A Very Brady Annette

April 16, 2021

A Very Brady Annette

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My treasured  Brady Bunch photo, signed for me by the series’ creator,
Sherwood Schwartz,
 in 2007.

The

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Here’s the story of a gal named Ann~ette…

Okay, that isn’t exactly how it goes, but if you are a fan of this 1970’s television classic
(Well, 1969 to 1974 to be exact.), The Brady Bunch, then it is my guess that this series’ iconic theme song has already begun to take over in your brain, at its mere mention! If, for some reason, you can not immediately summon up this happy little melody in the tune library of your mind, then just click here to listen to how this theme song sounded during each of its five years.

 
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My shag carpet-covered DVD set of the Brady Bunch looks pleasantly plush, green and groovy!  :O)

This catchy theme song, was written by The Brady Bunch creator, Sherwood Schwartz, along with composer and actor, Frank De Vol.  It only takes one to listen to this minute-long opening, to understand the program’s plot set-up, and characters’ background story. Sherwood had used this same opening technique in his previous comedy series, 
Gilligan’s Island.

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Sherwood Schwartz (1916-2011) generously autographed and sent me this picture, along with a few other photos, from The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island in 2007.
Gotta love it!

I love The Brady Bunch!  It is happy, upbeat, and family-friendly, all wrapped up with a positive message! In fact, my kiddos insist that I can identify each episode within viewing the first 30-seconds of each program. :o) It was on the continual quest to teach my youngsters “the classics”, while growing up, that I made sure that The Brady Bunch was part of their education!  :o)

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A view of the iconic Brady staircase, along with the instantly recognizable horse statue, and the (“Mom, always says don’t play ball in the house.”) vase, in the renovated Brady House.
Photo courtesy of Lisa

In addition to its cheerful tone, this program allows us a peek back into the home decor and clothing styles of the era. What a treat!  I have even spotted Marcia and Jan sporting groovy clothing exactly like, or similar to, items that I wore at the time. This makes sense, being that Jan/Eve Plumb and I are the same age. (Unlike Jan, though, I was the oldest of two girls, so there were no “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” speeches given by Yours Truly. :o)) I also recognize some of the textbooks lugged home by the Bradys’ from school, as ones that I once used!

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Marcia, Jan, and Cindy’s floral wallpapered bedroom in the now renovated
Brady House.
Photo courtesy of Lisa


A Very Brady Renovation

Now streaming on Hulu, while initially airing on HGTV
A Very Brady Renovation  originally aired from September-December 2019.  

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The door mat at site of A Very Brady Renovation.
Photo courtesy of Lisa

It was after a bidding battle, that HGTV acquired the famed Brady House
(of which the exterior shots were filmed for the show) in August 2018 for 3.5 million dollars .
HGTV’s goal was to renovate the house’s inside to match the Bradys’ home (which was actually a set) in the television series.
The only problem is, that the inside of the newly purchased house, scarcely resembled the Brady House set, shown on TV.  With the aid of the six original Brady Bunch kids, and many HGTV experts, it took six months to complete the major renovation project.  The show A Very Brady Renovation showcases the extensive work that took place. 

The Brady House

The uncredited, but essential, star of The Brady Bunch, HAS to be the famous Brady Bunch House, said to be the second most photographed house in America, after the White House!  
Even as a youngster, I admired the beautiful staircase, and expansive living room.

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The uncredited, but essential, star of The Brady Bunch show, HAS to be the famous
Brady Bunch House!
Photo courtesy of Lisa

Read some fun facts about The Brady Bunch House, here.

My friend, Lisa, had the uniquely awesome opportunity of touring the Brady House renovation. As we used to say as kids, “Lucky Duck!”.  Happily, Lisa generously shared the photos that she took of her experience with me!  And, I, in turn, share a few of them in this blog post, with you! Thank you, Lisa!
(Lisa was our tour guide in 2016 at Walt Disney Studios.  See six photos, below.)

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Lisa and Eric happily pose on the beautiful Brady stairs.

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See Lisa and Eric’s submission for the contest to spend a night in the renovated Brady House, here.  No, they did not win, but they were, later, able to enjoy a house tour!

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The Brady living room and dining area.

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Orange + green=the Brady kitchen!

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Alice’s recipe written on the kitchen chalkboard!

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 In March 2016, Lisa was our wonderful and fearless tour guide
at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.
Read about our fun tour, here.

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your Brady House photos!!!!!

 

What’s your favorite Brady Bunch episode?  
Share with me in the comments, below.

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 Cooking with Gammy

Who wants a cookie?

When my four kiddos were little, I made many giant chocolate chip cookies. I began by making them from scratch, but, eventually, began using pre-made cookie dough for a quick bake and easy clean up.  For Easter, I made one for my grandchildren. It was a hit.
 I share the recipe with you.

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A giant cookie is always a hit!

 

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One 16.5 ounce package of Toll House cookie dough is needed for a Giant Cookie.

 

Giant Cookie

Ingredients

1 package (16.5 ounces) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie  Dough

Ready-to-use frosting

m &m’s, sprinkles, etc. (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Place parchment onto 10- to 14-inch pizza pan.

Place all of dough on prepared pan.
Allow to soften-up for 5 to 10 minutes.
Using fingers to pat dough gently to form 8-inch circle.

Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Cool on baking sheet.

Decorate cooled cookie with frosting, m &m’s and sprinkles if desired.

6-8 Servings

Bunny Rolls

My grandchildren enjoyed making these bunny rolls from Pillsbury Orange Rolls, using raisins for the eyes and nose.  Unroll two rolls, and cut pieces to make the ears for six bunnies. Bake as directed.  Frost and decorate with raisins.

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Easter Mix
(Formally known as Easter Trash, as it used to be mixed in a brown grocery bag.)

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Using Crispix, pretzels, Easter m&m’s, and white chocolate chips, use the instructions, here.

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Oreo Frogs 

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Using chocolate frosting as “glue”, stick together two pretzels for feet, underneath one Oreo, and “glue” two m&m’s eyes on top.

Hershey Chocolate Cookies

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Like brownies, but in a cookie, my grandchildren love these!
Find the recipe, here.

Made Me Smile :o)
Sharing things that put a smile on my face, recently.

Artwork

Seeing my grandchildren’s art work on my refrigerator door brings a big smile to my face! :o)

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Spring Time!

My daily walks treat me to the beauty of spring in greens, yellows, purples, and pinks. :o)

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A Variety of Disney!

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My Rocketeer statue (The Rocketeer is a Disney film.) glows with a new disc light!

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I love the design on this new Walt Disney World oven mitt!

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I have been enjoying the child-based devotions in this book, that also include fun
Walt Disney World facts.

Take a Look At These Related Blog Posts

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My Birthday with Disney, April 2016, here.
Walt Disney World Studios and Lisa

Christmas Cheer, May 2020, here.
Lisa sings “It’s Gonna Be a Hot, Hot Christmas”

A Christmas Story Christmas, December 2016, here.
The recipe for Christmas Mix/Trash

A Visit to Hershey Park, Chocolate is a Vegetable, Right?, May 2018, here.
The recipe for Hershey Chocolate Cookies

Thank you for reading!

May your days be blessed, and your taste buds happy!

I’m Annette Stuff

The Next Blog!
Look for the next blog post around May 27, 2021.

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Thank you blog readers!  I enjoy hearing your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section at the bottom of the blog post.

Check Out Eight Years of Past Blog Posts!
To enjoy any, or all, of my past blog posts and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net,
selecting the posts that you desire to see in the Recent Posts,
or you can “search” a topic in the Archivessection, in the upper right-hand side.
I have been blogging since 2013, so there are plenty of posts to choose from!

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Wishing you a Happy Spring!

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Fáilte

(That’s Irish for”Welcome”)

Fáilte
(That’s Irish for”Welcome“)

March 14, 2021

IMG_7877My new shamrock-festooned decoration for St. Patrick’s Day!  :o)


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

                                                                Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
 Do you decorate your front door with the change of seasons and holidays?  
I “get a kick” out of hanging a season-appropriate decoration near my own front door.  
 Unfortunately, after last St. Patrick’s Day, it became apparent that my years-old, glittering, pressed-board shamrock, had lost its luster, and shape (becoming swollen from years of being exposed to the elements). Let me introduce you to its replacement; this cheerful shamrock-festooned, “Welcome” sign! (seen above) :o)
You can find it, here.

Celebrating the Day

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I am enjoying this shamrock plant gracing my kitchen counter.

What are the things that you enjoy about St. Patrick’s Day?    

Here are a few things on my own St. Patrick’s Day happy list…

Wearing green    

Shamrock shapes everywhere

 Watching wonderful Irish movies and TV shows, such as The Quiet Man.
(The Quiet Man is currently showing on Amazon Prime
 and will air on Turner Classic Movies on March 17 at 8 pm EST.)
Find more St. Patrick’s Day movie/tv suggestions, here.

Tasty St. Patrick’s Day dishes, such as Irish StewShepherd’s Pie,
Chocolate Mint Dessert, and others, along with other 
St. Patrick’s Day snacks.

Please, continue reading to find Irish recipes and treats, below, plus more.  :o)

 
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A commemorative print from the beautifully scenic Quiet Man tour,
that I enjoyed in Ireland,
in September 2013.

Read about that tour here and here, plus more can be found below in the 
Take a Look At The Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day-Related Blog Posts section,
toward the bottom of this post.

Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie has always been a favorite with my family. In fact, it was my daughter’s favorite when she was growing up.  Even before that, my mom served up this recipe at
the dinner table of my youth. This dish falls into my “comfort food” category. These days,
I often change out the ground beef with ground chicken, and add a little (2%-lower fat) cheese on top for a bit of added flavor.  Also, I normally use prepared mashed potatoes, taking less time and making less mess, without much sacrifice in flavor. If you are looking for a tummy-hugging mix of flavors for this March 17, I suggest that you give this recipe a try!

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My version of Shepherd’s Pie, after my photo malfunction.  (See below for explanation)

A Shepherd’s Pie Photo Malfunction!

