Saturday, December 26, 2009

Baby Squirrel needs some help

This is such a cute video I just had to share it with everyone.

Just to show you the links we will go to, to help others.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rachael Ray magazine deal for everyone

How about a great deal to end the year with for everyone?

Get a one-year subscription to Everyday With Rachael Ray for just $4.99 on right now! Just enter ee78 at checkout.

It will even let you get up to 4 subscriptions at this price or just get yourself 4yrs. worth of the magazine to keep the recipes coming.

I myself got 2yrs. worth for just little ole me.

Hurry before they are all GONE.......

Friday, December 18, 2009

McDonald's Resturants

I don't know if you've heard or not but as of the middle of January they are going to be starting to let their customers have WI-FI for NO CHARGE. No more having to pay for it while you are there anymore. They want their customers to have a relaxing, enjoyable experience while they are there.

I think it is a ploy to get more customers to come in while the economy is slow. But who can bulk at WI-FI for NO CHARGE.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Emergency "Telephone" Numbers

Emergency "Telephone" Numbers
These are more effective than 911

When -
You are sad, phone John 14
You have sinned, phone
Psalm 51
You are facing danger, phone
Psalm 91
People have failed you, phone
Psalm 27
It feels as though God is far from you, phone
Psalm 139
Your faith needs stimulation, phone
Hebrews 11
You are alone and scared, phone
Psalm 23
You are worried, phone
Matthew 8:19-34
You are hurt and critical, phone
1 Corinthians 13
You wonder about Christianity, phone
2Corinthians 5:15-18
You feel like an outcast, phone
Romans 8:31-39
You are seeking peace, phone
Matthew 11:25-30
It feels as if the world is bigger than God, phone
Psalm 90
You need Christ like insurance, phone
Romans 8:1-30
You are leaving home for a trip, phone
Psalm 121
You are praying for yourself, phone
Psalm 87
You require courage for a task, phone
Joshua 1
Inflation and investments are hogging your thoughts, phone
Mark 10:17-31
You are depressed, phone
Psalm 27
Your bank account is empty, phone
Psalm 37
You lose faith in mankind, phone
1 Corinthians 13
It looks like people are unfriendly, phone John 15
You are losing hope, phone Psalm 126
You feel the world is small compared to you, phone Psalm 19
You want to be successful, phone John 15
Paul's secret for happiness, phone
Colossians 3:12-17
With big opportunity/ discovery, phone Isaiah 55
You feel overwhelmed, phone
Psalms 61:2
For dealing with fear, call
Psalm 47
For security, call
Psalm 121:3
For assurance, call
Mark 8:35
For reassurance, call Psalm 145:18

The Wooden Bowl

The Wooden Bowl

I guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now,
a year from now.

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year
-old grandson.
The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered

The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and
failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor.
When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.
'We must do something about father,' said the son.

'I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.'

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.

There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.
Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone.

Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor.

He asked the child sweetly, 'What are you making?' Just as sweetly, the boy responded,
'Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.
' The four-year-old smiled and went back to work..

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason,
neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things:

a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a 'life..'

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands.You need to be able to throw
something back sometimes.

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you
But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others,
your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.

People love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I've learned that you should pass this on to everyone you care about. I just did..

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How Could You?

A man in Grand Rapids, Michigan incredibly took out a $7000 full page ad in the paper to present the following essay to the people of his community.

((I just had to put it on here for all of you to read and please feel free to pass this on if you see fitting to. I will for warn you that you will need a tissue as this will bring you to tears. ))

HOW COULD YOU? - By Jim Willis, 2001

When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" -- but then you'd relent and roll me over for a belly rub.
My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs" you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.
Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love. She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" - - still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy.
Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love." As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch -- because your touch was now so infrequent -- and I would've defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.
There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog ," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.
Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family
I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too. After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked, "How could you?"
They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind -- that this was all a bad dream... or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me.
When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited. I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days.
As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured, "How could you?"
Perhaps because she understood my dog speak, she said, "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself -- a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not directed at her. It was directed at you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of you. I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.
A Note from the Author: If "How Could You?" brought tears to your eyes as you read it, as it did to mine as I wrote it, it is because it is the composite story of the millions of formerly "owned" pets who die each year in American & Canadian animal shelters. Please use this to help educate, on your websites, in newsletters, on animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards. Tell the public that the decision to add a pet to the family is an important one for life, that animals deserve our love and sensible care, that finding another appropriate home for your animal is your responsibility and any local humane society or animal welfare league can offer you good advice, and that all life is precious. Please do your part to stop the killing, and encourage all spay & neuter campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals.
Please pass this on to everyone, not to hurt them or make them sad, but it could save maybe, even one, unwanted pet. Remember...They love UNCONDITIONALLY.
Now that the tears are rolling down your face, pass it on! Send to everyone in your address book and around the world! This IS the reality of dogs given up to shelters!

