Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Not Feeling Very Safe!

Here's a recent pic of the NUCLEAR plant just minutes from downtown Omaha where I work.

Here's the article about it's safety - and not so safe ... http://gizmodo.com/5816414/this-nebraska-nuclear-power-plant-is-surrounded-by-floodwaters

The Corp of Engineers (who in my opinion have NOT done their job properly) have told us that the worst is yet to come. 

Thinking I need to move to Colorado and stay with my son and daughter-in-law until the waters start to recede!! 

This is going to be our rush hour traffic if the flooding continues ...

And we'll need to wear life jackets while eating dinner!!!

It's an Ox of a Holiday Today

Today is Paul Bunyun day!!

In western folklore, there is one story that’s the tallest tale of them all: the story of 30 foot tall lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his beloved companion, Babe, the Blue Ox!

Paul Bunyan possessed skills and speed that far exceeded those of a normal human and because of this he is a commonly celebrated folk hero in the northern states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas, etc); however, there is one day of the year when the whole nation celebrates this mythical American figure. That day is today’s zany holiday, National Paul Bunyan Day!

Today’s outrageous holiday’s wackiness is matched only by the outrageous Paul Bunyan stories:

Paul cleared the path to the Pacific Ocean

Babe’s hooves created the 10,000 lakes of Minnesota

Paul Bunyan dug Lake Michigan

... and he ate 50 pancakes in under a minute, just to name a few!

Celebrate Paul Bunyan day by cooking pancakes for dinner, and then having a contest to see who can eat the most in a minute!

However, I wouldn’t recommend painting any of your pets blue in honor of Babe.

and here's Smurf Dog ...

Have fun and THINK BIG!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sundays and Friendship

I had a leisurely morning ... doing laundry, vacuuming, dishes ... you know ... leisurely. HA!  A good friend of mine was coming over so I could show her a couple of card techniques for her holiday cardmaking this year and I wanted to spruce up the place a bit (de-fur the furniture from the daily reminder that we own THREE cats).  NOTE:  in my next life I shall live on an acreage so my furballs can roam OUTSIDE and have concrete floors and disposable furniture INSIDE so I can more easily accommodate my love of furry critters!  I would have dozens of cats AND dogs if only I had the proper space so we could ALL thrive and coexist in harmony.  But I am digressing here ... as those of you who know me are MORE than aware I tend to do on occasion.  So after cleaning a morning furball surprise off the carpet in my craft room, and washing an area rug that had been used (I'm sure by total mistake) as a litter box instead of ... well, the litter box, I went ahead and got out some ideas for Ann to look at.  When she arrived she had her arms full ... she was returning some stamps I had loaned her, but also there was a loaf of homemade pumpkin bread (score) AND several sheets of clear vinyl for my craft table.  This vinyl is JUST as good as the craft sheets you pay big bucks for at Michaels to keep your desk clean of glues and inks, and wipes off just as nicely.  I tell you, it's great having friends who come up with these cheaper alternatives for my crafting passion.  She said you can get this vinyl at any JoAnn's or fabric store.  Who knew?!  So we had several hours of crafting and giggles and after she left I realized I needed a card for a friend's daughter who was turning 5 this week.  This is what I came up with.  I simply ADORE Lili of the Valley stamps ... the whimsy, the innocence ... if you haven't checked them out, please do so as I know you will fall head over heels in love with their stamps!  You can click on the photo to make it larger and see more detail.  I got the "spray" of pearls in the flower/wedding section of Michaels in a large tube which should last me a while. The flower is handmade using the flame method to curl the edges (which is a skill that must be practised absent any flammable materials - let's just say I have our fire department on speed dial now).  And I used my favorite Helmar glue to hold everything in place (LOVE their products).  Well, that's it. Hope everyone had a "leisurely" weekend (grin).  And don't forget I have my blogversary giveaway going on until July 4 (you can just click on the link on side bar to take you to the blog post for this event). 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Made With Love

Jessica over at Baking Up Crafts is having her FIRST blog hop and I came up with this card to add to her baking theme.  I will post two photos as for some reason depending on which setting I use, it comes up looking like two different colors.  The actual background color is red with cream polka dots.  This collection is from Cosmo Cricket and I just adore it!  The beaters and flowers are chipboard and give the card a 3D look.

