A Cookie Baking Tip And An Unrelated Ornament Story

I’m going to share my tiny cookie baking tip with you before I get to today’s tree branch tale.  This is 2 posts for the price of one (and the price is free!).

The first part of the post is my Tiny Tip on A Thursday.  tinytip Are you baking cookies for the holidays?  I’m baking cookies today for the holidays and because I am 2 lunch desserts short for tomorrow.  Sometimes the lunch items don’t make it through the entire week.  I’m also hoping to use my cookies as a bit of an incentive later.

Since I have a bit of time this morning, I’m making the family’s favorite: chocolate chip cookies and using this tip a close friend shared with me many years ago.  If you are an experienced baker, you may already know this tip.

cookie baking tip

Chocolate chip cookie

Today’s tiny cookie baking tip:

Bake your cookies for the lowest time given and then let them finish baking (and cooling) on the cookie sheet while the next batch bakes.  Don’t remove your cookies to the cooling rack until the next batch of cookies is completely cooked.  Let them stay on the cookie sheet the entire 9 minutes while the next batch bakes.  Then, remove them to the wire cooling rack.

I’ve found this tip to be especially useful if I’m using an Air bake cookie sheet.  Sometimes, I’ll even leave the cookies on those to cool through 2 batches of cookies.

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Today’s quick tree branch tale:

Rocking Horse Ornament

Rocking Horse Ornament

When I set the tree up on Sunday, I found this forgotten ornament hanging out in the branches.  I’ve had this little golden rocking horse since my freshman year of college.  An old college friend gifted it to me.  We never stayed in touch once I transferred to another college. However, I do think of her when I see this ornament and hope she is doing well.

Are you baking cookies for the holiday season or doing any decorating this week?  I’m really hoping my bribe of homemade chocolate chip cookies helps motivate my husband and boys to help me decorate for the holidays tonight.

 

Christmas Items From Grandpa’s Attic

While we were in Oklahoma, my husband helped his grandparents clean out some of their attic.  Like most attics, part of the contents included their Christmas decorations.

He brought home a couple of the Christmas decorations. I was especially enamored with this one of Santa and Mrs. Claus sitting on a sofa.   dscn7064 dscn7066 I love that it is a 2 piece decoration and they actually sit on the sofa!  Oh if my boys were younger, I could see how this would be lots of fun (and probably broken).  I can just picture the 5-year-old version of my now teenage son seating his Spiderman and Batman action figures on the little sofa..

The second decoration he brought home was also a ceramic Santa.  This piece is Santa riding a tractor.  I’m not quite as excited by this piece but it is still special. dscn7069 (Excuse the blurry photo)

When I turned these pieces over, I discovered something very special indeed.  Inscribed on the bottom of both pieces were initials and a year.

The initials belonged to my late mother-in-law.  My husband had managed to unknowingly (or perhaps subconsciously he did know?) bring home two ceramic Christmas pieces created by his mom many years ago.

She took a ceramics class and was always making things for the people she loved.  I’m sure these won’t be the last of the Christmas decorations with ties to my late mother-in-law that will appear in this series.

Wondering when I’ll start telling tales of ornaments actually hanging on our tree?  Me, too!  The tree is up but alas not yet decorated.  The resistance is strong this year.  I’m hoping to put my foot down on Thursday and say “It’s December, time to decorate the tree!”

We did discover 2 ornaments (I shared one on Instagram) hanging out in the tree branches that we apparently missed putting away last year.  I’ll share those stories in the next two days.

Is your tree up yet?  When do you typically decorate for the holiday season?

 

Happy Homemaker Monday, It’s The Holiday Season

Whew! This morning was a rough one.  Sleepy, sleepy, sleepy!  Everyone is off to where they are supposed to go though.  Time to get the week ahead planned.

Be sure and check out Sandra’s Happy Homemaker Post and Link Up over at Diary of A Stay At Home Mom.  If you have a blog, why not join in?  There’s nothing better than having a plan for the week ahead.

As I Look Outside My Window

It’s still gray and gloomy out there although not nearly as cold as one would expect for late November.  It’s actually supposed to be fairly nice out until much later in the week and then, perhaps rain again next Sunday.

Right Now I Am

Typing up this post, waiting for my hair to dry a bit since I just showered, wondering what to eat for breakfast, and trying not to think of all the things I need to do today.

Thinking And Pondering

If I can get all the things I’d like to do today done, about how much harder the mornings will become when winter does arrive, and whether or not I want to do any Cyber Monday shopping.

On My Bedside Table

Too many clothes and books.  It needs (as always) a good clearing.

On My TV

Nothing right now.  We watched the Chiefs game last night (Well, I may have fallen asleep with just minutes left in the regular game.  A nice surprise to see they won.)  I’m excited to watch the 4 night crossover between all the superhero shows (Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow) this week.

Playing On The Radio

Currently nothing.  I love a good Monday morning silence.  I had Christmas music on in the car and may flip some on here while I clean later today.

