Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Valentine Treat from author @DarylWoodGerber


HAPPY ALMOST VALENTINE'S DAY


I have a sweetheart giveaway below, but first...

So...I was going to give you a recipe from FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE because, in the first month after release, I usually treat you to a specialty or two straight from the book, and I will do that next week, but this week, I had to tell you about a mini-disaster.

You know how authors are often doing something promotional nowadays? We make bookmarks, we write blogs, we interact on social media. We give trinkets like mugs and kitchen jar openers and spatulas as "swag."

Well, the group from Mystery Lovers Kitchen annually make recipe cards that we give out as "swag" packets at Malice Domestic Mystery Conference in April. I am in charge of putting all those cards together. We make 250 packets of about 12 recipe cards (each with a cover from our current book titles). For the last 5 years, Krista has lovingly attended to the duty. This year, I said I would take charge. So everyone sent me their cards. They're beautiful.  The recipes look delicious! 

I set out the stacks on my coffee table, and while watching a new Madam Secretary, I set them in order, one after the other. I collected them in stacks and placed them in a box, ready for the next step--ribbons--which I'm eagerly awaiting.

Well, here's the mini-disaster. This weekend, I decided to make the recipe on my card. I'd made it before, of course, but it was easiest to grab a card and follow instructions rather than search for the recipe on my computer. It's a recipe from GRILLING THE SUBJECT

Jenna's Mom's Chocolate Pudding

Yes, you're going to get a sneak preview and it's PERFECT for Valentine's Day.

Why was it a mini-disaster? Because when I read the recipe card, lo and behold, the directions were WRONG. A mess. I obviously did not proof-read!  I've been a little addled lately. 

So...

I have to make a whole new set of them because I refuse to put out a card that is a mess. My other card for FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE was perfect, so at least I wasn't a total disaster when it came to concentration. 

But, yes, you guessed it, I get to bring out the box of 250 sets of cards, set them all on my coffee table, turn on Downton Abbey (this time), and pull out 250 GRILLING THE SUBJECT recipe cards and replace with "new" GRILLING THE SUBJECT recipe cards.  By the way, that was a costly mistake. You can bet I will be proof-reading with a much keener eye in the future!  Until I don't, of course, because I am mistake-prone lately.

Did I mention I had a freak accident a few weeks ago?  Tune in for that story!  LOL

Here's the RIGHT recipe for Jenna's Mom's Chocolate Pudding. It is SUPER EASY. Luckily it turned out so well that it has been assuaging my feelings of total and utter stupidity.  


Jenna’s Mom’s Easy Chocolate Pudding
[4 servings]

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream


In a medium saucepan (no heat yet), stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Now stir in the milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.






Pour into individual dessert dishes. Note!  To keep a skin from forming on the top, press some plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding!  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  When ready, remove the plastic wrap, and top each with whipped topping, if desired.






NEWSLETTER

By the way, do you get my newsletter? Are you part of the fan club? There are fun puzzles, special pictures, tidbits, and giveaways. I will not inundate you with emails. You will only get updates when I have something to share...like late next month!  In March! Are you on pins and needles? Sign up today so you don't miss out in the future.

TODAY'S VALENTINE GIVEAWAY!

Leave your name and email so I can contact you if you WIN and tell me something sweet or funny that has happened to you!  I'll be giving away a SAVOR THE MYSTERY MUG. Winner will be picked Friday, the 12th.









PS  Can you see what's wrong with my recipe? 


Check directions. First paragraph.

Nice array, right?

Savor the mystery and say cheese!
Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!


Friend Daryl and Avery on Facebook
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Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest


Plus check out our website with lots of trailers, excerpts, plus a fan club with puzzles and giveaways!



GRILLING THE SUBJECT, the 5th Cookbook Nook Mystery, can be pre-ordered. Click here to order.





FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, 
the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery.
Click to order.



