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Cream Horns

Well, there was going to be a lot more to this post . .  . but since we’ve thawed from the last week’s  freeze, there have been a few additional problems – like very low water pressure and then we have no water today !!

 

So, I’m simply posting the recipe for the cream horns. These were prompted by the left over cream-filling  from the Chocolate Torte Cake and what to do with it ??  . . .   besides let David sit down with a spoon and eat until it is gone.  Don’t think so, in spite of it being ‘no-sugar added’.

 

I’ve always liked cream horns so thought why not make some at home. And, these are easily made using regular powdered sugar or ‘no-sugar added’ using Splenda®  powdered sugar.

 

Rather than make the dough from scratch – had a box of puff pastry in the freezer and it seemed the perfect horn material.

 

I used one packet of the dough to made 4 cream horns (used all the leftover fluff I had) – plus 4 fruit pockets.  Although you could make more cream horns if you have enough forms or make the horns to fill longer.  I only used one cut of the dough that was about 1″ in diameter for mine – but think using 2 sections of the cut pastry would make them better.  Bigger is always better when it comes to dessert, right?

 

Before forming the horns, let the dough defrost and cut so that the cut sections are about 1 inch in diameter.  Once defrosted, carefully unfold, remove paper that separates the layers.  You’re now ready to roll.

 

 

 

What you’ll need:

  • 4-6 Horn forms (made my own here by cutting a 1″ diameter dowel into lengths of approximately 6″)
  • Recipe of creamy-filling. Get recipe here.
  • 1 package of puff pastry
  • Baking pan lined with parchment paper
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven per pastry directions
  2. Wrap the dowels in aluminum foil and spray lightly with oil, set aside
  3. Take defrosted, cut pastry dough and wrap in a spiral down the dowel over-lapping a little then place on the baking sheet
  4. Bake until golden brown
  5. Remove from oven and cool (Note:  To remove the pastry horn from the form, take hold of it with a clean kitchen towel and give  a gentle twist to release it from the form before trying to pull the form out.)
  6. Fill with fluff
  7. Dust with powdered sugar if desired – and enjoy!

 

Flowers

 

One final thing – everything is so sad looking, i.e., frozen thought this video of a flower garden might brighten you day as it did mine.  (The video is on YouTube – so just click and enjoy.  If you don’t have a FB account, just click ‘NOT NOW’ )


 

Marigolds for Dog Hair?

To me it always seems that with each New Year comes a flurry advertisements on the television for exercise programs or equipment all claiming  to help you keep fit during the coming year.  In addition, I see a lot of  ‘new’  ways to use ‘old’ products. I no longer find the push to exercise useful as I seem to stay pretty fit working around the house – but sometimes I find the new uses for old products interesting,  if not helpful.  So, sharing a few articles I saw last week.

 

 

Have to say the first article caught my eye because it was how to use marigolds to pick up dog hair. And I thought that marigolds were only found in the garden to help keep bugs away!  Silly me, who’d have thought that marigolds are kitchen gloves .. .  in the UK !!

A couple of the tips listed I’ve read before, but thought  worth repeating.

 

  • Pick up hair w/marigolds (haven’t tried this but if it works would be great)
  • Aspirin in water to keep flowers fresh
  • Rub candles over postage label address to keep from smudging
  • Coffee filter to clean eye glasses
  • and more . . . . visit this link

 

 

Every time I read about using ‘soap’ for something other than washing, I always think of the movie Christmas Story and little Ralphie. For those that might not be familiar with that scene . . . Ralphie had said a bad word and his mother makes him hold a bar of soap in the mouth.  Other than this old punishment, there are other uses for the slippery bar . . .  here are a few.

  • Keep puppies from chewing on furniture (guess humans aren’t the only ones that don’t like the taste)
  • Smooth out a hand saw for easy sawing
  • Keep fingernails clean
  • and more . . . visit this link

 

Hope you find these useful. Would have had more but thanks to the very cold weather we’ve  had a couple of . . . shall I say issues.  Leaky commode, burst pipe on kitchen deck . . . in spite of wrapping – not to mention had to finish the office, i.e., laying tile,  weeding out the file cabinet of old papers, basic cleaning and just for fun – re-arranged the furniture.

