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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's Cookie Day! Let's Mix It Up!

...Because I need some craziness in my life today. Not! What I need is C O O K I E S !

It's been a whirlwind around here for the past week. I don't know if I even got a chance to tell you that Marion was in the hospital for three days. Thank goodness, with much nudging from both me and Marion, she was able to come home for Thanksgiving as long as we both promised to follow strict orders! We did, we are:) We had company over the weekend too. Actually, we were suppose to have a houseful but alas, only Marion's grandson, his wife and Marion's great grandson, Michael "graced" us with their company. (note to readers, call loved one, NOW!)

Marion gave Michael his great grandfather's Harmonica:)

At first I was disappointed for Marion because she was so looking forward to having more of her family visit. As the days went by, they left on Monday, I think secretly Marion was glad there weren't as many "relatives" as expected. I was okay with it albeit, cooking would have been a heck of a lot easier for four and a half as opposed to cooking a 22 pound turkey and three platters of lasagna not to mention all of the other necessities:)

We are now back on schedule and while you are reading this post, more than likely, Marion and I are at the doctor's office hoping for a clean bill of health. (well as clean as can be possible for a woman approaching 94 that is:)

Last year for National Cookie Day, I delved into the goodness of Cut-Out Cookies. This year I thought it might be fun to Jumble around a bit. After all, there are oh so many cookie varieties to explore!

Before we "munch," how 'bout some Cookie Trivia?

By most accounts, the innovation behind the "invention" of the cookie, is attributed to Dutch bakers. In 1796, the first American cookbook to call a small, crisp sweet a "cooky" was written by Amelia Simmons. In American Cookery, Simmons also included a recipe called "Another Christmas Cookey" If you would like to learn more about The Original Christmas Cookie, I whole heartily suggest you stop over at Sarah's Four Pounds of Flour. Not only does she dig into the history of how the Original Christmas Cookie was baked before Christmas was "uniformly" celebrated, she also has adapted the recipe for modern kitchens. (don't be gone too long though, we have cookies to devour:)

Don't these Quilt Block Cookies look festive? And you thought Oreos were the only sandwich cookies worth giving a second glance:)

Here's the recipe from the Biggest Book of Cookies from the folks at Better Homes and Gardens. (© 2003)

Quilt Block Cookies
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom OR 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 recipe Cherry Filling
1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing
Instructions:
1. In a medium mixing bowl beat butter for 30 seconds. Beat in brown sugar, soda, and cinnamon (cardamom). Beat in egg, honey, and vanilla. Beat in all-purpose flour. Stir in whole wheat flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill about 2 hours or until easy to handle. Meanwhile prepare Cherry Filling.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time into a 13x11-inch rectangle. Using a fluted pastry wheel (or sharp knife dipped in flour), trim to a 12-1/2 X 10-inch rectangle. Cut into twenty 2 1/2-inch squares. Place half of the squares 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Spread 1 teaspoon of the Cherry Filling over center of each square. Using a 1-inch cutter, cut out and remove a shape from center of each of the remaining squares. Place a square with a cutout on top of each filled square; press edges to seal. Repeat with remaining dough.
3. Bake in a 375° oven 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. Pipe with Powdered Sugar Icing.

Cherry Filling: In a small heavy saucepan combine 1 cup dried cherries, 1/2 cup cherry-blend drink or apple juice, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Bring just to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until cherries are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tablespoons sugar. Cool slightly. Transfer mixture to a food processor bowl and process until a paste forms. Cool completely.

Powdered Sugar Icing: Combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 vanilla, and enough milk (2 to 4 teaspoons) to make piping consistency. Using a decorator bag pipe lines around edges of each cookie to resemble quilt stitches. Makes 24 Sandwich Cookies

It just wouldn't be a Cookie Day post without some Pillsbury goodness. There isn't a date on this little Pillsbury Butter Cookie Booklet but, there is a coupon in the back for an offer for the Best of the Bake-off Cookbook which expired in March of 1961!

Please don't ask me to choose just one of these Butter Cookie recipes. Although, those Old Fashioned Pepparkakor sound intriguingly gingery!

