Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Swedish Pancakes and Things

After viewing a bunch of pictures that I could find to post here, I discovered that they were all VERY old, which leads me to believe that sweet hubby hasn't been loading them from our camera and cell phone onto the computer, or else they are in a new place that I can't find. I truly do need to have him help me, so I should probably post on a different night than Tuesday because he has to go to a long church meeting. He goes over there around 6:00 p.m and doesn't get home until after 10:00 p.m. You might ask me what kind of a meeting takes almost four hours, but let me tell you, I don't think it is all meeting. Our Bishopric is made up of five terrific people, including our ward clerk (Dick) and the Executive Secretary. They visit for quite a time and probably go into an actual meeting around 8:00 p.m. Oh well, I am so very happy that he enjoys being around these super neat people as much as he does. They also have a lot of people coming into the office as that is when the young people get together too for MIA. Yes, I think I will change my evening. I just thought it would be such a nice way to spend time to do this while he is gone, but until I can make heads and tails of this computer, I'd best have him handy to help me.

Having said that, I'll go on to tell you about my week. It has been busy busy busy. I like it that way as I do think I feel better, the more I move around. I have been baking almost every day, but today we made Carmel Corn, a double batch, I might add. I do like to pack some along with the other goodies that we make sure our five children get. I have some new cookie and bar recipe's I am going to try next week. Yesterday we baked 12 Danish tea rings. Dick is a master at doing these. All I do is make the dough and he takes over. This year he is also going to do some Krispies, round Fruit Danish and some Bear Claws, so we'll have a little more variety. I am so thrilled that our oldest grandson, Matt, will be coming over on Dec. 10 to learn how to make the Danish!! I think it is so great that he wants to learn. We have one granddaughter, Kristin (Sullivan's mom) who has had the hands on lesson from Dick in Salt Lake. So, between the two of them, we are hopeful than when we are gone, they will keep up the tradition. None of my daughters have had an interest in learning and you really can't just do it from a recipe. At least I wouldn't want to try it. It just seems too complicated. When he teaches them, he makes them do it all so they really do learn that way.

Oh enough about baking. I'll bet you are all bored to tears reading about baking so much.

I did my first and last bit of shopping today and it wasn't even for Christmas presents. It was for my oldest daughter's birthday. I have been looking for a flannel long sleeved granny nightgown for her for two or three years and have never been able to find one. We finally scored today when we went to our local mall. I hated walking all around, but Dick forgot my wheel chair so I had to and boy, did my feet and legs hurt before we were finally finished. I can tell you about what I got her because she never reads my blog. The only one in my family that reads it is Sue. I guess they are just not into blogging, or even reading them.

I seem to get requests for recipe's from my blogging friend, Tima, who lives in Africa. She teaches school there and has a young son, Ethan, who is a great little baker and chef. I'm sure he learns a lot from his mom. She expressed an interest in learning how to make my Swedish Pancakes. You might be interested in reading her blog. It is "Living in Lusaka." Okay Tima, this one's for you: (and anyone else who might be interested)

Darlene's Swedish Pancakes:

3 large eggs
3 cups milk
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour

Put milk and eggs in blender. Blend for a few seconds. Add sugar, salt and flour and blend until smooth. Put pan on stove. Heat at medium high until quite hot. Add a small amount of bacon grease (great flavor) or oil in pan and spread with pastry brush---you can also put oil or grease in small container and dip brush into it and spread on pan. Pour about a scant 1/4 cup of batter into pan. Lift pan off stove and turn all around until batter spreads evenly to cover pan. Put back on heat until quite brown. Use long narrow spatula to lift up side to see if it is ready. Put spatula full lenghth under the middle of the pancake and quickly flip it over. It will only need to cook a short time more, about 30 to 45 seconds. You can fold pancake in half with spatula and slide it off onto dish.

Serve with butter & Syrup, sour cream mixed with a bit of raspberry preserves, or the way my son likes it, with peanut butter and syrup. Lots of people like it with just butter and I have a daughter that eats hers plain. You can really use your imagination here.