If you want to see all the card creations (and yummy recipes) to over to Jessica's blog to start the hop here:


And have a cream puff day!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Card Challenge Submission

I don't enter many challenges, but this one caught my attention.   Here's the sketch:

Deconstructed Guidelines

If you’d like to join us this week (and have a chance to win one of the prize) all you need to do is create a project using the above sketch as inspiration. There are no specific image requirements for this challenge. Upload your project to your blog or to an online gallery and link it back here to Inlinkz by Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 8 pm CST.

I couldn't decide which was the better photo, so I posted to photos of the same card.  And the "bow" on the circle "world" is actually a sailor's knot, but it's hard to tell with the twine I used.

To participate in the blog hop and challenge, click on this link:  http://deconstructingjen.com/archives/4109

First Blogversary Giveaway

Today is the ONE year anniversary for my blog.  It's been so much fun sharing my passion for papercrafting,  family, cooking, and my love of random facts and holiday fun.  I want to thank my family for allowing me to share their achievements and stories, and at the same time not shaking their heads at me when I highlight our family members' quirks and bouts of temporary insanity.

Here's a pic of my blogversary giveaway candy for my crafting followers.  Thank you one and all for taking time out of your day to stop by my blog.

There's a little bit of everything here, including glimmermist and stencils, a Bo Bunny project kit, chipboard, Webster's Pages, several different stamps, stickers,chalk, bling and fabric ribbon.

And I also have a giveaway for those of my friends and family who follow my blog that do not dabble in papercrafting but like my creations.  I will give those interested SIX of my handmade card creations.
NOTE:  You can only enter for one or the other of these prizes. You must be a follower of my blog to win.  All you have to do is leave a comment.  In your comment to THIS blog post, just state which you would prefer ... to have your name put into the Craft hat or the Card hat.  I will have my 3-year old grandson, Jonas, pick the winner for BOTH on July 5.

Good luck!  And thank you again for all your lovely comments to my blog posts!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Don't Cry ... Celebrate National Onion Ring Day Instead

Question: Why Do Onions Make You Cry?

Answer: Unless you've avoided cooking, you've probably cut up an onion and experienced the burning and tearing you get from the vapors. When you cut an onion, you break cells, releasing their contents. Amino acid sulfoxides form sulfenic acids. Enzymes that were kept separate now are free to mix with the sulfenic acids to produce propanethiol S-oxide, a volatile sulfur compound that wafts upward toward your eyes. This gas reacts with the water in your tears to form sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid burns, stimulating your eyes to release more tears to wash the irritant away.

Cooking the onion inactivates the enzyme, so while the smell of cooked onions may be strong, it doesn't burn your eyes. Aside from wearing safety goggles or running a fan, you can keep from crying by refrigerating your onion before cutting it (slows reactions and changes the chemistry inside the onion) or by cutting the onion under water.

And you either love 'em or you hate 'em ... there is no fence sitting when it comes to onions!

My first experience of an onion ring was MANY years ago, at a hometown place called King's Food Host. It was where you went after the Friday night high school football games for a malt, burger and their infamous onion rings.  Nowadays my preference is what they call onion "strings" ... wafer thin, coated in more of a tempura-like batter than the traditional heavy coating, and then flash fried.  The older I get the less I want to indulge in anything fried, so when I do want a good onion ring fix, I will usually just add a few to the top of my burger.  Places that have the best straws are Famous Dave's and I've been seeing there more often than not at most of the burger chains.  But you can also make these easily enough at home ... so here's the link to a fabulous recipe from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman ...



