Peanut Butter Fudge

November 26, 2008 at 12:15 pm (Recipes)

I am baking pies this snowy Wednesday morning.  I thought I’d take an Internet break as my pies bake.  Amanda mentioned that my peanut butter fudge recipe was requested. 

I have used this recipe for 28 years.  Mrs. Griffith, our landlady gave it to me in 1980.  It is simple but tastes simply fabulous!  It makes a great gift!

Peanut Butter Fudge

  • 1 box of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup canned milk (I use skimmed evaporated milk)
  • 1 12 oz jar crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 7 oz jar marshmallow cream

Put the sugar, butter and milk into a pan.  Cook on top of the stove over medium/medium high heat.  When fudge begins to boil, stir constantly for exactly two minutes.  Remove from the stove and add peanut butter and marshmallow cream.  Place in an 8×8 pan and cool. 

**The secret is to boil just 2 minutes!  Do not use powdered sugar sold in plastic bags.  Also, I line the 8×8 pan with parchment paper, which makes for easy removal.  I then place on a cutting board and cut with a pizza cutter.

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Love In Every Stitch

November 25, 2008 at 6:54 pm (Memories, Sewing Projects)

It is never my intention to embarass my children so I have never released (nor have I taken) naked pictures of them as babies.  I think I have pictures with strategically-placed towels, but…  I want them to talk to me. 

However, I will at times post pictures that they may remember or they may wish they DIDN’T remember! 

Halloween was never a big deal at our house as far as decorating went, but I always went all out when it came to their costumes for the Jackson Township Halloween Parade.  My two favorite costumes probably took over 100 hours of sewing labor on my part.  What Amanda and Brent never realized was just how much love was sewed into each costume.  I still have both in my attic.  Every time I declutter, I pause at the boxes…

"Rainbow Bright"

"Rainbow Bright"

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle"

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle"

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Jingle, Jingle, Tinkle, Tinkle {Edgar Allen Poe}

November 19, 2008 at 9:03 pm (Musings...)

Hear the sledges with the bells-Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight; Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells-
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

 

I am the accompanist for Central Cambria School District.  We have a massive unauditioned high school choir — approximately 220 students; 90 are boys.  I also play for the middle school chorus.  There are probably 45-50 boys in that chorus.

In the middle school we are singing “The Bells.”  It has been probably 30 years since I read Edgar Allen Poe.  “The Bells” is a fabulous poem; the words are the staccato rhythm as you say it.  We explained to the students what “sledges” and “Runic” and “crystalline” meant.  I love the word “tintinnabulation.”  Can I use that in Scrabble, Sacha??

However…  we had to change a word…  The boys, throughout the song were supposed to sing, jingle, jingle, tinkle, tinkle, jingle, jingle, tinkle, tinkle over and over again as the sopranos sing the body of the verse.   You tell me how to get 50 -13/14 year old boys to sing “tinkle, tinkle” without breaking into laughter and I will be sincerely grateful.  We just couldn’t do it! 

Our version of the song, with our sincere apologies to Mr. Poe was changed to “jingle, jingle, twinkle, twinkle.”  🙂

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A New Home Church

November 15, 2008 at 4:46 pm (Musings...)

To be a successful blogger (rhymes with “slogger” I guess!) one must be a bit transparent.  I imagine those of you who read this would not be so inclined to read if you felt everything I wrote about wasn’t a true representation of my life!  If I could do that, I would be a successful fiction writer!  That being said, I want to be careful how I word this blog.

I have known the Lord since I was 5.  I remember Mom leading me to the Lord in our little house in Telford, PA.  When we moved back to western PA in 1969, we attended Pike GBC as a family.  I grew up going to SMM, youth group (playing 4-square), competing in NAC, going to youth conference, Reverend Gartland, Pastor Koontz, Mrs. Koontz, my first piano teacher.  When Danny and I had Amanda and Brent, except for about a year of attending another Grace Brethren Church and for the years we sang on Sunday’s, Pike has been our home church. 

Circumstances came about at our church, which still sadden me to think about, concerning how the leadership handled the “leader.”  We had weathered many storms but stayed the course at Pike.  We voiced our concerns and felt helpless as another leader took power (the way we saw it) with no one standing up to him.  I don’t know if we were just weary at the thought of working through yet another crisis, but Dan and I stopped going. 

Problem was, we stopped going to church all together!  Our kids were young adults and didn’t need us to drive them anymore.   Long story short 🙂

In April 2007 God spoke to Danny and I separately in the same week about the same church.  We started attending Emmanuel Baptist Church — cautiously.  I kept saying to my darling hubby, if I die, just have Uncle Harley do the service at the funeral home and cremate me and bury me by the house.  I know that is morbid, but my reality!!!  The truth was, I wanted to belong somewhere.  I NEEDED to belong somewhere.

Today I attended a membership class led by Pastor Dave Streets, who incidently attended Grace College at the same time I did.  I learned why EBC believes what they believe and the truths from God’s Word to back up what they believe.  Everything fell into place for me.  I can belong to EBC!  I was baptized as a teenager at Pike and don’t need to be re-baptized.  In a few short weeks I will join the second church in my life!   I hope to get involved in the music ministry, but if not, I am studying to write a short daily Bible study blog for young mothers.   That ministry I can do from my living room!

God Is Good, All The Time.  All The Time, God Is Good.