Again, hope some of you try these. They are really simple and you needn't be afraid of them. I like to use a flat Swedish pancake pan or French crepe pan about 8 inches round. I do have a grandson who just uses a regular pan but it shouldn't be much larger than 8 inches or it will run all over the place. These pancakes area VERY VERY thin. The batter is very very thin too. In fact, sometimes I end up adding a tablespoon or so of milk towards the end if it seems to be getting thicker. This recipe makes enough for four to six people. If you have some left over, they freeze very well if you just spread them out to a full circle and put waxed paper between them. I have to tell you a funny story about these. My kids, when they were still at home, decided to have a contest to see who could eat the most Swedish pancakes. Nancy, my oldest, won...........she ate 13 !! I usually eat about 3.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our "Miracle Baby" and Other Stuff

This is our Sullivan. He will be two years old on Feb 20. We call him our miracle baby because we weren't even sure he would make it long enough to be born. He has "triad syndrome" which is a very rare problem. Only one in 40,000 babies have it. Most die in utero or are born dead. If they manage to come out alive, it is not at all certain whether they will ever be able to sit up or walk. This is because they have no stomach muscles. It was discovered that his bladder had twice as much fluid in it than it should have had and they had to go into the bladder and draw lots of fluid out while he was still in utero. He has been watched by a very interested and involved group of doctors in Salt Lake City, where his parents, Kristin and Craig Mills live. The "triad" comes from the three things that are involved, the bladder, uterers, and the kidneys. He has had an operation to properly connect the uterers. This little kid not only sits up and walks, but he runs. He is such a smart little kid too. He may have a tummy tuck when he gets a bit older to pull in his tummy and give his organs a little more support and he also may have to have a kidney transplant at some later date, but right now, this kid is doing well. I won't go into a lot more detail, in fact it is far too complicated for me to totally understand, but all I can say is that this is one special little boy and both Dick and I are totally besotted with him. This picture is one of the recent ones we have. I keep begging for pics and videos to be sent to me and thankfully Kristin sends quite a few. I can hardly wait until Christmas when we will get to see him again. Whenever I get a chance, I will drive to see him if he is anywhere within driving range of our place. He does get to come and visit his Grandma (my third daughter, Nikki) who lives two and a half to three hours from here and whenever he does, you can be sure we will appear on the scene to see him, even if just for the day. I just had to post this one picture(with the help of Dick, who had to leave for his regular Tuesday night meeting). I just wish I knew how to post videos on here. Some day I may learn, but probalbly not without a lot of help.

Of course I could go on and on about this incredible child, but I have a few other things I want to share with you this week. It has been another busy one. I'm still baking cookies and I have a pretty good start on all the Christmas ones. In fact, Dick tells me that the freezer is almost full so I am not quite sure what I am going to do. We still have lots of Danish tea rings to do too. It's a good thing that I love to bake. My family keeps telling me that I don't have to do this every year. But as long as I am able, I will keep on .

I have promised to post my recipe for Ginger cookies. They are quite good, so here it is:

Darlene's Gingersnaps

1 & 1/2 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 cups flour
3 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup molasses
1 & 1/2 tablespoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Beat shortening and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, beat until fluffy. Add molasses, then flour,soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger, sifted together. Chill for about 15 minutes in refrigerator. Spoon onto cookie sheets or roll into balls and coat with sugar. I usually make mine quite large, a rounded tablespoon. Just make sure that you sprinkle sugar on the top if you don't roll them in it. They are so much better that way. Bake at 375 degrees 12 to 15 minutes.

You can always start with a half batch if you just want to try them out. As usual, I would love to know if any of you try them, and how you liked them if you did.

It was a busy busy week, I can tell you and today was no different. We went out to brunch with some friends and afterward, Dick and I went to a movie!! Yes, the first one we have seen in over a year. Our friends had recommended it to us and I must say, it really was a good one. "The Help". It really did make one think about what those people had to go through, living in the south, working for the white people who thought they were so much better than the black ones.

When we got home, I crashed and went to sleep in my chair right after eating Chinese food that Dick brought in. I will be at it again tomorrow though, yes, making more cookies. 'Til next week..............

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Recipe From The Cookie Lady

Tima, you are definitely going to get a great cookie recipe on my blog this week! Since that seems to be almost all I have done over the past week is make cookies, that is what I am blogging about.