95 comments:

  1. Something sweet = receiving my favorite flowers, red roses, as a "just because I'm thinking of you" gift. So sweet, indeed. Liz Stark EMS591@aol.com

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  2. Watch those apostrophes. Love the recipe! Dspinlexo@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I don't see an apostrophe problem, so fill me in. But I repeat medium saucepan in the first sentence. And then I also have "and 1 minute" - um, what the heck does that mean? LOL

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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  3. Oh Daryl/Avery, sorry about the error! I guess it was a good thing you were the one putting them together...the pudding looks beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. Good for me. Mind you, I did not read everyone else's cards. LOL I'm just so glad my other one was "fine." Sigh.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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  4. Welcome to the land of addle-pated beings! (Not surprisingly, spellcheck is confused over my choice of words)
    This sounds like a wonderfully easy pudding. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. And it's wonderfully delicious, too! Addle-pated. I love that word!

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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  5. Yikes! Well, it's a good thing that you decided to make some pudding - lol! It just proves that chocolate really is good for you because if you hadn't had a craving you might have missed the error. p.s. I must be missing the error, unless it's "medium saucepan" twice in the first sentence....not awake enough yet! :-) p.p.s. Pudding looks decadent!!! :-) Nicole nicolev.girldetective@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Yep, that's it. Twice I need a medium saucepan. Really? LOL I wasn't awake when I wrote it and reread it, apparently! ~ Daryl / Avery

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  6. Stuff happens, so don't beat yourself up (at least you caught the mistake in time!). We see what we expect to see, and two saucepans are better than none. Looks delicious!

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  7. My mother, who died when I was in high school, made the best chocolate pudding - and I liked to eat it warm. Chocolate pudding always reminds me of her.

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    Replies
    1. Karlene, I'm sorry your mom passed away so early (I lost my father young - a great loss), but what a lovely memory to have about the pudding.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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  8. Glad you caught it before the cards went out! Something sweet that happened: Every year, I give my employees holiday gifts but don't expect gifts. A new employee went to the trouble of learning which candy bar is my favorite and giving me a bouquet of them! cheers@marjimmanor.com

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    Replies
    1. Oh, wow, what fun is that! Nice employee.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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  9. It's good that you caught it before you gave out the cards.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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  10. I received an amaryllis from the lady I do grocery shopping for every week. The best present this year were tickets to two performances. suefoster109@netzero.net.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice. 2 performances of what? Love theater.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  11. Yummy!! Reminds me I need to get cocoa on my next shopping trip. nungwa@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shelli, yes. I used Penzey's, but I'm sure any high grade cocoa would work. And Hershey's would probably do in a pinch, too.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  12. When I was a teenager, I was trying to entertain a boyfriend and was warming up some cookies in the ovn. I put them in a paper bag and it started on fire! I've never live it down.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, gosh, paper in the oven. Funny! And scary.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  13. The pudding looks good will have to try with granddaughters over the summer during their visit.
    Sweet is watching my granddaughter FaceTime with one of my horses. Or as she says her pony.
    a.connolley@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Oh, how fun is that. FT with the horse? I love it!

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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    2. PS I FT Sparky with my grandkids. They love to see him. He's a wiggle worm, but they don't mind. :)

      Delete
  14. The chocolate pudding looks delicious, I have to make for my husband.I recently got back from Texas see family,I haven't them 20 years that sweet

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  15. Oh, Daryl! All's well that ends yummy, but sometimes the road to that end is a little rocky! xoxo to you and thanks for the fun story and recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leslie, I'm so glad the recipe is as good as it is. It was worth the "repeat."

      ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  16. My daughters father when I was dating him gave me 100 roses just filled my bedroom when i was gone and then i came home to a wonderful smelling and looking room. He also that night took my girlfriend and I to SF and we had a wonderful dinner and took us all around his stomping grounds when he was young. It was a wonderful time and for a period of a time he was a wonderful man! ptclayton2@aol.com

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    Replies
    1. PT, I sense more to the story, but how lovely to find a room filled with roses. Makes me think of a lovely scene in one of my favorite movies, Serendipity. A boyfriend fills a room with candles and rose petals and a huge box filled with boxes in a box. The smallest has a ring, of course. And THAT GUY does not get the girl in the end. Because all the romance in the world might not cut it if the guy isn't the right guy. :)

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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  17. Delectable pudding. Sweet would be spending precious time with the grandchildren each weekend which I do and love. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Traveler - how lovely. Kids can be such a joy and brings smiles!

