Say it with red and pink.

 

redandpinkWe girls recently had the happy opportunity to host a Valentine’s Day luncheon for the ladies at our Church!  Our Church is small on the people side, but big on the love side.

 

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It was so fun to plan our menu.  The main course was manicotti, French bread, and salad, with three different yummy desserts — homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie, Cream Wafers, and Creamy Strawberry Dessert.

Our pastor’s wife supplied the drinks (raspberry lemonade and water).  We decorated each place with a special party favor bag, complete with candy hearts, red & pink Hershey kisses, and York peppermint patties, all tied up with red and white twine.

 

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We dipped into our Mom’s vast (and gorgeous) collection of vintage tablecloths for all the tables, and borrowed her ruby red vase collection for all the flowers.

We had mood music on (of course).  How is it that music softly playing in the background can make such a difference??

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It was such a wonderful experience for us, and a great time was had by all!  It’s amazing how taking just a couple hours out of one Saturday to spend time with others can be so refreshing.  We are already planning our next luncheon (picnic theme!), and can’t wait.

xoxo Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, & Abiah

Grandma’s Coated Club Crackers (You can’t eat just one… trust me.)

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A few years ago when our Grandma was still living and writing us letters regularly, she passed along the recipe for these yummy, fancied-up Club Crackers.  We hadn’t made them for years, until just recently.  It’s amazing how simple they are, but oh so good… what do you expect from something that’s coated with butter and sugar and nuts?  Enjoy!! xo

Grandma’s Coated Club Crackers

Take a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan and cover with aluminum foil.  Place Club Crackers in a single layer on pan.  (Grandma used about 42 crackers.)

Melt one stick of butter and 1/2 cup sugar.  Once mixture comes to a boil, let boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and quickly spread over Club Crackers.  Sprinkle with chopped nuts (we use pecans). 

Bake in 350 degree over for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly brown.  Cool and remove from foil.  (Grandma always stored hers in the cookie jar.)

Saying it with Red.White.Blue.

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Happy July!  Ever since we were little, Independence Day has always been fun.  Mom's always been a red, white, and blue fan (that's an understatement), and has always taught us the importance of never, EVER letting July 4th roll around without proper clothing to go with the day.

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See?  Now we have this thing about us (we tease Mom and call it a 'complex') — we just can't let Independence Day roll by without wearing red, white, and blue.  It just isn't happening.

We spent some time this morning looking at all the fabulous July 4th party ideas on Pinterest.  Here are some of our favorites to put some firecrackers in the day…

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We are definitely trying these Sugar Cookie Bars out.

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This bunting is pretty enough to use all year round.

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Boots.  What else can we say?

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Popsicles are a must. (And red, white, and blue makes them tastier.)

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Tablesettings that make us happy.

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And, we can't forget the fancy wear.

Happy, happy Independence Day!

xoxo Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, & Abiah

A scrappy week.

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Our week has been anything but normal for us.  It all started….

*When our computer decided to not work last Saturday.  Yep. 

*It wouldn't even turn on. 

*We got snow Sunday morning.

*It was freeezzzing out!

*Still freezing out Monday and Tuesday.

*By now you've probably guessed that we couldn't go anywhere.

*All we can say is that our hilly, up-slope driveway does not like snow.

*We made good use of ourselves by deciding to cart everything from the downstairs studio UPSTAIRS so we could be closer to the fire.

*We cut and sewed and ironed and quilted and laid out quilt tops for about three days straight. (We hope to get to share them soon.)

*Our living room/dining room/kitchen was a wreck.

*But we made meals on time (almost every meal).

*And we found time to read lots.

*Mom finished reading this book to us, which is just as good as the first volume.  It's hilarious at times, touching at others, and real to life.

*We also found time to watch the first two parts of this for history class.

*See, we're such history nuts we sit in on class even 2+ years after we've graduated.

*And we stopped early to listen to Dad read aloud (we started this one — it's excellent).

*Then some combination of us stayed up late and watched a movie (or two).

*And kept the fire going.

*Wednesday Dad and Abi finally got out to get the computer to the repair shop.

*It came home yesterday afternoon.

*Today we are filling orders and catching up.

*The snow is almost all melted!

*Hope your week was as successful.

*Happy weekend to you all!

xoxo

December.

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Well.  Christmas is two days away, and that means December is almost over.  Where has it gone?  The month has gone by in a blur — has it been that way for anyone else??

This past Wednesday was the Christmas cantata at our Church.  It was a wonderful time for everyone!  Everything went off without a hitch (including Abiah and Achaia singing a small duet, and Abiah singing a solo), and we decided that just the practicing was a blast!  After the program we all settled down to a yummy chili supper and gift giving around a big cedar Christmas tree.

