I know it is autumn when the air turns cooler.  It gives me a giddy feeling of excitement.  On the first cool day my favorite thing to do is make gingersnap cookies.  There is something about the combination of molasses and sugar that bake into the perfect taste of fall. 

My tradition is to only make these once per year.  I look forward to that first cool day and this ritual continues to warm my heart when I take that first bite of a warm gingersnap cookie fresh from the oven.

Gingersnap Cookies

  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 c shortening
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt


“Fall is my absolute favorite season.  The cooler weather, changing colors and bountiful harvests make this the most wonderful time of year.”

Mix the brown sugar, shortening, molasses and the egg in a large bowl.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour. (This is the hardest part!)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease cookie sheet lightly with shortening.

Shape the dough into small round balls.  Roll the balls in granulated sugar.  Please the balls about three inches apart onto the cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove the cookies from a cookie sheet and let them cool on a wire rack.  (I seriously doubt they will get this far.)

I used to hate sweet potatoes until a couple of years ago but now they are one of my favorite things to eat.

Some of my co-workers say that they can’t stand sweet potatoes unless they are covered in brown sugar or a ton of butter or marshmallows, but I don’t think they are giving this vegetable the chance it deserves.

I beg you – give sweet potatoes a chance.

When you purchase a sweet potato choose ones that are firm, medium sized and have smooth skin.

You can store them in a cool, dark place but I usually leave them on the fruit and veggie stand in the corner of my countertop and they are just fine.

Sweet potatoes are fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol fee; low in sodium; a good source of dietary fiber and potassium and high in vitamin A & vitamin C, surprisingly.

To bake a sweet potato in the oven, heat it to 400° F. Poke a few holes on the top of them with a fork. Place them on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Bake for about 45 minutes until they are tender.

If you don’t eat them right away they store well in the refrigerator.  These will be a healthy compliment to any meat.




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I am not a coffee drinker.  For some strange reason caffeine gives me a headache.  Therefore my go-to warm drink in the winter is Hot Cocoa.  And, yes, I know there is some caffeine in chocolate, but it must not be as much, because it doesn’t seem to bother me.  

Really good hot cocoa is practically medicinal.  Here is the process I use to get the perfect cup of hot chocolate.

In a mug I microwave a cup of whole milk for one minute.  Then I add a heaping spoonful of Nestle Quick powder, a 1/2 tablespoon of Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, a dash of salt, a pinch of sugar and stir it. Sometimes the unsweetened cocoa powder doesn’t mix very well, but that’s okay.  

Then I microwave it another 30 seconds.  After taking it out of the microwave and stirring it again I add my secret ingredient: 1/2 teaspoon of Mexican Vanilla.  My favorite brand is Danncy.  It’s the one with the red rooster on the label. Mexican vanilla is double strength so a little goes a long way.  

Top with marshmallows and voila!  A great, warm, chocolatey treat that will soothe your soul!