Lucky Star cookies seem more than appropriate on this occasion. I'm sure Marion will be getting a clean bill of health today and I may just need to celebrate with these:)

Or these:) (from Better Homes)

Well, it's off to the doctor we go. When I come back later, I will be catching up on all your delicious blogs. If you have a favorite cookie recipe you would like to share for Cookie Day, be sure and include your link in the comment section or in the "nourishment" section which I still haven't figured out how to use:)

Thank you all for your Thanksgiving wishes. I must say, I sure do have so much to be thankful for and good Lord willing and the creek don't freeze, today will be another cherry on the cake. (Michele is still doing terrific too:)

Quick Update: Marion did great at the doctor today. He said the blockage in her intestines has completely dissolved and she can go back to her normal eating and food shopping:) Thank you all for your well wishes. Louise

More Cookies...
Giada de Laurentis Chocolate Citrus Biscotti @Gloria's Canela Kitchen
Alfajores (Caramel Sandwich Cookies)
Double Orange Dark Chocolate Cookies @ Kitchen Riffs

73 comments:

  1. Well, first, I hope Marion is doing much better and you get that clean bill of health today. And second, it's really rather cruel to torture me will all these images of scrumptious cookies this early in the day!!! What will you do to my diet! I've got visions of sugar plums dancing through my head already!!! I always loved those two page spreads of festive cookies, and the little quilt cookies are adorable! Sending good thoughts!

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    1. The doctor's "report" came back clean and healthy, T.W! I just had to "torture" you for National Cookie Day, T.W., it's mandatory, lol...Catching good thoughts and thanks for visiting:)

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  2. I like the 'Happy Faces'.... so cute, literally smiling at you!

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  3. Okay, now I'm wondering what Spry is in the Old Glory Cookies. Your post reminded me that I want to make these Chocolate Gingerbread cookies for the holidays. http://lindaathompson.blogspot.com/2012/07/martha-stewarts-chocolate-gingerbread.html Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Spry was a competitor of Crisco. That is, white solid vegetable shortening (or maybe a combination of vegetable and animal shortening).

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    2. Thanks for answering Linda for me, Mae, very sweet of you. I didn't realize that Spry would be unknown to some younger "folks" out there:)

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  4. Thinking of you and Marion … I hope she's found to be cured and ready to eat all the cookies she wants.

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    1. Oh she is Mae. The doctor said she can resume eating and food shopping!

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  5. Just what I need! An excuse to enjoy cookies!:-)

    It has been years since I've thought of Spry! I'm not sure there was ever any of that in the house when I was growing up.

    Those Quilt Block Cookies look very good! I think I will have to try them!

    I send along wishes for good health for both Marion and you!

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    1. Don't we all need an excuse to eat cookies every once in a while, Nellie? They are the quintessential comfort food:) You may not have had Spry at your house but chances are there was Crisco in the cupboard, lol...I'd love to make those Quilt Cookies. Marion said she would do the "stitching," lol...

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  6. Love this post. Sorry to hear about Marion, but glad she's doing better. We in cyberspace care about your both. Hugs and good wishes! Thanks for the reminder about cookie day.. . I love cookies!

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    1. Thanks Janet. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Cyberspace isn't as infinite as everyone pretends. Hugs and Good wishes abound from all corners of the Earth. Simply amazing!!!

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  7. Hi Louise,
    Glad to hear that Marion is much better now. I hope that she has got the "clean bill of health" by now. Her great grandson is one cute little boy!
    Thanks for the cookies recipes, the quilt block cookies looks wonderful. I am tempted to try them!
    Hope you have a relaxed and wonderful week with Marion!

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    1. I'm tempted to try them too Joyce. They look so delicately delicious!

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  8. Sorry to hear about Marion! I hope things go well with her. Cookie Day has to be one of the best food holidays going - who doesn't like cookies? And you've certainly given us some dandies to try! Thanks!

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    1. Everything went GREAT, John. Thank you. Cookie Day is indeed just one of the best days of all, however, we mustn't forget Brownie Day which is just around the corner!!!

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  9. Dear Louise, I do pray that Marion is doing better, and she will be just fine. She can't be sick, as Christmas is around the corner. I was so glad that she did get to see some of her relatives. Louise, this post is scrumptious!!! Who doesn't love a cookie especially at this time of year! I always make tons of cookies for the holidays, sometimes my nieces help me, and we eat more than we make. All of the cookies that you have posted look fabulous, but I have to say that I love the Happy Faces! They are adorable and must be very tasty....Thanks for your post and I will be sending you thoughts, prayers, and good health for Marion and your family. Blessings, Dottie :)

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    1. She will be just fine, Dottie. The doctor said she can eat to her heart's content. I actually "owe" her an Apple Pie, lol...I love the Happy Faces too. Perhaps your nieces will like them too and bake some up for the holidays. Sharing would be nice too, lol...Thank you for the prayers. Marion is almost back to her feisty self:)

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  10. So sorry to hear about Marion, but glad she was able to be home for Thanksgiving. I will be sending her good wishes for her continued good health.
    What is more fun to read about, at Christmas time, than cookies, Louise? You have some great recipes here. My husband will be happy to know it was the Dutch that brought us this wonderful sweet! He happens to be Dutch! Some very interesting recipes! Thanks for posting such a fun post!

