Easy Felt Leaf and Bead Vine

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away I made some felt Valentine’s Day hearts and glued them to wooden stands for a simple holiday décor. For years, they stood untouched and laid at the bottom of the Valentine’s Day decoration box. This year, I’m on task finding bits and pieces to use updating these 20+ years of “not-very-cute” Valentine decorations. The hearts are easy enough to make, sew and adorn, but something else is needed.  With me, the something needful is always “green”, and easy comes with using felt. Here is a very easy way to add attractive greenery to any type of holiday décor…a felt leaf and bead vine.

Continue reading →

Seven Layered Brownies

Seven Layered Brownies

Today,  I am giving you a recipe for the ULTILMATE brownie.  My own SEVEN LAYERED BROWNIE recipe.

It starts with a toffee graham cracker crust, followed by a rich chocolate brownie layer, then a cheesecake layer. The fourth layer is a ton of chocolate chips, toppings of chopped nuts and then wonderful gooey marshmallows. All combined together to make this a chocolate lovers dream come true. Rather than frost the brownies with a chocolate buttercream frosting, you make a delectable ganache to pour over the marshmallow layer. You swear that you’re eating a candy bar, not a brownie.

Continue reading →

Raspberry Creme Layered Fudge Cake

Raspberry Creme Layered Fudge Cake

The end of summer means loads of raspberries from the garden.  Aside from preserving the berries in jams and jellies, making this raspberry cream layered fudge cake is how you want to enjoy about 5 cups of those delectable berries.

Continue reading →

Out of this World Chocolate Frosting

Out of this World Chocolate Frosting

Sometimes you just need to indulge and reward yourself with a slice of a scrumptious chocolate cake with heavenly chocolate frosting.  It’s too much for the senses to ignore.  Your recipe for the perfect chocolate cake is coming in another post, but here is your recipe for heavenly frosting using two Milky Way candy bars.  This recipe is one to you want to keep on hand.  You can store it in the refrigerator because there is just no sense in buying store-brand frosting again.

Continue reading →

Coconut and Oat Granola

Coconut and Oat Granola

Are you a cereal lover like me and my children?  Then you, no doubt, look forward to having a good bowl of granola.  To me, homemade granola is comfort food and reminds me to slow down and enjoy eating something much better for me than regular cereal.  This recipe is almost 40 years old, but it is a delight to have around.  However, there is an ingredient in my granola that is uncommon in other recipes.  That ingredient is crushed up graham crackers.  When baking graham cracker chucks and crumbs they add a warm flavor and delicate crunch to the mixture of oats, seeds and coconut.  Using coconut oil instead of salad oil also adds flavor to the recipe, and brown sugar, honey and molasses tops it all off with a smooth and mellow sweetness.

Continue reading →

Surprises of Idaho…I mean Oregon

Elkhorn Scenic byway

If you’ve never been to an enchanted forest, I found one for you.  The Elkhorn Mountains in eastern Oregon is one of these forests everyone should experience. You can find these mountains west of Baker City, Oregon, a fairly short drive from Boise, Idaho.  Boise to Baker City, Oregon is about a 1 hour and 15 minute drive through mostly sagebrush and wide-open hills and plains.  As you’re driving you begin to wonder if this road trip is a good idea because there is not much scenery to interest you.  As you near Baker City, you’re still wondering what you got yourself into. You then follow OR-7 through ranch lands along the Powder River.  Once you enter Wallowa-Whitman National Forest you know why you came.  The spell is cast and you’re in a world of enchantment.

Continue reading →

Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette

smoked paprika vinaigrette

I know not everyone will agree with me when I say that when it comes to dressings for salads, a good vinaigrette is the best. I don’t know when my delight for vinaigrette came about, but I’m pretty sure it was influenced by one person who knows her salads well.  I worked with Lael for a few years and always found her to have impeccable taste when it came to creating salads.  We met for lunch in the office kitchen and she would pull out every kind of vegetable imaginable from the community fridge and concoct a magnificent salad worth everyone’s envy.  As hard as I try, my salads never compare to hers.  So, if I can’t compose a great “Lael” kind of salad, I can at least learn to love the salad dressing she used…and she frequently dressed her delicious salads with a good vinaigrette.  In Lael’s honor, I am sharing an awesome recipe for Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette.  It’s my favorite and whenever I serve it to dinner guests, I am always complimented as they help themselves to a second serving of salad and vinaigrette.  To Lael, I thank you for setting the highest standard in salad making and showing me that an open mind, imagination, and lots of fresh vegetables bring to pass amazing results in the art of salad making.

Continue reading →

Pleasant Surprises of Idaho – Ola Valley

Ola Valley Idaho

As far back as I can remember, I have always enjoyed road trips…I love to find those secluded places where I am alone to think, ponder and enjoy the beauty of nature.   For me and my husband, we find that most of those places lie along the back roads in the agriculture and ranching communities, and the allure of mountain lakes and streams in Idaho .  Since we live close to Boise, we often travel to outlying locations seeking new places where beauty combines with harmony, accord, and the absence of people.  We hit the jackpot when we drove to Ola Valley just 45 minutes north of Boise.  An established farming and ranching community, this valley is as lovely as Idaho has to offer.  Green pastures, rolling hills and plenty of space reminds you to slow down, that life is fragile, and to enjoy the moment.

Continue reading →

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

A bronwie base with topped with a cookie dough filling and chocolate ganache

We have a tradition in our family…when Dad makes his wonderful chocolate chip cookies, he is required to save some of the dough for the family to eat.  This has become such a resolute tradition that we sometimes give chocolate chip cookie dough as Christmas presents to our children.  I know it’s a bit lame, but we always know that it will either be eaten as dough or baked as cookies, it never sticks around for long.

By using this brownie base recipe from the Orange Cream Brownie post, you might already have your brownies stored in the freezer just waiting for the next yummy brownie recipe. This is another recipe from my A+ brownie collection and is often requested at family and church gatherings.  If you love chocolate chip cookie dough, you’ll absolutely adore this treat.  

Continue reading →