Welcome to my blog....

here I will be musing about my passions in life which include all things vintage, baking, decorating, gardening, my family, faith........

oh, and promoting my shop on Etsy.....

NaNa's Things a collection of vintage items I have treasured for over 30 years and also wonderful new old finds from local thrift and estate sales.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Chocolate Avocado Cookies



My son's Health teacher is quite creative.

Last week he had to bring the Real Care Baby 3 home to care for the entire weekend.

This week he has to make and bring in a healthy food.

Guess who is really going to make it?

The first thing I thought of was Chocolate Avocado Cookies. What 16 year old, 11th grader could resist trying these?

 
So far other students have brought in spicy almonds, trail mix with healthy cereal, and healthy cookies.
 
He's got this!
 
Avocados are incredibly healthy. And mixed with chocolate? Win, win.
 
 
 
The avocado makes for a creamy, smooth cookie without any taste of the fruit. There is lots of 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate with milk chocolate chips in these tasty cookies. The recipe is below but first I want to brag on the healthy avocado. If you don't care how healthy it is and just want to get to the chocolate goodness, scroll down!
 
I had heard of some of the avocado's virtues before this but I decided to Google it for my son to bring in for extra points. This website goes into great detail of the 12 proven benefits of eating avocados, but I will just highlight them here.
 
1. Avocado is incredibly nutritious including 5 vitamins, folate, and potassium. The fat in them is HEALTHY.
2. They contain more potassium than bananas.
3. They are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
4. They are loaded with fiber.
5. They can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
6. People who eat them tend to be healthier.
7. The fat in them can help absorb nutrients from plant foods.
8.They are loaded with antioxidants that can protect eyes.
9. They may help prevent cancer.
10. Avocado extract may help relieve symptoms of arthritis.
11. THEY MAY HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
12. They are delicious and easy to incorporate in the diet.
 
I agree wholeheartedly with number 12. I love avocados in salads, on sandwiches, on tacos, and especially in guacamole. And now add to my list chocolate cookies!
 
 
 
Okay here is the recipe:
 
Chocolate Avocado Cookies
 
1/2 cup butter, 1 stick
3 one ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup mashed avocado (1 large)
3 cups flour, firmly packed
1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips)
 
Melt the butter with the squares of chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals till melted. Let cool.
Combine white sugar with brown sugar in mixer till uniform. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each.
Mix in vanilla and beat till light and fluffy.
Mix in the salt and baking powder and beat till combined.
Mash the avocado until it is a smooth puree. Add it to the mix and beat till well blended.
Once the butter/chocolate is cooled, add it to the mix and beat till combined.
Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Mix till the dough is smooth and well blended.
Add chocolate chips and mix by hand.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes (12 minutes worked great for my oven) ONLY TILL TOP IS DRY. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
Glaze if desired.
 
I chose not to glaze these this time and they are still really good!
 
 
(Note: Every time I post a recipe I wish I could figure out the template for blogs to just insert a recipe which then can be printed. Anyone master this yet?)

I hope you try these and let me know what you think. I have gotten mixed reviews just by mentioning the name of these cookies!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Munching Mondays
Amaze Me Monday
Show and Share
Treasure Box Tuesday
Roses of Inspiration Linkup
Tasty Tuesday
Home and Garden Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday
The Weekend Social
Let's Get Real Friday Party
Pure Blog Love Link Party

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Below Zero Outside? Let's Go Thrifting!


The snowstorm that was to be never came to the Northeast. But we do have very frigid temperatures. Best to stay indoors.

Except when there is a 30% off sale at the VOA!! And take another 20% off for senior discount! At the VOA, you are considered a senior at 55. Works for me!

I brushed all the snow off the truck, all bundled in my parka, scarf, ear muffs and thickest gloves. It was only 5 minutes down the road. I could do this in -10 degrees!

I am so glad I did!

I found some great treasures. Wanna see 'em?

 
I love Black Americana and this Mammy cookie jar is a great example of it. It is ceramic and a reproduction of the ones made in the 1940's and 1950's.
 

The cut crystal basket with the silver trim and handle is precious. I haven't done any research on it yet.....anyone know it's age?




I don't make deviled eggs, but I loved this milk glass dish with the scalloped gold edge.


