Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday, Peppekakor is done!

I think Peppakakor is one of the favorite cookies we make during the holidays.
This recipe is very old.  It is also a favorite of Sluggies so it must be good!  These do not have to be frosted.  But I do it at Christmas.

Bake at 350

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
Cream together and Add:
1 egg  and cream with sugar and butter.

In a separate small bowl  dissolve 1 tsp soda in 1tbls of hot water.
take above mixture and add to 1/4 cup molasses

Add the above mixture to creamed mixture set aside.

In another large bowl
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbls cinnimon
1 tbls cloves
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
whisk all these together
mix the dry into the wet and then knead into a ball.  Mixture will be sticky add a little more flour as needed.

I use a scraper to work dough.  Refrigerate until firm.  Roll dough out in small batches .  Roll very thin and bake on parchment paper.

This recipe will make 7-10 dozen cookies depending on the size of the cutters.

Bake 8-10 minutes

Frosting:Melt 4 tbls butter, 1/4 cup milk, 1 tsp vanilla,  one tsp meringue powder, mix, now sift in powder sugar to make a thin frosting.

I use dollar store squeeze bottles to pipe frosting.  Meringue powder will harden your frosting for cookies.  Buy it at Jo anns,(use 50% off coupon, it will last forever)

Using parchment paper under this thin cookie will make it easy to remove from pan once cooked.  Just pull edge of paper and slide entire sheet onto cooling rack rather than using a spatula to remove individual cookies.  It is faster and you will have less breaking and bending. Then slide cookies off parchment and return it to pan. Parchment can be used over and over.

    Any questions?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wednesday,Staying positive

I just run and run and I don't seem to accomplish anything.  Yesterday,went as follows Mom fed, made myself presentable, did a tiny bit of sewing with mom yaking at me and interrupting, finally gave up and took her to get her things, and then took her to the bank.  Good now I can go home and..., but no got a phone call from one of my former students, I am scheduled to get to studio at 4:00 but now they need me at 3:00 .  Great there went my hour to achieve something. I had just enough time to run get copies made for the open house and drop mom off.  But mom wanted to  go with and watch.  So I get to studio to choreograph a number for this overwhelmed teacher. We are there until 6:30 and I take mom home, make dinner, feed her, eat something, now I have to sew things that are due out today.  Did I get any house work done?  NO  Did I get any cookies made? NO
Did I get any projects worked on? NO.

     That is okay as today I can try again.  Right?  I have not fed mom, I have not fixed my hair or put an any makeup,  I have not started any laundry, or cleaned anything up.  The dog has gotten sick in the middle of the family room.

     I did have 6 phone calls to answer this morning which I got done.  I have had 4 customers drop off and one pick up so it was a busy morning, but, but, but I have not gotten done what I need or want.  Mom is waiting in her room with baited breath for me to make cookies.  So what am I going to do?

     I have another 3 hour rehearsal tonight.  The house is getting more and more ragged.  The laundry is becoming Mount Washmore.  The dog sick is waiting for me.  I am so excited!
     I am going to make cookies. 

If you want a little more humor in your life read the comment from my daughter in yesterday's post.  Please comment on how disrespectful she is.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tuesday,Made it through Monday;)

      I loved this as Swedish cooking almost always has cinnamon involved.  My youngest daughter turned 25 today and I called her to wish her Happy Birthday.  She commented that my cold seemed to be hanging on much worse than hers.  Gee I wonder why?  Not due to a compromised immune system, or mom or stress, do you think? No it must be the cinnamon.

     I just tried to get through yesterday the best I could. Mom's memory is so bad and her new thing is to cling to me and ask questions, none of which go together or make sense.  I am really trying hard to be patient. But the constant interruptions to my train of thought are hard.  

     I made a large stew in the crock pot and did some sewing yesterday before I went to the studio.  But I did not get done what I wanted.  I tried to get some things done last night late after I got mom to bed.  I will try and finish those things this morning.  I am due at the studio at 4 p.m. for a couple of hours.

     I shattered the cookie paddle attachment to my Bosch mixer and I have been waiting for the part to come in, and it had arrived last night.  So about 11:00 ( mom was in bed)  I whipped up 2 batches of cookie dough that are in the fridge.  Mom does not know so she cannot nag me about them.  I am getting sneaky.  

     I have fed mom and I am going to get into the shop and get things done and then I have to take her to the store for eye drops and personal things.  Several things came in from Amazon yesterday to help me complete Christmas projects.  Just wish I had more time to work on things.

      I actually de-stress when I work on sewing and projects.  Really any kind of work will calm me down as long as I don't feel pressured to hurry.

