Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni? 🍪

30 Nov

“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” ~ Barbara Johnson

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Now, that’s my idea of a balanced diet! 🤦‍♀️🍪

I’ve been waiting ALL day for some workmen to show up and it’s already 4pm, and it will be getting dark soon. They are supposed to seal up any gaps or entry points on my roof to stop unwanted critters from coming in. Hopefully they’ll get here soon.

So, while I was waiting all day, I went up to my studio/crap room and cleaned off the entire table that was covered with brushes, paints glitter, glues, and tons of stuff I just throw on there week after week. It’s all cleaned off. “It’s a Christmas miracle.”

Then, I decided to work on my Christmas cookies. I need to get baking before I visit the family in Chicago. My favorite all time, most delicious cookies in the entire world are my “Better than Mrs. Field’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.” I cut out the recipe from a newspaper maybe 30, maybe years ago, and I would never use a different recipe. of course, I always doctor it up here and there.

The secret ingredient that makes these so chewy and crisp is the ground oatmeal. Oh, and some Kraft caramel dots add a little more awesomeness.

Toni 

2 c. butter

2 c. sugar

2 c. brown sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

4 c. flour

5 c. oatmeal (grind 3 c. Leave 2)

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

24 oz. chocolate chips

18 oz. chopped Snickers or Hershey or favorite candy. 

(Optional- chopped nuts)

Mix butter and sugars and eggs and vanilla in really big bowl. Blend in dry ingredients. Mix b

I always double this recipe because I have a lot of folks that enjoy my cookies. I actually have to mix up the moist part butter/sugars, divide that in half because the 8 cups of flour and 10 cups of oatmeal don’t fit in my Kitchen Aide mixer.🤦‍♀️ Then, it all goes into my huge Tupperware bowl.

I already baked 4 or 5 dozen cookies and have enough to make a zillion more. BUT, I usually make some rolls of dough to freeze and save for baking on a cold wintry day.

“Nothin’ says Lovin’ like Somethin’ from the oven.” 🍪

Let me know if you try this recipe. It’s the best!

Tuesday:Toni, Helene and Linda Visit Holy Family School

30 Nov

“When you’re in a position to have gotten so much, the gift at this point is giving back.”

Paul Stanley

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Instead of our traditional $2 Taco Tuesday, Helene and I gathered up our stash of snacks and goodies that we’ve been collecting all month for Holy Family School. Linda joined us for our visit. We go about once a month or to share our “giving back” gifts for the kiddos. Then, we treat ourselves to the best French fries in the great state of Texas over at One and Only Burger, just down the road from the school.

Linda, Helene, Miss Sondra, and yours truly. Miss Sondra always gives us a big hug and thank you for our thoughtfulness.
I had a lot of cereal , juice, and other goodies to donate.
Helene had a lot of snacks, cereal, and 8 pounds of bananas.

After our drop off, chatting, and hugs, we went over to One and Only Burger. Woa! So good.

It was a very rewarding day. The weather was sunny and in the upper 70’s. I think this was the last beautiful warm day for a long time. I’m glad we got out to enjoy it,

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

28 Nov

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we try to get through another week. Happy Monday.”

~ Me

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Here’s another week in another peek. Crazy how time flies… Life is good!

Sunday Sermon and a Sunset

28 Nov

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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After days of gray and gloom and rain, we finally have a lovely sunny Sunday. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. No sock monkey hat for church this morning. I left for St. Gabriel a little early today so I could greet my friends on the Château bus. I guess I was really early because when I got to the parking lot, there was only one other car there. 😳 I actually had to think twice. “Is today Sunday?” A few minutes later, the “usual crowd shuffled in.” I took a quick picture, enjoying the fact that it was warm and sunny. Not a cloud in the sky.

The first Sunday in Advent.

Todays Gospel was the story of Jesus letting us know that we need to be vigilant and always prepared for the Second Coming…

Gospel 

Mt 24:37-44

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

My take on it… plain and simple, if you lead a good life, are honest, kind, and love the Lord and your neighbor, you are always prepared. No worries. Are you prepared?

