02.25.08 | Let’s get caught up, shall we?

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:07 pm by Becky

Hmm…  It’s been quiet around here, huh?  Sorry about that.  No good excuse.  We’ve all been sick, though we are all better now, for the most part.  I have a bunch of half-written posts waiting.  Get ready…here they come.

01.28.08 | Another Yummy Recipe

Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized at 6:34 pm by Becky

I made muffins for the kids last week. I had some canned pumpkin left from the holiday stockpile, so came up with this. It’s a basic muffin recipe with pumpkin added, topped with cinnamon sugar. They were a hit!

Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butterpum-muffin.jpg

2 eggs

16 oz. pumpkin

1/4 cup milk

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Heat the oven to 350°. Beat the sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in the pumpkin and milk. Add dry ingredients. Grease and flour 24 muffin cups. Fill 2/3 full. Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool until they are cool enough to handle. Then brush tops with melted butter and dip in a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon.

01.24.08 | Brrr…

Posted in family at 11:46 am by Becky


Yes, this is a space heater. It is positioned right next to my sink in the bathroom. After a hot shower, a cold room makes a grumpy me… Consequently, meet Mr. Space Heater.

It is cold, dark, and rainy today – a perfect day to sit with a pot of coffee and Beethoven. The kids are happy. They love rainy day schedules. They just might come home to chocolate chip cookies this afternoon…

Happy Thursday, everyone. Stay warm. Keep dry.

01.15.08 | Your PSA for the day

Posted in family at 8:12 pm by Becky

I was organizing/purging old email today and found an email from my mom, sent last year. I share this with you so that you may learn…

Good morning,
“did you know”
#1 It’s not a good thing to trap a skunk in a rat trap behind jacuzzi equip at 12:30 am (or any other time)
#2 It’s not good for a dog and a grama to try to release him.
#3 It’s not good thing to be within 2 feet and both get ‘sprayed’ – yes with ‘the’ special oil and we’re not talking the good massage stuff!!
#4 it’s not a good thing for the dog to go into the house while the grama is still trying to chase an injured skunk with a rat trap on his foot!!
#5 It’s not a good thing that your cleaning lady is coming at 7 am the next morning because of all the explaining!
#6 The effective bath treatment is a bottle of peroxide and baking soda and 1 tsp of liq detergent. (Thanks to Mr. Google)

#7 You have to bathe in this for 10 minutes. (Dog in the sink, grama in the tub)
Of course these notes are for reference only and do not reflect any grama or any dog that you are affiliated with!

In other words: don’t let this happen to you.
It’s in my pores. They’re going to think my new musk perfume is a little eccentric.
I love you,

01.14.08 | Soup’s on!

Posted in Recipes at 8:55 pm by Becky

Winters in Southern California are very mild and very short. This weekend, it was relatively cool outside so I made soup for dinner. This recipe for baked potato soup was posted on a wonderful blog, Get Rich Slowly. It was easy to make, and tasted absolutely delicious. Thumbs up all around the table for this one. We garnished with cheddar cheese and red and black pepper.

Hearty Baked Potato Soupsoup.jpg

3 large russet potatoes, cleaned and poked

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup flour

2 cups chicken broth (or 14 oz can)

12 oz evaporated milk

2 tsp seasoned salt

toppings: cheese, diced ham, crumbled bacon, chives, Tabasco, croutons…

Microwave the potatoes 8-9 minutes until baked through. Set aside to cool slightly. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat and add onion. Cook 6-7 minutes until softened. Add minced garlic and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add flour and stir several minutes to make a thickened roux. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and broth. Scoop the pulp from one potato, mash it slightly and add to soup. Cook soup on medium to bring to a boil. Add seasoning salt (to taste). Dice the remaining two potatoes and empty skin of the third potato. Add to soup and heat through. Serve alone or topped with anything that sounds good to you.

01.12.08 | Perfect With Your Afternoon Tea or Coffee

Posted in Recipes at 9:00 am by Becky

Back to the kitchen for another new recipe. I have set a goal to try one new recipe a week for the year. Maybe then I can start getting through that backlog of magazine and internet clippings. Yesterday, we made Spiced Shortbread (another recipe from Penzeys.com – on the whole, we have been very pleased with every recipe we have tried off their website or catalog – yes, I do have a lot of Penzeys spices in my kitchen). These were yummy. Might make some more this weekend. Bonus – this is an easy recipe that is made from staples. Love it!


Spiced Shortbread

1 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup white sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. ground cardamom

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract

3 Tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add flour, cardamom, vanilla, and almond. Mix well. Add milk. Mix. Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into bars. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake 30 minutes (until edges are golden and middle is firm).

01.11.08 | Here’s to a wonderful year

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:12 pm by Becky

Happy New Year!! Oh, wait…I guess I’m a little late. Hmm..I’m going to have to work on that. Bear with me.

I always have mixed emotions at the turn of the year. Where did the time go? Why do I still have so much left to do? Where did that wrinkle come from? On the plus side, a new year is a clean slate, a fresh start, a chance to try again. I love that.

I spent all last year saying I should start blogging. Well, with the new year, I get a new chance. So, here I am. Welcome to my corner of the world. I like it here, and I hope you do, too. I hope to post about books I’m reading, recipes I’m trying, projects I’m working on, thoughts and observations of daily life. Any suggestions or questions, just holler. I’ll holler back.

01.08.08 | First new recipe of the year!

Posted in Recipes at 7:40 pm by Becky

Just because Christmas is over, does not mean that Christmas baking is over. This weekend, we made Fudgy Cups (recipe courtesy of Penzeys.com). It was a new (to us) recipe, but one that will be added to our “keeper” file. If you are a fan of chocolate, you will love this cookie!


3/4 cup all-purpose flour

fudgy cups

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup butter, softened

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup sugar


1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. vanilla, orange, or almond extract

Sift together flour and cocoa. In a small bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar until fluffy. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325° and spray a mini muffin pan with vegetable oil spray. Divide the dough into 24 balls and press onto bottom and sides of the muffin tin. Mix together the melted butter, sugar, cocoa, egg, vanilla, and additional flavoring. Mix until well blended. Spoon about 1 tsp. into each cup. Bake about 18 minutes until set.

12.31.07 | This is a test…

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:18 pm by Becky

This is a test to make sure I know what I am doing.  Don’t mind me.  There is no enlightenment to be had here.  Go on about your day.  I’ll be back soon…