Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Smallest Compliment

Thought for the day: never hold back from sincerely complimenting someone! Grab a tissue before you read the short story below!

The Woman in the Check-Out Line

At the end, the Alzheimer’s had left his mother a lost, old woman who would sit all day in her geriatric chair staring off into the distance. He would visit her at the church home and sit by her side, trying his best to lure the old light back into her eyes, hoping to see for just a moment the spark of recognition that would sometimes reappear out of the blue.

On their last day together she was particularly feeble, and the afternoon had been long with silence. He had turned sadly to leave when he felt her hand reach for his. When he looked back into her eyes, they were soft and alive, and he could see that his mother recognized him. He felt her hand tighten around his. She leaned close and said, in words just above a whisper, “There was a woman in the check-out line who thought you were the most beautiful baby.”

That was all. Soon her eyes went dull, and there was no elaboration, and he knew that none would come. The next morning, the call came from the home, and they told him that his mother had died in the night.

In the years that followed he thought often about his mother’s last words to him and about the woman in the check-out line. She was in his thoughts when he wrote, “Sometimes the most lasting memory is of the smallest kindness,” and again, “There is no effect more disproportionate to its cause than the pleasure bestowed by a small compliment.”

There was a woman once who took a moment to compliment a young mother on her baby. Did she ever think again of her kind gesture? Did she imagine that her words would be carried in another person’s memory for a lifetime? Did she guess that fifty years later, a dying old woman, searching her crippled memory for words to console a grieving son, would say to him, “There was a woman in the check-out line who thought you were the most beautiful baby.”

~~ Robert Brault

Buy This!

I love labels & stickers and am always on the lookout for interesting ones. The other day while shopping at New Season's, I found the cutest book full of them.
 If you are looking for a fun gift idea or stocking stuffer, this is it! $9.95 for several hundred whimsical doodles that you can stick on almost anything. You can also find the book on the Chronicle Books website (which is having a sale right now!). 35% off + free shipping! Click here for details!

My favorites are the recipe labels. I've already used most of them. ☺
How cute is that?!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Get Crafty Paperwhite Update

Remember the paperwhites I forced a few weeks back? They are growing! It's fun to check their progress. Some of them seem to be growing by the hour, others not so much. Just a few more weeks until I have fragrant flowers. ☺

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Apple Cup Update!

Even though the Cougs lost the Apple Cup last night (21-38), we had a great time with our friends Lin & Ward.
Fun fact: Matty & I battled for the wishbone from our turkey. My wish: that WSU win the Apple Cup. Matty's wish: he didn't have one. Guess what? I won the wishbone! Last time I take stock in a wish bone. >:(

I tried a ShockTop & Ward tried Manny's.

Go Cougs!!

 This score was the high point of the game: tied!! Shortly after this photo, we fell far behind & lost. While I know many "classy Huskies", I have to say we encountered many rude Husky fans. The Cougs showed class all the way! Go Cougs!!!
Looking forward to next season! GO COUGS!!!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Apple Cup!!!!

Omid & I are headed up to Seattle to attend the 104th Apple Cup today! Woo hoo!
The last Apple Cup I attended was in Pullman many years ago. It was 13* and snowing very hard. I made the mistake of wearing a pea coat, dress socks & penny loafers. I was cold & miserable, but oh so stylish! Today's forecast calls for rain. I will be dressed for the weather & as I don't care that much about fashion anymore. ☺

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Make This!!

I absolutely LOVE Starbuck's Cranberry Bliss Bars. For the past 4 years, I have been making my own bliss bars and I actually prefer mine to Starbucks (conceited, I know).

