Cookie Jar Filler

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Okay so it's been a little while since I posted. Sorry but things happened that were not planned but it's all good now. Well almost, I stepped off the curb wrong Monday and managed to tear the cartilage in my right knee . So after a trip to my doctor who was awesome enough to see me the same day (Tuesday), an Ace wrap, home care instructions, crutches and a referral to the orthopedic clinic I am slowly on the mend.
I did make cookies for the kids' school snack and dear husband liked them as well. If they are a hit with everyone than I figured why keep them just for ourselves. These cookies are super easy, soft and tasty.
Cake Mix Sandwich Cookies
1 box cake mix ( 18.9 oz sized box)
2 eggs
1/2 cup Butter Flavored Crisco
1 can frosting
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl mix all ingredients together on low speed until combined into a dough. On greased cookie sheets drop by teaspoons spacing evenly. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until edges are brown.
Let the cookies cool completely before the next step. You need them cooled or else the frosting will melt.
Now that you have let cookies cool completely, take a cookie, spread about a tablespoon of frosting on the bottom of it and top with a cookie that is bottom side down.
I got about two dozen cookies. You'll need to store these in the fridge due to the frosting but they are so soft the coldness doesn't effect the softness of them.
The best thing is that you aren't just limited to one flavor combination . I used Funfetti Cake mix and Chocolate Frosting since that is what I happened to have on hand. You could do spice cake mix with cream cheese frosting, orange cake mix with vanilla frosting, the possibilities are literally endless.

Until next time...

This is a test, this is only a test

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

This is a test readers to verify that this here blog is actually written by a real living person. Okay I was going to be sarcastic and say that Stan from Disney's Dog With a Blog does my writing but I hear his fees are outrageous. If you've never seen the show , watch it. It's super cute and Stan is hilarious.

Until next time..

The Perfect Invitation

In today digitized society there is nothing like the feel of getting a lovely invitation or handwritten letter in the mail. The joy of reading news from a dear friend or finding out that your favorite cousin is getting married is incomparable.

Some people are content to type a quick letter on their computer and print it out. For those people however who would rather use specialized invitations, there is Wallace Paper Company in Knoxville.

When I asked the owner, Sharon Deaver, what inspired her to open Wallace Paper Company she said, "Beautiful stationery and invitations have always fascinated me. I used to look through my grandmother's scrapbook of invitations for hours. It's always been something I wanted to do!" She and her Scottish Terrier, Alice, are always ready to help folks find the perfect paper product for any occasion.

This wonderful shop opened on September 15, 2012 in The Shops at Western Plaza. Wallace Paper Company carries a wide variety of stationery, gift wrap, candles and other wonderful things. They also offer printing services both in-house and for larger orders they work with custom album companies to provide letterpress, engraved and thermography invitations.

They have a fairly quick turn around depending on exactly what you would like to order. If you have fifty invitations or less the usual turnaround is a few days. Custom albums can take a little bit longer. Plan on approximately 3 weeks for invitations or announcements. Talk to Sharon Deaver at Wallace Paper Company now and get your orders placed before the end of the year rush. For those blushing June brides, plan on some extra time for wedding invitations.

Some of the great names Wallace Paper Company carries include Karen Adams Designs, Cavallini & Company, Rifle Paper Company, Haute Papier, Smock Paper, Designer's Fine Press, Tech Candy (makers of stylish and functional iPhone cases), Archipelago & Illume Candles and many others.

Wallace Paper Company is online at on Facebook ( Twitter (@wallacepaperco) and Pinterest (wallacepaperco). Si "Like" them, "pin" them and follow them on Twitter.

So the next time you need birthday party, baby or bridal shower, or wedding invitations call Sharon Deaver at Wallace Paper Company. She will be glad to help you create that perfect invitation.

The 2013 Dogwood Arts Home and Garden Show

Saturday, February 16, 2013

If you happen to be near or live in the Knoxville area do I have a great thing for you to do tomorrow. The 35th Annual Dogwood Arts Home and Garden Show is being held at the Knoxville Convention Center. With over 200 exhibits I am pretty certain that there will be something for everyone who attends.

