I grew up in a wonderful home with an amazing mother. My 2 grandmothers lived close by and we were spoiled by them. One was named Anna and the other Rhea Anna. And so my handle if you will is Granny Ann. Together those 3 women taught me everything and taught me how to love living life by hand. I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I have.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fruit pizza cupcakes

I love cupcakes. They are like a miniature party just waiting to happen. This is my latest creation: A Fruit Pizza Cupcake.

Fruit Pizza Cupcake

1 Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla Cake mix
1 small pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 1/3 cups water
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup sour cream
3 eggs

Beat all ingredients for a full 2 minutes on full speed. Prepare cupcake tins by placing liners in them or generously spraying with Pam (I use the butter flavor Pam). If making large cupcakes use a 1/2 cup measuring cup. If making regular sized cupcakes use an ice cream scoop. Bake 18 minutes @ 350º F , regular cupcakes bake in 13 minutes. If you choose to use liners it will take a little longer. When cupcakes are cool frost with Fruit Pizza Topping. Garnish with your favorite fresh fruit.
Fruit Pizza Topping:

1 8 oz. package cream cheese - room temperature
1 8 oz. container Cool Whip - unfrozen
1 cup powdered sugar

Blend until smooth.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Enough said. Bread is everything. It sustains you, gives you comfort, reminds you of days gone by and days to come. It helps you sell your home, greet new neighbors and lift up the sick or the down-hearted. It is so simple yet so complex. Here is my version:

4 cups warm water
3/4 cup honey
2/3 cup oil
1 tablespoon salt
8 1/2 cups flour (wheat or white)**
1 tablespoon dough enhancer*
4 tablespoons gluten
4 tablespoons instant yeast

Add all ingredients to bread mixer in order listed except half of the flour. Mix until all ingredients are wet and smooth. Scrap down sides of bowl. Slowly add the rest of the flour a cup at a time, mixing in-between. Dough will still be very wet looking. Don't be fooled by this let the dough keep mixing for several minutes. If it still needs a little more flour add a few tablespoons more but no more than 8 tablespoons or an extra 1/2 cup. Dough should knead for a total of 13 minutes. This allows for plenty of time for the gluten to begin it's work. The dough should be very smooth and very elastic. Turn dough out onto oiled counter. Divide dough into 4 equal portions.

Working with one portion at a time, pat dough into a rectangle the same width as your pan.
Roll dough up (like a jellyroll). Pinch roll off on ends and pat any large air bubbles that may still be present.

Place in oiled bread pan and repeat with remaining portions. Let dough rise until double.

Bake in a preheated oven according to your likes. I like my bread soft on the inside and outside so I cook it on 350º F for 25 minutes. Tap lightly on the bottom to make sure it has that hollow sound and it should be done. For more instruction on bread making go here. Allrecipes.com is one of my favorite sites for ideas and helpful hints. Enjoy.

*If you are not familiar with gluten and dough enhancer, these are the ones that I use.
**I usually make my bread 100% whole wheat but this day I didn't grind enough wheat so it is half and half.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chicken B-B-Q Salad

I should devote an entire section to cilantro. I love it! I used to hate it. I must have been crazy then because it use it in so many recipes now.
So now it is summer and I have cilantro out in the garden reminding me everyday how yummy it is. But who wants to cook in this heat. Salads are always on the menu and this is one of my easy favorites.
Start by purchasing a rotisserie chicken from your favorite grocery store like Walmart or Costco. Wash a head of romaine lettuce and while it is draining debone and shred the chicken. Open a can of corn and black beans. Cut the lettuce in bite size pieces and add whatever else you like to the salad. Now all you have to do is go out to the garden and pick some cilantro (or buy a bunch from the grocer).
For the dressing I make homemade ranch by using Hidden Valley Ranch mix and Best Foods Mayonnaise. Then you squeeze on a little b-b-q sauce and the only sauce at our house is Sweet Baby Ray's.
Yum. Enjoy.

