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Purely Homespun

Homemade from the heart

Month

December 2017

Easy Trifle

1 vanilla boxed cake mixeasytrifle

custard powder

2 raspberry or cherry jelly powders

raspberry jam

whipped cream

walnuts

Bake cake mix in rectangular pan according to instructions on box.  Be sure that you oil and flour the pans so that the cake will come out easily.  Cool cake before proceeding to next step.

Remove cake from pan and slice in half horizontally.  Layer bottom with jam and put top layer back onto cake.  Slice cake into 1 inch x 1/2 inch slices.

Prepare 2 batches of custard according to instructions on the tin.

Prepare jelly powder according to instructions on the box.

In a large bowl put one layer of the cake in the bottom.  Drench with jello mixture until wet.  Layer custard over top.  Repeat these steps until the bowl is full.

Whip cream and spoon over trifle.  Add chopped walnuts to top of the bowl.  Chill until served.

Note:  The trifle is best eaten the date of preparation.

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Chocolate Shortbread

2 cups flourChocolateShortbread

2 tbsp cocoa powder

3/4 cup softened butter

3/4 cup icing sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Mix butter, sugars and vanilla in a bowl until fluffy.  Add flour and cocoa powder.  Roll into a log and refrigerate until butter hardens.  Cut slices from log and bake in 325 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Helpful Hints – Plants

plants2

  • Don’t put clay pots on furniture. The clay is porous and the water will seep through.
  • To water clay potted plants while you are on holidays place a brick in the bath tube and fill with water to the top of the brick. The water will seep through the drainage hole in the clay plot and water your plans.
  • Styrofoam packing chips are good substitutes for rocks placed in the drainage layer at the bottom of flower pots.
  • Save empty egg cartons to plant your spring seeds in. The cardboard containers can be planted directly outside in the soil.
  • Plant banana skins at the base of roses to provide vital nutrients for the plant.
  • Crush egg shells and scatter around the base of roses to deter bugs.
  • Plant dill near tomatoes to lure caterpillars away from the plants.
  • Vinegar will destroy grass in driveway and sidewalk cracks.

Peace on earth…

peace
Helen Steiner Rice quotation

Helpful Hints – Baking

helpfulhint-baking

  • To color sugar for decorating cookies put several drops of food coloring in a plastic bag. Add several tsp of sugar.  Secure top of bag and work coloring and sugar together until evenly combined.
  • Often when making cookies sugar can be cut by 1/3.
  • Mix dry ingredients in a paper bag. The mixture is incorporated thoroughly and you don’t make dirty dishes.
  • Spray your beaters with non-stick oil before using to stop the batter from climbing up the beater handles.
  • One tsp of cornstarch added to fudge will improve its flavor and texture.
  • Keep nuts in the freezer. They will last longer.
  • Store peanut butter upside down to keep it fresher.
  • When doubling a recipe use the original amount of salt.
  • When measuring honey or molasses oil the measuring cup. The sticky liquid will pour right out of your cup.
  • Roll raisins or dried cranberries in flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom in batter.

Ginger Molasses Refrigerator Cookies

2 3/4 cups flourGingerMolassesIceboxCookies

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Cream wet ingredients together.  Mix in dry ingredients.  Turn onto parchment paper and roll into a log.  Chill in the refrigerator overnight.

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut log into slices and place on cookie sheets.  Bake for 12 – 14 minutes.

 

Chocolate Peppermint Candy

1 bag milk chocolate chipsChocolatePeppermingCandy

1 bag white chocolate chips

2 tsp vegetable oil

1 tsp peppermint extract

candy canes, crushed

Heat milk chocolate chips in a double boiler until melted.  Mix in 1 tsp vegetable oil.  Pour onto a parchment lines cookie sheet and smooth into a thin layer.  Chill in refrigerator until firm

Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler.  Add 1 tsp vegetable oil and peppermint extract.  Pour onto chilled milk chocolate layer and spread to cover bottom layer.  Sprinkle crushed candy canes on the top layer.  Chill until firm and then break into pieces.  Store in a cookie tin in the refrigerator

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