What if God let you stay in heaven for awhile then took it away and put you in a cage and sent you to hell, due to he did not have time for you.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Visit from Jesus

Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter.

She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again.

There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address.

She read the letter:

Dear Ruth:

I`m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit.

Love Always,


Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. 'Why would the Lord want to visit me?

I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer.'

With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets.

'Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner.'

She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents.

Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least.'

She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.

A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with grand total twelve cents to last her until Monday..

Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.

'Hey lady, can you help us,lady?'

Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway.

A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.

'Look lady, I ain't got a job, you know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda
hungry and, well, if you could help us. Lady, we'd really appreciate it.'

Ruth looked at them both.

They were dirty, they smelled bad and frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.

'Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him.'

'Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway.'

The man put his arm around the woman's
shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley.

As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.

'Sir, wait!'

The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them.

'Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest.'

She handed the man her grocery bag.

'Thank you lady. Thank you very much!'

'Yes, thank you!' It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering

'You know, I've got another coat at home.

Here, why don't you take this one.'

Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders.

Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.

'Thank you lady!

Thank you very much!'

Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front
door, and worried too.

The Lord

was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him.

She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox.

'That's odd.. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day.'

Dear Ruth:

It was so good to see you again.

Thank you for the lovely meal.

And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.

Love Always,


The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.

If you love Jesus, send this to ten people Do not keep this message.

The mantra must leave your hands within 96 hours.

You will get a very pleasant surprise.

This is true, even if you are not superstitious.

good things will happen to everyone that

touches this story

Wednesday, November 25, 2009



Yields 5 dozen cookies

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together the shortening and 1 1/2 cups of white sugar until smooth. Stir in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each. Combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; stir into the batter until blended.
Roll the dough into balls the size of small walnuts. Roll in a mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned, but still soft.

These are fantastic.

Monday, November 23, 2009


There comes a point in your life when you realize:

Who matters,
Who never did,
Who won't anymore...
And who always will.
So, don't worry about people from your past,
there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The cutest Kitty/dog bed to make from a sweater

This is from one of the blogs I follow. It it from Korinne Zimmerman, otherwise known as Crafterella, as she puts it in her profile.
This bed is so simple to make and actually it would go for either a cat or dog for that matter.

I am definitely looking in my closet for a few old sweaters that we don't wear and making a few for our dogs. Actually I think Larry's would work best since they would be bigger.

Head on over and check out the simple directions on how to make this bed and see her pics that go with it.

This was in my newspaper the other day.........

A 37 yr. old dad is being brought up on first-degree murder charges against his son in his death.

The dad found out his 15 yr. old son had sexual contact with a 3 yr. old girl and he made him strip down naked at gunpoint and marched him into a vacant lot and shot him to death, despite pleas from the boy and his mother.

Sounds like he was going straight by the old testament to me. They took them to the edge of town and stoned them for far less. They wanted to be rid of that kind of sin.

What do you think on the subject, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it???

By the way this happened in Highland Park, Mi. which is a suburb of Detroit.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Baker's Cookie Guide

A Baker’s Cookie Guide

Tips and Techniques for Better Cookies

How to Troubleshoot Cookies,

Save Time with No-Bake Cookies,


and more . . .

The Prepared Pantry


“I'm not sure my mother really understands just what her cooking means to me. It represents everything warm and good and cozy.”

Carmen Jackson Crofton

Washington Post, 1999

· A Baker’s Cookie Guide: Tips and Techniques for Better Cookies

· How to Troubleshoot Cookies

· Save Time with No-Bake Cookies (with Recipes)

· The Joys of Refrigerator Cookies

Unless stated otherwise, this material is the property of The Prepared Pantry and provided as a courtesy for private use only. It may not be used for commercial purposes or published without the written consent of the owners. It may be copied and shared with others for their private use only. By receiving and retaining this material either from The Prepared Pantry or from an intermediate party, the recipient agrees to use this only for private and not for commercial purposes.

All rights reserved, © 2004, The Prepared Pantry, unless noted otherwise.