Becky's Rolls

My daughter and her family are living with us until they get into their house. Becky and I are having so much fun cooking. She is a bread lover, just like me. In our area there is a restaurant, Magleby's. They are famous for their rolls and chocolate cake. Everyone tries to copy them because they are so delicious. I think my daughter has come pretty close with these:

Becky's rolls:

2 cups warm water
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
4 1/2 cups flour (2 cups now and 2 1/2 cups later)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dough enhancer
2 tablespoons gluten
2 tablespoons instant yeast


1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup fresh finely grated Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup melted butter

Add ingredients in order listed into mixer (excluding the topping ingredients and 2 1/2 cups flour). Let ingredients mix until fully blended. Slowly add rest of flour and let dough mix for 10 more minutes. The dough may look too moist at first but don't worry as it mixes and the gluten starts to work it will become a beautiful, soft, elastic dough. While the dough is kneading prepare the topping. Mix everything together expect for the butter. Melt the butter in a separate bowl and put both aside. Prepare the pan you are going to use by spraying it with a little Pam or rubbing a little butter on it. When the dough is ready turn out onto a greased surface. Oil hands before beginning to play with (divide) the dough. Becky loves large rolls so she just squeezes out 15 dough balls. I was raised by a mathematician so I have to do everything evenly. I know this is crazy but . . . I squeeze the dough in half. Then I squeeze each half in half. Then each quarter in half and finally I squeeze each remaining portion into thirds giving me 24 rolls. So whatever size you like take the dough balls and roll them in the butter and then in the cheese mixture and place close together in your pan. Rolls like to be close together so they can help each other keep warm and they can rise together. Just a little elbow room is all they require. Let them rise until double in size. Bake them @ 350ºF for 18 minutes, smaller rolls for 11 minutes.
Becky cooked some of them in a large cupcake tin and they turned out just beautiful.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Too Many Animals Baby Quilt

This quilt started out by purchasing an adorable panel of animals prints and choosing 10 of the fun fabrics that coordinated with it. We laid out many designs but this is the one we loved. The animal faces are so cute almost as cute as by little grandson that I made it for.

I machine quilted around the animals on the front of the quilt and stippled in-between and this is what it looks like on the back.
I also used leftover strips of fabric on the back to give it another dimension.

Nine star, nine patch baby quilt

I love this quilt so much that I made it for another grandchild. You can see it here. This is the girl version. Very easy and fun to put together.

The stars are pieced, 9 pieces in all. I just drew a square the size I needed. Then I drew a star in that square. I divided the star/square into 9 sections. Once the sections were cut apart, a 1/4 inch seam allowance was added to each edge. Using plastic graph sheets makes this step easier and then you have nice templates for cutting out your fabrics.

The outside boarder is stripes. Mitering the corners is a little tricky but worth the extra effort.

The picot edging is made from all the star fabrics and adds a cute finish to the quilt.

All my Baby quilts are 40 x 60. I just can't seem to adjust to anything else.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Scrappy doll quilt

What do you give your sister who has everything, does everything and does them better than you? You give her something that you think you are the first one to think up. A pieced doll quilt. I found out that I wasn't the first but I loved it anyway.

This is the back of the quilt showing the machine quilting. There is something therapeutic about drawing puzzle pieces on fabric and finishing it off with a heart in the middle.

Here is the quilt I had the scrapes from to make T's baby doll quilt.

I liked the little quilt so much I decided to make my little granddaughters baby doll quilts for Christmas. I used scrapes from quilts I had already made them. This is E's baby doll quilt and . . .

. . . here it is lying on top of one of her baby quilts.
This is B's bedspread.

This is B's baby doll quilt.

On the back of the baby doll quilts is quilted in their name.

A's baby doll quilt

Here is my sailboat quilt. It was for my grandson L(2). His mommy helped me design it . T. loves polka-dots and it was fun picking out all the fabrics. One of them is even the ocean waves.

This is the picture I drew to begin the quilt. T. had seem one with a whale so one square has a little whale on it.

Here are the six background fabrics I choose.
For the material for the sailboats I chose Blues fabrics with dots or stars and then found green and yellow fabrics to complement the blues. The mast fabric is the same as the corner squares and matches closely with the dark stripe in the boarder fabric. The quilt is also bound with the same blue fabric. After cutting out the different pieces it's time for the fun part, or maybe the headache part of the project, laying out the squares. Every boat will not be your favorite and some combinations you will absolutely love. Yet in the end you wouldn't want just a quilt of favorites it's all the combinations that make it unique and fun.
After the layout is complete iron the pieces in place and then applique. I used a light blue thread on everything even the greens and yellows but not the on the mast. It is done with a darker blue thread. Squares are sewn together with yellow sashing and blue corners.

After adding the boarders and the backing it's time to quilt it. I always use 'Warm and Nautral' batting. It is quilted with large swrilies in the middle and. . .
Big ocean waves on the outside boarder.It's always so fun to see the pattern on the back of the quilt.