Monday, December 14, 2009

Keeping It Simple

A few shortcuts that I have used over the years of having guests in my home. Perhaps, with all of your busy schedules, these simple tips may be helpful to you.
~Sweetened Sour Cream
Add 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to 1 cup of sour cream. Stir and chill until ready to serve. This recipe tastes like cheesecake without the extra work. I added crushed gingersnaps on top, and serve with a tray of ginger snap cookies, fresh fruits and small chunks of pound cake. It can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
~For an easy, more "elegant" dessert, make a pan of brownies; as soon as they come out of the oven, place Thin Mints over the top. When these melt, drag a knife through the mints in a zigzag fashion. A nice design results, dressing up a plain brownie for company.(and they taste so good!)
This is a simple favorite dip recipe
1 cup finely grated carrots
1 cup real mayonnaise
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Mix all ingredients together. Place in a small, ovenproof dish, and bake in a 350 degrees oven for about 20 minutes. The dip will get bubbly and brown. Serve with your favorite crackers .
Caramelized Onions
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
Saute' the onion in olive oil and sugar over low heat for about 20 minutes or until soft, thickened, and translucent. Use on top of hamburgers, pizza or a roast. Delicious addition.

A package of tiny Christmas bulb ornaments that my daughter purchased for me, from the Hobby Lobby store...

...which happen to add a touch of color to these small packages of mini milk chocolate chip cookies that I wrapped in clear cellophane. I will freeze these as is, until the last few days before Christmas, at which time I will thaw and give out as a token of sharing Christmas joy.

I use simple shortcuts at this time of my life because, I want to have extra minutes in my weekly schedule, to once in a while sit and have "play tea parties" with two very special little girls. These little girls are a small part of a very busy household, with a young, creative, energetic(at times) mother who just happens to be my oldest daughter. Her down-to-earth, quite humorous, and exceptional ability to be able to communicate her life happenings ...can be found at her beautiful


Stacey said...

Hi Judy! Great ideas and I'm printing them right out! Have you seen the Paula Deen Cookie Swap show that's on Food Network right now? Your little cookies made me think of that show. She presented cookies in a child's sand pail all wrapped in cellophane. It was so cute!

Happy Tea Party Time!

Blessings each day said...

Thank You, Judy, I need all the shortcut hints you can give and these look lovely and sound great tasting.

blessings and hugs,


Rach said...

Cute cookie packaging!

Happy@Home said...

Planning ahead and keeping things simple seem to me to be a great way to allow time for the more immportant things ~ like tea parties with sweet little girls.

Once again your ideas all sound delicious and look so appealing. I love the little cookie bags.

Judy said...

Some great ideas once again! I tasted a gingerbread dip at friends last week...quite yummy.

Cute way to wrap up cookies. Wish we had a Hobby Lobby or Dollar Giant nearby. I go out in search of the neat things I see on your blog...but often come up empty at our dollar stores.

I went and visited your daughter's blog...and have no idea how she manages to keep a blog besides her busy household! She will one day be so glad she took the time to documnet this stage of life.

Chad, Linds and the Twins said...

Dear Aunt Judy, it has been awhile since I have been on! What fun posts you have done!! I enjoyed getting to go back through and read them all! I could just reach in and grab that cheesecake pudding! YUM! :) Can't wait to see you again soon! Thanks for your SOOO sweet comments on my blog, that is the main reason I want to put new things on because I know I have you as my reader and always leave the most thoughtful comments. Love you! Linds

Anonymous said...

Some good hints and ideas. Thanks for sharing.

Melinda said...

Great ideas! I especially like the
brownie idea! Wouldn't mind a brownie right now. Yum.


Anonymous said...

I'm all about the people and not about all the fuss of trying to impress! Love these ideas! Then you don't have to stress out!

Miss Gracie's House said...

Great ideas! I'll have to file these...we did make brownies with mints just the other night...great minds think alike:)...lovin' the pics of the twins and the fruit-loop much fun and blessings!

Everyday Sparkles said...

Thanks for sharing your ideas and recipes. I am printing those for my recipe book. Love your photos too.

Marty said...

Great ideas. Had my eye on one of those tea sets for my grand. Did you know we finally have a Hobby Lobby within driving distance?.... in Chambersburg. My daughter & I plan to check it out while she's here.

Shelley said...

You are an endless resource of wonderful and sweet ideas! I loved your ideas for quick snacks/desserts!

Anonymous said...

Judy you always have such wonderful ideas. Thank you so much for sharing. I just love that little light bulb idea.

Kathleen said...

You need to publish a book! It would be a runaway best seller, and could feature everything from decor to dessert. You capture scenes and make them speak.

Now, if you could just mute the goodies - - they're calling to me!


Lauren said...

Hi Judy!
I have been missing your blog so much with the whirl and swirl of the holidays and trying to balance the workload of the new job. Life has been hectic to say the least. I tried to steal a moment, to just breathe deep and enjoy the wonder of it all...and I figured I would stop by and say hello. Your blog didn't fail me... as always you provided a wonderful and relaxing breath of fresh air, to my crazy fast-paced life. THANK YOU, my friend, for this generous gift of sharing through your blog. You are a blessing...and I am so grateful that I can consider you my blog-world friend.

Wishing you a very joyful Christmas and a blessed New Year.



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