Saturday, November 30, 2013

Two-Ingredient Fudge

I saw this recipe on Facebook recently. I'd heard of fudge using two ingredients, but I've never tried it. I was pretty skeptical, but it was super easy and the fudge turned out great. All you do is put a bag of chocolate chips into a microwave-safe dish along with a small can of sweetened condensed milk. Microwave for about 3 minutes, and then remove and stir until blended. Then I stuck it in the fridge and left it there overnight. It started to firm up right away, so you could chill it for less time. The picture below was taken right before I cut it into squares.

My family loved it and is already asking me to make more. I don't know if I like it more or less than traditional fudge, but it sure was easy. Fudge in three minutes = awesome.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Balls

I saw a recipe on Facebook for a 2-ingredient muffin. I figured Thanksgiving morning would be a good time to give it a try. All you do is mix a box of spice cake mix with a small can of pumpkin. Then you bake it at 350 degrees for about 12-14 minutes. I made mine in mini muffin tins, so I got 36 muffins out of this. They came out like little balls, almost resembling donut holes. I think they were called pumpkin muffins, but I'm calling mine Pumpkin Spice Balls instead.


Saturday, November 23, 2013


This is another book I found at the thrift store recently. I love rummaging around our local Salvation Army. Most of the children's books are a quarter each. Soft covers used to be a dime, but I think they've started charging a quarter for most of them now. Anyway, I got this book at 50% off, so technically it was only 12.5 cents. Not bad for a 1977 hardcover, don't you think?

Dandelion is very excited to be invited to Jennifer Giraffe's tea party. Although the party is a "come as you are" event, Dandelion spruces himself up to the nines — he gets his hair washed and styled, he gets his nails done, he gets some fancy new duds to wear, and he even brings flowers. The only problem is — he's made such drastic changes to his appearance that Jennifer doesn't recognize him and won't let him into her party. Poor Dandelion. How will he manage to get to the party? Will his friends recognize him? Will they accept him for who he really is?

I love this book. I love books with great messages. It seems nowadays publishers steer clear of picture books with moral lessons. Not all do that, but some do. I've seen it posted directly on publishers' submission guidelines. I suppose they feel parents don't want their children to be preached at while reading a story. I understand that, but I don't think it's always a bad thing. I think it's good to let children know they don't need fancy hairstyles or expensive clothes to be accepted or liked better. We live in a day and age where kids are growing up so much faster. I guess maybe that's why I cherish these older picture books so much. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Rain Puddle

I came across this wonderful, old picture book at the local thrift store recently. The Rain Puddle was written by Adelaide Holl and was illustrated by Roger Duvoisin. After searching Amazon, I see there are various copies of this book put out by different publishers in different years. The copy I have is from 1965 and was published by Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co. So, in other words, this book is as old as I am — yikes.

Red Hen is pecking away when she comes across a rain puddle. Looking into the water, she's alarmed to see another red hen looking right back at her. Fearing her feathered friend has fallen into the water, she summons the help of a turkey. The turkey goes to see for himself, and sure enough, he's just as alarmed to see that a turkey has fallen into the water. And so it goes ... one-by-one, all the farm animals check out the puddle, only to see a new animal has fallen in. It isn't long before the entire barnyard is in hysterics thinking the puddle is filled with stranded animals. Just when everyone is about to totally lose it ... the sun comes out.

It's a cute book. I love these old ones, so I'm always thrilled to come across them, especially when I buy them for a quarter. This time I really got a bargain — books were 50% off.