Thursday, September 2, 2010

Show and Tell Friday ~ Frances Hook Northern Prints

Last week I shared the Gerber Baby print for Show & Tell Friday.  This week I have more sweet prints of children that many will recognize from their childhood.

From:
Northern Paper Mills
A Marathon Division of American Can Company
Green Bay    *    Wisconsin

"AMERICAN BEAUTIES"
Collection
Artist:  Frances Hook
of Flourtown, Pennsylvania
First offered in 1959
 "ALL-AMERICAN BOYS"
Collection
Here is some history about these sweet prints. I photographed sections from a pamphlet that accompanied the prints.  (Click on images to enlarge)
Notice the prices of each set!
Frances Hooks signature
I have a couple additional prints:
Joining Cindy @My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A College Collage

No new outfit.  No walking to the bus stop.  No lunch boxes.  None of that little girl first day of school stuff.
I'm lucky she let me snap a few pictures at the kitchen table.
This morning she's about to drive herself to the local community college in her new (well, new to her 1996) car that she bought herself and pays insurance on, with her new drivers license and a satchel of pre-owned text books.
 First class at 10 am, home by 4:20 pm, work at 6 to 12.
It's starting to look like a grown-up world.
And this mom (and Dad) prays continually that God will put a hedge of protection around her and draw her ever closer to Him..

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

hummingbirds

More hummers!
I just can't resist.
I am fascinated.
There is no cure.
This August has been a month of abundant hummingbird activity at our feeders. And they seem a much friendlier group as well.  Not wary by our movements and even playful as they zoom right up to me, look directly in my face and then off to the feeder.
The time is approaching when my diminutive feathered friends will be heading south and my feeders will be left quite.
Until then, I will allow my heart to be thrilled by each fleeting visit.
~*~
Joining Susan @A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday!

Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies ~ TWD

Tuesday morning... that means it's a Dorie recipe.
How about a not-too-sweet, coffee and chocolate lover cookie!
I made half a batch of these little morsels.
They come together easily with few ingredients and after a couple of hours in the refrigerator, they are ready to slice and bake.
Dorie suggests placing the dough into a zip-lock bag and rolling it flat.  After refrigerating, just slit open the bag and slice into little squares.
Sweet Treat with your favorite coffee or, I my case, ice-cold milk!

Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Makes 32 cookies

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon boiling water2 cups all-purpose flour
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or ¾ cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature


2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

Dissolve the espresso in the boiling water, and set aside to cool to tepid.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Beat in the vanilla and espresso, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it disappears into the dough. Don’t work the dough much once the flour is incorporated. Fold in the chopped chocolate with a sturdy rubber spatula.
Using the spatula, transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9-x-10½ -inch rectangle that’s ¼ inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn’t cause creases. When you get the right size thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.

GETTING READY TO BAKE: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife cut the dough into 1½-inch squares. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a fork, gently pushing the tines through the cookies until they hit the sheet.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The shortbreads will be very pale – they shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack.
If you’d like, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while they are still hot. Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Where Do I Blog? Do You Really Want To Know?

I've been seeing some really lovely places where you sweet ladies work on your blog posts and it caused me to take a look at my own little nook.  Much to my shame I am sharing the most neglected place in my home.  Yep, it's going to reveal some unpleasant things about me.
I enjoy working here at the kitchen table.  However, this oldish, rebuilt laptop is most unfriendly (except if you like blue screen) and is only reliable (usually) using Word.
But, in reality...
  this is the place, on a wall unseen from the foyer in an otherwise very nice living room.
It is a desk that one of the kids used when they were little and the only good thing about it is that it is light in color and (sort of) blends in with the wall.  Now on to the dreadful up-close reveal...
1)  Coffee Mug (complete with lipstick smudge).  Sometimes hot coffee, more often Iced-coffee or Hot Tea in the colder months.
2)  Heaps of papers on printer and scattered about.  (all those awesome recipes and interesting ideas from YOU guys)
3)  Glasses of Ice water ~ Do you know beverages taste better in glass with crushed ice and a straw?  They do!
4)  Bet you can't guess how many times I have bought paint and touched up this edge that "NO ONE" ever peels the finish from!!!I think "NO ONE" has an OCD.
5)  A very old, but cherished mouse pad from Erin reminding us that she is still in (and probably always will be) our face and that she is our favorite daughter.  Notice the doodles that the same "NO ONE" has used to highlight various facial features.
6)  This is also a place where most unusual items congregate.  This is a pleasant item. (in contrast to number 8)
7)  A place for lots of notes and post-it's
8)  And, (this is where I'm gonna lose some friends) an inverted glass where I have recently captured two stink bugs and waited for their demise.  Really now, how does one get rid of stink bugs?  I learned the hard way that you don't smash them! Oh, I know.  YOU don't have stink bugs that slam into the bright monitor at night when you are blogging.  sigh...

So, now I am thinking it's time for a make-over.
Thanks girls for one more thing added to my project list.
Love you!
Now, to see some lovely places where normal folks blog, visit
Where Do You Blog Party!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mixed Berry Cheesecake

Mixed Berry Cheesecake
Ina Garten

Ingredients

For the crust:


  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted 
 For the filling:

  • 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature (I have substituted Neufch√Ętel to reduce fat and calories with good results). 
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
 For the topping:

  • 1 cup red jelly (not jam) such as currant, raspberry, or strawberry
  • 1/2 pint sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 pint fresh blueberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.

To make the topping, melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat. In a bowl, toss berries and the warm jelly gently until well mixed. Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Here is the way my daughter, Jill served this cheesecake during our last visit.  Instead of a berry topping, she spread a layer of peanut butter, some hot fudge topping and chopped Snicker's candy bars.  It was heavenly! 

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