Sunday, October 30, 2011

Andrew's Cooking Show-The 6yr old Chef!

My littlest brother Andrew wants to be a chef, and he wants to have his own cooking show. So, today Mom videoed him and made a little show. We had to keep stopping so he could make sure he was doing everything right- it was so cute! It is filmed on location!:-) The show is called "Cookin' with Andrew" (how original)Or it could be called the "6 year old Chef". Anyway, Andrew is making chocolate cupcakes with frosting.You will have to watch all the videos to see the whole show-sorry about that! You can find the recipe on the back of  the Hershey's cocoa. The recipe is:


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F.
  3.  Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.



    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
    2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
    3 cups powdered sugar
    1/3 cup milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
    Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We went to the Tyler Rose Garden again recently with some new friends,and I had a fun time. I got a lot of pictures of the flowers and am including some of them. My mom took the last pic of me. My favorite kind of roses are any pink ones!The rose garden is 14 acres, which makes it the nation's largest rose garden. There are over 38,000 rose bushes and 500 different varieties of roses.Every October the Texas Rose Festival held there, with a Rose Tea and a Rose Parade. Roses are Mom's fave flowers, so we go here a lot!:-) Also at the Garden they grow new types of roses. They recently grew some light purple ones that are gorgeous! There were bumblebees all over them, though. If you look close you can see a bee in the photo below. In case you ever want to visit the garden,the address for it is :420 Rose Park Drive, Tyler, TX

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Meeting Paula Deen!

We got to meet Paula Deen at the Hastings Book Store in Tyler! Ms. Deen was really nice...Wait! Maybe I should start at the beginning! We got to the store at 3:00pm. Ms Deen was supposed to be there at 6:00pm. However, there was a long line ahead of us- in fact, we were the 200th person in line! So, after three hours of waiting, we got bored, so my brothers and I went to the kid's book section to read. However, they were blocking the kid's section off, and had prepared a little table with a bunch of yummy foods for her. While we were there, we found out that her book, Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible, had reached #1 on the New York Time's Bestseller's List. So, we bought several copies of the book and got them signed by her. Ms. Deen was friendly and said she loved all her Texas gals and guys,told Andrew she liked his shirt. etc.,but of course we only got to see her for a little bit.We met several nice people in line and it was worth the wait! I told my mom "Now all we have to do is meet Taylor Swift and I'm happy!":-) It did take a long time in line, though. People had literally camped out ! Anyway, I had a good time. We got a compliment from Ms. Deen-she said 'What polite children ya'll are!" Oh, and this is my 100th blog post so far!:-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Humane Society!

This was Jake. He LOVED his toy!
I'm the teen leader for the Henderson County 4-H Clover kids, and we participated in the National 4-H One Day Make A Difference Day by giving to the Henderson County Humane Society in Athens on Saturday, October 8. We got a special tour and were allowed to play with the dogs and cats that were safe and kid friendly. I loved playing with the cats-they were so cute!We (and other 4-H kids) had taken donations of supplies for the animal shelter,which were really needed. All the animals were so friendly!

It takes a lot of food to feed all those animals!

One dog kept trying to sniff us out, then thought he was so smart when he saw us!

This cat was really cute!

Andrew and I loved this kitty.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pecan Crescent Cookies

These are some of my favorite cookies. They are simple to make and use few ingredients, but are still REALLY yummy! :-)I made them with Andrew, my littlest brother. Here is the recipe- and some pictures!

It tastes REALLY good when it's at this stage!
He LOVES chopping the nuts.

Andrew and me cooking...
    Smile for the camera!


    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • Confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour. Stir in pecans.
  • Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 2-1/2-in. logs and shape into crescents. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 325° for 20-22 minutes or until set and bottoms are lightly browned. Let stand for 2-3 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving. Yield: 6 dozen.

