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.

 

redandpink2redandpink3

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.

 

redandpink4redandpink5

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??

redandpink6

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.)

grandmas

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.)

For a sandwich fix…

Sandwich7
We love a good sandwich. This one (we think) is probably the best. We've eaten it since we were little…and we still love it. Made by our Aunt Betts (well, technically, Mom's aunt and our great-aunt), we still affectionately call it "Aunt Betts Sandwich". So here you go!

Aunt Betts Deli Sandwich

-1 loaf French or Italian bread

-leafy lettuce

-shaved ham (we got about half a pound of all the meats and cheeses)

-shaved turkey

-shaved bologna

-thin swiss cheese

-colby cheese

-onion, tomato, green peppers, or whatever you fancy (confession. We don't always put all the healthy veggies on ours. We just used lettuce on this one)

-mayonnaise 

-Italian dressing

-mustard (optional. We usually just use the mayo and Italian dressing)

Makes one stuffed sandwich!!

Sandwich2
1. Slice open your bread (we only used half so we could save the rest for another day soon), and put mayo on both sides. Put on entire lettuce leaf so the ruffled side sticks out.

Sandwich3
2. Layer on your meats and cheeses. Follow with your vegetables. Now put your "top" on, and go eat!!

Sandwich10
Enjoy!!!

xx, Abi and Abiah

Strawberry Freezer Jam

IMG_8259

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

IMG_8195
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. 

IMG_8201
Pour sugar on strawberries and stir (you'll need to make sure your strawberries are in a big bowl).  Let sit for 10 minutes.

IMG_8205
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.

IMG_8206
Pour Sur-jel/water mixture into strawberries.  Stir 3 minutes. 

IMG_8211
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. 
IMG_8261

Pie Breakfast Perfection

IMG_5853

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

IMG_5846

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

IMG_5849

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.)

IMG_5851

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

IMG_5843

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. 

IMG_5854

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

Hugs and kisses,

xox us

Guacamole Burgers – Austin Style

Mexican burger
A couple of weeks ago Dad was telling us how he remembered eating these delicious Guacamole burgers back in the late 70s – early 80s at a place called "Hamburger Hill" in Oak Hill, Texas.  Then it dawned on us…. why not make them ourselves?  So we used our favorite Gaucamole Dip recipe to make our own.  They were absolutely delicious, and we have a feeling they are going to become a staple!  Which is great, since we make lots of guacamole dip to go with Mexican food, which we seem to manage eating about 2-3 times a week.  Now, on to how to make your own fantastic burger…. enjoy!!

xx the Long ladies

 

Mexican Burgers – Austin Style

  • Guacamole Dip – recipe below
  • lettuce
  • pico de gallo – optional, but delicious
  • cooked meat patty with cheese (cooked like you would for a regular burger)
  • toasted hamburger bun

Slather a layer of guacamole dip on both top and bottom of toasted bun (can add more as your taste desires).  Starting at bottom of bun, layer as follows: meat patty with melted cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo.  Put on bun top.  Eat with french fries and Mexican coke.

Guacamole Dip

  • 2 large avocados, peeled & pitted
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (can also use lime juice)
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion with juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce – we use tobasco
  • black pepper

Place avocados in medium bowl; mash coarsely with fork.  Stir in tomato, lemon juice, onion, salt, and pepper sauce; mix well.  Add black pepper to taste.  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.  Makes 2 cups.

Yum {a recipe}

IMG_0797

We love our chocolate.  And we love our peanut butter.  But together.  Too good to be true! This recipe is a must-have, must-make, must-eat by everyone in this family.  We call them:

Nana Crackers

-1 box Ritz crackers

-2 packages chocolate almond bark

-a varying amount of peanut butter

Melt chocolate bark in pot. While your chocolate is melting, sandwich the peanut butter between your crackers. When your chocolate is entirely melted, drop your peanut butter-cracker sandwich into the chocolate. Carefully flip-flop your cracker sandwich around till entirely coated with chocolate. Set on wax papered pan. Let be until chocolate is dry. We like ours refrigerated. Yum. There's no other word for them! 

xxxox  Us

A Fabulous Friday

{our picks}

IMG_0788

                                     our Spring cleaned home

IMG_0785

                                    deluxe chocolate marshmallow bars

Bachelor.mother.

                                        Bachelor Mother (the cutest movie ever!)

Me and sis

                                        self portraits and braided crowns

Butterfly_4

                                                  butterfly kisses

Since we're separated by many miles this Fabulous Friday, we decided to make a "favorites pool" representing all that we love together.

our Spring cleaned home — what could make us happier than to have the entire house cleaned before leaving for vacation!?  It just makes vacation that much sweeter.  (Ok.  So we admit it…. entire house might be stretching it!  But it doesn't hurt to dream a little, does it?)

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow bars — if we can't decide what sounds good, we can almost always agree that these sound the best. The hardest part comes when it's time to choose which soda pop sounds best to go along with them!