I’ll bet you didn’t know that blogging can pose some unexpected perils!  For instance,
while preparing Shepherd’s Pie for this blog post photo, there was a Shepherd’s Pie photo 
malfunction!  My plan was to slightly tilt the perfectly browned dish, fresh from the oven, toward the camera for a taste-tantalizing picture, but, instead, I accidentally over-tipped the casserole, sending the potatoes careening from the hot Corning Ware! You can see that occurring, along with the surprised look on my face, from the photo below!  Fortunately, I spotted the potential fiasco just in the nick of time, halting the contents from pouring out. The Shepherd’s Pie was saved, although it was no longer as pretty, as it had been. :o)

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A Shepherd’s Pie malfunction!

Making Shepherd’s Pie

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Ingredients needed for Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

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INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground beef, or ground chicken

Onion-optional
(I often leave this out.)

2 ½ cups, or ½ lb. cooked green beans

2 cans (10 ½ oz.) cream of mushroom soup

1-32 ounce, or more, container pre-made mashed potatoes (like Bob Evans)
(I usually use the pre-made mashed potatoes in this recipe.)
or
5 medium potatoes peeled and cooked with salt
½ cup warm milk
2 Tbsp.- ¼ cup butter

Cheddar cheese, shredded-optional
(I usually use this, using 2% low-fat cheese)

salt, pepper, paprika

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook meat (with onion, if desired) until done.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the cans of soup to the cooked and drained green beans.  Add salt and pepper.
Pour into greased 2 qt. casserole.

Spoon potatoes over the meat mixture, giving the mashed potatoes peaks, 
using photo, above, as a guide.
(If making from scratch, mash the potatoes.  Add milk and butter, salt, pepper to taste.)

Evenly sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese over the top.

 Sprinkle top lightly with Paprika.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until warm, and potato peaks are browned.

Annette’s notes-I have also added cooked corn, and/or cooked mixed vegetables, at times.

4-5 Servings

 Chocolate Mint Dessert

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Chocolate Mint Dessert, with its creamy green center,
is a natural choice for St. Patrick’s Day.  

Chocolate Mint Dessert, with its creamy green center, is a natural choice for St. Patrick’s Day, or for Christmas.  This once traditional Christmas dessert at my house, was another favorite of my daughter’s.  A suggestion, I recommend NOT using a glass pan for this one.  One year, this beautiful dessert fell out of my refrigerator and broke onto the floor, with all of our chocolatey dessert with it.  :o(

Making Chocolate Mint Dessert

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Gather the ingredients for Chocolate Mint Dessert.

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The smooth chocolate topping makes for a pretty presentation.  

 

Chocolate Mint Dessert

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INGREDIENTS

Cake Layer

1 cup flour

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened

4 eggs

1+1/2 cups/16 oz. Hershey Syrup

MInt Cream

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened

2 Tbsp. green crème de menthe
(or 1 Tbsp. water, ½-3/4 tea. mint extract, 3 drops green food coloring)

2 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate Topping

6 Tbsp. butter

1 cup chocolate chips (I use the 60% Ghirardelli)

Garnish

Andes Mints, or Dove Chocolate & Mint Swirl candies-optional
(Garnish may be applied to individual pieces, or  to brownie before cutting.)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Cake layer

Combine flour, granulated sugar, eggs, and syrup in large mixing bowl.
Beat till smooth.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly touched in the center. 
Cool completely.

Spread on mint cream (recipe below).
Cover and refrigerate.

Pour chocolate glaze (recipe below) over chilled dessert.
Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour prior to serving.

Garnish with Andes mints, or Dove chocolates, if desired.

Cover and refrigerate left over dessert.
This also freezes well.

Mint Cream

Combine ½ cup butter, and cream de menthe in medium mixing bowl.  Gradually add powdered sugar. Beat until smooth.

Chocolate Glaze

Melt 6 Tbsp. butter and 1 cup chocolate chips on low heat.  Remove from heat, stir until smooth. Cool slightly. 

 Serves 10-12

Annette’s notes-This freezes well.

                                                             Cooking with Gammy

 

St. Patrick’s Day
(It is “Luck of the Gammy” to have wonderful grandchildren!)

It is ALWAYS a lucky day for Gammy when the grands (grandchildren) come for a visit! :o)

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Our leprechaun craft was a hit!

Irish Gold

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Find the recipe for these tasty peanut butter and butterscotch morsels, here.

Leprechaun Hats

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These Leprechaun Hats can be made a couple of different ways.(See below)
In the past, we have also made them when “studying” Abraham Lincoln (minus the green m&m’s), then referring to them, as Lincoln Stovepipe Hats, rather than Leprechaun Hats.  :o)

Leprechaun Hats

Ingredients

Keebler Fudge Stripes Cookies
(see photo below)

Large marshmallows,
or Hostess Ho Ho’s cut in two
(If you use Ho Ho’s, these do not need to be coated in chocolate.)

Chocolate chips
(I use Ghirardelli, 60%.)

Green m & m’s

Directions

Carefully melt chocolate in microwave, in 30 second intervals.
Dip cookie into the melted chocolate.
Use a fork, or spoon, to coat cookie completely.
 Place the cookie on wax paper.

 Using a shish kabob skewer inserted into marshmallow, dip into chocolate,
coating it completely.  Allow excess chocolate to drip off, and then place coated marshmallow over the center of the cookie.
(If using Ho Ho’s, just adhere cut side onto cookie with melted chocolate.)

Decorate with green m&m’s.

Place in refrigerator until set.

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The Leprechaun Hats use Keebler Fudge Stripes Cookies as their base.
For a different kind of Leprechaun hat snack, go here.

Wizard of Oz

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“The house fell on the Wicked Witch of the East” craft.

Witch’s Hats

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Using Keebler’s Fudge Stripe Cookies, a little frosting (in the tube) for “glue”, and
a candy kiss, an edible Wicked Witch of the West’s hat was created.

Witch’s Brooms

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These yummy witch’s brooms take just a small Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup and a pretzel stick.

Munchkin Mix

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Our Munchkin Mix consisted of Mother’s Animal Crackers, Teddy Grahams,
Fruit Snacks, m&m’s, small marshmallows, and pretzels.

Sock Monkeys

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Sock Monkey Crescents

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Our Sock Monkey Crescents used Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, filled with a little sugar and sprinkle of cinnamon, a little bit of butter on top, and either a few raisins, or chocolate chips, and then baked per package directions.

Frozen Bananas

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Frozen Bananas were made by using a shish kabob skewer to dip half bananas into melted chocolate chips, and then sprinkled with crushed Oreos.
 Placed on wax paper, they were frozen until hardened.

 

Made Me Smile :o)
Sharing things that put a smile on my face, recently.

Chalk on the Driveway

Warmer spring-like weather in March means breaking out the sidewalk chalk for my  grandchildren to enjoy.  Below are three portraits that my grandchildren did of me!  :o)
I am honored!

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(While writing the heading above, “Chalk on the Driveway”, it reminds me of
Annette Funicello’s 1959 rock and roll
hit, “Tall Paul”.  To hear this pop classic, click here.)   

The Weather!

Aren’t you loving the warmer weather? Spring is on its way!  The increase in temperatures means being able to, once again, spend some walking time (following social distance) with
a friend in the great outdoors! 

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Puppy Gazes 

  Isn’t this sweet?  I found this photo of my son’s dog, the other day. :o)

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Take a Look At These Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day-Related Blog Posts

Image

Irish Gold, Part 2, October 2013, here.
Includes a recipe for Irish Gold

Irish Gold, Part 1, October 2013, here.
Includes the recipe from Ashford Castle for Tea Sandwiches

The Quiet Man’s Ireland-Day 1, October 2013, here.
Includes locations from the classic film, 
The Quiet Man

The Quiet Man’s Ireland-Day 2, or A Day Fit for a Quiet Man Crazy, here.
More locations from, the classic film, The Quiet Man

Top of the Mornin’ to Ya, February 2014, here.
Includes locations from the classic film, The Quiet Man,
plus other St. Patrick’s Day movie and tv show suggestions,
and a recipe for Easy Artichoke Dip.

Don’t Pinch Me, I’m Wearing Green Underwear!, March 2018,here.
Includes recipes for Irish Gold, and Irish Stew

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, March 2019, here.
Includes instructions for no-bake Leprechaun Hats

A Bit o’ Green to Chase Those (Coronavirus) Blues Away, March 2020, here.
Includes recipe for no-bake Shamrock Pretzels

Thank you for reading!

May your days be blessed, and your taste buds happy.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m Annette Stuff

The Next Blog!
Look for the next blog post around April 22, 2021.

Follow My Instagram
Check out my Instagram page at imannettedotnet.

Get I’m Annette Delivered Straight to Your Inbox!
Be an I’m Annette follower!  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s absolutely free!!!!
Receive my blog via email, Free, immediately upon each posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

A Special Note about Photos in I’m Annette Followers!
If you are receiving this blog via email, and if some of the photos do not come through clearly,  please click on imannette.net, or click here, to refresh the post.

 Please, Leave a Kind Comment!
Thank you blog readers!  I enjoy hearing your kind comments!

Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section at the bottom of the blog post.

Check Out Eight Years of Past Blog Posts!
To enjoy any, or all, of my past blog posts and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net,

selecting the posts that you desire to see in the Recent Posts,
or you can “search” a topic in the Archivessection, in the upper right-hand side.
I have been blogging since 2013, so there are plenty of posts to choose from!

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I found this sign humorous, while visiting Cong in Ireland. :o)
September 2013.

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Winter Magic

February 15, 2021

Winter Magic

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 Skater extraordinaire, Sonja Henie, otherwise known as Annette ( hee hee),
(thanks to my son’s technical know-how)
stars in the fun winter-based film Sun Valley Serenade (1941).
You can watch this skating sequence, here.

Gazing out my kitchen window, the landscape before me appears to be a magical winter wonderland. Pure white snow, blankets the outside world, while muffling its obtrusive noise.  The world is peaceful.

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The landscape before me appears to be a magical winter wonderland.

Magical Winter Wonderland 

In light of the recent snowfall, I would like to share with you a few photos that I have taken thought this winter ( below).

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I had to begin my photo montage with the song Winter Wonderland.
I love the cover artwork of this old (framed) sheet music that is a part of the
simple winter decor throughout my home, and hearing this tune has to make one smile. :o)
Find the recipe for the delicious coffee cake pictured above, here.
To hear Johnny Mathis sing this upbeat winter classic, click here.