I could bake these all year long, but prefer to just pull the recipe out around the holidays. I think they are too special to bake just 'any old time.'  I was so looking forward to yesterday's batch, that I actually skipped dinner and ate the bliss bars instead. I know I made the right choice. ☺

Cranberry Ecstasy Bars

1 c butter
1 1/4 c brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1 t ginger
1/4 t salt
1/2 c dried cranberries (minced)
1 1/2 oz chopped white chocolate chips
1/4 c minced crystalized ginger *(I don't add this)
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
3 T. butter
1 c powdered sugar (+ 3 T) *I only use 1/2 cup
1/2 t. vanilla
1/8 t lemon zest *I use the zest of one whole orange
pinch salt
1/3 c minced dried cranberries *Do not add into frosting. You will sprinkle these on top..
1 oz white chocolate
1/4 powdered sugar
1 tsp milk

Preheat oven to 350*. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper & then grease the paper. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs & vanilla. Add flour, ginger & salt. Fold in cranberries & chocolate (& ginger if using). Spread batter in prepared pan & bake for 20-25 mins. Remove from oven and cool completely in pan.

Remove cake from pan & trim off edges so cake is uniformly flat. Make frosting. Spread frosting on cake. Sprinkle cranberries on top of frosting. Refrigerate cake for one hour. Make drizzle. In small saucepan (over low heat) melt white chocolate & whisk in sugar and milk until well mixed. Scrape into a sturdy plastic bag. Cut a tiny corner of the bag and squeeze to drizzle the chocolate over the entire frosted cake.

To serve: slice cake lengthwise down the center, making two long rectangles. Cut each rectangle into four equal portions. Slice each of these in half diagonally. Makes 16 bars.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Oh Baby!

Look who I got to visit with today! Baby Moses & his mom Sarah! So exciting!

Please continue to pray that Chris & Sarah can adopt Moses without any complications. Their next court date is December 19 in South Carolina. Thank you!!!

Netflix This!!

WOW! Omid & I loved this movie! That's all I'm gonna say!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Meet Tom Turkey!

Today Omid and I drove out to Lacamas Fresh Farms in Camas. We went to pick out our Thanksgiving dinner.

Check out the video below. This is a little piece I like to call: Omid Talks Turkey. Omid 'gobbled' at the turkeys & they 'gobbled' right back. So funny!


Omid liked this 'Tom.'

Farmer Shane showing us our bird.

Tom was very friendly & let us pet him. I felt a little guilty for a minute or two.
Then I remembered how much I love turkey dinner.

Check out this beast. Poor guy was so top heavy, he could barely walk.

Melissa & Shane have just a few fresh turkeys left for harvest. All the others in the field have been spoken for. If you are looking for a fresh turkey, give them a call at Lacamas Fresh Farms!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Buy This Book & Other Stuff

I am currently reading this book. I. LOVE. IT!

I can't tell you anything about it, or I will give away the entire story. Just do yourself a BIG favor & purchase it from Costco. You will be glad you did.
Oh and something else: I  am super excited! I signed up for Curated Gifts from Joy the Baker. You can too. Click here for details. Sometimes it's nice to treat yourself!☺

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Buy This!!

I bought these Swiffer 360* Dusters for the first time today. LOVE THEM!!!!!

My sister just told me Costco sells the refills. Happy day!☺

Thanksgiving Turkey: Fresh or Frozen?

For years, (or my entire life, really!) our family has always purchased frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving. Personally speaking, I have always waited for WINCO to have their .26/lb Butterball sale. But this year, we are trying something new and purchasing a fresh turkey from my friend Melissa. 
Meet Tom Turkey!
Photo courtesy Lacamas Fresh Farms

Melissa & her family own Lacamas Fresh Farm in Camas. LFF is selling fresh turkeys this year. Harvest is Monday & you also get your turkey that same day (remember: its FRESH!). Omid plans to start the brining process Monday evening, & then smoke the turkey on Thursday. This make me happy as it frees up the one oven in the house. Fact: I really need double ovens!!

If you want to try the fresh route, contact Melissa @ 904-8499. She has a few fresh turkeys left.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Our QR Code is Here!☺

Have a smart phone? Scan this QR code. It should take you directly to the BAKE! blog.

