Posts made in April, 2013

Hand Cookies

Posted by on Apr 17, 2013 in Cookies | 1 comment

Hand Cookies


Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.

--George Washington






Hand cookies with Grandma

Click on the link above for a sweet treat from Olive Us







My tiny version of Grandma Donna's  helping hands...

I have had this cookie cutter for 30 years--but found it a bit strange.

Grand children are the missing ingredient!


Hand Cookies


  • 1 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups suger
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder


  1. Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla; Add eggs one at a time.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
  3. Add 3/4 flour salt, and baking powder mixture to the creamed mixture.
  4. Add cream to combine; then add last 1/4 of the flour just until combined.
  5. Flatten the dough into a disk; wrap; refrigerate fir 30 minutes.
  6. Roll out the dough and cut out hand-shapes with a knife.
  7. Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes.
  8. Decorate
  9. --Recipe adapted from video Olive Us




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Ants on a Log

Posted by on Apr 15, 2013 in New | 1 comment

Ants on a Log


Naptime = sacred time.

Naptime… the moment ordained for a mother

and her child to draw close and then tenderly separate.

Time was-- when it began with a sleepy repetitive story and a clever promise.

"Let's make cookies when you wake up," she cooed retreating from the sleeping room.




He sleeps.





She rests for 13 seconds in gratitude--then feathers the nest; folds laundry; boxes up LEGOs; chops onions and garlic, and ignores world news.

She washes her hands.

The trumpet sounds.

The hands of grace rest on her shoulders.

He is awake.








Naptime restores her soul like ants on a log.

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Cast Iron Skillet

Posted by on Apr 12, 2013 in Pasta | 0 comments








When the day has been long--a 40 year old cast iron skillet is your best friend.

No tomfoolery of pots and pans...








Good light.

Good garden.








Good food.








Whole Wheat Penne Pasta with Chard, Pine Nuts, and Stuffed Green Olives








Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad with Fresh Thyme and Blood Orange Vinaigrette

...Good Night



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Gone Fishing

Posted by on Apr 10, 2013 in New | 1 comment

Gone Fishing


My mother spent the last few months of her life in a bright and sunny room where she was watched over by loving caregivers.  Now and then when she was awake to greet me on my daily visits she would look straight at me and say,” The fisherman was here again.”

I consoled myself knowing her time was coming to an end; the Great Angler in the form of a fisherman was dropping by to soothe her when my nets were empty.


-- David Roper in Seeing Through

"Simon Peter said, 'I am going fishing.' [The disciples] said to him, 'We will go with you.' They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just after daybreak, [the resurrected] Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, 'Children, you have no fish, have you?' They answered Him, 'No.' He said to them, 'Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.' So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish." (John21:3-6 NRSV)











The events we call tragedies, set-backs, and failures are opportunities for God. He knows how to draw glory even from our ruin. The hour of deepest humiliation, when we feel defective and utterly disqualified, may be the hour that God uses us in unparalleled ways. Years of "wasted" efforts may be the years when God plants an eternal harvest; though we have fished all night and caught nothing, the Great Angler is still double-baiting His hooks.


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Sunbeam Banana Bread

Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 in Breakfast and Brunch | 2 comments

Sunbeam Banana Bread

When I was a child my mother had a Sunbeam hand mixer.

Vintage SUNBEAM Mixmaster PINK hand mixer by ilovevintagestuff

The model in our kitchen wasn't pink but it was always in motion.

My favorite thing about the mixer was the little cookbook that came in the original box.

I packed the small book and the appliance guarantee when I was married--it became a link from my childhood to motherhood.

Our oldest son, Ty was enamored with the Banana Tea Bread I baked from the tattered well worn page from the tiny book.

That photo may get me in trouble!








Over ripe bananas.








Pecans or walnuts.








Butter and sugar were created in heaven.








2 eggs... always  one at a time.








Pure vanilla extract.








Yes, you can use a food processor.  Pulse just until the batter is combined.  Otherwise the batter will become tough.








Buttermilk or sour cream?
















Stir in the mashed banana








and the nuts.








Originally,  I made one large loaf.  Now I make two smaller ones.  One to eat and another to share.








Not too sweet--  streaked with moist  banana enough-ness and the crunch of wholesome nuts.








Banana Tea Bread for you Ty.

Banana Tea Bread


  • ½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
  • 1 cup mashed banana (2 large)
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup softened butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup buttermilk or ½ cup sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease two 7x4x2 inch loaf pans.
  2. Chop nuts. Mash banana. Cream together butter and sugar; Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, flour, soda and salt until combined. Scrape sides of bowl and stir in banana and nuts. Fill loaf pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until done. Remove from oven to a wire rack and cool completely. Makes about 30—1/4 inch slices.

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