New Year Greetings!

Friday, December 31, 2010

I have enjoyed reading everyone's BEST of 2010 posts. This has been an interesting year for us. There have been trials and triumphs and we've seen the hand of our Lord in our lives. My parents celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary, then later I celebrated my 50th birthday. We've taken trips and lost some friends and loved ones. As we close 2010, I pray I've learned the lessons that were mine to learn and I look forward to all 2011 will bring us. I have some projects in mind for my home and some things I'd like to do around Faithfulness Farm. Happy New Year!!

Homestyle In A Hurry - We have a WINNER!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I want to thank everyone who entered in for this drawing. I do wish I had a book for each of you. If you did not win please consider adding this book to your will LOVE IT!!

I also want to thank my dear daughter who took all the entries and made sure you all got proper credit for commenting, friending, following and posting about the giveaway. She was very careful to be sure everyone was properly credited.

Okay....the WINNER is Delinda Lea of Farmhouse Blessings! Congratulations Delinda. Please email your address and I'll get this shipped right out to you!

Remember there is the giveaway for 101 Cupcakes, Cookies & Brownie Recipes that will be announced next week and there will be more Gooseberry Patch Giveaways in the future!

Homestyle in a Hurry Giveaway!

Monday, December 27, 2010
Just a reminder that the giveaway for Gooseberry Patch's Homestyle in a Hurry AND this lovely Faithfulness Farm apron closes at 7PM (CST) today. I will post the winner later in the evening......wishing I had a book and an apron for all the wonderful entries. Since I don't I do want to remind you that the book can be advance ordered here. If you haven't entered to win yet, you can here.

Gooseberry Patch's 101 Cupcake, Cookies & Brownie Recipes & Another Giveaway!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Are you familiar with Gooseberry Patch's 101 series cookbooks? The titles in the series include 101 Christmas Recipes, 101 Autumn Recipes, 101 Easy Entertaining Recipes, 101 Homestyle Favorite Recipes, 101 Slow-Cooker Recipes and the newest in the series, 101 Cupcakes, Cookies & Brownie Recipes. These books differ a little from the comb-bound books we all love from Gooseberry Patch. These all have full-color photos of each recipe (isn't that a GORGEOUS photo of my Double-Maple Cupcake recipe).

This book came in right when I was trying to decided what was going to make the cut for my modified Christmas baking list. I wanted to try something from each of the three catagories (Cupcakes, Cookies & Brownies). The first recipe I tried was Cream Cheese Crescent Bars from Lisa Delisi from Bristol, WI. This recipe looked to be easy peasy and since we LOVE all-things cream cheese, I was sure this recipe would be a hit.

Cream Cheese Crescent Bars
GBP 101 Cupcake, Cookies & Brownie Recipes
Lisa Delisi, Bristol, WI
(Printable Version)
2 8-oz tubes refrigerated crescent rolls, seperated
2 8-oz pkgs, cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg seperated

Line the bottom of a greased 13"x9" baking pan with one package crescent rolls, pinching seams together; set aside. Blend together cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and egg yolk; spread evenly over crust. Gently place remaining crescent roll dough on top, pinching together seams. In a bowl, whisk egg white until frothy; brush over dough. Sprinkle with Cinnamon Topping; bake at 350 degrees until golden, about 25-30 minutes. Cool; slice into bars or triangles. Makes 2 dozen.

Cinnamon Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 c chopped pecans
1 tsp cinnamon

Gently toss together all ingredients.

The recipe instructions were easy to understand and went together quickly. The baking time was accurate and MOST IMPORTANT..this is YUMM-O! I will be making this again and even thought of a variation to try. I originally thought I'd stick these in the freezer to take for a New Year's eve get together we're going to.....they will NOT be around that long.

The next recipe on my to-try list was Pistachio Thumbprints. I knew my daughter would probably really like these since she loves Pistachio Pudding (and is a HUGE fan of Watergate Salad). We also have a fondness for thumbprint style cookies.