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I love this photo!  The stark contrast of the vivid red cardinal against the pristine white snow outlining the tree is simply beautiful.  
Thank you to my friend, Mary Ann, for allowing me to share this delightful winter scene with you.

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The image, of this light post on my lawn, illustrates how snow clings in interesting ways to various objects it encounters.

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Snow outlines this antique hand plow and wheel.

 

Winters Past

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A 1954 view (AND before I was born, thank you very much!) of skaters on a creek in Iowa.

Photo Courtesy of Ames Historical Society.
For more information, click here.

My childhood memories of frolicking in the snow are hazy snippets of, attempting ice skating
(I believe this only occurred once, or twice, and I was never proficient at it), and cold, finger-numbing, giggle-infested sledding outings over the years, including one unfortunate sledding collision between my leg and a very sturdy metal post (That one left a sizable bruise!).

Winter also, reminds me of a cookie, often found on my high school cafeteria’s menu, that I was
quite fond of called Snowballs. My younger self, requested the recipe for this lunchroom dessert from my home ec teacher, who sleuthed it out for me from the cafeteria lunch ladies.  
(Not much has changed, as I have been known to request recipes from various chefs, when a food tickles my fancy.).

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A copy of the original mimeographed recipe from my school’s cafeteria.

I share this recipe for Snowballs with you, below. I must admit, after making these the other day, and having not tasted them it for many years, that these days, I find this recipe is a bit on the sweet side for me current tastes. I do, however, enjoy THIS cafeteria goodie from my lunchroom past; 
Peanut Butter Bars. This is one that I still make occasionally, sans the frosting, when I need a peanut butter fix.  You can find this recipe, here.

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How about a Snowball?

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The ingredients needed for this no-bake treat.

 

Snowballs

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Ingredients

1/2 half pound/two sticks butter

1 pound/3+1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 cup shredded coconut
(I used the sweetened variety, as that was what was originally used, 
but guessing using the unsweetened variety may help with the over-sweetness issue.)

1/2 cup chocolate chips
(I used semi-sweet, mini chocolate chips)

2/3 lbs/3+1/2 cup rolled oats

Directions

Cream butter and powdered sugar together until fluffy.

Add remaining ingredients and portion into 2 Tablespoon sized balls.  (I used a cookie scoop.)

Makes approximately 5 dozen.  (I halved this recipe.)

Enjoy!

                                                             Cooking with Gammy

  Penguins, Snowmen, and Valentine’s Day

Some fun and yummy treats that I enjoyed making with my grandchildren, lately.  :o)

Penguins

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Our Penguin (Trace around Shoe) Craft

Penguin Face Chocolate Cookies

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Bake Chocolate Cookies using this recipe, here.
Decorate when cool.

Using frosting as “glue”, 
Decorate using-

 White chocolate discs for the front “tummy”
(I did not have any discs, so I made our own.)

Wilton candy eyes, or m&m’s for eyes

Orange, or yellow m &m for beak

Little Debbie Penguins

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Ingredients

Little Debbie Swiss Roll 

Frosting for “glue”

White chocolate melted and formed into oblong shape onto wax paper for “tummy”
Cool

2 Wilton candy eyes, or m & m’s for eyes

1 yellow m & m for beak

2 orange m & m’s for feet

Directions

Place Little Debbie upright.

Using frosting for “glue, 
glue on white chocolate for “tummy”

“Glue” on eyes, beak, and feet.

Snowmen

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Bake Pillsbury Orange Rolls according to package directions.
Cool slightly and frost with enclosed icing.

Stack three rolls as shown in photo, above.

Decorate using-

Raisins and m & m’s.


Valentine’s Day

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Using my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, here,
I replaced the chocolate chips with equal parts Valentine m & m’s!

Made Me Smile :o)
Sharing things that put a smile on my face, recently. 

A Special Valentine
While organizing a closet awhile back, I came across this very special valentine made by my dear grandmother, and given to me as a youngster. Isn’t it sweet?

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Check Out These Other Winter-related Blog Posts

momskiis1

Baby, It’s Cold Outside, January 2014, here.

An Ideal Lazy, Cozy, Winter Afternoon, January 2015, here.

One Wedding and a Whale of a Snowstorm, January 2016, here.

No Pre-cooking Noodles Crockpot Lasagna, March 2017, here.

Look Ma, No Boot, March 2018, here.  

Thank you for reading!
May your days be blessed, and your taste buds happy!

I’m Annette Stuff

Look for the Next Blog!
Look for the next blog post around March 17, 2021.

Follow My Instagram
Check out my Instagram page at imannettedotnet.

Get I’m Annette Delivered Straight to Your Inbox!
Be an I’m Annette follower!  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s absolutely free!!!!
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A Special Note about Photos in I’m Annette Followers!
If you are receiving this blog via email, and if some of the photos do not come through clearly, please click on imannette.net, or click here, to refresh the post.

 Please, Leave a Kind Comment!
Thank you blog readers!  I LOVE hearing your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section at the bottom of the blog post.

Check Out Eight Years of Past Blog Posts!
To enjoy any, or all, of my past blog posts and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net
selecting the posts that you desire to see in the Recent Posts,
or you can “search” a topic in the Archives section, in the upper right-hand side.
I have been blogging since 2013, so there are plenty of posts to choose from!

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A winter photo from January 2015.
Find it, here.

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Happy Groundhog Day!

February 2, 2021

Happy Groundhog Day!

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Happy Groundhog Day!

Happy Groundhog Day!
I am a definite fan of holidays! The classic, standard variety holidays, along with the lesser known ones,(Think National Cookie Day (December 4) for example.) make days seem special. Holidays have always tickled my fancy. Groundhog Day ranks right up there as one of the sillier, yet fun, in the annual holiday line-up. Young children seem to really enjoy this day, complete with a furry, cuddly-looking creature at its center, so it is a natural choice to celebrate with young ones, or the young at heart! :o)

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One of several books pertaining to Groundhog Day for young children,
that I have collected over the years.

Groundhog Day Basics

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Pretty much all that remains from my children’s Beanie Babies collection,
are these two groundhogs.  
They are the extent of my Groundhog Day decor. :o)

Here are the basics of this February holiday.
If the trusty groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil (of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania), sees his shadow on February (…shrieking in terror at the image of his own shadow, and fleeing back to the safety of his burrow, no doubt.) then we are saddened by the thought that winter will continue for yet another six weeks.
If Phil, however, does not see his shadow, then we are blessed with the knowledge that winter’s duration will be much shorter, and an early spring will commence.
Unfortunately, for those who hold to Phil’s prediction, he usually sees his shadow. According to a recent report, here, Phil has seen his shadow 106 times over the years, with only 20 times when he has not.

Go here to read more about the Groundhog Day celebration.

According to Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction this morning, (www.groundhog.org), we are in for yet another six weeks of winter.

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A tag from a Groundhog Beanie Baby.

Movie

For me, the arrival of Groundhog Day means that it is time again to watch the entertaining comedy, Groundhog Day (1993).  Bill Murray stars as a cynical weatherman reporting from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on Groundhog Day, who finds himself reliving that same day, over and over again.  Although, set in Pennsylvania, this movie was actually filmed in Illinois.  Read more about the film at here.  

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Cooking with Gammy

I love this simple Groundhog Day food craft!  And you do not have to have little ones around to try it out. (I mean, who doesn’t love frosted mini donuts?) Just use this as an excuse to partake in a chocolate-frosted mini donut in salute to our favorite weather forecaster, Punxsutawney Phil!  After all, it IS a holiday! Celebrate! :o)

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This food craft takes just two pre-made ingredients: Chocolate frosted mini donuts, and Teddy Grahams.

Recipe

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Groundhog Day Donuts

Ingredients 

Chocolate frosted mini donuts
(ie. Tastykake, Entenmann’s, Hostess, Little Debbie)

Teddy Grahams
(Any variety, but chocolate,
as chocolate will not show up against the chocolate-iced donut.)

Directions

Place one Teddy Graham in the center of one chocolate-frosted donu

Enjoy!

May your days be blessed, and your taste buds happy!
Thank you for reading!

I’m Annette Stuff

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Look for the Next Blog!
Look for the next post on, or around, February 25, 2021. :o)

Follow My Instagram
Check out my Instagram page at imannettedotnet.

Get I’m Annette Delivered Straight to Your Inbox!
Be an I’m Annette follower!  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s absolutely free!!!!
Receive my blog via email, FREE, (yes, I said FREE), immediately upon each posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

A Special Note about Photos to I’m Annette Followers!
If you are receiving this blog via email, and if some of the photos do not come through clearly, please click on imannette.net, or click here to refresh the post.

 Please, Leave a Kind Comment!
Thank you blog readers!  I LOVE hearing your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section at the bottom of the blog post.

Check Out (Almost) Eight Years of Past Blog Posts!
To enjoy any, or all, of my past blog posts and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net, selecting the posts that you desire to see in the Recent Posts,
or you can “search” a topic in the Archives section, in the upper right-hand side.
I have been blogging since 2013, so there are plenty of posts to choose from!

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A Groundhog Day craft from days of old…

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Shrimp Parm and Even More, Confessions of a Pinterest Artist!

January 20, 2021

Shrimp Parm and
Even More, Confessions of a Pinterest Artist!

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This month’s Shrimp Parm recipe is featured in Beverly Goldberg’s
The Goldbergs Cookbook.

As a youngster, I used to know each day of the week by which TV programs were on that evening.  Of course, that was when there were just four television channels available, and when such classic shows as Batman, Bewitched, and Gilligan’s Island ruled prime time.
(I know, I am revealing my age here!  I also walked 5 miles to school each day in the snow…)

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As a youngster, I used to know each day of the week by which TV programs were on.

Today’s television viewer has many more TV viewing options to choose from,
but I still find myself looking forward to certain programs throughout the week.
One such program is The Goldbergs.  Currently in its eighth season, The Goldbergs
is set in the 1980’s and was created by Adam F. Goldberg, based on his childhood.

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The Goldbergs is currently in its eighth season.
The Goldbergs Cookbook was written by Beverly Goldberg.

The character of Goldberg’s mother, Beverly, plays prominently in the show, and is often portrayed cooking up family favorites.

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A script from The Goldbergs, displayed at The ABC Commissary in Hollywood Studios, at Walt Disney World.
November 2015

 AND the favorite dish, of all of the Goldberg favorites, being Shrimp Parm.  One of the first recipes featured in
Beverly Goldbergs’ fun cookbook (2020) is for this dish, frequently mentioned in the series.