     I need to get to work!
Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday, Life goes on in spite.... Money saving madness

     Cold or no cold, life goes on in spite of my need to stay in bed.  In two weeks we have the Ballet Scrooge and mom's open house the same weekend.  I have so much to do and I really don't want to do any of it.  I am going to have to be stern with myself to get things accomplished.

  Yesterday afternoon mom and I knocked out a couple of cookies for her open house.

If you like spritz cookies, I have an old recipe that makes a very light cookie.  I find spritz are usually dense and no flavor.
Oven 350

Whisk together 3-1/2 cups flour and 1 tsp baking powder set aside

In a large bowl beat:
1-1/2  cups butter softened
1 cup sugar   beat these two together until light and fluffy  (Important)
add 1 egg   beat  together
add next three ingredients and beat
2 tbls milk

1 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp almond extract

Now combine flour mixture and wet mixture to make a soft dough.  Divide into three batches and color as desired .  Bake about 10-12 minutes

These are very light and delicious.

 These really spread so make small balls
Citron Sockakakors.  Lemon sugar cookies  An all time favorite
 bake 350
cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup veg. oil                                                                                

1 cup powder sugar
 Beat above with electric mixer until fluffy

Add 2 eggs
add 1 tsp vanilla
1tsp lemon extract
1 pkg instant lemon pudding
beat all together

in a separate bowl whisk together
4 cups flour
1tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

 Now mix dry and wet together into soft dough roll small balls into colored sugar and flatten with a press or a fork.
cookie stamps

Bake 12-15 minutes   
drop food color into sugar and mix with finger tips
                         colored sugar
So we have the fudge and the lefsa, the meat balls, and two kinds of cookies done.  We have a ton  of other items left and I plan on doing at least one a day.  In addition to the shop work, I also have a large rehearsal every night for the next three nights. I just tell myself to breath and this will soon be over.

Money saving Madness:

1. flipped the collar on one of hub's expensive outdoor shirts that was worn. looks brand new
2. Stayed out of the stores as much as possible over the crazy weekend.
3. made all pies and Thanksgiving goodies from scratch with pantry items bought on sale.
4.  Ate left overs for three days.
5. froze 3 bags of pumpkin I had cooked and pureed for pies later.
6. made a large batch of pie crusts and froze 4 for later. Used crisco sticks I bought last year and froze
7. saved dripping off of Swedish meatballs and froze for good gravy.
8.Purchased three table runners for $2.00 a piece that can be made into 12 really nice dish towels. I will embroider over the ugly.  That means I will have 12 embroiders towels for gifts that cost .50 a piece.
9. Used Joanns coupons to get 1/2 off a sets of flour sack towels to make a set of 7 days of the week embroidered towels for niece.  This is what I did to keep busy when I was down sick.
10.  Bought 4 pillow slips for under 10.00 I will embroider. Christmas gifts.
11. Still working on Art pillows for Christmas gifts.  All made from scraps
12. hemmed a pair of pants for myself I bought for 4.00 at a close out sale.
13.  pulled out all my Swedish sweaters for the cold season.  Some of these are 40 years old.  I will mend where needed.

What have you done to save money and get ready for Christmas?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday, Home to heal...

Note: glassy eyed stare, red nose, thick Swedish sweater and a scarf.  This could be me if I was beautiful when I am sick.  Which I am not so you cannot have a picture of me.

     The virus has run rampant over the Holiday with Thanksgiving being the worst day.  So I have really stuck close to home and just sat around.  I have kept busy doing embroider on some gifts I am making.  I brought mom home last night and I took her to church this morning.  I am awol from church as I don't want to spread my lovely germs to any more people than I have to.  The cold was a really bad cough, but that has subsided some and now it is all nose and nose, and nose.  With a little wheezing cough mixed in for good affect.

     I will pick mom up at about 12:15.  In the meantime I will take a bath and try to remove as many germs as possible.  I need to clean up my kitchen and take something out to cook besides Turkey.  Mom wants to make cookies for her open house this afternoon.  So I might scare up a batch of dough ready to surprise her.  But then again the bed is calling me.  Decisions........  I have laid around now for 2 days might I take a 3rd?

     Not if mom has anything to do with it.

     Have a restful and Peaceful Sabbath.


Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday, Black Friday!!!

Are you a Black Friday Shopper?  I am all about saving money, and I live in a smaller town so fighting the crowds at Christmas here is not like fighting crowds in a larger city.  I went Black Friday shopping with my sister-in-law once in Boise.   We got up at 4 in the morning and stood in line in the freezing cold.  I was excited, it was a frenzy.  We were done shopping and home by 11:00 that morning.
    I remember purchasing many large ticket items at great prices.  Almost every thing was electronic or appliances.  Yes they were nice and all of them were for my kids.  I mean I just could not pass up that kind of sale.  I know D#1 was in Law school because she needed a new vacuum cleaner.  It was a need gift and the only one I needed to buy.  Everything else was just"But it's such a good deal."  I never did this again.  The kids didn't really seem to care.  I was deeply in debt.  Now I was more in debt.  I just cannot do that to myself any more. 

