Saturday, January 4, 2014

I'm back

Hey All! I just wanted to let you know that I am back and think life is ready to let me blog regularly. If you most the long lost last post, I can be found at Just A Small Town Girl. I hope to see you soon!!!



Friday, February 22, 2013

Psst!! Over here....

HEY EVERYONE!!!!!!! I have missed you! Thanks to those of you that emailed to check up on me! Such sweet gestures!!!!! I am fine!

I do have some news. This will be the last post here at Creating With The J's. I know, sadness! There is some good news though. I will still be posting, just on a new blog. Some things will definitely be different. I will be blogging for myself, as myself. I have moved "home." Home to where I grew up and where most of my family still is. Yes, I have come home alone. It was a hard decision, that wasn't made over night and was more than likely 6 months plus in the making. I wish Jim and Jynx nothing but the best, but it was time for me to come home.

The new blog is called "Just A Small Town Girl" and can be found HERE!!!

I hope you will stop over and follow from there and continue to share your love.
This means that I will also start showing my face around your spaces again!!!

Thanks again everyone!! 


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Hello followers and friends.
I am writing to say I am taking a little break and hope to be back in a week or so. There won't be a Monday post. I am finishing up a few things and then Christmas with Jim's family on Christmas Eve and Christmas with my family on Christmas.
I hope you enjoy the time with your friends and loved ones.
Merry Christmas to everyone!
The J's

Monday, December 17, 2012

Moon Pie Magic #2

Hello Dear Followers!
I apologize for the lack of posts last week. Just some craziness going on. I will hopefully get caught up on the Christmas posts this week, in between more craziness, but I will manage. I hope life is a crazy good for you!

Moon Pie Magic #2. Kinda crazy. I know it will  be much crazier when that number is in the double digits though. I told you I thought #2 would come from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book. My thoughts were correct.

Here is a look at the cover.

Copyright 1963 by General Mills
This cookbook was used by my Great Aunt while she was taking care of her father.
(There is a note in the front stating so)
Did you notice the spelling??

This is the note on the back side of the title page.
The last sentence says "Remembering the motto "happy the home with the fully cooky jar," we hope you'll turn to this book often."

Do you always have a full cooky jar or at least cookies at the ready?
I know Jim's Grands always have cookies in the freezer.

A look at the table of contents.
The Cooky Primer has lots of hints, tips and how to's.
You can even find solutions for dry and soft cooky dough.

The following hint is from page 19:

"Sticky fruits can be cleaned from your food grinder quickly and easily by running a few small pieces of dry bread through it."

That nifty tip was found on the page with the some filled cooky recipes.

I think we will see more than one post from this book so I didn't take  a lot of pictures or search for all the cool tips and tricks.

The recipe we are going to look at today is on the right hand page in the above photo.
Do you see my Great Great Aunt's handwritten notes??
Again... LOVE THEM!

Yes, we are going to make chocolate crinkles.
That is them pictured in the lower right hand corner!

Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Crinkles
1/2 cup vegetable oil (we use canola)
4 squares unsweetened chocolate (4 ounces)
(I tried to get a picture, but dreary days and poor lighting worked against us)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups Gold Medal Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Mix oil, chocolate, and granulated sugar. Blend in one egg at a time until well mixed. Add vanilla. Measure flour by dipping method (p.5) or by sifting. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt into oil mixture. Chill several hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 350°. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into confectioners' sugar. Roll in sugar; shape into balls. Place about 2" apart on greased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 min. Do not overbake! Makes about 6 doz. cookies.

Note: If you use Gold Medal Self-Rising Flour, omit baking powder, and salt.

4 ounces of chocolate...melted.
My Great Great Aunt's notes:

"Looks just like picture. REALLY YUMMY!"
"Make small don't spread much"
Don't roll in xx sugar until the instant they go in oven.
Roll twice.

Let's take a look at some of the book shall we?

Look at those spreads.
This furthers my love affair with most things vintage!

Pretty and fun and yes those are the chocolate crinkles in the lower right!

The back cover.
I look forward to sharing more from this book.
Definitely some fun and interesting looking recipes and tidbits inside!

Wait what???
You are upset because I didn't show you how the cookies turned out?
I didn't forget, I saved that picture for last!!

I wish you lived closer and we could share them.