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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  18. I haven't made chocolate pudding since the 60s but that plastic wrap brought back memories. I didn't even notice the medium saucepan twice but I liked the one minute statement. That sounds like me.
    Sadly, I have nothing sweet or funny to tell you. My life is just the same every day. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. Linda, same can be very comforting, too. Read a good book to switch it up. ;)

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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  19. Don't know which would be the sweeter treat winning the book or eating the homemade pudding. Hopefully I can do both. vernagass@gmail.com. 7395 W 1000 N
    DeMotte,In46310

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  20. Proof reading is important, so thanks for the correct recipe. I can't wait to try it. elainehroberson@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Elaine, it's amazing how one change can make the difference. Luckily this wasn't a total disaster, but a new cook might question what was up! LOL

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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  21. Yummy dessert. Perfect. Sweet is my preference and the sunshine makes me happy everyday. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  22. I love chocolate pudding, but I never liked that skin that forms on top. The plastic wrap trick helps... I like to add sliced strawberries, peeled orange segments, or some cherries on top. Delicious!
    I have the mug, but if I win I know my sister will be thrilled.
    kat8762@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any fruit with chocolate works for me, Kathleen. Except maybe kiwi, but then I don't like kiwi. LOL

      ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  23. I've learned that tablespoons and teaspoons are not interchangeable when I put down 4 t. instead of 4 T. of cocoa in a chocolate cake recipe...

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    Replies
    1. Oh, Celia, how true that is!!! It's the same with a liquid or any measurement. That little t and big T matter. Which is why I try to write them out fully nowadays. Happy cooking.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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  24. That pudding sounds delicious (and I bet in would be great in my chocolate eclair cake! One of the sweetest thing that has blessed our marriage happened on a Disney Cruise for our 25th anniversary. The concierge know we were celebrating and after dinner the first night of the cruise, we were shocked to receive chocolate covered strawberries, wine and a chocolate cake (decorated with Happy Anniversary). servedogmom@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, "S", the Disney cruise is something else, isn't it? We did it with little ones and it was so much fun. I will never forget the Disney foghorn! I recorded it and the kids love hearing me play the recording! ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  25. It is a sweet day here in West Palm Beach, FL because
    there is no snow storm like there is in other parts of the country

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gary, the snow is pretty incredible, isn't it? I'm in Los Angeles and it's a silly 85 degrees! We're having a heat wave. Weird.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  26. sweet - I just realized that it is Ash Wednesday and I can get hot cross buns for the next 6 weeks. Love those things. It's bitterly cold outside so I'll hole up with butter and buns.
    thanks.
    txmlhl@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Mary, they sure are pretty buns. I've always appreciated the look of them. ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  27. A number of years ago, a local store had a Valentine's Day contest. The prize was a huge heart shaped box of chocolates. Well, I won it. I picked it up at the store in a big snowstorm and was in the car with my children and a friend. Everyone wanted a chocolate. So, I took off the cellophane and when I did the entire box flew apart and the candy all landed on the floor with the snow, ice and tons of dirt/sand/salt etc. Lost 99@ of the candy. What had happened is that the sides of the box were not glued or the glue had dried so they did not hold so when the cover came off, the sides just sprung away from the base and then that fell apart too, making the bottom of the box just drop. Easy come and easy go, but not without children's tears. Funny but not.

    Cynthia Bayer Blain
    (please find me on FB if there is a reason to as I have too many strangers e-mailing me when I leave my e-mail on these pages.) Thank you if I am lucky enough to win.

    Cynthia Blain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, Cynthia, funny-NOT indeed. You didn't have the 5 second rule? Even on a snowy, dirty surface, I'm sure not TOO much dirt got on those little goodies. Boo-hoo.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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    2. PS really? Strangers are grabbing your emails! Pooh. I hate hearing that!

