Sunday, December 24, 2006

'lil potato pies


When Allen was a small boy, his grandmother would make a special potato pie for him, hiding it away from all the others. She put it on top of the cupboard, and saved it just for him. I saw some beautiful tart shells in the store, and brought them home to make individual potato pies for the Christmas Eve Party. The recipe was so simple, and they tasted heavenly!
Well, he kept them hidden away, only sharing the one larger 9" pie, I had also made, at the party....So now he still has all his little pies to take to the deer lease! yummy!
Here is the recipe for the 9-inch pie.
Sheila's Sweet Potato Pie
2 sweet potatoes (1-1/2 pounds), peeled & cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. gound ginger
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 9-inch frozen, unbaked pie shell (or homemade pie shell)
whipped cream (optional), for serving
Place the sweet potatoes in a large saucepan & cover with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium & simmer until the potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well & place in a large bowl.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Mash the potatoes with a potatoe masher. Wisk in the sugar, spices, salt, eggs & cream.
Place the pie shell on a baking dish. Ladle in the sweet potato filling just to the rim of the pie shell.
Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake about 30 minutes more or until the filling is set (a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean), and the crust is golden.
Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. For dessert, dollop with whipping cream, if desired.
Serves 8.

Breakfast of Champions!


Melanie is home for Christmas! She called Allen ahead of time to ask if he would cook her favorite breakfast - pancakes! She brought a special buttermilk pancake mix, and lookie at Allen's beautiful pancakes! So fluffy & lite! Of course, he had to add a little German deer sausage (for me!)as a side, with sections of juicy grapefruit.....yummy-it was lip smakin' good! Plus, Melanie is home for Christmas!!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Comments Wanted!

Some of my "loyal Blog readers" may have had problems trying to leave a comment on my Posts!
Here is what the Blogger Team says: (I have changed over to the new Beta version!)
Logging in with an old Blogger account to post a comment on the new Blogger is giving a “please try again later” error. Until we fix this, it may work to log in first at http://www.blogger.com/login.g, and then go to the comments page on the new version of Blogger in beta.
Changing the Blog to Beta has caused some glitches, so until they are all ironed out, I hope this helps explain the problems you may have encountered. You can ALWAYS e-mail me at: rosajosies@yahoo.com
Hope your holiday season is running smoother than the Blog! God Bless!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Rosa & Josie's