I love to bake. That is not a surprise to any of you, I know. The thing is, I'm not so crazy about having to do all the clean up, but unfortunately, that just comes with the territory, so I don't complain about it too much. I have a pretty good routine that works for me as I usually do about seven of the large (12 by 17 inch) cookie sheets. I tear off strips of non stick Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil and line the sheets with it. (That way I don't have to grease the pans). We have a working table in our kitchen and I get Dick on one side of it and I on the other and we spoon the batter by tablespoons full onto the baking sheets, five one way and three the other so that we have fifteen cookies per sheet. I bake the cookies according to directions two sheets at a time. One sheet on the lower level rack the other on the rack above it, which I keep on the third level from the bottom. My oven has five levels that I can place my racks on. The baking time is so much less for the batch when you do two at a time. After all the cookies are baked and cooled on racks (I leave them in the cookie sheets until they are cooled) I stack them on my table and when they are totally cold, I put put them in the freezer in containers that have tight fitting lids or tops. (I use lots of plastic containers) Now for the cleanup. I take the foil liners and clean them off one at a time with a paper towel. If you put the foil close to the sink, the crumbs will fall into the sink and the little bit that sticks to the foil will come right off with a little bit of pressure as you guide the paper towel toward the sink. I then take a clean dish cloth and rinse it in water and get it as dry as I can, and wipe off the cookie sheets. (Very little comes off, really) . I then stack the cookie sheets on the counter top and place the cleaned foil sheets in a stack on top of the cookie sheets and voila! they are ready for a new baking day, which usually is the next morning. This really works for me and it avoids having to grease the pans and then having to clean the icky sticky cookie sheets.

So now, I have to tell you about the new recipe I tried today. With so many recipes, I put my own touch on them by adding things other than the recipe calls for. My family is not fond of raisins in the cookies, so I usually substitute. Most of them don't like nuts in them either, but Dick and I are very fond of nuts in just about everything. We eat nuts every day, actually. You can add raisins or anything else you might want in these cookies.

So here it is sports fans:

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup margarine
1 cup peanut butter (don't use an off brand. Creamy or nutty can by used)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 cups pecans chopped
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Cream margarine, peanut butter and sugars together until creamy, add eggs and beat again until light and fluffy. Then add the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, soda, salt until well blended. Then add pecans and milk chocolate chips. Stir until well blended and put in refrigerator for thirty minutes to chill. Drop chilled dough by tablespoons onto baking sheets. Bake @ 350 degrees 13 to 14 minutes or until golden.

I do hope that some of you will try this and if you do, please let me know how you liked them.

I might mention that the recipe called for putting all the dry ingredients into a bowl and to stir it well to mix before adding it to the creamed mixture. I actually measured my dry ingredients into my large flour sifter and sifted it into the batter. This way the soda and baking powder get mixed evenly. You can choose to do it either way or if you have your own way of adding dry ingredients, disregard the two suggestions.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Bright New Day

First of all I have to say, I'm totally well from my fall and feeling energetic and ready to start baking for the holidays. I have to give another big thanks to Jill (Grandma Honey) for being interested enough as to why they wouldn't wrap my ribs, to look up the answer on the internet. In 1990 they did a research on wrapping and found out that it did absolutely no good and could even do harm. Also, they recommended that patients with rib problems do deep breathing. I had been avoiding this as it really did hurt. I started right away and within four days I could totally breathe deeply without pain. Each day I improved so much so that now I am back to normal, my normal at any rate. I just wish I could do something so simple to make me lose my back pain and make my legs stop hurting. Oh well, I have learned to live with these problems.

Dick turned on our large freezer Sunday evening and I am ready to go. If I don't start in November, I won't have enough cookies to fill the Christmas boxes. I hate to start thinking about Christmas before Thanksgiving, but as long as I am feeling well enough, I'm going to start tomorrow. I made one batch of peanut butter cookies (Dick's favorite) but I tried a new recipe (you know me, I love to try new ones) but I am not too crazy about them so am going to go back to the old originals. Everyone seems to love them best anyway, and they always turn out for me.