      Delete
  28. Nothing sweet or funny ever happens to me and I am single so I don't celebrate Valentine's day. I love the mug. seascapelife at gmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. Lexie, sorry nothing sweet or funny happens. That's no fun. Hopefully you can enjoy a good book soon.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  29. Funny Valentines story: My 5 year old granddaughter is in kindergarten this year, and so excited about Valentines Day and the upcoming school party. She told me that her mother was her Valentine, because she loves her mother so much. Then she asked me who was my Valentine. When I told her that her grandfather was my Valentine, in a very disappointed voice, she said "Oh, yeah. You married him." Thanks for the heads up on the new Cookbook Nook, I just pre-ordered. sjones1592 at gmail dot com.

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    1. Stephanie, this made me laugh out loud. :)

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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  30. Something Sweet? I found an awesome recipe for chocolate pudding! Nothing sweeter! Thank you!
    angelhwk68@yahoo.com

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  31. When I was four I had a little boy propose to me on Valentine;s Day...I told my Mom I was engaged and I even got a tiny box of candy...He was smooth...love the contest.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  32. this sounds great love the mug and allyour books

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  33. Might not be the best (depends on the person), but the sweetest thing I ever got was a gift from my neighbors cat. When cats love you and accept you they leave you little "presents". Usually major "ewws". My neighbors cat is very skittish around other people and avoids them like the plague.. Was doing yard work and had the screen doors to my breeze-way propped open for quick and easy access. I had not realized CC had gotten into the garage and had shut the doors. Couple of hours later stepped out of the house into the breeze-way to go to the garage to get a few items from the freezer. Noticed CC hanging on the screen door. He eyed me warily the whole while as I talked soothing to him and reached around, unlocking and opening the door. He was gone in a flash. The next day when I opened the front door. There on my Welcome mat was a denuded bird. It was CC's heart felt "Thank You" for his rescue. I was careful to pick it up and carry it into the house (And hide it in the trash, careful not to be seen) to let CC know I "appreciated his thank you gift in case he was watching. 
    As humans who coexist with other species, we have a civic duty to be mindful and respectful of them Della at deepotter@peoplepc.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. You caught it, unfortunately after the cards were printed. Mistakes happen. Blame it on being a busy woman. for me though, mistakes are an everyday part of life, and I must blame it on being a blonde airhead. It seems a part of my nature. For instance, in in 7th grade back 30 years ago, in a more innocent and simpler time I attended a conservative parochial school. My teacher was a goofball (with the last name Beversdorf he had no option but to be) He informed us we would be having a quizzical. Not to be left out of his silly comment I responded so innocently, and tomorrow we will have a test_ _ _..you can fill in the blank. His face turned beet red and his eyes started watering as he tried to hold back laughter. Suddenly he burst into laughter until he cried. It took a few moments for me and the rest of the class to catch on to what I had said. I still get reminded of that one. It was just a small beginning to a lifetime of verbal, written and physical errors and embarrassing situations!!!! It is fun to be me!!!!
    ejbs3s@yahoo.com
    I hope you had a better day!!!

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    Replies
    1. Okay, Jody, I cannot even fathom what to fill in the blank with, but the laughter is infectious and the name is hysterical! I might use that one. ;)

      ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
    2. Put the ending of quizzical after test and you will see why it was so embarassing and funny

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  35. I'll go with sweet, last year for Groundhog's day (yes, we celebrate instead of Valentine's), hubby filled our bedroom with hyacinth's, which I love the smell of, our bedroom smelled so good for weeks, a plus is that I was able to plant them outside, however they are trying to come up right now with all the snow that's hitting, LOL, not so good.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. Debbie, Hyacinth on Groundhog's Day, how lovely! I bet Bill Murray would have loved coming up with that! :)

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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  36. I have a funny story involving chocolate pudding. My mom is a preschool teacher and she was making a recipe for her class. She left it on the stove cooling when she ran to the bathroom. My dad came into the kitchen thinking that my mom was making chocolate pudding (his favorite treat) he stuck his finger in a few times and came out of the kitchen with a strange look on his face. A few minutes later my mom came out of the bathroom and my dad says that pudding tastes funny. My mom said it tastes funny because its not pudding, its play dough.

