The original MTNMAMA

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Gingerbread Village

A Gingerbread Village
Tis the Season for Gingerbread Houses!!!

And what could be better than a Gingerbread House???

A Gingerbread Village of Course!!!

Auntie KK helped Ella with construction but the decorating was 
mostly Miss Ella's design.

Ella is patiently waiting for KK to 
"roof" the house with royal icing so she can put the junior mint "shingles" on the opposite side.
This is looking pretty intense.  Auntie KK graduates her Internal Medicine residency the end of December.  We are so proud of her!! Even so we think some of her best work is in the kitchen!!

Thus begins the wonderful baking season at the Smith household. 
I have moved into a new home with a fantastic kitchen so there will be lots more baking, pictures, tastings, and posts.
It has been awhile since my last posts....sometimes I do that!!!
Here is the "Cliff-note" version of what I have been up to:


Since last I wrote 
I have moved.. 
bought a house.....
and sold a house!!!

Gotten engaged...... to a very kind and gentle man named "Cliff"!!
And will be Married on 
January 9th, 2016.

God is so Good!!  I am truly blessed !!

For now I am heading to bed....with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head!!!  Tomorrow starts the holiday baking season and I am so excited to see if my new kitchen can handle the "Christmas Baking Challenge"!!

Happy Trails,
Mtn Mama

Friday, May 29, 2015

Healthy Morning Muffins


More muffins today. These muffins are moist, chewy and full of lots of great veggies, grains and fruits! I love a great muffin, especially when it is full of fiber and great nutrients.

Healthy Morning Muffins



  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup skim milk
  • 3 cups shredded carrots (about 8 carrots)
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed




  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with 10 paper liners.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt until there are no lumps. Stir in 1 3/4 cups oats and raisins. Add oil, eggs, milk, carrots, and banana, and stir until blended, being careful to not overmix.

  3. Fill each muffin cup with 3/4 cup batter. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup oats over muffins. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Serve muffins warm or at room temperature.

These muffins can be found on the Martha Stewart website. She made them in larger muffin cups. I got 12 generous muffins in a normal sized muffin tin from this batter.

We liked them so much that I made more mini muffins the next day from this recipe. Some to eat and some to share to make more friends!!

You KNOW who you are!!



Spent time at the Splash Pad this week with my favorite little man while his mommy and sister were at swimming lessons. We managed to find a few minutes without rain and some beautiful sunshine!!

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival

It's that time of year again....The Blogger's Quilt Festival!!  YAY!!
I entered the Dresden Plate Quilt that I finished just a few weeks ago.  I have named it "Jeffrey's Quilt".  If you want to know why you can read the story about this quilt here.

I designed the layout, colors and quilting on this quilt. I quilted it on my sit-down Tin Lizzie.   I tried to make it look like an older quilt I had seen many years ago.  I think I did it!!  It has the soft look and feel of a much loved quilt.  Just what I wanted.

I love the pinks and greens of the 1930's.   That is why I chose them to sash and bind the quilt. 

Please hop over to The Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative side and vote for my quilt.  Wouldn't that be a great tribute to "MY JEFFREY" if everyone loved his quilt as much as I do!!
Enjoy the festival and be sure and check out all the great quilts and quilter's!!

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fresh Veggie and Shrimp Pasta

The weather this spring has been stormy and cool here in Oklahoma. I spent an hour in the closet Saturday night while the tornado sirens blarred and we had another round of violent storms and wind. Thank goodness no Tornado in my hood!! I am ready for this to be over this year. I want to move on to picnics, ourdoor dining and summer!! Today we did go to the zoo for a little picnic and fun with the grands.

Here Ella and I are imitating the Mayans in the Amazon exhibit.

We HAD to ride the camel. Sassy was her name!!! Ella and I ride camels anytime we get the chance.

I love simple, fresh food that takes little or no time to prepare....Don't we all?? I made this dish after work one night last week. I started with the shrimp and used what I had in the fridg to finish this recipe. It turned out looking and tasting great.

Fresh Veggie and Shrimp Pasta

1 pound extra large shrimp, cleaned and deveined

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces sliced white mushrooms

1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half ( I used heirloom tomatoes I had gotten at Sam's)

1 Tbsp Lemon zest

Juice of one lemon

1 cup dry white wine

12 ounces fresh linguine pasta

Pasta cooking liquid as needed

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Parmesan cheese to taste


1. Heat large skillet with olive oil and butter. Meanwhile place large pasta pot filled with water on stove. Salt water and heat to a boil.

2. Add garlic and shrimp. Cook for 2-3 minutes until shrimp is pink and firm. Do not overcook. Shrimp will be added at the end and continue to cook.