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After Mass, we stopped at McD. Then Helene and I went to Tom Thumb for a few sales. Bananas 29c a pound, limit 4 pounds each. Woa! We are going to add that 8 pounds to our stash of goodies to take to Holy Family School.

It was a beautiful afternoon and evening, so I was able to get out for a nice evening walk. It had been raining for days. A long walk was just what the doctor ordered.

A beautiful sunset.

Then, a bunch of phone calls with friends and family to finish up my day.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday:) Some Sorting Out of the Cookie Cabinets

27 Nov

“Always do an inventory before you start a project. Sometimes you already have all you need hiding away.”

-Me

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What does one do on a dreary drizzly gloomy gray day? First of all, you clean up your mess from the night before. After my Towne Creek arts and crafts and cooking marathon on Friday, I just left everything sitting on the floor until this morning. I was exhausted, After putting things away, I decided that today would be a good day to organize and inventory my baking supply cabinet. I need to get my holiday cookie baking started this week.

When I just glanced in the cabinet before going to the store, I deduced that all I needed was some brown sugar. I have plenty of flour, oats, sugar, etc.

When I got home, I was going to put the brown sugar away, but everything was so messy that I decided to organize the cabinet. Woa! I had a lot more than I expected hiding in there. I probably have 25 or more bags of chocolate and caramel chips. And 6 or 7 bags of marshmallows, lots of powdered sugar and flour. I also have about 20 boxes of brownie mixes, too. But, those are in the pantry. I go through those like crazy. The pantry, that’s another scary overflowing place. I won’t even go there.

So, it’s a good idea to inventory your things every now and then. I’ll let you know when I start my cookie baking marathon. My recipe for Better than Mrs. Field’s Chocolate Chip Cookies is the best ever.

Now, don’t even get me started on my arts and crafts studio upstairs. That is another story. That would be a nightmare!

Happy Saturday., my friends.

Friday:) Artist Friends at Towne Creek

26 Nov

“The artist has one function–to affirm and glorify life.”
— W. Edward Brown

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A very busy, amazing, and rewarding day. A couple of days of preparing arts, crafts, and food preparations for our Young at Heart senior art group at Towne Creek.

I had some fun art projects planned and Helene and I prepared our usual feast. Then we made up big gift bags with Christmas snacks, drinks, goodies and gifts.

We spent over three hours making fun Santas from chip paint brushes and ginger bread men from brown grocery bags. Holiday magic.
Cute! Right? Quite a few holiday gifts were made,
Everyone had a good time and loved their projects. Everyone received a big gift bag filled with drinks and snacks. A fun holiday paint party.
I made another cute turkey shaped cracker/cheese/veggie platter. Helene made delicious homemade chicken salad sandwich, we had Ramen mushroom soup, and peanut butter cheesecake brownies. Quite the feast and celebration.

Happy Friday my friends,

Thankful Thursday:) Happy Thanksgiving

25 Nov

“Give thanks for a little, and you will find a lot.”

~Hausa Proverb

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I wake up every morning and think of all the people and things in my life that I am thankful for. But, on Thanksgiving, we set aside a National day on the calendar to celebrate. We should celebrate every day. Just not a good idea to eat like there’s no tomorrow every day. 🤦‍♀️

Today, I was invited to spend Thanksgiving with my friend Helene and her family. We are a lot and laughed a lot and the TV was on with a strange sporting game where a bunch of big men with little tight pants, wearing helmets all chase one guy with an almond shaped ball. They all jump on top of one another until a zebra man comes and blows a whistle. Then they stop and do it all over again. Weird game!

Thank you Helene, Mark, and Angie for a lovely Thanksgiving. Helene made chicken enchiladas and Spanish rice. Mark and Angie made a family recipe of blueberry crumble cake.
I brought my first ever attempt at a turkey shaped cheese and cracker snack tray. I think it turned out cute for a first try.

