Grandma B’s Fruitcake Cookies

The pictures of my fruitcake cookies on social media have been receiving a myriad of comments — everything from “Yuk” to “Yay” to family stories! I love the stories so keep them coming in the comment section below!

A cake once revered, is now the butt of many holiday jokes—and with good reason. Have you tried some of the things they sell as “fruitcake”???? 😳

The fruitcake is traced back to at least Roman times and is often the cake choice of royals. Did you know that Charles and Diana’s wedding cake was a fruitcake with cream cheese frosting.

We are the third generation to make these cookies. Christmas would not be Christmas for Mr. G without these cookies. For me they were an acquired taste, but I have crossed over the line and totally love these cookies too.

The recipe is so simple!

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Five ingredients:

  1. 1 lb candied fruit (mixed) chopped in small pieces.
  2. 1/2 cup self rising flour
  3. 4-6 oz of shredded coconut
  4. 2 cups chopped pecans
  5. 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • Dredge fruit through flour
  • Add coconut, nuts and milk
  • Bake on parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • 300 degree oven

Makes approximately 4 dozen.

Store uncovered — as much as possible.

Note: If you have trouble finding candied fruits … check here.

Give the cookies a try and let me know what you think!

Christmas Cran – A Holiday Tradition

Many of you have asked for the cranberry sauce recipe that my daughter affectionately named “Christmas Cran.” For my rose friends, Elena Williams tried this recipe and is a big fan!

I was introduced to this recipe when I bought my first microwave and was given the gift of a free microwave cooking class!

Several of the recipes I learned in the class I still make — but none more consistently than the cranberry sauce! Our family enjoys “Christmas Cran” every Christmas AND every Thanksgiving!

Sweet, citrusy goodness….

3/4 – 1 Cup of Sugar
1/4 teaspoon each of ground cloves, cinnamon and allspice (I usually add more cinnamon)
1/2 cup of apple or orange juice  (This year I used the juice from the tangerines I had on hand and it was fab.)
1 lb of whole cranberries
1 medium apple – peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (They go in AFTER the cooking process.)

Combine SUGAR, SPICES and JUICE in 2 qt casserole. STIR. Add CRANBERRIES and APPLES. STIR.

COVER

Microwave on HIGH for 9 – 10 minutes.

Remove and add NUTS. STIR. (Caution: This is screaming hot!)

Pour into pretty dish and COOL.

Stirring up some Christmas Cran...
Stirring up some Christmas Cran…

Hope you enjoy and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Even though we love our traditional recipes, we also love trying new things! Share your family favorites for the holidays!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Inspiration, Ideas and Sweetness

As many of you know I left cold, rainy Indiana for sunny SoCal this week. It has been an amazing week of inspiration, ideas and sweetness.

I have taken scores of pictures and wanted to share a few of the beautiful plants and flowers that inspired me, landscapes that started the creative juices flowing, and a little bit of the “sweetness” too.

INSPIRATION & IDEAS

Click on any picture to start the gallery feature and see my comments…

THE SWEETNESS

Mr. H. . .

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Tomorrow I head back to the cold and rainy weather AND Mr. G … more sweetness! 🙂

And, I say to the Polar Vortex … If you are coming, I’m ready for you!

I wish you a wonderful week and ….

Bloom Thyme Friday Leaf

Christmas Cran

Many of you have asked for the recipe that my daughter affectionately named “Christmas Cran.”

I was introduced to this recipe when I bought my first microwave and was given the gift of a free microwave cooking class!

Several of the recipes I learned in the class I still make — but none more consistently than the cranberry sauce! Our family enjoys “Christmas Cran” every Christmas AND every Thanksgiving!

Sweet, citrusy goodness….

3/4 – 1 Cup of Sugar
1/4 teaspoon each of ground cloves, cinnamon and allspice (I usually add more cinnamon)
1/2 cup of apple or orange juice  (This year I used the juice from the tangerines I had on hand and it was fab.)
1 lb of whole cranberries
1 medium apple – peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (They go in AFTER the cooking process.)

Combine SUGAR, SPICES and JUICE in 2 qt casserole. STIR. Add CRANBERRIES and APPLES. STIR.

COVER

Microwave on HIGH for 9 – 10 minutes.

Remove and add NUTS. STIR. (Caution: This is screaming hot!)

Pour into pretty dish and COOL.

Stirring up some Christmas Cran...
Stirring up some Christmas Cran…

Hope you enjoy and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Even though we love our traditional recipes, we also love trying new things! Share your family favorites for the holidays!

Tools of the Trade

My good friend, Wendy Tilley, TheRoseGardener.com, and her husband, Ryan, have a garden of 350 roses and a business of caring for 85 rose gardens in the Atlanta area. So, they made it their goal to find gardening tools to make their job easier, more fun and give them the ability to be gardeners for a long, long time. This goal led them to some wonderful products for gardeners. Some of these products I already have and highly endorse, and others are high on my Christmas list. (Hey Santa!)

First up is a product that I’ve used for more than 20 years–

Harlane rose markers...
Harlane rose markers…

Harlane Plant Labelsread all about them here.

pruners-trgBarnel Pruners

  • Blade features include high carbon sword steel produced with a hard chrome finish and cold forged blade process.
  • Anodized finish repels sap.
  • Pressure injection die cast handles/body.
  • Drop forged heavy duty steel handles/body.
  • Self oiling center bolt for ease of maintenance.
  • Patented two-position lock for reduced effort.
  • “Auto-Unlock” – squeeze handles to automatically unlock shear.
  • Ergonomic TPR (thermoplastic rubber) non-slip grips.
  • Rotating handle reduces fatigue.

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Bionic Gloves...

Bionic technology was first developed for hockey gloves, and evolved to batting gloves, catcher’s mitts and first-base mitts.

This technology is available in garden classic, garden extended-wear, driving/dress, golf and heavy duty gloves.

And, they are machine washable!  Read more.

Easy-Arranger324-571Easy Arrangers … Grids that fit over the top of vases. I have these and they really work! For more details, read on.

Wendy has many other great products for gardeners like the Muletto garden cart and even cute little rose purses!

Check them out here.

ROSE CHAT RADIO GUEST…

I had the pleasure of talking with Wendy on the Rose Chat Podcast. To hear all about Wendy, how she and Ryan got started growing roses, their products and garden advice, listen here.

WENDY SIGHTINGS…

Wendy travels around the South East to garden shows and holiday markets.  Click here for Wendy’s schedule. You can also find Wendy on Facebook (here) and Twitter @thegarose.