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 Beverly Goldbergs’ cookbook is fun!

Bevy’s Shrimp Parm is a tasty recipe, and one that I will be making again, along with several more recipes in Beverly’s collection!  This recipe has also been featured in  articles here, and here.

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Bevy’s Shrimp Parm is a tasty recipe, and one that I will be making again.

 Bevy’s Shrimp Parm 

As with most every recipe that I ever make, I tweaked this one a little to fit my tastes, using what I had on hand.  :O) My recipe is below.  For Beverly’s original recipe, see here, and here.

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Ingredients used to make this recipe.

Shrimp Parm 

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Ingredients

1-pound of Gulf shrimp, peeled and cleaned

1-cup skim milk

1-cup Italian style seasoned breadcrumbs

1-cup flour

1-2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Vegetable Oil (For frying)

1 (24 ounce) jar Spaghetti Sauce (I used Classico.)

2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1/2-1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Apply nonstick cooking spray to a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Place shrimp in milk in bowl.
Set aside.

Heat up 1-2 inches vegetable oil in skillet to medium high.
(I used my electric skillet.)

Meanwhile, combine bread crumbs, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in large ziplock bag.

Shake off excess milk from shrimp, then, place in ziplock bag and shake.

Carefully place breaded shrimp in heated oil, cooking until golden.
Remove from heat and drain on paper towel.

Pour half of jarred sauce in prepared pan.
Place fried shrimp on top.
Sprinkle half of mozzarella on top of shrimp.
Pour remainder of jarred sauce on top of shrimp.
Sprinkle remainder of mozzarella cheese on top.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling.

Plate, and serve with Parmesan cheese on top.

Enjoy!

Inspired by Pinterest

In the past, Pinterest has been a source of painting ideas for me.   Recently, Pinterest inspired my painting again!  Pinterest, with its source of creative ideas, has inspired me once again.  Stumbling upon the photo (below) of this contemporary flower print on Pinterest, I knew that I had to recreate it (but with more of a colorful flare).

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Pinterest Photo, artist unknown                             Daisy, by Annette 2021

Stumbling upon the photo of this contemporary flower print on Pinterest,
I knew that I had to recreate it.

Other Pinterest Painting Projects

In 2014, I went on a mini-painting spree, thanks to Pinterest’s motivation.  The results are shown below.

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 Pinterest Photo, artist Hugo Guinness     Dandelions, by Annette, July 2014

For instructions on how to paint Dandelions, click here

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 Pinterest photo, artist unknown         Happy, by Annette, August 2014

 Read about Happy and how to paint your own, here.

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Pinterest photo of  Blue Flower by Lisa DeJohn                Blue Blossom,
by Annette
September 2014                    

                                      For DIY instructions for Blue Blossom, click here.

Painting Daisy

 Here are the steps that I used to paint Daisy.
Use them to paint your own interpretation of this piece.  :o)

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Painting Materials

Paint Canvas

30 inches x 30 inches canvas

Drop Cloths
 I use trash bags, that I have cut open.

Chalk
I used a piece of sidewalk chalk that I keep for my granddaughters to use.  :o)

Acrylic Paint
I used about 1/3 of an 8-ounce bottle of white multi-surface premium satin acrylic paint by Craftsmart.

One entire 2-ounce bottle of aqua satin acrylic paint by FolkArt
Colors vary, I recommend FolkArt’s aqua for this vivid background.

One 2-ounce bottle black acrylic paint by DecoArt

Paint Brushes
To be honest, I forgot to keep track of which brushes I used.
I believe that I used the three brushes shown in the photo below, a #1,#2,#4 + a small #2/0 brush (not pictured) for signing.

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Some materials used to create Daisy.

My “How To” Instructions

Place down a drop cloth.

Give the canvas a white base coat, including the sides,
using a wide paintbrush, like a #1.
Give the canvas two base coats, letting it
dry in-between each coat.
You can set the canvas up on four glasses to dry, to prevent the painted canvas from sticking to the drop cloth.

With chalk, sketch out the design, using the blog photos as your guide.
(Upon painting’s completion, and when dry, use a clean
paint brush to whisk away any excess chalk.)

Paint the background, around the daisy, with the aqua paint, making sure to paint the canvas’s front and sides.
This may take a couple of coats of paint to cover the canvas to desired look.
Let it dry in-between each coat.
Allow to completely dry before continuing.

Next, paint the daisy black.
Again, this may takes 2-3 coats.

Using white paint, outline the daisy, as the blog photos indicate.

Touch up your painting, defining lines, and making it look more finished.

Remember to sign your name on your painting with a small paintbrush. :o)

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Give the canvas a white base coat.
With chalk, sketch out the design, using the blog photos as your guide.

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Paint the background with aqua paint.

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Paint the canvas’s front and sides, too.

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It may take a couple of coats of aqua paint.

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Allow to completely dry before continuing.

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Paint the daisy black.

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Touch up your painting, defining lines, and making it look more finished.

Daisy

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Cooking with Gammy

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Snowmen were the theme for our most recent “Gammy Day”.
Making paper snowmen/snowwomen was fun.

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The grands(grand children) also enjoyed making, and eating, the edible variety of snowmen in the form of Nutter Butter Snowmen/Snow Women and Graham Cracker Snowmen/Snow Women. :o)

Nutter Butter Snowmen/Snow women

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Ingredients 

Nutter Butter Sandwich Cookies

White almond bark, or White chocolate chips

Mini chocolate chips

 m & ms

Wax paper

Directions

On baking sheet place wax paper.

Melt almond bark slowly in microwave.

Dip to top of a Nutter Butter in the almond bark.

Decorate, using mini chocolate chips for eyes,
orange m&m’s for a nose,
and m&m’s for buttons.

Place in refrigerator to set.

Store in airtight container in fridge, or freezer.

Enjoy!

Graham Cracker Snowmen/Snow women

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Ingredients

Large marshmallows
(I had to use the mini variety in a pinch.)

Chocolate chips

Graham crackers

Pretzel sticks

Orange m&m’s

Directions

Place graham cracker on microwave-safe plate.

Place three large marshmallows on cracker and microwave until puffy.
About 12-18 seconds.

Decorate with chocolate chips for eyes and buttons,
an orange m &m for a nose,
and two pretzel sticks for arms.

Eat immediately, making sure that the marshmallow is not too hot.

Enjoy!

Check Out These Earlier Art-related Posts

momgothic

True Confessions of a Pinterest Artist, July 2014, here.

More True Confessions of a Pinterest Artist, August 2014, here.

Still More Confessions of a Pinterest Artist, September 2014, here.

May your days be blessed, and your taste buds happy!
Thank you for reading!

I’m Annette Stuff

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Look for the Next Blog!
Look for the next post on, February 14, 2021, if not before. :o)

Follow My Instagram
Check out my Instagram page at imannettedotnet.

Get I’m Annette Delivered Straight to Your Inbox!
Be an I’m Annette follower!  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s absolutely free!!!!
Receive my blog via email, FREE, (yes, I said FREE), immediately upon each posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

A Special Note about Photos to I’m Annette Followers!
If you are receiving this blog via email, and if some of the photos do not come through clearly, please click on imannette.net, or click here to refresh the post.

 Please, Leave a Kind Comment!
Thank you blog readers!  I LOVE hearing your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section at the bottom of the blog post.

Check Out (Almost) Eight Years of Past Blog Posts!
To enjoy any, or all, of my past blog posts and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net, selecting the posts that you desire to see in the Recent Posts,
or you can “search” a topic in the Archives section, in the upper right-hand side.
I have been blogging since 2013, so there are plenty of posts to choose from!

DSCF2099

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
–think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

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12 Days of Christmas…Goodies

 

December 14, 2020

12 Days of Christmas…Goodies

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My daughter and I sport matching Christmas sweatshirts in honor of our favorite mouse.   :o)

Can you believe that Christmas will be here in less than two weeks!!!  
In honor of the upcoming holiday, I share with you twelve of my family’s “tried and true” Christmas goodie recipes. in a nod to the Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas. 

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree..

three French hens

four calling birds

five gold rings

six geese a-laying

seven swans a-swimming

eight maids a-milking

nine ladies dancing

ten lords a-leaping

eleven pipers piping

twelve drummers drumming

An added bonus is that the majority of these recipes, below, can be prepared quickly, with several being of the no-bake variety.  Let’s face it, with so many Christmas movies to watch, I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen baking!  :o)

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The Twelve Days of Goodies

1. Two-ingredient Peanut Butter Cups

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If you are a fan of peanut butter and chocolate, then this recipe is for you!
This Two-ingredient Peanut Butter Cup is served up on my dear sweet (departed) grandmother’s Christmas plate.
Find the recipe here.  

2.  Peanut Clusters

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One of my favorite holiday treats, that I find myself making year round!
Get this recipe, here.  

3.  Haystacks/Birds nests

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These can made with, or without the m & m’s, but either way they are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Find this recipe, here. https://imannette.net/2020/11/01/apple-cider-donuts-high-school-memories-and-voting/

4.  Reindeer “Belly Buttons”

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Not just restricted to just Christmas, these belly buttons can be customized to any holiday by changing the m & m colors.
Get this recipe here.

5.  Christmas “Trash”:

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This trash got its name from when it used to be “cooked up” in a paper trash/grocery bag.  This trash is delicious, but beware it is very habit forming!
Find this recipe here.

6.  Almond Toffee Brickle

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When devouring this sweet treat, it is hard to believe that soda crackers are at its base!
Get this recipe here.

7.  Chocolate Cookies

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A favorite cookie around my house at Christmas, or anytime!
Find this recipe here.

8.  Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

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These chocolate chip cookies are so good, and I make them quite often, not just during the holiday season.
Get this recipe here.  

 9.  Date Truffles

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Featured on last month’s blog post, these pack a lot of flavor!
Find this recipe here.

10.  Scotcheroos

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This Rice Krispie treat was a Christmas favorite of mine as a youngster.  :o). Back then, the topping was made with a sweet chocolate, but now I prefer a darker chocolate flavor.  Customize this recipe to your taste.
The recipe is below.

