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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Encouraging Hearts and Home 12.31.2020

Getting Close to Christmas, a Crochet Star Garland, a Winter Bucket List, and DIY Sleigh Bells from Old Belts are this week's featured posts!

 Hello and Welcome!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Funtastic Friday #313

DIY Glitter Old Fashioned Christmas Light Bulb Ornaments,  How to Reupholster Dining Room Chairs with Velvet Fabric, DIY Snuffle Ball for Dogs, that you can make, Almond Joy Bark Recipe, and a Happy New Year Banner are this week's featured posts!

Hello and Welcome!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Fudgy Chocolate Pudding Cake, a slow cooker recipe

Today we are offering a Fudgy Chocolate Pudding Cake that is long on delicious flavor and short on beauty! But then again most homestyle chocolate desserts do not win beauty contests, only taste contests! And this Fudgy Chocolate Pudding Cake is exactly that, a big winner in the taste category... 

This delicious Fudgy Chocolate Pudding Cake will look like a dried-out mud puddle when you go to serve it, but I ask you kindly - don't let that stop you from enjoying every single bite! Once served up in your favorite dessert bowls, no one will be able to resist it, it is that good! 

People seem to love chocolate in any form regardless of what it looks like. You can find many recipes in cookbooks and on the internet called various names like Chocolate Mess or Chocolate Tornado, and even Chocolate Earthquake because many times chocolate desserts are not attractive in any way to look at, but always taste heavenly! 

Delicious warm or chilled, Fudgy Chocolate Pudding Cake.


This is a recipe just like that...
Thursday, December 24, 2020

Encouraging Hearts and Home 12.24.2020

Our Favorite Holiday Books, How to Make a Fabric Basket, Choosing One Word for 2021, and Chocolate Star Shortbread Cookies are this week's featured posts!

Hello and Welcome!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Funtastic Friday #312

Friday Favorites included an Elf on a Shelf, DIY Repurposed Candlesticks with Sheet Metal Shades, A Repurposed Violin Case Shelf, Reindeer Treats, A Simple Christmas Table Setting using Holly, and Galvanized Tin Trees are this week's featured posts! 

Hello and Welcome!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Cottage Apple Salad

Cottage Apple Salad, simple to make, delicious to eat, and perfect for busy days. This is one to keep in your memory for a quick salad to enjoy, it is that good...Cottage Apple Salad, yep, you will want to make this.

This salad of apples, cottage cheese, and a dusting of cinnamon borders on too simple to be an actual recipe. But on the other hand, it is too tasty to leave it a secret and not share. The creamy cottage cheese gently coats the crisp sweet apple pieces, using cinnamon is the perfect spice, it is zesty without being overpowering in flavor. And we all need more ideas like this one for busy days, and let's be honest, life gives us busy days...

Cottage Apple Salad, apples, cottage cheese and cinnamon!
Friday, December 18, 2020

Funtastic Friday #311

Grinch Cookies with a Printable Tag, Pesto Quesadilla Kid Fun, Easy Hot Chocolate Mix, DIY Gum Machine Snow Globe, and Giant Cardboard Christmas Ornaments are this week's featured posts!

Hello and Welcome!

Fresh Pear with Gorgonzola, Balsamic Vinegar and Toasted Walnuts

Fresh Pear with Gorgonzola, Balsamic Vinegar, and Toasted Walnuts is a delicious way to start a festive meal. And what a perfect time to enjoy this, right now winter pears are at their prime in the marketplace. Fresh Pear with Gorgonzola, Balsamic Vinegar, and Toasted Walnuts is light, fresh and a perfect starter to serve to family and friends.  

Winter brings its own challenges for festive cooking. Depending upon where you live your marketplace may be filled to the brim with delicious foods from all over. Or if you live in a more rural community, you may find your selection is a bit more limited. We are rural, yet just outside of a larger community. Our market is fairly well stocked with beautiful produce displays, many of which are from neighboring farms. Plus we have access to a wonderful local farm offering a winter CSA share we are enjoying with a continually expanding love of vegetables!   

But from time to time we have lived where food in the marketplace was a bit more scarce and did not include a large variety. Especially while volunteering with the National Parks System. As a volunteer we often found ourselves with over an hours drive to the nearest market, only to find a very limited selection. The upside to a limited selection? That it is definitely the time to turn up the creativity in your kitchen for meal planning. 
Thursday, December 17, 2020

Encouraging Hearts and Home 12.17.2020

Christmas Home Decor 2020, Starbucks Copycat Gingerbread Loaf, Raspberry or Peach Ragulech, and a Gumball Machine Christmas Snow Globe are this week's features!

Hello and Welcome!

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

How to Make Sugar-Free Snipped Dates. Naturally sweet and delicious!

How to Make Sugar-free Snipped Dates, naturally sweet and the perfect topping for oatmeal or even cold cereal in the morning. Easy and delicious, Sugar-Free Snipped Dates sweeten without adding refined sugar to your morning. 

