Saturday, May 31, 2014

Earthquake Cookies - Ginger Snaps - Those Molasses Cookies

Just call me delicious!

Today is hubby's birthday, and instead of cake, he requested "those molasses cookies."
I call them ginger cookies or ginger snaps…and The Dallas Morning News back in 1999 called them "Earthquake Cookies" because of how they form cracks as they bake and cool.    A cookie by another name, still has molasses in it and is still yummy!

Earthquake Cookies…Ginger Snaps…Those Molasses Cookies

3/4 cup Crisco
1 cup sugar (I use not quite a full cup, as the cookies will be rolled in additional sugar)
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Extra sugar for rolling
Wilton Sprinkles White Sparkling Sugar

Cream Crisco and 1 cup sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add egg and molasses and beat well.    Combine remaining ingredients and add to bowl and mix well.  Chill at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375.  Shape dough into 1" balls and roll in granulated sugar.  (I like to combine the
larger white sparkling sugar with regular sugar for a pretty effect).  Place 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 7 minutes.  Remove to wire racks to cool.  Cookies will crisp as they cool.
Makes at least 5 dozen cookies.

Nutrition info:  63 calories, 3g fat (1g sat), 4mg chol, 54mg sodium, 9g carbs, 4mg calcium

Friday, May 30, 2014

Today's iPod Workout Song

Van Halen - "Why Can't This Be Love?" - 3:48

Great way to kick off the summer swimming season!
And with a new suit, too!  I love Reebok and, especially if you are tall, you will, too!
Reebok (Style #864555) really fits and flatters without looking "mumsie"...and holds up through the sun and water.   I can usually find them on sale or use a coupon at Macy's.
Update 6-1-14 -- Right now if you order online today, you can save an additional 15% off the sale price with the coupon code "SUPER"

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday Tea Time - Royal-tea

This week - Taylors of Harrogate Raspberry & Vanilla

Cost:   $9.99 at Central Market in Austin
Number of teabags:  20, individually wrapped
Caffeine:   No
Type of tea:   Herbal
Ingredients:   Hibiscus, sweet blackberry leaves, apple pieces, black current leaves, licorice root, poppy flowers, natural raspberry and vanilla flavor with other natural flavorings.
Steeping time:   3 minute
Add ins:   None really needed.  Maybe a little bit of sugar?
Fragrance:  Raspberry!
Opinion:   Taylors of Harrogate was founded in 1886 - By Appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales.  "A sweet infusion of natural fruits and flowers" I watched with delight as it steeped to this lovely hue!  As tempting as the name might lead you to think, due to the hibiscus, you can't add milk or cream for it will curdle.  It was delightfully raspberry fruity, not that tart as sometimes occurs when there is hibiscus.  I did add a little bit of honey, but it really didn't need it.  I can't wait to try it iced!
Rating:  4.75

Pretty Color!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Watercolor Wednesday - Peaches

Painted wet in very wet - I held the paper under a faucet and soaked both sides!  I was surprised how it clung so well to my painting board, no need for tape.
It was really a fun exercise watching and working with so much water, and watercolors with a definite mind of their own.  The first color layer was applied, and then additional layers were added or in some cases removed.  I also learned how to mix and use the opaque colors to bring out the vibrancy and bring back the shapes.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Netflix Stars - Mud

4 stars!  Hubby and I both watched and liked this.  It reminded us of an updated "Stand By Me"/ coming of age movie.  You can definitely see Matthew McConaughey is expanding his acting chops.  (and still hunky)  Sam Shepard and Reese Witherspoon were nice surprises, along with the ending.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Free Vera Bradley Summer 2014 Prints Wallpaper for your Tech Devices!

Fanfare - Summer 2014

Petal Paisley - Summer 2014
Flutterby - Summer 2014
Flower Shower - Summer 2014

Click here to download the new Vera Bradley Summer 2014 Wallpaper prints for your desktop, iPad and mobile devices.  Color your summer fun!

Friday, May 23, 2014

World Turtle Day

This is my watercolor turtle!

Be sure to visit the World Turtle Day (American Tortoise Rescue) website to learn more about tortoises and turtles, and ways to help save and protect them.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday Tea Time

This week - The Art of Tea Coconut Cacao Pu-erh

Cost:   $11 at the Oasis Juice Bar in Galveston, Texas
Number of teabags:  N/A it's loose tea. Probably enough for 30 cups
Caffeine:  Yes
Type of tea:  Pu-erh
Ingredients:  Organic Pu-erh Tea, Organic Cocoa Nibs, Organic Coconut Pieces, Natural Flavors
Steeping time:  3 minutes
Add ins:   Nothing!  It tastes great on its own.
Fragrance:  Chocolate with a hint of coconut
Opinion:  The Oasis Juice Bar carries an extensive selection of Art of Tea teas.  I especially like that I can take one for a test drive.  Though I must say, each one I have tried, I've bought.  I love coconut and I love chocolate and this tea combines both.  It is not overly sweet, but bonus you do not have to add any sweetener.  The coconut is more of an afternote and the chocolatey-ness doesn't overwhelm.   Just a nice energizing boost to the day.  I used a heaping teaspoonful in my Rishi tea filter bag, which expanded and gave plenty of flavor.  Not a tablespoonful as the website suggested.  Good grief!  That has to be a typo.  Pu-erh tea is post-fermented tea, it is aged longer.  However, all the more reason to find and use a newer "Best by" date.  Some studies are showing that pu-erh tea can help lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
Rating: 5
I really do need to get a more Spring-like glass mug to showcase the teas

Monday, May 19, 2014

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

May 18/24 and May 28/30 --
Vogue Patterns - $4.99

Memorial Day Sale - May 23/26 --
Simplicity Patterns - 5 for $5

May 28/30 --
McCall's Patterns - 5 for $7

June 5/7 -- 
Butterick Patterns - 5 for $7

Saturday, May 03, 2014

"April Showers Bring May Flowers"

Pink Hibiscus

Watercolor from a photograph of hibiscus growing next to a warehouse on Broadway Street in Galveston, Texas
- May 1, 2014

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Thursday Tea Time - Good Earth, Good Deal

This week - Good Earth Chai Tea Vanilla

Cost:   $2.99 at Randall's supermarket
Number of teabags:  18
Caffeine:  Yes
Type of tea:  Black
Ingredients:  Black tea, natural flavors, chicory root, cardamom, ginger root, nutmeg, black pepper, cloves, star anise and vanilla extract.
Steeping time:  5 minutes
Add ins:   Just a little splash of Natural Bliss
Fragrance:  Vanilla cinnamon
Opinion:  I so love chai tea but often associate and drink it during the cooler months.  I was surprised to like this "lighter" version right now.  The flavors are still chai-y, but the vanilla and cinnamon make this a very nice and refreshing blend, keeping the chai-ness but losing the heavy spice-ness.  The vanilla is light and not artificial.  I can see drinking this iced, too, even without sugar.   Or as a iced chai latte.
Rating: 3.75