Old Advice

I came across this 1880’s statement and thought it a perfect description.

‘Don’t forget that most evil passions are traceable to two roots: anger and worry. These are the thieves that steal precious time and energy from your life. Anger is the highway robber and worry is a sneak thief.’

Strawberry Dessert

Here is an easy pudding dessert idea. You will need these ingredients:

  • 1- 5 oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1- 9 in. angel food cake, cut into cubes
  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 container Cool Whip
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 sliced bananas

Prepare pudding with milk, according to pkg. directions. In a serving bowl, layer half  the cake, pudding,  and fruit. Add Cool Whip. Layer the rest of ingredients and top with Cool Whip. Cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve, at least 4 hours ahead of time.

Pecan Bars

My family enjoyed these at Christmas so I thought I would share the recipe. You will need these ingredients for the crust.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 2 T. cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a microwave for about 30 seconds. Pour it into a bowl. Add the flour, salt, water, and sugar. Blend well. Grease a 13×9 dish. Pat a piece of wax paper into buttered dish. Have it long enough to go over the edge of pan. Press the crust dough into the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven. Make the filling. You will need these ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Melt the butter in a microwave for 30 seconds. In a bowl, add all the ingredients, including the butter. Blend well. Pour the filling over the baked crust. Place it in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting. Lift the mixture out of pan by the waxed paper. Cut into bars. Dispose of waxed paper. Keep the bars in a sealed container.


Easy Lip Balm

I have been a crafts vender for over fifteen years and one of my best selling products are my lip balms. It’s fairly easy to make. You will need these ingredients:

  • a double-boiler pan
  • 1/4 cup of beeswax
  • 3/4 cup of almond, olive, or grape seed oil
  • 8 Vitamin E capsules or 1 teaspoon liquid
  • 12-16 lip balm tins
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • a fruit- flavored essential oil, about a teaspoon

Add water to the bottom part of the double boiler pan, halfway. Place the top part over it. In the top of the double boiler, add the almond oil ( or other oils), the beeswax, and the honey. Cut up the capsules of the Vitamin E or use liquid and add it to the rest of the mixture. (Do not add the essential oil to heat! ) Turn stove to medium. As the steam forms outside the pan, turn the heat down to low. When the beeswax has melted, remove the pan from the heat. Add the essential oil and stir lightly. Open the lids of the lip balm containers and place the bottom pieces on some newspaper, wax paper, or an old towel. Slowly, pour the concoction into the containers. Allow to cool. The mixture will solidify. Add the lids when they have cooled down. If you want color in your lip balms, you can melt a crayon during the phase when the beeswax is melting.


Pierogi or Polish Dumplings

For the dough you will need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 8 0z. container sour cream
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. baking powder

Beat eggs and sour cream together. Add flour, salt, and baking powder. Turn dough out on a floured board or surface. Knead until dough is soft and smooth. Divide in half. Roll out each half to about 1/8 inch thick. With a floured biscuit cutter, cut rounds. Spoon filling onto center of rounds. Moisten edges of dough with water. Fold over each round until it resembles a crescent moon. Press edges with a fork. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the pierogi and cook until tender about 3-5 minutes. They will float to top.

*You can add any filling you desire. The tradition though is either potato or sauerkraut.

Potato filling:

  • 1 1/2 T. butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup cold mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Melt butter in skillet. Add onion and cook until translucent. Stir in potatoes and spices.

Sauerkraut filling:

  • 1 T. butter
  • 2 1/2 T. chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup sauerkraut, squeezed dry and chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. each salt and pepper

Melt butter in skillet. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add spices and sauerkraut.

Scented Pinecones

I love the smell of those cinnamon scented pinecones, in the stores, this time of year. Did you know they are easy to make? Go for a walk and collect a bunch of pinecones. Place them in a paper sack for a day to get out any creepy crawlies in them. Microwave the cones in the bag for about 10 seconds. Allow to cool. Now grab a spray bottle and fill it with distilled water about 3/4 of the bottle. Add 30 drops of cinnamon essential oil, or any spicy scent you like, to the water. Shake gently. Spread the pinecones on a newspaper or foil lined old cookie sheet. Spray the cones with your mixture until damp but not saturated. allow to dry for a day or two. You can toss them in your fireplace for a nice scent or give them away as gifts in a nice basket. If you want your cones to have some color, then melt some crayons in the top of an old double boiler. Paint the cones with the melted wax and allow to dry.