The Prepared Pantry

Rigby, Idaho

A Baker’s Cookie Guide

Tips and Techniques for Better Cookies


Cookies are wonderful concoctions of flour, sugar, and a fat—usually butter and eggs. To these basic ingredients, we add fruit, nuts, and flavors. If we start out with compromised ingredients, the cookies from any recipe will be inferior.


Sugars not only sweeten, they add moisture and tenderness to the cookie and help the cookie brown. Always use the type of sugar called for in the recipe. Since superfine sugar melts faster than does granulated, it will create more spread. Brown sugar adds a caramel flavor and more moisture than granulated. Powdered sugar has added cornstarch and makes a firmer, drier cookie.

Measure sugar in measuring units designed for dry ingredients. For white sugar, use a knife to level the top of the measure. Pack brown sugar firmly into the measuring unit.

Always use fresh, soft, brown sugar. Hardened brown sugar will not add enough moisture to the cookie. An old trick to soften brown sugar is to add a slice of bread to the container. Since sugar is hygroscopic, that is it attracts moisture, it will draw the moisture from the bread. In a day or two, the sugar will be soft and you can throw the bread away.


Use good quality, fresh flour. If your bag of flour has been sitting open too long, it may be dry or taste stale.

For a more tender cookie, use pastry four. For a chewier cookie, use bread flour. All-purpose flour is the middle of the road and suitable for most cookies.

Measure flour as you would white sugar, in a dry measure and scrape the top off with the back of a knife. Do not dip the measure into the flour. Flour packs easily and scooped flour results in too much flour for the recipe. Whisk or sift the flour to lighten it and then carefully spoon the flour into the measure.


Nothing tastes like butter. It contributes much of the flavor that we love in cookies, some of the color, and much of the tenderness. Butter acts as a shortening, that is, it “shortens” the gluten strands found in flour and gives the cookie a soft, melt-in-your mouth texture.

Margarine can be substituted for butter. Margarine often has more water than butter and some adjustment to the recipe may be necessary if you substitute margarine for butter.

Shortening can be used in place of butter but the cookie is likely to be very different. A cookie with shortening will have less spread, will tend to be crisper, and will lack that buttery flavor—even if you use butter-flavored shortening.


Eggs add structure and fat to the cookies. The eggs, as they are beaten, create bubbles that make the cookies lighter and the protein in the egg solidifies to create a firmer, higher profile as it bakes.

Always use fresh eggs and use the size of eggs called for in the recipe. Set the eggs on the counter for thirty minutes before using—warmer eggs will make a lighter cookie.

Fruits and Nuts

Where would we be without raisin cookies or those nut-filled cookies?

Nuts become rancid easily. The smaller the nut pieces, the quicker they will spoil. Always taste the nuts before using them in the recipe. If they taste even slightly rancid, discard them. Rancid nuts may be unhealthy. Store your nuts in the refrigerator, or better yet, the freezer.

To enhance the flavor of nuts, consider toasting them. Place them one layer thick on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees. The type and size of the nuts will determine the baking time, anywhere from three minutes to ten minutes. Determine when the nuts are toasted by both fragrance and color. Always let the nuts cool and reabsorb the oils before mixing them into the batter.

Dry fruit becomes hard as it ages. Steam raisins and other dried fruit by pouring boiling water to just cover them and let stand until plump—the length of time will be a factor of the freshness and type of fruit. Pat them dry on paper towels. Kids who turn their noses up at raisin cookies may change their minds if they experience cookies with plumped raisins.


The wonderful world of spices was designed for cookies. Use the best spices that you can buy, keep them covered, use them while they are fresh. There is a world of difference between quality spices and inexpensive spices.

Buy the best cinnamon that you can find. Taste-test your cinnamon for quality. Good cinnamon will taste sweet and have almost a citrus flavor. Cheap cinnamon will be astringent and bitter. Good quality cinnamon will make a marvelous difference in your baking.


Most cookies use a two stage method of mixing. The sugars and fats are creamed together with eggs added and beat into the creamed mixture. The dry ingredients are added to the creamed mixture.

The two most common mixing faults are over-mixing and failure to distribute the dry ingredients uniformly. (Often, the baker over-mixes the batter in an attempt to distribute the dry ingredients.) You can beat the creamed mixture thoroughly—the objective is to entrain as much air into the mixture as possible but once the flour is added, mix only until the flour is moistened. Over mixing does two things: it develops the gluten in the flour making a tougher cookie and it drives the entrained air from the batter so the cookie is not as light.

To ensure that leavenings and spices are evenly distributed in the batter, mix all dry ingredients together thoroughly before combining the dry mixture with the creamed mixture. Do so with either a whisk or by sifting the ingredients together.