I get a phone call from a customer with my card, "Are you Rosa or Josie?" "Neither" I say, "These are my two grandmother's names!"
I am Diane Cook, but my business is named after my grandmother's - Rosa Buechmann and Josie Schultz. I wanted a name for my business that meant something! Something to me!
I will start with Rosa (she & grandpa in top wedding picture) - Grandma Buechmann. She spoke mostly (only) German; and therefore, we didn't have much to say to each other. But our interaction was more action, than speaking when I visited. She grew beautiful mums in the front yard of her house, right up against the silver-wired fence. You know the kind, with large square corner posts, and a matching wire gate. I would occasionally go to her house, and she would let me pick as many mums as I wanted. Bright gold, white, yellow and deep crimson. I would have one of her large pair of sissors, and I would very carefully cut all the petals off into a large tin saucepan. I must have thought I was making dinner! She was a well-known seamstress in the area. She made me and my sisters matching dresses-WITHOUT a pattern. I have many beautiful pictures from Easter time where all 3 of us were dressed alike! (I will post the pics sometime!) She sewed my Pilgrim outfit for me when I was in the First Grade. I remember going to her house for alterations....I cried, of course, as the stiff material stuck me in places I didn't like! I had a matching white bonnet-I looked exactly like a little pilgrim girl. I am told she sewed many wedding gowns for local brides as well! She grew wonderful day lilies, strawberries, vegetables, and had fig, pear and pecan trees. She and my grandfather were farmers, as he grew sweet potatoes to sell. They were in a "butcher club" with their neighbors, sharing pork and beef on butchering day. They had some horses, for farm work, milk cows, chickens and pigs. Her life was not easy. She made a great coffee cake, and taught my mother quite a bit about cooking; as my mom & dad lived with them for awhile. One weekend, my mother dropped me off at her house, and she taught me how to embroidery! She had a tea towel waiting for me, with beautiful rows of embroidery thread. She taught me how to make a satin stitch, and a french knot that stood up just right!
She was of German and Czech descent.
And then there is Josie (she & Grandpa in Galveston, Texas)......Granny Schultz! I LOVED her so much! Occasionally I would get to spend the night with her, and she and I would go outside in the cool of the evening and water ALL her flowers using her big metal watering can! Later, we pulled the long watering hose thru all her little flower bed paths...being careful not to crush any of the flowers! She had a magnificent flower garden on the side of the house. The entire yard was white sand, and her flowers loved it.....roses, lilies, poppies at Easter, larkspur and bachelor buttons, corn flowers and cosmos. Have you ever smelled a four-o-clock at 4 o'clock? I have....with my Granny! (Debbie, I believe that is the smell we came upon on our Fun Run in Sealy quite a few years ago!) On Saturday nights, we would watch Hee Haw, and Lawrence Welk....a one...and a two...and a three! In the winter time we slept in her big old iron bed, under a feather bed that felt like it weighted 2 tons....it was GREAT! I couldn't move! My head just peeked out the top. But in summer, I would lie in bed waiting for her to finish spraying for mosquitoes with one of those old push sprayers...I can hear it now...swoosh...swoosh...swoosh! She was the Granny who made just a couple of jars of beets each year, and she gave one to just me! She had a hard life as well. Her husband was a barber, and they raised 13 children. Whew!...that wears me out just saying it!
So, this is my Rosa & Josie's Story....here it is, and I'm sticking to it!
Thanks to the both of them for teaching me so much! I wonder if they will every know what an impact they had on my life. Perhaps one day I will get to tell them......my Rosa & Josie's Story.

Lanyards, Lanyards, Everywhere Lanyards!



My newest jewelry commission......badge lanyards! Yes, you too can own one......the request was for a basic black & silver! I just couldn't do it.....well, maybe sort of at the end! But I made 5 of them this weekend. 2-with my "new favorite" animal print art bead, 1-with a brilliant lime green polka dot art bead - Melanie says this is her favorite, because it is RETRO and yes, it has black in it! and 2-that have black & white bone, black wood, black onyx and a creamy white shell! At the end I put them all in a pile to see how colorful they looked! These were FUN!





Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Rockettes


Oh, my.........18 Rockettes came to H-town. Allen & I went to the Radio City Chrismas Spectacular starring The Rockettes on Wednesday, December 13th! They were breathtakingly precise, and ahhhhh.....just sensational! The beauty and "real reason" of Christmas came alive this night! Especially with the finale of Scene 12 "The Living Nativity".
I have heard that the Rockettes are are a must see while in NYC during Christmas, but Houston got a glimpse of their beauty for a short time this Christmas Season!
So many parties & get-togethers, tours and shows to see and do, and just not enough time during this busy season. I am so glad we bought tickets in September for this one!

bubble lites are the best!

Need I say more?



Sunday, December 10, 2006

Blue Cornbread

It is cold and rainy today in Katy....so Allen please make a BIG pot of homemade chili! Yes! and some of that fancy blue cornbread too! (It has sour cream and mexican style cheese in it-definately low cal!)




Saturday, December 09, 2006

simply simple

My jewelry stock is slowly going back up...but Christmas is knocking on my door!



















This necklace is made with brown shells, tiny black onyx spacers and a beautiful Artistic Stone Pendant. The "dangly" earrings are made only with the brown shell.

We all need a simple pair of crystal earrings (Czech of course), that will go with EVERYTHING.....just add a drop of sterling silver on the end and there you go......

Monday, December 04, 2006

Paws & Hearts



As usual, at the 11th hour, I sat down Thursday night to make some jewelry for Melanie, before I went to visit on Friday! I had previously bought the little slide hearts, so I reached into my chain bin and pulled out some beautiful sterling silver chain. And Viola! I made a beautiful Lariat Necklace for her using two slide hearts. So....this week, I made more, of course, but not the same-because no two pieces of my jewelry are the same! I made one Tiger Paw Lariat (for a Katy Tiger Fan-I hope!) and then I made a Two Heart Lariat! They are so delicate, and can be tied around the neck either tight or loose-staggered or not! I love them!

