Saturday, December 31, 2011


Happy New Year to all my family, friends and loyal followers. Hope 2012 brings you all much health and happiness.

January Storage Project:Home Office

Organized Drawer
    Create a Mail Station. Set up mailboxes on a desk, wall, or bulletin board. Or give each member of your family his or her own labeled box, bin, or slot. Stay on Schedule. Hang a large monthly calendar in a spot everyone can see and use it. Choose a paper calendar or dry-erase version, and encourage everyone to write important events, deadlines, and reminders. Organize Office Supplies. Outfit a desk drawer near your main working area with a divided tray or multiple small bins. Limit the number of office supplies in each compartment. Label each compartment with an adhesive label. Get Rid of Junk. Test all writing utensils. Toss everything that doesn't work perfectly. Group similar items (pens, pencils, markers, etc) in canisters

Monday, December 26, 2011

Green Ways to Recycle Christmas Wrappings

After Christmas morning has come and the presents have been torn into, there always comes the inevitable wrapping paper fall out. Bulging garbage bags filled with paper and ribbons replace the pile of gifts and a trip to the landfill is usually the fate which awaits them.

There is always aunt Susie or the other frugal few who carefully unwrap their gifts as not to mess up the paper and save it for reuse, but let's be honest - that's very rare.

Can You Recycle it?

The good news is that, yes, some kinds of wrapping paper can be recycled. Beside the cheap, super-thin kind and ornate papers covered in foils, glitter and the like, there is a good chance that it can be converted into useful products again.

Many municipal recycling programs will gladly take in wrapping paper. For example, New York City will accept it as part of the "mixed paper" category with the only stipulation being that it can't be coated in plastic or wax. Check with your local recycling center to find out if they do the same.

If You Can't Recycle It

Here are a few things to do with your used wrapping paper that are pretty utilitarian and don't involve arts & crafts projects:
  • The New York Department of Conservation recommends shredding wrapping paper to use as "filler" in boxes instead of tissue paper. You could also simply crumple your used wrapping paper to use instead of bubble wrap or packing peanuts when packing fragile objects in boxes.
  • Save it and wrap gifts with it next year. If you are concerned about wrinkles, you can gently iron them out.
  • Cut it up and use the back as scrap paper.

Preventing the Annual Avalanche of Wrapping Paper

Use wrapping paper or holiday cards made from recycled materials: This is the easiest way to help divert packaging material from ending up as landfill fodder and prevents virgin paper from entering the waste stream.

Wrap presents in everyday paper: The colorful Sunday comics section and even regular newspaper is totally functional (and distinctive) as a gift wrap. Plain brown butcher or craft paper is another understated option which is also easier to recycle than traditional gift wrap.

Reusable containers: Gift bags and boxes can be nearly endless reused, and it also saves time as well. Giving gifts in useful objects like mason jars also provides a bonus for the recipient, as they can be used in a myriad of ways beyond the holidays. You may also want to consider the traditional Japanese "furoshiki" cloth wrapping material.

Give minimalist gifts: Event tickets and gift certificates are always appreciated and require a minimum of packaging. It's a win-win situation.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas to all !! Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy and healthy New Year .(pic from Veyo Ut 2009)

Cranberry and Holly Silverware Wrap

Red and green table decorations napkin tie
    A simple loop of green grosgrain ribbon decorated with a berried holly sprig hugs silverware

Cranberry Candle Arrangement

    Cranberries floating above holly leaves-and-berries in a water-filled glass bowl encircle a centerpiece candle like a wreath. Evergreen branches and a cranberry garland finish the table decoration ncranberries floating around white candle

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Milk Shake

Pumpkin Pie Milk ShakesINGREDIENTS

2 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
1/3 cup milk
1/4teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
1/8slice cold baked pumpkin pie, cut into chunks (from 9-inch pie)
Sweetened whipped cream, if desired
Cinnamon sticks, if desired


1 In blender, place ice cream, milk and pumpkin pie spice. Cover and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add pie chunks; cover and blend until smooth, stopping blender to scrape down sides if necessary. 2 Pour into 2 glasses; top with sweetened whipped cream and garnish with cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

Peppermint Oreo Cookie

Peppermint-OREO Cookie Balls recipe

What You Need

6 candy canes, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup), divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (16.6 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

Make It

RESERVE 1 Tbsp. chopped candy. Mix remaining candy with cream cheese and cookie crumbs until well blended.
SHAPE into 48 (1-inch) balls. Freeze 10 min. Dip balls in melted chocolate; place in single layer in shallow waxed paper-lined pan. Sprinkle with reserved candy.
REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm.

