Monday, March 28, 2016

Mom's Marshmallow Frosting

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My mom has been making this frosting recipe as far back as I can remember. With the help of some photo's, I can track this recipe 40 plus years.  This has met with my mom's approval for that long, and never failed her once. 


I call it "Sticky Frosting", always have, and always will. But, Mom call's it Marshmallow Frosting, which is probably a better name, and how other's know this type of frosting. 

It's like a marshmallow fluff, only smoother, fluffier, and not quite so sweet!  Best of all? It's easy! No need for thermometer's, double boilers, or 7 minute timers! 





Mom's Marshmallow Frosting

2 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

In large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and salt at high speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.

In small saucepan, heat corn syrup over medium heat until boiling.

Slowly pour boiling syrup in thin stream over beaten egg whites, beating constantly.  Beat until think enough to spread.  Add vanilla.

Use immediately to frost cakes or cupcakes.
**For best quality store frosted items in air tight container, and use within 2 -3 days.

Enjoy!

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Seedlings - Part 2

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Raising these seedlings is definitely a bit more challenging than we expected, but we are keeping after it.  Even if we don't get to plant these seedlings for our spring planting, Truckin' Man is hoping to be able to plant our late season veggies from our own seedlings. I think that will be exciting, because at least around here, you can't buy plants later in the season. It's a spring time purchase only.

Since I had some questions from y'all about raising these seedlings, I wanted to share what we have learned so far.

Truckin' Man does not like "potting soil" for the seedlings. Seeding Mix only!

We are using "Plant" lights. We found ours at Home Depot. We don't shop there much, but knew they would have the biggest selection of lights, and we did find what we wanted. For the small amount of plants we are starting with, we are only using 2 bulbs.


Keep the lights just a couple inches from the growing tray, 
otherwise the seedlings will get to tall and spindly.

A heater is not necessarily needed in your growing or plant room! Ooops! 
To much warmth can also make your seedlings spindly. 

After making adjustments to the growing conditions we were still getting too leggy/spindly growth, so after more research we decided to replant them in a size bigger container, and when replanting, to plant them deeper. 


We also tried pinching back the more spindly growth. I'll let you know if that was a mistake or not. We did not find any tips or suggestions to back up this idea, just something we would have done with other plants so thought it might help.


If you do decide to plant some veggies by seed, have some reference sites ready to trouble shoot! Gardeners.com is one we have used multiple times already.  Garden Web Forums has also been really helpful.


 Have a Happy Easter!!

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Almost Like Granny's Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

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Sometimes naming a recipe is challenging. Especially with cookies. What makes the recipe different, or stand out from another one? Well, the day one of Truckin' Mans friends was enjoying some of these tasty cookies and proclaimed "These are almost like my grandma's cookies", I knew that was what I would call them.

I've made this recipe so many times now, and it is always a hit. The cookies turn out perfectly every time. The only draw back to this recipe is that you do need to chill the dough. Now, I am not saying that I have always followed the rules, but the rules are worth following. Your patience in waiting is greatly rewarded.


This isn't a new recipe, it's from an old cookbook that was handed down to Grace at A Southern Grace, and being the lovely southern Carolina girl that she is and sharing, we are all able to enjoy this lovely cookie. The only change I have made from her recipe, is that I add some peanut butter chips to mine.




Almost Like Granny's Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips

In large mixing bowl, beat together butter and shortening. Add sugars, and cream together. Add eggs, and vanilla, beating until fluffy (about 4-5 minutes). In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, mixing well. Add chocolate and peanut butter chips, mixing until evenly distributed.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or at least four hours).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using large cookie dough scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets, 2 to 3 inches apart.  Bake for 9-11 minutes, just until edges are starting to turn golden. Cool for 2-3 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to cooling rack.

Enjoy!!

Source:  A Southern Grace

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Fever

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The weather has really been so nice. I can't get much done outside, but I can go for a walk.
I can check on my feather friends, and see what they are up to.

Lil' Miss laying an egg.
Lot of egg laying going on around here.




I had to take a walk to find everyone else. They had followed Truckin' Man further away from the buildings.
Lil' Miss Goldie always comes running when she see's us.


Lil' Man or Lil' Mister.

No matter what you call him, he is little and he is in charge.

 He watches over his flock dutifully.

He's never far away.



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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Seed Starting

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With Truckin' Man being layed off for the most part over the winter in this new job, he needs more projects!  Since not all projects should involve remodeling, he is already working on the garden. Well, maybe not the garden, but plants for the garden.

A time or two, we have tried starting our own plants by seed, but we don't put a lot of effort into it, and the plants survive sometimes, other times not. When they have survived,  we are lucky if they they are producing vegetables by September.



