I have been doing a lot of cooking and baking in the past several weeks; however, not anything new from my Cooking-Through Cookbook choice for the year.
Last week I made a new recipe of Chocolate Chip cookies and my first-ever batch of Ginger cookies. Both were from my one Allrecipes magazine and they were really good.
Today I decided to make my first-ever batch of Molasses cookies. I’ve been wanting to bake Molasses cookies for a while now. I found the recipe which belonged to my Grandmother and decided that was the one to make. I used a mild-flavored brand of molasses called ‘Grandma’s Molasses’ and followed the recipe as written but without the cloves. I didn’t take any photos while mixing the batter but I have photos below after chilling it.
I baked them for 10 minutes and allowed them to cool on the sheet for 3 minutes before moving them to the cooling rack.
My husband said that he likes the Ginger cookies better than these (and there was molasses in those cookies as well as ginger added to these cookies but the amounts were different for each cookie). Maybe it’s the type of molasses used but I don’t care for the flavor of these so much either. I don’t recall my Grandmother baking these and if she did I don’t remember eating them (I was a rather picky-eater as a child so Molasses wasn’t something I would have enjoyed at that time of my life). I do want to try other Molasses cookie recipes though to see if I will like any of those better than these.
Try them and let me know what you think.
Update on 10/22/2017: After allowing the cookies to sit for a day I’ve discovered that the flavor is much better than it was yesterday and I do enjoy the cookies.
I absolutely love staying home on Saturday night and cooking supper.
I can make anything I choose to with any ingredients which I desire, eat at the exact time I want to and I don’t have to wait in line for a seat at the table.
It is the best!! This weekend was no exception.
I’m going to share my recipe for the fabulous (and healthy!!) meal which we ate.
It is a casserole using spaghetti squash, veggies and ground meat. You can make this meatless if you choose but I always love adding ground venison.
I’ve very blessed to have a Father and Husband who love to hunt. There is always some type of wild game in my freezer and venison is something which we really enjoy.
This is really a simple and rather quick dish to get together. The flavor is AMAZING!!! You will love it, I guarantee it!
To prepare spaghetti squash
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds. (I kept some and want to try getting some plants to start for my garden this year)
Place the squash on a baking sheet, cut sides down, and bake for roughly 40 minutes (depending on the size of your squash it won’t take all of that time). When the squash “flesh” is soft, remove from the oven and take off the baking sheet to allow it to cool. When cool enough for you to handle shred the “flesh” by removing it from the skins with a fork and place into a bowl.
Turn your oven temp back to 350 degrees in preparation for baking the casserole.
While the spaghetti squash is baking in oven
While my squash is baking/softening the “flesh” in the oven I begin the rest of the casserole.
Take the ground meat of your choice (approx 1 pound) and brown in a bit of oil (I use olive oil) in a pan (I also sprinkle some granulated garlic or season-salt over my meat as it is browning in the pan). Since venison is very lean meat I don’t have to worry about fat. If you use ground beef/pork you will most likely have to drain off some fat when it is completely browned. If you don’t want to use meat than just skip to the next step.
After the meat is browned add the following to the pan
( You can use whatever you want to here in the recipe; I will share with you what I use. I don’t measure these ingredients; I just use whatever I want to or use up whatever is in the fridge. )
1 can garbanzo beans
sliced black olives
1 clove garlic
cut up onion
1 pint home-canned Roma tomatoes (or you could use fresh if you want to)
chopped sweet peppers
sliced fresh mushrooms
After the meat and veggies are cooked in the pan for a while and some of the moisture has evaporated away just add all of this to the bowl with the squash.
Before mixing all together in the bowl add the following flavorings or use what you want or have in your kitchen
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
some salt and freshly ground pepper
shredded colby-jack (or cheddar or other sharp flavor) cheese
I then mix everything together really well and place into a greased casserole dish and bake in the oven.
Bake it uncovered for approx 30 minutes or until it is the way you like it. You can always add more cheese over the top and anything else you have on hand.
I really enjoy just using up what I have on-hand in my kitchen when I make casseroles like this. You never know what flavors and ingredients will taste like together unless you try.
My old-soul feels comforted while “wrapped up…”
…in made-from-scratch comfort foods which I made in my kitchen
…in the months from October through February
…in vintage Christmas songs
…while watching The Waltons & Charlie Brown Holiday Specials on television
…in my house watching the snow fall and wearing cozy socks
…day-dreaming of my childhood life on the old homesteads
…thinking of the youthful days of walking/riding my bicycle all over town with no cell phones and no adult worries or responsibilities
…in thoughts of my family members who have passed on into the next life
Do you often feel like the world around you is just going crazy and out of control?
