Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hisk and Hark...Fear and Tremble...Tis the Night that Ghosts Assemble!  Happy Halloween to all....

One of my favorite treats on Halloween is Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  The best richest cookies ever is this recipe from one of our son's kindergarten teachers, Mrs. Werner.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we have over the years....

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Canned Pumpkin
1/2 Cup Butter Flavored Shortening
2 Cups of Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Package of Chocolate Chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix sugar, pumpkin, and shortening.  Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop dough by large tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake until light brown (8-10 minutes).  Enjoy with some hot cider!

Have a Haunting Halloween!

All Joy,


Read more »


A Pot Rack and Chocolate Mayo Cake = Happy 46th Birthday!

This past week was my 46th amazing birthday!!!  I was very blessed to have most of our children around to enjoy a beautiful weekend with me....and of course, my sweet hubby!  In our family, birthdays last for weeks, which is awesome for the birthday girl!  This weekend I was treated to breakfast in bed,  a ticket to Washington to see our grand babies and the pot rack I have been searching for all summer!!!

 I have serious spent hours searching antique shops and thrift shops this summer for an antique fence section to make into a pot rack for my kitchen.  I found a couple, but they were either too heavy or too expensive.  My handy hubby was in Home Depot last week picking up some fencing for a client, and found a piece that was light weight and only $19.00!  Thank goodness he is smart to find it and buy it on the spot.
 I screamed I was so excited (if mamma screams she is very very happy :)  It took one section (which was pre-drilled with holes for hanging), chain at $3.00 per foot, and some S-hooks for $9.00.  Super easy!!!
 To hang the rack we laid out where we wanted it to hang and held a plump from the spot on the ceiling to the corner of the rack hooks to mark the spot on the ceiling where to anchor the bolts.  We took a stud finder to make sure we were anchoring into a stud and drilled starter wholes for the bolts.  Once the bolts were in place we measured off lengths of chain.
We used S-hooks to hook the rack onto the chain and trimmed off the extra links of the chain once we had leveled off the rack.  We did spray paint the S-hooks to get them aged black and bronzed to match the finish on the rack and chains.

I was soooo excited to have this hung and sporting off my red and blue collection of pots and I need to pick up the green cast iron I have been eyeing to balance it all out! Maybe they can go on my Christmas wish list for Santa.  After the rack was all hung I screamed again, probably loud enough for the deer to hear.

I was treated by my kiddos and husband to an old family recipe Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with fudge Mayo Frosting!   I know it sounds gross....but it was one of my favorites as a little girl and I still love it.  Trust me...the mayo makes for the moistest rich chocolate evah!!!  Since I can't share the cake (it's almost gone)  I can share the recipe.....

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake 

3 Cups Flour
1/3 Cup Cocoa
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
2 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 Cup Water
1 1/2 Cup Real Mayonnaise
2 Teaspoon Real Vanilla

Grease and flour two round pans and line the bottom with wax paper.  Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Sift together dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Stir in mayonnaise.  Gradually stir in water and vanilla until smooth and blended well.  Pour into pans.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched.  Cool and then remove from pans.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Frosting

1 Cup of Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons of Real Mayonnaise
1 Cup of Semi Sweet Chocolate (melted and cooled slightly)
2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
Pinch of Salt

Beat the butter and mayonnaise in a stand mixer on high until light and fluffy.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the melted chocolate.  Continue mixing on low speed until all of the chocolate in whipped in.  Turn off the mixer and add half of the powdered sugar.  Add the salt.  Mix in until smooth and gradually add the remaining sugar until you achieve the desired stiffness.  I personally love mine light and fluffy.  Keep in refrigerator for up to a week.  Frost at room temperature.

I have a superstition about birthdays.  The best years are even years...which means, if I was 30...I would rather say I was a year older and was 31 just to get the "luck" of an even year rather than be younger.  I know it sounds weird...and 45 was a good year, but I am very happy to be 46 and have the blessing of an even year ahead of me.

I hope you have a fabulous fall week and enjoy a piece of Chocolate Mayo yumminess on me!

All Joy,


Read more »


DIY Dresser Make-Over

What to do with an old dresser?  Here are the DIY instructions for making a "piece of junk" into a fun and funky piece of furniture your daughters will fight over!!!  A few months ago we were working on an  old home and found a solid wood dresser that had been left behind.  I needed extra storage in my shop, so I decided to save it and make it darling!

This is a project that comes straight out of the 70's.  I know my Mom loved using Modge Podge and I can see why...the best part of this project is having my favorite fabrics on the front of a piece of furniture to see everyday!!!


Modge Podge
Rustoleum Spray Paint
Sponge Brush
(see is simple and easy :)

1.  Clean the piece you are wanting to redo and lightly sand off any splinters or snags.  

2.  "Beef-up" any broken or loose pieces.

3.  Remove the handles.

4.  Choose a color of paint you like and paint as base coat.  I love to use Rustoleum spray paint.  It sprays on evenly and I do not have runs.  I plan on spraying two to three coats and skip the "primer".  Let dry well!!!  You do not have to spray the front of the drawer with three coats as they will be covered with fabric.  Just spray one good coat on them.

5.  Trace the fronts of the drawers onto paper to use as templates for the fabric pieces.

6.  Choose several pieces of fabric the width and length of your drawers.   Cut the fabric of choice to the size of the drawers.  Iron the cut pieces to remove any wrinkles.

7.  Once the pieces are cut and ironed, they are ready to Modge Podge into place.  Pour the Modge Podge into a small bowl or paper plate and using the sponge brush coat the front of the painted drawers.

