Surprise Surprise Surprise

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~Cynthia Ozick

So as we start a new week, our weather forecast is cold. It’s seems that we are going to have another really cold week with temperatures in the low teens.

This week I am focused on the things which I am most thankful for. When I was young I took things for granted. There are so many things to be thankful for but this week I am going to focus on family and friends. I am so thankful for my family and all my friends; I love them all so much. I have been blessed with so many friends, including my blogger friends. I have to tell you, there are some wonderful bloggers out there all across the world that are so talented, doing what they love, writing, posting pictures, crafting, cooking, grilling, hiking, and much more, telling their stories and most of all sharing. All of which are so caring, loving and talented. I have the chance to write on a lot of blogs since I started my blog, they have taught me so many wonderful things and I have seen so many wonderful photographs from all over the world.

Last year I made a lot of cutting boards. There have been a lot of bloggers that purchased a board from me and I want to thank each and every one of you. Many of you wrote and sent me a personal note about the cutting board you received  and some of you wrote a note but also wrote about the board on your blog. I want to thank you too because I know that it takes a lot of time to write a blog post.

Most recently, my good blogger friend at Forest Garden Blog wrote about the cutting boards I made her. I will tell you that she loves blogging and is very talented, from gardening, photography, cooking, baking and more. On Thursday, I received a ‘surprise’ package from her. It was a large envelope and it was very light. When I opened the package, I found the most beautiful handmade wool scarf’s from her, plus a hand written note. With all the cold weather we have been having these are going to get a lot of use. I love wool and these are perfect for my wife and I! My wife really loved the purple scarf! These are handmade in her spare time! Handmade items are the best gifts to give and receive because they are personal, useful, beautiful and functional. Thank YOU so much WG!!! 🙂 We love the scarfs!!

handmade wool scarf

She is so talented, you will see that when you visit her site, Forest Garden Blog,  but she never mentions anything about making the wool scarfs!

handmade wool scarfs

This was the second surprise package I have received from a blogger friend that had received a cutting board from me. Less than two  months ago I received a surprise package of homemade vanilla extract from another blogger friend that writes at her blog cookiecrumstoliveby .  I have enjoyed using the vanilla in my baking, it’s really, really good! She also posted twice on her blog about the cutting boards I made for her and her family. Here is my post when I received her package, Surprise Package. There is a link on this page to her post about making homemade vanilla extract, be sure to check it out.

I really enjoy blogging. I am so blessed, happy and thankful that I have had the chance to make some wonderful friends from blogging!


Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies


best ever peanut butter cookie recipe

Peanut butter cookies are one of my favorite cookies after chocolate chip cookies. This is the best ever Peanut Butter Cookie recipe! If you like peanut butter cookies, this recipe is for you, I promise you will love them. The recipe is a very simple recipe too.  I’ll share a secret to these cookies, you have to use a wooden spoon, don’t use your mixer and don’t use a metal spoon. Using the metal seems to change the recipe.

best ever peanut butter cookie recipe

Here are my ingredients. The tall bottle is bourbon vanilla extract that was a gift from Julie! 🙂

peanut butter cookie recipe

I have the brown sugar, peanut butter, Crisco butter shortening, vanilla in bowl. Mix by hand using a wooden spoon.

peanut butter cookie recipe

Above, I have mixed those ingredients, including the egg.

peanut butter cookie recipe

I slowly add the flour to the mix. Continue mixing by hand using a wooden spoon.

peanut butter cookie recipe

Add the Reeses peanut butter chips.

peanut butter cookie dough

Peanut Butter Cookie dough is ready to chill!

peanut butter cookies

Ready to eat!!

1-1/2 cup firmly packed light bronw sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter (Jiff is the best)
1/2 stick (or 1/2 cup) Crisco butter flavored
3 tablespoons of milk
1 table spoon vanilla
1 egg
1-1/2 all purpost flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 – 10 oz bag of Reeses peannut butter chips

Yield is about 2 dozen cookies

Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, Crisco, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat with wooden spoon until blended, add egg, mix until blended.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add to cream mixture a little at a time until blended. Add bag of Reeses peanut butter chips.

Set in fridge for two hours before cooking…. I know, I know… you can’t wait!!  Go ahead and bake a batch, it will be hard to flatten with the fork but they will be ok.

Heat oven to 350 degrees or 325 for confection oven.

I use parchment paper to make clean up easier, but you can place directly on the cookie sheet. Round into balls and drop on baking sheet two inches apart. Try ot make all the balls the same size so they cook evenly. Flatten with a fork.

Bake one cookie sheet at a time, in my oven I bake for 3-1/2 minutes, then rotate pan and cook for another 3-1/2 minutes. Cook just until browning starts and remove from oven. Once you see browning, the cookies are done.

peanut butter cookies

Enjoy!!!  They are really good, especially when they are warm!!

Please share with your friends a link back to these cookies, they will thank you.  Don’t they look good?

Older Recipe Post

My Work

A Surprise Package ….


A Surprised Package From a Wonderful Blogger Friend

Something exciting happened late yesterday afternoon and why bother having a blog if you don’t use it to tell people exciting things, right?

Yesterday, when I go to check the mail I have a package. I thought my wife had ordered something but it was addressed to me.   I had received in the mail a wonderful surprise from a blogger friend, Julie who lives in Georgia, USA. I have an extra long driveway so the walk back to the house was even longer thinking about the package and what’s inside.  Julie had mentioned she was sending me a package but what a wonderful surprise! 🙂

homemade madagascar bourbon vanilla extract

Can’t wait to see what’s in the box, excitement! Wow, bubble wrap, it sure is packaged really well! 🙂

homemade madagascar bourbon vanilla extract

Happy and smiling, 🙂 wow, what a surprise, two bottles of homemade vanilla extract from Julie, my blogger friend! Julie sent me two different kinds of her homemade vanilla extract, Madagascar and tahitian vanilla beans using bourbon and honey bourbon as well as a bottle of  tahitian vanilla beans using vodka . Julie knew I loved to cook and bake. I love these bottles…boy it smells great too, I think I could almost drink it.  I can’t wait to try it. Julie included a very nice note and she says to use the bourbon base vanilla when making things wiht chocolate and the vodka base vanilla for anything else. She doesn’t strain her extract because she prefers the presence of the small seeds and I agree with her, I do as well. I think it adds more flavor to any recipe.

Julie blogs everyday, very inspirational, you can tell she pours her heart into her blog and is a very dedicated blogger. Of all beautiful things she writes about, she also writes about food. Julie posted months ago about making her homemade vanilla extract. To learn more about Julie and her homemade vanilla extract visit her site cookiecrumbstoliveby .

Thank you so much Julie! I appreciate your friendship, kindness, you made my day and made me feel very special! I can’t wait to try your homemade vanilla!