Saturday, December 31, 2011


Wishing all of my family, friends and bloggers a Happy New Year!

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We spent this evening at my office building where they had tables set up with hats, horns and noise makers. They set up dinner tables on the 33rd floor overlooking the Missouri River and where we were able to watch the fireworks in comfort and what a great view!  They also provided pizza, beverages and snacks of all kinds. The kids had a blast as it is a huge open space where they could run off steam. They also had the walls covered in butcher block paper and gave all the kids markers and crayons ... what delightful creations they came up with!

New years eve


And I will be in dreamland come midnight, but here's a toast to all of you for a Happy and Healthy year ahead!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Leftover Egg Nog - What's a Girl to do?

My son and daughter-in-law were in town recently for the holidays and I bought a carton of his FAVORITE holiday beverage - only problem is we didn't end up opening it up.  So before it expires, I wanted to use it in some new fashion, and I happened upon THIS recipe for a morning coffee cake using egg nog.  I'll be making this over the weekend - it looks SCRUMPTIOUS!!!

Mark also said another way they like to use egg nog is to mix it with peppermint ice cream and make a Santa shake serving it with gingersnap cookies.  Chrysty likes to crush the gingersnap cookies right into the shake!

And yet another idea would be to make some egg nog french toast!


And I found SEVERAL recipes on Pinterest for egg nog cookies!

So what's YOUR favorite way to use up that leftover holiday egg nog?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's National Cupcake Day

I found this ADORABLE little one on YouTube asking for a cupcake!

And here's a few of my NEW favorite cupcake recipes that I've recently found on Pinterest:

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcake


Root Beer Float Cupcake


And my favorite pie is lemon meringue and here it is in a cupcake!  This is on my "must try soon" list!


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And if these aren't enough to tempt you, go over to my pinterest board for cakes and cupcakes here and don't say I didn't warn you!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's a Girl !!!

My daughter and son-in-law have blessed us with a new baby granddaughter.

Paisley Sloan Troudt came into the world on December 9 at 4:41 p.m. weighing in at 6 pounds 11 ounces and 20 inches long.  She has blond peach fuzz and long toes and fingers. She looks so much like her big brother Jonas did when he was born.

Mom and baby are doing well and will be coming home today.

As my son-in-law said ... get ready for a PINK explosion!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Grandma Ollie's Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

This is a photo of my Grandma Ollie (and Grandpa George) taken back in 1950-something.  My Grandma Ollie ALWAYS wore an apron and walked with a cane from the time I can remember.  She made THE BEST sugar cookies - EVER!  Actually, I can't remember not liking anything she put on the table. I make these delicious cookies every year and always do so with a smile from the memories of watching and helping grandma make these frosted delights.

(NOTE:  look at that tinsel !)

Here's her recipe for sugar cookies:

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup softened butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Stir flour mixture into creamed mixture in 3 increments for easier mixing. (NOTE: if dough is too sticky or wet, add more flour as needed).  Chill dough overnight.

Let dough come back to room temperature and roll out 1/4 inch thick.  Cut with cookie cutters and bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes (until edges are brown).  Cool complete and decorate with simple frosting of powdered sugar thinned with milk (you can add a bit of vanilla if you want too).

Add sprinkles and it's Christmas!

Cookie Butter ... SERIOUSLY!

I just found out about this UNBELIEVABLE product this morning when I was on Facebook.   Inspired by the Dutch spread, the cookie butter from Trader Joe's has the look and consistency of peanut butter but tasty like gingerbread biscuits in a spreadable form. It's like comfort and Christmas in a jar.  Someone pass me a SPOON!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wrap It Up!

I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought what a unique and fun way it would be to wrap gifts.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Steven!

It's my nephew, Steven's, birthday celebration with family today.  We're having the party at our house since we have room for everyone to spread out and relax, and for the kids to run around without bumping into everybody.  So this morning I made my FAVORITE blueberry muffin recipe AND I tried a recipe I've been wanting to make for a LONG time.  We always frequent Stephenson's Apple Farm in Kansas City whenever we make the 3 hour trip down. They have THE BEST apple fritters, bar none. And don't even get me started on their creamed chicken dish and green rice.  Oh my ... not for the faint of heart (or anyone eating healthy). But if you want to splurge on calories, this is the place to do it.

Here's their recipe for fresh apple fritters (makes 40 fritters):

1 cup milk
1 egg (beaten)
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 orange, rind and juice
1 cup applies (chopped fine)
3 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp vanilla.

Beat egg.  In mixing bowl, combine with milk, egg, melted butter and sugar.  Add the orange juice, rind, chopped appplies and vanilla.  Sift together the flower, salt and baking powder.  Stir into wet mixture with spoon until blended. Do NOT over mix.  Preheat oil in a skillent to 350 degrees. Drop off end of tablespoon into hot oil. Fry to a golden brown, turning so they brown even.  Allow to cool.  Roll in powdered sugar.

I added a tsp. of cinnamon to the batter, and I also added 3 tsp. of cinnamon to the powdered sugar. 