And the square bowl is so beat up as to be desirable, to me anyways! The lighter area looks like a butterfly.


I am always drawn to the brown drip dishes. I have had many of them go in and out of my shop, from the coffee pot to the chip and dip dish. This is my first 2 tier candy/dessert dish and I grabbed it up. It is in perfect condition. This picture is before I cleaned it up!

 
I have a shelf full of these Ball jars with the wire clasp over the glass lid. But I can't part with mine yet, so I bought this one to put in my shop. It needs a little cleaning up too!
 

I am not sure I did it out loud in the store, but I squealed with delight when I saw this little dish and little cups. It has Sorrento hand written on the plate and each of the cups. I have no idea what it is for.....espresso?


 I just had to have it because my husband and I went on a tour of Italy for our honeymoon and Sorrento was my favorite place we visited. I already broke one of the little cups transporting it, but four seems to fit on the plate better!


Oh, these bunnies! Too cute! All rough and textured porcelain with little pink noses and fluffy bows on their backs. It's going to be hard to list these!


I was in and out of there in about 20 minutes and back home. It was one of the better half hours I've thrifted in a while! I was happy and stayed in my warm house the rest of the day.

If you have to have any of these treasures, I will be listing them in my Etsy shop in the next week or so. If you don't see the bunnies, I think you'll know why!!

AnnMarie  xoxo

I am linking up to these great blog parties:

Thriftasaurus
Amaze Me Monday
Show and Share
Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party
Thrifter Share
Make It Pretty Monday
Let's Talk Vintage
Vintage Inspiration Party
What's It Wednesday
Home and Garden Thursday
Treasure Hunt Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday
The Vintage Alphabet Party

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cinnamon Sugar Roll Ups - A Quick After School Snack

You know how you have those leftover strips of dough after making a pie or cookies?

I usually sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on them and bake them up, not to waste anything.


My son loves them.

As a matter of fact the other day he asked why I don't make those for dessert? I said because I don't have any leftover dough from anything!

Then I remembered that I had a box of Pillsbury pie crusts in the freezer. I realized that I could easily make those little bundles of sweetness with a pie crust!

We'll call them Cinnamon Sugar Roll Ups

Here are your ingredients


Here is your stove temperature



Lay the dough out on a cookie sheet (be sure to use your oldest and blackest one! Just kidding....that's all I have!) and with a pizza cutter or sharp knife make vertical cuts and then cut the whole round in half.


Sprinkle with a generous amount of sugar and cinnamon. Then, one by one, roll them up. Put them on parchment paper to avoid burning the bottoms.






Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and done!

Surprise! My son will be thrilled when he gets home today!

Happy Baking!

AnnMarie xoxo

I'm linking up with these great blog parties:

Showcase Your Talent Thursday
The Weekend Social
A Little R & R Wednesdays
Flashback Friday
diy Sunday Showcase
A Bouquet of Talent
Masterpiece Monday
Munching Mondays
Make It Pretty Monday
Treasure Box Tuesday
Roses of Inspiration Linkup
Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party
 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Looking Forward and Looking Up

I'm not making any resolutions for the New Year.

Not posting any goals or things I want to change.

Don't have any plans different for the new year than I did for the old. I have finally reached the time in my life that I am just living my day to day and enjoying life in a small town in Upstate New York. I have asked my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to take control of my life so all I have to do is obey and follow his lead.

I think He's got some cool stuff for me coming up in 2015 though!!

I like the routine of the every day so I just plan on spending my days and life in 2015 with some special people that I couldn't do it all without.....


My husband Frank and son Michael, who aren't afraid to indulge with me in some high tea.

 
Grandson Baby JC, 3 months, and Granddaughter Chloe, 3 years. They are too cute, I am too blessed!

 
Jena, my youngest daughter, who is SO much like me, and the cute children's Mom.


Granddaughter Cassidy, 9, with the Christmas toys I buy her every year. You know, the annoying ones that sing and dance? I think she is up to six of them now, much to the dismay of her parents!


Candice, my oldest daughter, Cassidy's Mom. Hair stylist extraordinaire. The compliments I get on my hair boost my confidence on a daily basis!


Ah, the girls, my Mercy Sisters. We get together and eat and laugh. From the left is sweet Lora, funny Colleen, feisty Tree, big-hearted Kim, the. best. hugger. Irene, and me.