     One thing that makes Christmas much easier for me is shopping throughout the year and finding really good gifts at bargain basement prices.  My girls don't care that is was bought on sale.  They do like quality so I really try and find nice things that they will use and need.  A few years ago I found this slogan and it is something I usually go by.

Something to wear
Something to read
Something you want
Something you need

     This makes it very easy.  I always ask them what they want, and what they need, I can surprise them with the other things.  When we travel I look for books. I pick them up with vacation money. Now that the older two have had babies, they really understand that Christmas is about family, the spirit, the children.  Many useless gifts are not what makes a happy Christmas.

     I must truly say that other than son-in-laws and Hubs I am done with shopping.  I know what the son-in-laws want so it is a matter of getting those things.  I will get Hub's to order on line for them.

     We are really into stockings at our house.  This started out in my family as mom had many children and we needed things so Christmas was the one toy we really wanted from Santa.  We all received a new set of Pjs. We opened the pajamas Christmas eve.  In our stockings, we always had a hair brush.  We had a tooth brush, we had new socks, we had hair ties and bands, some small candy.  We always received new mittens, hat and scarf.   Christmas was really things that we used through out the year.

    In our house, we have tried to make stockings important.  Again the girls receive a nice gift and then stocking stuffers.  These are mostly silly things I have picked up for peanuts through out the year.  You would be surprised what you can accumulate when you pick up a few trinkets here and there.

     For Hub's folks who will be 90 this year, we just do stockings and a basket of snacky foods which they open on News years eve.  I wrap every thing in their stockings.  So they can open things.  They love it.  I purchased two very nice large stockings for them last year at Good Will. I will restuff these when we drive through.  Usually I just put a small pile of wrapped stocking gifts in a container, but when I saw those socks they said Mom and Dad and were a dollar a piece.  What a bargain and this will continue for as long as they live.  Last year they went to my sister -in laws and they took their filled stockings.  Every one was amazed at what was put in them and how much mom and dad enjoyed this.  Again all things were purchased here and there through out the year and all items were on sale at close out prices.  The books in their stockings were the only thing not on sale.  Now I just hope no one steals my idea.

     I am going to start trying to do a more homemade Christmas.  I can make many beautiful things.  Things my girls will appreciate and need.
What do you plan to do for Christmas?  Do you make any gifts?

By the way I am in my Christmas jammies from about 4 years ago.  They are faded and old, but I am so sick with this cold that I am staying in bed mode most of the day.  Bed-mode means I get up periodically to mess around in various rooms.  Put away a little laundry, or start a load.  Make a bed. rest.  Fold some socks,rest.  Put a few things away in the kitchen, rest. I will putz all day, and rest.

Have a great and productive say staying positive while you are in the negative.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

     Well I got my list done yesterday and mom and I cooked from noon until about 5:00 I could not believe she held up that long.  She was not very nice during the process, but I was proud of her stamina.  Lil sis came and got her about 7:00, she was downstairs napping.  Now she is at Lil sis's house and she was sick this morning and she is lying in bed up stairs waiting to hold court.

     Mom and I made 4 pies yesterday, 2 pumpkin( hubs and I had cleaned a large pumpkin the day before and I cooked it up, then we sieved it), one apple, one banana cream. We also peeled sweet potatoes and cooked them and got those ready. I got the stuffed squash ready.  Then we made two batches of Swedish meatballs. (24 doz).  Mom also helped me make her cranberry salad. So good. Then I sent her to bed.

     My shop was so busy yesterday with people picking up and dropping off. I did no sewing just cleaned up the shop.  We have a big gala here this weekend so many formal dresses and suit pants.  It was crazy running up and down the stairs all day.  Then you have the out of town people who are coming in to shop and they drop off.  I always ask when they will be in town next and try to have their things done.

     After Lil sis picked mom up Hub's and I had an early piece of pie and leftovers. I embroidered two dish towels. It was a peaceful relaxing evening.  Well if you consider coughing your brains out peaceful.

     I slept late today and Lil sis called to have me bring a few things over.  I went in my pj's.  My niece was there as Lil sis had just picked her up from a nearby airport.  She is a cutie. I went upstairs and talked to mom for a few minutes, I also brought her up an icy cold soda hoping it would pep her up.

     Today I have to cook the squash, reheat the sweet potatoes, make a relish tray and make all the rolls.  I wil1 probably do a triple batch so we have plenty of leftovers.