Yesterday evening we all bundled up again and went out to two retirement homes in the area to do our program again.  We were so thankful we were able to do that.  We'd been praying the weather would hold!  To end the evening we met up at Dairy Queen for blizzards and dipped cones (after all, ice cream is a year-round treat).  We stayed so long laughing and talking that we were finally forced to leave when they were sweeping the floor to close up at 10pm. 

Abs made eight batches of cinnamon rolls to supply our neighbors, our friends at the Seneca post office, and UPS man (we repay him for those awesome cheese balls his wife makes us for Christmas….).  Tomorrow will mean (hopefully) a quick run to the post office for last minute arriving gifts and delivering rolls.  Today we hope to get more presents wrapped. 

Today while we sat around the fire with Mom reading to us we looked out the window and saw falling snow.  We weren't expecting that!  Maybe we will wind up with a white Christmas after all!

Merry Christmas!!

xoxox KAAAA

State Shake Night

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Are you a Taste of Home subscriber??  We've been subscribed on and off over the years, and I was so happy to renew my subscription recently.  The recipes they have in their magazines just seem to fit our lifestyle perfectly — not too complicated or loaded with a bunch of ingredients I've never even heard of.  The most recent magazine was so much fun to peruse!  I saw a lot of yummy looking recipes, but when I came to the 50 Shakes for 50 States I knew we had to try some of them. right. now.

Saturday was labeled 'the night' and everyone was given a few days ahead of time to read all of the 50 shake possibilities (yes, I know, that's a ton to choose from!), so we could get the goodies on our shopping trip. 

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It was lots of fun!!  We tried very hard not to let the States we liked color our shake choices. *smile*  It was busy there for awhile making so many different varities at once (only 2 of us picked the same thing!), but the results were well worth the bother.

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These are only three of the yummy varities we tried.  Everyone loved the one they chose!  We finished the night off by watching a double feature of one of our favorite shows.  It's nice that just a little change-up in routine can be exciting!  I've already had requests for another State Shake night.  After all we still have about 40 more kinds to try!!

xoxAchaia

Strawberry Freezer Jam

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Freezer jam is a favorite around here.  To be perfectly honest though we've only had strawberry flavored — but that completely sold us anyway.  Last week was my week to plan the menu so I decided to include some fresh strawberries on the grocery list so I could whip up some freezer jam.  Piled on top of a heavenly homemade biscuit and you have a winning combination.  Below is our wonderful Nanny's awesome strawberry freezer jam recipe that she's passed along to us… enjoy! xoAchaia

Strawberry Freezer Jam

4 pounds fresh strawberries

12 cups sugar

3 packages Sure-jel

2 1/4 cups water

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Clean strawberries and cute in half (or smaller pieces depending on size).  Put in bowl and mash with potato masher.  You should end up with 6 cups total. 

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Pour sugar on strawberries and stir (you'll need to make sure your strawberries are in a big bowl).  Let sit for 10 minutes.

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While strawberries are sitting pour Sure-jel packages and water in saucepan. (Don't worry about lumps).  Stir constantly and bring to boil over high heat.  Boil one minute.

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Pour Sur-jel/water mixture into strawberries.  Stir 3 minutes. 

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Pour into small freezer containers (old butter dishes work great too).  Put lids on and let sit out on countertop for 24 hours.  Then put in freezer.

When ready to eat simply get a container out of the freezer and use!  If there's any leftover, store in fridge. 
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News from here!

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Happy Friday, everyone!  Our week was pretty crazy…. every day we woke up not knowing if it would be the day to do more hauling.  We ended up doing it one day, but then the baler broke, so we had to skip out.  Which turned out alright because it gave us time to do some closet cleaning, a bit of sewing, playing with our Brandy, and making red velvet cupcakes.

We got good news yesterday!!  Some more of the highly-sought after Circa showed up here!  Most of the big florals were missing from our first shipment due to a mix up (and the fact that EVERYONE wanted it!), so we are so happy to have it on our shelves now.  It's going fast so be sure to grab some if you want it!  Circa is such a fabulous collection.  So versatile.  Jennifer did a beautiful job with it!!!

Also, we still have some samples left from our sale awhile back and they are now all up in our sale room

Talk again soon!  Enjoy your weekend!

xo K+A+A+A+A

A Fabulous Friday.

Yay!  We are all completely ready for Friday to be here.  We hope you all have a beautiful weekend!! xx

{Abiah's picks}

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1. shopping with Mom is just the greatest!

2. one of my favorite TV shows… a birthday gift from my sweet siblings!

3. I would LOVE to learn how to play the guitar!!

4. I love French Fashion… her hair is perfection too!

{Kristie's picks}

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1. I love a good (friendly) game of Dominos!

