Strawberry Bread and Butter Recipes

Baked Loaf of Strawberry Bread
I shared a recipe for strawberrycake in a prior post.  If you really love strawberries, you may like strawberry bread and butter.  My husband makes the best strawberry bread you ever tasted.  It is sweet, moist, and dark pink.  Every time he makes it, someone asks for the recipe.  The original recipe includes strawberry butter to put on top, when the bread comes out of the oven.  The bread is good enough to eat without the butter so he does not always make that.  However, the strawberry butter is really good for breakfast.  You can put it on biscuits, English muffins, bagels, pancakes, bran muffins, waffles, or toast.

Strawberry Bread
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
2 (10 oz) packages sliced frozen strawberries, thawed
1.       Combine first five dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix well.
2.       In separate bowl, combine eggs, oil, and strawberries.
3.       Add wet mixture to dry mixture. Mix well.
4.       Pour batter into 2 greased and floured load pans.
5.       Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Strawberry Butter
1 (10 oz) package frozen strawberries, thawed and diced
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1.       Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth.
2.       Store in refrigerator.


Purple Colors of the Year: Violet and Orchid

2018 Color of the Year: Ultra Violet

The color of the year for 2018 is Ultra-Violet according to Pantone .  In previous posts on 2017 color of the year and 2016 colors of the year, I shared a list of gemstones (besides amethyst) that would go with the year’s palate.  This year, below I share some other links on fashion, make-up, and jewelry, as well as home and garden ideas, prior to sharing the chart of gemstones.  Find the chart at the bottom of this post. 

2014 Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid

Earlier in the decade the purple color of the year for 2014 was Radiant Orchid.  I did not do a post that year, so I thought I would share a few photo post links that remain on-line for the orchid color as well since the two would go well together.  You probably will not find the make-up in this exact color, but the ideas will work for the darker color or if you can find a lighter purple too.  Below links are Fashion-related or H&G.

Of course, we should not be surprised if a color palette is repeated, after all the color wheel  used for fashion and design starts with a variation of six of the seven colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo aka denim blue,  and violet) of the rainbow.  

Purple Gemstones
Transparent to Translucent Gems
Semi-translucent to Opaque Stones
Garnets: Plum+Rhodolite+Color-change
Purple Sapphire (fancy color)

purple sapphire

Jewelry Designer Heidi Daus Offers Scarf, Pin, and Neckline Tips

A few years ago I posted a short video on 25 Ways to Wear a Long Scarf Since wearing a scarf can look either casual or sophisticated, that was a helpful video.  I recently learned of a pin and scarf video series by Heidi Daus, one of the more elaborate fashion jewelry designers on HSN.  You can order her latest jewelry design from her website, HSN, or Amazon.  You can find her older designs on e-bay too.  At the bottom of this post is a video on why Heidi started designing jewelry.

Heidi's YouTube videos are under 1 minute each covering a different scarf and pin look.  The idea here is to make wearing a scarf look more elegant.  Her videos by scarf wearing style titles are:  Bunny Ears,  Loop (aka  Infinity), Norma (1/2 Drap-style pined at 1 shoulder), Slide (back of dressy Wrap-style),  Toss,  and  Waterfall.  

Heidi also offers video styling tips on wearing necklaces for particular necklines: round/jewel, v-neck, u-scoop, and plunging.

Salmon Patties or Loaf Recipes

Whenever I would have lunch with my grandma, she would typically make salmon patties or tuna salad since she knew I liked the way she made both of those.  I asked her secret to the  great taste of her salmon patties.  She told me it was tuna!  She mixed canned tuna in with the salmon.

One time after my grandma had gone to Heaven, I mentioned to my husband how I wish I could have some of her salmon patties again.  So he tried to make me some as a surprise.  He did not know the secret ingredient and discovered he did not like going to the trouble of frying.  So the next time he tried to make it he found a salmon loaf recipe that I ended up liking, even though it is not the same. Below are his loaf recipe and a recipe similar to my grandma’s patties.

Salmon and Tuna Patties Recipe
1 large can (approx. 15 oz) salmon, drained and flaked
2 small cans (approx. 5 oz) tuna, drained
1 small box (approx. 10 oz) of saltine crackers, crushed
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup flour for dusting
2 Tablespoons cooking oil for frying
1.     Mix salmon, tuna, crushed saltines, and egg together with your hands in a large bowl; shape into patties. Lightly dust the patties with flour.
2.     Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
3.     Place patties into the hot oil.  Cover skillet and fry until crispy - between 10 - 15 minutes per side.

Salmon Loaf Recipe
1 can cream of celery soup
1 large can salmon
1 cup bread crumbs
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup chopped onion
1.     Drain salmon and remove bones, skin, etc.
2.     Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well.
3.     Place mixture into well-greased loaf pan.
4.     Bake at 375 degrees for one hour or until well browned.

5.     Let cool for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and serve.

Christmas Cookies and Pull-apart Bread Tree

Dec.2017 FC
Magazine Cover
Besides Christmas decorating and gift ideas, the Family Circle (FC) magazine for December has lots of Holiday eating ideas – 9 pages of food and 2 pages of cookie recipes.  