Here is Mom's cranberry jello salad recipe.  I remember my grandmother making this:

2 cans of whole berry cranberry sauce.
2  small or 1 lg pkg raspberry or red jello  (I use sugar free as this is very calorie heavy)
2 cups celery chopped fine
1 cup of walnuts chopped

Mix jello with 2 cups of boiling water and mix until it dissolves  DO NOT ADD COLD WATER
Puree cranberries in a blender or food processor
add chopped celery
add chopped nuts
Now add jello and mix together
pour into mold. Chill several hours or over night.

This is very yummy

I have also added chopped apples to this and it is good.

     Well I am going to take some more cough suppressant because I really need to be in bed.

Have a Wonderful Turkey Day with your friends, and family.  May God bless all of us with to much food and too many friends.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wednesday, Happy? Holidays?

     By reading some posts I think there are a few of us that are approaching this .....  I actually laughed when I saw this.  I needed to laugh.                                                                       I think I am allowing myself to be taken down by my mother's cheerfulness.  

     So what am I going to do about this?  Well I am going to concentrate on gratitude.  Please help me with this.  Please.  I need help, a lot of help.  Help me to be grateful and not dwell on lasts years Holiday fiascos.  Help me to be patient with my mother.  Do not allow me to get pulled down by her mean and snarky comments.  Help me to have patience and understand her and pity her.  Just because she is unhappy does not mean I have to be unhappy Right?

     In order to fight these holiday blues, I am going to get to work, as work is a great panacea for depression.  I can't really say I am depressed, but mom is and she could take a league of Angels down with her.

1. Call all people in the shop 
2. Finish one dress
3. laundry turn over
4. help mom make meat balls for open house( like this needs to be done today)
5. make 4 pies
6. peel and boil sweet potatoes for tomorrow.
7. get squash prepped for tomorrow.

      Mom is upset by my bad cough and cold.  First my poor Lil sis was so sick with a cold and now I am down/up/ down with a bad cough.  But remember we are not allowed to be sick.  She keeps making comments about how tired she is of people coughing all the time.  She had to put up with Lil sis and now me.  Her life is so hard.  My little inner voice is saying, "Come here and let me make your life hard."  Okay that is not the point of this post. This post is to help me be up, up, up!

     I am blessed with work, I am blessed with wonderful sisters.  I am blessed with great kids and grandsons,I am blessed with skills to help me when ever I need them.

     Well I had better get to work as no one else is going to do it!

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tuesday, I was very, very cranky....

Image result for witch wife

     Yesterday was not good for me or anyone within a few yards of me.  Besides having a terrible chest cold and coughing non stop, I felt like my head was going to explode.  I was angry and frustrated with my Husband (for good reason) and I was short with my mother.

     Hub's actually tried to hide from me but with my witch skills I found him.  I had plenty of sewing that needed to be done and it was raining cats and dogs.  So Hub's props himself on his butt with a book and mom starts making demands to start baking for HER open house. I was more than a little irritated.  I stomped up to hub's and demanded that he do a few things I had been after him for.  He of course did them half/a$$ed and I exploded and made him redo them  three times.  I mean really?

     Then I was punished for losing my temper by my sewing machine dying.  I am very good at fixing sewing machines.  This is a throw away job.  SO I broke down into hysterics.  Hub's went and hid again.  Mom hovered, which irritated me.  Hubs left at about 5 when I was going to start dinner.  HE had to go set up for a jazz band recital.  When we realized he was leaving, mom offered to take me out for a taco and even paid for it!  I took her up on this.  So tonight we will have what we were going to have last night.

     Hub's just went to pick up youngest D#3at the airport.  We just heard that D#2 arrived at D#1's,keeping track of these kids is harder now than when they were babies.  Well they were never babies at the same time.  They all act like babies at the same time now....  Okay they are great kids.

     Mom wants to make fudge today and I agreed.  We all have dental appointments at 2:00 and Hub's no longer has dental insurance so I hope he can get buy with a cleaning.

Here is our families fudge recipe that we have used for over 40 years.  So easy and never fails.

1-8 oz package of cream cheese (use philly only) .88
1 cube butter or margarine .50
dash of salt
2 tsp vanilla .5
2 squares of baking chocolate or 1/2 cup coco .20
1- 2lb bag of powder sugar .99

Soften cheese and butter and mix thoroughly
add salt and vanilla
add chocolate or coco
add powder sugar  mix until well blended and shiny.  You may add nuts of your choice.

press into a pan and put in fridge.  This makes 3lb.s of fudge for under $3.00 and it is delicious.  You can add nuts but it will up the cost by a dollar or so.  This also makes a great gift.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.