Just one word ... YUM  !!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Elf on the Shelf - A Holiday Tradition

When I was young, all we had was the threat of being put on Santa's NAUGHTY list if we weren't on our BEST behavior all during the holiday season - or getting coal in our stockings.  Oh how I wish we had had an official ELF to talk to!  I'm sure you've heard of the Elf on the Shelf ... unless you live in a remote part of the country ... say Brisbane, North Dakota ... although residents of Brisbane are CLOSER in proximity to the North Pole that we are, so who's to say they didn't invent the sweet idea of Elf on the Shelf. 

And just what IS the Elf on the Shelf Tradition?

Have you ever wondered how Santa knows who is naughty and who is nice? The Elf on the Shelf – A Christmas Tradition is the very special tool that helps Santa knows who to put on the Naughty and Nice list. This interactive holiday hide-and-seek tradition is perfect for children and families of all ages.

The tradition begins when Santa sends his scout elves out to Elf Adoption Centers. Waiting for their families to bring them home, these patient elves hibernate until their family reads The Elf on the Shelf, gives their elf a very special name, and registers their adoption online. Once named, each scout elf will receive its Christmas magic and become a part of the family’s Christmas each and every year.

Excellent listeners and even better observers, these scout elves are the eyes and ears of Santa Claus. Although they cannot be touched, or else they may lose their magic, the elf will always listen and relay messages back to Santa. Taking in all the day-to-day activities around the house, no good deed goes unnoticed; these scout elves take their job seriously.

Each night, after the family goes to bed, the scout elf uses his magical Christmas powers to fly back to the North Pole. Once there, the elf will make his or her daily report to Santa and visit with elf friends where they will tell stories about their beloved families, play with the reindeer, and of course, sneak some of Mrs. Claus’ cookies!

Before the family awakes each morning, their special scout elf will fly back to their home from the North Pole. However, since these elves like to play games, don’t expect to find them in the same spot! While some like to hide in the freezer (probably because it reminds them of the North Pole) and others prefer to sit on the fireplace mantle or hang from the chandelier, these elves love to play hide-and-seek with their families.

On Christmas Eve, the scout elf will listen for Santa’s bell and then fly back to the North Pole until the next season, wishing every girl and each boy a Christmas of peace and a year full of joy.

So get yourself an ELF and give him a name and start your OWN family tradition!!

Here's the official website:

Secret Children of Hollywood: Clark Gable's Daughter Dies at 76

Okay ... I'm going to give my age away here, as I actually REMEMBER watching the Loretta Young show, which ran from 1953-1961.  I always thought she was the PERFECT hollywood starlet ... so refined and beautiful ... and untouched by scandal.  Or so we were led to believe.

Story from ABC NEWS:

Judy Lewis didn’t find out she was the secret daughter of two Hollywood stars until she was 31 years old.

Lewis only learned the truth when she had an identity crisis just before marriage and her fiancĂ© blurted out, “It’s common knowledge, Judy,” he said. “Your father is Clark Gable.”

Lewis, a former soap opera star, died Nov. 25 at the age of 76 in Pennsylvania, leaving behind a sordid tale of family deception – one that is all too common in Hollywood.

Her mother was Loretta Young, a budding actress, who told Lewis she was adopted after getting pregnant in a short-lived affair with Gable, the rogue romantic lead with the trademark big ears in “Gone With the Wind.”

For years, her mother reportedly hid Lewis’ Gable-like ears under a hat and had them surgically clipped at the age of 7 to quell rumors about her parentage.  According to her obituary today in The New York Times, Lewis spent the first 19 months of her life being hidden away in orphanages so her mother could protect her career from the shame of pregnancy.  Though Lewis was a child of the 1930s and 1940s, when extramarital affairs and out-of-wedlock pregnancies were scandalous, her life story echoes those of other Hollywood celebrities who were or had secret babies.

In the case of Loretta Young, then 22, and Clark Gable, then 34, they had an affair in 1935, while in Washington state filming, “The Call of the Wild.” He was married to someone else at the time.  Young, a Roman Catholic, went to Europe to wait out her pregnancy, then returned to the United States and put Lewis in a San Francisco orphanage. She later married radio producer Tom Lewis and told her daughter she had been adopted, admitting no biological relation to her.

When confronted in 1966, Young told her daughter the truth. Lewis went public with her story in her 1994 memoir, “Uncommon Knowledge,” and after that her mother would not talk to her for three years.

Lewis said in an interview at the time: “It was very difficult for me as a little girl not to be accepted or acknowledged by my mother, who, to this day, will not publicly acknowledge that I am her biological child,” according to The New York Times.

In Young’s memoir, “Forever Young,” she eventually admitted Lewis was her daughter, but refused to allow the book to be published until after her death, which was in 2000.

Young explained that she and Gable would have lost their careers in Hollywood, if the scandal had ever become public. Other actors like Charlie Chaplin and Ingrid Bergman had been banned from acting in the United States when it was revealed they had extramarital affairs, though both ultimately salvaged their star status.

Gable and Young’s daughter Lewis worked as a soap actress for years before going back to school at age 40. She went on to become a child psychologist and to specialize in foster care and marriage therapy – a career choice that, “I have no question … was in some way consciously or unconsciously related to healing her own wounds,” said psychologist Lynn.

 gty clark gable judy lewis dm 111201 wblog Secret Children of Hollywood: Clark Gables Daughter Dies
Judy really does take after BOTH her parents, doesn't she?!!