Nutritional Analysis: 2 cookies equals 104 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 52 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein

Monday, October 10, 2011

Book Review

Recently we went on a Military Living History field trip and it was really cool! The man who owns the place is a real author who  writes good books, and I got some and had them signed by him! The 2 books I got are shown here. The author's name is Tom Townsend., and he is really nice and a good writer. His books rock! While they did have a little bit about sorcery and a pirate shoot-out, they are still really good. They are historical fiction. The books follow Jem and his friends Talva and Raif as they uncover the mystery of his father,who is Jean Lafitte, the pirate! All Jem wanted was to find his father and travel with him, but that is too dangerous. Jem has to be content with only occasionally seeing him- till a new adventure brings them together. In the book, there are several animals, including a seagull named Mariah, a dog named Getanna, and a Falcon.Well, actually, there is a boat called Falcon and a mysterious falcon locket that just might hold all kinds of secrets... Jem, Raif, and Talva get into all kinds of adventures with pirates, dogs, and ships. The books take place in the late1800's.The books are based on Galveston Island,Texas, and I've been there a lot, which is really cool! Now when I go there I'll think about the books. Anyway, back to the books. These books are good for boys and girls. I recommend these books highly! They are well-written and exciting, plus educational. They are funny, too. Read the whole series-Where the Pirates Are, The Dark Ships, or Powderhorn Passage -today!

Wit's End Ranch-Homeschool Field Trip

I really like being home schooled, and I like going on field trips with TACHE, especially since Mom is the field trip coordinator.Wit's End Ranch is a neat place that sells rag doll cats and cute puppies, plus is kind of like a petting zoo, has a little kid and big kid zip line...But I'm getting ahead of myself. I should probably start at the beginning.:-)

There is a "mini tractor (and bulldozer!)riding" area for younger kids, but several older kids,including me and Christopher, joined in with our younger siblings! The bulldozer Andrew (and Christopher!)are on really scooped dirt.
I bet it built a BIG sand castle!

It was hard to pedal it.
 I tried the little kid zip line first.:-) Dad nicely pushed all of us so we could go fast!
There was also a bigger zip line, which was really fun too.
Then we went on  the hayride to see the "animals". It was just toy animals stuck in trees and plastic faces in trees, but it was kind of cute and the younger kids seemed to like it. The tree faces looked a little bit this one I found on the Internet. They had funny names, like "Kissy" and "Lucy the Lion".
                                     One of the owners, named Julie,is really nice. She raises Ragdoll Cats and Cairn dogs. She brought some Ragdoll kittens to show us.
Ragdoll cats are white or gray. They love fetching things and have cute blue eyes.Purebred Ragdolls are pretty pricey-the kittens are $650.00! However, they are really cute!Ms. Julie did not have any Cairn dogs old enough to bring to the barn, so I did not get to see any. <--(but this pic was on the website.) Aren't  they soooooo cute? :-) Before we saw the animals, though, we had lunch. It was a hot dog, juice and a fruit gummy.  On the hayride, the driver pointed to a plastic rat....
Driver: Do you see that rat?
Kids: Yeah!
Driver:Who is getting a hot dog today?
Kids: Me! ME! Me!
Driver: That's what we make the hot dogs out of- rats!
Kids: Ewwww! Yuck! Hey, that's sorta cool...
So, as you can probably guess, only I and a handful of other older kids and grownups partook in the hot dogs.:-)  All in all, I recommend Wit's End  Ranch, although it is geared more for younger kids. If you ever want to visit, the address is: 651 VZ CR 1319 Grand Saline, TX 75140.                                              

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fresh by Brookshires

horned melon

orange cauliflower.

So yummy!

pretty cake

Rainbow Rose

Andrew eating gelato 

Christopher eating gelato

I know, I know. I already posted about FRESH. But my wonderful mom just happens to be the field trip coordinator for TACHE and got us a trip so awesome, I HAD to post about it! Since you've probably read my earlier post, I'll skip the details and focus on the tour. On the tour, we went to the meat area first. They season all their own meat and grind it. Then we went to the charcuterie  and got to sample cheese, see how they slice and age the cheese, etc. A charcuterie is a French term for smoked. They smoke the cheese instead of refrigerating it to preserve the taste. As you might know, I love cheese, especially Havarti, and we got to try a kind they make called Havarti with dill. It tastes JUST LIKE A PICKLE!! Then we tried their homemade tortillas from there bakery-they were almost as good as mom's and mine- then something called rice puffs.The video above is of  the machine making them.Then we tried homemade peanut butter and peanut butter cups. And, since it was hot, every kid's fave stop.. the giant freezer! It was 10 degrees Fahrenheit. This is definitively a tour worth taking. Thanks for viewing!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Penny from Heaven Book Review