And have you EVER heard of a cheese frenchee? It's like a grilled cheese sandwich, well, sort of, except instead of getting the grill treatment, it gets a spread of mayo, it's cut into triangles, dipped in batter, rolled in cornflake crumbs, and deep fried!  It definitely deserves it's own national holiday so we'll save that for another time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Before He Made Salad Dressing!!

A friend of mine sent this to me and I just HAD to share ...

Paul Newman

Only women of a certain era will fully appreciate this.... True story. (if you don't understand this, tell your mother, she'll get it)

A Michigan woman and her family were vacationing in a small New England town where Paul Newman and his family often visited.

One Sunday morning, the woman got up early to take a long walk. After a brisk five-mile hike, she decided to treat herself to a double-dip chocolate ice cream cone.

She hopped in the car, drove to the center of the village and went straight to the combination bakery/ice cream parlor.

There was only one other patron in the store:

Paul Newman, sitting at the counter having a doughnut and coffee.

The woman's heart skipped a beat as her eyes made contact with those famous baby-blue eyes.

The actor nodded graciously and the star struck woman smiled demurely.

Pull yourself together! She chides herself. You're a happily married woman with three children, you're forty-five years old, not a teenager!

The clerk filled her order and she took the double-dip chocolate ice cream cone in one hand and her change in the other. Then she went out the door, avoiding even a glance in Paul Newman's direction.

When she reached her car, she realized that she had a handful of change but her other hand was empty.

Where's my ice cream cone? Did I leave it in the store? Back into the shop she went, expecting to see the cone still in the clerk's hand or in a holder on the counter or something. No ice cream cone was in sight.

With that, she happened to look over at Paul Newman.

His face broke into his familiar, warm, friendly grin and he said to the woman,

'You put it in your purse.

Someone Grab Toto !!!!

Here are some photos from the storm last night taken at the new TD Ameritrade Park where they are holding the College World Series here in my hometown, Omaha, Nebraska.  Is this not crazy scary?  Fortunately, we only received high winds and really heavy rains, and no tornadoes were spotted, but boy the conditions sure were perfect for a tornado to develop!

Chris Van Kat takes cover while photographing heavy storm clouds and wind gusts blow  over TD Ameritrade Park in downtown Omaha, Neb. , Monday, June 20, 2011, where Vanderbilt and Florida were playing in the College World Series.

 Spectators watch heavy storm clouds and wind gusts blowing  over TD Ameritrade Park in downtown Omaha, Neb. , Monday, June 20, 2011, where Vanderbilt and Florida were playing in the College World Series.

Florida fans watch as a storm system with heavy winds and rain causes a delay as it passes over TD Ameritrade Park, where Vanderbilt was playing Florida in an NCAA College World Series baseball game in Omaha, Neb. , Monday, June 20, 2011.
Heavy storm clouds and wind gusts blow over downtown Omaha, Neb. , Monday, June 20, 2011, as pedestrians stream out of the TD Ameritrade Park, where Vanderbilt and Florida were playing in the College World Series.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down

It is inevitable that with the onset of the College World Series here in Omaha, that we get SEVERE weather in our forecast.  So far, the games haven't been hampered by the weather, but that won't be the case today as we are under a severe thunderstorm warning along with possible tornadoes in the mix.  Like the massive flooding wasn't enough for us to handle .... sheez.  So a high of 92 AND high humidity AND taking cover with Toto.

We had such a lovely Father's Day celebration yesterday, and of course we have enough leftovers to feed a small village, but that's just how Sterling likes to cook.  Heaven forbid we should run out of food.  So we will be enjoying baked beans, brats and ribs for SEVERAL nights this week.  Which isn't a bad thing ... except for maybe the side affects from consuming too many beans. :0)

Happy Monday Everybody!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


My good blog friend, Just Jingle (http://justjingle.blogspot.com/, turned me onto this gal's etsy shop.  Her name is Jean Abbott and she makes these ADORABLE sewing caddy creatures.  I just received this yesterday and it just makes me smile everytime I look at it.  The scissors acting as glasses just cracks me up!