Christmas Tree Cookie Balls

Christmas Tree Cookie Ball Pops recipe

Make It

MIX cream cheese and cookie crumbs until well blended.
SHAPE into 40 (1-inch) balls; place in single layer in shallow pan. Freeze 10 min. Mix melted chocolate and food coloring until well blended. Dip balls in chocolate; place in single layer in shallow waxed paper-lined pan. Insert lollipop stick into each ball. Decorate with decorating icing and candies as shown in photo.
REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Keep refrigerated.


How to Melt Chocolate
Place unwrapped chocolate squares in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 2 min. or until chocolate is completely melted, stirring every 30 sec.
How to Easily Dip Balls
To easily coat balls with the melted chocolate, add balls, in batches, to bowl of melted chocolate. Use 2 forks to roll balls in chocolate until evenly coated. Remove balls with forks, letting excess chocolate drip back into bowl. Place balls in prepared pan; let stand

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas in the Park with William

 William in the Park
 Something about little boys and leaves
 Love walking through the leaves
 Gathering leaves to throw
Ya Hoo !!!That was fun

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Family at Tuacahn

 Tuacahn in the Red Rocks of Ivin Utah
 Santa had not arrived yet
 William is getting out of there before he shows up
 Jeffs Family

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Graham Cracker Cookies

                                Candy-Topped Graham Cracker Cookie Squares

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
Butter, egg and flour called for on cookie mix pouch for cutout cookies
1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 Topping, if desired:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Chocolate Coating and Candy Topping, if desired:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
4 teaspoons shortening
1 cup white vanilla baking chips
Crushed peppermint candy canes, if desired
Betty Crocker® colored sugar or decors, if desired
Holiday candy sprinkles, if desired
In medium bowl, mix graham cracker cookie ingredients until well mixed. Divide dough in half; cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour but no longer than 8 hours.

In small bowl, mix topping ingredients; set aside.

Heat oven to 350°F. On floured surface, roll out half of the dough at a time to 12x9-inch rectangle 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 12 squares, 4 rows by 3 rows. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Prick with toothpick or fork to look like holes in graham crackers.

Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until very lightly browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating cookie sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Repoke holes as necessary while warm. Cool on pan 1 to 2 minutes before removing to cooling rack; cool completely.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons of the shortening uncovered on High 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until melted; stir until smooth. In another small microwavable bowl, microwave white vanilla baking chips and 2 teaspoons of the shortening uncovered on High 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until melted; stir until smooth. Dip half of each cooled cookie into one of the melted coatings. Decorate as desired. Place on waxed paper until set.

Coconut Fudge Bars

What You NeedCoconut-Fudge Bars recipe

1 cup butter, divided
14 HONEY MAID Honey Grahams, finely crushed (about 2-1/2 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
6 cups JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows (10-1/2-oz. pkg.)
1-1/2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped PLANTERS Walnuts
1 cup BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut, toasted

Make It

LINE 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Spray with cooking spray. Melt 3/4 cup butter; mix with crumbs. Press onto bottom of pan.

BRING remaining butter, sugar, milk and marshmallows to boil in large saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir 5 min. Add chocolate; cook until melted, stirring frequently. Pour over crust.

TOP with nuts and coconut. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Basics for Perfect Baking


Prep for Success

Use an oven thermometer. Make sure your oven's temperature is accurate by using an oven thermometer. Preheat to the temperature stated in the recipe.

Choose the right size pan. Trust the recipe. Make sure you use the size of pan it calls for to ensure accurate bake times. Looking for help? Check out the Betty Crocker Store for a full line of baking pans.

Line the baking pan. Fit a large piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil into the bottom of the pan and up over the sides, extending about 4 inches to create "handles." These handles will help you remove the finished bar cookies in the form of a slab – which makes cutting easier. Grease the paper or foil according to recipe directions. Fill with bar-cookie batter and bake as directed – placing the pan as close to the center of the oven as possible.

Tip: If you use a glass pan, decrease the oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Test for Doneness

Brownies: Test for doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick two inches from the side of the pan. If it comes out clean or nearly clean, the bars are done. The center of the pan of brownies will be slightly soft.

Bar cookies: Test for doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick near the center of the pan. If it comes out clean or nearly clean, the bar cookies are done. The edges of the pan of bar cookies will be lightly browned.

