All posts by pamelashank2015

WHEN GRANDPA BOB IS AWAY HUNTING

Each year, for the past 29 years that we have been married, my husband takes up residency in his hunting cabin about 45 minutes away.  He use to stay for 6 weeks but now it is only a total of 4 weeks.  This escape from civilization begins the week prior to buck gun season.  He is a dedicated hunter.  He does come home for Thanksgiving dinner and then once a week to re-stock on food and wash his clothes.

The hunting season becomes my time to create the holiday home for our family. I make lots and lots of lists to begin with.  I am a micro manager of myself with lists.
I decorate the house, upstairs and down, as well as outside.  This year I had some assistance from 2 grandsons with stringing lights in the bushes and creating their North Pole in the woods.thanksgiving, christmas decoratinghunting season, christmas 2015, christmas lightsthanksgiving-fun-with-the-familychristmas decoartingchristmas decorating, hunting season

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DISPLAY OF THE GINGERBREAD HOUSES

gingerbread house, christmas, blennerhassett hotelLast week I had a free morning so I went to a display of gingerbread houses at a hotel in our town.  This is just another one of those things I was never able to do while I was working.

It is  the same beautiful, historic hotel that I wrote about in The Festival of Christmas Trees post.  This was the 3rd annual gingerbread house contest.  

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COOKIE RECIPE FOR TWO – DOWNSIZED BAKING

There is nothing more delicious to me than a warm, homemade cookie.  

I bake a lot of cookies and I do mean a lot of cookies.  My husband and I have 13 grandchildren so there are never too many cookies.  I don’t bake a downsized recipe for my cookies but I have been asked to create a recipe for this.

I created a recipe for Snickerdoodles as the base cookie because any variety of ingredients can be added to them. 

Some of my favorite additions are dried blueberries with almonds or cranberries and pecans.  I have used fresh and dried cranberries and they both work wonderfully.  I love to mix up a glaze to drizzle over them also to really add variety. This recipe only makes 1 1/2 dozen cookies so if you don’t want a large amount, this is perfect. 

Make this basic recipe and add your choice of fruit and nuts.

The cookie in the first picture has cranberries, pecans, and is dipped in melted white chocolate.

The second one has dried blueberries and almonds added to the snickerdoodle dough.

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FESTIVAL OF CHRISTMAS TREES

christmas trees, blennerhassett hotelThe Festival of Trees is an event held in our town to celebrate the Christmas season.  The trees and wreaths are decorated by people in the community and sponsored by different agencies.  They  are not only beautiful, but for a good cause.  They are on display for a few weeks and then there is an auction.  The proceeds go to the Easter Seals of West Virginia.

A friend and I went to see the festival of trees and then went out to lunch last week.  We are now planning on making this an annual get together.

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CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS

I always enjoy being a part of the Christmas shopping hustle and bustle but things seemed to have changed over the years.

I can remember going Christmas shopping with my mother and grandmother from the time I was a small girl.  We always shopped in our downtown.  There seemed to be so many stores to me.  I can still feel the chill of the cold air as we darted in and out of each store.  The snow was blowing in our face, Christmas music was playing over loud speakers on the street corners, and there were happy people every place. 
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MASCARPONE FILLED BREAKFAST ROLLS FOR 2

In 2008 I was chosen as a finalist for the 43rd Pillsbury Bake-off Contest.  I cannot even express how exciting this was and what an unforgettable experience.mascarpone rolls, downsized cooking, breakfast

My recipe was Mascarpone-Filled Cranberry Walnut Rolls.  I was chosen as the winner of my category (Breakfast/Brunch)  and one of the 5 finalists to win the $1,000,000 dollars!  I did not win that but did receive $5000 and a new stove.

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THANKSGIVING FUN WITH THE FAMILY 2015

This year my North Carolina family was able to come to our house for a few days over Thanksgiving.   My husband came home from his deer camp for the day.  We had the traditional Thanksgiving dinner  followed by a lot of activities.

The weather was very nice so I took the opportunity to do some outside Christmas decorating on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  The boys (age 3 and 6) wanted to help me.  We needed to take down the fall decorations first so that kept them busy for a while.  The 3 year old wanted to get it done quickly, so he decided that he could do it by himself.thanksgiving, fall decorationsfall decorations, thanksgivingfall decorations, thanksgiving
 Whoops!!! They were a little heavy.
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GIFT IDEAS TO BUY THE GRANDPARENTS

I believe that over the years one of the most challenging things that I face when doing my Christmas shopping, is gift ideas for the grandparents, my elderly mother-in-law who lives alone, or other elderly people on my list.  They really don’t need “things”.  They really don’t want “things”.

Most people in this age range have downsized their homes or may have even moved into an assisted living facility.  I try to chose a gift that would be useful instead of ones to sit on a shelf. 
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