Penny is an average girl growing up in the 1950's who has had to deal with all kinds of hardships. Her father died right after she was born, and all she knows about him is that he liked Bing Crosby, she gets her arm stuck in an old-fashioned washing machine and is nearly paralyzed, her room is a large closet (but pretty!) and her favorite uncle lives in a car.Worst of all, her mother is dating again-and she likes the milkman! The book follows Penny as she slowly unravels the mystery of her father's Italian family, and why her mother won't talk to them -with the help of her cousin Frankie who desperately wants to be a robber! Penny has all kinds of funny-and sometimes sad adventures, from the toilet flooding her room and spying on her grandmother, to going to a funeral and collecting "death trading cards"(prayer cards!) This book is based on the true story of the author's mother, and is REALLY good! It teaches about the little known story of Italian-Americans and World War 2. Read Penny from Heaven right now! I give it 5 stars out of 5.

Banana Nut Bread

                                                        Go bananas for this yummy bread!       
                                                       Banana Nut Bread
                                                           1 cup sugar
                                                           1/3 cup butter
                                                           2 eggs
                                                           1 and 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas
                                                           1/3 cup water
                                                           1 and 2/3 cup flour
                                                           1 tsp baking soda
                                                           1/2 tsp salt
                                                            /4 tsp baking powder
                                                          1/2 cup chopped nuts
                                                Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
                                               Grease bottom of a loaf pan.
                                                 Beat everything together except nuts.
                                                  Stir in nuts.
                                                    Bake for 55-60 minutes.
                                   120 calories per slice.

What I'm learning in my Bible lessons

 I do 6 school subjects : Reading, Math, Bible, Language Arts, Social studies,and Science. In my Bible I am learning about Ruth, who is one of Christ's ancestors. In the Bible, you may remember, there's a person named Rahab. She married  a guy named Salmon, and they had Boaz, who married Ruth. Eventually, Ruth's son was the grandfather of David, who is an ancestor of Christ. God showed His love for Ruth in making her part of Jesus' lineage (one of my spelling words!) even though she wasn't a Israelite. I am also learning to memorize the books of the Old Testament and the New Testament. I have memorized almost all the Old Testament!Thanks for reading!


Clue is one of my favorite games because I love mysteries and mystery books. I got it for my 11th birthday and we've been playing it ever since! We have one of the newer game boards, and it has funny information about all the characters on it.I am always Kasandra Scarlet,who is supposedly "at the center of every social event, the hottest star on the stage and screen,and very pretty but a shady character!" Andrew, my littlest brother, is Jack Mustard, who was"once the most sought-after celebrity football player, he's now a sports announcer relying on his failing good looks", Mom is Diane White, Christopher is Mr. Green, and Dad is Victor Plum,etc.Oh, and yes, the most important question of all is  "Who usually wins?" ME!! :-)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

4-H bake sale

Buy a raffle ticket, please! ;-)

Our little helper(and eater!)

Today was our 4-H bake sale, and it went really well.It benefited MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  Our really great club leader, Ms. Browning, is the co-chairman for the MADD walk this year. I sold all of my raffle tickets, which was great! We set up at Tractor Supply in Canton, because a LOT of people come to town  for the famous Canton Trade Days. As you can see in the picture, Christopher and I had a lot of help from Andrew (and Mom), who helped make LOADS of Reese's Peanut Butter Cupcakes, and brownies.Some nice parents volunteered to sell burgers and sausages on a stick, which were very good. We made banana nut, cran-orange, and pumpkin-spice bread, chocolate chip and blueberry muffins, and brownies, magic cookie bars, Reese's Peanut Butter Cupcakes, etc. I am all baked out!  Here is the recipe for Reese's Peanut Butter Cupcakes. Happy baking, and join 4-H!:-)

  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 16 miniature peanut butter cups


  • In a bowl, cream the shortening, peanut butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Press a peanut butter cup into the center of each until top edge is even with batter. Bake at 350° for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted on an angle toward the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 16 cupcakes. Enjoy!