Saturday, December 27, 2014


Today is the day after the day after Christmas.  Our Christmas was sweet and slow this year.  We slept in a little and had a nice breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls.  Our dinner was turkey with all the trimmings and Dutch apple pie with ice cream for dessert.  The day got even slower after eating all that food!  We have enjoyed our Christmas tree so much this year that we've decided to leave it up another week or so. 

The yummy Funfetti cookies were a real hit at our house and I'm sure with everyone who tried the recipe.  If you missed this 3-ingredient recipe shared by The Hidden Pantry blog, scroll down two posts and give it a try.  I've never baked cookies that had Cool Whip as an ingredient. 

I'm expecting the delivery of my Christmas gift (a Janome 12000) from my Hubby Jeff on Tuesday.  At least this is what UPS Tracking is indicating.  The last time UPS brought me a new sewing machine I was so excited I ran out the front door jumping up and down.  The poor driver thought I was going to tackle him.  That driver has since retired and I will make every effort to control myself Tuesday.  I don't want to scare him and have him drop my new machine.  What can I say ~~  when I'm happy I'm happy all over!

I hope your Christmas was everything you dreamed of and more.  As women I think we are relieved that the rush is over with and life can resume at a more normal pace. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend ~~~~  Barb

Thursday, December 25, 2014


From our hearts to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy 2015.  May your Christmas be blessed with Peace, Joy and Contentment.

                                 The Oaker Family

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Two more days to finish last minute baking, gift wrapping and shopping.  Do you leave cookies for Santa?  These sweet treats are so quick to make and cost almost nothing ~~~~

1 box Funfetti cake mix (use dry)
1 tub Cool Whip (defrosted)
1 egg
powdered sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl mix the dry cake mix with the Cool Whip and the egg.  I beat the egg a little with a fork so it would mix in better.  Mix thoroughly (I did mine by hand). 

Roll the dough into balls and roll around in powdered sugar to coat.  Place 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake
12-15 minutes and remove to a rack to cool. 

These cookies are soft and chewy.  Make sure you bake them long enough to get done.  I baked ours for 14 minutes. 

I borrowed this recipe from the Hidden Pantry blog.

Wishing you all a wonderful day.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


When I was a child I counted down the days to important days like Christmas, Halloween and birthdays by the number of sleeps until the day arrived.  We have just four more sleeps until Christmas, can you believe it!

This year we've had an exceptionally slow Christmas, mainly because I don't have the energy to put into doing more.  Our tree is simple and the other decorations are minimal.  I'm making only the treats Hubby can't possibly live without - namely things that contain chocolate.  I made a quick batch of peanut cluster candy today and it took just a few minutes:


1 package white (vanilla) Almond Bark
1 regular size package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
I jar dry roasted peanuts (Planters) 16 oz

Melt the Almond Bark in a large glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, followed by stirring and additional 15-second melting and stirring until the AB is melted and smooth.  Stir in the chocolate chips and cook as above until melted.  Stir well into the Almond Bark.  Stir in the peanuts and drop by Tablespoon onto waxed paper or parchment.  Let set until firm.  Pack in container with a layer of waxed paper in between layers of candy. 

Note:  This made about 45 clusters - enough for a few bags of goodies to give as gifts. 

Everyone is in the holiday rush as this is the last weekend before the holiday. 

We wish you a blessed weekend from our home to yours.

Monday, December 1, 2014


These are the quiet hours in our house.  Jeff is on his way to work in an ice storm and the Girls (Dottie & Olive) are tucked back in their nests for a quick nap after braving the elements.  Olive has a special spot atop one of our old family quilts that's on its last legs and Dottie has tucked herself away in a secluded spot where she can dream her doggie dreams.  The hand quilting on the quilt  below is spaced 1/4" apart.  It has been washed countless times and has frayed in all the right places.  It normally serves as a tree skirt, but this year I wanted to enjoy the beauty and texture of the stitching that came from my Greatgrammy's needle.   

Fortified with a cup of hot tea and the hum of our furnace keeping us warm, it's a morning to be savored.  A holiday candle is scenting the kitchen with the aroma of spices and baking goodies.  Who doesn't love the glow and scent of nice candles ~~~~

We put up our tree yesterday and decorated it  very simply with the angels and snowflake ornaments I make on the embroidery machine.  I have memories of embroidering angel components in July and August and tucking them away for completion after Thanksgiving.  A few special ornaments can make even a humble tree pretty.  I think there is something tranquil and pristine about all white.   I think of this as my "Broken Wing Collection" as a reminder that Christ invites us to come to Him just as we are ~~~ broken wings and all. 

On the menu today is a pot of homemade vegetable beef soup with hot bread for our dinner.  If I had ripe bananas on hand I would bake a batch of biscuits for the Girls, but that would require a trip out into the storm.  The Girls are happy to accept a bite of toast instead. 

Wishing you and yours a day to remember as you begin the new week.

                                     PEACE & PLENTY