Going back to the memories of childhood special occasions other than the usual birthday party or family holiday gathering my most vivid memories were when my parents had bridge club.  Even though it wasn’t a party for me and my sister, Jacque, we always liked bridge club at our house.  When bridge club was at one of the other couples house we had a baby sitter and our usual bed time.  When it was at our house we had special treats and could stay up later playing games or watching television.

My mother was not the typical “June Cleaver” mom like most of my friends.  She worked full time so we didn’t have homemade cookies and cakes very often but when bridge club was at our house she always made Nestle Toll House cookies or Rice Krispie Treats.  In those days you had to make them from scratch (no pull-a-parts in the dairy case or microwave directions). I remember her making meatballs in the oven from scratch and cocktail wieners in barbeque sauce on the stove and keeping them warm on a hot plate or in a fondue pot.  Yes, those were special times with toothpicks adorned with hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds and napkins and scorecards to match at each place setting.  I can still remember begging my mother for a chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven and having to wait for it to cool a bit.  As a kid that was sheer torture!

Fast forward a few years and I was a busy working mom with 2 boys involved in after school activities, church activities and I was active in the business community with my husband.   I remembered how special it was to have hot cookies and home cooked meals and decided to figure out a way to make that happen for my boys even when it seemed there wasn’t enough time in the day. I discovered Nestle Toll House refrigerated dough.  I kept it on hand along with parchment paper and would make just a few cookies at a time so the boys could  have a fresh warm cookie even if I hadn’t been home all day.  I used meatballs from the freezer section instead of homemade and made Rice Krispie Treats in the microwave and learned to adapt tons of recipes for the crock pot.

Today I use all the tips and wisdom from family, cooking shows, Pinterest and a few secrets of my own to bless my family and friends with food and fun!



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