15 November 2006

Preparing for the holidays...

As we get closer and closer to the holidays, my creative juices tend to flow more freely. I begin pondering what delish foods I want to test in order to create a meal for Christmas - since once again my husband and I will be hosting it at our place (with a little help of course!). This year, I know I'll be adding a bread pudding recipe I discovered - but still need to tweak - and will most likely have a variety of cookies as well. As I was sitting, debating between various potato options, I had a non-edible idea emerge: "I want a Christmas Apron and I want to make it myself"! So ... after viewing the Jessie Steele options online, I headed up to the local craft store and perused the selection of patterns until I found one I liked. I then wandered over to the material to pick out the rest of the pieces for my artwork. After several hours of cutting and pinning and sewing and pinning and ironing and sewing, it was complete, and it was ... CUTE!!! Who knew how simple it would be to create such a fabulous entertaining apron? After admiring my work for a short time, I quickly realized I wanted more of these, but in different colors and themes and designs, oh my! I also realized how much I enjoy sewing, especially when the work is simple and the outcome is perfect. I'm sure a few of these will even make it onto my Christmas list for some friends and family and I really hope they enjoy them as much as I do!

With that said, it appears this wonderful list of recipes and wine comments will begin to include my latest and greatest sewing projects as well. If along the process you see something you would be interested in, please let me know as for a small fee, I'm sure I could create you something just as adorable! And if we don't visit with one another in the next week, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope your weekend is filled with family, friends, and ... FOOD!

14 November 2006



That's really all I can say about this amazing bottle of wine. Wow. My husband and I have recently become huge fans of red zinfandel (which is NOTHING like the white zin that is strangly popular, but never makes it into our household!). A friend of mine and I were out at a wine bar a while back and the bartender we be-friended poured us both a small glass of this to try. At that moment I knew I was hooked. The wonderful fruit aroma, the smooth, bold flavor - this was heaven in a glass!

Slowly my husband andI began trying various red zinfandels from different vineyards and nothing was nearly as fabulous. We started searching for a bottle of Turley, asking at numerous wine shops - all with the same answer: No, we don't have any Turley. It tends to be reserved for restaraunts and is really hard to get. *sigh* This was extremely sad news since the places that we knew who carried Turley where of course more of the high end steak restaraunts and the cost for a glass or bottle was similar to the cost of dinner - we decided against it most of the time since we are not yet wine connesuers so its hard to spend THAT much. We settled for constantly asking the wine shops, but expecting a no.

Then, this past August we were in New Orleans for my birthday and passed a wine shop several times. Finally, we decided to stop in and paruse their selection. We walked in the door, looked at the racks in front of us and there, at the bottom, was the bottled heaven - in fact there were 6 bottles - two Juvenile and 4 others. Quickly, I snatched them up in my arms smiling. This was afterall my birthday trip so the wine would be my birthday present! What makes it even better is the owner saw us and commented about those 6 bottles being his YEARLY allottment. I wish now I would have bought all six. Maybe next time.

We enjoyed one bottle a few weeks ago and it was simply delish. The other bottle is still in our wine cooler ... waiting for that next raining day that only this simple piece of perfection can clear up.

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

My husband LOVES oatmeal cream pies, these are as much a staple in our home as bread, milk, and eggs are - maybe even more so! After watching him eat his THIRD cookie and calling it breakfast one day I decided I need to see if I can make these at home. I found a recipe way back in the summer and bought the ingredients, thinking to myself "I'll make them this weekend." Well needless to say, the past few months were so packed with wedding planning and finalizing everything that I was never able to get around to making them. So this past weekend, I got the baking itch (and wanted a reason to use my new Kitchen Aid Mixer) so I pulled out the recipe, gathered all the ingredients, and got to work. While I don't have a picture at this time since my camera is filled with honeymoon shots, I am hoping to add one in the near future!

A few notes:
  • I don't know how I ever made cookies without a mixer, everything is so much simpler and quicker now! Highly worth the investment!
  • My husband has determined that these are SO MUCH better than the store bought ones. I haven't decided if this is a good thing or not ... We'll see how often I have to bake!
  • Molasses is messy. The cream filling in these ... Even worse!
  • Finally - I accidentally forgot the salt in the filling, but they still came out great!

On to the recipe.


1 cup margarine
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups quick oats
Cream Filling
2 teaspoons very hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


1) Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
2) In large bowl, cream margarine, sugars, molasses, vanilla, and eggs.
3) Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
4) Add to the creamed mixture; mix in the oats.
5) Drop dough by TBS on ungreased sheets.
6) Bake for 10-12 minutes,or until just starting to brown around the edges. They will look moist; don't overcook.
7) While the cookies bake prepare the filling. In small bowl, disolve the salt in the hot water. Allow this to cool.
8) Combine marshmallow cream, shortning, powdered sugar, and vanilla in med bowl; mix on hi until fluffy.
9) Add the cooled salt water and mix well.
10) Spread filling on flat side of one cooled cookie, press 2nd cookie on top.