Sugar Cookie Social

I look forward to hosting my Sugar Cookie Social in December so I can share my ugly sweater sugar cookies! The cookie cutter is my Mom’s so would bake a batch with her. She also has all the sprinkles:)

This year, I’ll be hosting my event via zoom. I’ll mail make and take packets with a few paper crafting kits. Then join in during one of my zoom calls to assemble them with my instruction and see what everyone else is creating using the kit contents and their supplies. The format is kind of a mystery stamping adventure too since I won’t share the designs prior to the socials.

How do you get an invitation to the event? If you have placed a product order greater than $50 (excluding shipping and tax) through my online store this year, I will automatically mail you a packet. Not sure if you placed a qualifying order with me? Click the Contact button on my blog and ask I check for you. OR…place a $50 or more order (excluding shipping and tax) on November 24th during the Merry and Bright Flash sale (details for that sale by clicking here) using host code MZXJJXH4 and that order will qualify you to receive a Sugar Cookie Social packet.

Zoom calls are Wednesday, December 9th, 9:30-11am and 6:30-8pm central time. Zoom call links will be emailed to you. Jump on the call time that works for you.

Last, let’s share our favorite, sweet, holiday treats during the call. Have it handy so you can show it on camera. It will be fun to see what cookies we like and what drinks we enjoy. Maybe next year we will be back to sharing my ugly sweater cookies in person:)

Looking forward to stamping with you then!

Super Awesome Ugly Sweater Cookie Baker Shirley

The Adventures of Shirley’s Spuds it’s hashbrowns today

I do love a good potato. Baked, fried, hash browned, pancaked, twice baked, curried, boiled, YUM! They all have a place on my plate because they can be crispy and soft, mild flavored or boldly spiced. Would you like to join me as I share my spud secrets? See my first recipe, potato pancakes, here.

It’s hashbrowns for breakfast today or any meal will do.


Peel and grate 1 russet potato per person.

Heat about 2 tablespoons per potato of frying liquid in an appropriately sized pan. One potato fits in an 8 inch skillet or 2 potatoes fit in a 10 inch skillet. I used Ghee today and olive oil works too.

The oil needs to sizzle before adding the grated potato. Add all the potatoes at once. Flatten to a patty shape to fill the pan to about 1/2 inch depth.

Fry 3-4 minutes per side. Flip when the edges are brown. Do a peek under to ensure the entire patty is brown before flipping. We want a nice, crispy patty!


I top with Penzey’s Seasoned Salt. And that’s the recipe! There are no leftovers because I make just what we can eat in one meal. Because, you know, the crispy patty turns to mushy patty in the frig.

Hope you enjoyed today’s installment of  The Adventures of Shirley’s Spuds!

Super Awesome Spud Maker Shirley


Quinoa Tuna Bites aka What’s for Dinner

I shared a potato pancake recipe a few days ago. Along side those pancakes were quinoa tuna bites. I originally created the bites at a paper crafting retreat about a year ago. Click here for the other yummies that were served with that meal.


Here is the recipe in case you want to try it. This recipe is a little different from the original since it makes a smaller quantity. It makes enough patties for about 4 meals.

Tuna Quinoa Bites

1 – 12 oz can tuna in water, drained really well

1 tsp Penzey’s Adobo seasoning or your choice of seasoning (Penzey’s sweet curry was in the original recipe)

about 1/4 cup cooked onion

1 large egg

about 1/2 cup cooked quinoa

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, adding more or less quinoa so the mixture is slightly wet.

Fry on both sides in extra virgin olive oil and serve hot. I tried frying in coconut oil this time and that worked well. Those patties had a slight coconut flavor. I would use the coconut oil again:)

I cook 1 cup of quinoa and use it for other dishes. Yesterday I sauteed about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil with green beans. Added some cooked quinoa, cashews and curry powder to make a quick meal. Today, the quinoa went in a mug of chicken stock with leftover chicken and lots of garlic powder to make a warming mug of quick soup.

I’ll share more recipes to help you make something delicious too. So check back soon!

Super Awesome Chef Shirley

The Adventures of Shirley’s Spuds aka what’s for dinner

I do love a good potato. Baked, fried, hash browned, pancaked, twice baked, curried, boiled, YUM! They all have a place on my plate because they can be crispy and soft, mild flavored or boldly spiced. Would you like to join me as I share my spud secrets?

A good recipe takes some planning and cooking time. As a collective community, many of us are home bound and have the time now to explore in the kitchen. As a bonus, spuds are cheap. I just snagged a 10 pound bag of russets for $3.50.

I love crispy potatoes so decided on potato pancakes for my first recipe. Actually, I got the idea to share my spud secrets while I was making french fries a few nights ago. Yes, you can make french fries at home. They are so good piping hot out of the oven! I’ll feature those in an upcoming post. Now back to the potato pancakes recipe.