8.  Lay the cut piece of fabric over the coat of Modge Podge and smooth out with your fingers.

 9.  Brush several coats of Modge Podge over the fabric and along the sides.  This will glue down the fabric to the drawer front and seal it too.

10.  Let dry until hard.  Usually over night is best!

11.  Once the Modge Podge has dried.  You can cut off any stray strings with a utility knife.  

12.  Add the handles and assemble your dresser!!!

I found my rose knobs at Anthropologie.  I hope you enjoy this simple project that can turn any dull, dead drawer front into a piece you will love to have.  I am now working on turning some old drawers into a music to come soon!

Have a great weekend fellow DIY-er's!!!

All Joy,

Read more »


Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Frosting

This past weekend was General Conference for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons), which means that we did not need to attend church meetings at a building, but were able to stay in our pj's and watch or listen to incredible message from our church leaders.  Our children LOVE conference weekend!  They love the food, family, and being able to sleep in and relax for two whole days!!!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Frosting

It has been a tradition in our home since the children were very little to have homemade cinnamon rolls for Sunday morning conference.  I have my traditional recipe that I have been using since our kiddos were little and the only variations in 20+ years has been to add Nutella one year (which they didn't like) and to add raspberries for the conference rolls in the spring (they kind of liked those).  Needless to say my family are purest when it comes to their cinnamon rolls.

Last week I was watching Studio 5 on KSL, our local NBC affiliate, and saw a recipe for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.  Oh my goodness....they looked incredible!  So without telling my little kiddos I switched the recipe we usually make and added pumpkin and spice to the recipe.  The salted caramel frosting was what killed it for sure!  The dough for the posted recipe was a little different from a regular soft yeast dough and I preferred my yeast dough recipe instead.

So here is my version of the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Frosting....

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Frosting

5 Cups Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Oil
1 1/2 Teas Salt
2 Tbs Instant Yeast
2 Tbs Liquid Lecithin
1 Tbs Dough Enhancer (Shirley J)
1/2 Cup Canned Pumpkin
1/2 Teas. Ground Cloves
2 Teas. Ground Cinnamon

Mix all dry ingredients together.  Add the liquid ingredients and mix for a minute to see how sticky or dry the dough is.  Adjust with extra warm water if the dough is too tough.  It should be slightly sticky to the fingers.  Let rise for 15 minutes.

Mix together:
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
1/4 Cup Ground Cinnamon

Once the dough has risen for 15 minutes, roll out onto an oiled counter top.  Roll to 1/4 inch thickness into a long rectangle and spread the spiced butter mixture over the top of the dough.

Roll the dough together from the long side to make a nice long cylinder and take a piece of non-flavored dental floss (no mint) and slip the dental floss under the dough log.  You will take both ends of the floss and criss-cross them to cut through the dough cutting 1 1/1 to 2 inch wide rolls.

Place on a parchment covered jelly roll pan.  I slightly press my tall rolls out a little to make them round.  Let rise for another 15 minutes.    I speed mine along a little by placing them in a slightly warm oven (170 degrees).  Once they have risen, turn the oven up to 350 degrees and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly golden brown on the tops.  While they are baking make the Salted Caramel Frosting.

Salted Caramel Frosting

1/4 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
3 Tbs Milk
1/2 Teas Vanilla
1 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 Teas Sea Salt

Melt the butter on medium heat in a small saucepan.  Add the brown sugar and milk and whisk together.  Add the vanilla and whisk in.  Cook the mixture for 1 minute and then let cool slightly.  Whisk in the powdered sugar and sea salt.  Let cool a little more.

When the rolls come out of the oven, let cool slightly and drizzle the Salted Caramel Frosting over the tops of the rolls.  Make sure to lick every last drop of the frosting off the spoons!!!

These rolls were good enough to pass my children's standard for cinnamon rolls...they loved them and agreed that these would be the ones that we make for general conference (fall session) every year.  We may even make them again before the snow flies.  Have a great Monday!!!

All Joy,

Read more »


Two Are Better Than One

This past weekend my hubby and me celebrated our thirteenth anniversary together!!!  Time has gone so fast since 1999.  We have raised eleven children together, have married off four daughters and one son and have four and a half beautiful grandchildren together...and I have to say that two are better than one!

Two Are Better Than One

We celebrated by staying at Sundance, Utah and going to all of the placed we went to when we were dating.  My hubby booked us a ride on the Moonlight Express of the Heber Railroad.  It was so fun and romantic.  They serenaded us with violin and banjo music and fed us well.  The moonlight on the lake was especially beautiful.

Heber Valley Railroad

The weekend was beautiful in the mountains and we really needed the time to relax and enjoy our favorite time of the year.  The smell of crisp leaves and sizzling steaks, pumpkin pie, and a crackling fire is pure heaven!

Stewart Falls

 Now that we are back and unpacked, I stitched up one of my favorite scriptures into an embroidery pattern called "Two Are Better Than One".  It is a simple pattern that fits into an 8" x 10" frame and can be embellished with the optional flower.  On the leaves are our names and the year of our marriage.  This little embellishment added makes this a wedding gift for a new couple beginning their lives together or you can frame it without and have a two little love birds to remind you that two are definitely better than one!

 You can purchase the pattern at My Tweetle Dee Shop.  I have two more new patterns that I am finishing this week.  Thank heavens for tons of football games where I can look interested and stitch! I hope you are enjoying the most glorious time of the year too!

All Joy,

Read more »