Scotheroos

Ingredients

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup sugar

1-1 1/2 cup peanut butter

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1 cup semi-sweet, or dark chocolate chocolate chips
(I use Ghirardelli’s 60%)
(for a sweeter chocolate use 1/2-1 bar of Bakers Germans Baking chocolate)

1 cup butterscotch chips

 

Directions

Place corn syrup and sugar into 3-quart saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves
and mixture begins to boil.
Remove from heat.

Stir in peanut butter. Mix well.

Add Rice Krispies cereal.
Stir until well coated.
Press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray.
Set aside.

Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, or in the microwave carefully at 30 minute intervals.
Spread evenly over cereal mixture.
Let stand until firm.
Cut into bars when cool.

11. Snowfall Cranberry Bark

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This combination of pistachios and cranberries, wrapped up in a confection of creamy white chocolate, is one of my favorite Christmas goodies!
Find the recipe below.

Ingredients:

3/4-1 cup dried cranberries

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1/2-3/4 cups shelled pistachios (my preference)
(sliced almonds can be sustituted)

2 (11- or 12-ounce) bags white chocolate chips, or almond bark

Directions:

Heat oven to 250.

Line a 12-by-17-inch jellyroll pan (or rimmed baking sheet) with parchment paper.

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse together cranberries, orange zest, and almonds (or chop them with a large knife).

Spread mixture over the prepared pan to within 1 1/2 inches of the edges, then evenly cover that mixture with the chocolate chips and put the pan in the oven.

When the chips just start to look melty (5-6 minutes or so.  Do not overbake!), take them out of the oven and use a rubber spatula to spread them evenly over the parchment.

Chill until firm, about half an hour, then break into pieces.

Enjoy!

12.  White Fudge Covered Oreos

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I saved the easiest goodie to prepare, for the last.  Only available at Christmas time, these white chocolate dipped Oreos have been a family favorite for years.  Beware though, just one cookie packs a 5 point punch for you WW (Weight Watcher) people out there! :O)

 Childhood Christmases

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Mysteriously, my letter (age 5?) to Santa found its way into our local newspaper!

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My local sixth grade Girl Scout troop created this pinecone Christmas tree for our elementary school’s lobby.

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In seventh (?) grade, I posed for our Girl Scout’s county Christmas card.

 

Cooking with Gammy

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Reindeer (Cosmic) Brownies

I have made this easy food craft with my grands (grand children) for several years now.  I believe that I first came upon this idea on Pinterest a few years ago.  I think that there was just a photo to go by, and no instructions. This is actually more of a craft than a recipe. Either way, it is fun to create these Rudolph Brownies using pre-made packaged  Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies!

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Reindeer Brownies in the making…
We made the mistake, here, of putting on the eyes and nose before the antlers.
I suggest that you begin by taping on the antlers, first.  :o)

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Loop the scotch tape around to place under the google eyes and nose,
or use two-sided tape.

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Ingredients and Materials

Individually wrapped Cosmic Brownies

Google eyes

Red pom poms for Rudolph, or various colors for other reindeer, for the nose

Brown construction paper cut to the shape of antlers
(Use my photo above as your guide.)

Tape, or two-sided tape

Directions

Begin by taping two antlers to the back of a Cosmic Brownie.

Using a piece of looped tape (as pictured above), or two-sided tape, attach eyes and nose.

Admire and then enjoy!

Fun Fact for Ya!

I just learned this, and had to pass it along.  :o)

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Did you know that giraffes give birth standing up!
Birthing in this manner prevents damage to the baby’s long neck.
In other words, a baby giraffe enters the world by falling 5-6 feet to the ground!!!
Photo courtesy of my daughter.  :O)  

 

Made Me Smile :o)
Sharing things that put a smile on my face, recently. 

Motherhood Moments

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New mom, Brandy, gives her little guy a bath.  :o)
Thank you, Brandy, for this adorable photo!

My Kindergarten Report Card!

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I found my kindergarten report card the other day.   “Annette still does a lot of talking” made me laugh.  Some things don’t change.  :o)
My heart warmed, though, when I read her final comments as my teacher.  :o) 

On my daily walk…

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I discovered this “hidden Mickey” in the neighborhood, formed from leaves.

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The true “reason for the season” Christmas lawn displays

Food Glorious Food!

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I spotted this pretty Scandinavian Kransekake (wreath cake) at the grocery store!

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 Christmas cookie baking!  :o)

 

Check Out My Earlier Christmas-Related Posts


49_1952.12_main_street_christmas_decorations_east_s

December 1952 
Photo Courtesy of Ames Historical Society

Christmas Cheer, May 2020, here.

Have a Sweet Christmas, December 2019, here.

What’s Slumgullion, December 2018, here.

It’s Christmas Time!  Enjoy These Often-Missed Yuletide Movies, December 2017, here.

A Christmas Story Christmas, December 2016, here.

Procrastination and Merry Christmas, December 2015, here.

Christmas in Black and White, December 2014, here.

Counting the Days Till Christmas, December 2013, here.

 

May your days be blessed, and your taste buds happy!

Thank you for reading,  
and 
Merry Christmas!

 

I’m Annette Stuff

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Next Blog Posting

Look for my next post on, January 14, 2020, if not before. :o)

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Thank you blog readers!  I LOVE hearing your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section at the bottom of the blog post.

Check Out Seven Years of Past Blog Posts!

To enjoy any, or all, of my past blog posts and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net, selecting the posts that you desire to see in the Recent Posts,
or you can “search” a topic in the Archives section, in the upper right-hand side.
I have been blogging since 2013, so there are plenty of posts to choose from!

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Merry Christmas!

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Tater Tots, Truffles, and Turkeys

November 24, 2020

Tater Tots, Truffles, and Turkeys

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Pausing from Thanksgiving Day preparations with a hot cup of soothing tea.

I take a moment out from my Thanksgiving Day preparations to give a big shout out to you, my readers.  I am thankful, during this Thanksgiving week, for your readership, kind comments, and support!   Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tater Tots

Tater Tots (…or as Sue Heck calls them on one of my favorite sitcoms, The Middle,
Potato Rounds :o)) are the star of this dish that I share with you today.  
Loaded Buffalo Chicken Tots hail from a brand new cookbook by Ashley Craft, called 
The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook. This copycat recipe was inspired by a popular menu item from The Friar’s Nook at the Walt Disney World‘s, Magic Kingdom.

The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook, by Ashley Craft.
Available from Amazon, Target, and other retailers.

This fun cookbook is overflowing with 100 Disneyesque recipes, including how to
whip (pun alert, as in Dole Whip. hee hee) up everything from Disney’s Beignets to Butterfinger Cupcakes to Dole Whip. This is sure to be one cookbook that will be pulled from my bookshelf often and used frequently!  I may have to try out all of the recipes!  :o)

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This cookbook’s recipe for Loaded Buffalo Chicken Tots jumped out at me while I perused its contents, begging to be attempted first. This recipe was a yummy success, and it is a keeper!  The trick to this creation is to make sure that the tots are done to a wonderful crispiness.  I used Ore-Ida Golden Crispy Crowns rather than tater tots, as the crowns have a bit more crispness to them, and besides, I rarely follow any recipe “to a T”.  :o).

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I used Golden Crispy Rounds in place of Tater Tots in this recipe.

Other changes that I made
I did not have blue cheese crumbles, so I did not use them this time, 
and I subbed green onions for the celery, which gave this dish an added kick of flavor. 

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Items needed for Loaded Buffalo Chicken Tots

The Recipe

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Loaded Buffalo Chicken Tots

Ingredients

1 (32 ounce) package frozen Tater Tots
(I used a 30 ounce package of  Ore-Ida Golden Crispy Crowns)

2 cup shredded cooked Chicken breast

2 or more Tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot (buffalo)sauce

3-6 Tablespoons Blue Cheese Dressing
(I like Ken’s Steakhouse Lite, but
Bolthouse Farms Yogurt works well, too, when cutting calories.)

3-6 Tablespoons Blue Cheese crumbles

2-4 small-medium stalks Celery, trimmed and diced
(I skipped these.)

1-3 Green onions, sliced
(My addition to this Disney treat.)

Directions

Bake Tater Tots (or Crispy Crowns) according to package instructions. 
While baking, stir 2-3 throughout cooking tots, for even browning and crispiness,
making sure that the tots are cooked totally and to desired crispiness.
(This may take a bit longer than package instructions suggest.)

When tots are done, place on serving plate, or divide among three medium (serving) bowls.
Set aside.

In large bowl, toss shredded chicken with Frank’s Red Hot.
Top baked Tots with 1/3 buffalo chicken mix.
Drizzle blue cheese dressing over the top.
Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles and celery/green onions.

Enjoy!

Annette’s Note-This could easily be made with shredded rotisserie chicken in place of the shredded chicken breast.

Truffles

Martese’s (Date) Truffles

My daughter, Martese, recently shared this recipe with me.  It makes a yummy “not too sweet” chocolate truffle using natural sugar/dates.  I now share this recipe with you.  :o)

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I enjoy a these delicious “Not too sweet!” truffles.

 Below, are photos of Martese creating these sweet treats.  I did some calculations, and for those of you WW (Weight Watchers) people out there, I figure two of these truffles are 7 points, with just one truffle equalling 4 points.

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What you’ll need 
Note my daughter’s adorable dog Pongo in the background.  :o)

Medium cookie scoop

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The finishing touch, a roll in coconut, for these Date Truffles. 

The Recipe

Martese’s Date Truffles

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INGREDIENTS:

20-22 Dates, pitted

6 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, plus additional
shredded coconut for rolling

2 Tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 cup cocoa powder

Dash of salt

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl filled with warm water, adding pitted dates to soak for 30-40 minutes.

Add 6 Tablespoons shredded coconut and coconut oil to food processor.
Process for about 1 minute to combine together.

Drain dates and add dates to the coconut mix in the food processor.
Process another minute, or till thick paste begins to form.

Add cocoa powder and salt to food processor mixture.
Process again till thoroughly combined.

Using medium cookie scoop, scoop out mixture and roll out with greased hand (baking spray works), into 1/2 inch truffles.

Roll in shredded coconut.

Store in covered container in the refrigerator.
(I like eating these chilled.)

Makes approximately one dozen truffles.

Enjoy!

Turkeys

Cooking with Gammy

Sprinkle Apple Graham

A fun “grand” (grandchild) snack enjoyed a couple of years ago, was this Sprinkle Apple Graham.  This was an easy no-cook creation.

