26 January 2012

Grandma Smith's Soft Molasses Cookies

My Grandma makes THE BEST molasses cookies.  And there were almost always some in the container on top of the fridge while I was growing up.  Recently, they moved into an assisted living facility and we have been slowly cleaning out the house.  While I was working on the kitchen, I came across a couple of half full jars of molasses and pet milk (sweetened condensed, Carnation also makes this)

I made them at mom and dad's this weekend because I didn't want ALL those cookies in the house.  I wanted to share the recipe with you here.

Grandma Smith's Soft Molasses Cookies

Preheat oven to 375* - cookies will bake for about 10 minutes for one tray, up the time by a minute or so if you are cooking two trays at once.

2/3 cup pet milk
2 tsp. vinegar
1/2 cup cooking molasses
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
2/3 cup soft shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

Mix together milk & vinegar.  Add molasses and mix well

Sift together dry ingredients, except sugar.

Cream together the shortening and sugar.  Add eggs and beat hard.

Add molasses mixture and flour mixture alternately to shortening mixture.

25 January 2012

WIP Wednesday - Notting HIll Vest

I also gave up on the original vest for my dad.  It didn't fit him right and I am NOT a pro at writing/re-writing patterns.  I found this instead and it seems a much better choice.  It's the Notting Hill Vest from Interweave Knits by Kathy Zimmerman.  If only the fiber didn't make me itch so. 

Here's the back.  I really like how the cables turned out.  I'm not sure if the armholes are too deep for him or not, but I will measure it on him in the next couple of weekends.  That, thankfully, is an easy fix.  
I already did the ribbing for the front and am starting the chart tonight....  good so far!

20 January 2012

Cable Slippers

Remember these...

They started a trend.  I needed more.  I found this little booklet at Joann's a while back and instantly fell for the adorable cable slippers.  Then I forgot about them for a while.  Well, I needed an easy road trip project a few weeks ago and started spending too much time on Ravelry when I found these in my que and remembered that I had the book!  BINGO!!!!

About the same time, I moved my sewing area to the front (bedroom) storage room.  It was in the living room and the Hubs couldn't see the TV while on the Ellyptical, so he wasn't using it.  I had to move yarn, and we all know that takes a while, because it needs to be looked at and held, while the computer is sitting on the floor with Ravelry open next to you.  WELL, I had just under 2 skeins of Australian Merino leftover from a Capelet I made years ago.  Gauge was right on!  Yippee, road trip project that fills the need for more slippers too, I love 2 for one's!

They are wonderful.  That's all, no complaints, they fit perfectly and I still want more (of these) exactly like this, in more colors.  Yep, happy feet!

18 January 2012

Resolutions 2012

As I said in a previous post, I tried to be realistic on my resolutions this year.

1)  Keep up with my workout routine - I started back to the gym last summer and I have been pretty good about keeping to my routine.  I generally head there directly from work Monday - Thursday and I get there at least once on the weekends when we stay home.  I have not, however, been good about getting some exercise in when we are at the lake for the weekend.  I am resolving to get better at this.  And to loose it for good.  Slow and steady.

2)  De-clutter certain areas of disorganization - especially old cooking magazines.  (this DOES NOT include Everyday Food, of which I am only lacking about 5 from the beginning, or Cuisine Magazines.)  Cooking Light recipes are all being saved on Pinterest.  Possibly work through a couple of my favorite cookbooks and give a review...

3)  Get better about planning meals ahead.  This includes batch cooking for the freezer and possibly doing a big cooking day every few months.  My hubby has been great about cooking since I have been going to the gym, but he needs to get there too, so crock-pot, made ahead meals and easy things for him are on my agenda.  Also, planning meals using pantry items instead of buying all ingredients.

4)  Spend more time here.  I have been negligent and that really bothers me.  I like it here, that's why I started this blog.  I want to get on a better blogging schedule.  At least once a week to start with and increase from there.

5)  Make a dent in my reading list.

6)  Complete UFO's in my knitting and sewing que.  Including finishing another quilt and dad's vest.

7)  Make more of an effort to get things on Etsy and work on promoting my shop.

8)  Find a job that i truly enjoy and that makes me feel fulfilled.  Not sure right now what that is, I have an idea, but I'm just not sure how to get there.

Like I said, trying to be realistic.  I think most of these are do-able, but they at least give me something to think about.  I KNOW I won't make it through my reading list (more on that soon), but I've been working through it lately and will share what I've been enjoying.

16 January 2012

Chicken Orzo Soup

It's cold here so soup was most definitely on the agenda.  Chicken Orzo Soup from a past issue of Cooking Light.  One of my New Year's Resolutions, and I tried to be realistic this year, is to purge some un-needed things.  One category that needs a thorough "pick-through" is my collection of cooking magazines.  I had a lot of old cooking light issues.  A lot.  I'm so glad I found Pinterest.  It's my new obsession.  I do seriously mean obsession here.  It's the easiest thing to use, like an online bulletin board, or in my case, filing cabinet.  I have had so much fun pinning articles and recipes and seeing who likes my pins.  See my sidebar --------->  to follow me on Pinterest.  I would love to see what you're pinning!

Anyhow, back to dinner.  This was a wonderful recipe.  I cooked a chicken with herbs, veggies and water in my crock-pot all day yesterday and used the chicken and broth for the soup.  I am also trying to use things out of the pantry this year.  It's going OK so far.  I had orzo so that was why I wanted to try this.  I also got whole chickens on sale for $.78/pound, so I restocked my freezer with a few of those.  Always nice to have on hand for broth and soups.  Here are a few other recipes I use that technique on: 
Chicken Noodle Soup
White Chicken Chili