Saturday, November 5, 2011

Great Grandma Bowen's Christmas Cookies!


I am just loving the Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract so much that I decided to bake some of my DH's Grandmother's famous Christmas Halloween cookies with it.  I admit I didn't have any powdered sugar to make her famous frosting she puts on the cookies, but the kids didn't seem to miss it as they gobbled them down at top rate speed!

Honestly, I CAN taste the difference in the cookies just by using the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla.  We have always used clear cake decorating vanilla in the past because I do a bit of cake decorating (nothing spectacular, just something to please the kidlets) and while the vanilla is good,  it is nothing as good as this! 

Great Grandma Bowen's Christmas Cookies

1/2 cup plus 2 tbs sugar
3/4 cup butter (NOT margarine-cookies won't turn out right)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/13 cup plus 2 tbs flour sifted
1 large egg
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract

Sift together flour, salt,  and baking powder and set aside

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and thoroughly mix

Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture until completely combined

Form into a ball, wrap in Saran Wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes

Roll out dough between two pieces of wax paper to 1/4" thick and refrigerate for at least an hour

Cut out shapes, put on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray and put in freezer for at least 15 minutes

Preheat oven to 350

Bake for 10-12 minutes and let cool completely on pan before transferring

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday's 2 Posts!


Who wants to win $250 worth of Legos?  I know I do!!! Right now, LOL Shirts has a sweepstakes going on and you too can enter to win the Legos HERE .  I know my kids love Legos so I entered today!


As many of you know, I have been doing sweepstakes for close to a year now.  It doesn't consume all my time, and is really a lot of fun because you never know what the mail man, UPS guy and Fed Ex man is going to bring to you.  Some days all three come to visit like Santa!  Every month I try to share with you guys my wins, so here are the month of October.

1.  A $10 gift certificate to Miles Kimball Website

2.   Ella Sarah Get's Dressed book with CD Giveaway from Chief Family Officer's blog ARV $8.94

3.  Vinyl Decal from the Vinyl Express ARV $20 from One Thrifty Gurl Blog

4.  Computer America Grand prize winner Logitech Harmony One Advanced Universal Remote ARV $199.99

5.  Shoe Dazzle $39.99 GC for one item off the website from the Pink Dandy Chatter Blog

6.  Madison at Main Rug from K Squared Glamour ARV $39.99

7.  EQ Balance Bands from Foam Magazine ARV $26

8.  Wild Soap Sampler from Sweeps 4 Bloggers ARV $12

9.  Eucerin Giveaway from Moana Saves ARV $18

10.  Poppa D's Nuts giveaway from Fishful Thinking ARV $50

11.  Neilsen Massey Powdered Vanilla from Stuff Parents Need ARV $8.00

12.  $25 GC to from My Thoughts Ideas and Ramblings

13.  Midnight Oil Giveaway from Pawsitive Living ARV $22

14.  GHD Gold Series Professional 1" Styler from Lucky Magazine ARV $225

15.  The Real L Word Season 2 DVD ARV $38

16.  J Burger Sauce from Racing and Saving Mama ARV $13.49

17.  I won 3rd place in the Win with Wisconsin Potatoes Recipe Contest $50 check

18.  Playtex bowls by Lisa's Reviews Not sure of the ARV, but I received 3 bowls Two are worth $6.49

19.  Britannies Thyme by Networking Witches ARV $19

20.  Mighty Macs Signed Poster by Media Mikes ARV ??

21.  $25 GC to Kudzoom by A Mom's Take

22.  $50 GC to Channing & Co Jewelry by Through the Eyes of a Tiger

23.  Marzetti Giveaway on Cake Mom ARV $5

24.  Bronze Three Tiered Shoe Rack ARV $26

TOTAL WINNINGS:  $937.89 Woot woot!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Finally Got my Organic, Free-Range Chickens!

So we got our chickens about a month ago, and I have to say it has been such a rewarding experience.  After they got used to their new home, we let them out to free range which has made them so happy.  They are on an all organic feed, and I must say the 9 of them are eating me out of house and home to the tune of about 24 lbs a month of food, but they are laying so well.  I am averaging 5 eggs a day which is really great since some are still really young and not quite laying yet.  Also, it has been so cold that everyone we know is talking about how they aren't getting but a couple of eggs a week.  However, our chickens are still laying at least 4 a day and usually five.  I love talking to them as I feed them every morning and I honestly believe they love their life here!  /I would recommend chickens to anyone as long as you plan to  free range them or put them in a fenced in yard they can run around freely.

Our New Family Member

Welcome Ruby!!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kick Your Baked Goods up a Notch with Nielsen-Massey Vanilla!


I am very pleased to announce that after several weeks of entries we finally have a winner!!!  And *Drumroll* the winner is Rebecca R.  I am currently emailing her and look forward to hearing from her in the next 48 hours.  in the event there is no response, I will select another winner.


I had the pleasure of stumbling across a wonderful company a few weeks ago, and I am just in love with their products!  Nielsen-Massey is a 3rd generation family owned company which has been in operation since 1907.   Although, Corporate HQ are in Wisconsin, Nielsen Massey is an international company with locations as far as the Netherlands.

It has a selection of Vanilla Extracts, beans, and powders that are simply superior.  They hand select each bean and use a proprietary process to cold extract the flavor from each bean, and I was really impressed to learn that they are audited annually and received Superior Ratings since the '90's by The American Institute of Baking. 

While their credentials are impeccable, what speaks even louder to me as a mother is that their products are safe for almost anyone to eat.  They are Gluten Free, Allergen free, Kosher certified, and I absolutely love that the products they sell are made in the US as well. 

I was so excited when I received my bottle of Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract in the mail.  I have used what I consider nice vanilla before, but nothing as great as this.  I definitely will never EVER use 2 dollar vanilla again.  The first thing DH and I did was to taste the vanilla straight.  Anyone who has tasted run of the mill vanilla will tell you that it tastes "yucky" as my kids say.  NOT this vanilla.  We tasted it on a spoon and it was VERY good. 

I received permission to try out one  of the recipes listed on the Nielsen-Massey website so I selected a fabulous Vodka drink.  I am in love.  

Here is the recipe so you can make your own

Nielsen-Massey Orange Blossom Martini

Serves 1

1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar
4 ounces orange juice, pulp free
2 ounces pomegranate juice
2 ounces vodka
1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Orange Blossom Water
1 fresh orange slice for garnish

Rub the rim of an empty, chilled martini glass with an orange wedge. Invert glass into bowl of Pure Vanilla Sugar and swirl. Combine juices, vodka and Orange Blossom Water in an ice filled martini shaker. Shake vigorously and pour into prepared glass. Garnish with a fresh orange slice.

Disclaimer:  I received one or more of the products listed in the post to facilitate my review.  I was not compensated monetarily in any way.  I was not required to post a review or a positive review.  All opinions are unique, my own, and honest.