I plan to make the pull-apart Christmas Tree bread.  Since I could not get to that recipe page for you without registering on-line for a magazine I already get, click one of these site for a similar recipe plus how to videos: FoodNetwork Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Bread or Delish.comPull-Apart Christmas Tree or EclecticRecipes Cheesy Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Bread The recipes are very similar, except FC only uses basil without other herbs and the sauce is served on the side for dipping, nor does FC use cream cheese like the last version does.

I did get to their recipe for ultimate snowflake sugar cookies though, so you can try that.  Or if you want an easier method for your children to do with you, try my Easy Decorated Christmas Cookies for Kids.

Easy Decorated Christmas Cookies for Kids

Christmas Tree Cookie
Looking for something to do with the kids over the holiday break?  Why not bake and decorate some Christmas cookies! 

My son and I used to make the cookies below every year for Christmas and they were always a big hit.  Everyone could not believe we went to so much trouble to make our “Big Christmas Tree” cookies!   Until last year, I had kept how easy these were to create a secret when my niece requested the recipe.  So I shared with her that they are super-easy since we start with already made cookie dough. Most of the time is spent cutting-out with favorite cookie cutters, cooling, frosting, and decorating!  I always made them two weeks ahead on a Saturday with my son and then froze them until my family got together for our holiday party.  Of course, we always needed to sample a few before freezing the rest! 

It looks like a lot of steps, but it is the fun parts that are the most time consuming.  Below are the decorated Christmas cookie-making steps and tips for success:

1.     Start with large 30oz. (or 2 small 16oz.) Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookie dough tube.  If dough seems sticky, break it up in bowl and add about 1/2 cup flour to make dough stiffer and a little dryer to get a consistency that will roll out better.  Blend dough and flour well by working with fingers (may want to put on plastic disposable gloves first). 
2.     On wax-paper, sprinkle flour so you can roll-out cookie dough. Also flour your rolling pin so dough does not stick to it. Roll-out the dough to about 1/4” flat.
3.     FUN PART 1 = Use your desired cookie cutters to cut-out the cookies, alternating their placement in a way to take best advantage of the flattened dough area.  Once you pull the cut-outs away from the remaining dough, you can ball up trimmings and re-roll out for more cookies.  Note:  cookies that have been rolled more than twice will tend to be harder than the first batch!
4.       Place cut-outs on cookie sheet for baking.  Leave more than an inch between cookies on the cookie sheet as they will spread some during baking.  You do not want the cookies to grow together during baking! Note: If making trees, I like to alternate some upside-down so I can get more cookies on the same sheet and save a little baking time.
5.     Bake cookies at the temperature on the package (350 degrees) but watch them as the time for cut-outs will be different from chunks of dough just placed on a cookie sheet.  When cookies start to look done around the outside edge, then you may want to take them out – that is if you want soft cookies. 
6.     Allow cookies to cool!  – This is the hard part of child helpers so have something for them to occupy their time for ten minutes or more.
Snowman Cookie
7.     While cookies are cooling, make and color the frosting.   You can use frosting from a can if you plan to eat the cookies right away.  If you plan to stack and freeze cookies for later, then you should use the Wilton Buttercream Icing recipe and make the stiffer frosting version with water instead of milk.  Divide frosting into multiple bowls for coloring as needed.  Note:  For Christmas trees, I make a large bowl of green for tree, a small bowl of yellow star on top, and sometimes a small red bowl if I want to pipe on tinsel.  If you are only making snowmen, you do not need to add food coloring.
8.     FUN PART 2 = After cookies are cooled, frost and decorate as desired.  Be sure to leave a space somewhere on the cookie for the eater to hold the cookie without getting frosting  on their hand.    Note:  Decorated candy balls, flowers, or dots work well for tree decorations.  You can also drizzle colored sugar for trim/tinsel (my son's method) instead of piping frosting.  We leave the trunk of tree, hand of snowman, or leg of animal frosting-free for holding and eating the cookie mess-free.
9.     If you are planning to freeze them for later, as soon as you get a plate or tray of cookies done - place them in the freezer so the frosting can harden some to make stacking and storing easier.  Usually the first tray is set by the time another tray is done, so you can remove it and begin stacking cookies, with wax paper between each layer,  into your storage container while the next tray is hardening.  Take the stored cookies out of the freezer an hour or more before planning to serve them, they will soften up nicely without sticking together.

Fridge Formulas = Geometry Activity for Middle School

Fridge Formulas from are short, daily activities that reinforce the skills your middle-schooler is learning in math class. By completing a daily geometry task that you have posted on the refrigerator, your child can quickly commit these formulas to long-term memory. With Fridge Formulas, your child will see formulas and figures everyday, and you will see something even better: progress!