Menu:

This is all subject to change as I haven’t made it to the grocery store yet.  Be sure and check out Menu Plan Monday over at I’m An Organizing Junkie for much better menu plan ideas!

MONDAY:  Ham, sweet potatoes, salad, dinner rolls.  Using up the Thanksgiving stuff.

TUESDAY: BLT Chicken Salad (I’m sure I’ll be the only one eating it as an actual salad though…)

WEDNESDAY:  Roast in the Crock pot,  (I am getting together with friends this night)

THURSDAY: Perhaps pancakes (or waffles) and sausage

FRIDAY: (G has Pep band)  Either leftovers or frozen pizza

On My To Do List

Too Many Things!

  1. Give the house a good “company is coming” type cleaning
  2. Laundry
  3. Clean out Fridge
  4. Grocery store
  5. Put away fall decorations and finish putting out Christmas stuff
  6. Get J some dress clothes before his band concert which is coming up much too soon!
  7. Get G a haircut

Creating

Working on my blog series about our Christmas ornaments.

My Simple Pleasure

Grocery shopping.  I actually love to go to the grocery store (as long as it’s not crowded, I don’t have to rush, and it’s not raining or snowing).

Lesson Learned The Past Week

Looking Around The House

See number one on my to-do list to get an idea of what I see…

From The Camera

I was a little sad to find quite a few of my Thanksgiving photos of people turned out blurry especially since I didn’t take too many.  We spent Thanksgiving in Oklahoma and miraculously managed to come home without any of these cute kittens.  Standby for kitten cuteness overload…

dscn7037 dscn7028 dscn7023 dscn7048 Thoughts For The Week

dscn7045

What’s on your agenda for the week?  Are you ready for the holiday season?

Garage Sale Holiday Candle

This is the tale of J’s garage sale holiday candle decoration.  Just a quick post about it and how It makes me smile.

My husband likes to go to garage sales.  I have never found the great enjoyment so many others seem to get out of this activity.  He finds treasure.  I find it hard to see past the trash of someone else being anything but trash.

Sometimes when they were younger, the boys would go out with him.  A cup of coffee alone on a Saturday morning?  That’s more my type of treasure!

A few years ago J went with him and came home with this fifty cent “treasure” of a holiday decoration.  He was so proud of his bargain!

candle

J’s addition to our holiday decor

As you can see, we also had to light the candle on many occasions.  It is not a scented candle and I’m pretty sure it is just for show.  He still insists we put it out each year.  Do you have any bargain Christmas decor that makes you smile?

I’ll end this post with a quick confession:  We still don’t have our Christmas decorating done!  Actually, we haven’t even started it.  Fall and Thanksgiving are still out at our house.

I had hoped the tree would be up by tonight (Saturday) but we got in from out-of-town rather late last night and needed our lazy day.   Is your Christmas decorating done?  My boys think we need to wait but I’d like to have it done by Sunday evening.  I want a chance to enjoy it!

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornament Recipe

So I accidentally shared the story of the cinnamon applesauce ornament yesterday instead of today. Apparently, scheduling posts in advance is not my forte.

Instead of another ornament story tonight, I thought I’d just go ahead and share the cinnamon applesauce ornament recipe I’ve used for years.  I found it my Gooseberry Patch Coming Home For Christmas book purchased years ago.  This book provides much of my Christmas inspiration each year.

cinnamon applesauce ornament recipe

One of my favorite Christmas idea books

My favorite thing about the recipe is it takes only 2 ingredients:  cinnamon and applesauce.  It takes a lot of cinnamon though.  I usually buy large containers of cinnamon at Big Lots to make these ornaments.  This recipe is not for your high dollar cinnamon, save that for baking and get some cheap stuff for this recipe.

I’d do the same thing with the applesauce, buy the cheap kind.  The only time I buy applesauce is to make these ornaments.  Useless trivia about our family:  We all hate applesauce!  Apples in their pure form or in pie or cake form are fine.  Just no applesauce, ever for any of us.

We haven’t made these ornaments yet this year so no pictures of the actual ornaments (maybe I’ll share pictures of them on Instagram when we get around to making them).  I have found they don’t keep very well from year to year so we usually have a good excuse to make new ones each year.

I also don’t follow the recipe exactly as the book instructs.  Who me?  Follow Instructions?

Here’s a glance at the page in the book about these ornaments:

cinnamon applesauce ornaments

This recipe is for pressed ornaments but we roll out our dough

As you can see, the recipe above calls for water but I switched it to applesauce.  The ratio is about the same with the need to sometimes add a bit more cinnamon.  We simply make a dough, use additional cinnamon as our “flour” and roll it out.

I have small tin cookie cutters that we use to cut smaller shapes.  We also use a toothpick to make a hole in the top of the ornaments for a piece of string.  Be sure to make the hole big enough!

The ornaments go in a low oven for about 10 minutes perhaps.  It really is a judgement thing.  Once they’ve cooled, I’ll thread a piece of curling ribbon through them and tie a loop so they can hang on the tree.  They smell wonderful!

Do you make homemade ornaments each year?

 

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