Halloween Cookies

Every year on the second or third weekend in October, our favorite State park has it’s harvest fest. They have all kinds of fun activities, including trick or treating, hay rides, haunted house, costume contest, etc.  For the past 3 years, I have been making Halloween cookies and handing those out.  Last year, I had over 200 cookies, and they were gone in 20 minutes!  I couldn’t believe it!!  So this year, I have decorated over 500 cookies to hand out. I thought I would post some of the decorated cookies on the blog.

First up, and made with a tulip cutter – Maleficent Cookies.



The tutorial for doing these little guys, can be found here on Youtube.


Tutorial for the spiders can be found here, at Sweet Sugar Belle’s Blog.


Pumpkin cookies I made. The leaves are made with fondant, and the pumpkins were airbrushed.


And last but not least of the pictures I have so far, are these Zombie Teddy Bears, and again the tutorial can be found at YouTube, Montreal Confections. (I love Montreal Confections and Sweet Sugar Belle, they are the best!!  I am not very good at coming up with my own creations, so they’re tutorials REALLY help me out!!)   I will get more pictures and upload them soon.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures posted.

Oyster bar jkt_r2.indd

The Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant Cookbook is beautiful.  But more than just beautiful, it is chock full of recipe classics.  Inside await over 100 of the restaurant’s classic recipes, some dating back to its opening in 1913, marking the occasion of its 100th anniversary.

Part history, part souvenir, you’ll find behind the scene stories, historical anecdotes, and a wealth of expert information on buying, cooking, and serving seafood.  A cookbook that actually works in the home kitchen as well as an informative, beautiful historical read.  There were so many recipes I wanted to make. Pages of dog-eared recipes await my taste  buds.

Recommended: YES!


Like Bing Cherries?  One day only at Whole Foods, (Friday July 11, 2014) you can get them for $1.99 a pound.

Note: Pictures and content below are from Whole Foods.

10 Ways to Make the Most of Cherries + a Sale!

Cherry One-Day Sale

This Friday, July 11th, we’re offering conventionally grown cherries for $1.99 per lb in our US and Canada stores. So Friday is the day to stock up on cherries for this weekend’s smoothies, pancakes and salads and more. Read on for 10 great ways to make use of all those cherries!

Availability and limits may vary by region. Contact your store for details. While supplies last. Not available in our UK stores. Most of our stores do not provide rain checks for sales like this.

Take a Sweet Ride

In Japanese art, cherry blossoms symbolize the fleetingness of life. That’s because cherry season is short and sweet — very sweet. This year, I’m determined to seize the day. I’ve devised a foolproof two-part plan to enjoy cherry season to the fullest.

Step One: Eat as Many Fresh Cherries as Possible
I love to eat cherries by the bowlful. They’re perfect for a quick snack or an easy dessert. I also toss pitted cherries into cereal, salads, smoothies and anything else that might be enhanced by their sweet flavor and firm, juicy flesh. Here are a few ideas to inspire your own explorations:

Grilled Salmon with Cherry Couscous

Grilled Salmon with Cherry Couscous

Cherry Breakfast Quinoa

Cherry Breakfast Quinoa

Cherry Almond Smoothie

Cherry Almond Smoothie

Cherry-Arugula Salad with Almonds and Tarragon

Cherry-Arugula Salad with Almonds and Tarragon

Raw Cherry Crisp with Chia and Dates

Raw Cherry Crisp with Chia and Dates

Whole Wheat Cherry Pancakes

Whole Wheat Cherry Pancakes


Step Two: Save Some for Later
Once I’ve eaten my fill of fresh cherries…wait, let’s be realistic, I can never get enough fresh cherries. How about this: While I’m enjoying fresh cherries, I’ll be inspired to tuck some away for later. These recipes are great ways to make the joy of cherry season last just a little bit longer. (Storage times vary, from one week to one year. Read individual recipes for details.)

Cocktail Cherries

Cocktail Cherries

Cherry Syrup

Cherry Syrup

Spiced Quick-Pickled Cherries

Spiced Quick-Pickled Cherries

Cherry Skillet Jam

Cherry Skillet Jam

If you’d like to save some cherries for smoothies, cereals and salads, check out our tips for freezing and drying cherries. Finally, if you’re making these or other recipes that call for pounds of pitted cherries, check out our tips for pits.

I loved this book!  I couldn’t put it down and read it straight through!  (I’ll read it again, I enjoyed it so much!)  You’ll love the characters, which you will get to know well. (well described, well-developed characters.)  The story line is fantastic, and holds your attention from cover to cover. Several surprises along the way. Another masterpiece from the brilliant Mr. Dean Koontz!   I rate this book 5 starts out of 5 stars!!