Fold any fruit and nuts gently into the batter stirring no more than necessary to keep the batter light and airy.


The greatest cookie fault is over baking. If your cookies tend to be dry or tough, reduce the baking. When done and hot on the cookie sheet, most cookies appear to be under baked. It’s better to under bake than to over bake.

Always bake the cookies on the middle shelf—the lower shelf is too close to the heating element and will over bake the bottom of the cookies. If you bake more than one sheet a time, either switch the lower sheet with the upper sheet part way through the baking or place on sheet on top of another sheet to insulate the bottom of the pan.

Learn how your oven bakes. If experience tells you that your oven bakes faster than called for in most recipes, lower the heat by 25 degrees. Better yet, use an ovenproof thermometer to test the heat in your oven.

If you have a lot of cookies to bake and a limited number of baking pans, consider lining the pans with sheets of foil or parchment paper. You can load the foil or parchment paper with cookie dough while the sheets are on the counter. As soon as the cookies come from the oven, slide the sheets from the pans and set the pans aside to cool. Remove the cookies from the parchment paper or foil to cool on wire racks. As soon as the pans are cool, load them again with sheets of cookies. Never place cookie dough on warm pans as it will increase the spread of the cookies and affect cooking time.


Freezing Dough

If you haven’t discovered the convenience of freezing cookie dough, the next time that you bake cookies, try freezing part of your dough. For refrigerator-type cookies, form the dough into logs and freeze so that the dough can be sliced when almost thawed. For other cookies, wrap the dough in plastic and press as much air from the wrap as possible then place the wrapped dough inside a plastic bag to freeze.

Most cookie dough can be kept in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator for up to three months and in a freezer for up to six months. (The freezing compartment of your refrigerator is not as cold as a freezer.)

Freezing Cookies

Text Box: Freezing Bar Cookies      Most bar cookies freeze particularly well.  There are two ways to freeze bar cookies: wrap them individually or wrap and freeze the whole cake after it has cooled completely.  Bar cookies should last for months in a freezer (not the freezer section of your refrigerator).  We have frozen Hermits in a Bar for six months with no noticeable loss of quality. Most baked cookies freeze well. The exception is chocolate glazed cookies; freezing often creates a white frost on the chocolate. Freeze each type separately—never freeze crisp and chewy cookies together. Freeze delicate cookies on a baking sheet before wrapping them individually and storing them in containers.

Refreshing cookies

All cookies that have been frozen can benefit from refreshing. Spread them on a baking sheet and stick them in an oven heated to 325 degrees for three to eight minutes depending on the thickness of the cookies. They are done when they start to smell fresh-baked.

Even if the cookies have not been frozen, consider refreshing them before serving. Fresh from the oven, cookies that are several days old taste as if they were just baked.

If soft or chewy cookies become hard or stale in the cookie jar, add a slice of bread. By the next day, the moisture will have migrated to the sugar-rich cookies making them soft and moist again.


Most of us have loved ones across the country that we would like to share cookies with. There are two keys to successfully shipping cookies: wrap them individually in plastic and ship them in small containers. For more delicate cookies, nestle them in Styrofoam shipping pieces or ordinary popcorn. Lower fat cookies last longer so are better for shipping long distances.

© 2004, The Prepared Pantry (

How to Troubleshoot Cookies

If your cookies are too tough . . .
You may have used too much flour or a flour with too high of a protein content. Unless you want a chewy cookie, do not use bread flour. Check your measurements--the cookies may not have enough fat or the amount of sugar may be wrong.

If your cookies are too crumbly . . .
They may have too much sugar, shortening, or leavening or may not be thoroughly mixed. Try adding more eggs.

If your cookies are too hard . . .
They may have been baked too long or at a temperature that was too low. Too much flour or not enough shortening or liquid will make them hard also.

If your cookies are too dry . . .
The same elements that make cookies too hard, may make them too dry. Try baking them at a higher temperature for a shorter period. Substitute brown sugar (with its higher moisture content) for part of the granulated sugar.

If your cookies are too brown . . .
The cookies were most likely baked too long or at too high of a temperature. Too much sugar may make a cookie brown too readily.

If your cookies are not browned enough . . .
The baking temperature was too low, they were not baked long enough, or there was too little sugar.

If your cookies spread too much . . .
The baking temperature may be too low. Too much sugar, shortening, or leavening will cause spread. If pans are greased with too much shortening, spread may occur. Add a little more flour or chill your dough before forming the cookies.