If you missed MPMM #1 you can read it HERE

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you will leave some comment love so I know you were here!
Do you make chocolate crinkles as part of your Christmas cooky list?
Do you call them something else?

Oh, I am going to research the spelling of cooky!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Moon Pie Magic Monday #1

Hey Blog Followers! It seems we have made it through another Monday! Thank goodness for that!!!
Well, I am FINALLY getting to one of the weekly posts you have read about here and maybe even on Facebook. The decision making process was tough, so tough that we will have at least two weekly posts, possibly three...all from the awesome titles everyone suggested! Thanks for your creativity!!

IF YOU ARE LOST by the first paragraph, please read further before moving on to your next blog! The first of October we received not one, but TWO 35 pound boxes full of recipes!!! Books, magazines, clippings, boxes, and handwritten recipes. All of these recipes, books, magazines, belonged to either my Great Great Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Great Great Aunt or Great Aunt.  My Great Aunt is the only one of these wonderful ladies still alive.  She told me she didn't send me any of her books because she is still using them, but it seems she slipped one or two in the boxes! Here is a look at the boxes the day they came...

THE ORIGINAL POST about those boxes has the first recipe that was shared. It was a hot dog sauce recipe. We froze a good bit of the recipe that night. It made great chili cheese fries over the weekend. YUM!

I still can't get over the age and condition of some of these books. Yes, there are some that nearly disintegrate just by looking at them, let alone touching them, but there are others that make me shake my head at the thought of how old they are. Truly quite the treasures!

Moon pie Magic Monday is the nickname for "Moon Pie Magic and other tales of food gone by."  Moon Pie Magic Mondays will all come from any one of the cookbooks in our house. We also have cookbooks from my Grandmothers, Jim's Grandmother and Great Grandmother. We shouldn't have to eat the same meal twice in this house!  Sometimes you will get to see how the recipes worked (or didn't work) in our kitchen and other times I will just be sharing tid-bits from one (or more) of the cookbooks.

I was hoping to share pictures of a recipe with you this time, but as I started pulling the ingredients out I discovered that we didn't have them all. {big sad face}.

Without further ado...Moon Pie Magic Monday #1 is about the Farm Journal's Christmas Book.

This issue was printed in 1966.
I did a little consulting with Dr. Google and there are definitely copies out there in better shape than this one, but...

It is packed full of pictures, recipes, crafts and tips and hints.

On the bottom of page 6 (pictured above) it says
"Round-robin basket gifts are a custom in Connecticut neighborhoods.
You carry your food specialty to your neighbor; she in turn puts her specialty
in the basket and takes it to the next person on the list,
who does the same..."

It saddens me that today's society is so impersonal.

Ah, the fruitcake. Do you have one in your family? Oh wait, I meant for that to say
Do you have a fruitcake maker in your family?? (he he he)

It provides 6 different fruit cake recipes.
One of the pages says "Many families pass cherished Christmas recipes from one generation to another.
If you haven't a favorite, try one of these and start your own tradition!"

The recipe I was hoping to share with you is shown on page 30.
Crackled Sugar Cookies.
There isn't any lemon or orange extract in my cupboard. It is on the grocery list though!

There is the close-up of the recipe.
YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! You see handwritten notes.
I think the handwritten notes are one of the best parts of these boxes full of treasures.

I am still learning the differences in handwriting, but I believe this to be my Great Great Aunt's handwriting.
Her notes are this:

* Grated rind of 1 lemon or 1 orange and 1/4 cup sugar to roll in

* The first time - failure

*2nd time- great success use 1/4 cup flour more

* Roll in Coconut also

*Place far apart

* See snicker doodles pg 23 Betty Crocker Cookie book

How neat! The first time she made them, it didn't work out. 
She tried again and had great success. 
I'm guessing since they get placed far apart they must SPREAD!
Oh and the Betty Crocker Book, I believe that is going to be MPMM#2 and will definitely have results from the kitchen. A couple recipes have made their way to the list for Christmas cookies.

When we get these crackled sugar cookies made I will be sure to let you know!

Onward through the book, shall we?