Pistachio Thumbprints
GBP 101 Cupcake, Cookies & Brownie Recipes
Shawna Green, Dumas, TX
(Printable Version)
1 cup margarine, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 egg beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3.4-oz pkg. instant pistaschio pudding mix
1 cup pecans finely chopped
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp shortening

Blend margarine, powdered suagr, egg and extracts. Stir in flour and dry pudding mix. Form dough into 1-inch balls; roll in pecans. Placed on greased baking sheets; gently press a thumbprint into each. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes; let cool. Spoon vanilla filling into thumbprints. In a plastic zipping bag, microwave remaining ingredients until melted, one to 2 minutes, stirring every 15 seconds. Snip off tip of one corner; drizzle over cookies. Makes 3 dozen.

Vanilla Filling:
2 Tbsp margarine, softened
2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp milk

Combine all ingredients; mix well.

I have to admit to some modifications I made to this recipe. We gave up hydrogenated fats many years. I usually avoid all recipes calling for margarine and shortening but I figured that this one could easily be made with butter. I also skipped the greasing of the cookie sheet and used parchment paper instead. Modifications and cookies turned out WONDERFUL!

And recieved the Jadyn seal of approval! These are so festive looking and you could add a little red coloring to the icing to make them even more festive! I did find that I used a little more nuts than the recipe calls for BUT I do have a tendancy to be heavy-handed when it comes to nuts.

The last recipe I tried was Snickerdoodle Cupcakes.

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
GBP 101 Cupcakes, Cookies & Brownie Recipes
Diana Bulls - Reedley CA
(Printable Version)
1/8-1/4 oz. pkg. white cake mix
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine dry cake mix and remaining ingredients. Beat with an eletric mixer on a low speed for 3 minutes. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool. Frost with Cinnamon Frosting. Makes one dozen.

Cinnamon Frosting:
1/2 c butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp cinnamon
3-3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 to 4 Tbsp milk

Beat butter until fluffy. Mix in vanilla, cinnamon and powdered sugar. Stir in enough milk for desired consistancy.

These cupcakes had to really live up to their name with me...I LOVE snickerdoodles. No disappointments!! Very yummy and an easy recipe for doctoring up a cake mix. I did have a concern about this recipe though. The recipe reads to fill your muffin cups 2/3rds full and that the yield would be one dozen cupcakes. I filled 18 cups and really probably over-filled them (I was concerned I wasn't putting in enough batter because I was getting more than the dozen the recipe called for). I would say that filling the cups 2/3rds full (and this would be the proper amount of batter per cup) the yield would be 2 dozen, not the ONE stated in the recipe.

Thank you Lisa, Shawna, Diana and Gooseberry Patch for new family favorites! My overall opinion of this book is that it is one I feel a NEED to add to my collection....if you bake cupcakes, cookies and/or brownies, you might want to consider adding it to your collection too.

Posting to Betty's Cupcake Sunday!

NOW for the BEST part......YOU can win 101 Cupcake, Cookies & Brownie Recipes before you can buy it and I am throwing in a handmade Faithfulness Farm Cupcake Apron! Here is what you need to do to get THREE chances to win -

1) Leave a comment!
2) Follow Faithfulness Farm (tell me if you already do)!
3) Friend Faithfulness Farm on FACEBOOK (tell me if you already have)!

Post about this giveaway on your blog or Facebook for a BONUS entry!

I'll announce the winner on January 3rd.

From The Hymnal ~ O Holy Night

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wishes from Faithfulness Farm for a CHRIST-filled Christmas!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

O Holy Night

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Homestyle In A Hurry - Review Recipes & Giveaway Reminder!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I am a busy bee working on my next Goosberry Patch review but I wanted to make sure that no one missed the recipes from the first review AND to remind everyone that the giveaway drawing is on Monday (12/27). Enter here for a chance to win the book before it is available to the public AND a homemade Faithfulness Farm apron. BONUS: If you post this on your blog or Facebook, you'll get another entry into the drawing!

