Friday, December 18, 2009


Well good afternoon my faithful flock LOL! Sorry I'm a bit late with todays entry... I hate the half school days. Throws me all off whack and then I'm running around trying to get everything done in the few short hours they are gone... UGH! But I'm here and the rest of the day will be baking and cooking and cleaning lol. Its actually a pretty day outside (for a change)... sunny and about 65 degrees. Got my kitchen window open and my ovens and pots just a goin!

OK so I'm driving around thinking OMG I have got the perfect craft to blog. Its an ornament... a bear ornament. This is a beary LOL versitile gift as you can custom it for tons of different ways!

Craft Idea of the Day: Christmas Bear Ornaments

All you do is take the desired ball ornament (could be a school color, a NFL team, you name it) and hot glue bear "pieces" to the ball. You can find a bag of parts fairly inexpensive at the arts & crafts stores. Glue the head piece on the top and then the ball ornament piece (from which to hang the ornament) onto the bear's head. Tie a ribbon Bow around the neck of the bear. And there you have it! I thought this was one of the most precious things I had ever seen so I HAD to share it with you in time to make some as gifts!

OK, what's for dinner? Well, since I have alot going on the next 48 hours, I was thinking freezer meals... but no, I put on a big old brisket in the oven. Gonna serve it with potato salad and some corn on the cob... no big recipe to share with you there. But I want to share this one for the Pintos and Sausage I made yesterday!

Pinto Bean & Andouille Sausage Stew


1 pound dry pinto beans
1 tablespoon peanut oil, or canola oil
12 ounces andouille sausage, (see Tip), diced
3 slices bacon, chopped
2 cups diced onions
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1-3 teaspoons minced chile pepper, such as serrano or jalapeno
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, (see Note)
4 large ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
8 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
Juice of 1/2 lime


1. Pick over beans to remove any pebbles or broken beans and rinse under cold water. Place in a bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.

2. Heat oil in a large heavy casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is almost crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and set aside in the refrigerator.

3. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, over medium heat, until soft and lightly brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add bell peppers and chile pepper to taste; continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture is soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in paprika. Add tomatoes and cook until they release their juice, about 2 minutes.

4. Drain the beans. Stir the beans and 8 cups water into the pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Stir in the reserved sausage and bacon along with salt and pepper. Continue simmering, adding a little water if the beans are dry, until the beans are very soft and beginning to break down, about 30 minutes more. Stir in lime zest and juice.

Oh goodies goodies GOODIES- Literally LOL! OK I am gonna share a cookie that I'm making for the party in honor of my BFF (you already read about her) Vicki. Vicki loves pigs so I am gonna have such fun when she sees these! (Courtesy of Taste of Home)

Cute Pig Cookies


1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
6 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 to 4 drops red food coloring
Pink sugar wafer cookies
36 large marshmallows, halved
Butterscotch chips and miniature semisweet chocolate chips


1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

2. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

3. For frosting, in a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and food coloring. Frost cookies.

4. Cut sugar wafers into triangles; place two on each cookie for ears. With a toothpick, poke two holes in each marshmallow half for nostrils; press butterscotch chips into holes. Place noses on cookies; add chocolate chip eyes. Yield: 6 dozen.

I just hope mine come out as SOOUUweet! LOL! OK boys and girls... that's all for today's blog! Gotta get my big ol' tired self in there and a-bakin! So until tomorrow, enjoy, and HUGS!

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