 
Bonnie, who is so much like me it is scary, except, obviously, our looks!! Even everything we do for our looks, we do the same!

There are many others I will enjoy spending 2015 with, I just don't have pictures of them!!!



In 2015 I will be eating some of my favorite foods.....in moderation....

Almond Joy Cake (recipe)

HUGE donuts from a local grocery store bakery
 
My Homemade Lasagna (recipe)
 
Rhubarb Crisp (recipe)

Seafood Boil (recipe)
 

And, so you don't think I am a junk food junkie...
Beet Greens, Walnuts and Goat Cheese Salad (Recipe)

After a full day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. of doing and doing, weeknights you will find me on the couch watching some of my favorite TV shows:

Downton Abbey
Once Upon a Time
Resurrection
The Voice
Survivor
Shark Tank

Anyone else watch any of those? I'm kinda hooked.

And finally, I will be doing some of my favorite things......

Gardening in the summer

Baking in the Fall....


      hibernating at home  in the winter.....


and in the Spring......thrifting and garage sale-ing and picking and hunting for the best old stuff I can find.

 
 You can find me here on my blog musing about this and that or in front of the computer working on my Etsy shop when I am not thrifting, or going out to lunch with the girls or spending time with my grandchildren.
 
It's where I am supposed to be in the big picture of things.....looking forward and looking up.
 
And that's just how I like it.
 
 
AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Roses of Inspiration
Show and Share
A Return to Lovliness
A Little R & R Linky Party
Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party
Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop
Share Your Cup Thursday
The Weekend Missional Link Up Party
Flashback Friday
Coffee and Conversation Link Party

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Decorating for Winter with Bottles...a DIY

I love decorating for Christmas by mixing it up with winter décor. When the holidays pass, you still have lots of décor to admire for the long winter ahead.

This year I just had to try making what seems to be the newest trend in DIY.

 Bottle brush tree jars.



Luckily I have a wall of shelves in the basement filled with vintage mason jars and saved condiment bottles. I just have to save everything that may have a use. This time it worked out perfect.

All you need are some wide mouth bottles, packaged "snow" from the craft store, good quality glue, some bottle brush trees (I got most of mine from Walmart), some figurines and a few kitchen utensils. I found some snowmen at Walmart and assorted deer at Michael's. At a new store in my area I found a display of great animal figurines, all 30% off! I got a deer, a bear, a squirrel,  and a bunny.

This bottle is a honey jar with a white lid.

 
I took a spongey glass cleaner, slightly damp, and ran it around the inside of the jar. When I poured the snow in some of it stuck to the sides. I then used my kitchen tongs to hold the trees by their tops and place them inside with glue on their bottoms. I did the same for the snowman. Then I added some more snow to settle to the bottom.
 

I finished the top off by gluing white glitter on it. Tie a plaid ribbon around the top, and done!
 


The second bottle got the same treatment but was finished with a piece of burlap, twine and a jingle bell. For the bottles with colored lids, I painted them ivory and then glued the white glitter on top.

You can find great mason jar bottles at the Dollar Tree for a $1 if you don't have them around the house.

I love this little bunny and paired her with a white tree and a green tree. I found the cute tinsel trim at JoAnn's for around the top.




 
I wanted the bear to look like he was in a winter wonderland so I paired him with three flocked white trees. He is at home in a vintage mason jar with a zinc lid.
 

 
 
He fits right in with my winter wonderland scene on the top of my cupboard.
 
 
 
The one that was the most exciting for me was this cookie/cracker jar winter scene. I saw one on one of the many blogs I visit and it was one of those "aha! I can do that, I have that jar" moments. It took all of two minutes to put it all together. I didn't glue anything down because the inside is large enough for things to stand on their own. The center tree actually fits up into the recess of the lid.
 
 
 
 
 
My most favorite one of all is the one in the first picture. It is a pepperoncini jar, and because it is so tall and skinny, only one tree would fit. I had wanted to do the upside down version of these bottles and it worked perfect for that. The tinsel trim around the lid finished it off.
 

 
Such an easy, simple DIY that adds some winter charm to your home. These will stay out until March in my home, when Spring finally starts to emerge in Upstate NY.
 
 
AnnMarie xoxo
 
I am linking up to these great blog parties: