Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

I got this recipe from my mother 36 years ago and have to say it is still my favorite sugar cookie recipe.





Cookie Dough

2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream (I substitute Greek Yogurt all the time and it is perfect)
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tarter
7 cups flour

Cream together sugar and butter; add sour cream , eggs and vanilla.  Blend well.  Gradually add dry ingredients until mixture forms a ball.  Roll out mixture on a lightly floured surface, cut out with cookie cutters.  Place cookies on cookie sheet and back at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes.  

After cookies have cooled, dust with sugar or icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
3 T milk
4 oz cream cheese, softened

Cream together softened butter and cream cheese; add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.  Can tint with food coloring if desired.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

German Chocolate Cake

This is my husband's all-time favorite dessert.  For years I made it every year for his birthday.  Then life just kind of got in the way and he didn't say anything about missing it at all, so I kind of thought he didn't care any more.  Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when he commented that since I wasn't making it, could I go by our local cupcake place and get him a couple of German chocolate cupcakes?  Guess who was eating home-made German Chocolate Cake for his b-day this year?!

If you are looking for quick and easy - move along.  This recipe will not be the one for you!  But if you are looking for a big return on a little extra effort, this one pays back in a huge way!  Awesome texture and flavor.  Just really can't beat it.  

Cake

1 - 4 oz pkg Baker's German Sweet Chocolate


1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter
4 egg yolks
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 egg whites, slightly beaten

Melt chocolate in boiling water; cool; cream butter and sugar until fluffy; add yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Blend in vanilla and chocolate.  Sift flour with soda and salt; add alternately with buttermilk to chocolate mixture, beating after each addition 'til smooth.  Fold in beaten egg whites.  Pour batter into 3 9" layer pans (round); line bottoms with wax paper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Cool.  Frost tops only.


Coconut Pecan Frosting

Combine:

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla

Cook and stir over medium heat 'til thickened, about 12 minutes.  Add 1 1/3 cups coconut and 1 cup chopped pecans.  Cool until thick enough to spread, beating occasionally.  Yield:  2 1/2 cups.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

"George"

When I started in real estate many years ago, I never dreamed that I would form life-time relationships with so many families OR that they would take up so much room in my heart.  I have truly learned to love my clients like family (ok not EVERYone of them, but MOST...).

I got a text last night at 2:45 a.m. letting me know that "George" was being released from the hospital into home hospice care.  He would not have much time and if I wanted to come see him, I'd better do it quickly.

I was shocked at the profound sadness that enveloped me.  The year prior, at Thanksgiving time, I had visited "George" in the hospital following bypass surgery.  I arrived with a pumpkin pie.  He was exhausted following surgery, but things had gone well and doctors anticipated a complete recovery.  It was a visit filled with hope. 

Fast forward a year later and he is not expected to pull through this one.  I entered his room today and he opened his eyes briefly and thanked me for coming.  We made a bit of small talk, but I could see he was exhausted, so I simply held his hand while he slept.  It was a humbling, emotional experience for me.  I kissed the top of his head before I left.  My heart was breaking....

His wife had gone down to the cafeteria and I was able to visit with her for a bit and meet one her sons and a daughter.  I made the comment to his wife that I had felt an immediate connection to her and her sweet husband when I first met them.  She said, "We felt that same connection the very first time we met you."  She was grateful to me for coming, but it is I who benefited from the visit.  I can't really put into words my feelings for them, but I am a better person for having known them.  They are down-to-earth, genuine good people with huge hearts and a love for God.  

This will be the fourth client/friend I have lost since I started in real estate and each loss has been hard for me.  I feel so incredibly blessed for amazing clients who give me so much.  I learn much from every relationship and am better for having been able to serve them for a short time.  It is interesting how humble and beautiful people are when death is knocking at the door.  Their is a beauty that shines from them.  Almost a radiance.  What a privilege to know "George".  While my heart feels heavy, I am grateful for the knowledge of the gospel and that families can be forever.  I pray for peace for his sweet wife and their beautiful family.  May their perspective be eternal in nature and may they all know how very loved they are!

independent+women+quotes+tumblr:


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Strawberry Spinach Salad

My sister Karla shared this recipe with me.  Truly one of the best salads I have ever had!  As usual, I forgot to get a picture, but I made this for guests last night and they raved about it too!


1 large plastic bin baby spinach (think Costco)
1 large plastic bin spring mix
l large bin (2 pounds) strawberries, thinly sliced
2 cups or more feta cheese
2 red onion, thinly sliced (I did one and it was plenty)
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used turkey bacon because I prefer it)
2 cups caramelized cashews

Caramelize cashews by putting a thin layer of sugar in a heavy frying pan.  Heat slowly until sugar melts (I had to add 2 T butter to get this to work right).  Stir until completely coated.  Pour onto wax paper to cool.  Assemble salad and dress just before serving.  (May add chicken to use as a main dish).

Dressing: 

3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 tsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp salt

Mix in blender until smooth.

NOTE:  I also added diced avocado - that is a must for me on this.  Adds a lot of flavor!

Does not keep well. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Painted Cupboard Reveal

BEFORE entertainment section

BEFORE fireplace


BEFORE kitchen
All of the woodwork in my house was a dark cherry stain.  They were beautiful!  BUT after 13 years of living with the dark stain, I was ready to lighten things up!  Even my painters were having a hard time covering up the cherry stain.  I am in love with the lighter cabinets!  The space feels so much bigger and is definitely a much brighter space!  I know there are many that think it is a sin to cover nice wood, but I don't really care what others think.  It is my space and I am loving it.  I had Brianna come and take pics for me and just let her shoot whatever she wanted.  Super happy with the end result!  
One of the things that many would consider a disadvantage is that everything shows.  I personally love this.  I can see dirt and stickiness and take care of it right away.  On the darker wood, nothing shows, but it is dirty and just gets worse with time.  It does my little OCD heart good!
The worst part of the project for me was putting the shelves back together.  I wish I would have counted the little holes on the sides and marked on a piece of paper where I had each shelf, as I had to move them multiple times to get the spacing just right.  It was a long and painful process for me!  I didn't even consider how much time would be wasted putting the shelves up, taking them apart, moving the shelving, etc.  Ridiculous!  My kitchen cabinet with the glass doors was one of the most time consuming.  
I took advantage of the complete removal of everything and we did some weeding out.  I know I have lots of stuff I have collected over the years and it is probably still too much, but I love it and many of the things I have collected have special meaning to me.  My husband reduced the amount of books by about 50%.  I would definitely do it again.  
I waited 48 hours after the last coat of paint to put things back together to give the paint time to cure.  That is definitely a requirement to make sure that things do not stick to the fresh paint. 
We replaced the wood desk top with granite and I was stunned at the difference that made!  From the time we purchased this house (13 years ago), we have struggled with the finish on the desk top.  It gets daily use and the finish was always coming off.  LOVE the look of the granite and of course, the no maintenance.  :)
LOVE my end result.  SO glad that I had the painters change the paint color after the first coat, as the first color we tried had WAY too much brown (see previous post).  I would do this again in a heartbeat!  Thanks for stopping by!


This is the BEFORE pic of the fireplace to give you an idea of how dark things were.









 
BEFORE desk area