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    Replies
    1. Brittany, I'm laughing so hard! Hysterical.

      ~ Daryl / Avery

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  37. You could have just said, "Savor the mystery" of the directions, good sleuths would get it figured out.

    Funny - Last spring our youngest son and his wife had a baby. We were very excited and happy about it. I didn't want to put anything on Facebook until they had said okay, which was rather soon after the baby was born, but I didn't say too much. Two weeks later we got an email from another son that said, "Wait, what? Someone had a baby?" I knew our son didn't go on Facebook much but I thought our daughter-in-law did. So we laughed but now we try to make sure we share news in other ways and not just on Facebook.

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

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    Replies
    1. Elaine, you're kidding. Your son had a baby and he didn't tell his brother? Too funny!

      ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  38. ok i just have to say i read that several times and never caught the mistake until i read what you said. wow i am horrible. i am so sorry you had to do all that extra work. you are amazing. i think some of the sweetest things that have happened to me, getting replies and goodies from some of my favorite authors, :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay, you see? It's easy to overlook an error when it sort of makes sense. I'm so glad we have fans like you guys!

      ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  39. Love the recipe card and the pudding looks delicious, I think I'll make it this weekend with our Valentine's day dinner :) thanks for the contest and recipe, lilflynracer at msn.com

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  40. Love the recipe card and the pudding looks delicious, I think I'll make it this weekend with our Valentine's day dinner :) thanks for the contest and recipe, lilflynracer at msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Sweet: my hubby after 34 yrs of marriage always brings me flowers first thing in the morning so I can have them when I wake up
    Silly: my # 2 grandson waiting to wish me happy valentine's day with a box of candy as a surprise and jumping out from behind a wall and nearly giving me a heart attack when he yelled surprise thought the house was empi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Suzanne, it's amazing we don't all have heart attacks at surprises, isn't it? Can you imagine what would happen to the child if it did happen? The guilt! So glad you survived. :)

      ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  42. Sweet: my hubby after 34 yrs of marriage always brings me flowers first thing in the morning so I can have them when I wake up
    Silly: my # 2 grandson waiting to wish me happy valentine's day with a box of candy as a surprise and jumping out from behind a wall and nearly giving me a heart attack when he yelled surprise thought the house was empi

    ReplyDelete
  43. Sweet: my hubby after 34 yrs of marriage always brings me flowers first thing in the morning so I can have them when I wake up
    Silly: my # 2 grandson waiting to wish me happy valentine's day with a box of candy as a surprise and jumping out from behind a wall and nearly giving me a heart attack when he yelled surprise thought the house was empi

    ReplyDelete
  44. Sweet: my hubby after 34 yrs of marriage always brings me flowers first thing in the morning so I can have them when I wake up
    Silly: my # 2 grandson waiting to wish me happy valentine's day with a box of candy as a surprise and jumping out from behind a wall and nearly giving me a heart attack when he yelled surprise thought the house was empi

    ReplyDelete
  45. Something sweet that happened to me was when I returned home after spending Christmas with my family, my BFF had put a small decorated tree in my house and it was lit and had a couple of gifts under the tree. I haven't had a tree in years and it was a great surprise.
    diannekc8@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, Dianne, that's so lovely! Treasure BFF. ;)

      ~ Daryl / Avery

      Delete
    2. Dianne, by random generator, you are the winner of the mug giveaway! I'll be in contact. Congrats!!!

      ~Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  46. Can't wait to try the pudding - the right recipe LOL. Sweet was when my son would write me poems for my birthday instead of a card.
    Bobntoni@aol.com

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    Replies
    1. Antonette, how sweet is that. I hope you kept some of them.

      ~Daryl / Avery

      Delete
  47. This giveaway is officially over. The winner by random generator is Dianne C. Congrats! ~ Daryl / Avery

    ReplyDelete
  48. I always like the "skin". But only if the pudding is warm. Isn't that odd? Some hangover from my childhood. ;)
    pmettert@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete