in the kitchen when I finished making the cake and the icing but I did clean it up with the help of my Dad who got home before Mom when he worked the day shift at Eastman.

So now to share a simple recipe that won't make a mess and yes you can use a box mix for this recipe.  I call it the BEST --------COOKIES.  in this case Chocolate. Some of you may have made this recipe but heck I'll share it with those who haven't and give you some hints on how to "power" them up for Christmas.

1 Box of Devil Food Cake Mix. ( I use Double Fudge)
1/2 cup of oil ( I use canola)
2 eggs
Sugar to roll cookies in( granulate or confectionary--I prefer confectionary but the choice is yours)

Directions: Mix ingredients until well blended, adding eggs one at a time. Place cookies on a cookie sheet 1 inch apart or so. I use a melon ball scoop or a table spoon will do and roll the dough into balls then roll the balls in the sugar or other "power" goodies that I will suggest below. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes (twelve). Remove and allow to sit for 2 Two minutes before removing them from the pan.  This makes about 2 to 2.5 dozen depending on the size of the scoops you use.

POWER UP:  Add some peanut butter chips to the mix for chocolate peanut butter cookies.
                   Add some chopped pecans to the mix and also roll the balls in  chopped pecans.
                   For the holiday spirit add some York Peppermit Patties pieces to the mix.
                   For color crush some candy canes and roll the balls in the red and white candy cane pieces.
                   Use you imagination and I am sure that  you  can find other "power ups" for you
Best Chocolate Cookies.

Bake and enjoy. Be sure to get yours early one because they disappear fast. They are the lightest, softest morsels that ever melted in your mouth.

Coming up: How to make other BEST----- COOKIES that are sure to be a hit at  your Christmas Party or just to perhaps send over to a neighbor.