Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Personalized Santa Hat Chair Back Covers

Add a touch of Christmas with these Santa Hat chair back covers in your
kitchen or dining room! The covers measure 20x27, so they will fit a
wide range of chairs.
The covers can be embroidered with your family name or the name of the
person that usually sits in a particular chair. Make every person feel
Available from

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cheddar Cheese Wafers Recipe

1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a standing mixer or food
processor, beat the cheese, butter, celery seeds, Worcestershire, dry
mustard, Tabasco and cayenne on medium speed or process until smooth.
Add the flour and beat on low speed or process until combined. Gather
the dough into a ball and knead a few times on a lightly floured
surface. Shape the dough into a 12-inch log, wrap in plastic and
refrigerate until firm.

Preheat the oven to
350 degrees F. Sprinkle 2 baking sheets with the salt. Slice the log
1/4 inch thick and arrange the slices 1 inch apart on the baking
sheets. Bake the wafers for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned
on the bottom and around the edges. Transfer them to a wire rack to
cool before serving.

Northern Lights Seen in the South

A solar outburst sparked surprising displays of the northern lights as far south as Arkansas, Mississippi and North Carolina tonight, marking one of the farthest-reaching auroral shows in years.

word spread about the geomagnetic storm, photos streamed onto the Web
from the usual places, such as Norway, Sweden and Iceland, but also
from locales that are typically too far south to see the northern
lights: Oklahoma ... Kansas ... Kentucky ... Tennessee ... Virginia.

Arkansas photographer Brian Emfinger was alerted to the
northern lights by's aurora alert. "I ran out and put
my camera out and immediately saw reddish aurora," he wrote. "I ran out
into the field, and within a few minutes the aurora went crazy!"

The cause of the show was a coronal mass ejection from the sun
that hit Earth's magnetosphere at about 2 p.m. ET,

The impact caused a strong compression in the magnetic
field, allowing electrically charged particles from the solar wind to
penetrate down to geosynchronous orbit (22,000 miles or 35,000
kilometers in altitude). That means Earth-orbiting satellites could
have been exposed to the solar storm, analysts said.

activity is on the upswing toward an expected peak of the sun's 11-year
cycle in 2013, and the past few months have been marked by strong
auroral activity. Here's a picture of an aurora as seen from the
International Space Station on Sept. 29 as it flew over the midwestern
United States.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Very Cool Good Morning

Despite our morning low of 35 degrees, my roses are still blooming. It's supposed to be in the 30s again tonight, so I don't imagine my beauties will last much longer.

It is currently a wonderful 53 degrees. I have always loved cool weather, but it is more appreciated this year. We have some more warm days ahead, but hopefully we won't have to wear shorts for Halloween this year!

Wishing the best to you all!
Ruth Ann

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shar Pei Tote Bags

Shar Pei Tote Bag

Shar Pei Tote Bag Shar Pei Tote Bag
This canvas tote bag is perfect for taking your grooming supplies to dog shows or just for showing your love of your precious pooch.

The bag is cotton canvas embroidered in your choice of breeds from the list of 44 below. Your dog's name is added above the embroidered picture and a ribbon of doggie footprints adorns the top of the bag.

There will be at least two pictures shown of each breed. Please choose your favorite.

More breeds are being added. Currently available are:

Australian Shepherd
Azawakh Hound
Basset Hound
Belgian Sheepdog
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bichon Frise
Border Collie
Boston Terrier
Brittany Spaniel
Brussels Griffon
Chinese Crested Dogs
Cocker Spaniel
Corgi - both Cardigan and Pembroke
Dandi Dinmont
English Bulldog
English Cocker Spaniels
English Springer Spaniel
English Toy Spaniel
Field Spaniel
German Shepherd
German Shorthaired Pointer
Golden Retriever
Irish Setter
Jack Russel Terrier
Japanese Chin
Labrador Retriever
Lancashier Heeler
Miniature Pinscher
Norwegian Elkhound
Poodle - 2 clips
Rat Terrier
Schnauzer - 4 types
Shetland Sheepdog
Shih Tzu - Puppy and Adult
Siberian Huskey
Silky Terrier
South Russian Terrier
Sussex Spaniel
West Highland White Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier

These bags, as well as many others, are available by special order through our Etsy site. Please allow 2 weeks for special orders.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Best Cornbread Ever

The Best Cornbread Ever
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 cup Bisquick or any similar baking mix
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup cornmeal

Mix together and bake in in 9x9 greased pan

350 degrees F
35 minutes

This recipe is courtesy of Morning Ramble. It's similar to the one I use, except for the Bisquick. Can't wait to try this one!

