The in-laws made another journey down to help us with some household projects, enjoy some fun Halloween activities, and to teach me the Norwegian art of making kringla. My mother-in-law is Norwegian and has come from a long line of kringla-making family members. It was my turn. This fabulous floury cookie is wonderful with coffee and milk!



  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks margarine (I used butter)
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 6 cups flour

Start by creaming sugar, butter, eggs, and salt.

Add buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and flour.

Mix well. Don’t be afraid of over mixing! Make sure to mix everything well, especially the butter.

Put mix in refrigerator overnight or until cold.

Once the dough has chilled, roll dough on floured cloth. We used a Bethany Pastry Cloth.

Start by spooning out about 1 cup of dough and rolling it into a ball with floured hands. Then roll the ball into a log roll that is about 1″ thick. Place the rest of the dough back into the refrigerator.

Cut log roll into 1/2 inch sections.

Roll sections into about 8 inch lengths or the size of a pencil.

Then fold the “pencil” dough in half.

Twist and form a circle!

The wreath or infinity are the most common shapes in our household.

Bake on greased cookie sheet at 450 degrees until they puff up (about 2-3 minutes).

Then put them under the broiler until they are light brown on top! Watch very very closely on this process; you can burn them in seconds! Trust me!

This is one of those floury, semi-sweet gems that taste so good as a snack, or for breakfast or dessert. My mother-in-law even suggested giving them as Christmas gifts! What a fun idea. Thank you to Julie for sharing her skills; I think all the photos above were of her cookies. Ha. But don’t worry if they don’t look perfect, they still taste great!

Enjoy and Happy Week!

guest post: cranky pants

You are all in for a special treat today. On occasion, I like to have a guest write a post, to keep things fresh here! So, without further ado – A gem of an eatery from a gem of a person, Amy Lynn:

There was a time when Eric (my oldest cousin) was babysitting my sister, myself and the girl behind my house talks. My sister must have been about three or four years old, and she just flipped out on him. This screaming tantrum went on for at least an hour or two. Of course, Eric kept his cool and was completely the responsible older cousin. Turns out, my sister was just a little grouchy because she hadn’t been fed.

Well, I admit, it must be genetic.

I too get severe “cranky pants” if I wait too long between meals.

Most of those close to me recognize the signs early on and attempt to quell the beast.

Not too long ago, the boyfriend ran over a screw… on a Sunday night before he had to be at work at 6 am the next morning. We had to get a new tire, now! It took about two hours and five different repair shops, all on an empty stomach. My empty stomach. The screaming three-year-old stomach. Bless his heart, he actually thanked me for keeping calm, even though he knew it was prime time for “cranky pants”.

Which leads me to Humphry’s. If you ever find yourself in Southern California, on a mission for a great meal, you have to go to Humphry’s. These are the most welcoming, sincere folks you could ever hope to come across. Especially when you haven’t eaten… in like, 6 hours!! I have the good fortune of living about 0.25 miles away from this place, yes, I clocked it. They see me often.

Today, I had a breakfast burrito with sausage and salsa, no potatoes.

Other go to’s: Spinach Wrap and the Spinach Salad.

I may even try to make my own rendition in future guest posts, but for now, fly or drive to San Clemente, California for a must-have meal. Seriously, you will not be disappointed. Better yet, bring a friend with cranky pants! ~ Amy Lynn

Happy weekend, Everyone!!

spa week

Last week Dallas celebrated Spa Week! It’s a whole week of deals, from massages to chemical peels. You can try the latest-and-greatest or just schedule your favorite services at half the price! Yep, half off!! I wasn’t going to standby while these celebrations were going on and deals were being had! So, I called our local spa to schedule my services that would cross off another item on my 33 before I’m 33 list!

I first scheduled the hubs and I for a massage on Tuesday night after work. It was so soothing to meet up at the spa after a long day of work. We both needed it!

Then on Friday, I came back for a facial and manicure/pedicure (check!), to finish out the spa celebrations! I picked a fun fall color, dark cider pumpkin, at least that would be my description on the polish, but O.P.I. has other ideas… which I love all the same.

It was such a relaxing experience! I absolutely recommend a facial to anyone and everyone! It feels SO amazingly wonderful, especially when it’s half the price! Score!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!


I had the pleasure of meeting up with one of our couple friends when we were in St. Louis. We really have this unique relationship, one in which we enjoy both of their company. I adore Sarah, the hubs loves enjoys Sarah’s hubs, too. We have so much in common, and she’s a joy to be around. Always bubbly and positive.

Since last seeing Sarah, she had a baby! This weekend was our first time meeting their newest addition, 9-month Addie. I wanted to eat her up! Her facial expression and sheer happy disposition was infectious to be around, much like her mama!

Now, usually I’m that creepy girl at parks or weddings who wants to take pictures of people’s kids that aren’t mine. Luckily, this time I knew the mother and Sarah was all for it AND even suggested it! Gosh, I had a blast with them all. Addison has the best expressions. I want to share some of my favorites from my “mini photo shoot”! And no, her blue eyes aren’t enhanced; they’re that blue! She’s beautiful!

As always, the time with our friends and Addie was way too short but I’m so happy we were able to fit in a small reunion into our busy travel schedule. Gosh, I miss her.

Happy Weekend!

fall wreath

Happy Monday, Friends! Considering Texas doesn’t have the beautiful changing leaves of the Midwest, I needed to make my own rendition! Plus, I wanted a fall wreath for our front door.

I headed over to Michael’s (all Halloween/Fall items are 50% off) and bought:

  • wreath
  • floral wire
  • leaf garland x 3
  • faux gourds
  • a wooden “S” (for our last name)

All the supplies totaled approximately $25.00.

I attached the leaves to the wreath using floral wire.