I am now taking orders for Thanksgiving & Christmas baked goods. Get your order in before it's too late!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Matty & I took a field trip into Portland today. We found a very interesting store called Cargo. It's full of fun, functional & eclectic things. If you go, bring plenty of cash. While some things were reasonably priced, most of the items were expensive. Cargo is located on 13th & Flanders in The Pearl District.

Here are a few of the things I liked.

LOVED these Santos heads (pricey, so I only took photos).

Japanese rubber stamps. So cute.

These eyelid pendants really closed. Freaky & yet I liked them at the same time.

Cargo had lots of Christmas things. These glittered reindeer ($10) were exactly like the ones featured in
this month's Martha Stewart Living magazine.  I love advent calendars (without the chocolate!!). There were 3 Victorian designs to choose from - all darling. It was hard to choose just one ($6).

Cargo had a great card section. Here are some that I liked. ☺

Japanese Daruma dolls. Always fun! The giant Daruma was $240.

Thanksgiving Menu

Today I will be working on my Thanksgiving menu.  I am always looking for different ideas, so if you have a good recipe, please pass it on!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Get Crafty!

Forced Paperwhite Narcissus Bulbs

I decided to try my hand at forcing narcissus bulbs this year. This is such an inexpensive craft. The bulbs were on sale at Lowes for only $2.24 (package of 7 bulbs), the containers & marbles I bought from Dollar Tree for a dollar each.

I placed the pots in various areas of the house. By Christmas, I should have 7 pots of fragrant narcissus!
For easy directions, click here.  For BEAUTIFUL decorating ideas, click HERE.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


If you who don't believe in this video and then tell me that. How could you deny the existence after watching something so amazing & beautiful?!

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Make This!!

Refrigerator Pinwheel Cookies!

It all starts with two and a half cubes of butter!

& just a few more ingredients to make a simple shortbread cookie dough.
Divide your cookie dough in half. Return one of the halves to the mixer & add cocoa powder.
Roll each section of dough into a 8x10" rectangle. Place the two rectangles together & roll them up.

Refrigerate a minimum of one hour.
NOTE: I made my dough before I went to bed & let the dough chill overnight.

Slice into 1/4" rounds & place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake @ 325* for 13 minutes.

Guess what?! I bought a new apron from Etsy. I like it!
It really dresses up my 'jeans & fleece.' ☺

These cookies are Pullman bound!
Go Cougs!

Pinwheel Refrigerator Cookies:
Makes 4 dozen
 This recipe is adapted from "The Betty Crocker Cookbook."

1 1/4 cup unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
3 cup flour, plus more for rolling out dough
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa powder (not cocoa drink mix)
1. With an electric mixer, beat together butter, sugar and egg on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed and add flour and salt, mixing until a dough forms. (You may need to use your hands to shape it into a ball.)
Remove dough from bowl and divide in half.
2. Return half to mixing bowl. On low speed, beat in cocoa powder until evenly mixed.
3. Divide each flavor of dough in half. On a floured surface, roll plain dough into a rectangle about 8-by-10 inches. Shape the edges to make all sides straight. Repeat with the chocolate dough, then place it on top of plain dough and roll up tightly. (You may need to run a knife or metal spatula under the dough to loosen it from the floured surface.) Repeat with remaining dough.
4. You can also make a simpler bulls-eye cookie by dividing and rolling the chocolate dough into two cylinders 8 inches long, then dividing and rolling the vanilla dough into two rectangles 8 inches long and about 3 inches wide. Place the chocolate tubes on the vanilla dough and wrap, pressing the seam to seal.
5. Wrap logs tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour, or place in freezer.
6. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap log and, with a sharp knife, slice into1/4-inch slices. (If using a frozen log, let sit at room temperature 15 minutes before slicing.) Place slices 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden around the edges. Gently transfer to wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pearls of Wisdom

My friend Wendy inspired me to like a page on Facebook called Pure Nourishment. Inspirational quotes & pictures are posted daily.  Here are my favorites. Just for fun, I printed them & put them in a box for Nas to read everyday.

And this gem from The Brave Girls Club:
Fun fact: The Brave Girls will be in Camas this weekend!