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Ingredients

Graham crackers

Apple

Smooth peanut butter

Sprinkles

 

Directions

Slice apples horizontally.

Using a small cookie cutter, cut out the center of the apples slice.

Spread peanut butter over a square section of graham cracker.

Place apple slice on top of graham cracker.

Carefully place sprinkles in the cut-out center.

Enjoy!

Annette’s Note-I am guessing that the peanut butter in this snack could easily be replaced with frosting, cream cheese, a thick caramel sauce, or marshmallow fluff.

Nutter Butter Turkeys

Another no-bake snack from 2018, and enjoyed by the grands, were these cute Nutter Butter Turkeys.  The original idea came from here.

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Ingredients

 

Nutter Butter cookies

 

 Golden Oreos, or another vanilla sandwich cookie

 

White frosting

 

m & m’s

 

Candy corn

 

Directions

Open up a sandwich cookie.  
Use the half of cookie that has the filling on it to place 4 candy corn on for feathers.
 Use extra white frosting, if necessary, to hold together.

Using frosting as “glue”, place m&m’s for eyes and a candy corn for a beak, using photo above as a guide.
Use frosting to attach feather portion to back of Nutter Butter.

Enjoy!

Made Me Smile :o)
Sharing things that put a smile on my face, recently. 

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The bicycle stand at the public library. :o)

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Deer sighting on a foggy morning.

 
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Autumn colors

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My daughter’s cute kitty relaxes. :o)

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A “blast from the past” photo that I recently unearthed of my eldest (son) and me.  :o)
1986?

Check out My earlier Tater Tot Related Posts 

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Minnesota nice=A Very Nice Family Reunion, July 2018, here.

Happily Eating My Way Through the Minnesota State Fair, September 2017, here.

Hot, Hot, Hot! (Minnesota Hot Dish that is!), September 2019, here

May your days be blessed, and your taste buds happy!

Thank you for reading,  and 
Happy Thanksgiving!

 

I’m Annette Stuff

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Next Blog Posting

Look for my next post on, January 14, 2020, if not before. :o)

Follow My Instagram

Check out my Instagram page at imannettedotnet.

Get I’m Annette Straight to Your Inbox!

Be an I’m Annette follower!  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s absolutely free!!!!
Receive my blog via email, FREE, (yes, I said FREE), immediately upon each posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

A Special Note about Photos to I’m Annette Followers!

If you are receiving this blog via email, and if some of the photos do not come through clearly, please click on imannette.net, or click here to refresh the post.

 Please, Leave a Kind Comment!

Thank you blog readers!  I LOVE hearing your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section at the bottom of the blog post.

Check Out Seven Years of Past Blog Posts!

To enjoy any, or all, of my past blog posts and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net, selecting the posts that you desire to see in the Recent Posts,
or you can “search” a topic in the Archives section, in the upper right-hand side.
I have been blogging since 2013, so there are plenty of posts to choose from!

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Tater Tots done right in Minnesota!  :o)
Read this July 2018 post on my family’s reunion, here.

 

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Christmas Movies in November?!

November 14, 2020

Christmas Movies in November ?!

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Enjoying a beautiful autumn day in November.

 

Which Christmas Movie “Camp” describes you?

A. I never watch Christmas movies before Thanksgiving dinner has been
gobbled” up. (Yes, that was my lame attempt at a pun.) 
OR
B.  As soon as the last strains of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown have played out on Halloween night, I have those Christmas flicks playing on my TV.

If you have followed my blog over the past seven years, you know that I have rigidly adhered to the “creed” of  Camp A, never allowing a Christmas film to play on my TV until Thanksgiving night.  That is, until this year!
My dear readers, 2020 has changed my outlook on the Christmas movie viewing debate!!!
I need some Christmas movies in my life, and NOW! 
In fact, as I type this, I have my White Christmas dvd playing in the background. :o)

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A blog photo from December 2013.
See this Christmas movie-related post, Counting the Days till Christmas, here

If you, too, wish to begin your Christmas movie viewing a bit earlier this year, check out the following blog posts for some fun holiday movie suggestions.

It’s Christmas Time! Enjoy These Often-Missed Yuletide Movies,
December 2017, here.

Christmas in Black and White, December 2014, here.

 

Thanksgiving Meal Favorites

 

It has pleased God in some comfortable measure to bless us
with the fruits of the earth.

Plymouth Colony
Records 1668

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It is tradition for this pair of pilgrims to grace my table each Thanksgiving season. :o)
Photo from my November 2017 blog post.
You can view this blog post, here.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us.  I generally serve a similar menu each year.  Below are the recipes for two of my family’s favorite sides.  
To see my complete Thanksgiving menu, go here.

Green Bean Casserole 

 Green Bean Casserole is a staple of many a Thanksgiving dinner each year, and mine is no exception. It has become tradition to use my commemorative Green Bean Casserole dish from 2005 (put out by Campbell’s soup) to prepare this dish.
Although, the recipe is printed on the inside of this dish, my recipe varies just a bit from the original.  You can find my recipe below.

To read about the history of the Green Bean Casserole, go here.

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This Green Bean Casserole dish comes out at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Classic Green Bean Casserole

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cans (10 ¾ can) Cream of Mushroom Soup)

½ cup milk

scant 1 teaspoon soy sauce-optional

Dash of pepper

4 cups cooked green beans (I use frozen green beans.) 

1 (2.8 ounce) can French fried onion rings

PAM cooking spray

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

In small casserole, spray with PAM.

Combine soup, milk, soy sauce, and pepper.

Stir in green beans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees, until hot.

Top with can of onions, and bake 5 more minutes.

Makes 6-8 servings

Note-If preparing this the day ahead, do not put the onions on top until the next day (during the final 5 minutes of baking), and place in the refrigerator.  Due to being cold from being in the refrigerator, this might require additional baking time.

Sweet Potato Pie

This Sweet Potato Pie (It is actually made with yams.) is another tasty side dish that my family enjoys each year.  In fact, for a couple family members, this dish is their favorite item on the Thanksgiving menu!  The recipe is below.

Sweet Potato Pie

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INGREDIENTS:

3 cups/ 1 large can of Yams in light syrup, drained

½ cup white sugar

½ cup butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup milk

Topping:

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup light brown sugar

½ cup flour

1 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mash yams.Mix in next five ingredients: sugar, melted butter, beaten eggs, vanilla, and milk.

Put in greased 13 x 9 casserole.

Mix together topping ingredients of butter, brown sugar, flour, and pecans.

Sprinkle evenly on top of sweet potato mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Serves 8-12

Note-This can be prepared and baked the day before.  Reheat on Thanksgiving Day in the oven until hot.

To view my complete Thanksgiving menu, go here.

Cooking with Gammy

Turkey “Bellybuttons”

My grandchildren enjoyed making AND eating these turkey “bellybuttons” that we made in honor of Thanksgiving.  They are simple to make and yummy to eat.

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Find the “bellybutton” recipe, here.

Cookie Turkeys

These turkey cookies were a favorite of my four kiddos, and now I enjoy making them with my grandchildren!

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  I used Lindt Lindor chocolate and white chocolte truffles for the body when making these recently. 
The recipe for these turkeys is, here.

Donut Mayflowers

I love the simplicity of these Donut Mayflowers, and besides, they taste good!  I/Gammy forgot to buy the fruit roll-ups/fruit by the foot for the flags, so we improvised by using construction paper.

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For a photo of Donut Mayflowers with edible flags and instructions on how to make them, go here.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was a rainy day.  The grands (grandchildren) were disappointed that they could not go outside and play, so…when all else fails, bake chocolate chip cookies!  :o). We had a lot of baking fun!

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Find the recipe for these, my favorite chocolate chip cookies, here.

 

Made Me Smile :o)
Sharing things that put a smile on my face. 

On My Walks 

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This cute pilgrim turkey decorates a neighbor’s front yard.

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Even more turkeys grace this front yard.
(You could say that there are a few turkeys in my neighborhood.  :o))

 

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Vivid blue skies are dotted with cotton candy clouds.  

 
 
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 A picturesque view of the countryside is a feast for the eyes.

 

Enjoy These Previous Thanksgiving/November posts.

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My newest Thanksgiving decoration that I picked up last year.  :o)
Photo taken November 2020

Annette’s Thanksgiving, 2013, here.
(My favorite Thanksgiving-related movies and tv shows.)

Let’s Talk Turkey, November 2019, here.
(My annual Thanksgiving menu)

Pumpkin Pie from Scratch, You Say?!, 2016, here.
(My Thanksgiving Day menu, and the recipe for Pumpkin Pie)

Happy Thanksgiving, 2014, here.
(My recipes for Thanksgiving Day breakfast.)

Cookbook love and Loving that Thanksgiving Dressing!, 2017, here.
(Recipe for Thanksgiving Dressing/stuffing, and another photo of
Mayflowerdonuts. )

Autumn is the Mellow Time of Year?!, 2014, here.
(Recipe for yummy Thanksgiving “Trash”)

Is Thanksgiving Over Already?!, 2015, here.
(Recipe for Fresh Candied Cranberries

Autumn, the Comfy Cozy Time of Year2017, here.
(Recipe for Crockpot Turkey Breast)

A Fun, Day After Thanksgiving, Visit to the National Air and Space Museum, 2016, here.
(Recipe for Turkey Casserole)

Free Thanksgiving Printable, 2013, here.
(“As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.” from WKRP in Cincinnati
)

 

May your days be blessed, and your taste buds happy!

Thank you for reading, and
Happy Thanksgiving!

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I’m Annette Stuff

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Look for my next post on, or around,
December 17, 2020.

Follow My Instagram

Check out my Instagram page at imannettedotnet.

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Get I’m Annette Straight to Your Inbox!

Be an I’m Annette follower!  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s absolutely free!!!!
Receive my blog via email, FREE, (yes, I said FREE), immediately upon each posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

A Special Note about Photos to I’m Annette Followers!

If you are receiving this blog via email, and if some of the photos do not come through clearly, please click on imannette.net, or click here to refresh the post.

 Please, Leave a Kind Comment!

Thank you blog readers!  I LOVE hearing your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section at the bottom of the blog post.