Am just about there so hope to get back to normal next week – is there such a thing as ‘normal’  ?

One final thought on useful bits of information. I have a terrible time taking pills.  Any pill.  But, read this tip a long time back and it really works.  When taking capsules – take a  sip of water first; you want your mouth wet.  Then when taking the capsule tilt your head down, i.e., chin near chest.  If taking a hard pill, tilt your head back.   For those that have trouble taking pills, hope it works for you as well as it has for me.

 

Check back next time when I post how to make cream horns.  No-sugar added, of course.

Everyday Angel

When we think of angels we typically think of winged beings, emanating a heavenly glow, dressed in translucent, flowing gowns. However, what I like to refer to as  ‘my angel’ did not appear as such.  She was dressed in a white, button-up-the-front blouse, full, dark blue skirt with a belt, very plain shoes with her brown hair in a conventional hair style typical of the very late 1950’s.  Note from Jan – after re-reading this post, thought I’d say that this description is in no way meant to diminish ‘my angel’ but to rather say that one never knows who they might be encountering and that angels surely must take the form  most needed to fulfill their ‘duties’. 

 

These were the times when schools still had what we affectionately referred to as the ‘May-Fete’ . . . a fun, almost carnival type event held after school with booths of assorted foods and treats, grab bags, as well as tables full of  student,  handmade items for sale.  Needless to say, these occasions  were much anticipated.  And this year was no different.

 

After class had ended, like everyone else, I was ready to enjoy the festivities. But first I was going to meet my best friend so we could share the fun together.

While on my way to the meeting place, I happened to pass an open classroom with a sign on the door . . . must confess I don’t remember if it read ‘Palm Reading’ or ‘Fortune Telling’ – it has been so long – but having always had an interest in that type of thing, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have my palm read.  I expected to see two teachers but not so.  Inside were two ladies I did not know – some student’s mothers I thought – sitting in the little student chairs.  The lady on the right was telling one student’s fortune while the lady on the left was waiting.  I walked in, unsure as to where to go and was asked by the lady on the left to take a seat and give her my hand . . . which I did.

 

She gently took my hand in hers and smoothed out my fingers looking – as if with interest – at the small palm before her. She then began to speak.

 

“Oh, I see a lot here. You have lovely long fingers.  I see you typing.  Typing for an oil company.  But I also see that you are going to be sick.  You will be sick for a very long time.  But please don’t worry.  You will get well.”

 

On that note, I was told that was all she had to say so I left to find my friend. I just knew that she would want to have her fortune told as well.

 

When I arrived at the designated meeting spot, my friend was already there waiting for me. I excitedly told her about having my fortune read and that she should go and get her palm read as well.  So off we went.

 

The walk back to the classroom wasn’t far and as we turned the corner there was a teacher standing in front of one of the two doors leading into the classroom.   We rushed over but the classroom was dark and the doors locked.

 

“Where are the fortune tellers, ” I asked. “I was just here and got my fortune told,  and my friend wants to have her fortune told too.”

 

The teacher replied, “I’m sorry, but you must be mistaken. There’s no one telling fortunes here.”

 

As an adult looking back at this time, I have to wonder  . . . who would tell a child they are going to be sick?  Maybe someone giving hope?   I like to think this was ‘my angel’ preparing me for what was to come.

Did this really happen?  Absolutely.

And to answer the question you may ask . . .

 

Did I get sick? Yes.

Was I sick for a very long time? Yes.

Did I get better? Yes, even though the doctors never did find out what the problem was.  In fact, one doctor once told  me, “You’re what we call a brain teaser.”

Did I end up typing for a job? Yes.

Did I work for an oil company. In a way. I always worked for engineering companies who built refineries for major oil companies.

 

Think I can say it all came true.

 

As I’ve gone through life, based on this experience . . .   I always look at people and wonder . . . maybe they’re someone’s Everyday Angel.

 

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Prosperous New Year – see you in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas- Chocolate Cream Torte Recipe

In an effort to try and make new no-sugar’ added treats for David, I find myself re-inventing some desserts.  Such was the case with this cake.  Wanting something that looked a little more festive for Christmas, I’ve taken the Cake-in-the-Pan recipe, layered it with a yummy cream filling and topped that off with a delicious chocolate butter cream frosting . . . . added  cherries for a little color.

