Well, we have survived whatever kind of flu bug we had for the past week and a half. I do not want to ever experience that again! At least not for awhile. Still coughing, but the fever that my daughter and I both had is long gone! Yay!
So, now that we are all recovered and feeling more like the living, we've been busy! I guess I could consider my sick time my "break". Hmm...not enjoyable though..
I did start some Christmas baking the other night, ran across a really yummy recipe, and sounded fairly easy too. The recipe says it should make about 3 dozen or so. Funny, I only have about 1 dozen as of right now. Now I'm pretty sure I made more than that!! Keeping husband and daughter out of the refrigerator and freezer this time of year is next to impossible. My plan is to have several differnt goodies all made up and in the freezer in plenty of time to make sure everyone on our list gets a nice gift basket/cookie tray. But, if we don't stay out of the goodies, we won't have anything ready for them!
Chocolate Dipped Maple Logs
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. maple flavoring
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (6 oz)semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. milk
3/4 cup ground walnuts
In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and maple flavoring. Combine flour, oats and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into 1/2 inch wide logs. Cut into 2 inch pieces. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until set and very lightly browned. Remove to wire racks.
In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and milk; stir until smooth. Dip one end of each cookie into chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Roll in walnuts. Place on waxed paper until set.*
*I like to place the cookies in the refrigerator until set. They set faster and look nice.
This recipe is from Taste Of Home.
The picture for the cookies is not my photo. That is also from Taste of Home. Mine didn't turn out quite that pretty!
Most of the work that I have been doing, now that I feel more like doing something, has been laundry! It still amazes me how just 3 of us can accumulate so much! And of course, with milking over 60 cows right now, Al's clothes are really dirty after just one milking. He sometimes comes in and changes at lunch time. And if anyone has any good suggestions as to getting cow manure out of clothing, I'm open to try anything!
I did get some cheese orders shipped out on Monday. I cut up several pounds of cheese for the farm market this Saturday. And yes, I will be there. I don't like missing even one market, especially this time of year, when holiday shopping has already started. I'm hoping to have a couple of gift baskets already made up so that they can be on the table for customers to look at and get an idea of what they consist of. I have found a couple more items to add to our gift basket giveaway. A maple leaf shaped bottle of Pure Maple Syrup, made right here in Ohio. We have quite a few names added to our giveaway! Looking forward to announcing a winner!
We have an order heading out to California this next week. Can't believe we're getting orders heading to the west coast!
We've wrapped up cheese making for the winter. I'm focusing on waxing the last batches of cheese we've made this fall and getting gift basket stuff lined up! That combined with the usual holiday stuff we do here as a family, will keep me busy!
Sawdust hauling has begun for the year. This is something we do each year when November comes along. Thankfully we don't have to use the dust yet, but some years we do keep the cows in this early. The warmer than usual weather and grass still good and green has allowed our girls to stay out to pasture longer than usual. And they are enjoying it. But, I guarantee, that first snowflake falls, they will not leave the barn! Winter in our barn is cozy! I love it! The cows stay in, nice and dry, we make sure they have plenty of good grass hay, and bed them up nice and warm with sawdust. Barn stays right around 60 degrees, and Christmas music plays from Thanksgiving until just after New Year. Decorating the barn for the girls has crossed my mind! ;) I'm thankful that the dust we get is free and kept inside where it stays dry. The past 2 days I've helped Al load the dust. The guys that work at the shop where we get it has quit early. But, it doesn't take us long to load up.
Our local paper came today, and I was so surprised to see an article about me! Now I have no idea who sent it in, but it's cool! They wrote about how a recipe of mine was featured in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook and how you can find the book at our local gift shop. I'll keep that paper, thought it was really something neat!
Now I am off to cut up some more cheese for Saturday. I want to start getting things ready before Friday night. Seems I like to procrastinate, and then I'm feeling rushed at the last minute. If I actually work on it a little at a time, I may actually be ready without worrying. I'm sure this is a brand new concept, figured out by me, right?