Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Coconut Cream Pie



Pie crust- 1 and 1/4 cups  flour, 1/3 cup shortening, 4 tablespoons cold water, and a dash of salt.

Meringue- 3 eggs whites, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 6 tablespoons sugar.

Coconut Cream Pie filling – 4 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup corn starch, 3 cups milk, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1 and 1/3 cup flaked coconut.

I go about this in 3 steps. Crust, filling, and meringue.

Stir together flour and a dash of salt. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in shortening making small pieces. Sprinkle with the water and push moistened dough together forming a ball. Flatten somewhat with hands and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Unroll pastry into a 9 inch pie plate and prick the sides and bottom of the pastry in the pie plate with a fork . Line it with a double thickness of foil. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes or till golden. Cool on a wire rack.

For the filling, first separate the egg yokes from the whites; set whites aside for the meringue. Combine the sugar and cornstarch. Gradually add milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. (The bubbling will be slight and your hand will get really tired and hot near the end)

Remove the filling from the heat. Slightly beat the egg yokes with a fork. Gradually stir some of the hot filling into the yokes and stir. Then pour the egg yoke mixture into the hot filling and bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes. (Keep it low and at a gentle boil. The filling is hot and sometimes it bubbles out at ya) Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and 1 cup coconut.

Pour the filling into the baked pastry shell and spread meringue over the warm filling. (Seal to edge) Sprinkle 1/3 cup coconut over the meringue and bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.



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christmas green environmental humor polar bear

Image used with permission from artist Greg Holfeld

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Notes From Dawn, along with the environment, thanks everyone who chooses a real tree this season.

Real is a nature friendly choice. Made in the USA, our Fraser Fir will have been grown on a farm, not made in a factory. It’s 100% biodegradable and is a renewable resource. Now that’s something to sing about!

Sheet music for "O Tannenbaum"


Use these links to read about how real trees help the environment and for some interesting facts about the Fraser Fir.


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This recipe calls for fresh cranberries but it also works with those you put in the freezer after the holidays. Make it for Valentine’s Day and enjoy its distinctive orange and cranberry flavor♥  



2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan ( You can also use 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat flour)

1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

dash salt

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 cup orange juice

1 cup fresh cranberries (or frozen cranberries)

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until combined. Add egg and beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until combined. (dough will appear very dry) Reduce speed to low; beat in orange juice. Fold in cranberries and walnuts. Spread batter in prepared pan, smoothing top. Bake about 50 minutes to 1 hour. (tent with foil usually after about 30 minutes to prevent top from browning too quickly) Cool in pan 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack or leave in pan to cool. Cool completely before slicing. 

Cranberry Walnut Bread freezes well so if you are making it with fresh cranberries when they are in season, you can make two loaves and save one of them for another time.

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Hawaiian Flowers and Leis

Hawaiian Flowers, Leis, and Gifts for Valentine’s Day.

Think outside the heart-shaped chocolate box when shopping for a Valentine’s Day gift. Bring some of Hawaii to her (or him) with a special delivery from With Our Aloha.

With Our Aloha is an Hawaiian company commited to its local heritage. They responsibly use the island’s resources to enhance their local economy. Extra attention is given to special orders and custom requests; their customer service is top-notch.  (Read some of their customer’s compliments on products and service here)

My Hawaiian orchid was carefully packaged (wrapped & staked) and I received it by FedEx next day delivery. It was just beginning to bloom.

Hawaiian Blooming Orchid


‘Pacific Matriarch’


a few days later


Below are their two most popular Valentine’s Day choices:  

Aloha (Love) Tropical Flowers Assortment

Aloha (Love) tropical flowers assortment anthuriums and orchids

and the Deluxe Pampering Sampler Gift Basket For Her.

Hawaiian Women's Spa Gift Basket

With Our Aloha has lots of gift-giving options for your Valentine. Show your love… direct from Hawaii

Notes From Dawn received a beautiful live ‘Pacific Matriarch’ orchid from With Our Aloha in exchange for an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

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A delightfully honey-sweetened, nut-packed Christmas tradition


1 box Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix, 1 cup hot water, 2 Tablespoons softened butter, 1 egg, 16 oz. finely ground walnuts, 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, & 1/2 cup honey. Make the nut mixture by mixing the ground walnuts with the brown sugar & honey. 

The Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix used to be sold in a blue box. Now it is in a yellow box. It also isn’t as easy to find in stores as it use to be, or so it seems here in the south. “Thanks” to my local Harris Teeter for gifting me this years box!



Follow steps one, two, three, and beginning of step four on the back of the box. They are: 1) HEAT oven to 375 degrees. Combine contents of box and yeast packet in large bowl; mix well. 2) STIR in hot water, butter and egg until dough pulls away from the sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. With greased or floured hands, shape dough into a ball. 3) KNEAD dough for 5 minutes until smooth. To knead, fold dough over towards you; press down and away with heels of hands. Rotate dough a quarter turn; continue kneading. Sprinkle additional flour over surface to reduce stickiness. 4) COVER dough with large bowl; let rest 5 minutes.


After resting 5 minutes, cut dough in half, keeping the other half under the bowl. On a lightly floured surface, shape dough and roll into a rectangle. Fill with 1/2 the nut mixture. Carefully seal by folding the sides over, one side at a time. Pinch the ends closed.


Place on a lightly greased large baking sheet with the seam side down. Repeat with the other half. Bake 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.



Best the same day or within two days of baking.


~~Merry Christmas~~


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Play a card from your hand, place your chip on a corresponding character on the board…When you have 4 in a row, it’s a SEQUENCE and you win! Use a UNICORN card to place your chip anywhere. Remove your opponent’s chip with a DRAGON card. Have fun with you friends playingSEQUENCE®FOR KIDS!

Just as much fun as the adult Sequence game, Sequence For Kids is perfect for ages 3-6. Young players start learning basic game playing skills like taking turns and holding cards (three cards) as well as developing strategy and learning to think ahead. The character animals get matched from the cards to the board for a winning sequence of four in a row. Easy to learn (instructions here) and the play time is suitable for little players. Game includes a folding game board, playing cards, and playing chips (red, blue, green, and yellow). Thanks Jax for your fun family games

Terrific Christmas gift


Cute character names


I received Sequence® For Kids™ from Jax to help facilitate the writing of an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received. 

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