Check Out Past Blog Posts

To enjoy any, or all, of my past blog posts and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net, selecting the posts that you desire to see in the Recent Posts,
or you can “search” a topic in the Archives section, in the upper right-hand side.
I have been blogging since 2013, so there are plenty of posts to choose from!

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A blast, I mean turkey, from the past.  :o)
From November 7, 2014, a Thanksgiving blog post. 
 View it,here.




 

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Apple Cider Donuts, High School Memories, and Voting

November 1, 2020

Apple Cider Donuts, High School Memories, and Voting

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Anticipating the goodness that says fall; an apple cider donut

I know, I know…
What could apple cider donuts, high school memories, and voting possibly have in common?  Well…nothing, really, and there is no seamless way to weave these three diverse topics into one cohesive blog post.  With that being said, I just wanted to chat about all of these things with you today. So, it is a “Fruit basket upset” (Do you remember that game?) of topics that greet you ahead.  :o).

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Do you remember the child’s game “Fruit Basket Upset”?

Why not, take a couple of relaxing minutes out of your day, grab a cup of tea/coffee,
and read along with me?

Here we go…

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Grab a cup of tea/coffee, and read along with me.

Apple Cider Donuts

Nothing says autumn like the sweet bite of an apple cider donut! YUM!  And the best apple cider donut that I have ever eaten was found at an apple orchard in northeast Ohio.

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This is the jewel of Apple Cider Donuts.
October 2014

 I had hoped to share that recipe for these apple jewels with you here.
( I acquired the recipe from the orchard owner, a few years ago.) But, after attempting to make these donuts on three separate occasions, I can not recommend this recipe. All three of my donut attempts were subpar.

And, unfortunately, the apple cider donuts that I purchased the other day from my local grocer’s bakery, were equally disappointing. (That is the donut that I hold in the photo above.)

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My favorite apple cider donut sits next to an equally delicious apple cider slushie.
August 2011

 Maybe the secret to creating a delectable apple cider donut comes from the magic of being created on apple orchard premisses?  Oh well…

 

High School Memories

 Baked Alaska

Another recipe for which I had high hopes, but ended up in the
“I won’t be sharing this recipe with my readers.” category,
was for Baked Alaska.  I had volunteered to test out this opulent dessert for my
British penpal, Jenny’s, new, upcoming Murder She Wrote Cookbook.  

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Jenny is currently working on writing a Murder She Wrote Cookbook.
Jenny’s blog,  Silver Screen Suppers, is filled with movie star recipes!  
You can take a peek, here.

Let’s back up a minute.  I need to start from the beginning…  

You see, Baked Alaska and I have somewhat of a history.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… (to borrow from Star Wars),
I was in a high school home ec class.  For some reason our teacher thought it would be a good idea for a class of high school students to make Baked Alaska for one of our cooking projects.  

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For some reason our teacher thought it would be a good idea for a class of
high school students to make Baked Alaska!
(I am the cook on the far right, in that high school home ec class. 1973?)

If you are not familiar with Baked Alaska, it is essentially a sponge cake, layered with a dome of hard-frozen ice cream, and sealed with a coating of meringue.  This meringue-coated dome is then thrust into a hot oven, just long enough to cook and brown the meringue.  It is a recipe, a recipe for disaster!  

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Meringue in the making

Needless to say, my meringue that high school day must have not totally sealed in the ice cream.  When I checked my baked creation toasting in the oven, my Baked Alaska was more like an errant iceberg that had floated out into the ocean and melted.  My oven was filled with a massive mess of melted ice cream.  My teacher was not amused. 
But in my defense, did she really think that not one of her students would meet with such a disaster?! What could she have been thinking?! As I remember, it took me quite some time to rid the oven of every last remnant of my molten Baked Alaska mishap, but the memory lingers on.  :o)

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A recipe from that high school home ec class.

Thinking older, but wiser would prevail this time, I believed that this was an opportunity to redeem myself from that long ago Baked Alaska disaster, I told Penpal Jenny that I would attempt the Baked Alaska on her list.  It did not melt all over the place this time around (as evidenced by the photo below), but I do not believe that it was worth all of the work.  I think a slice of cake, ala mode, with a dollop of whipped cream, would have been better, and easier. So, I will not share this recipe, either.  

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My Baked Alaska attempt did not melt all over the place, this time around.


Miss Teen-ager Pageant 

Thinking back to high school, and ahead to next week’s Voting Day, the patriotic part of me is reminded of the time, in 1974, that my friend, Karla, and I entered our state’s Miss Teen-ager Pageant.  (Did you notice how I segued my way to this next topic, sort of?) 

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The program from my Miss Teen-ager Pageant.

All contestants were asked to write a short essay on the topic “What’s Right About America”.  With the help of our high school English teacher, Karla and I worked diligently to construct the perfect patriotic essay.

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My second place trophy for the essay contest.

It was a fun pageant week-end, and although neither of us won the state’s pageant, Karla and I did place first and second in the essay portion!  :o)

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Karla was the happy winner of the essay competition.

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I proudly hold my second place trophy for my essay.

Voting

A reminder to vote on Tuesday, if you have not already done so.  
I bought this inexpensive “VOTE” necklace to commemorate the occasion.  :o)
Michelle Obama wore a similar “VOTE” necklace, although much more upscale,
a few months back, and now knock-offs can be found everywhere (Think Amazon.)!

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My ( inexpensive knock-off) Michelle Obama “VOTE” necklace, 
purchased in honor of November 3rd, Voting Day.

For the next few days, I will be tuning into a few of my favorite “Voting Day movies”.
  Included on the list is Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). Why?, you ask.  Because it was on an election night in the 1970’s, that I first saw this film, thanks to PBS.  It has been a favorite of mine ever since!

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 I first saw Meet Me in St. Louis, thanks to PBS, on election night in the 1970’s.

Other films on the list include Kisses for My President (1964), The Farmer’s Daughter (1947),  Dave(1993) PG-13 and currently on HBOMax, and My Fellow American’s (1996) PG-13.  You can find more information about my Voting Day film suggestions, here.
Happy Voting Day!

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Remember to vote on Tuesday. 

Cooking with Gammy

Birds’ nests

Cardinals were th object of study on “bird day” with the “grands” (grandchildren) when we made these chocolate birds’ nests.  This no-bake treat was a hit! (These are also sometimes called “Haystacks”.)

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Ingredients

 

1 (11 ounce) bag chocolate chips
(I use Ghirardelli 60%.)

1 (11 ounce) bag butterscotch chips

2-3 ounces Chinese/chow mein noodles

Regular m & m’s

Directions

Prepare a large cookie sheet by covering with wax paper.

Melt chips slowly in microwave, about 30-45 seconds at a time.

Stir in Chinese noodles.

Using a cookie scoop, or spoon, drop blob onto wax paper,
shaping into bird nest shape by hollowing out center.

Place m & m’s onto “nest” for eggs.

Put in the refrigerator to set.
(I store these in the refrigerator.)

Princess Wands

These princess wands were a big hit to make and eat on this Gammy Day.
A big bonus is that this was a healthy treat, too!

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Jumbo shish kabob skewers

Star- shaped Watermelon
Cut out stars with cookie cutter

Green grapes

Strawberries

Blueberries

Directions

Place cleaned fruit carefully onto Shish kabob skewers.

Princess Pretzels

Also popular with the grandchild crowd, were these princess pretzels.  :o)

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Ingredients

White baking chips, or almond bark

Small pretzels

Pink sprinkles

Directions

Place wax paper onto baking sheet.

Melt white baking chips, or almond bark slowly in microwave.

Dip pretzels in melted white chocolate.

Place on wax papered baking sheet.

Lightly coat with pink sprinkles.

Place in refrigerator to set.

      Caramel Corn

Caramel corn and autumn seem to go hand -in -hand.  
I have been using this recipe for years,
including when I used to teach a preschool parent and child cooking class.  
This recipe never disappoints, and my grandchildren agree. :o)

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Recipe

For this caramel corn recipe go to my previous post, here.

 

Made Me Smile :o)
Sharing things that put a smile on my face. :o)

Enjoying Autumn Walks

An array of colorful trees great me on my daily walks, plus a few other surprises along the way.

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Golden leaf-filled trees line the street behind me.

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Red leaves frame this tranquil autumn view.

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This street is lined in orange and gold.

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I spotted these cute painted rocks while walking, too.
According to a Martha Stewart article, painted rocks like these,
are “a nationwide scavenger hunt meant to promote positivity and kindness. …”
Read the article about them, here.

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This Halloween lawn display made me giggle.
It reminded me of the tombstones displayed at 
Walt Disney World‘s Haunted Mansion.
To see a photo of the Haunted Mansion, go here.

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A neighbor is happily getting their Covid Candy Chute ready for Halloween night.

Out and About

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This masked jack o-lantern was hanging out to remind everyone to wear their masks.

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A new cereal on the grocery shelves!
Guessing it might not be that great for your dental work. haha

 

Previous Related Posts 

Movies to Vote By

Movies to Vote By, November 2016, here.
Need a few fun movie flicks to get you through election night? 
Or how about a presidential endorsed cookie recipe?  
This blog post is for you!

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Time to Make Some Caramel Corn!

Time to Make Some Caramel Corn! , October 2015, here.
My tried and true caramel corn recipe is here! 
This is the same recipe that we used (above) in the “Cooking with Gammy” section. :o)
Warning
, once you start munching on this yumminess, it is difficult to stop!  :o)

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Dracula!

Dracula!, October 2015, here.
It was fun seeing the original Dracula for the first time, and on the big screen,
and it provided a good excuse to gobble up some popcorn! :o)

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Autumn is the Mellow Time of Year

Autumn is the Mellow Time of Year, November 2014, here.
A scenic photo montage of scenes from my 2014 autumn.

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O-H-I-O

O-H-I-O, February 2016, here.
Northeast Ohio, including the recipe for The Lodge at Geneva’s delicious
Breakfast Pinched Redskin Potatoes

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Swapping Recipes Across the Big Pond

Swapping Recipes Across the Big PondMay 2020, here.
Testing out some recipes for my cookbook writing, blogging, fun penpal from England.

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May your days be blessed, and your taste buds happy!
Thank you for reading!

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I’m Annette Stuff

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Look for my next post on, or around,
December 10, 2020.

Follow My Instagram

Check out my Instagram page at imannettedotnet.

