Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bargain Finds

I recently found these beautiful plates for 1.49 each(60% off the orginal price). I purchased some of them to use for small gifts that I needed for Christmas. The colors are vibrant on each plate making it a fun gift to receive.

I also purchased this small serving dish set for a great price at Pier 1 Imports. I can think of many uses for this set. I need it for a party that I am attending where part of the entertainment of the evening will be the game "now you have it, now you don't". Each person brings a small gift and sets it on a table. The hostess pulls numbers and each person gets to chose a gift. It can be from the table, or you can steal it from a friend who already chose one. It continues to be a fun favorite.

I discovered this shabby chic pink rosebud tray on the clearance shelf of JoAnn's Fabrics, for 8.99. I am giving it for a gift at Christmas to someone special who has a pink dining room. It will be perfect to keep her crystal coffee mugs on it, along with her pink glass sugar and creamer. I was excited about this find.

Now, I want to tell you what I plan on giving with the snowman and the father Christmas plates. Many months ago, I discovered an amazing recipe on a beautiful Every visit to this blog adds sunshine to my day. She said, "this yummy Chocolate Chip cake is the easiest cake in the world to make. It doesn't even require a rolling pin." She is right. I have made it for many family and church dinners, and it is so easy and so exceptionally delicious. You add all of the ingredients into one bowl and stir together.
Chocolate Chip Cake(thank you Daisy Cottage)
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 small package of INSTANT chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1- 12oz. bag of miniature chocolate chips
Lightly spray a bundt pan. Mix above ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
ps. I sometimes make this recipe into mini muffins. I grease the muffin tins and using a small sprayed ice cream scoop, I fill each one 3/4 full. I bake for 16 minutes at 350 degrees, or until fairly firm on top. Remove from oven, cool and remove from pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
I also sometimes add 1 cup of chopped walnuts to this recipe, and if I don't have chocolate chips on hand, I added peanut butter chips(like I did this time).

Four fit perfectly on each plate. I will cover with clear cellophane, tie with a red ribbon and add a written tag.

Here is the same recipe that I made into a bundt cake, and served on a pedestal plate. Actually, I created this plate with a brown candle stand from Pottery Barn Outlet glued with glass glue, to a white plate from the same outlet. It made an uniquely beautiful pedestal plate.

Here is how I finished it for a gift at Thanksgiving.
This cake is so good served with coffee or vanilla ice cream, and drizzled with chocolate syrup.

I close with this picture that I captured recently, as my youngest granddaughter made her first attempts at coloring. She took the challenge seriously as you can see from her little face.

I had been given this calender of dogs and cats. I pulled it out of the cupboard for her to look at, never imagining that she would spend so much time studying each and every picture. As she is looking at this puppy, one wonders what is running through her little mind.
It has been so busy lately. I haven't have time to post or to visit your blogs. I look forward to that happening. I think of all of you and hope you are doing well.


Judy said...

A great recipe...some wonderful ideas for gift-giving...and a great post to end my day. I made a pedestal plate with a cut-glass candle holder and cut glass mini-platter glued on top recently...turned out great and is so easy to do.

Take care...and enjoy the season...however busy!

a woman who is said...

I might have to give that one a try. I have not yet begun to think of food...too busy with the gift thing. Next week I will be back for the recipe :)

Shelley said...

I love those plates!! I would love to get a treat on one of those! Glad you shared that chocolate cake recipe. And I noticed your little cutie granddaughter is looking at a Bernese Mtn Dog puppy!! I miss scout being that small....

Stacey said...

Hi Judy! What a great post. You've found some great bargains that will be perfect gifts. The cake sounds wonderful too.

Love the Decor! said...

That cake looks so very yummy!! and the plates were a great find!!
Thank you so much for visiting and for your sweet comments.
Hoping you have a very blessed weekend!

Dale said...

What a yummy treat for Christmas Dinner, Chocolate Cake! Thanks for sharing another great idea and recipe.
And by the way, you have been running your bakery and coffee shop as long as I've known you! You are a giver of beautiful homemade gifts wrapped with love....
Merry Christmas dear friend.

Lauren said...

yum. I'm pretty sure I've been a BLESSED recipiant of some of that cake (family dinner?). It IS delicious and is always displayed so beautifully. Thanks again Aunt Judy for taking the time to share your creativity admist your busy schedule. Love you.

Happy@Home said...

I love all of your clever ideas, Judy. Thanks so much for sharing the cake recipe. It does sound like a good one that I will have to try. Your presentation for the Thanksgiving cake is absolutely beautiful.

Love the pictures of your little granddaughter. So sweet.

Tracy said...

Beautiful! Love those plates and that recipe sounds like one I absolutely have to try! Don't you love when you find something like that tray for a gift? No doubt the recipient will love it! = )

Marilou said...

Ok, i have just now finished baking those darling choc muffins for Olivia's friends birthday! OMW!! They are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! So, for all you out there in Blogville, who really wonder if Judys recipes are all they are cracked up to be....THEY ARE! I even put them in this lovely aluminum foil pan that i got for 1.39 at Kmart...i know, i know...I'm way too creative, be jealous! So, thanks for sharing your recipes with us (me), Angela will be quite happy that you did! :)love ya!

Melinda said...

Super recipe! I'll have to copy that down.
I can't remember if I told you that I made the apple pie with the Rhodes cinnamon rolls for Thanksgiving. Pieces were taken so fast I almost didn't get a piece of my own pie!
Your granddaughter is adorable.


Lovella ♥ said...

So pretty. . .such good finds and such a personal way of giving to each person.

Kathleen said...

Incredible. Are those grandchildren understudying your creative prowess? I think so!

What high ground is your blog. It's filled with the good, and true, and pure and lovely. Just the stuff that makes any visit a delight (and fattening!).


Barb said...

Judy, such a delightful post. I love your plates and the tray is soooo pretty. All the desserts look so delicious. Yummy!

Barb ♥

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon Judy, Did you get some wonderful finds! I love those plates and that tray is lovely. I had never heard of that game you play but it sounds like so much fun! We do something with dice but we use penny's instead. I love the idea of the gifts. Thank you for the recipe. Everything looks lovely and especially the beautiful way you put it all together. Your little granddaughter is absolutely beautiful ♥ You are such a good granny :>) Your grandchildren are truly blessed.


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