About Michele

Michele, wife of 18 years to Robert (affectionately known as The Excellent Husband), and mother of three wonderful children, desires to encourage women to recognize their worth that is far above rubies. She serves her Savior, homeschools, gardens, spends time outdoors, cooks and bakes from scratch, knits, sews, and enjoys anything related to family. And now she carries around a little book in her pocket where she scratches notes on what to blog about.

Cookie Cutter Cookie Recipe

Image result for snowflake cookies

Did you know not all sugar cookie recipes work well when using a cookie cutter?  If the recipe is too soft, your shapes will flatten out too much and not look as cute as you had intended. The key to this stand-up recipe is corn starch. 

Cookie Cutter Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup shortening
  2. 2 sticks butter, slightly softened
  3. 1 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 4 teaspoons vanilla
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 5 cups flour
  10. 1 cup corn starch
Instructions
  1. 1. Beat shortening, butter, sugars, salt, baking powder, and vanilla until well blended.
  2. 2. Add the eggs and beat until well blended.
  3. 3. Mix the flour and cornstarch in a bowl, then add to dough.
  4. 4. If the dough is too soft to work with then wrap and refrigerate. Otherwise roll out on floured surface and cut shapes as desired.
  5. 5. Bake in a 350 oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool on racks. Frost and decorate if desired.
The Excellent Wife http://theexcellentwife.com/


 

Chocolate Chip | Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Bundt photo courtesy of McCormick

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Bundt photo courtesy of McCormick

Chocolate Chip | Sour Cream Bundt
I love a recipe that bakes up in one bowl and very quickly. If you get a heads up that company is coming, you can throw these ingredients together in 10 minutes and have a warm cake to enjoy in about 50. But trust me, you don't need a special reason to bake this moist cake - it's so easy you can make one as a quick treat any time.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 stick of butter
  2. 1 cup sugar ( 1/2 white, 1/2 brown)
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 cup +2 tablespoons sour cream
  5. 2 cups flour
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  10. 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Butter and flour a bundt pan (or a 13x9, or use for cupcakes).
  2. Cream the butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Add the sour cream and vanilla.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon of flour. Add to creamed mixture.
  4. Mix the reserved tablespoon of flour with the chocolate chips (this helps them not sink to the bottom of the cake). Add chips to the batter. Combine.
  5. Pour into prepared bundt pan and bake about 40-45 minutes till done. Cool the cake if you'd like to dust with powdered sugar.
  6. Enjoy!
  7. xoxo
The Excellent Wife http://theexcellentwife.com/

Pretty Fall Leaf Cookies

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Making pretty fall leaf cookies is as easy as a trip to your back yard!

credit: Epicurious

credit: Epicurious

Follow the directions here for tracing leaf cookies onto rolled out sugar cookie dough. You can also try gluten-free rolled out sugar cookie dough that King Arthur Flour makes. The process is easy, fun for little ones to help, and produces a delicious outcome for your family, loved ones, or neighbors.

Cold Brewed Coffee

 

Cold brew. You can have it in 12 hours if you leave it on your counter or 24 hours if you soak it in your fridge.

Add grounds, add water, steep, strain twice, add water, enjoy.

Not bitter or acidic, doesn’t need sugar or milk (unless you prefer).

Drink it hot (add hot water to the concentrate) or cold.

Here’s some info on the latest fad that is cold brewed coffee. 

 

Epicurious gives a fancy overview of cold brew.

The New York Times easiest instructions ever.

Expert reviews on the best pre-made brands.

Videos here and, even better, here.

 

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Iced Coffee with Muddled Herbs option 2 / Photo by Christopher Simpson, Prop and Food Styling by Ali NardiIced Coffee with Muddled Herbs option 2 / Photo by Christopher Simpson, Prop and Food Styling by Ali Nardi1471554408-Coffee_AL007.JPG

 

 

Studying Art Makes Kids Smart

This just in!  Exposing children to art, in its many forms, can make them better thinkers. Art History is one of our favorite subjects, so we are happy to hear this news. I encourage you to visit a museum nearby – they often have days where you can visit for free. If there’s no museum in your location, try the library or even the Internet for art history ideas. I bet adults benefit from art as much as children!