Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Blessings 2015

Grandson is an alter server in church.

Granddaughters are in Choir at church.

The Blessing of Friendship with Neighbors

Playing our traditional game, now you have it now you don't with extra gifts we all bring on Christmas Day.

The full moon on Christmas

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Cookies

Night Before Christmas Mice

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.

3 cups of all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

Sm. bag almond slivers

10 feet of black licorice laces
6 ounces of semisweet chocolate melted and kept slightly warm.

Whisk flour and salt together in a small bowl. In large bowl beat butter until creamy, gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy, add vanilla and egg, then beat. Mix in about a third of the flour at low speed. Gradually add remaining flour until well blended. Scrape dough onto large piece of plastic wrap, and cover completely, and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Needs to be firm enough to roll into balls. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough to 1/4 inch ovals, pinch one end to make appearance of the face, eye sockets, and nose of a mouse. Gently add two almond slivers just behind eye sockets as in the photo. Place the mice two inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes until light golden brown on bottom edges. Remove from oven, and quickly pierce rear end with tooth pick and insert a 3/4 inch piece of licorice lace for tail. After they cool, pipe eyes and nose using melted chocolate, you may make a parchment or wax paper cone* or use a decorator bag with smallest writing tip. *Directions for making a parchment cone: Click Here

Merry Cheese Cakes


16 oz. softened cream cheese
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat all ingredients until fluffy.
In mini muffin pans, place cup-cake liners (silver or holiday ones are very festive). Drop tsp of graham cracker crust mixture into each lined cup, and press down with thumb, then fill 2/3 way full with cheesecake mixture,top tsp. with cherry pie filling..
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow mini cakes to cool, before storing. Keep refrigerated until transported or served.


1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

In a small bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar; add butter and blend well

Cookie Cutter Sugar Cookies

5 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups butter, softened to room temperature

2 1/4 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until well blended. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs and vanilla. Scrape down bowl with a rubber spatula.

Stir in the flour mixture until incorporated.

Cover the bowl, and chill the dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

When you are ready to bake the cookies, make sure one of your oven racks is in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Line your cookie sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper. Alternatively use ungreased cookie sheets.

Scoop out about 1/3 of the dough onto a lightly floured surface and return the rest of your dough to the refrigerator until you are ready for it.

Roll out dough on floured surface or parchment paper to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, getting it as even as you can.

Cut into desired shapes with your favorite cookie cutters.

Place cookies 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven for thin cookies and 8 to 10 minutes for thicker cookies.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

This recipe makes about 4 to 5 dozen sugar cookies, depending on size and shape of the cookie cutter used.

Some tips:

Chill the dough thoroughly, when instructed to do so.

Roll only a portion of the dough at a time and keep the rest in the refrigerator.

If the dough seems sticky, you can roll the dough between parchment paper to avoid sticking.

Roll the dough to an even thickness so your cookies will cook at the same rate.

The thinner you roll the dough the crisper your cookies will be. Thicker dough will result in a softer cookie.

Only place cookie dough on cool cookie sheets.

Dust your cookie cutters with flour between cuttings.

For best results bake your cut out cookies one sheet at a time in the center of your oven.

To decorate, simply sprinkle your sugar cookies with colored sugar before baking.

Plain cookies can be painted using clean good artist or model painting brushes with your favorite sugar icing once baked and cooled.

I have also beaten an egg yolk, separate to make different colors, add food coloring paint unbaked cookie as you like it, then bake. This stains the cookie and adds no extra sugar or changed flavor.

Egg yolk paint:

5 egg yolks
2 tsp. water
Food color

Frosting for painting cookies:

1 egg white, room temperature
1 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Food coloring

Beat egg white until frothy. Add sugar; beat until stiff. Add cream of tartar until thick. Dilute with food coloring and water. Paint on cookies with paint brush.

Nut Tossies or Nut Cups

1 cup flour
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 lb butter or margarine, softened
1/2 brown sugar, packed
1 egg, beaten
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or English walnuts)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Mix softened butter and cream cheese. 2. Add flour to butter mixture. 3. Divide into 24 balls. 4. Press into tossie or mini muffin tins. 5. Mix brown sugar, vanilla, and nuts together then add beaten egg, mix well. 6. Fill crust about 3/4 full. 7. Bake for 20 mins until crust is brown.

Delicious Appetizers: I have also used this recipe for delicious appetizers, just make the cups and bake them empty until lightly golden brown about 10 minutes, take out and allow to cool.

