DIY Homemade Vanilla Extract – Perfect For Gift Giving

Do you have any bakers on your Christmas list this year?  YES?  Then this is the perfect time of year to begin a do-it-yourself gift giving Christmas project — Homemade Vanilla Extract!  Last year my cousin Jill shared a recipe with me that she and her sister, my cousin Laura, have made for many years. … Read more

My Mother The Thief

Once upon a time this little girl Alice (on the right) starting stealing … hearts that is.  Here she is posing with her older sister Mary. Little Alice with Esther and Arthur Rufer whose heart she stole when she was quite young.  With no children of their own they loved taking Alice to the circus … Read more

Happy Birthday Mom! 83 Years Young

February 8, 1931. A beautiful day indeed. The day my mother was born in Omaha, Nebraska. I wonder if her mother ever imagined how much joy and love this little girl would bring to so many people in her lifetime?  And today she is celebrating 83 years of life under the sun! After 83 birthdays … Read more

Our Russian Dacha Visit on Kamchatka Peninsula

This is a photo of my darling chief culinary consultant and I while visiting Petropavlovsk, Russia in September. Petropavlousk is the only sizable city on Kamchatka Peninsula and home to over half the peninsula’s population.  The 776 mile long KAMCHATKA PENINSULA, westward from Alaska between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea, is often … Read more

Garlic Panini Bread

Hi friends!  This is just a quickie post to telly you about these wonderful garlic crisps I made recently.  I bought a loaf of sourdough bread to use in making Ham and Fig Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.  They were wonderful.  But I had bread left over.  I really like the crispness of the bread made from … Read more

The Stretched Community: Unconditional Love

Today I have the honor of guest posting for Jon Stolpe  at I have followed his blog for about a year now.  From the first moment I started reading his writing I was hooked.  Here is what Jon says about himself: “I’m The Stretched Blogger.  I’m a Christ-follower first and foremost, and I’m also … Read more