Book Description

July 1, 2014
#1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz is at the peak of his acclaimed powers with this major new novel.
The city changed my life and showed me that the world is deeply mysterious. I need to tell you about her and some terrible things and wonderful things and amazing things that happened . . . and how I am still haunted by them. Including one night when I died and woke and lived again.
Here is the riveting, soul-stirring story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grandson of a formidable “piano man,” a musical prodigy beginning to explore his own gifts when he crosses a group of extremely dangerous people, with shattering consequences. Set in a more innocent time not so long ago, The City encompasses a lifetime but unfolds over three extraordinary, heart-racing years of tribulation and triumph, in which Jonah first grasps the electrifying power of music and art, of enduring friendship, of everyday heroes.The unforgettable saga of a young man coming of age within a remarkable family, and a shimmering portrait of the world that shaped him, The City is a novel that speaks to everyone, a dazzling realization of the evergreen dreams we all share. Brilliantly illumined by magic dark and light, it’s a place where enchantment and malice entwine, courage and honor are found in the most unexpected quarters, and the way forward lies buried deep inside the heart.

Egg Rolls!

HomemadeEggRolls These were delicious!  Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try them.  Don’t let the egg rolls sit.  Have someone frying them and one folding them so the liquid in the recipe doesn’t make them soggy.  Although there isn’t too much liquid in the recipe, if you roll them all and then go back to fry them, they will be soggy and the wrapper will tear. Other than that, they were great!


Egg Rolls

1 1/2 lbs. Ground Pork

2 Cups Shredded Cabbage

1 Cup Broccoli Slaw, chopped

1 Carrot, shredded or diced very fine

4 Green Onions, thinly sliced

1/2 Onion, finely diced

2 tsp. Minced Fresh Ginger

2 tsp. White Rice Vinegar

1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

1/4 tsp. Garlic Salt, or to taste

1/4 tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1/2 tsp. Simply Asia Sweet Ginger Garlic Seasoning (Optional)

1 can or 1 lb. fresh Bean sprouts, rinsed & drained

1 1/2 to 2 packages Egg Roll Wrappers


In a large skillet, brown the pork and cook through.  Remove the ground pork from the pan and put in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, broccoli slaw, carrot, onions, ginger and spices (to taste) to the skillet. Stir fry until the cabbage is limp.  Add in the bean sprouts and stir fry for about 2 minutes.  Transfer the skillet contents to the cabbage and stir well.  Stir in the soy sauce, and white wine vinegar. Stir well.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees f. Deep fry the egg rolls until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Serve with plum or sweet and sour sauce.



Click on pic, for a larger picture.

My sister-in-law (Carol) planned a surprise birthday party for my brother’s birthday.  She planned the party after is his birthday, because his birthday actually fell the weekend of Memorial day, and she felt the turnout would be better to have it afterwards, not only that but his birthday was past too, so that added more of the surprise element to the game. She got my brother quite good with this surprise party. He never seen it coming.  This is the cake I made for his birthday party.  The party theme was a gnome.  When my brother grows his full beard, he looks just like the gnome my sister-in-law got him. So, that set the theme for the cake.  This is my first fondant cake, and I was happy with the results.  I really like what you can do with fondant that you just can’t do with buttercream.  (I hear homemade marshmallow fondant with modeling chocolate mixed tastes great!) So, I will continue to play with fondant.

I also made 2 white cakes and a chocolate cake to serve at the party.  The party was a blast, with all my family gathered in one place! Who could ask for more?  Happy Birthday, my dear brother!




Country Heaven Cookbook by Ava Miles.  Delicious, simple recipes with ingredients probably already in your pantry, or very easily obtained.  Comfort food, at it’s best. With 21 recipes to make, you’ll easily be inspired to cook the book!

Country Heaven is a special companion  to the single title novel, “Country Heaven”. 

Reader’s had enjoyed the scrumptious recipes she wrote for the book so much, that she wanted to share them all together with some extra family recipes not included in the book.  The cookbook entries describe her heroine’s reflections about her grandmother, who taught her to cook. Ava Miles spent sometime working as a chef and loves to weave food (and recipes) into her novels.  As in the heroine being taught by her grandmother, Ava’s grandmother taught her to cook too.  Shes included an extended excerpt of Country Heaven for your enjoyment. (I read the excerpt, and went and bought a copy of Country Heaven. Stay tuned for that review.).

About the Author:  USA Today Bestselling Author, Ava Miles burst onto the contemporary romance scene after receiving Nora Robert’s blessing for her use of Ms Robert’s name in her debut novel, #1 National Bestseller “Nora Roberts Land”, which kicked off her small town series – Dare Valley.  Right now, her Kindle Edition of “Nora Roberts Land (Dale Valley Series”) is free!!  But be forewarned, you’re going to be hooked & hungry for more from this author.  I urge you to go take a look at her book ratings!  Almost all of them are 5 stars reviews.  If you read the excerpt from the Country Heaven Cookbook, you too will be hooked, and on your way to purchasing her novels.

I love the idea of reading for enjoyment, and getting some recipes too! Best of both worlds for me.


You can read an excerpt here, at the author’s website.  (Excerpt in Country Cookbook is an extended excerpt and  tells how she was hired to be his cook.)











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