And it seems to be getting worse for me.
I feel like my old-soul has really grown weary of late by being bombarded with all of this technology and the ‘noise’ it provides. I get disgusted while standing at the gas pumps when a television screen is filled with more noise. I just want peace and quiet.
I want to get away from people and technology and all of the noise and distractions which they produce.
I don’t feel guilty or sorry about it either.
I’m just tired.
My old-soul has aged quite considerably in the last 6 years.
I feel lost in this world and am willing to fall into my rabbit hole into the mid 20th century away from all of this and live on Walton’s Mountain.
Do you feel like falling with me?
Maybe it is because I miss who I was when I was there
Or because of the innocence and carefree life it held for me
Maybe for what it stood for and for who was there
For all the good that happened; for all the memories it holds of my life as it stands for someone else
Maybe for what it has done to me to shape me into the woman I am today
But I feel…mostly for the fact that it is a capsule of time which I want to live in forever because I miss everything about you and who I once was with you
I must write this down.
Even if for no other reason than to document and preserve the memory and feelings I’ve had since last evening.
We attended a local spaghetti supper to benefit a community. It is a yearly event and the food is outstanding with a large gathering of people who come and go throughout the day. I often see people whom I have either worked with or know from my hometown/community. There is all-you-can-eat spaghetti, salad bar (in a canoe!), homemade soups and desserts.
As I came to the end of the canoe and was reviewing the various salad dressings I felt someone touch my back. I turned to find the smiling face of a former schoolmate of mine whom I haven’t seen for many years. She game me a huge hug and we talked for approximately two minutes and ended with another hug. It is hard to describe the feelings I’ve had since that moment. It was wonderful to see “M” even though we weren’t close friends in school. She was always part of the ‘in crowd,’ had many friends, boyfriends, the best clothes and involved in many school activities. I often was jealous of her and her friends because it seemed like they had everything one could ever want. My school years weren’t the happiest of my life due to being picked-on by so many in our small high school and having very few friends to support me (it seemed like they abandoned me too, at times). I ended up getting an after-school job at age 16 at the local supermarket and worked a lot with no social life at all. I am very happy that my life has turned out better than it appeared it would be when I was a teenager.
Seeing “M” was really nice, actually. I have avoided all of the class reunions that have happened since my high school graduation and I currently have very-rare contact with a couple of girls from my class. But seeing “M” was really good and that has surprised me. Maybe it is because time has changed us both and we’ve learned many life lessons and have forgotten all of the childish things that occurred between us in those dark days of school. I learned a long time ago that no matter how good someone else’s life may appear to us it may be that they are struggling with so much and their life could be worse than our own. Maybe “M’s” life wasn’t as good as it appeared to me; maybe she was struggling at home, too, with so much. A few years ago “M’s” sister succumbed to her demons and took her own life. She was a very popular, always-smiling girl in our school. I was shocked when I learned that news and often think of her. I remember she gave me a senior photo with the sweetest words written on the back. I still have that and have often thought of that nice gesture to me. When she gave me that photo I was over the moon after reading those words. It made such a difference to me in those rough school days.
I am very happy that “M” made the decision to walk over to me when she saw me (I hadn’t seen her). I’ve been thinking about her and our conversation and it wasn’t a bad experience to see her. I always avoided classmates because I didn’t want to dig up all of those bad memories and feelings from yesteryear.
God does place people in front of us for a reason. And there must be a reason that he placed “M” there for me last evening. In His time I shall learn that, I’m sure.
I have always enjoyed Autumn here in Pennsylvania.
It is a beautiful time of year with colorful leaves, crisp cool air, sweatshirts to wear and festivals all around.
I also love getting back to making comfort foods and baking more in my kitchen.
For the last few years I’ve been baking through many different Pumpkin Pie recipes in my search to find the perfect one:
The first Pumpkin Pie I fell in love with.
I do have many of her recipes including the few cookbooks which she owned but like many of her generation, The Greatest Generation, the recipes to daily eating were kept hidden well in their memory and not written down. I have tried many of the Pumpkin Pie recipes among her collection but I can’t seem to find the exact one which she made. She may have used one of the written recipes which I’ve found but tweaked it a bit by adding or omitting something which I can’t seem to figure out. I even asked my Aunt (my Grandmother’s daughter-in-law) if she had my Grandmother’s recipe. She doesn’t but she did share the one which she has always made and it is very good as well.
One thing is certain.
