Tuesday, July 31, 2012

For the Love of Lime!

If I were given a chance to save only ONE fruit from extinction, my choice would definitely be the LIME.  Maybe it's their pure pucker power, or how it brightens up a simple glass of ice water, but whatever its drawing power, it is one of my favorite fruit flavors!

Now the question ... what is the difference between a lime and a key lime?  Most of my recipes call for key limes, which have a much more acidic "bite" and take all of my recipes to another level of sparkle! 

One of my favorite LIME recipes are for these lovely meltaway bites ... they literally just melt in your mouth!   The first time I made these I had my adult children doubled over in pain from laughing so hard as I described how I had to first zest and then squeeze 20+ of these little baby key limes in order to get enough juice for a double batch of this recipe.   My visual was of squeezing something the size of a marble with my pinkies pointed out and of course making what I thought was a good impression of squeezing a lime ... it still makes them smile whenever I say the words KEY LIME. 

Makes about 2 dozen cookies


1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons key lime zest*
1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 Tablespoon Key lime juice*

For sugar-dusting

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons key lime zest*

*Note: If you can’t find Key limes, simply substitute more common limes for this recipe. The tart flavor will be less intense, but the cookie will still taste delicious. Warning: Lime juice may curdle your butter so follow this recipe’s directions. Do not add the lime juice to the dough until the end of the mixing process.

Step 1 – First preheat the oven to 325° F. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Blend in the vanilla extract, salt, and lime zest. Add the flour and baking powder, and mix very briefly until a shaggy dough forms.

Step 2 – Now add your lime juice and mix until a smooth dough comes together, but do not over-mix or your cookies will be tough instead of tender.

Step 3 – Roll the dough into balls about one inch in diameter. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cookies are done when bottoms are slightly browned. Note that cookies are fragile while warm, so handle with care.

Step 4 – To finish, mix 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar with 2 teaspoons of lime zest in a shallow bowl. While cookies are still warm, gently roll them, one at a time, in the bowl of sugar and lime zest. After all cookies are coated, finish by sprinkling any remaining sugar-lime mixture over cookie tops. Store cooled cookies in an airtight plastic container. They also freeze extremely well. I store my extras in freezer-safe re-sealable plastic bags.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Handcrafted Inspirations

There are some really delightful projects in this free online issue Stamping & Company Handcrated Inspirations.  Click on the link to see what I mean ...


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Extreme Snickerdoodles!

One of my kids' FAVORITE cookies have always been snickerdoodles ... and take into account my son's OBSESSION with all things cinammon, this treat is a definite must!

Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles from ourbestbites.com

Always looking to improve my basic cookies recipes, a few years ago Hershey's came out with cinnamon chips and of course my first thought was to add them to an already good cinnamon based treat.  And don't skimp.  Add the FULL bag of Cinnamon Chips!  Trust me on this one!
View larger image
Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening

2 eggs

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

EXTREME INGREDIENT:  One full bag of cinnamon chips!


1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 400ºF.

Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.  Add cinnamon chips.

Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool.

And if you like the idea of adding chips to your cookies, try adding a full bag of peanut butter chips to your next batch of peanut butter cookies ... talk about over the top yumminess! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Would you like fries with that?

Yep ... it's National French Fries Day! 

Although the exact origin of French fries is unknown, one theory suggests that they date back to 17th century Belgium. The inhabitants of this region often cooked small fried fish to accompany their meals. When weather conditions made it too dangerous to go fishing, they cut up potatoes in long, thin strips (to resemble the fish) and fried them!

I like french fries with hamburgers, hot dogs, and steak.

I like just eating french fries by themselves. 

I like french fries with ketchup or mayo & ketchup mixed together.

I like french fries with steak sauce & mayo mixed together.

I like plain french fries and seasoned french fries.

I like thick french fries and thin french fries.

I like plain steak fries and crinkle cut french fries.

I like french fries.
But wait ...

Zucchini and carrot fries?  Naw !!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Domestic Goddess

I just discovered 7 Dots Studio and am in love with their new collections, Domestic Goddess and Hopefully. 

Go and check out their blog here: 


If you like vintage like me, then you will ADORE this new collage sheet:

Wouldn't these images make some fantastic fun cards??!!