Leather & Crystal Rusty Belt Buckle

Hand crusted this letter topped belt buckle with large Swarovski flat-backed crystals. Melanie says this is real BLING. I call it quiet BLING!

Is this Tigger or a Cow?



Allen, Melanie and I went to eat lunch on Sunday at La Hacienda de Los Barrios http://www.lhdlb.com/. Dawling, it waz fabulus! I had the Classic Enchilada Assortment Plate-WOW.... is all I have gotta say! We enjoyed being together for Mel's Birthday Lunch.

Oh, yea, does this look like Tigger or a Cow to you? I loved watching a fellow, they had hired for tips, to make anything from a dancing ballerina to Pluto! In fact after he made one Pluto, he had to make four more! Needless to say, he was good-real good!

But tell me, what do you think - Tigger or Cow?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Christmas Homes Tour

Melanie & I went to the King William Homes Tour on Saturday. It was the most beautiful day, and some of the most beautiful homes to tour. We sat down half way thru the tour and enjoyed a cup of coffee and that wonderful granola bar from Twin Sisters. It was a perfect day in every way!

Twin Sisters





















Happy Birthday to Melanie, Happy Birthday to Melanie,
Happy Birthday to Melanie, Happy Birthday to you!
Went to San Antonio this weekend to visit Melanie for her birthday-which is December 4th. But....
first things first...EAT! We tried to go here a couple of weeks ago, but missed the lunch time cut-off, but this time we made it to Twin Sisters (located at 124 Broadway), and it really hit the spot! Gotta' go to this little cafe/bakery....it is definately way cool! Before we left, we took one of the desserts home in preparation of the home tour tomorrow. The two special choices for the day: Lemon Pound Cake and Granola Bar. We had never seen that kind of choice for dessert-so-we got 2 to go! Very good...we were glad we tried them!
Check it out when you go to SA.... www.hotx.com/twinsister

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Necklace....Bracelet....Earrings

How can I pick the one to start my jewelry shop? I have been a little sluggish in placing my jewelry on the RJ's Jewelry Shop link, but PLEASE bear with me! I am getting there!

Contact me if you have questions! I do have all my jewelry on Kodak Gallery. Or contact me at rosajosies@yahoo.com - I have lots of pictures!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I love the cold weather!

Because I know not far behind, I will see my camilla and christmas cactus bloom! The camilla was planted by the previous home owner (thanks Molly!), and the christmas cactus was my Aunt Susie's (thanks for giving it to me Mom!) They are so beautiful right now.....

.....did I say I love the cold weather!

There's more than deer huntin' to do....




Deer Hunting is so much more than sitting in the stand! Sometimes it calls for a little action on the ground. Friday, November 24th was a cool crisp morning, with a bit too much fog. We enjoyed our time in the "High Stand", watching all the beautiful bucks and does eating the corn. I must say we have done much more watching than shooting for the last 10 years!

But later that day, it warmed up quite a bit-as is most usual in South Texas.....but on our way back to camp, after taking care of some projects, stretched out across the road, sunning, was a VERY LARGE RATTLESNAKE. Well, Poncho "Allen" Cook got out of the Bronco, pulled his trusty pistol, which is a single-action 44 Magnum with a 7-1/2" barrell, loaded with snake shot, and took care of this quail-eating machine.

In total we saw 3 of these same size rattlers this weekend. I say it was 3 too many!

For The Love of A Sister!

I love it when my sister, Debbie e-mails me....."Can you make a bracelet & earrings to match this necklace?'' Well, of course I can! With a little help from my friend, Nancy. I "put together" this set for Debbie to take to Las Vegas in December! Most of the beads came from Peru, and the red coral came from a shop in San Antonio. They always say the hunt is more fun than the kill. I am here to tell you that is the truth!

A Celebration of Life!