 

 

Best part you can make this whole recipe either with regular sugar / powdered sugar or you can make it 50% no-sugar added by replacing half the sugar with Splenda® and Splenda® powdered sugar.  I’ve made it both ways – but I guess we’ve become accustomed to Splenda® as we both liked the 50% no-sugar cake better.

So here we go, this is what you’ll need to make my cake or as I call it  . . .

Christmas Cream Torte

Cake

  • Mix 1/2 recipe of the Cake-in-the-Pan (Regular recipe or 50% no-sugar recipe using Splenda®)
  • Pour batter into a lipped cookie sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper.  Lightly spray paper with spray oil.  Note:  I used a 10″ x 14″, but a 9″ x 13″ will work just as well.
  • Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for approximately 11 -12 minutes. Watch it carefully, as it cooks fast.
  • Remove from oven and let cake completely cool

Cream Filling

  1. Let cream cheese come to room temperature
  2. Add powdered sugar and cool whip, beat with electric mixer until fluffy and well blended
  3. Set aside

 

Frosting

  • 3 TBSP melted butter (please no margarine !)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (regular or Splenda powdered sugar)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • Enough water to blend smoothly to consistency you want.  Note:  If you plan on icing the sides, you may want to make the frosting a little thicker.
  • Set aside

Cake Assembly

  • While the cooled cake is still resting on the pan, cut it into three (3) equal pieces. A serrated knife makes a cleaner cut.
  • Each piece will be about 4-3/4″ x 10″ in size. If the edges are hard, use a knife to trim off the edge.
  • On a cake plate or cake cardboard, place the first layer.
  • Place about half of the filling and spread evenly all the way to the edge. Place another layer of cake and more filling.  Note:  You may find you don’t want to use all the filling.  I saved a little to serve on the side with a slice of cake.
  • Place final layer on top.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let cake cool-set in the refrigerator for about one hour.
  • Spread the chocolate butter cream frosting on top of cooled cake. You can frost the sides if you like, I just let some of the frosting spill down the sides.

Optional: Place some maraschino cherries on top or use a paper doily and sprinkle powdered sugar over the top for a snowflake look.

Refrigerate and enjoy.

According to David this is his FAVORITE cake ever . . . no ice cream needed . . . every bite is delicious.  Might add he could sit down and eat the filling by itself he likes it so much.

Watch for my angel story next time.  Happy shopping !!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only in Texas . . . .

can you wear shorts and a tank top with the air conditioner running one day, and the next day be wearing winter clothes with the fireplace on.  Might add the day  after that we had sleet !!  and  south Texas had snow !!!

 

Having lived in Texas all my life I can say that snow is just about as rare as hens teeth in the places I’ve lived  –  especially in December.  Sleet and snow are more like January and February weather.  It is pretty though.

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Canola

 

Saw an article on canola the other day. You all know how I avoid it like the plague.  Now, in addition to the previously reported problems associated with it, seems  we can now add negative brain effect to the list.

 

In a published study, they report . . .

 

” A new study by researchers at Temple University found that mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease fed diets containing canola oil showed worsened memories and learning ability as well as weight gain.”

 

To read the entire article please visit this link .

 

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And if you are checking foods that have canola as an ingredient you can now add Ramen Noodle Soup to that list. Hate to say ‘good-bye’ to that one, we like it as a side dish with a sandwich in the winter.  Not to worry,  I’m switching to Lipton soup – no canola.

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Angels

I’ve always thought we each have a guardian angel. And think that mine must be working overtime with everything I’ve  been through.  So when I saw this article the other day, found it interesting in that it lists six things angels do for us.

 

  • Guard and protect
  • Communicate God’s message
  • Observe you
  • Encourage you
  • Deliver you
  • Care for us at death

 

I’m sure there must be more that they do but these six things certainly are a comfort. If you would like to read the article in its entirety, please visit this link.

 

Coming

I’m going to share what I like to think is  my personal angel encounter for my Christmas blog. And next week, please check back as I’m posting the recipe for my Christmas cake – the one I think David would eat all by himself in one sitting . . . if I’d let him.