Then attached the accessories. (sunflower, gourds, pumpkins, etc.)

To finish it off, I added the monogram “S” to the center. It was originally white which, I felt, stood out too much so I spray painted the letter with a gold “champagne mist” paint! Attach with ribbon, and you’re done!

I loved the gold so much that I decided to paint a pumpkin gold! I love it!

Hello Fall! Happy Monday!

chalkboard pumpkins

Hi Friends! October has creeped up quickly and it’s always a super fun decorating month/season! All those gourds and warty pumpkins to choose from – how does one person decide?!

I’ve been putting them everywhere around the house!

Even Otis got into the season! (He’s a little nervous I might steal his pumpkin in this picture.)

With all of these pumpkins around the house, I wanted to start decorating them! I bought chalkboard spray paint and used it on my pumpkins! I picked up the spray paint at Home Depot and used the spray paint can instructions to spray the pumpkins! I also let the tops dry and flip each pumpkin over to spray the bottoms.

They look super cool in just the matte black, but it was more fun to get the chalk out and draw on them!

I could totally see this being really fun for kids! Maybe a countdown to Halloween? Or just a new face on the pumpkins each day? The possibilities are endless!

Happy Weekend… and pumpkin loving season!

simple apple cider

Apple cider has always been a staple in my family during the fall and winter seasons. We would have a kettle permanently set on the island of our kitchen almost all winter long. We cherished my mom having it out after our long frozen-toed walks home after a day of sledding or even when we just wanted to make snow forts in the front lawn, we knew what was brewing inside.

Even when we cut down our Christmas tree, we would warm up at the Maguire Tree Farm with apple cider. It’s what you do! Since moving all around the states, I haven’t found my mom’s simple cider recipe, and I would coach coffee houses on the “extremely simple art” of making cider. First, I would ask if they had real apple juice or cider mix. We needed the apple juice. I like it simple. The pre-mixed ciders come with too much (in my opinion) sugar and spices. I know it’s weird because I’m a sweet fanatic – just not in my cider! Honestly, I wish I would have asked my mom the secret to her recipe but here’s my super simple recipe for cider. Heck, maybe it’s the same!



  • Unfiltered apple juice (I like organic and not from concentrate)
  • Cinnamon Sticks

In a tea kettle, pour in apple juice. Warm juice until hot.

Pour apple juice into the cup with the cinnamon stick; let cool while mixing it with the cinnamon stick. That’s it. Serious. Sometimes, I even dilute the apple juice a little. Two parts apple juice, one part water. I can still hear my mom saying how “fancy” the cinnamon sticks were, and it makes an ordinary weekend feel a little more magical. I hope you feel the same. Enjoy!

Put your feet up, start the fireplace, and enjoy! Oh… and you can have multiple cups with one cinnamon stick! They’re truly fabulous!


Have you seen this wrapper? There’s usually a sandwich inside. I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture of the actual sandwich, but it was devoured before I thought to take a picture! This loose-meat sandwich has been a staple in Iowa since the 20’s and it’s chains have shown up all around the United States. Whenever we travel through Iowa, we have to stop at a Maid-Rite! It’s too good not to! I suggest the same on your travels.

When I was looking through my recipe box, I came across a recipe for maid-rites! Honestly, four years ago, when I got the recipe, I didn’t even know what a maid-rite was! But now, now, I know! I’m so excited I’ve found the recipe from Grandma Kuhse. She’s a born and raised Iowan, so I figured she knew her stuff! Plus, as I have said in previous posts, I’ve been blessed with amazing cooks in my family! These women and men have been feeding hungry, hard-working farmers, so they know a thing or two about great hearty eats!



  • 2 pounds ground beef (I use venison)
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • Pepper & Salt

Brown meat and saute onions until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. (about a 1/2 teaspoon or so.)

Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 mins.

We served these up at our friend’s house, during a Sunday football game and got great reviews! It’s quick, easy, and so tasty! Plus, its another great recipe that will feed you for a week! We add cheese and pickles to ours, which makes it a cheese-rite, if you want to be technical! Enjoy!

Happy Weekend Friends!

cheeseburger soup

A recipe card used this much… I have to tell you about! It’s one of my favorite recipes for winter; I received it about five years ago, and I’ve been loving it ever since. My husband’s family threw me a bridal shower,where they invited each guest to bring a recipe they enjoyed! (I loved this idea and suggest it for all!) Lucky for me, we have some great ladies and even better cooks on both sides of my family tree.  Thank Sara Turner-White for this recipe.


  • 1 lb gound beef (I use venison)
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 5 tbsp butter (divided)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups diced raw potatoes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 8 oz Velveeta
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


Cook 1 lb ground beef until brown, and drain.

In a sauce pan, sauté onions, carrots, and celery in 1 tbsp butter until tender. (about 10 minutes)

Put veggies and meat in a big pot and add 3 cups chicken broth and 4 cups diced raw potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so.

In the meantime, prepare white sauce. Melt 4 tbsp butter. Add 1/4 cup flour.

Mix for about 1 minute or until smooth and pasty. If lumpy, remove from heat and add more butter. <- I love that line. Remove sauce from heat when it gets smooth and bubbly.

Mix into the soup. Bring soup to a boil for a couple of minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add last ingredients: 8oz Velveeta, cubed, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 1/2 cup milk, and 1/2 tsp pepper. I know Velveeta isn’t even considered real cheese, but trust me, this is good!  

Cook and stir until cheese is melted. 1/2 hour before serving, add 1/4 cup sour cream.

This recipe makes 13 cups! So, for the husband and I, that’s 6+ meals! We had it all week at work. It’s so easy to heat up again and again. And for all you weight watcher fanatics, it’s 4 WWPP, per cup! (I used light sour cream and skim milk.) Enjoy!