The side views (and my cat, Boink, had to investigate as well).

Go here to see her other creations here, and tell her I sent you!


Happy Father's Day!

Hope all the dads out there are having a fabulous day!  Here's a page from a family recipe album I made for my daughter and daughter-in-law several years ago.  The first photo is of my dad when my two children were little, and the second photo is of my dad with his dad back in the day.  The bottom photos are of my kids' grandfather and great grandfather on their dad's side.  I found the poem about grandpa's hands and thought it would make a nice addition for their memory book.

Today we are having the entire family over for a Father's Day bbq.  My hubby, Sterling, LOVES to cook and I must admit he has a way with baked beans and anything smoked or grilled!  Oh, and he's known for his chocolate chip cookies too!  It's supposed to be in the 90's and muggy, so we might end up staying inside where it's cool.  We have a very large basement which will hold all of us comfortably, so maybe we can pull some board games out and play.  Sterling has a mess of featherbones already in the oven and his famous baked beans are simmering in the crockpot.  He's also gonna grill up some brats and hot dogs and then everyone else is bringing a side dish (which you NEVER know what to expect - grin). So hope you all have a fabulous and relaxing day and give ALL those dads in your life a great big HUG !! 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Watergate Salad

Today is National Watergate Day ...

And here's the perfect salad for honoring this day that literally changed how I viewed our government officials from that day forward ...

Watergate Salad
     Serves 8

1 (1 pound 4 ounce) can of crushed pineapple,
in 100% pineapple juice, drained - reserve the juice

2 small packages of instant pistachio pudding mix

1 large (16 ounce) tub of Cool Whip, thawed

2 cups of miniature marshmallows

1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice. Stir together half of the pineapple juice with the pudding mix until well blended. Gently fold in the Cool Whip, and then carefully stir in the pineapple, marshmallows, and pecans. Add additional juice only if needed. You want this to be moist, but not runny. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or preferably overnight.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Yes, Virginia ... there is a national holiday just for FUDGE!!

Did you know that TODAY is National Fudge Day?  I personally don’t need an excuse to enjoy fudge. And I certainly wouldn’t wait for a holiday to indulge.  The National Confectioners Association website actually lists dates of all candy holidays. I have added every single one of these dates to my calendar and am sending a note to our H.R. department to seriously consider adopting them as paid holidays!

My fondest memories are of me and my Grandma Ollie standing at the stove and stirring together the ingredients of this luscious candy.  There is a trick to making fudge ... at least the old fashioned way.  You have to let the candy mixture get to just that perfect temperature and then you add butter and vanilla and beat the heck out of it ... and I mean beat and beat and beat it until it looses the gloss and starts to harden - and look out, because it will harden in a matter of seconds and then you're stuck with half of the mixture still in the pot.  Then other times it seems to NEVER harden and the results are what they used to call "spoon candy".  Today most young chefs think that fudge is made with a few bags of chocolate chips and a can of sweetened milk ... yeah ... right ... not in my kitchen!!  You will NEVER get that perfect batch of SMOOTH  chocolate heaven by choosing the easy route.  So how many of you have made fudge the old fashioned way (and have the carpel tunnel to prove it??!!) 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 15 is National Lobster Day!

Cooking a live lobster is NOT for the faint at heart!

When choosing a lobster you should look for:

•One that is alive and kicking. You want to make sure it is fresh. (I prefer one that has vision problems and can't look you in the eye which helps out later then you're getting ready to throw him into boiling water).

•The tender lobsters tend to be under 2 pounds.

•Females have a more delicate flesh and are lighter. The males have larger claws and narrower tails.

•A hard shell and long antennae.

The four classic ways to cook a lobster are:

•Boiling - Bring a large pot 3/4 full of salt water to boil. Put lobsters in and submerge, boil for 18-20 minutes. (General rule is 3 minutes per pound.)