Time to relax

The time to relax is when you don't have the time for it.

My dear friend LaDonna posted this on her blog "Gracious Hospitality" and I have never heard a truer statement. It seems that I have rushed through my life with no time to relax until my car accident 5 years ago forced me to do so. It's hard to get used to 'enforced relaxation', but as I begin to feel better, I'm taking more time for my machine embroidery and jewelry making. I look forward to being able to stand up long enough to cook some of the great recipes I've been collecting!

All of my former friends are now raising their grandchildren - their kids didn't bother with marriage, but they managed to have many 'moments of passion'.

We are so lucky to have made many friends at church. We had lunch this week with the 'over 70' crowd. We are 15 years too young, but what a wonderful time we had!

Ah, life passes us by too fast. Sometimes God takes a big chunk out of those lives with injuries and unemployment. Maybe this is good because we realize how precious life is. God always knows best.

With love to my blogging friends,
Ruth Ann

Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

Gooey Butter Cake is a St. Louis tradition, often served at breakfast. Cake for breakfast? This just keeps getting better. The method of the cake is quite different from any other cake I’ve made. The actual “cake” becomes a crust, which is topped with a creamy filling made of cream cheese, butter and sugar. Rumor has it that this cake originally came about as a mistake—a bakery employee in St. Louis accidentally mixed up a recipe—but they went ahead and baked the cake anyway. It sold so well that they continued to bake the cake that way, which eventually turned into this delicious tradition.

  • 1 package (18.25 Oz. Box) Plain Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 whole Egg
  • _____
  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, At Room Temperature
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 3-¾ cups Confectioner's Sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare crust first. In a large mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients with a wooden spoon until moist. Transfer to a 13″x9″ ungreased baking pan and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Next, prepare the filling. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and melted butter, and continue to mix. Next, add the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time until all sugar is mixed in. Pour filling over the crust, and spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake gooey butter cake for 40-45 minutes until it is browned, but the center is still jiggles when the pan is shaken. Cool for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with additional confectioner’s sugar and serve.

This recipe comes from Tasty Kitchen.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kitty Kat for New Tote

This marvelous kitty kat will adorn our canvas tote bags for Mardi Gras 2012.  Isn't he just the cutest little guy you've ever seen!  He's all dressed - complete with mask - and ready to party!

The design is done by me on my embroidery machine.

Your monogram will be added to the back of the bag, if you so desire.

Mr. Kat is available at

He is custom made, so please allow 2 extra weeks for delivery.

Chicken Casserole

Recipe from Ina Garten
  • 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots (4 carrots), blanched for 2 minutes
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

In a small sauce pan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley. Mix well. Place the stew in a 10 x 13 x 2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the biscuits on top of the filling. Brush them with egg wash, and return the dish to the oven. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbly.

Note: To make in advance, refrigerate the chicken stew and biscuits separately. Bake the stew for 25 minutes, then place the biscuits on top, and bake for another 30 minutes, until done.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
adapted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine
yield: about 20 small-size biscuits

1 pound sweet potatoes or yam (one large one is usually sufficient)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (chilled), cut into small pieces
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Prick the sweet potato and bake until soft (about one hour…you can also do this more quickly in a microwave). Once the sweet potato has cooled, scoop the flesh from the skin and pass through a food mill, ricer or sieve. You should have about 1 3/4 cups puree.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cayenne. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter (or use your fingers) until it resembles a course meal. Mix milk with sweet potato puree and add it to the other ingredients. Mix dough, just to incorporate (I use my hands). If the dough is really sticky, add a touch more flour. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead a few times. Pat out to a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut biscuits with a biscuit-cutter or glass. We make ours small, about 2 inches in diameter. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Place in preheated oven and cook until risen and slightly brown, about 12 minutes (longer for larger biscuits). Serve warm.

Do not bake the biscuits is using on Chicken Casserole.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins Recipe

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour 18 muffin cups, or use paper liners.
  2. To make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Beat until smooth, then set aside.
  3. For the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.
  4. For the muffin batter: In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add eggs, pumpkin, olive oil and vanilla. Beat together until smooth.
  5. Place pumpkin mixture in muffin cups about 1/2 full. Then add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture right in the middle of the batter. Try to keep cream cheese from touching the paper cup. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F (195 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.