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    1. We were both thrilled that our "begging" worked and the doctors let her come home, Kathy. Tis definitely the season for cookies. As the story goes, Dutch bakers would put small pieces of batter in their ovens as tasting vehicles. Wha La, the cookie was "born!" Thanks for visiting, Kathy...

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  11. Love the Quilt Cookies:) I do hope Marion is doing better. Michael is adorable. I'm sure he will put his grandfather's harmonica to good use:)

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    1. Michael had so much fun with that Harmonica, Geraldine. The best part was, it doesn't make quite as much noise as say...a drum set!

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  12. Oh dear sorry about Marion hope she feel better soon. These cookies look awesome I love this post especially love these happy faces:)

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    1. She's feeling much better, Gloria. The happy faces are really cute. I bet Michael would have liked them too, lol...

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  13. Hi Louise , so glad to hear Marion is at home and hope she gets a clear bill of health , Marion's great-grandson is a cutie and you can tell he will grow into a very handsome man :D ... love all the cookies and it will be fun watching my kids make them for the holidays and throughout next year for that fact . Glad Marion was home for thanksgiving , you , Marion and all your family is in our prayers , lots of (((HUGS))) to you and Marion , thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Marion's great grandson was such a pleasure to have visit, Nee. He was really well behaved and a little comedian too, lol...Marion truly enjoyed having him visit.

      I bet your kids are terrific little cookie bakers. Tell them Marion and I would love to be their testers:)

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  14. Lots of great cookie recipes here, Louise! I like the happy face one --so cute! Have a good rest of the week!

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    1. Cookies have a way of bringing smiles don't they Anne? The Happy Face ones seem to be everyone's favorite, for now, lol...

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  15. Honestly Louise, it was probably for the best you didn't have a houseful to deal with. Hope the report is good....Marion is amazing!
    BH&G has been a bible for as long as I've been cooking....between that and those fun Pillsbury Bake Off recipes, we got list of men's and ideas. Don't think I have ever seen the happy face cookies.
    What a cutie Michael is!

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    1. I think it did work out for the best, Barbara. Marion is one amazing woman but too many people would have really thrown her out of whack. She is recuperating just fine and I told her we may just go out for Christmas dinner!!!

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  16. Dear Louise, I do hope that when I come visit I will read that Marion had a good report from the doctor. I am glad that Marion got to come home for Thanksgiving.
    Michael looks like he is a natural with his great grandfather harmonica, that is to be cherished.

    I wish my mom had written down her recipes for her Christmas cookies. It seems she had them from heart and made them perfectly each year and only at Christmas. Each holiday had its own cookies. Even though I always helped her, I don't know how to make them.

    As you know, I love old recipes and these look real good.
    Blessings and prayers dear, Catherine xo

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    1. Marion had an excellent report from the doctor, Catherine. Thank you so much for your concern:) Michael held onto that harmonica like he was born with it. He just loves it!

      Oh Catherine, I know what you mean. So many recipes have been lost because they weren't written down. Be sure and write down your special recipes for your family. Thank you for your kind thoughts, Louise...

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  17. So sorry that Marion has been ill. This is especially hard during the holidays. The cookie pictures are darling though. I especially like the "stitching" on the Quilt Block cookies. I think I may need to bake a few more cookies this year...

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    1. The "stitching" on the Quilt Block cookies is about as close as I will ever get to actually making a quilt block, Inger. Now all I need to do is bake those cookies, lol...

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  18. Louise , glad to hear that Marion is back in action :D 22 pounds of turkey ?! Maybe I'll drop by later to pick some leftover lol Michael's so cute ! Anyway , I haven't been baking lately , cakes and cookies , that is :P I've been hankering for some though . Love the cookie trivia , pearl ash dissolved in milk , better after 6 months ? Love it lol

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    1. Drop on by, Anne. There's tons of turkey left!!! I even made Turkey Soup for dinner tonight! I'll swap you some for a couple of those Vietnamese Fried Wings of yours, lol...

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  19. Oh Louise, so sorry to hear about Marion, but glad that she was able to spend Thanksgiving at home. So cute the picture of Michael with the harmonica...and the cookies look absolutely great...I especially like the happy face, I never seen it made this way.
    Well, have a restful week my dear :D

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    1. She's doing so much better, Juliana. She actually wants me to bake some cookies!!!