My husband isn’t debating with me over all of the taste-testing which he’s been enduring through my many attempts at finding the ‘one!’ 😉
I recently purchased a blue used cookbook titled The Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cookbook Wartime Edition.
It is a book full of recipes which use common household items found during the War time. Nothing fancy is needed and there is a lot to be found within the covers among the nearly 1000 pages.
I have found a Pumpkin Pie recipe in there which has gotten me to the closest I think I can get to my Grandmother’s pie. It seemed to have the appearance, taste and consistency of her Pumpkin Pie; from what I can remember anyway.
To usher in the Season and to share with you, here is the one from that book and I hope you will enjoy it this Holiday Season.
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 2/3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin
1 Pie Crust
Sift dry ingredients together and stir into eggs. Add milk and pumpkin. Line pie pan with crust and pour in filling. Bake in preheated oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce to 325 degrees and bake 35 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.
Use 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp ginger instead of pumpkin pie spice
There is a statue of Eisenhower at The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia.
As I was taking some photos of him, I noticed inside, above his head, on the bottom side of the roof over him, which is held-up by columns, is a unique map.
It is the map of the planned D-Day invasion.
What a sweet surprise for someone who is learning all that she can about that ever so important war.
A war where several of my family members fought and even died.
To liberate an imprisoned Europe.
Oh, those three carefree (for the most part!) weeks spent with my Mother in her home country, Italy!
It was not a trip without a few interesting and most-challenging moments; however, it was all worth it!
It would be the final trip I would make with my Mother and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat; if I could have the chance.
Waking up each day to do whatever we wanted to and enjoying the beauty of the country (as shown in the image here)-her birthplace and home for the first twenty-some years of her life-was so heavenly! I didn’t miss the routine of my “everyday-life” here in the USA.
I could live like that every day for the rest of my life! And I pray to get back to Italy very soon (and permanently, sometime in the future, is my prayer)!!
My soul and spirit are being called and yearning to live in my Mother’s country for the rest of my days. Living there and traveling throughout Europe is what I pray my future holds.
This is one of my favorite ‘Magnolia’ images from this past Spring.
A friend, and former co-worker of mine, just accepted a new position in another office/building. I didn’t really know what to give her.
But I didn’t want her to forget me. So I took this image, which was printed on metallic paper, and placed it in a beige matte and black wooden frame. I signed, dated and titled my print and gave it to her as a gift. She loves it! She also said that everyone who has seen it is quite impressed. I must say, if you have an opportunity to print an image on metallic professional photo paper, please do so. This ‘Magnolia’ looked smashing! (and she found a spot in her huge new office to hang it) 😉
(and i’m hoping to be able to get others interested in buying my photos)! 🙂
I just received news on Independence Day that my Cousin in Rome, Italy is pregnant!
She and her husband are happy for this news.
I am also happy for them. And, I knew that I would have to create a card to congratulate them….
Here is what came out of my craft room this morning….
The material which the card is sitting on was bought to match Winnie the Pooh material for a baby bag…
Looks like I will be busy this winter!
Mother’s Day was two weeks ago, but I just found this particular poem and it is wonderful for ALL OF US females and I want to share it with you. Celebrate all of the women in your life EVERYDAY!
there are many people and family (including the furry ones) in my life I am thankful for.
i am also thankful for my home and food on my table each day.
i am immensely grateful for a woman who lives on the other side of this Earth in another country.
my mother told me, on our final trip together to her homeland, that she thinks of her best friend as her sister. she was always so good to my mother in so many ways.
just too many to describe.
i love crafting and creating cards and her best friend/’sister’ loves butterflies and the color red. i had made a red beaded bracelet for her several years ago.
so, this year, i created this Christmas card for her.
(Buon Natale=Merry Christmas
Auguri di Pace per il 2013=Peaceful Wishes for 2013)
Grazie, AnnaMaria, for all of your help, love and support to my Mother (and to us)~she loved you so very much~and we do too!
in 2009, i took the last trip with my Mother to her home country.
we spent 3 weeks together with friends and family and saw many things. many things were the first time for me and others were not. but we did them together.
there were some rough patches along the way, but we survived until the return flight.
i am happy for that.
here is a photo taken as we departed Venezia (Venice) on the first trip there for both of us. we did not get a gondola ride (it rained most of the time) but i have other memories to keep.
her greatest passion was traveling; especially traveling to her home.
i miss her; but will always have the photographs and the memories of our last trip together.
MOM-I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!
BUT I KNOW THAT YOU ARE WELL NOW~XOXO