Archive for November, 2013

Carmelitas plated

Captain Cavedweller made some random mention of oatmeal cookies the other day so I made these (which was not what he had in mind, but exeptionally yummy, nonetheless).

These came together quickly, were easy to make, and I had everything I needed on hand to make them (bonus points!).

Ingredients for Oatmeal Carmelitas

Ingredients for Oatmeal Carmelitas

Start with oatmeal and flour, blending the two together.

Start with oatmeal and flour, blending the two together.

Add in butter and baking soda until well combined.

Add in butter and baking soda until well combined.


Press half the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.

Press half the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees

Sprinkle on chocolate chips.

Sprinkle on chocolate chips.

Cover chips with caramel topping and sprinkle on some sea salt. Crumble remaining crust over the top and bake at 350 degrees for bake for 15 minutes.

Cover chips with caramel topping and sprinkle on some sea salt. Crumble remaining crust over the top and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool before cutting.

Remove from oven and cool before cutting.

Oatmeal Carmelitas

2 cups flour

2 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups butter, melted

2 tsp, baking soda

1 cup caramel ice cream topping

1 bag (11 ounce) chocolate chips

1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, butter, and baking soda until well combined and crumbly.

Press half the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and top crust with chips, caramel sauce and salt.

Crumble on the rest of the crust over the mixture (as evenly as possible) and return to the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove and cool before cutting and indulging!

She Who Loves Caramel and Chocolate Goodies






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Thanksgiving Day background

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white pumpkin tableIf you are hosting Thanksgiving this year and aren’t sure how to set your table, here are some ideas!

You can make the gathering as casual or as elegant as you like, there are no set rules you have to follow. The only rule I enforce is that you have a good  time!

To begin your tablescape design, think about the number of guests you will have attending and how formal the meal will be. Is it a laid-back crowd that would prefer something simple? Are the guests more of a fine-dining group who are comfortable with a formal place setting? Think about these things as you decide how ornate, or simple, to decorate your table.

For a casual thanksgiving gathering, you could place a table runner down the center of the table with a few candles, mini pumpkins and nuts as decoration. You could use placemats at each place setting.

Your everyday dishes can be made to look special when you layer them and add some fun accents to the table. Think about placing a large pinecone at each place setting and fastening a piece of thin wire around the top. Bend the wire to hold a small place card. This is a fun way to create a seating arrangement while adding a little pop of fun to each place setting.

For a more formal gathering, use a tablecloth. If you are worried about Uncle Fred spilling on your fine linen, use a washable and easy care table covering.

Haul out your good china or a more formal pattern if you have one. Create a beautiful centerpiece or arrangement. Make sure it is low to the table and not obstructing the view or put it up high enough that guests can see under it. You can do this by using a plant stand or small side table. It adds quite a bit of drama to your table. Make sure you have candles for added warmth. If you have cloth napkins, use them!  If you are using fresh flowers, make sure the smell is not overly strong. It will compete with the smells of your food and can even inhibit the taste. It is also a good idea to steer away from strong floral aromas in case some of your guests have allergies or may be sensitive to the odors.

If you want a table that is more formal than casual, but less stuffy than elegant, set your table with a cloth, add in a nice centerpiece, but make the place settings a bit more fun. If you have two or three dish patterns that go together (like a cream set and a brown set) mix and match the pieces. This works especially well if you don’t have enough of any one pattern to make it around the table.

However you decide to entertain this Thanksgiving, remember a little preparation goes a long way and that the most important thing is to connect with those who have gathered in your home. And don’t forget to be thankful for each face seated around the table!

For more autumn entertaining ideas, download your free copy of Savvy Entertaining. It’s available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and from ShannaHatfield.com

She Who Can’t Wait to Eat Pumpkin Pie

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It’s a shameless day of self-promotion today…

The Christmas Token Cover lr

I’m super excited to announce that The Christmas Token is now ready for your reading pleasure!

Take a holiday adventure into 1895 to the town of Hardman, Oregon.

Those of you who read The Christmas Bargain, will recognize many of the same characters, including Luke and Filly Granger.

You can find the book digitally on:


Barnes & Noble


The paperback version will be available next week!

Here’s the first chapter to get you started:

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crescent rollsHave you discovered Pepperidge Farm Flaky Crsecent Rolls yet?

If not, run to the grocery store and get yourself a tube of pastry wonder.

I’ve long been a fan of refrigerated crescent rolls for whipping up quick recipes. I’ve used them as crust for every kind of filling you can think of from breakfast casseroles to meat pockets to danishes.

These rolls, in my humble opinion, far surpass the others for flavor and texture.

I used them recently to make a quiche by just pressing the triangles together in the bottom of this fancy little pan.

norita's pan

I poured in the filling, baked, then turned it upside down on a serving platter.

It looked like this:

norita's pan quiche

How cool is that?

The chicken pot pie I made with this crust as unbelievably good.

The texture, flakiness and flavor is really different from what you expect – and so good.

If you’re looking for something to take a meal from ho-hum to yum, these crescent rolls could be a good option for you. Try them and see what you think.

(Note – Pepperidge Farm doesn’t know me from anyone, I just really like this product.)

She Who Needs To Bake Something

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Large male turkey in nature

Going with the theory of “better safe than sorry,” here is a list of hotlines and websites for any disasters that may strike Thanksgiving Day!


Online Help

1-800-BUTTERBALL (800-288-8372)


Online Help



Online Help



Online Help



Online Help



Online Help



Online Help


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Nine Things

If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you’ve probably seen (or participated) in the game of being asked to list a certain number of unknown things about yourself.

I’ve been tagged and tasked with writing nine things.

So I thought I’d share them here, too.

In no particular order, here are nine things most people don’t know about me:

1. I was born one week before my mom’s 39th birthday.

2. I wanted to be a race car driver when I grew up. Captain Cavedweller is convinced I’m still practicing, should the opportunity ever arise.

3. I wanted to have six kids when I grew up and the oldest boy was going to be named Garth Andrew.

4. I hate snakes. My policy is kill first and ask questions later. Weaponry used over the years has included shovels, an axe, rocks, a brick, and a ball peen hammer.

5. My mom decided I was allergic to chocolate so I wasn’t allowed to eat any from the time I was 11 until I met Captain Cavedweller. He decided to see if I really was allergic and bought me a candy bar. I didn’t die – or even break out in hives –  and have spent the last twenty years making up for lost chocolate eating time.

6. The summer before I started eighth grade, I saw a Victorian table lamp I desperately wanted in the Sears catalog. I saved every penny I earned from trapping gophers and bought the lamp.  I still have it and use it every day. It reminds me that if you really want something, you just have to work hard to get it.

7. Captain Cavedweller and I met on  a blind date the day after Christmas.

8. I’ve been in a buffalo stampede and lived to tell the tale.

9. Three of my favorite fragrances in the world are: • Roses  • Homemade bread baking in the oven • The sweet, powdery scent of a baby’s head

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