Bachelor Mother — an adorable movie that made us laugh so hard. So cute and clean and black & white!

self portraits and braided crowns — we love taking fun self portraits. And the braids?  We found Mommy was right; you never really out grow them.  Because all of her girls still love them and wear them.

butterfly kisses — something that is always extra special. Not only do we love giving them, but we love getting them too.

What do you love most this Friday?   xx KAA    from the other two A's too

Smaaaaack!

IMG_7482

IMG_7481

Boiled Custard – "SMACK"

– 2 cups sugar

– 6 rounded tablespoons flour

– 6 egg yolks

Put in a pot, and mix, blending with just enough milk to make a paste (sorta gravy-ish). Add…

– 4 cups milk

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.  When thickened add…

-2 teaspoons vanilla

– 1 stick butter

Stir well.  Eat! (That's the best part, right?) Tastes fabulous warm or cold!  Great over chocolate cake or (like we did here) with oreos crumbled over the top.

IMG_7488

Want chocolate custard? — Add 2 tablespoons cocoa to sugar

Want egg custard? — Add ground nutmeg

Want coconut custard? — Add 1 cup coconut

Want to make a pie out of it? — It fills up two!

 

Happy Smacking!

xo the Long ladies

per request: The official M&M cookie recipe!

IMG_6500

IMG_6503

We had a request for our M&M cookie recipe — here it is!  Please give it a try… they are deliciously, mouth-wateringly yummy.  Of course, we always double this recipe.  That way there's plenty of dough to eat, and a fair amount to cook too! 

M&M Cookies

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 cup shortening – we use butter

2 eggs

3 – 3 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup M&Ms – we'll tell the truth.  We never measure our M&Ms, and probably put in quite a bit more than it calls for!

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cream sugars and shortening together.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt.  Drop on cookie sheet.*  Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Make sure not to overbake!

*By the way, these cookies really spread out when you're baking them, so if you don't want monster M&M cookies the size of your face, we'd recommend making the dough balls quite small… about the size of a golf ball.

Happy eating!

xo the Long ladies

recipe try-outs

IMG_6241

As of late, we've been having fun trying out some new recipes.  It seems like they've just been popping out of the woodwork and calling our name.  It probably helps that we have several men in this house who are always up for a new food-related-item.  Ahem.

So, enter our try at Friday Cookies {above}.  Most of you probably have no idea what a Friday cookie is.  That's okay!  Most of the time they fall under the heading of "Soft Lofthouse cookies" or "Those cute cookies with sprinkles that you get at the store, with lots of icing".  Well, we've taken up calling them Friday cookies, as we used to get them every single Friday. (We've completely grown out of that.  Healthy reasons helped too.)  When we found this recipe, we knew it was a must try.  And, what do you know??  They were ready to eat with Friday night movies.  Ahh….  Now, a word on the taste.  They aren't exactly like the store-bought variety, but real close (and very yummy).  Oh!  The recipe calls for letting them sit for at least 3 hours for the flavors to blend together.  We'd definitely second that.  In fact, they taste even better after a couple of days.

IMG_6244

Another new try-out was this Peanut Butter Chocolate dessert.  It's really yummy too.  The recipe calls for a 9×9 pan, and I made it in a 6×11, or something like that.  Let's just say, it's a nice hearty, tall dessert.  Sorry we didn't get a picture of it almost running over the sides of the pan.  My personal opinion was that there was a little too much cream cheese in one of the layers, so I may try and tweak it a little.  Truthfully, we aren't big cream cheese in dessert eaters around here.  (Except for some of the boys that hardly know what cream cheese is, let alone what is exactly tastes like…)

Oh, and we did try these Olive Garden style breadsticks, and they were really really good! Next up to try might be this, or this, or this, or this.  Oh, and these are so cute too!  We'll probably never get around to trying these, though they are so terribly lovely we might just make them for decoration… what do you think?  We better stop right now.  We must have food on the brain!

xxx Kristie, Apphia, Achaia, Abigail, & Abiah…. who are trying to be adventuresome cooks

Enjoying a favorite {again}

Turtle dessert 
Turtle Dessert

24 ice cream sandwiches

1 (12 1/4 oz.) jar caramel topping

1 1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans

1 (12 oz.) thawed Cool Whip

1 (12 1/4 oz.) jar hot fudge topping- heated

Place 12 ice cream sandwiches in a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Spread evenly with caramel topping and sprinkle with 1 cup pecans.  Top with 2 cups Cool Whip and remaining ice cream sandwiches.  Spread remaining Cool Whip evenly over sandwiches.  Sprinkle with rest of pecans.  Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  Cut into squares.  Drizzle with fudge topping.  Eat!

After our dear Mamie served this dessert to us a few years ago, we knew we had to have the recipe!  However, we'd forgotten it for a year or two (confident it got completely lost in the much-too-large dessert category in our recipe box. Ahem.).  Sunday night company meant pulling out a dessert, and we came up with this!  Boy, are we ever glad we rediscovered it.  It's easy to make + looks so pretty when cut into squares + soooo yummy.  Enjoy!

xxx the Long ladies

PS  Thanks so much for your sweet comments about our vintage goodies!  We did post back a comment to a couple of you! xx