•Steaming - Put lobsters in a large pot with about 2" of water, cover tightly and steam for about 20 minutes.

•Grilling - Either boil first and finish on grill (backside down) or split lobster in half and grill shell side down.

•Roasting - Quarter lobsters and saute on high heat. Put them in the oven for 2-3 minutes to finish off.

LOVE this helpful hint:   Lobster is done when it turns red and stops moving.  STOPS MOVING??!!   That is definitely a requirement if it's going on MY plate!!   I mean, it's bad enough that it SCREAMS when you toss it LIVE into boiling water, so for sure I want it dead before I start to pull off it's leg at the dinner table!  I'm just sayin'.

So go and grab a bib, because you are gonna want to drench these babies in some clarified butter!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Every Day Should Be Flag Day!

On June 14, Americans celebrate the adoption of the first national flag. Also known as the "Stars and Stripes" or "Old Glory," the first American flag was approved by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. In 1818, after 5 more states joined the Union, Congress passed legislation fixing the number of stripes at 13 and requiring that the number of stars equal the number of states.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Father's Day Card

My husband saw my previous card and said "can you make me something like that for my dad for Father's Day" ... since I still had most of the elements out, I was able to whip this card out in under 15 minutes flat. Here's the result ...

Rub-ons:  7 Gypsies
Stamp:  Unity
Film strip:  Tim Holtz
Sentiment:  $1 stamp from Michaels
Papers:  scrap stash

This 'n That Card

I have drawers full of "stuff"  ... okay, gals, admit it ... you do too!  Or at least back me up when my husband rolls his eyes at my mountains of bins.  (grin)  I sat down this afternoon and just started pulling different elements ... rubons, stamps, buttons, homemade flowers, and bits of saved paper (which deserves its own post sometime soon).  This is what I came up with.

Rubons:  7 Gypsies
Stamp:  Unity
Sentiment:  Flourishes
Button:  Websters Pages
Paper:  Heck if I can remember

Anniversary Card

Both of my kids have wedding anniversaries this month, and I've already sent off a handmade card to my son and his wife in Denver, which I didn't post as he is an avid reader of my blog.  My daugher and son-in-law on the other hand don't frequent the blog often, so I'm safe in posting the fun little card I've made for them for their anniversary this coming week.  My son-in-law is a HUGE alien fan (even has a car plate that says alien), so only thought this would be appropriate - love this alien couple from Unity Stamps!  I added some red stickles to the heart to make it sparkle, and the paper itself has a lot of glitter, which doesn't come through on the pic. The little frame looks like an old fashioned t.v., doesn't it?  I'm still debating whether to add a sentiment to the front of the card, or just leave it as is.  HHmmm...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Expressions of Gratitude

My friends and family will tell you that I'm pretty lucky when it comes to winning things.  NOTE:  I have not yet won the lottery ... and if that had been the case I would be posting this from a cruise ship where Andre, the bell captain, would be refilling my frozen tropical drink glass for the second ... okay, third ... time.  And my typing would look more like this ... Swizzle#&)_NQ#Slurp$%#QZPbrSmile.  But when I do win blog candy, I always like to send a personal handmade thank you card.  I mean, think about it ... where else can you type a single comment and get your name drawn and have someone you've never met send you fabulous crafting gifts in the mail?  Seriously, it's an amazing thing.  I want to patent it!

Here's a card I made to send to my current benefactor and cardmaking enabler.

There is also a saying that giving is more fun than receiving ... so keep a close watch as I will be sending a complete stranger, or possibly someone not so strange, some fabulous crafting goodies in the near future for my one year blogversary!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Do you Yuzu?

What's YUZU?

When I first heard the word YUZU I thought it was just another term created to further confuse those of us who have not yet, and might not ever, completely embrace cyberspace and all things technical. 