How can you put a lifetime of memories out on just one table? Or celebrate on just one occasion? Well the Hoelscher and extended family members, tried to on November 18th, 2006, when they hosted a Celebration of Life Party for 4 very special people. This is their Granny and Grandpa, Uncle and Aunt, Great Aunt and/or Great Uncle. Music played, friends and family came and went, food was served and speeches were made. This was a time to honor Edwin & Glenora Hoelscher and Alton & Willie Mae Koehl. They have lived lives full of family, friends, work and play. It was a surprise party, and they looked like they really enjoyed all the fuss made over them-every single minute of it! I snapped one big picture of the family, and then the table which held some of the things that has meant most to them. On one side there was Willie Mae's accordian and Alton's hard hat he wore while working the gravel pit in Columbus, Texas. And then on the other side of the table, we see Grandpa's (Edwin's) Texaco & MG Feed Caps, and his Sunday-Go-To-Meetin' Black Hat. Granny (Glenora) was represented here as well, with the sun bonnet she wears while working with the plants that she loves. She is really admired for her talent for gardening!

Congratulations to 4 people who may think they don't have much - but in fact are so, so rich, because they have so many people who love and care about them!

Voted Best Bakery In San Antonio

Happiness lies, first of all, in health.
G.W. Curtis, Lotus-Eating: Trenton


The first weekend in November, I went to San Antonio to visit Melanie. (I missed her!) About 3 pm we were starving to death, from all that shopping! Melanie had a great idea for lunch. I love out of the way, one of a kind places like this! http://www.josephs-storehouse.net
We ate the only soup of the day that was left (it was late for lunch) & divided a HUGE sandwich. Oh, and she also ordered a salad. This was way too much food for the both of us! Here are the items we ordered, and you MUST try them:
Fresh Spinach Salad (Fresh leafy spinach & freshstrawberries topped with toasted almonds & homemade Poppy Seed Dressing),
Jalepano Pimento Cheese Sandwich (Tradition with a twist! Grated cheddar, jack cheese, jalapeƱos, pimentos, mayo, lettuce & tomato served on whole grain bread)
and we each
had a cup of delicious soup -
Spinach & Wild Rice!
We had such a great time together. We always do.
God must surely love me - to give a daughter like you to me! Thanks for loving me so much!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Can You Say Banana Pudding?


Every holiday or special event, I am asked to make MY Banana Pudding! First, let me say-THANK YOU FOR ASKING! I love to make it, but just so you know, it is not my original creation. I have my ex-director, Faye Christopher, to thank for that, but.....it is MINE now and everyone loves it (not counting my Dad who will always love the old-fashion kind....cookin' the puddin' for 2 hours...?##@&*##? & with all that beautiful merange on top), but back to MY Banana Pudding. It is just about the best dessert (not counting Baked Alaska now!). But just in case you want to try MY recipe, here it is:
Banana Pudding
1 large box Instant Vanilla Pudding
3 cups cold Milk
8 Bananas, sliced
1-2 boxes Vanilla Wafers
1-8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 t. vanilla
1-8 oz. Cool Whip
1-8 oz. Creamy Cool Whip
Mix the instant pudding with milk as directed on box. Mix in softened cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk & vanilla (mixture may appear lumpy, but don't worry 'bout it). Blend in the 8-oz Cool Whip.
Line the vanilla wafers & bananas at least 3 times in the bowl, alternating with the pudding mixture (just like the old fashion kind of course!). Top with the Creamy Cool Whip.
Keep refrigerated. Enjoy!
It will knock your socks off-no kidding! I have pictures to prove it!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Christmas Coral!

I am thinking of Christmas as I put big, bright red coral in my line of Christmas Jewelry...I think it is a beautiful Christmas coral!...color!
I have used it much in my jewelry last month, and now this month in anticipation of my pre-Christmas Shows! I was invited to participate in the St. Anne's Society Craft Fair at St. John Vianney's Catholic Church on November 15th. Yes! If it sells (along with it's matching necklace), and if not ... to market to market it goes! It just might show up on my RJ's Jewelry Shop Link......Check it out after the 15th!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

These are the moments that mean the most!