  Dogwood Arts is setting the stage for a spectacular House & Garden Show with features sure to inspire everyone! This year’s show, selected as one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events for 2013, will take place tomorrow Sunday, February 17 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The 2013 House and Garden Show, presented by the Knoxville News Sentinel, will feature more than 200 exhibits sure to spark the imaginations of home and garden enthusiasts. Attendees can lose themselves in the Grand Gardens, a showcase of more than 10,000 square feet of landscapes constructed by the region’s top designers, and find themselves inspired by interior designers showcasing innovations for the home. The Flower Markets will offer virtually everything colorful and green that can brighten a garden. Artists will have artwork on the show floor to bring personality to your home and garden. The How-To Stage will present eleven shows throughout the weekend. The House and Garden Show is definitely the ticket to spring!

Dogwood Arts is excited to showcase: the Green Living Pavilion, a Cooking School, the third annual fundraising raffle, and artists!
  • The Green Pavilion is a sustainability initiative that emphasizes energy efficiency and conservation. Green Living vendors will educate attendees about new energy-efficient technologies, products and services, while providing resources focused on greener and cleaner homes, gardens, and overall lifestyles
  • A Cooking School, sponsored by locally-owned-and-operated, Avanti Savoia, will be providing thirteen cooking demonstrations focused on home-made Italian cuisine, throughout the weekend
  • The third annual fundraising raffle will give visitors 18 years and older the opportunity to win one of five amazing prize packages including:

    • Enter for a chance to win $2,500 to customize your own furniture from the HGTV HOME Design Studio at Bassett. Donated by Scripps Networks Interactive.
    • Cook like Food Network chefs with $750 worth of kitchen products from Kohl’s. Donated by Scripps Networks Interactive.
    • Building materials for a 15 x 60 patio to include a fire-pit – valued at $7,500. Donated by ACME Block & Brick.
    • Two (2) Telescope Casual Momentum Deep-Seat Arm Chairs; One (1) Telescope Casual Solid Surface Coffee Table; and One (1) Big Green Egg, Nest, and Mates – all valued at $4,450. Donated by Prism Pool and Backyard.
    • Invisible Fence Silver Package to include a control panel with one (1) surge protector, one (1) computer collar, one (1) power cap battery plan, professional installation for up to a half-acre, and two (2) training sessions from a certified trainer – value: $1,099. Donated by Invisible Fence.
  • Artists – furniture makers, custom tile makers, faux painters, fine art painters, and more!

Celebrity speakers will be on-hand throughout the weekend on the Entertainment Stage as they educate and entertain audiences. Among others, Matt Muenster, host of DIY Network’s Bath Crashers will present “Bathroom Design for 2013 & Beyond!”; Leigh Anne Lomax from Cheekwood Botanical Garden in Nashville will present “Cheekwood’s Dynamic Dogwoods: Building an Exemplary Collection”; and Alison Victoria, host of DIY Network’s Kitchen Crashers will present “Alison’s Five Best Kitchen Tips.”

Participating artists include: Alex Smith, Art by Nick, Cadman & Cummins Studios, Charles Pinckney Designs, Jill Stone Studio, Michelle Monet Creations, The Clay Horse, and Tufa Garden Art.

Participating Landscape Designers include: Ecoscapes, Forever Green, Landscape Outfitters, Mark W. Fuhrman Complete Landscape Services, Petey’s Landscaping, Pleasant Hill Nursery, Proscapes, Reno Land Design, Stuart Row Landscapes, The Lawn Butler, and Willow Ridge Garden Center & Landscaping.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (over 65), and $5 for youth (6-12 years old). Children under 5 are admitted free. Tickets purchased at any local ORNL Federal Credit Union will receive $1 off the ticket price from January 28 through February 14. All proceeds benefit Dogwood Arts.

For more information on the House & Garden Show, visit

Dogwood Arts is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote and celebrate our region’s arts, culture, and natural beauty. The Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show is a major fundraising event that supports this mission and the Festival in April. ORNL Federal Credit Union is the presenting sponsor of the Festival. For more information, visit or call [865] 637.4561.

