12 days of sweet holiday treats! Plus, GRAND Social No. 330 link party for grandparents

12 days of sweet holiday treats! Plus, GRAND Social No. 330 link party for grandparents

12 days of sweet holiday treats!

Who could use some new ideas for sweet holiday treats? If you raised your hand (and even if you didn’t) you’re sure to find some sweet inspiration from Sweet’N Low’s “12 Days of Christmas” holiday baking campaign in which twelve bloggers were chosen to share recipes based on the verses of the holiday song.

Yours truly shared a recipe based on the verse for the third day of Christmas! I didn’t bake up any French hens, but I did share a yummy French Butter Cookie recipe—that has less sugar…

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On the third day of Christmas... French Butter Cookies to share!

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I partnered with Sweet’N Low® to bring you this special “12 Days of Christmas” recipe.

The Christmas countdown has begun! This year, I’m singing along to “12 Days of Christmas” with Sweet’N Low® and celebrating the holiday season with a new recipe inspired by the classic song.

The makers of America's favorite pink zero-calorie sweetener selected a dozen bloggers—one for each day of the song—and tasked each with sharing a holiday recipe based on our assigned verses. My verse? The third day of Christmas, that of “Three French Hens” fame!

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Now in the Recipe Box: Caramel Apple Cake

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When it comes to birthdays, sometimes you just gotta go full boar. Or fully decadent, I should say. As in, Paula Deen-style decadence with not a whit of worry about calories, sugar, fat, and so forth. This Caramel Apple Cake I made for my eldest daughter’s birthday goes beyond simply being Paula Deen style; it’s an authentic Paula Deen creation—which she calls Caramel Apple Spice Cake—culled from a recent issue of Cooking With Paula Deen magazine and slightly altered by me. So delicious, so decadent… as birthday cakes should be.

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Flashback Friday: Bacon, eggs, and Bubby

Flashback Friday: Bacon, eggs, and Bubby

Dear readers: This flashback feature originally appeared on Grandma's Briefs September 6, 2011—back when Brayden was called Bubby, Camden was but a babe, and Declan wouldn’t arrive for three more years. Thank you for reading my rerun.

When I visited Bubby and Camden last month, one of the things Bubby wanted us to do together was make cookies. Because it was so darn hot in the desert—even in the house—I convinced Bubby that it would be so much more fun to make and eat...well...bacon and eggs!

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Now in the Recipe Box: Berry Snack Cake

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This Berry Snack Cake is a sweet way to close out the summer. Or for serving during any season. The choice of berry is up to you—and what's in season. I've made it with strawberries and blueberries; blackberries are on tap for next time. It's good soon after cooling or cold from the fridge, with whipped cream, ice cream, or no cream at all. Bottom line: It's berry, berry delicious... and versatile.

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Review: Gramma in a Box

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Grandma Terry Chamberlin has come up with a pretty sweet subscription service for serving up grandma-style food activities from faraway. When three of Terry's grandchildren moved away from her, she began sending them boxes of cookies and treats to go along with their Skype sessions. She soon realized other grandmas just may want to do the same, and the Gramma in a Box subscription service—tagline Gramma does all the work. You have all the fun!—was born. 

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Brain drain... On lo mein, cracked pots, and other loves

Brain drain... On lo mein, cracked pots, and other loves

Wherein I ramble on...

Brianna is starting to show. And that's pretty darn awesome. She and Patrick find out next week if their first baby is a boy or a girl. I'm hoping for a girl... yet wonder if it's wrong to even consider hoping for one gender over another considering what they've gone through to get this far. Of course I'll be thrilled with another grandson but as this is likely my final grandchild, adding a girl to the grand group seems fitting. (Don't tell anyone, but I do think it's a girl.)

The life God intended. Conversations and situations

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Just added to the Recipe Box: Strawberry Muffins

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I am an unabashed sucker for strawberries. You, too? Then you will surely love my scrumptious strawberry muffins. 

These breakfast time—or any time—goodies are sweet but not too sweet, simple, and made from scratch using everyday ingredients most cooks have readily on hand. And they're chock full of fresh, flavorful fruit. (Which makes them healthy, right? Meh... close enough for me!)

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Throwback Thursday: Entertaining grandkids... 3 sure things

Throwback Thursday: Entertaining grandkids... 3 sure things

This #TBT piece originally published May 18, 2016 on Grandma's Briefs. Thank you for reading!

As a long-distance grandma with visits being few and far between, I feel obligated to provide memorable merriment for my three grandsons each time I see them. I put careful consideration into packing my grandma bag with goodies and games and crafty ideas galore.

Sometimes the magical makings I lug 800 miles to my grandsons' door elicit exactly the enjoyment I'd hoped. Sometimes they fail. Especially if picking a Pinterest activity to try together without trying it first myself.

When I visited Bubby, Mac, and Jak last month, I failed at more than a few things. On the other hand, there were…

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Now in the Recipe Box: Low-Carb, Low-Sugar Blueberry Muffins

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Learning how to cut the sugar, cut the carbs has a steep learning curve, let me tell ya. After 35+ years of loving all things sugary, white, carb filled (and scrumptious... though unhealthy as all get-out), I'm struggling to find healthier foods we actually enjoy eating. 

I finally found success with these scrumptious muffins. The secret: almond flour, Splenda, and coconut oil. The surprise: My husband raved about the taste without me even prodding. Success indeed!

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Throwback Thursday: Valentine's Day Marshmallow Pops

Throwback Thursday: Valentine's Day Marshmallow Pops

This #TBT piece by Lisa Carpenter originally published February 3, 2015 on Grandma's Briefs.

What you need:

20 large marshmallows

4 ounces or so vanilla candy coating, aka Almond Bark

festive decorative cookie sprinkles

20 lollipop sticks (popsicle sticks might work equally well)

What you do:

Have kiddos poke sticks into marshmallows, all the way...

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Social media success: Cast iron skillet pizza

Social media success: Cast iron skillet pizza

Sunday dinners at my place usually feature food of a relatively traditional sort. Not massive spreads, by any means, but certainly not pizza.

Usually.

This past Sunday Jim and I were busy all day (messing around on Ancestry.com, I confess) and by the time dinner needed fixin' I didn't feel like fixing it. Yet we've resolved to cut down on our dining — and ordering — out, which meant I had to come up with something on which we could sup.

So I turned to a relatively new addition to my...

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