We are also going to get started soon on Dick's Danish pastry. That is a huge job, but fortunately for me, all I do is make the Danish dough and he does all the rest. Dick used to work for a baker and paid for his college education doing that. He used to make 80 pies a day, along with a lot of other things. It was always in his blood anyway as his dad was a baker and his grandfather was a baker. They both had their own bakeries and when his dad was in the Navy, he baked huge cakes for V.I.P.s. We have pictures of some of them and I wish now that I knew how to put them on this blog, but Dick doesn't even have those on the computer. He was never close to his dad as he left his mom for another woman and Dick hardly ever saw him all the time he was growing up, but his grandfather really took the place of his dad and Dick's love for him is enormous. He looks up to him as being the perfect roll model. I think he wanted to be close to him all the time, so he was around the bakery even as a small boy.

We are going to Heather and Matt's for Thanksgiving. Matt is Sue's oldest son, the one who has Sue's darling grandchildren, whose pictures appear often on Sue's blog. It was a wonderful surprise to find out that Sue and all of her family, except for daughter Karin and husband Bob, are going to be there too!! That will be so neat because that means that we will be spending both Thanksgiving and Christmas with the Andersons. This is definitely a first for us. There are going to be so many people there, over 20 as Heather is having all of her side of the family plus a couple of friends too, so it should be a merry place!!

I'd best get back to work. I am cleaning out our kitchen pantry. We donated a lot of canned goods as our ward is doing that this month. It will all go to a local food pantry for the homeless. It's a good cause and now that I have so much more space in my pantry, I can really make it look nice. Another reason I wish I could take pics and post them the same day. I am almost finished but took some time out to do my weekly post. Hope all of you had a good week and that the coming one will be a good one for all. My love to you...........

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Learning Patience

This past week has been a pretty slow one, I'm afraid, and for a person like me, who seems to be busy and on the go, it has been one of practicing patience. I'm afraid I have never been one to be patient and I do so admire those who are. When the doctor told me I would be very sore for a few weeks, he wasn't just kidding and I am wondering just what he meant by a few weeks. It has just been seventeen days since my fall, and it feels like seventeen weeks.

Actually, I have been a few places, such as doctors offices, lab, and last night we went to some good friends of ours. They live in a gated community. We had dinner and enjoyed watching their video of their Alaskan cruise. How beautiful that scenery was. They had some great shots of the glaciers and the big chunks that fell into the ocean, complete with the sound. They really had such a good time and their son surprised them by hosting the other two children, their spouses and their grandchildren for this remarkable trip. This was such a great anniversary present to them. It was so fun to see the surprise on their faces when ALL of their family showed up, not just to see them off but to go with them. We also watched Dancing with the Stars so we didn't get home until after ten.

I had to take my big pillow with me, which I partially sit on and wrap the rest of it around my ribs. I don't know why the doctors don't wrap the ribs tightly anymore. They used to do that and I am sure it would make me more comfortable.

It was a good thing that we did go over there, otherwise Dick would have been going to the door for trick or treaters every few minutes. We only have a couple of kids in our neighborhood and where all these kids come from, I have no idea unless they bus them in. They come in great big groups, sometimes ten or so and it is constant for a couple of hours. We have well over 100 each year. It is fun to see the little ones in their costumes, but we have a lot of teenagers, who I think are a little old for that.

I have been doing a lot of reading. It's a good think I like to do that. The phone seems to ring off the hook too and it is hard for me to talk. It's bad enough to have my partially paralized vocal chords to deal with, but the sore ribs make it hard for me to breathe deaply and I have to do that in order to have enough force on those chords to get more than a whisper out. I always sound like I have laryngitis anyway, my voice is so raspy, but it is hard to talk loud enough sometimes for people to hear me over the phone.

Such a boring post this is, but I just needed everyone to know that I do think of you so often and love reading your posts. I don't have many blogging friends, but the ones I do have are so very special. I really wouldn't want any more. I couldn't possibly feel close to them all the way I do to you guys.

Hopefully next week I'll have more interesting things to post about, although at the moment I can't imagine what it will be. I also wanted to post some pictures, but guess what? I have forgotten how and Dick is at his church meeting. Can you believe that? Oh well.............