Dec 21, 2012

BEST Christmas Cookie in the World EVER!!

I've had my share of cookies in my lifetime.
And Ding DING DING!!!
I think we have a WINNER!!!
These may possibly be the BEST cookie I have ever had!!

The picture says it all...
Rich, Decadent, Soft chocolate cookie.
Topped with a cherry and smooth-as-silk frosting.
Whats not to love??

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2  cup butter, room temperature
  • 1  cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons vanilla
  • 1  (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained, reserve juice  
  • 1  (6-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2  cup sweetened condensed milk

  • Directions:

     In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and soda, blending well; set aside.
     1. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter or margarine and sugar on low speed until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; beat until smooth and well blended.  

    2. With hands, shape dough into 1-inch balls; place on ungreased baking sheet. Press down center of dough with thumb. 

     3. Drain Maraschino cherries well, reserving juice. Place a cherry in the center indention of each cookie.

     4. In small saucepan combine chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk; heat over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the reserved cherry juice. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the topping over each cherry, spreading to cover cherry. If frosting seems too thick, thin with a little more cherry juice.
     **I was worried that I read my original recipe wrong when it told me to put the frosting on BEFORE baking. I thought it would melt and run all over. But I did as it said and it is amazing! this super-silky chocolate frosting does not melt or run anywhere! it seals in the cherry beautifully!** 

     5. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, or until done. Remove to wire rack to cool. Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.
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    Sep 25, 2012

    Fix Tangled Doll Hair (several options)

    Does your daughter have a beloved doll who has hair that looks something like this?

    Mine did!
    Several of them as a matter of fact!
    I just knew there HAD to be a way to tame those frizzy-tangled locks on her friends.
    So I began to search...
    I found several techniques online and collected tips from friends.
    Here are my not-so-scientific results.

    First...  I gently washed the doll hair with Baby Shampoo or a mild liquid dish-washing soap.
    Then I tried each technique.
    Here is how they each worked out.


    Olive Oil...
    I gently worked the olive oil into the tangled mess of doll hair, making sure to thoroughly saturate each and every strand.
    I kept the olive oil on the hair for about an hour while we ate dinner.
    Then, starting at the ends, I tried to gently comb out the hair.


    I ended up with nothing more than an oily tangled mess of doll hair!
    No matter what I tried, it did NOTHING to reduce the mess! ugh! NOT GOOD!!


    It works to help make my hair soft and silky!
    Why not my daughter's doll hair right??
    Again, I worked a healthy amount  (read; bog ol glob of Mayo) into the tangled mane.
    Then, instead of going right for the comb, I tried to separate the strands by hand.
    I gently worked with the precision of a brain surgeon...


    Almost the same results as the olive oil test above...
    But this technique was better in my opinion because the smell of the massive ball of haywire hair smelled like the beginnings of a deviled egg, 
    So, of course, I had to stop what I was doing and make deviled eggs...
    I make GREAT Deviled Eggs! 
    I made them...  
    We ate them...  
    We were happy!
    ...Well...  everyone except the doll...   she was crying because her hair was still ugly AND she doesn't have a mouth that actually functions, so she couldn't enjoy the amazing deviled eggs with the rest of us...
    She just had to sit there... all Mayonnaise-y and watch.


    Fabric Softener-
    I used Gain Apple Mango Tango because it simply is the best smelling fabric softener in the World, ever and ever Amen!
    I mixed the liquid Apple-Mango Tango heavenly smelling softener in a small bowl with a little water,
    2 parts Gain & 1 part Water.
    Then I submerged the tangled mess of doll hair into the bowl and let it sit there for about 2 hours.
    Then I started to work out the tangles with a wide-tooth comb.

    Results -

    It wasn't magic, and it took a little time, But the tangles came out!
    Now...  the end results did include some split ends that, even after I was done, still looked a little frizzy, but I gave her a quick trim and she is good as new!
    I give this one two thumbs up!


     Hair Conditioner-
    It's what I use to tame my curly-tangle-prone-locks!
    It works for MY hair!  So... who not the dolls?

    I worked a healthy amount into the rats-nest-like-hair..
    I then walked away for about an hour allowing the doll to marinate in conditioner.
    Then I went to work with the comb trying to remove the tangles.
    I found, just like with my daughters fine hair, it worked best while I slowly rinsed out the conditioner...
    I has a small stream of water flowing over the hair as I combed.

    Results -


    This one worked the best!
    So...   treat the tangled doll hair like you would treat your own... only MUCH gentler!
    None of the techniques were "easy" but, with a little perseverance and time.
    The Fabric Softener and Hair Conditioner DID work!

    Go forth and untangle your daughters best friends hair!
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    Sep 18, 2012

    Best Oyster Cracker Snack Mix recipe

    6 months ago, our 16 yr old  niece moved into our home.
    It's been a whirlwind of change!
    She has been a wonderful addition to our family.

    And... Very VERY soon, she is bringing another addition to the household!
    She is due to deliver "Baby Stetson" any day now!

    As we are on full alert for our mad-dash to the hospital, I hosted a baby shower for her.
    There is NO way I could let this celebration pass without making lots of my favorite party foods!

    Over the next few days, I'll share a ton of yummy recipes that are each sure to please the pallet of any party guest!
    We'll start with the easiest and most irresistible munching food!

    It's crunchy,
    And addictive!


    The full recipe can be found on my cooking blog by clicking 
    here ----->    Dana's Ranch Snack Mix

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    Aug 26, 2012

    Life Lesson #327 (Why 3?)

    That first cup of Coffee in the morning,
    The Smell of a camp-fire,
    Making Home-made bread,
    Fall Leaves,
    A brand-new pen that writes like silk,
    The Cold side of the pillow,
    Chewable Ice cubes,
    Hearing an old song that takes you back in time,
    Old broken-in Blue Jeans,
    The first scoop out of a new jar of Peanut-Butter,
    Home-Grown tomatoes,
    A soft fluffy towel that's big enough to completely wrap all the way around my big butt,
    Milky Way candy bars,
    The smell of fresh cut grass,
    Eating wild chives straight out of the yard,
    Real Apple Cider,
    Good Hair Days,
    Hearing my children giggle together in the next room,
    Thunder storms,
    The smell of rain,
    Fitting into once-too-tight Jeans,
    Being the first to walk in freshly-fallen snow,
    Holding Hands,
    Having all bills paid,
    A kitten purring,
    Home-Grown eggs,
    The top off my Jeep,
    Winding country roads,
    Sleeping in,
    Family Dinners,
    Humming birds,
    A good cry,
    An unexpected phone call from an old friend,
    Looking through old photos,
    Tossing pebbles into the pond,

    Don't Over-Look Life's Small Joys Because You're Too Busy Searching For The BIG Ones!

    Everybody always asks me why my logo (and the name of my company) is a 3-Leaf clover and not a 4 leaf.

    Well... The 3-Leaf Clover stands for "Happiness" and I find that most people are so busy chasing "Luck" or that 4-Leaf Clover, that they end up overlooking the happiness that is right in front of them!

    ...Something to think about.

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