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Get I’m Annette Straight to Your Inbox!

Be an I’m Annette follower!  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s absolutely free!!!!
Receive my blog via email, FREE, (yes, I said FREE), immediately upon each posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

A Special Note about Photos to I’m Annette Followers!

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 Please, Leave a Kind Comment!

Thank you blog readers!  I LOVE hearing your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section at the bottom of the blog post.

Check Out Past Blog Posts

To enjoy any, or all, of my past blog posts and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net, selecting the posts that you desire to see in the Recent Posts,
or you can “search” a topic in the Archives section, in the upper right-hand side.
I have been blogging since 2013, so there are plenty of posts to choose from!

IMG_5116This pair of scarecrows remind neighbors to “Wear your mask!”
when around others in public.  :O)

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Happy October!

October 8, 2020

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                                                             Enjoying an autumn walk.
(Okay, so to be honest, I actually took this selfie in late September.  :o))
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Happy October!

I bring you today’s blog post from the vantage point of my back deck, soaking up the splendor of this glorious autumn afternoon. I love fall, don’t you?  Why not pour yourself
a cup of tea/coffee (I love me some Barry’s Irish tea!), find yourself a cozy spot, and spend the next few minutes “chatting” with me about some of the fun stuff that makes autumn so awesome? 

From my back deck, I enjoy the glorious autumn afternoon.
My special It’s a Small World Cup is filled with my favorite
Barry’s Irish Tea. 😮

Spiderweb Brownies!!!!

I know, I know….if you regularly read my blog, you know that I have been in brownie mode, (…not ala mode, hee hee) as of late.  Having tried Oprah’s favorite brownie in my last post, and Katharine Hepburn’s brownie recipe in the post before that, I came to the conclusion that I still prefer the Ghirardelli mix variety (shown below).

I am a fan of brownies made from this Ghirardelli mix .

 But I had one more brownie recipe in my culinary bag of tricks. I just had to give this recipe a try for Halloween; that being the Spiderweb Brownie. (I found this recipe on Pinterest.  You can see the original recipe, here.) Let me tell you, this brownie is a good one, with, or without the cream cheese topping! This recipe is a keeper!

This recipe is a keeper!

 I felt a bit of a failure, though, in my presentation. Nailed it?  NOT!  My brownie’s cream cheese topping resembled a toxic spill more than a spiderweb, but fortunately that did not affect how deliciously rich and chocolatey it tasted.

A spiderweb?  Not so much. :o)

Most of the ingredients for the recipe are items that I usually have around, which makes this recipe a dangerous temptation when the craving for chocolate hits.  :o)

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The batter is quite thick.

The Recipe

Spiderweb Brownies 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup  flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup ( 1 1/2 sticks) (salted) butter

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
(I used Ghirardelli )

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
(I used the light variety)

1/4 cup  sugar

2 tablespoons milk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Grease an 8″ round cake pan.
Spread a little sugar on the bottom of the pan.

Melt 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter.
Allow to cool, setting aside.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together
1 1/2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup cocoa powder,
and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
Mix well.

Whisk in 3 eggs into the cooled melted butter until well blended.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir, by hand,
just until combined.
The batter will be thick.

Gently fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Spread batter into the prepared pan.
Set aside.

Prepare the cream cheese mixture-
combine 3 ounces of softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar and
2 tablespoons milk in a mixing bowl.
Using the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese mixture until smooth and soft. (I used my hand blender with whisk attachment.)

Cut a small hole into the bottom corner of a quart sized plastic baggie, or use a decorator bag., and  scoop the cream cheese mixture into the bag. I used a small piping tip, but the hole in the corner of the bag should work well too. Pipe thin circles from the middle to the outside of the brownie batter.

Next, pipe thin lines from the middle of the pan out to the edge and across the circles, gently dragging the tip of the bag through the cream cheese circles as you go. Make these lines all the way around the pan.

Bake at 325°F for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out with dry crumbs on it.
Remove from the oven and let cool in pan for about 30 minutes.
Before removing from the pan, run a butter knife around the edge, gently lifting as you go to loosen from the bottom of the pan as well.
Gently turn out onto a parchment lined surface and invert onto a cooling rack so the spiderweb is facing up.
Allow to cool completely.
Enjoy!

Cooking with Gammy

Acorns (or D0ugh NUTS)

When “studying” squirrels on Gammy Day, these cute little “acorns” were the perfect accompanying snack to create!

Ingredients

Donut holes
(I used Entenmann’s Glazed Donut Pop’ems.)

Chocolate frosting
(I used Duncan Hines dark chocolate in the plastic tub.)

Mini chocolate chips

Stick pretzels-broken into thirds

Directions

Dip the top of the donut hole in chocolate frosting, or frost with a knife.

Dip/roll frosted end into the mini chocolate chips to coat.

Push in the 1/3 pretzel stick into the middle of the chocolate chip end, for a stem.

                                            2-3 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins were another of my grandchildren’s kid-approved recipes.
(A friend of mine had suggested these, an old Weight Watcher recipe.)
Upon discussing these with my four grand girls, they excitedly shared that they had
recently enjoyed pumpkin muffins with chocolate chips from a local bakery.
So…this 2-ingredient recipe, became the 3-ingredient recipe that you see below.  :o)

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Ingredients

1 Spice cake mix (about 15-18 ounces), any brand

1 small (15 ounce) can pumpkin

1/2-1 cup, or more, chocolate chips (optional)
( I use Ghirardelli dark chocolate)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a mini muffin pan with mini cupcake liners.
Spray with cooking spray.

Mix together the cake mix and the pumpkin with a spoon.
Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.
(We also placed one chocolate chip on top of each muffin prior to baking.)

Bake about 8 minutes, until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Place muffins on wire rack to cool.

Owl Cookie Faces

The “study” of owls with my preschool granddaughters was made complete with the addition of these cute little owl faces that they created.  :o)

3 Chips Ahoy! cookies 
4 Oreo cookies
Canned frosting (I used Duncan Hines)
2 m&m’s
1 candy corn

Directions

Place 3 Chip Ahoy! cookies on a plate with two on top and one underneath,
placing the cookies top-down. (Refer to photos above.)
(Allowing the smooth flat part of the cookie, face up, for frosting.)

Frost all three cookies on the smooth flat side.

Twist apart two Oreos.  Using the half of the cookie with the cream, place
the Oreos onto two the frosted Chip Ahoy! cookies.
(Eat the remaining half of the Oreos. :o))

Place one m&m/eye in the center of the cream of each Oreo.

Place the candy corn/beak, point down, in the center of the bottom frosted cookie.

Made Me Smile :o)
Sharing things that put a smile on my face. :o)

Autumn Colors

My friend, Caralee, snapped this beautiful fall photo in her native Minnesota.
Thank you, Caralee, for allowing me to share it!

Happy Mail 

I received this nice surprise, in the form of this cute Murder She Wrote postcard, in the mail this week, from my British “pen pal”. :o). Jenny is currently working on a cookbook based on the classic TV show, Murder She Wrote.
You can read about the talented Ms. Jenny here and here.

In My Neighborhood

What fun it is to see my neighborhood all decked out for Halloween! :o)
In keeping with the Halloween theme, there are even some very old and very real tombstones. 

Frankenstein guards my neighbor’s front door.

A nod to Disney’s A Nightmare Before Christmas graces this neighbor’s lawn.

A mummy keeps watch over the neighborhood from this window.

Six very old tombstones go mostly unnoticed in my neighborhood.

                      I have been known to wave at “Ruth” as I pass by on my daily walk.  :o)

Mickey Mouse Jack-o-Lanterns
I love pulling out my Mickey Mouse jack-o-lantern trio each October!
They really do make me smile!  :o)

Related Posts
Halloween/October and Brownie Recipes from Previous Posts

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Halloween, Not-too Scary, Movie Watching FunOctober 2019, here.

Trick or Treat!, October 2018, here.

October!, October 2018, here.

Autumn in October: Young Frankenstein, a Not-So-Scary Halloween, and Pumpkin Cake…, October 2016, here.

A Halloween Movie/TV Show, October 2016, here.

Dracula!, October 2015, here.

Time to Make Some Carmel Corn!, October 2015, here.

Happy-Not-So-Very-Scary-Halloween, October 2013, here.

Fat Witch Brownies

Fat Witch Brownies, September 2020, here.
The recipe for Oprah’s pick for her favorite brownie is here, courtesy of this brownie-filled New York bakery.

Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies

Katharine Hepburn’s (Movie Star)BrowniesAugust 2020, here.
A recipe from the star herself.  These brownies are chocolate deliciousness.

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Cape Cod Brownies

Lobsters and Clam Chowder and Birthday Cakes, Oh My!, May 2019, here.
This recipe is similar to the Katharine Hepburn recipe (above),
except Hepburn’s uses unsalted butter and 1/2 cup cocoa,
instead of the regular butter and 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate
that are called for in this Cape Cod variety.

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Brownie Hearts

Love and Chocolate, February 2018, here.
A heart-shaped cookie cutter help turn these brownies into a tasty Valentine treat.

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Ghirardelli Brownies with Aunt Liz’s Glossy Chocolate Frosting

Chicken and Dumplings & Ma and Pa Kettle, September 2014, here.This post includes my aunt’s recipe for the perfect brownie frosting.

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May your days be blessed, and your taste buds happy!
Thank you for reading!

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I’m Annette Stuff

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Look for my next post on, or around,
November 2, 2020.

Follow My Instagram

Check out my Instagram page at imannettedotnet.

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Get I’m Annette in you Inbox!

Be an I’m Annette follower!  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s absolutely free!!!!
Receive my blog via email, FREE, (yes, I said FREE), immediately upon each posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

A Special Note to I’m Annette Followers!

If you are receiving this blog via email, and if some of the photos do not come through clearly, please click on imannette.net, or click here to refresh the post.

 Please, Leave a Kind Comment!

Thank you blog readers!  I LOVE hearing your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section at the bottom of the blog post.

Check Out Past Blog Posts

To enjoy any, or all, of my past blog posts and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net, selecting the posts that you desire to see in the Recent Posts,
or you can “search” a topic in the Archives sections, in the upper right-hand side.
I have been blogging since 2013, so there are plenty of posts to choose from!

I giggled when I stumbled upon this nod to Star Trek on a recent walk.  :O)

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