Ella and I had a very busy weekend baking lots of cookies for our annual cookie sale at Church.  We made peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and of course my favorite, sugar cookies.  The recipes are available on the blog.  Check under cookies.

I was so busy that I did not take any pictures this time around, but have plenty of pictures of previous times when we made them!

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My grand-girl Ella is a very good baker for being only 10 years old.  She is very precise at measuring and extremely good at reading and understanding recipes.  And she really knows her way around the kitchen.  For the past couple of years she has been entering baked items in the Illinois State Fair.  I thought it would be a great idea for us to start the New Year off with a fun, learning baking challenge.  So, we have initiated the Ella and Grandma Pat’s Big Baking Adventure.  Our goal is to try a new recipe twice a month and to keep a detailed journal of each baking experience.

Our first recipe, White Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Here is the recipe.Read More »

State Fair Time

Where does the time go?  This entire summer seems to be a blur.  I can’t believe it is August let alone mid-August!! The past two weeks have been extremely busy.  Getting ready for the start of school, harvesting my abundant tomato crop, admiring the beautiful flowers that continue to flourish, and making cookies to enter in the State Fair.

This year I did not enter jelly, only cookies in the State Fair – Old-Fashioned Sugar, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, and Sugar Drops.  Every year I wonder why I enter the State Fair.  It does time a lot of time and energy to do all the baking, select 4 perfect cookies, type the recipes, attach the recipes to the entry tags, attach the entry tag and receipt to the paper plate, put everything in a Ziploc bag, and drive one hour and fifteen minutes to Springfield.  And all the way to Springfield I am thinking of everything that I did wrong while I was baking the cookies and that the 4 perfect cookies that I selected from each batch were not the ones that I should have chosen.  As I anxiously check the competition results and see the names of so many talented bakers and cooks from around the state, I think there is no way that I can compete with them.  And then I see my name –  3rd Place – Sugar drop plain cookie!  I am so thrilled and proud whenever one of my entries places as the State Fair.  It makes all the work and anxiety worth it!!Read More »


I am so delighted that the first event held in my renovated basement was indeed a very special celebration – a vintage baby shower hosted by my sisters for our nephew, Brent, and his wife, Angel.  And I am thrilled to report that baby Sailor has arrived.  Everyone is happy, healthy, and my sister Carla is loving her role as doting grandma!

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Reflections On Summer

It is just so incredibly hard to believe that Summer is winding down.  Maybe the old saying is true that as you get older time seems to go by more quickly.  But as I reflect back over my summer, with so many fun and fond memories, “Time flies when you are having fun” seems to be much more appropriate.

After many years of volunteering in the foods and textiles departments at the Heart of Illinois Fair, I decided that I really wanted to participate in the fair in a different capacity, as an exhibitor.  I am happy to say that my butter cookies were awarded a second place ribbon.  But more important, my 9-year old granddaughter, Lainey, entered chocolate chip cookies in the junior division.  On her first attempt at entering a baking contest, her cookies were awarded a second place ribbon!  Here she is proudly posing in front of the display case with her winning cookies. Read More »