Cyberspace - to boldly go where no other grandma has gone before.

My kids were actually amazed that I could create my own blog without their help (and actually, I surprised myself as well).  But I was QUICKLY put into place by my THREE year old grandson, who corrected me one recent Sunday morning at the coffee shop when I asked him what he was playing on his computer.  He just gave me "that look", and said "Grandma, it's an ipad ... NOT a computer."  And thus, I would from that point forward be categorized by my grandson as someone not all knowing and powerful.  The grandma who could make the cat appear and disappear under the table by the use of a piece of tuna, much to my grandson's delight.  The grandma who knew the names of "almost" every character in Disney's movie Cars  (and I still want to call him Steve McQueen instead of Lightning McQueen).  The grandma who always carries a piece of his favorite candy in her purse in case of booboo emergencies ...

But I digress ... back to YUZU ...

THIS is Yuzu!!!

If you haven’t yet discovered the joys of the Asian citrus yuzu (YOO-zoo), pick up a bottle at your earliest convenience. It may well become a favorite: in sauces, beverages, desserts and any place you’d use lemon, lime or grapefruit. With all due respect to these three wonderful citrus fruits, yuzu has more panache (I just love that word ... and it's my blog so I'll say it again ... PANACHE!

Yuzu has become more mainstream thanks to the availability of imported yuzu juice, embraced by fine chefs. You can find it at Asian markets, online, and sometimes at specialty retailers such as Whole Foods Market.

What Is Yuzu?

Yuzu is a small round citrus the the size of a key lime. Unlike the key lime, which has a smooth skin, yuzu has a textured skin similar to lemons, limes and grapefruit. As with other varieties of lime, the skin color ranges from yellow to yellow-green to green.

Yuzu is less tart than lemon or lime, and both complex and elegant in taste. You can discern a combination of grapefruit, lime, lemon and tangerine in both the flavor and aroma. The unique complexity and aroma make it irresistible.

Originating in China, yuzu is believed to be a hybrid of the sour mandarin orange and the Ichang papeda citrus, a primitive citrus fruit. Today yuzu is most widely cultivated in Japan. Fresh yuzu cannot be imported into the U.S., but it is now grown in California. The season is September to December. Look for it at at Asian markets and specialty food stores.

If you can’t find fresh yuzu locally during the season, you can order it from Melissas.com. Fresh yuzu is well worth the treat.  As much of a treat as fresh yuzu is—replete with its heavenly, aromatic zest—bottled yuzu juice is also a luxury.

If you do score fresh yuzu, never discard the rind without zesting it. Yuzu zest in cocktails adds a dash of magic (like Disneyland in a glass). 

So let me know if you've ever had YUZU and then bring some over and we'll make some cocktails and watch Cars (for the 18th time)!

I fought the law, and the law won!

1. Law of Mechanical Repair:  After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

2. Law of Gravity:  Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. Law of Probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

4. Law of Random Numbers: If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

5. Law of the Alibi:  If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

6. Variation Law: If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).  NOTE: this also applies to checkout lanes at Walmart!

7. Law of the Bath:  When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

8. Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

9. Law of the Result: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

10. The Coffee Law:  As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

11. Law of Physical Surfaces:  The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

12. Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy:  As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Need to Build an Ark !!

The Omaha skyline is in the background on this photo (NOTE:  I work in that VERY tall building). This photo was taken at a casino car lot and shows just how much the Missouri River is flooding its banks.

Omaha Missouri River Flooding 2011

Omaha Missouri River Flooding 2011

No soccer games this week at Dodge Park!!

Omaha Missouri River Flooding 2011

A river runs through it ...

New farming technique ...

No rush hour traffic here ...

Not fit for man nor fowl ...

And while my comments might seem humorous, my prayers go out to all those affected by this 500 year flood as they are calling it.  Many will lose their homes and businesses to this massive flood, that isn't expected to subside until LATE July ... I can't even imagine.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

3-Year Old Birthday Card

I friend of mine's daughter is having her third birthday this week and I wanted to make something fun and whimsy for her.