4 large russet potatoes, peeled and grated

1/2 cup grated onion

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1-2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Peel and grate the potatoes. I use a Kitchenaid stand mixer with the grater attachment. A box grater using the largest grate opening works too. Grate the onion using the same method.

Toss the grated mixture with 1 teaspoon salt.

Let the potatoes, onion and salt sit in a colander while you are preparing the rest of the dinner, about 15 minutes. The potatoes need to drain liquid so they fry with minimum grease spatter and turn crispy. Use a paper or clean linen towel to ring out the last remaining liquid and/or to speed up the draining process. Discard the drained liquid.

The drained mixture is next mixed with 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Add more or less flour depending on how wet the potato mixture is prior to adding the egg.

This photo shows the ingredients just prior to mixing the egg. Those 4 potatoes in the background will turn into baked potatoes today with homemade french onion dip, YUM. Now back to the current recipe…


Now heat a large skillet with at least 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or the fry oil of your choice. There will be 2 fry batches using my 11 inch skillet. So I want all the oil in the pan from the start to fry both batches.

Be patient and wait for the oil to sizzle. Test the oil by flinging a few droplets of water from your fingertips into the oil. If the droplets jump, then the pan is hot. The oil should be shimmering too.

Now drop about 1/3 cup portions into the hot oil and flatten. If a sizzle sound is not heard, the oil is not hot enough. So wait a few seconds before continuing adding to the pan. Leave space between the mounds, enough to reach under with a flipper. Flip when the edges start to brown. Do a peek under to ensure the entire patty is brown before flipping. We want a nice, crispy patty! It should be only a few minutes of cooking on each side if your oil is hot enough.

Work quick after addition to the pan starts. So have the rest of the meal ready or enlist your house mates to time the rest of the meal so you can enjoy the hot, crispy potato pancakes with your other dishes.

We enjoyed cilantro topped crispy tuna quinoa bites on lettuce wraps with the potato pancakes. I’ll share those in another post as some point. I did not take prep photos of that dish. But it might be something you would like to try. They are crispy and delicious too:)


The second best part about this recipe is that there are leftovers. The recipe makes enough for 4 people. I pair the leftover pattys with fruit and tea for a quick breakfast. My tea blend lately is mint and fennel with a sparse portion of Thai basil since my basil stock is almost out.

Hope you enjoyed my first Adventures of Shirley’s Spuds!

Super Awesome Spud Maker Shirley


Cleaning Protocol, I got this one!

Good Morning Stampers. Many of you offer to help clean up after attending an event. Thank you for the offer, but I got this! I have a system I use between events that involves disinfect spray, wipes, hot soapy water and fresh air. Yes, I open the windows except on blizzard days;)

Here is what I do:

1) The stamps and blocks are rinsed under the wash tub faucet to remove excess ink. Stamps are removed from the block and cleaned with stampin mist on the stampin scrub and set aside to dry. Blocks are dunked in hot, soapy water until the rest of the clean up is done. They get a good 30 minute soak:) They are rinsed in hot water and then air dried.

2) Open the windows, in part to reduce the cleaning agents smell. I am sensitive to all smells and is why you won’t smell perfume when you enter my house.

3) Unroll a wad of paper towels. Wipe down all the ink pads, community utensils, big shot and big shot accessories with disinfectant. Now is a great time to invest in your own utensils so you don’t have to use the community ones.

4) Wipe down the door handles with disinfectant.

5) Wipe down tables and chairs with disinfectant.

6) Vacuum the floors. I frequently steam clean the carpets and ask that your shoes be removed.

7) All Done!

My cleaning protocol has been in place almost as long as my Stampin’ Up! business of close to 17 years. Germs have never been my friend since I am the one most likely to get sick after a gathering with people. Perhaps I was fighting cancer all those years so germs took a backseat in the fight. We will never know. Since my cancer treatment was severely harsh, it’s been a long fight back to relative health. I am ever vigilant about germs since I know I can barely fight my own, let alone the ones other people carry. I have taken steps to rebuild my immune system but it will never return to optimal levels that most of the population enjoys. When I get sick with a cold, it takes me weeks and many boxes of kleenex to recover from effects that are noticeable. I am sure the cellular level is still working hard long after the sniffles are gone. That’s why I drink kombucha, teas and eat mostly things that grow out of the earth.

I am a scientist so understand the world we can only see under a microscope and even smaller than that. Tiny molecules that can only be detected with very expensive and large equipment. I worked first in an environmental lab cleaning up Super Fund sites where gasoline tanks were leaking. I moved on to working in a pharmaceutical lab; testing the drugs I would later take to combat my cancer. Since I understand how germs work, my cleaning protocol has been in place since the beginning of my business, keeping you and me at relative safety from the germs. Doing what I can for sickness prevention is the best way to keep living life on track.

Please know that you can ask me about my cancer journey since I don’t bring it up in conversation. If you are curious to learn what my experience was and is like, I can answer questions. I can tell you that all the weight that I lost has found me again;)

Until we meet, stay well!

Super Awesome Stamper Shirley