Last year I went to Orange Texas to sell my jewelry at the Third Annual Art in the Park. It was just a little over a month since Hurricane Rita had come thru and tore the people of Orange's world apart. But they came out and tried to enjoy a day of shopping; trying to get past the sorrows they had experienced the last month. On that day, a loving daughter named Margaret Light, came into my booth and purchased a necklace, made of Owyhee Jasper, to give her mother for Christmas.
This year I went back to Orange Texas to sell my jewelry at the Fourth Annual Art in the Park. Just before the sky completely broke loose with rain, in comes a woman pushing a little lady - it was Margaret and her mother! She said, "Mother wanted to come and show you she was wearing your necklace!" She looked at me and said, "I love to reach up and touch it. It feels good to touch!"
I did not know what to say....but thank you! And I ask this...."What could be more beautiful than that?"

Memories of Grandma's Beets....

Every year my Grandmother canned just a few pints of beets. I was the blessed recipient of one of them! I could not wait to twist that cap off and devour those deliciously sweet/sour red chunks of pickled beets! Well, just recently my mother came to visit and what did she bring to little ol' me? A small brown paper bag of fresh okra from her garden, and a pint of her pickled beets! The next day I boiled the okra, sprinkled a bit of freshly ground pepper on top, and proceeded to polish them off! Oh yes, and I added a few chunks of those wonderful beets to my plate! Sound like an unlikely pair? Perhaps. The point is, this made me remember one thing I miss most in this world.....no, not those wonderful home-made pickled beets; but my Granny Schultz. I loved my Granny so much....thanks Mom - for helping me remember!

Allen, the Chef and the Chicken

Allen, John & I attended the Culinary Demonstration & Galley Tour on Friday, September 15th. The Head Maitre D' Luigi Moretti, and Executive Chef, Josef Stummer (below), were the speakers and comedians! They kept us rolling in our seats. The two demonstrated some wonderful dishes; including an Apple Strudel, vienna style, in which the chef used the tablecloth to roll the strudel dough. There was a cookbook for sale, of course. Chef Josef exclaimed, "The cookbook is free, but my autograph will cost $28!" We all laughed, and promptly went thru the galley for the tour. Afterwards, Allen & I got in line to get the free cookbook. When we got to the chef for his authograph, he asked Allen, "Who is the cook in your family?" Allen said, "I am!" The chef took off his hat, plunked it on top of Allen's head, and handed him the rubber chicken. I was waiting for that golden photo opportunity....and here is the results!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Lobster Tail + Baked Alaska = Heaven




We sat down at our tables on the last "formal night" not knowing what delights were in store for us this evening! It was ALL Alaska tonight, so we ordered the lobster - of course! Nickolai extracted each one of them carefully out of their shells (for me)......as I remember Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman - I could see my lobster tail flying across the table landing on Barbara's lap! They were grilled to perfection and extravagantly delicious....but then the lights were turned down low, and viola, the Parade of the Baked Alaska began! They came flaming by - carried by the waiters! I now have a new "favorite" dessert. Just once in your lifetime you MUST try Baked Alaska! I believe I died and went to dessert heaven after eating this! But first, Nickolai, the assistant waiter, came and drizzled the desired amount of warm chocolate sauce right on top! One last shot of our head waiter, David, from South Africa and his assistant, Nickolai, from Romania. They were at our beckon call each and every night. This cruise gave us the lasting memory of a dining fantasy that came to life!

The Salmon Capital of the World - Ketchikan, Alaska

If I could live in any of the ports we visited, Ketchikan would most likely be the candidate, as it is such a quaint, beautiful little town; nestled in the side of the mountains. There were many little houses trailing up the steep roads. We weren't here but for the morning, so we had to pack it in fast.
The name Ketchikan comes from a Tlingit (one of the groups of American Indian people living in Alaska) phrase meaning "eagle with spread-out wings" which refers to a waterfall near town. While the rest of the state focused on gold in the early days, Ketchikan developed its timber and fishing industry-thus why it's called "The Salmon Capital of the World".