Christmas tree cakes.
I thought these pages were neat because there was also a newspaper clipping attached.
The clipping appears to have the same photo as shown here.
The clipping says:

"For your Christmas table, here's the perfect decoration! Festive cakes baked in the shape of miniature Christmas trees, trimmed with frosting and fancies. They're easy to make, good to eat - children will love them. A wonderful gift idea, too -- carry a decorated cake to friends nearby. Or mail cake molds to faraway friends, so they can bake and trim their own little trees! If you're serving guests at small tables, place a cake tree on each table for a conversation piece dessert. Tree cake molds have been fully tested by home economists and are easy to use. Tree cakes can be baked any size up to 7" high and the molds can be used again and again. Use any packaged cake mix or your own recipe. The complete cake mold kit consists of 3 aluminum molds and an assortment of imported gold and silver dragee fancies (like those used on wedding cakes) PLUS a colorful array of sugar crystals. All enough for several cakes. Cake mold kits are perfect birthday, bridge or holiday gifts and are unusual club door prizes. ORDER NOW and enough cake mold kits if you want to be sure of early delivery. 1 complete kit $2.75; 2 kits $5.25; 3 kits $7.50; Additional kits over 3, $2 each. Send check, cash or money order to:"

Tips and tricks for the gift-giver. 
I thought the piece on how to warm up a money gift was an interesting read.

There were craft instructions, cookie centerpiece instructions, table top trees, crafts for kids...
It was definitely a trip back in time!!

One last tip I found and wanted to share:
"When cracking nuts for holiday baking: In a thick sponge, make a hole the size of the nuts you wish to crack.  Place sponge on hard surface; place nuts in hole; crack with heavy hammer. This method keeps pieces of shell from flying"

SO!! What are your thoughts on Moon Pie Magic Monday?
The 1966 Farm Journal Christmas Book?
The cookies?

Thanks so much for stopping by!!!
I hope you will be back soon!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Many of you know that we have been decorated for Christmas for awhile now. I wanted to wait until December got here to share all this Christmas with you. I am not sharing any of the 'finished projects' in this post. The title says it all. I am sharing the photos of what our home looked like as it started looking like Christmas.

There are many words that come to mind when I look at these photos, is all part of the Christmas fun!

The dining room BEFORE the madness!
Last Christmas there was a church pew in front of those windows on the left side of the picture...

Now lets head upstairs...

This would be the Christmas section. Yes, I said section. HA!
The upstairs is still waiting to be a work in progress and that is how I explain the missing floorboards!
(those boards were removed when the house was rewired)
How about the creepy Santa?? I picked him up at a yard sale this summer.
He wasn't for me. He was for our friend Steph, the one that finds my elves really creepy!
Oh, by the way, her son LOVES this Santa. he he he!

A closer look.

YES! The trunk is full too! 
The trunk has been in my family forever. There is a number on the leather.
It is a neat old trunk. It served as a table in my apartment that I had before we moved into this house.
The trunk holds pieces like the nativity scene, the ceramic tree, and other odds and ends.

I picked up this box of bottle brush and other assorted trees at a sale this summer.
Sometimes getting the decorations out is like a little miniature Christmas.
I tend to forget about the pieces I have picked up here and there since the decorations were packed away.

Ok, are you ready for it???

There WAS ONCE a table in this room. Promise!

Ready and waiting in the kitchen...

Ready and waiting in the living room...

Another look at the dining room.
Oh my!
Looking at these pictures, I am thankful it is done!!!
Does your house get 'trashed' before it is holiday beautiful???

Have a great day everyone!
hugs ~Jen

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Gift Tags

Hello Blogosphere! Happy middle of the week!!! We are 30 degrees cooler here today than we were yesterday. BRR!! Back up in the mid 50's in the not so distant future. Can we say climate change?? I am most grateful that I haven't had to drive in snow yet!!!!

Alright! Did you enjoy the pinterest links? I hope so. Today I am sharing the gift tags I was hoping to share the other day. (The fundraiser went well, thanks for thinking about it!)

We came across a BUNCH of tags in different sizes at an estate sale.
Of course I HAD TO HAVE THEM!!
I didn't know what I was going to do with them, but had to have them none the less!
The measure  just over 4 inches.

I could stamp them...

I could emboss them...

OR!! Cover one side in paper and stamp the other....

Fun, cute, and simple!

I hope you are having a great day!!!
Please let me know whatcha think of the tags or how your day is going!!!!



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