If your cookies don't spread enough . . .
The opposite conditions that create too much spread may cause your cookies not to spread enough. There may not be enough sugar, shortening, or leavening, or the temperature is too high. Try adding more grease to the pan and baking at a lower temperature.

If the edges or crust turns out sugary . . .
The cookies probably have too much sugar. The dough may have been inadequately mixed.

If your cookies have a poor flavor . . .
Make sure all the flavoring ingredients were added. Dated or low quality ingredients may not impart strong enough flavors. Improperly washed baking pans will sometimes cause a cookie to taste bad.

If your cookies stick to the pans . . .
The pans probably weren't greased adequately. Too much sugar will make cookies stick. Cookies are usually easier to remove from their pans immediately after coming from the oven.

© 2004, The Prepared Pantry (

Save Time with No-Bake Cookies

Whether you don't want to heat up the kitchen or the demands of getting the kids out the door are upon you, it's nice to have a few no-bake cookie recipes on hand. We thought we would share some of our favorites with you.

This first recipe, Cranberry Coconut Bars, is more of a big kid cookie—it has too much fruit and too many nuts in it to suit most youngsters. But it so scrumptious and easy, we had to include it. If you are making a lunch for a spouse or a teenager, we think this will be a hit. Of course, it doesn't have to go in a lunch pail.

This is a microwave cookie that can be mixed right in the baking pan. How's that for convenience?

If you are not fond of dried cranberries, consider substituting dates, raisins, or chopped apricot pieces in this recipe.

Cranberry Coconut Bars

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup quick rolled oats
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup walnut pieces


1. Place butter in an 8-inch square, microwave-safe baking dish. Microwave until the butter is melted.
2. Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Press the mixture firmly into the dish.
3. Microwave for three to five minutes or until lightly browned. If your microwave does not have a rotating carousel, rotate the dish twice during cooking.
4. Let the cookies cool and then cut them into bars with a sharp knife. Wrap them individually to pack in a lunch.

This recipe will make sixteen 2 x 2-inch squares.

This next recipe makes a great kid cookie. It's almost confection-like but is so packed with energy and hearty oats that you won't mind giving your youngster a few. This cookie is best with a tall glass of milk.

This is a range-top cookie. Because it is a no-baker and so full of energy, it makes a great camping cookie.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Drops

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cocoa
2 1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract


1. Combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook for two more minutes stirring constantly and then remove the pan from the heat.
2. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla, then the oats.
3. Let cool for several minutes and then drop spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let the cookies cool completely before removing them from the waxed paper.

More No-Bakers

When thinking of no-bake cookies, don't forget the perennial favorites, Rice Krispie Treats and Frosted Graham Crackers. We're assuming everyone has the recipe for Rice Krispie Treats. Consider adding chocolate chips, dried fruit pieces, or cinnamon candies for a little pizzazz.

To make Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats, melt 2/3 cup chocolate chips (for a recipe calling for six cups of cereal) with the marshmallows and butter. This is a real favorite—our kids like these more than regular Rice Krispie Treats and they are no more difficult to make.

For Frosted Graham Crackers, simply pick your favorite frosting and sandwich that between two graham cracker squares. Pick a frosting with a powdered-sugar base that will set up firm and won't be messy.

© 2004, The Prepared Pantry (

The Joys of Refrigerator Cookies

Baking cookies seem to fill the house with a sense of well being and peace. Perhaps it is the smell of butter, vanilla, and spices emanating from the hot oven. Maybe it is the love and caring attention that is evident in cookies. Home, love, and cookies seem to go together.

Consider refrigerator, or icebox, cookies for the holidays. They can be made up ahead of time-even months ahead-and stored until ready to bake. Baking up those stored refrigerator cookies is mess free, takes little time, and you only need to bake what you need for the moment. Drop cookies are quick cookies; refrigerator cookies are convenient cookies.

Refrigerator cookies are also attractive cookies. Nothing beats the uniform slices and consistent shape of refrigerator cookies. To keep that uniform shape, slice while the dough is still cold and firm and turn the log after every few cookies to keep the log round. If the cookies have a flat edge, mold them back to shape with the curl of your finger before baking.

Roll the refrigerator cookies into logs (or blocks) as directed in the instructions then wrap them in waxed paper and aluminum foil. The logs can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for months. When you are ready to bake, remove the logs from the refrigerator to unthaw. It's easier to slice a log that is not completely thawed and the cookies bake fine-though you may need to add another minute or so.

© 2004, The Prepared Pantry (