December 2013 – A Month Of Photos From The Red Double Wide

Happy New Year Everyone!  Hope you all had a blessed Christmas and are looking forward to an AMAZING 2014!!

We started off December by decorating.  I love that the girls are now big enough to put our ugly, fake, redneck beautiful, artificial tree together by themselves.  They needed a little help from dad when it came to the lights but other than that, it was all them!

TreeJade came home for an early Christmas and we remembered to get a family picture this time.  It’s not the best pic, but it’s all of us. 😀

FamilyDecember was a month of cookies, cookies, fudge, dipped pretzels, almond roca, and more cookies…….I really need to get back to work and away from my kitchen before I can’t button my pants!

CookiesThis is what happens when you turn your back on the 9 year old with sprinkles in her hand.

SprinklesSadly we have received no snow so far this winter.  Everything is brown and cold.  These are our dormant raspberry bushes.

Raspberry BushesThis goofy dog locked himself in the garden….he’s looking a bit worried. 😉

StigDigger hauled this home the day before Christmas Eve.  It was his Christmas present to himself!  As you can see he has LOTS of work to do on it.

Pick-upWe are praising God for a 2013 that was full of change and challenges and praying for a healthy, productive, and happy 2014.

Peppermint Crunch Christmas Cookies

These might possibly be my favorite Christmas cookies.  They are so DELICIOUS but the best part is the absolutely wonderful aroma that fills my house while they cook.  A Christmas candle or Scentsy Pot can’t even touch the Christmasy (is that a word?) smell from these cookies!  My sister told me about this recipe a few years back and I have made them every year since.

Peppermint Crunch CookiesThe secret to these amazing cookies is Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips.

Pettermint baking chips These things are creamy, melt in your mouth, goodness!  Add them into a cookie with oatmeal and coconut and…….WOW!  Or you could just upend the bag into your mouth, that would work too.

Peppermint Crunch Christmas Cookies
This makes about 30 cookies.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup sweetened grated coconut
  • 1½ cups peppermint crunch baking chips
  1. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
  2. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  3. On low speed, add baking soda, salt and flour. Mix completely.
  4. Stir in oats, coconut, and peppermint chips.
  5. Measure 1-2 Tablespoons (depending on how big you want them) of dough and place round balls on a cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
  6. Press lightly on each ball to flatten a little and sprinkle some of the remaining chips on top of each cookie.
  7. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 to 15 min.
  8. This made about 30 cookies.

Christmas Cookies 2Note:  It is a little tricky to figure out when these are done.  I check on them at 10 minutes and don’t take them out until they are a little brown around the edges.  After they come out of the oven if you let them rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes they will stiffen up a bit and be much easier to lay on a cooling rack.

This recipe was adapted from    I am in no way being compensated for saying these things about these baking chips, I just think they are delicious and Christmasy!

As Visions of Chickens Danced Through My Head

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the homestead,

Not a creature was stirring, they’d all been well fed.

Digger was comfy half asleep in his chair,

While sounds of Duck Dynasty filled the air.

The kids laid out cookies for Santa with care,

Then brushed at their teeth and combed their hair.

My day was done so I snuggled into bed,

As visions of chickens danced through my head…..

Okay,  That’s enough of that!

I’m not lying though…..I really do have visions of chickens dancing through my head!  Recently I have received a couple chicken catalogs in the mail and even though the weather outside is frightful, I’m dreaming of a green spring and dozens of baby chicks in the brooder!  Ho hum, soooo many choices and so little coop space. 😕  We have 12 laying hens right now and even with the nasty, cold weather they are still giving us 8 to 10 eggs a day!  I really should be content with that…..right?   Well, I am for now but there’s nothing wrong with planning ahead, making a wish list and saving money for more chicken coops. 😉  Right now we have one breed, they are all Golden Sex Links……

Chicken SistersI’m thinking we need a little more color introduced to our flock.  Some Barred Rock, Black Australorp, and Columbian Wyndotte are my favorite picks of very good egg layers. While these will add color to my flock, they will not add color to my egg basket.

Eggs in a basketNot that there is anything wrong with big brown eggs, I love my big brown eggs, but a little variety would be nice.  This is my frivolous wish list of colorful egg layers.  A Blue Ameraucana will lay blue eggs, an Olive Egger will lay green eggs.  White Leghorns will lay lots of white eggs and  Blue Copper Marans will lay beautiful dark chocolate colored eggs.  I also promised the girls they could pick out a couple Bantams, and of course I want to raise meat birds again (not sure what breed yet).  There you have it, my complete wish list!  Like I said, all I need want now is more chicken coops. 😉

Have you made your chicken wish list yet?  Are you also in need of more coop space?  A word of caution to those of you wanna be chicken owners……chickens are addictive!

Meyer Hatchery and Murray McMurray Hatchery have great sites that you can browse through, and learn lots about different breeds of chickens.  I have ordered from both hatcheries with VERY good results.  Now is the time to pre-order to make sure you get the breeds you want delivered when you want them.  Just make sure the breeds you are picking are conducive to your climate!

Merry Christmas Everyone!  Be grateful for what you have, but remember there’s nothing wrong with a little wish list. 😀

Holiday Spritz Cookies

Holiday Spritz CookiesA few years ago I inherited my grandma’s cookie press, and now it’s a tradition to make these cookies every December.

Vintage Cookie PressI think she would be so pleased to know that her great grand daughters are using her cookie press. 🙂

Christmas CookiesThese are a lot of fun, especially for kids and the recipe is really simple.  Picking what shape of cookie to make and getting a little crazy with the sprinkles are the best parts….well and eating them too. 😉

5.0 from 1 reviews
Holiday Spritz Cookies
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Dessert
  • 1 cup butter - softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all purpose flour
  1. Mix butter, sugar, egg, salt, and vanilla thoroughly. Add flour and blend well. Following the directions for your cookie press, force the dough through the press onto an ungreased baking sheet in desired shapes. Sprinkle with holiday sprinkles. Bake at 400 degrees for 6 to 9 minutes.

This recipe is from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book.

Spritz CookiesHope you are enjoying making cookies and memories this Christmas!

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