Tip: Some bar cookies bake up so soft and gooey that a doneness test just isn't accurate. (Visualize bars made with caramel or marshmallow creme.) If you trust your oven thermometer, just bake bars the amount of time stated in the recipe. Remove the pan from the oven immediately to prevent over-baking.

Get Ready to Cut

Cool them completely. Cool bar cookies and brownies completely in the pan. (Cut them while they're warm and they'll crumble.) Then either chill or freeze the bars for at least 2 hours (overnight is even better) before lifting the slab from the pan with the foil "handles." Chilling or freezing the bars will keep them from cracking as the foil is lifted.

Flip onto a cutting board. Invert the foil-lined pan of bar cookies or brownies onto a cutting board. (Ignore this step if the bar cookies or brownies include a delicate topping – or need to be frosted -- and simply place the slab, right side up, on the board.) Carefully remove the aluminum foil from the bottom of the bars. Now you're ready to cut.

Perfect Bars & Brownies

We know you want your delicious brownies and bar cookies to look especially beautiful for the parties, cookie swaps, or gift presentations. Precision is the name of the game when it comes to cutting beautiful shapes. So put down that gooey, caked-up knife. Learn how to cut bar cookies so they look like they came from a fancy bakery.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Coconut Almond Brownies Bites

Coconut-Almond Brownie Cups
1/2 cup butter or margarine

1  tablespoon water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2  eggs
1/2 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
24  miniature milk chocolate-covered coconut-almond candy bars (from 13-oz bag), unwrapped

Heat oven to 350°F (if using dark or nonstick pan, heat oven to 325°F). Line 24 miniature muffin cups, 1 3/4x1 inch, with paper baking cups.

In large microwavable bowl, microwave butter, water and sugar uncovered on High about 1 minute or until butter is melted; stir until blended. Stir in chocolate chips until melted. Stir in vanilla and eggs until well mixed. Stir in flour and baking powder. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon batter into each muffin cup.

Bake 17 to 25 minutes or until set (do not overbake).

Lightly press 1 candy bar on top of each brownie cup. Cool completely, about 30 minutes

Easy Scone Mix

Easy Scone Mix
2      cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
3      teaspoons baking powder
1/4   cup sugar
1      tablespoon poppy seed
1/4   teaspoon salt
1/3   cup butter or margarine
1/3   cup currants

In large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar, poppy seed and salt. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in currants. Place in resealable food-storage plastic bag, glass jar or gift container. Refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 2 months.

Include these directions on package:

Heat oven to 425ºF. Mix 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 3/4 cup milk; stir into Easy Scone Mix. Place dough on lightly floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times. Pat or roll into 9-inch circle on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar if desired. Cut into 8 wedges, but do not separate. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; carefully separate wedges.

Wool Mitten Door Decoration

Mittens And HollyA little clutch of greens tucked into natural wool mittens makes the perfect simple door decoration for the holidays. Sew two off-white wool mittens to a wide dark green ribbon and fill one of the mittens with different kinds of Christmas greenery, such as holly leaves and spruce sprigs

Christmas Card Display

Favorite Christmas cards displayA new crop of holiday cards is a great way to display lots of color and pattern throughout your house. Use an old window shutter and tie lengths of ribbon from top to bottom, and attach a cards with double-stick tape.

Cheery Christmas Container

Cheery Christmas containerYou don't need to go out and buy a special container or vase for the holidays -- instead, get crafty and adorn what you already own. Cut felt to fit around a container, adding an inch to the length. Wrap the felt around and glue at the overlap, then center a ribbon and glue it in place. Using a cookie cutter as a pattern, cut seasonal shapes, such as trees, wreaths, or ornaments, from a complementary color of felt and glue in place. For the final touch, fill the container with ornaments and bits of greenery

Guest Room with Holiday Cheer

To pamper visiting family and friends, consider adding a few extra touches to the guest bedroom. Add a bright pop of color with a throw pillow and an extra quilt. To brighten the side of the bed, include a few red blooms in tin containers, and carry through the same color with a ribbon accent for a bottom-of-the-bed fir wreath. Spray-paint paper letters with a welcoming holiday message .
 .Guest room with holiday cheer

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mini Christmas Tree Door Ornament

    Skip the circular wreath this year and deck your door with something unexpected. Tuck an evergreen branch into a linen bag and gather the top of the bag with lengths of ribbon. Wire on a few glass ornaments for a finishing flourish, then hang the decorated bag from a small nail or hook.
In the bag