3. Remove shrimp to a warm platter. Then add the mushrooms to the pan. Saute until mushrooms are cooked, (about 5 minutes)

4. Add tomatoes and cook 3 minutes or until the tomatoes are warm all the way through and are beginning to break down.

5. Add lemon zest and juices to the pan and deglaze with 1 cup dry white wine.

6. Add fresh pasta to boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes or according to the package directions.

7. Return shrimp to the pan with the veggie mixture. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss. Add pasta water to the pan if needed to thin the sauce.

8. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and parmesan cheese if desired. (There is this whole thing about cheese with seafood pasta. Personally I like it so I added it!! )

Serve immediately with a fresh green salad and crusty, warm bread.

Simple and fresh!! Great for a cool spring evening!! Al fresco dining is the best this time of year in OK!! A glass of wine, the smell of pinon wood from the Chiminea.....Life is good!!

Bon Appetite!! Try this one and let me know how much you enjoy it!!

Happy Trials,

Mtn Mama

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Raisin Bran Muffins

OH...Do you Know

the Muffin Man!

So after work one night this week I was flipping through my DVR list and stopped at an episode of Martha Bakes. It was all about muffins. Sounded good so I continued to watch as Martha made about 5 different types of muffins. She explained that Muffin Men would sell their wares in the street of England years ago for tea time. Who knew there really was a Muffin Man or maybe a Woman because we know that behind every good man there is a better woman! LOL

You can find the complete recipe on the Martha Sterwart website.    

Raisin Bran Muffins


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1 1/2 cup giant raisins
  • 1 cup prune juice
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter six giant-size muffin cups, or line them with paper liners.
  2. Combine wheat bran, raisins, prune juice, yogurt, molasses, butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Stir dry ingredients into the bran mixture just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix.
  4. Spoon 1 cup batter into each of the giant muffin cups. Bake in the center of the oven until a cake tester comes out clean, 27 to 30 minutes.
  5. Turn muffins out of the pan, and let them cool on a rack.

While watching Martha I fell in love with these "tulip cups". Immediately I googled it and found several sites which explain how to make your own out of parchment paper. You can find an easy tutorial here.  
I proceeded to make the muffin liners and they worked beautifully. I love the finished product both in taste and appearance. I used both parchment paper and a waxed white paper used to wrap food. I tested both 5 inch squares and 6 inch square. Both's mainly a matter of personal preference.

When filling the cups I placed the batter into a heavy ziplock bag and snipped the end. Then I squeezed just the right amount into each cup. It allowed me to get the batter deep into the cup without getting the tulip edges messy.

That was a real timesaver. I filled the cups to the top of the pan which allowed them to fill the "tulip" top of the cup when they baked.

I got 12 large muffins and 6 mini muffins from the recipe. The muffins filled the cups beautifully.  Martha only gets 6 muffins because she is using a giant muffin tin.  

These muffins looked and tasted like they just came out of a French bakery. Trust me after my trip to France last year I know these things!!

Remove from the pan and allow to cool. The papers easily separate from the muffins.

So how do they taste??? The answer to the question is DELICIOUS!! They are moist, flavorful, full of sweetness from the raisins and molasses and full of texture. These could become my morning routine!!

Good morning beautiful! Don't you think it kinda looks like that sunflower on the plate?  Now all I need to go with this tasty treat is a little soft butter and a cup of hot tea.  Who needs the Muffin Man when you can make these at home!!
Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!! Let me know if you try them!

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama

Monday, May 11, 2015

A New Creative Outlet....Special Cookies!

He fills my life with good things!
Psalm 103:5

I love flowers! Flowers make me happy!! Flowers show me God's perfect love exhibited in nature's beauty and that makes me smile!! These beauties came as a gift from my special daughter's on Mother's Day! I am SMILING on all fronts....blessings from my children created by heavenly Father!!    PERFECT!

I am having a blast this spring with cookies and icing.  I know that sounds weird but I am just having fun...lots of it. The cookies below were made during Easter but could also be used for a First Communion. 

 I grew up in the 60's when my mother and her friends were all taking "Wilton Cake Decorating Classes" for the very first time. The classes weren't taught at Michael's or JoAnn's...they weren't even thought of yet...but in homes or churches with a skilled cake decorator/teacher.
Since then I have inherited my mother's pans, tips, books...etc. Such a treasure. The boxes have remained unused until now. I started with the desire to make some special cookies.  I opened those boxes and magic flew out along with the dust of 50 years of storage.  But now I am addicted to this has me making Royal icing roses and flowers... reading blogs on cookie decorating....weekly trips to Michael's and JoAnn's for more "Wilton" supplies and I dream in colors of the "Wilton Rainbow"....LOL. I do believe  the magic has transformed me into a cookie monster.
Now remember I am doing this for fun...self taught at this point ... but I am happy with the results.

I made 36 of these cross cookies and gave them to the leadership council of my Community Bible Study for Easter. Some were white and some were lavender ( Purple is my favorite color) .

I especially loved making the swirl roses that I used to decorate the cookies.

I used several blogs for inspiration but my favorite was The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle.   She has great tutorials and so much creativity.   You can find her here.

These cookies were made with my favorite sugar cookie recipe. You can find it here. I used Royal Icing, piped and flooded, then decorated with royal icing swirl roses and Wilton Pearls.
I was pretty happy for my first attempt at a "Fancy" cookie!! Who know's what will be next??? I can feel the creative juices churning in my head....or is that a headache from all my seasonal allergies coming on (LOL)!!!
Stay tuned!!

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Catching You up on What I have been up to!!

Back on the Blogging Grid....Again!!

Seems like even with the best intentions I have not been able to keep up with everything  this year. I seem to have my hands full!!!  LOL!!  Those two precious grands keep this Nana busy!!!
MY BLOG has certainly been in the lagging...almost non-existent category.  Sorry!!  It must be because I am busy, happy, blessed and spending lots of time living life again.  That's true!!
I have missed writing my blog because I love sharing all my creative thoughts and projects.  I started blogging for fun and really that is my only intention.  It's fun to share all my favorite things, show my creativity to others and be able to help others by being transparent and real.  

Last month my college roommate from over 40 years ago came to Tulsa and we celebrated her 60th birthday.  Of course we had several days of Quilt Camp at the lake.  During that time I finished this Dresden Plate quilt that I have been "working" on for almost three years.  I made these precious blocks in 2012 while sitting by Jeffrey's bed as he fought the cancer that took his life that year. They have so much meaning for me.  It was quite a step finishing this quilt!!

The blocks were English Paper Pieced.  

My blog is the closest thing I will ever have that resembles a journal.  I have tried over the years to write but all I have to show for it is a stack of beautiful books with empty pages. I could never write about this very special quilt in a journal the way I can share it here with you on the blog.  Blogging somehow gets me past that creative writers block and I can share with great enthusiasm all that I am doing.

So what have I been doing????  Baking of course!  This is the Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake from Six Sister's which you can find here.   It is so easy to make and ALWAYS a hit.  There is never any left! 

This pretty little Lemon Poppyseed pound cake can be found on the Betty Crocker website  It uses a cake mix.  Easy, moist and can be baked in so many different shapes.
Here it is baked as a small (1/4 bundt) cake.  I LOVE this pan.  I filled the interior with fresh berries.  Beautiful and so tasty!!

Here I used a rosette pan.

 Mini-Bundts ...   All from the same recipe!!

These Brownie Bites are a quick, jiffy slice of chocolate heaven.
Use a brownie mix.  Make as directed.  Add 1 cup of mini chocolate chips to the batter.  Fill mini-muffin tins and bake as directed.  Fill a piping bag with store-bought frosting and pipe swirls onto the brownies when cooled.  I topped them with some Royal Icing flowers I made the week before.  Next time I am going to bake them in the pan and then set them in the pretty cupcake liners.  If you bake them in the liners they are not as pretty.  Lesson learned!!
As the French would say....Viola!!  A beautiful dessert that you can make in no time!!  Everyone loves a bite of chocolate!!

Blogs these days CAN become complicated. Don't get me wrong.....I LOVE to read other peoples blogs, get ideas and use them for motivation. Many people use them as full time jobs which is wonderful for them but for now I am not willing to devote my life full time to cyberspace.  That takes the joy out of what I want to do.  There are lists of the do's and don'ts for blogging, blogging all goes on and on.   I know I don't have the best photos....and really I don't want to take on another hobby so the pix I take will have to do for now.  People ask me all the time if I cater or quilt for money and the answer is NO!  My JOY comes from the creativity and freedom I have in each project.  I don't have to please anyone else when I am sewing or cooking if I am doing it for me or those I love and share with.  If I love you I will gladly give you the fruits of my labor but for now it's not for sale.  
I say all of this to let you know I am going to try again to share my quilting, cooking and creativity with you on a more regular basis.  With that in mind....I do have a milestone birthday in July and will be traveling three of the four weeks but hey----I am giving you a heads-up and a reason for my absence. 

See you again...soon.....I HOPE!

Happy Trails,

Mtn Mama