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  20. The quilt block cookies are adorable! So glad Marion got to spend thanksgiving at home and probably the smaller amount of visitors was just right.

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    1. They say everything happens for a reason, Pam. "They" may just be right!

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  21. Wow. Those are a lot of cookies. Happy belated national cookie day.

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    1. Thanks Lady Lilith. Feel free to take a few cookies with you:)

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  22. I'm glad to hear that Marion was able to spend time with her family, even though it was only a little bit of family. Her great grandson is a cute little tyke.

    Cookies sound great. Now, if only my cookie bakers would come home....

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    1. A little bit of family this time worked out but...Will the cookie bakers make it home in time for lots of cookies???

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  23. i don't know how thanksgiving became the pie holiday and christmas became the time for cookies, but it happened. so many options, and each one can succeed in turning a bad day into a good one. :)

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    1. Now that is a very interesting point, Grace. Leave it to you to put things in perspective:)

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  24. Hi Louise, sorry I'm late in dropping by. I love your classic posting, you always amaze me with all your treasures. Love the addictive cookies and the recipes are very delightful. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us and the wonderful pictures.

    Have a lovely week ahead. *hugs to you*

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    1. No need to be sorry, Amelia. The GREAT thing about cookies is they are always there to welcome you whenever you drop by:) Thank you so much for visiting...

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  25. I totally understand, what you mean by there are days you simply need cookies!

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    1. The craving continues, Mich and I am making sure to quench it daily:)

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  26. I am so glad Marion spent some time with some members of her family! Holidays must be spent with family! Your cookies are utterly delicious and I love all these vintage recipes you post! Have a beautiful weekend!

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    1. Thank you Katerina. It was a fun post to share!

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  27. I am sorry about Marion but at least she managed to spend time with their family :-)
    Love your cookies and those happy faces are just so cute!
    Lovely vintage touch! You are an expert in this.
    Ciao and have a lovely weekend :-))

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this post, Alida. Those Happy Face cookies sure are a day brightener!

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  28. hi louise, good to know that marion is all good! i hope you too! the happy faces look so cute, they are really smiling! im sure whoever sees it will also smile looking at those cookies! well at least some relatives were still able to join you and marion for the celebration..i actually cant imagine you cooking a 22lb turkey and all that..i know for sure i cant handle that :)

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    1. Hi Lena!
      I can't imagine me roasting a 22 pound turkey either Lena but indeed I did! It really didn't turn as good as I would have hoped but I sure tried!

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  29. Thanks for the cookies recipe will keep it.

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  30. So glad Marion is on the mend! Those are some great cookie recipes. I am pondering only making fudge this year.

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    1. Fudge sounds GREAT to me, Channon! What kind?

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  31. That reminds me of my 16th birthday. My mom got me a harmonica, but I never used it :(
    These cookies look SO good!!

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    1. There's still time, Cathleen:) So glad you enjoyed the cookies and thank you so ,uch for popping by. Drop over anytime!

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  32. Cooooookies!!!!!! Loved your post - and the smiling cookies made me smile even more. :)

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    1. So glad to know the Happy Face cookies made you smile, Alex. Thank you so much for visiting!

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  33. I am sorry I took my time getting here for your cookie day bonanza but am very glad to read that marion is doing well and that you enjoyed your thanksgiving dinner - I think a small cosy group is really nice - but I hope you enjoyed the leftovers :-)

    Those quilt block cookies are adorable (as is Michael) and the Old Glory Cookies remind me of our ANZACs that I made last week. I love the cookey recipe - never heard of pearl ash - but most amusing was that you had to leave them for 6 months - I don't think this recipe would work for me as I always want to eat them fresh out of the oven :-)

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    1. I saw those ANZACs of yours Johanna. Nice twist! Pearl Ash is a chemical leavening. You can replace it with baking soda.

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  34. Hi Louise, have been busy lately and hardly pay you a visit. My apology. Eh, I like your happy faces cookies picture. It really brings smile to my face. Take care and have a wonderful week ahead :)

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    1. No apology necessary, Ivy. So glad you enjoyed the cookies:)

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  35. oh my...i love the lucky stars & happy faces :) hello louise. this is my 1st visit, glad to tell you that i come all the way from Malaysia

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  36. Welcome all the way from Malaysia, kakakchomel. I am so glad you enjoyed visiting. I do hope you will return real soon. There are lots of wonderful people and deliciousness to enjoy around here! I tried to visit your blog but I couldn't find a link for you. Please leave the address in the comment section if you have one. Thank you again for visiting, kakakchomel:)

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise

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