Thank You Card

Sundays are SO for relaxing and for taking time to do those things we enjoy the most.  I took a few minutes this morning to knock out a couple of cards ... here's a thank you card I'm sending to a gal who's blog candy I won recently.   Always so hard to get a 3D photo, but two of the circles I put on pop dots and there's some random tiny pearls as well, but again hard to see in this pic.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Avlyn!!!

Today is my grandniece's birthday.  Avlyn turns ONE today!  And what a cutie patootie she is!  Happy Birthday little darlin'!


It's National Donut Day!!!  And my eyes are GLAZED over at the thought of a maple bar as I type this.

My son was always a HUGE fan of The Simpsons and I can hear him now in his best Homer voice!

It's my understanding that BOTH Krispie Kreme and Dunkin Donuts are offering a free donut to every customer today if you are interested.

Has anyone ever been to Voodoo Donuts?  I guess they make some really unusual flavor combinations, like maple and bacon - which actually sounds like it might be good since I'm a HUGE fan of dunking my bacon in my pancake syrup!

Fruit loops on donuts and soft woolen mittens - these are a few of my favorite things.   And a donut that actually looks like a voodoo doll is kinda scary!  Definitely not for the weak at heart!

But anyway you bake it, a donut definitely has it's place in American history.  The doughnut has existed since the begining of time. So long that archaeologists continue to unearth fossilized bits of what look like doughnuts in the middens of prehistoric Native American settlements.

The doughnut, as we know and love, supposedly came to Manhatten (then still New Amsterdam) under the Dutch name of olykoeks--"oily cakes."

In early colonial times, US. Dutch immigrants discovered fried cake. So, the story goes, a cow kicked a pot full of boiling oil over onto some pastry mix, thus inventing the golden brown delight. Apparently, they didn't share this great discovery with their homeland and the fried cakes became a staple in the harsh conditions that existed in the colony.

Around 1847, Elizibeth Gregory, a New England ship captain's mother, made a deep-fried dough that used her son's spice cargo of nutmeg, cinnimon, and lemon rind. She made the deep fried cakes for son Hansen and his crew so they could store the pastry on long voyages...and to help ward off scurvy and colds. Mrs. Gregory put hazel nuts or walnuts in the center, where the dough might not cook through, and called them doughnuts.

Hansen always took credit for the hole in the doughnut. Some doughnut historians think that Hansen was a bit of a cheapskate and was just trying to save on food costs. Others say that he gave the doughnut its first hole when, in the middle of a terrible storm and in order to get both hands on the ships wheel, he crammed one of his mothers fried sensations onto one of the wooded spokes of the wheel. Yet another tale claims that he decided, after a visit from an angel, that the doughy center of the fried cakes had to go.

Her son Hanson presented "his" creation to the people who apparently sang and danced for days in praise of the best fried cake they had ever tasted. Is the doughnut heavenly food? 17th century America thought so, but unfortunately Hanson was eventually burnt at the stake for being a witch in the mid-19th century. Today, the town of Clam Cove, Maine has a plaque in honor of Captain Hanson Gregory, the man who invented the hole in the donut.

In the Middle of World War I, millions of homesick American "doughboys" were served up countless doughnuts by women volunteers, trying to give the soldiers a taste of home.

The first doughnut machine was invented in 1920, in New York City, by a man named Adolph Levitt, a refugee from czarist Russia. Levitt's doughnut machine was a huge hit causing doughnuts to spread like wildfire.

By 1934, at the World's Fair in Chicago, doughnuts were billed as "the hit food of the Century of Progress". Seeing them made by machines "automatically" somehow made them seem all the more futuristic.

During World War II, Red Cross women, known as Doughnut Dollies passed out hot doughnuts to the hard fighting soldiers.

Today, in the United States alone, over 10 billion doughnuts are made every year.