Monday, October 15, 2012

Molasses Cookies - A Tasty Fall Treat :)

I know this isn't a food blog, but I just wanted to share one of my favorite recipes with anyone who might enjoy a tasty cookie, perfect for fall.

Molasses Cookies

1 1/2 C oil
1 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C molasses
2 eggs
1 t ground cloves
1 t ground ginger
2 t salt
4 t baking soda
4 C flour
Extra sugar for dough balls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients except for flour and extra sugar.  Beat well!  Add the flour!  Roll dough into balls.  I use a 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon and scoop out a little more than 1 Tablespoon on dough.  Then roll it into a ball.  Roll dough balls in the extra sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  If you can, use parchment paper!  Bake cookies for 5 - 7 minutes.  They are done when the tops start to crack.  I pull them out of the oven and place the cookie rack on a cooling rack for 7-10 minutes and then remove the cookies to cooling racks to finish off.

These cookies are my favorite fall cookie!  Eat with a nice tall glass of milk and you are in harvest heaven!  Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Birds Welcome

My favorite thing about the fall has always been the colors.  I love the reds, browns, deep greens, oranges and yellows!  This year I can add a new thing to be excited for in the fall.  Birds!!! 

I am not a birder by any stretch of the imagination, but I love watching little birds and their interactions.  It is a calming practice for me.  Maybe it is just taking the time to sit and think of the magnificence of God's creations, I don't know, but it does my soul good.

Early in the Spring, our little Spud family made a delightful bird house.  We painted it with bright colors, mounted it on a cedar post and placed it just outside of the kitchen window.  I imagined happily doing the dishes all spring and summer and enjoying watching delightful little birds flocking to our feeder.  We bought bird seed.  No birds came.  We put some of the seed in a bowl and put it on a table to see if our bright colors were not as welcoming as we thought.  A lot of seed was spilled on the grass, on the patio, in the garden around the bird house, birds came.  We bought different seed and filled the tray again.  No birds.  We decided there must not be enough trees in our neighborhood or something else was wrong. 

In the mean time, some of the seed that spilled sprouted and grew...sunflowers!  I decided to just let them grow since I couldn't work on that part of the garden anyway.  They were a fun addition to our garden and they surrounded the birdhouse very cheerfully and I decided that it was a fun bit of whimsy in our backyard and resigned myself to a birdless summer. 

By this time of year, I am usually working to clear out the gardens, remove the dead flowers and pull the remaining weeds so they don't get nice and comfy for the winter, but this year has been different since I have been recovering from surgery.  Things are not as I would normally like to have them.  We have left the sunflowers long past the time when I would normally get them pulled out.  I have often looked out my window and thought how badly I needed to get out and get my garden work done.  Dr. Spud and I got the veggie garden cleared and did get a few things done, but the sunflowers have been my last priority. 

What a blessing in disguise!  The dying sunflowers have brought darling little birds to my window!!!  They have been having a feast eating the seeds from the sunflowers.  I got a few blurry pictures of the birds from the window but not good enough to share, but I love this picture of the head of this medium sized sunflower picked almost clean by the cute little House Finches and American Gold Finches that have been enjoying everything but the seed in the birdhouse feeder. 

Happy Fall!!!