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Melodye the Mad Paint Mixer

November 13, 2008 at 6:46 pm (Decorative Painting)

I went to my happy place today… Seymour’s Creative Legacy Studio in Ebensburg.  I work a few hours a week in exchange for art lessons.  This place is a restful place.  I usually put on music and do whatever they ask me to do.  Today I was mixing paint, lots and lots of paint.  Let me ‘splain.  I am converting paint colors from one paint line to another and this requires measuring (eyeball) and mixing together  — sort of yellow and blue make green, but more complicated!  A few days ago I bought a long-sleeved man’s shirt at Goodwill to wear as I paint.  I have tried wearing an apron, but inevitably get paint on my sleeves. 

Anyway, today, I put on Cheryl Bentyne and Chicago and mixed away.  Don’t ask me how I did it, but I ended up with paint on my face and hair and under every one of my fingernails… but none on my good clothes!  🙂

I painted this little piece for my best friend, Jana. 

Boo!!!

Boo!!!

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Christmas Music and Cookies

November 10, 2008 at 1:28 pm (Recipes)

I am practicing joy again today!  I put Christmas music on my CD player and am cleaning, doing laundry and baking cookies.  I put this recipe on my blog in July, but who was thinking cookies in July??  It is one of my favorite comfort cookies!!

Honey-Oatmeal Cookies

Honey-Oatmeal Cookies

For the 1 1/4 cup butter flavored shortening, I always substitute 1/2 cup shortening and 3/4 cup of unsalted butter.  I also have substituted raisins for the dates and walnuts for the pecans, depending on my supply, but honestly, the dates and pecans make the cookies taste the best!!!  I also bake for the 13/14 minutes — just makes a chewier cookie.  ENJOY!!! -)

Honey Oatmeal Chewies

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening, white sugar, brown sugar and honey until light and fluffy. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Then stir in the coconut, oats, dates and pecans.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto unprepared cookie sheets. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes for soft cookies, 13 to 14 minutes for crispy cookies. Remove cookies from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

 

This recipe from CDKitchen for Honey Oatmeal Chewies serves/makes 6 dozen

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Amanda and An Die Musik

November 9, 2008 at 1:42 pm (Memories)

Yesterday, Danny, Brent, Kayla and I drove to Baltimore to see Amanda in concert with Sandy Asirvatham.  We had a long ride, but it was worth it to hear my darling daughter sing.  Until she left for college (Towson), I heard her sing on a regular basis.  I miss that.  I still get nervous for her and help her to hit the high notes and breathe correctly from my seat in the audience!!  I’m sure that makes a difference to her 🙂

I found some pictures documenting her singing and thought I’d share them with you!

Amanda at age 2... upstaging us all!

Amanda at age 2... upstaging us all!

My sister, Heather, me, my Dad and Amanda -- 1996 or 1997

My sister, Heather, me, my Dad and Amanda -- 1996 or 1997

1998

1998

Josh Stock and Amanda "Hymnsong" 2000

Josh Stock and Amanda "Hymnsong" 2000

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Blueberry/Raspberry Muffins

November 6, 2008 at 2:13 pm (Recipes) ()

“Be joyful always; pray continually.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16.17

I am practicing joy today!  The sun is shining again through my clean windows and the house smells like a bouquet of a pumpkin spice candle and blueberry/raspberry muffins.  This recipe is so old it is TYPED!  Originally I made it as a blueberry muffin but about a year ago I didn’t have enough blueberries so I added raspberries.  The raspberries add a tartness to the muffins!!

Blueberry/Raspberry Muffins

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries

Cream the shortening and sugar together.  Add the eggs, milk and vanilla.  Stir in the flour and baking powder.  FOLD in the berries (I use frozen).  Put in muffin baking pan (I use cupcake holders).  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Enjoy 🙂

 

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Wait For The Lord

November 5, 2008 at 6:13 am (Musings..., Scripture References)

I am weary.  Part of the reason may be that I was awake at 4:00 a.m. this morning and I know that I have a long day ahead of me.  Part of the reason may also be that a situation I was expecting didn’t happen because someone let me down.  The situation was the first time in a long time that I personally took a chance! 

My Daddy always said that friends will let you down, family will let you down.  There is only one who you can rely on 100% of the time… Jesus.

I know that “between my ears,” but my heart is crying.  So I turn to scripture.  One of my favorite verses comes from Psalms.

“I am still confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”  Psalm 27:13,14. 

I plan to prayerfully move through this day, because crawling back into bed for the day is NOT an option!  I will wait and see what the Lord has planned for me.  Patiently waiting isn’t my strong gift.  In this situation, though, I absolutely know that I am to wait on Him.

  

Amanda, Danny and Brent - 1986

Amanda, Danny and Brent - 1986

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Sparkly Windows and Bread Pudding

November 3, 2008 at 12:27 pm (Recipes)

My Living Room

My Living Room

I got my living room windows cleaned!!  They look great!! Of course, I only got the 10 on the first floor… the 10 windows above them, well, I certainly don’t have that kind of balance to climb up on a tall ladder.

I made the curtains out of tablecloths from Walmart.  $10 each~total cost $50!

I am going to make pheasant soup and bread pudding.  This bread pudding recipe is a family favorite!!

Bread Pudding

  • 6 slices day-old bread (I use 1/2 loaf of Hawaiian sweet bread)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar (if using sweet bread, use 2/3 cup sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.  break bread into small pieces into an 8 inch square pan, (I use a 2 quart glass oval dish). drizzle melted butter over bread, sprinkle with raisins if desired.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Beat until well mixed.  Pour over bread and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

ENJOY!!!  🙂

 

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