Spinach Cream Cheese Filling: Mix one package of cream cheese, with 1/4 cup grated onion, 1 tsp. chopped garlic, 1 box of thoroughly drained and patted dry frozen chopped spinach, pinch of seasoned salt or soul seasoning, and dash of pepper, spoon into cups.

Liverwurst Cream Cheese Filling: Beat one package of cream cheese, with one tube package of Oscar Meyer Liverwurst until smooth, you may add onion if you wish, spoon into cups.

Chudder Filling: Beat one package of cream cheese with one container of Wispride Cheddar Cheese, spoon into cups.

O Let There Be...

Our Christmas Living Room

“And let there be music
Some glad smiles and mirth
For those who still gather
Around the old hearth.
O let there be garlands
And firelight’s glow
The warmth of affection
When bitter winds blow.”
~Rosaline Guingrich

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

~ In Loving Memory Of Richard O. Hoffman ~

DAD- He will always be with us as he has left a great imprint on the hearts of each and everyone of us!

Yesterday December 7, 2015 my father-in-law left this world for a far better place where others were eager to see him again.  Richard O. Hoffman had turned 92 in October.  Of lately he was in much pain from arthritis and he would often say that growing old was not pretty.  He was ready to leave this world and had faith in the next. 

As a daughter-in-law I was so blessed to have him in my life. It is as if the Lord sent him to me through his youngest child, my husband Roger.  Each time we would visit with him Rick gave me a hug good-bye and told me that he loved me.  My very own father didn't do that. My dad was a great dad but didn't show his affection. 

It truly meant the world to me that Rick showed me this affection and I admired him as he truly was a really, really wonderful person!
The last time we saw each other I told him that I loved him and he said, "I love you too!" I will cherish my memory of him always.

Father's Day 2014
Our wedding in 1993

Granddaughter Tammy's Wedding
Rick and Sylvia met in Oxford England while he was stationed in Europe during WWII. 

They are together again. Sylvia was such a fun person and so beautiful. 

Our home in  Moore Township, PA

Granddaughter Alison's wedding

With Tammy's daughter, his great granddaughter Nikole

With granddaughter Tammy
Such a nice looking couple always having fun on vacations and at home.  My husband was a really lucky kid. His parents gave their family a beautiful fun filled life. 

Army WWII Veteran European Bottom Right

Vacation to Hawaii

Rick loved gardening and took pride in his homes.

Rick gave his family three gorgeous new homes during their lifetime. He also loved his cars and bought new ones every few years. He loved gadgets too, cameras, and movie cameras. 

Right after I married Roger his dad had his 8mm films transferred to a video cassette.  Watching the family movies was like watching episodes of "Leave It To Beaver".  

The Hoffman kids truly had an ideal family life.  Whenever they hit those bumpy times as all families do, Rick was strong and stepped in to make all things right again.  

He didn't always have such an idyllic life.  He grew up in the poor coal region of Pennsylvania in the small town of Fern Glen. 

After he came home from the service in WWII he made his way to Somerville/Bridgewater, NJ where he found work at Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceuticals from which he retired. 

He also had his own landscaping service on the side. Sylvia worked too to ensure that the family had everything they needed to live a great life.  Roger remembers vacations to Lake Hopatcong, and Atlantic City on a yearly basis. They had a swimming pool in their backyard, and had lots of fun parties.  Later Sylvia and Rick went on vacations to the Caribbean and Hawaii. 

When I met them they lived in Solitude Village in High Bridge, NJ.  After Sylvia passed away a few days after Mother's Day 2004 Rick sold that home and moved to a Senior High Rise in Bridgewater near the Commons.  It was here that he was invited to a 100th Birthday Party that was featured on the TV show The Cake Boss.

His pals from his community when on an episode of The Cake Boss

His friend's Cake Boss Cake

Gone From My Sight

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
Gone where?
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"

Monday, November 30, 2015

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini (from about 1 pound of zucchini)
  • 3 cups regular all-purpose flour, unsifted
  • 1/2 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Beat together oil, eggs, vanilla, sugar and zucchini

    On low speed, Add flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

    Beat a few minutes on high after all dry ingredients have incorporated with wet ingredients.

    Bake 45-50 minutes at 350 Degrees F.

    Friday, November 27, 2015

    Our Family Thanksgiving 2015

    We had so much fun playing Pie In The Face and the grandkids sure got me!

    We had a real joyous family Thanksgiving with lots of good food, fun, and it was culminated with a gorgeous sunset as always at our home here at Lake Wynonah!