I love dates, not only are they sweet and delicious, but very healthy with a number of minerals delivered in each serving. Dates are the perfect natural ingredient for sweetening other foods, with their caramel sweetness. The only problem is that they are very very sticky! Commercially prepared snipped dates are sugar-coated to keep them separate and easy to crumble over the top of oatmeal or other foods. Convenient yes, but I don't want or need the added sugar...
Monday, December 14, 2020

Good Old Raisin and Peanuts Honey Cookies

Good Old Raisin and Peanuts Honey Cookies are delicious. Who else remembers GORP (good old raisins and peanuts)? The energy treats everyone took along when hiking. These Good Old Raisin and Peanuts Honey Cookies are just as delicious, but you don't have to be out on a hike to eat them!

I am on the lookout for a good recipe anywhere, and I do mean anywhere. I was walking through the gift shop at the Flavel House Museum in Astoria Oregon a few years ago when I found a sweet little cookbook that had this wonderful, honey peanut butter cookie recipe inside. I knew right away that I wanted to make these cookies, and sure enough, they were just as good as I had thought they would be!
Friday, December 11, 2020

Funtastic Friday #310

Our Favorite Gadgets for Baking Cookies, Christmas Trees Made from Scrap Molding, Easy Egg Nog Cookies, Candy Cane Sugar Cookies, Pastel Colors Whipped Soap DIY, and How to Make Personalized Embroidered Ornaments are this week's featured posts!

Hello and Welcome!

My Favorite Super Delicious No-Bake Cookies

I love these cookies, My Favorite Super Delicious No-Bake Cookie, are fudgy, crunchy and everyone loves them! But I don't make them all the time. The reason? They are my secret weapon...

Yes, this is the recipe I pull out when I need something delicious and need it NOW. Need is an interesting word, so maybe I should clarify, I don't need them personally like a craving (but trust me, they are definitely crave-worthy!). No these are the cookies I save for those times I need something for the family to enjoy and I just don't have the time to invest in a complicated recipe.

My Favorite Super Delicious No-Bake Cookies are easy to make, taking just minutes, and require no oven time. They are a saucepan cookie recipe which means only one pan to wash. Once they are dropped onto the wax paper to set up into little fudgy mountains of deliciousness, you are done. They do need about 30 to 45 minutes to set up and cool completely, so plan ahead if you need to package them as a gift. And yes, they do make a great gift to any chocolate-loving cookie eater!
Thursday, December 10, 2020

Encouraging Hearts and Home 12.10, 2020

Family Traditions when your Family isn't Traditional, English Toffee Cookies, Chewy Choco Chips, and Nuts Cookie Bars, How to Make A Beret (with free pattern), Homemade Marshmallows, and Quilted Star Ornament are this week's featured posts!

Hello and Welcome!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Bananas in Orange Caramel Sauce

Bananas in Orange Caramel Sauce is perfect to make and enjoy this time of year! Fresh oranges have flooded the market place and green-tipped bananas are never a problem! This is one fruit dessert that will not leave you looking for something else, once you leave the table...

Bananas in Orange Caramel Sauce, what a delicious way to end your meal while enjoying the virtues of eating fruit (or mostly fruit) for dessert. I have been making this on and off for over 20 years and it is always refreshing. This is one of those recipes just for the two of you, but if there are more diners at your table it is really easy to double and even triple the recipe!
Monday, December 7, 2020

Mashed Potatoes, no drain and Instant Pot easy!

These are the easiest Mashed Potatoes ever! That's what you can expect from this Instant Pot recipe for Mashed Potatoes, no drain, and Instant Pot easy! By the way, this method also works in your stove-top pressure cooker with a minor adjustment for time...


Each time I drained my cooked potatoes preparing to get them mashed, I struggled with all the nutrition going down the drain! Often I would save the potato water and use it for baking because it makes great yeast bread as well as biscuits and savory muffins. But for those busy times when baking was not in my immediate future, the potato water went down the drain. 


Then I came across this no drain recipe, and from there it was a different story! I knew I was about to change the way I made Mashed Potatoes forever! And the best part? This method is completely available to accommodate your kitchen needs. That's right when you are ready for mashed potatoes. Like right after making the most magnificent gravy to drizzle over the top...

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Funtastic Friday #309

First Frost Theme Tablescape, White Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge, Crafting with Postage Stamps, English Toffee Cookies, and Faux Snow Christmas Ornaments are this week's featured posts. 

Hello and Welcome!

Encouraging Hearts and Home 12.03.2020

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teen Boys and Girls, Cranberry Bread Pudding, Buffalo Plaid Placemat, and A Christmas Home Tour are this week's featured posts. 

Hello and Welcome! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Whole Wheat Cottage Cheese Yeast Buns

Whole Wheat Cottage Cheese Yeast Buns, are delicious, tender, and only require a bowl and a spoon for mixing.  This recipe is so easy, making it perfect to stir together with your favorite young helper by your side! And by the way, Whole Wheat Cottage Cheese Yeast Buns, make great sandwich buns too!