And if I still haven't got your attention, take a look at these new papers ... oh my ...

So head over now and tell Tusia I sent you!  I just know you are going to become a fan!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Why didn't I think of that?

Freeze coffee into ice cubes and add to Bailey's Irish Cream or Almond Milk.




hey coffee lovers ~Freeze coffee as ice cubes and use in almond milk.  


Brain Freeze!

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?

What better excuse (as if you need one) to whip out that ice cream maker and churn up some of your favorite frozen treats!  And nowadays you can actually make ice cream right in your freezer.  But some of my favorite memories are when my dad would take the wooden ice cream maker out into the back yard on a hot summer day and mom would pour in the sugar, eggs, vanilla and cream, and dad would cover it in ice and rock salt and each of us kids would take turns "cranking" the handle until almost 30 minutes later (and a lot of tired arms) we had homemade ice cream.  And boy of boy there was NOTHING that compares to the taste of that cold treat on a hot summer day!  Even though you were guaranteed to get "brain freeze" from eating it too fast ... but that was all part of the experience! 

And if you were lucky enough to get one of the "paddles" away from dad, you were in sweet vanilla ice cream heaven (and in need of a water hose bath afterwards!!)

For my Daughter and Granddaughter

I saw this list (credit to http://lisajobaker.com) and just HAD to share it on my blog as it sums up PERFECTLY what it means to be a mother to a daughter ... this is for you, Laura!  And for Paisley when she's old enough to appreciate it!

100 Things I Want to Teach My Daughter and Granddaughter!

1.Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of body.

2.The benefit of the doubt is sometimes the best gift we can give our friends.

3.There will always be mean girls – that doesn’t mean we find a tower and Rapunzel ourselves away from the world.

4.Your daddy has loved you better and longer than any boy ever will.

5.Your brothers will teach you how boys should treat you.

6.You’re always welcome in my wardrobe.

7.The world needs your point of view.

8.Food is a joy.

9.Your body is strong and capable of more than you can imagine right now.

10.Ice cream is a love language.

11.Cook, decorate, clean, organize because you love to, not because someone tells you you’re meant to.

12.Music makes everything better.

13.Dance – especially when you’re doing the laundry.

14.You’ll never be too old for me to rock you.

15.Nothing you tell me will ever make me want to stop hearing from you.

16.We need your story.

17.No prayer request is ever too small, too silly or too embarrassing to share.

18.Washing your face every night is the best kind of beauty routine.

19.Sunscreen – you got my British genes.

20.Mr. Darcy and popcorn make for a perfect evening.

21.Blue eyes really do melt hearts.

22.Betty Crocker’s chocolate fudge is the best in the world.

23.A good movie can change how you understand someone else.

24.Words can build bridges between people.

25.Home is not where we live but who we love.

26.Gumboot dancing.

27.Your name holds a special meaning for us.

28.Inevitably I will splinter your heart. But we will tweeze it out together.

29.You taught me how to feel beautiful.

30.Staying up late to read a good book is never time wasted.

31.Good girls aren’t boring.

32.A great mascara is always worth the investment.

33.4pm high tea is one of the best parts of being part South African.

34.The “mommy wars” are a myth; we’re all in this together.

35.The best way never to worry about anyone gossiping about you is never to gossip about anybody.

36.Saying sorry first is a sign of strength not a weakness.

37.I’m on your side; especially on the days when it doesn’t feel like it.

38.Your body is not just yours. It’s a gift for your husband. I promise it’s worth waiting to unwrap together.

39.Sex for the first time will require a beautiful sense of humor and a partner who’s in it for life.

40.The movies lie. Passion isn’t a contorted exercise on a marble staircase, it’s doing the dishes together and lying with your feet touching in bed at the end of a long day.

41.Marriage is an act of courage, commitment and sacrifice. It’s also the most fun you’ll ever have with your best friend.

42.Always fight fair. But don’t be afraid to fight.

43.Long hair requires a really good conditioner.

44.God says He has made all things beautiful – that includes you, my love – no matter how you feel about your body

45.Fashion is not my forte; I look forward to learning from you.

46.I love the curves you and your brothers added to my body.

47.A good cry is great therapy.

48.Christian women aren’t immune from cliques. Love on regardless.