Fork it Over

Put old or mismatched forks to use as Christmas card holders. Place a piece of green florist's foam inside a clear glass or vase. Stick forks into the foam and use the tines to display Christmas cards Christmas Card Centerpiece

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Towel Wrap for Casseroles

Towel Wrap
    A gift to eat and a gift to keep -- a flour sack-style dishtowel makes a great wrap for a casserole of any kind. 1. Bake the casserole in a 2-quart baking dish. Once cool, wrap a festive flour sack-style dishtowel around the center of the dish. Tie decorative ribbon and twine around the ends of the fabric to secure; tuck tied ends under the dish. 2. Attach wooden letters to the twine. For an added splash of color, add some colored plastic forks tied with twine. See the next slide for a materials list

Have you heard of Usborne Books?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Herbed Rice Mix

Herbed Rice Mix 

    • rated star 1 rated star 2 rated star 3 rated star 4 rated star 5

    This homemade rice mix is easy to cook and versatile enough to complement just about any main dish, making it an appealing gift for busy families. It looks especially nice (and keeps well) in a glass jar accompanied by a tag with the following instructions: For 4 servings, combine 2 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of rice mix in a medium saucepan and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork. Serve hot with salt and pepper to taste.
    • 1 1/2 cups dried mushrooms, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
    • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
    • 3 cups long-grain white rice, such as basmati or jasmine

    1. In a mixing bowl, combine the dried mushrooms, onion flakes, garlic powder, dried thyme, and parsley and mix well. Add the rice and toss, making sure all of the ingredients are evenly combined. Pour the rice into a jar and seal tightly. Makes enough for 12 servings.

    Best Hot Cocoa Mix

    The secret ingredient in this mix is the mini chocolate chips, which melt when combined with the boiling water and give the cocoa an extra-rich flavor. The recipe makes enough for four gift-size portions, each of which can be measured into a small plastic bag and tucked into a cup or mug filled with mini marshmallows, candy stick stirrers, and a spoon. Wrap each filled gift cup in cellophane and don't forget to include a tag with the following instructions: "Spoon 3 or 4 generous tablespoons of cocoa mix into your cup (depending on the size), add boiling water, and stir well."

    Best Hot Cocoa Mix
    • 2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
    • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt

    1. Measure all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk them until they are evenly blended.
    2. Store the mix in a tightly covered container at room temperature until you're ready to package it. Makes about 4 cups of mix.

    3-D Christmas Tree Card

    • Card stock or blank store-bought cards
    • Scissors
    • Art paper
    • Bone folder
    • Glue
    • Fine brush
    • Star-shaped hole punch (optional)

    3-D Christmas Tree Card How-To
    1. Fold a piece of card stock in half or use a blank store-bought card. Cut art paper into rectangles of graduated lengths and widths (adding about 1/4 inch to widths and 1 to 2 inches to lengths).

    2. Pleat each rectangle accordion-style, making same-size folds in each; score folds with a bone folder. Open card, and center rectangles in spine of card. Glue down end folds to form a pop-up tree that expands as you open card.

    3. To make the "bucket" that holds the tree, fold another paper rectangle into four accordion folds. Glue end folds on either side of card's spine.

    4. If you wish, use a star-shape hole punch to make a star for top of tree. Fold star at center and glue to card

    Mini Present Ornaments-Kids Craft

    Surprise Inside
      Hide a sweet snack in mini packages that double as ornaments. Glue strips of felt to papier-mache boxes with snug-fitting lids; embellish with ribbon and trim. Use an awl or nail to punch a hole in the lid. For a hanging loop, insert ribbon ends through hole; knot ends inside the lid at the base.

    Clay Snowman Christmas Ornament

    These oven-baked clay snowmen can double as Christmas tree ornaments and gift tags. For the eyes and mouth, roll small balls from black clay, place on a baking sheet, and press to flatten slightly. Use small amounts of orange clay to make tiny carrot noses (approximately 3/4-inch long).

    Bake the eye, nose, and mouth shapes on a cookie sheet according to package directions and let cool. Roll a 1/4-inch thick slab of white clay onto waxed paper; use a cookie cutter to cut circles. Use the photo for inspiration to decorate the snowmen's faces. Poke a hole in the top of each head with a toothpick, making it large enough for a chenille stem. Once the snowman is finished, bake according to instructions. Thread a chenille stem through each hole; twist ends to secure


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