How-To Stage Entertainment Schedule

Sunday, February 17

Alison Victoria, Host of DIY Network’s “Kitchen Crashers”

11:30 a:: Erin’s Meadow presents “Herbal Housecleaning: Create a Naturally Clean and Fragrant Home” 
1:30 pm :: Alison Victoria, host of DIY Network’s Kitchen Crashers presents “Alison’s Five Best Kitchen Tips”
Cooking School Schedule

Sunday, February 17
11:00 am :: Tagliatelle Zafferano con aglio, olio e arrosto pepperoni rossi
1:00 pm :: Pattone di Linguine Nero di Seppia con frutti di mare
3:00 pm :: Pappardelle Pasta alla “3 P’s”

Sponsored by:

I got a chance to volunteer there this afternoon and got a chance to peek at some the exhibits. Trust me when I say it is well worth the cost of the ticket price. I plan to take photos tomorrow. They have some great ideas and if you're a train buff please stop and check out Mark Fuhrman's incredible train display. There are plenty of goodies and door prizes that being given away. I got a nice reusable shopping bag, a mini flashlight, chip bag clip that has a magnet on back and for hubby a nice sturdy coffee mug for his hot cocoa.
So be sure to check out the 35th Annual  Dogwood Arts Home and Garden Show at the Knoxville Convention Center. It's located at
701 Henley Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
(865) 522-5669

Until next time...

Better Bacon

Friday, February 8, 2013

We all love bacon. I mean how can you NOT like bacon. It's chocked fully of smoky salty porky goodness. Plus it has become a staple in things like cupcakes, sandwiches, vodkas and even chocolate bars. Just about every state now has a bacon festival of some kind or another.
 Now recently I started experimenting with bacon to see how I could make it better. After some testing and very willing taste testers I came up with Better Bacon. Better Bacon is a sweet slightly smoky bacon that is the best bacon ever for grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches. Plus it's super easy to do and since it's done in the oven your stove top is free for you to use.
I would recommend using a good brand name bacon for Better Bacon. There are some store brands out there that are really great but you want to buy a bacon with a good balance of meat and fat. Too much fat and the bacon starts to shrink. Too much meat and the bacon will start curling up. Not what we want

Better Bacon
1 (16 oz) package thick sliced hickory smoked bacon
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup 
1. Preheat oven to 375. In a roasting pan with a rack place bacon strips in a single layer.
2. In heated oven cook bacon for 12 minutes. Drain bacon grease and place in a coffee cup that has been rinsed out with very hot water and dried. (This bacon grease is great for frying eggs, potatoes and using in  greasing cast iron skillets for cornbread.Another great use is a big spoonful in green beans).
3. Drizzle the maple syrup evenly all over the bacon and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Place back in oven and cook for about 3 minutes more. You want the edges of your bacon to just start turning a nice golden brown color.
4. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes. This resting period lets the maple syrup and bacon infuse into the bacon.

Now go enjoy your Better Bacon...

Until next time

A Little Support

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sorry it has been a few days but I had to break down and buy a new system. My old desktop had started to get the "whine of death" which meant it was a matter of time before it was a goner. Now I have a new system to use so I now have no excuses for not writing.
For starters the winners in our EarthFare prize giveaway have been selected by Random Number Picker and the winners were Victoria and Amy Lauren. Congrats ladies, your goodies are on their ways to you.
I had originally intended to spotlight a few local businesses in this blog but something happened in the shopping plaza where they are located that made me change my mind.
No the plaza did not catch fire but sadly two of the businesses there were robbed Friday evening. I had gotten a chance to talk for a few minutes to the receptionist at one and was looking forward to talking to the owners once they had moved to their new location in the plaza.
Most of the shops located here are small privately owned local businesses. Yes, there are a few larger "chain" type store but even they are fairly small compared to their more urban cousins. There are a variety of stores and I will do a blog telling you all about them (except for one who really wasn't interested ).
In 2012 on Small Business Saturday $5.5 billion dollars was spent in ONE day!! I'm not the best at math but if we all spent that much on small businesses each Saturday for an entire year that is a slew of money being put back into the local economy. Okay so I did the math and the grand total is $286 billion dollars. Just think what that would mean to your local economy.
The owners didn't have to talk to me about their businesses but they DID. They took time out of their schedules to tell about themselves and their businesses. If they can do that for me then shouldn't we support them in the same way by patronizing them? These people are your neighbors, friends and sometimes even family.
Your local Chamber of Commerce can direct you to the locally owned businesses in your neighborhood and town. Let people know about a locally owned business if you really love it. Word of mouth advertising goes a long way even in today's digitalized social media society.
Until next time...

Sunrise Mountain

Sunrise Mountain
This is located where my husband grew up in New Jersey

Koenig's 3rd Birthday

Koenig's 3rd Birthday
We went to a local heavy equipment dealer for Koenig's 3rd birthday so he could see the bulldozers there
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