It was a good day, even though it’s been raining for two solid days. I couldn’t even go out for a stroll to walk some of this off.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 🤗

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

23 Nov

“As the holiday season approaches, may your home be filled with lots of love, laughter and yummy smells!!” ~Jesse Joseph

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OK, as I was looking up cute quotes for holidays, I saw this one about “As the holiday season approaches, May your home be filled with lots of …” AND THEN my strange bizarre brain filled in the rhyme with lots of roaches. I know, right! My brain is goofy. It’s a gift, it’s a curse.

“It was a dark and gloomy day… I didn’t leave the house, as I had to wait for the Pest Control guy… but that’s another story. Maybe that’s why my brain went there. No roaches, but mice and rats in the attic. Story for another time. After Mr. Joe left with my estimate of $1,100, I dug I to some of my projects.

I put together some containers of my “Bad Ass” brownies. Some to take to Helen’s tomorrow and some for Friday for our Towne Creek art group.

Funny story. I offered Mr. Joe from Barrett’s Pest Control a couple of brownies with the yummy peanut butter cheesecake topping. He took them with him when he left. 5 minutes later, I got a call, “This is Joe from Berrett’s Pest Control. You were right, those are Bad Ass brownies. Thank you.” I just laughed.

After cleaning up the kitchen, i went up to my crap room to finish up my ornament project. I always make such a big mess. Then, I was getting ready to put on my shoes To go to the Dollar Tree to look for some containers and more crafty things to do with my senior artist friends Friday, when I decided to look in my closet in that big mysterious Christmas bin. Maybe something is in there. I found a bunch of containers, crafts, stickers, bags, etc. Then I gathered up some of the goodies that will go in the bags. We are celebrating our Christmas this Friday at Towne Creek. I’ll have to wait till Friday morning to put that all together, because I like to make my famous popcorn, pretzel, cereal, snack bags fresh.

So, I’ve been a busy gal. But, I’m going out to dinner with my neighbor friends at 6, so that will be a nice break from the clutter.

Happy Wednesday, my friends.

Tuesday:) Trials and Tribulations~Stay Alert~ So Many Scammers Out There

23 Nov

“Fraud is the daughter of greed.”~Jonathan Gash

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Well, here we go again. 🤦‍♀️ Just a few weeks ago, I spent endless hours online and on the phone changing the expiration date of my credit card that was expiring in November.

Yesterday, I received a phone call that I didn’t recognize the number, so I almost didn’t answer. So many telemarketers lately. I think my car warranty is up? Isn’t yours? 🤦‍♀️ But, for some reason I decided to answer, and I’m glad I did. It was my bank asking if I had made a purchase for one cent to M M Digital Printing.

Now, was this phone call a scam? This very nice lady read off a bunch of recent credit card purchases, most of which were mine, but one for $21 in California for Chick-fil-A was not. So, she had to be looking at my account. She said that scammers/thieves sometimes run a “test” charge for a penny or $1, just to see if it works. With my consent, she immediately shut down my card. I am very grateful to my diligent bank.

Now, I have to wait for a new card and then spend a zillion hours changing all my autopays, toll tags, online shopping, utilities, and try and remember ones I may have forgotten. AND… I just got done doing that. 🤦‍♀️ Here we go again.

I don’t understand why people need to cheat, lie, steal, scam, and hurt others. Do they think it’s OK because the credit card company often doesn’t charge you for fraudulent charges? It doesn’t matter who has to pay, stealing is stealing. I just don’t get it.

So, BE CAREFUL out there my friends. The holidays are upon us and the scammers and cheaters are ready and waiting to pounce. Be ALERT, be SAFE, be BLESSED.

“Crime isn’t that complicated,” she said. “People steal because taking something gives them something. If they’re not in it for the money, they’re in it for control. The act of taking, of breaking the rules, makes them feel powerful. They’re in it for the sheer defiance.” She turned away. “Some people steal to stay alive, and some steal to feel alive. Simple as that.”! V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

22 Nov

“A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you.”

~ Brigitte Bardot

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Another busy week, with lots of fun, friends, food, and frigid temps. Life is good.

A week in a peek..