What You Need for Activity

·         Black marker
·         Red marker
·         Paper and pencil
·         Magnet

Starting the Fun Tips:
  • Challenge your child to “race” an older sibling. The first to post an answer to the “Fridge Formula” wins!
  • Copy each formula (in red marker) onto a 3x5 notecard. Make room on your refrigerator for each formula and leave them up for the entire quarter. Everyone might get tired of seeing them, but once the formulas come down, it will be hard to forget them!

How to Do Activity
  1. Check with your child’s math teacher to find out which formulas the class will be studying in geometry.
  2. Choose one formula. On white paper, write the formula in red marker and, in black marker, draw and label a figure.
  3. On Monday, post the “Fridge Formula” on the refrigerator and ask your child to solve it by the end of the day.
  4. Every day of the week, write the same formula, but draw a figure with different measurements. Have your child apply the formula and “post” an answer by the end of each day.
  5. The following week, choose a new formula and repeat the process.

Example of What To Do

The formula for finding the area of a rectangle is “area equals length times width” or A = L x W
Draw a rectangle and label the sides: L=6, W=2

Common middle school formulas include
  • Perimeter= L + L + W + W
  • Rectangle = L x W
  • Square = B x H
  • Triangle = ½ B x H
  • Circle = π r² (What is PI?)

Mom’s Cookie Bar Recipes: Chewy Coconut-Peanut Butter or Carrot with Cream Cheese Frosting

As I have said in other posts, my mom (Eva) loved to cook and her idea of a good time was reading through a cooking magazine or perusing a new cookbook.  (We found over 300 cookbooks in her home!)  I have shared that Mom loved soups and the favorite casserole recipe of her children.  However, when it came to sweets, this is where she shined!  Mom baked cakes and cookies for her children and their friends to snack on.  She also took those to various Church suppers and bake sales.  Desserts after meals at our house were typically pies, pudding, fruit salad, or jello.  We also made  specialty sweets like fudge and divinity for holidays.  Below are two of her “easy cookie bar recipes,” which I found in an old Church cookbook under her name.

Chewy Coconut-Peanut Butter Bars Recipe
1/3 cup shortening
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coconut
1.       Cream together all ingredients except coconut.
2.       Stir in coconut and then spread mixture evenly in greased 9 X 13 cake pan.
3.       Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
4.       Allow to cool and then cut into bars.

Carrot Bars Recipe
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup oil
2 ½  cup flour
1 ½ cup grated carrots
1 cup chopped nuts
1.       Combine ingredients, adding in order listed above.
2.       Pour mixture into greased jelly roll pan.
3.       Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
4.       Allow to cool and then frost with cream cheese frosting.
5.       Cut into bars.

Eva’s Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Blend ingredients until smooth – works best if slowly adding powdered sugar while beating with electric mixer
Make it chocolate frosting for brownies or cake by adding 1 or 2 Tablespoons of cocoa to desired flavor and color.

Is There Meaning in the Rainbow Colors?

In the past few decades, the meaning of the rainbow and its colors has been used for various purposes.  Not everyone agrees on the meanings of the colors or the use of the rainbow as a symbol.  Recently, I wondered what is the true meaning of the rainbow?  For answers I looked in the Bible and on the WWW.

And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my [rain]bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the [rain]bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the [rain]bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. - Genesis 9:12-16 KJV

In the Bible, it tells us the meaning of the rainbow is a promise from God that he will not destroy the earth via flood again to punish man’s sins. (See above scripture and this simplified version.)  That does not mean we will never see torrential rains, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc.  Instead it means he will choose another method, if necessary, to return mankind from excessive sin back towards God.  (Reveiw more rainbow verses.)

The above covers the rainbow in the sky as a symbol.  What about the meanings of colors within the Bible?  Other ways colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo denim,  and violetare interpreted or used in man’s world exist as well. There are those who use the colors to signify personality traits or moods, We use those color concepts to determine how to decorate based on these theories and for artwork and printing.  We also utilize seasonal color schemes to determine what we should wear.  Ok, looks like I have gone adrift of the rainbow somewhat just like others have done… Sorry. 

Going back to rainbows, science may show us how they occur naturally in papers and videos.   Just because we can explain how rainbows happen, does not change that it is a message or a reminder of a promise from God to mankind.

Looking for a Bible-based rainbow drawing to color?  Download from My Favorite Color is Rainbow from  Hope Ink blog.  Speaking of coloring, ever wonder about those pretty circular drawings in adult coloring books? Check out Adult Coloring and Meditation – What Every Christian Should Know.

Perfect for Holidays: Corn Sausage Dressing

My mother loved dressing, especially if it had a strong sage taste.  However, she said her favorite dressing of all time was the sausage version my husband makes.  Below is my husband’s recipe that he prepares for Thanksgiving or Christmas gatherings.  It is super simple, yet tastes great.  Make it for your next holiday or family get-together.  Then let me know what everyone thought.

Corn Sausage Dressing recipe

1 pound Owens HOT sausage (raw)
2 cans cream style corn
2 eggs, beaten
1 medium onion, chopped fine
½ cup cornmeal

Mix all ingredients together.
Pour into 9” X 12” pyrex dish

Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.