49.Bad hair days are inevitable.

50.A strong man is never threatened by a strong woman.

51.Go big even if it means failing big. Especially then.

52.Be the friend you wish you had.


54.You can’t control what others think about you. Let it go.

55.A first kiss should be toasted, treasured, savored.

56.I will be your best friend. But I will be your mother more.

57.Your dad will teach you about music. He has the best eclectic taste.

58.You can’t go wrong with The Civil Wars

59.Stop for sunsets.

60.Prince Charming isn’t a fairytale, he’s a myth

61.Daughters teach us about our mothers. You gave me back my mom.

62.Jesus loves you for you. Not for your ability to bear children.

63.Husbands need a wife. Not another mom.

64.It’s true what they say about childbirth and then some.

65.Love waits.

66.Patience is never wasted.

67.Don’t just Instagram your life. Live it.

68.Dad will be the one helping you with math homework.

69.Don’t be afraid of a broken heart.

70.The only thing holding you back from making a difference in the world will be yourself.

71.South African pancakes are better than American ones.

72.Girlfriends are the best kind of free therapy there is.

73.Don’t be afraid to be foolish.

74.Real life is always better than online.

75.A good friend loves at all times. Period.

76.Read everything written by Madeleine L’Engle.

77.Eating too much nerds candy will be something your teeth make you regret in your thirties.

78.I’m more interested in your growth than your happiness.

79.I will earthquake wide open when you hurt.

80.If it makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t do it, wear it or say it.

81.Challenge yourself.

82.Walk across the Charles Bridge in Prague.

83.Learn at least one other language.

84.Cross-cultural marriage is much harder than you can ever imagine when you first fall in love.

85.Homesickness never gets easier.

86.But Dramamine is the perfect cure for motion sickness on 18 hour flights.

87.We need each other.

88.Bad haircuts grow out eventually.

89.You will love again.

90.The painful truth is always easier than a messy lie.

91.Jesus loves you, this I know. In my heart, my bones, my soul.

92.There’s no such thing as perfect.

93.You can always come home.

94.Nothing will make me love you less.

95.Nothing will make me love you more.

96.The mirror is not the boss of you.

97.You’re the most brave when you’re the most scared and keep going anyway.

98.Womanhood is a gift.

99.I’m never tired of being your mother.

100.You will always be my baby girl.

Friday, July 6, 2012


You gotta love this holiday, as nothing is as american (except maybe apple pie) as fried chicken.  It's been a staple of every picnic gathering I can remember in my family.  Here's one of MY favorite recipes for this golden delight.

3 eggs

1/3 cup water

About 1 cup hot red pepper sauce

2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon pepper

Lawry's season salt

pepper to taste

1 to 2 1/2-pound chicken, cut into pieces

Oil, for frying, preferably peanut oil


In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs with the water. Add enough hot sauce so the egg mixture is bright orange. In another bowl, combine the flour and pepper. Season the chicken with spices listed. Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg, and then coat well in the flour mixture.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil.

Fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp. Dark meat takes longer then white meat. It should take dark meat about 13 to 14 minutes, white meat around 8 to 10 minutes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

We're having a heat wave!

I just knew that having SUCH a mild winter and early beautiful spring would come back to haunt us ... and it has ... with a vengence!  Temps this week are going to be at or near the 100 degree mark !!  So it's probably hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk!

I moved AWAY from Arizona because I didn't like the extreme hot weather.  And here I am in the midwest having to endure this oppressive heat!  I'm thinking that maybe it has something to do with all that heat coming off the screen and bouncing off the women in the audience with the permier of Magic Mike?


I'm actually going to see that with a good friend of mine this week ... of course, I'm expecting oscar winning acting and a good plot with a twist.  LOL!

So right now I'm thinking of running out and purchasing a snow cone machine ... and just standing under it !!

I remember having these as a kid and always being disappointed once I had sucked out all of the flavoring and all that was left was ice.  I think I even had one of the original "snoopy" snow cone machines where you dropped in a single ice cube and had to turn the crank SEVERAL times in order to get maybe a tablespoon of shaved ice ... but what the heck ... it didn't take much to impress us kids back in the 1960's !!

But whatever your favorite way to escape the heat is, have a great week ahead and a safe July 4 celebration!