Kicked-Up Eggs
(Printable Version)
Beckie Apple, Grannis AR - GBP Homestyle in a Hurry

1/4 c butter
1 c cooked ham, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
10 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8-ounce pkg shredded cheddar cheese

In a large, deep skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add ham, onion, green pepper and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to low; add eggs, salt and pepper. Do not stir for 2 minutes so egg whites can set. After 2 minutes,stir egg mixture and add cheese. Continue cooking, stirring gently, until eggs are softly scrambled. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Sour Cream Scones
(Printable Version)
Elaine Anderson, Aliquippa, FL - GBP Homestyle in a Hurry

2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c sour cream

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. In a seperate bowl, mix eggs and sour cream; stir into flour mixture until dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Knead for one minute. On a floured surface, roll out dough into a 9-inch by 6-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 3-inch by 3-inch squares; cut each square diagonally. Arrange scones on an ungreased baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.

Broccoli-Bacon Toss
(Printable Version)
Rose Griep, Oil City, PA - GBP Homestyle in a Hurry

1 bunch broccoli
1 onion, finely diced
3-1/2 oz. pkg bacon bits
3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1 c currents

In a large serving bowl, mix together all ingredients. Drizzle with Parmesan Dressing; toss to coat lightly. Serves 10 to 12.

Parmesan Dressing:
2 c mayonnaise
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c grated Parmesan

Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl.

Caramel Apple Cake
(Printable Version)
Gloria Robertson, Midland, TX - GBP Homestyle in a Hurry

16-ounce pkg angel food cake mix
21-ounce can apple pie filling
1 tsp apple pie spice
1/2 c caramel ice cream topping

Mix together dry cake mix, pie filling and spice in a bowl. Pour into a 13X9-inch baking pan sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cool: drizzle with topping. Makes 12 to 15 servings.

Cardinals & Pinecones

Monday, December 20, 2010
Fair warning to everyone...I went a little nuts with the photos. I just couldn't help myself!

The inspiration for my CHRISTmas table. I love seeing the cardinals and do all I can to attract them to my yard. So beautiful and brilliant red! And their song is so lovely too.

The Northern Cardinal is especially fond of evergreen trees. Lucky for me, there is one right out side my backdoor and my kitchen windows looks out on it.

I get plenty of cardinal sightings and pinecones!

Okay, with so many photos, I need to just be short on words.

Merry CHRISTmas and thank you ALL for the warm friendship you have shown me throughout the year. I've enjoyed visiting with you, getting to know you and learning from you. May GOD richly bless each of you in the New Year!

Sharing at Marty's Tabletop Tuesday and Susan's Tablescape Thursday!

Sweet Stripes & Simple Trees

Sunday, December 19, 2010
Reminder: Enter in for the Gooseberry Patch Cookbook Giveaway HERE!

As a homeschooling family, I was always on the lookout for fun and yet educational activities to do with my children. One that we all remember very fondly was the year we attended A Civil War Christmas. This was an interactive afternoon put on by a reinactment group. What fun we had and we especially loved seeing a period decorated Christmas tree. Since then, I put up my own version of a simple tree. Usually in the dining room. This year I almost skipped this due to time getting away from me but Friday afternoon I decided I didn't want to skip it. So I headed to Walmart to purchase the most important element of my simple tree.......

Bob's Sweet Stripes...much more authentic than candy canes.

Since I will not be using all 8 of my dining room chairs, I decided to go ahead and set the trees up on 2 of them. I really like this look.

No lights on these trees but they are lit by the hutch light.

I put the trees in a couple of vintage, red-rimmed enameled pots. In the past I've used baskets or galvanized buckets but I am thinking I like this look best.

Sweet Stripes tied on with fabric strips.

A vintage box of Shiny Brites..I considered putting them on the trees and then changed my mind. I liked what the box looked like there and just left them.

Besides the candy, the only other ornaments are some simple wooden cutouts that I found years ago.

Some of my pinecones used as filler. I sprinkled a little cinnamon fragrance oil over these to give a nice scent to the dining room. Not too much though...a little goes a long way.

After that decorating, there is nothing like a large beeker of cocoa and those Sweet Sripes make a wonderful addition to the cocoa.

Sharing at some of my favorite blogs!
Ceilo's Show Off Your Cottage Monday (all about the Christmas Tree)
Lady Katherine's Tea Time Tuesday
Sue's REDnesday
Suzanne's Vintage Thingie Thursday