This year, we ( I mean he ) are taking things a little more seriously. We ordered all of our seeds early.


Bought some lights.

Learning as we go.


Had to replant once, because we had the light to far away from the plants.


Do you raise plants from seed? Any tips 'n tricks?

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Friends and Family

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Facebook can be one of the biggest time management issues you can ever run into, however there are many benefits to the whole social media web. Quite a few years ago Truckin' Man had lost touch with all his dad's side of the family.  Then two years ago we found one of his cousins on facebook, so we have been reconnecting with her. 

Last summer when I was cleaning out a closet, I found an old video tape of this super fun camping trip that a very young Truckin' Man went on many many years ago with a fun lady! I learned that this was Aunt Mary. I had to ask our "facebook cousin" where Aunt Mary was these days. She got us a mailing address and email. It didn't take long for us to set up a visit to Northern Wisconsin to meet with this aunt and uncle that Truckin' Man hadn't seen in probably twenty five years! 


Mary is quite the hostess and had several fun things for us to do. First up was visiting the Pioneer Village Museum, outside of Cameron, Wisconsin..  It was a complete village.  Almost 40 buildings set up, and you could walk through most of them and there were lots of guides along they way to tell you the story of the buildings.
This church was so pretty!

Truckin' Man was drawn to the old time gas station with the old pumps. Some day he hopes to have a couple of those pumps!

We spent some time at aunt and uncle's home.
They have so many beautiful flowers growing. You could spend hours just taking them all in.


Some of the prettiest lilies I have ever seen.

The next day we went for rides on the four wheelers. Cousin Brook and her fiance were the guides. 
No pictures of me on the ride, but I will admit it was only my 3rd time ever being on one. Quite fun!


While reconnecting with the family, I learned that they didn't live far from my blogging friend, Carla. I have been following Carla's blog, The River, for quite some time now. She shares so much of her travel's in Wisconsin, she always has me wanting to plan another road trip! And, being Wisconsin is home to some amazing cranberries, Carla will have you wanting to visit a cranberry bog, and bake up her delicious Cranberry Cake!

When I found that our family and friends live less than 30 miles apart, I was so excited.... I just knew we would be able to meet!  I was so thrilled that we were able to make our schedules work out, and we were able to visit Carla and her family on our trip.



What an amazing family, and such great hosts!  They made an amazing Sunday dinner to share. Carla's husband made the most delicious chicken, and Carla made amazing Peach Ice Cream! I do hope she'll share the recipe with us. 
To this day, we still talk about her ice cream!
I have to do a special shout out to the boys. Wonderful young men!


Carla also sent home some of her lovely Lily of the Valley's for me to plant.  
I am hoping I will have pictures of them growing to share with you soon!

Stay tuned for more on our trips up north!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Caramel Irish Cream Cookie Bars

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I've led a very sheltered life when it comes to booze. I am by no means against booze or drinking, I am just not knowledgeable on different liquors and what to do with them. So, when I have a drink, or make a marinade, it's typically whiskey or beer based. Once in a great while a bottle of vodka gets in the house, but it's rare.

For quite a while I have been wanting to try Irish Cream, as a drink, and to bake with. I finally picked some up, and oh yeah... That's good stuff! Not something I would drink often, but I would definitely enjoy having it in the house on occasion, and I am definitely going to try baking more recipes with it.


These bars were outstanding. The first pan did not last long. Normally, I have one or two bars, and the rest go on to Truckin' Man and the guys. But these bars? They stayed here, and I ate more than I care to admit.

These are a nice sugar cookie bar, with a kick for your St. Patrick's Day Menu. They aren't overly sweet, one of the many reasons I enjoyed them so much.


If you want a non-alcoholic version to try, my suggestion would be to try the Irish Cream coffee creamer.



If you are interested in joining Fill The Cookie Jar group on facebook, fill out the form that can be found at Fill The Cookie Jar. Each month we bake a different theme for the cookie.
We bake, we share and we enjoy our cookies!



Caramel Irish Cream Cookie Bars

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, and 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup Caramel Irish Cream
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 T. light brown sugar
2 T. Caramel Irish Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8x8 pan with parchment paper, set aside.  In large mixing bowl, cream butter, powdered sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Add egg, egg yolk, and Caramel Irish Cream, mixing until combined. Gradually add flour, mixing until flour is completely incorporated.

Press dough into prepared pan.  Bake for 30 minutes, until edges are light golden. Let cool completely.

Once bars are cooled, beat butter in large mixing bowl until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add brown sugar and Irish Cream as needed to reach spreading consistency. 

Enjoy :)

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