Saturday, December 27

Hearty Beer Bread

A rich thick hearty easy bread to make, this is I think the best beer bread I have made so far.  
There is no kneading or rising needed so it’s super easy to make. 

Beer adds its own unique flavor and because it's a product of fermentation, it also adds its own leavening agent.

The bread will take on what ever character or flavor of beer you use, so the bread can and will taste a little different each time you make it.

I like using Imports, stouts or stronger flavors of beer.  
But a domestic beer will work just fine too.
And in case putting beer in bread is of concern for you, a great percentage of the alcohol evaporates during the baking process.

There are many debates as to whether beer or bread came first in early civilization. But one thing is certain; both have been in the human diet for thousands of years.

Wednesday, December 24

Vacation Ornament

Beach or Vacation Ornament

Here's a cute idea for a last minute ornament or one to commemorate a vacation.

Recently we took a trip to Orlando and St. Augustine, Florida and spent a few days on the beach.

While shopping around St. Augustine's historical downtown I saw similar ornaments like these going for $10.00 to $15.00 a piece!

Mine cost approximately $1.00 a piece for the clear bulb. The sand and shells are free to collect on the beach.

Beach Ornament

What You'll Need:
  • Clean sand from the beach
  • Small shells or other interesting beach items
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Funnel
  • Wire

Monday, December 22

Coconut Macaroons

Here's another of our favorite Christmas cookies: Coconut Macaroons.

These are easy cookies to make, have just a few ingredients, but pack a big punch of flavor.

Adding a little almond extract gives the cookie just enough extra flavor, but not enough to over shadow the coconut.  
If almond is the flavor you wish to dominate add a little more extract.

These store well in a sealed air tight container.
These can be made Gluten Free, just use GF flour.

Friday, December 12

Lemon Bars

I usually bake cookies to give out as gifts during the Holidays.  Some years I have made as many as 50 to 60 dozen cookies!
Each year I get the most requests for this cookie recipe.  And I have to say it is one of my favorite cookies too.

Many Lemon Bar or Lemon Cookie recipes call for lemon zest or grated lemon rind added to the cookie.  I have found that the zest or rind added makes the cookie slightly tarter.  Without it, the cookie is a perfect delicate lemon flavor with a delicious crust.

These cookies are best kept in the refrigerator but after tasting them they may not last long enough to worry about it.  If giving as gifts, I suggest you wrap each individual cookie bar in Sarah Wrap so they store better, do not stick together and do not absorb the odor or flavors from other cookies.

Wednesday, December 10

Vintage Paper Ornaments

Vintage Christmas Ornaments

I have been making homemade Christmas ornaments and decorations for years, going back to my childhood.  My sisters and I would make paper chains to hang on our family Christmas tree and I still have wooden Charlie Brown ornaments I painted when in my early teens, and a beaded boot ornament from my late teens.

Many years I made ornaments for each of my children, and then as they got older, married and had families, I sometimes made an ornament for each of the grand-kids.

Recently a few of my sisters, my daughters and a couple friends and I have been doing ornament exchanges.