2. aren't these the cutest shoes??!

3. shopping would definitely be more fun with this bag

4. our new cookbook… worth its weight in gold!

{Achaia's picks}

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1. I have a weakness for collie puppies… these are darling!

2. I love her hair and make-up!

3. this little video is a neat look at how Patricia Nash makes her amazing boots in Italy

4. this free downloadable pattern makes me want to sew up a cute bag!

{Abigail's picks}

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1. My Dear Secretary.  I LOVE this adorable movie!!

2. this book by our friend Jona G. is great… and I can't wait to sew up one of the skirts!

3. I love!

4. our sweet friend, Jennifer Paganelli has made me want to sew… again!  I love Circa!

{Apphia's picks}

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1. I love the lights and this rustic table.

2. the inspiration for my new knit dress….

3. I love this quote!

4. best-ever book about America's most fascinating war.

Pie Breakfast Perfection

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Mom has fond childhood memories of going to visit her grandmother in the hills of Southern Kentucky.  They would stay for the weekend, climb steep stairs to sleep in the attic, and eat orange slices & circus peanuts out of a glass rooster dish.  Grandma was a cooking master — she never measured the ingredients for her to-die-for biscuits.  She also would make fried pies… homemade biscuit dough, dried apples, and a pinch of cinnamon.  They would stay on the counter all day, covered with a flour sack dishtowel so you could snack on them throughout the day. 

None of us ever got to know our Great-Grandmother (she died in the early 80s), but we love the memories Mom has of her.  In fact, we now get the pleasure of having her old meal-chest in our dining room, the same meal chest she'd stand over and knead her dough on.  One drawer was full of flour and the top had linoleum on it. 

We now make our own version of Grandma's Fried Pies, and we wanted to share it with you.  In true Grandma fashion we're not giving you any measurements — just use your own good sense.  They are absolutely delicious for breakfast with a glass of cold milk.   

Grandma's Fried Pies

-Refrigerated Grands Bicuits

-Regular Applesauce (we like the kind with no sugar added)

-Cinnamon & Sugar

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Seperate biscuits.  Take one biscuit and roll out into a round flat dough (you'll need some flour on the counter to prevent sticking).

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Spoon some applesauce onto half of your dough, leaving space on the sides for sealing.  You really don't have to overfill them.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar to taste.  (We usually move our dough to the lightly sprayed cookie sheet before putting the filling in, but you can do whatever suits you.)

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Fold other side of dough over and seal by taking a fork and pushing down.

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Continue with the rest of your biscuits.

Pop into the oven and bake at 350 degrees.  We cook them for about 15 minutes, then check with a toothpick for doneness.  They might need cooked a few more minutes. 

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Happy Eating! We think Grandma would be proud — even if we don't use made from scratch dough.

Hugs and kisses,

xox us

They Taste Better Red.

Yummy.

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We didn't mean to be gone for so long!  Things got crazy around here (surprise) and there's been days we've been catching ourselves coming and going….

Have any of you ever had pasta from TJMaxx?  We know that made sound strange (it kinda did to us when a friend recommended it), but it really is our favorite place to buy pasta now.  They have brands straight of Italy, so you know it's extra yummy.  Now whenever we have a spare moment when out running errands we run in to TJMaxx to check their pasta selection.  On Thursday when we went we got a little carried away with the other foodie things they have.  Some truffles for Dad, chocolate covered pretzels with sprinkles, and Belgian chocolate covered Oreos (the boys ate most of those).  And, last but not least, we found two mixes for Red Velvet Cupcakes.  They were on the $2/apiece sale rack, and since we've never had them we opted to give them a go.  Especially since Dad has fond memories of growing up with red cake, and we've eaten cupcakes our entire lives (they are always a good, cute party choice).

On Monday we made them up.  Monday night after supper Dad ate three in one sitting.  Need I say more?  They seem to have gone over big.  The red makes them taste better too, right?  The only thing we did differently is the mix box gave you a recipe for cream cheese frosting, and since we aren't cream cheese frosting eaters we chose a tried-and-true Taste of Home Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe.  Alls well that ends well!  Now that everyone seems taken with them, I went searching for my own from scratch recipe to use next time.  I think I'll try this one…. minus the cream cheese frosting of course. 

Happy Wednesday… back to work….

xoxo the Long ladies

Bake Days

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We took two days "off" last week to do our annual baking.  As usual, we ate waaaay too much cookie dough (we weren't even hungry at meal time), listened to Christmas music non-stop, and got flour on everything.

Have you done your baking yet??  And, (of course) what are you making?

Hugs and kisses from us! xox Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, & Abiah