Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fresh Vintage

After Christmas I always have the urge to purge and clean.  I've been doing just that the last few days.  One of the things I've realized doing this is that I've found most of the vintage treasures on my "hunt list".  There are only a couple of things I'm still looking for at thrifts and yard sales.  I'm not someone who likes alot of "stuff".  I like things simple.  I've even purged a lot of Pyrex once I realized what I really used and liked the most.  Soooo....unless I come across some interesting treasures that are a steal, (and of course vintage linens...those are always useful and fun to find), I really will mostly hunt to sell now.  My house is small and cozy...I don't want it cramped and cluttered.

That being said, I was blessed to get some of the main things on my list that I haven't been able to find.  Between a December Birthday and Christmas, I had a little fun :)

I've been looking at this picnic basket for at least 8 months at an Antique store.  Hubby surprised me with it on my birthday!

A friend and I ventured to Snohomish WA...again I've been looking at this cake carrier for months.  It was fun to be able to buy it :)

My husband and I don't do Christmas presents...just simple stockings with practical stuff in them.  Imagine my surprise when he snuck this rare Orange Dots inside!

Time for a fresh look in the kitchen!  I haven't been able to find a Red Hostess with a lid in good shape, so I bit the bullet with Christmas $ and ordered it on Etsy.  I wasn't disappointed!

Here is one of my greatest gifts of sweet husband!

Happy New Year to you vintage fans...and everyone else too ;)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Cookies

One of our traditions at Christmas is cookies.  We don't do a bunch of different kinds and give them away.  We just make them so the kids can decorate....and we eat some too!  This year I used a new gluten free mix for the sugar cookies and it worked really well.  Then, I made the recipe in my cookbook for Gingerbread cookies. Of course...vintage cookie cutters were used!

Sorry, this wouldn't turn!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Easy Christmas Fudge and A Sugar Story

First off I want to share a recipe that is a tradition in our family.  I make this only at Christmas, and it goes fast.


3 cups organic semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons organic butter
1 -14 oz can organic sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tea vanilla
dash of sea salt


2 cups marsh mellows
3 tablespoons organic butter

Line a 9x9 pan with foil
In a sauce pan over low heat, melt all the fudge ingredients
Spread into the pan

Meanwhile:  Heat the marsh mellows and butter in another small pan.  When melted pour over the fudge and swirl in with a knife. 

Refrigerate for several hours.
Remove the lining and cut the fudge into squares 
Return to the fridge in an air tight container

Now that I've shared a recipe with everything organic in it but the marsh mellows, you may be wondering...what's up with that?  (Unless you've purchased "It's All Good without Gluten".)

Well, what's up is that I've learned how much better organic is for you, especially in baking.  One of the main sources of immune system depression that causes us to get flus and colds comes from sugar.  You see, white sugar is full of chemicals used in processing.  Those chemicals take a toll on our bodies and immune systems.  The chemicals are also addictive which make us eat to much.  This is one reason all the kids seems to get sick after the holidays.  Sugar overload.

So what do you do?  NEVER have sweets again?  No, that isn't realistic or enjoyable.  What you can do is substitute your white sugar for organic (unprocessed) sugar or as it's also called Cane Juice.  You are getting sugar in a pure form without all the chemicals.  And though it's still sugar, so you still need to eat in moderation, it's so much better for you.  And, it tastes so much better.  In baking, it actually makes things more moist because the granules hold in the juice.

"I can't afford that!" you say.  Well, my tip for the day.  COSTCO.  They sell a 10 lb. bag that lasts a long time for the fraction of the price.  And it's worth it.  If you completely switch over like we did 10 years ago, you will cut medical bills.  My kids are very healthy.  Each one of them has had perfect or almost perfect school attendance in the past years, and my son has never taken antibiotics, (my daughter - only before we changed our eating habits).  Why?  They're not getting all the chemicals and artificial stuff.  CORN SYRUP, is another huge no no.  You may as well prepare to get sick after ingesting it regularly.

Sound difficult?  Not at all.  Start with the sugar.  Just replace your white sugar with the organic.  Then slowly begin to weed out corn syrup.  Check juices, syrups, and canned fruit, deserts and fruit snacks.  There  are alternatives to these without corn syrup.

Dole fruit cups with fruit juice
Minute Maid and Juicy Juice
Newman's cookies
Amy's fruitsnacks (Target)
Real Maple Syrup
Organic Ketchup

You'll notice that the recipe I included contains marsh mellows.  This is one item I've never found organic and it's got corn syrup.  The key there, ONCE a year.  If you can make the changes you will see a difference.  It's not about cutting out everything you's about changing the ingredients to their purist form and using moderation. 

Happy Christmas baking!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Just a Little Reminder

I've been hearing alot of of rumblings in my world again of women who are discouraged in their bodies. 
Here are my thoughts:

1)Eat healthy but let yourself enjoy food, it's part of family and brings joy
2)Exercise regularly but not obsessively
3)Be realistic about the fact that you are a WHOLE person - mind, body soul and spirit.  Not just
   focusing on the body, which is only a part.
4)Realize that media/society standards are unrealistic and would require you to exercise as your job
5)Relax.  Be confident in who you are and who God made you to be.