Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lemonade...25 cents

So, if you want to meet up with all of the good folks out there, have your kids open a lemonade stand in your neighborhood.  Here's what might happen...A neighbor buys a 25cent cup of lemonade and tips the kids $2.00.  A very nice lady passes by the stand, then turns around and comes back.  She buys one lemonade and pays for three more, telling the kids to offer those drinks to anyone who might come along without money. A truck full of construction workers pulls up and they pay double for the kids to pour the lemonade in their empty gatorade bottles.  A friend puts 2 grandkids in her car and drives a few miles to treat them to lemonade and cookies.
The grandkids had a great experience.  They made their own signs, then stood on the corner, dancing and waving like they've seen so many retailers of late.  They made change, practiced good manners, but most of all, were witness to some really fine people out there--and that's the best lesson yet!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Seriously, I don't think there's a better chocolate chip cookie recipe than the old tried and true Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe. It adapts beautifully to a bar, a cookie pop, an ice cream sandwich, or all gussied up with M&M's.

Just published...Chocolate Chip Cookies--4 Ways.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

How to Smile

Learn how to smile, in 4 easy steps...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Salted Caramel Strawberries

From my new Farmer's Market Cookbook...
Salted Caramel Strawberries
(Get ready to say, "Oooooohhhhhhh!")

20 large fresh strawberries
40 caramels
3 Tbsp. whipping cream
1/4 t. salt
1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped mixed nuts

1.  Pat strawberries completely dry with paper towels
2.  Microwave caramels, 3 Tbsp. whipping cream and 1/4 tsp. salt in a 1-qt. microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 3 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring at 1-minute intervals.
3.  Dip each berry halfway into the caramel mixture.  Roll in nuts, and place on wax paper.  Let stand 15 minutes.  Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours.

I cut the recipe down for a mere 5 strawberries, just to try it out.  (And to save myself from eating too many.)  Therefore, I didn't chill them in the refrigerator.  I'm sure it will work fine to chill them, but seriously, who can wait? 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lavender Farm Fieldtrip

I went on a great "fieldtrip" with some of my buddies this morning.  We went to a Lavender Farm in Turlock--only about 28 miles from Merced.  The grounds are lovely, the lavender is beautiful and the owners of the farm are wonderful!  There's a very nice gift shop with all things lavender, and a lovely patio with tables and chairs under great big trees...a perfect place to just pause.  The owners told us lots of things about the different varieties of lavender and the history of the farm.  You can eat lunch there by contacting them in advance and we are going to return to try that out.  It sounded fabulous!  You can find out more on their website:   Tell George (the owner) that I sent you!

Purple Adirondack Chairs

New life for my old black adirondack chairs...a gallon of purple-licious paint! 
I love whimsy.  I love purple.  I love summer.  Tomorrow I shall have my morning cup of coffee in this very spot.