Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Posts tagged ‘cookies’
Posted: February 8th, 2014
Want your house to sell in a hurry? Then take the objective advice of a professional Realtor or expert in interior design staging.  In this week’s House to Home, I share some of the tips we all forget when we put a house up for sale because — well — it’s our house, and we just don’t see anything wrong with it. Here’s the article.
Some of the suggestions hurt a little. I remember one couple told me their Realtor strongly recommended getting rid of  clutter. The homeowners thought they had, but they hadn’t. In another home, the owner insisted on leaving heavy (read ugly) draperies closed 24/7 in a room that had a wall of patio doors that looked out on the yard. People want to see the windows and doors — not the drapes.  If you want to sell your home, it has to have less of your personality and more of a model home appearance.

We got you covered on color this week, too. Sabrina Fischer, of Sassy Peacock Galleria, tells us not to be afraid to use the Pantone Color of the Year — it’s purple — well, radiant orchid. A few of the other articles this week include:

If you are looking for a new home, House to Home has you covered. Check out our Open House locator right hereAnd, here’s the flipbook — you can page through House to Home on your tablet!

Happy house hunting!

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 22nd, 2012

If you need some new cookies to leave out for Santa (and all the little elves in your home), we have them right here at GoErie.com.

The Frankie and May Cookie Contest was a big hit, and you can see all the delicious entries – 50 recipes right here. I’m trying a few of them. The winners are:

  1. Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie — now when I saw this as a first place winner, I wondered how a chocolate chip cookie could beat out some of those other recipes. Well it has four kinds of chocolate …  and nuts. Ho ho ho — and oatmeal. You must read this decadent recipe. I need to make these.
  2. Second place by a nose — Rudolph’s Red Velvet Surprise Cookies. They have quite a surprise inside — cheesecake. Did I mention that I am salivating?
  3. Butterballs rounded out the top three winners in the Frankie and May Cookie Contest. Who among us doesn’t love these morsels?

Who had the tough job of judging the winners? Frankie and May selected the three finalists, and our own Erie Times-News and GoErie foodies did the judging. Marnie Mead, Jennie Geisler and Andrew (Beard vs. Food) Kochirka had the tough job.

Here’s a video of our food experts analyzing data and cookies. Yumm.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 17th, 2012

Until I posted a funny note on Facebook about the stench coming from my self-cleaning oven, I had no idea how many of us live in fear of these appliances.

We must take back the kitchen. Show that dripped-on, over-baked, grease-stained beast of an oven who is boss. My brave daughter called last night to ask about cleaning her self-cleaning oven.

She said it stunk when she preheated it to bake cookies. She had read an article about mice making ovens their private bathroom, and that could explain why her oven stunk so bad. It made us both uncomfortable to think that rodents had been using her oven as a private sauna … and toilet.

She was afraid to use the self-cleaning button, so she cleaned it out by hand. Yuck. I’ve used the self-cleaning button on three ovens and lived to tell about it. My current oven is only a few years old, and my husband says I don’t use it enough for it to get dirty, but while baking a pizza, it smelled like I had burned many a meal cooking for the family at Downton Abbey.

We couldn’t bake Santa’s cookies in there, so I pushed the self-cleaning button and the oven did the rest. It set itself for a four-hour cleaning stint that automatically locked the oven door. (It unlatches when the oven is done). In that span of time, it basically incinerates anything in there and turns all the crud into gray dust. You do have to clean up the gray dust. Remove your racks — I forgot that part, but they are still in one piece.

The oven door and top surface will get hot. And the house also stinks when the oven is cleaning itself, so open a  window and let it burn. I never leave the oven running when I leave the house — we stay until it’s done. You have to plan for it.

Here’s a link to oven cleaning info — self-cleaning and not. Here’s a statement from the self-cleaning link that might make my daughter a little more comfortable if a mouse is present: “If you own a bird, you should remove it away from the kitchen during the self-cleaning process. The fumes produced during this process are not harmful for people, but can be dangerous for birds!”

The fumes stunk and made our eyes burn at our house. I’m guessing it should at least send a mouse out of the house.

If you have instructions (I still have instructions for VCRs and appliances I no longer own), read up on cleaning, or search the Internet for your oven model. The only thing I ever had go wrong in cleaning, was an old, and I mean old oven — maybe a 1980s model — melted the heating element in the bottom of the oven during the cleaning process. With that oven, I kept V&V Appliance on West 26th Street in Erie on speed dial. Every knob, heating element and cooktop burner on that thing broke more than once. I paid for that stove twice, maybe more with the repairs. Never. Again.

Everyone seems to be cleaning ovens right about now. I read a hysterical post by a Facebook friend about cleaning her oven that included a lot of cursing and wine. The things we do to bake cookies!

In case you are wondering, that’s not my kitchen in the picture, but it is a pretty double wall oven, isn’t it? I bet it’s clean. Mine still has some gray dust in it.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one.


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 26th, 2011

Ruh-roh. We had no idea Scooby Doo was such a hit. Still. According to Scoobypedia, Scooby Doo and the entire gang are alive and well. I was a never a fan. My kids were never fans, but an entire generation of tots under age 5 are loving the Cartoon Network’s viewings of the Great Dane, his owner, Shaggy, and the rest of the hippie gang that became famous in 1969.

My great nieces and great nephew went nuts for a cake my sister had made that included Scooby snacks — graham crackers in the shape of little dog biscuits and Scooby spoons — real spoons with Scooby handles –

There’s more to learn here. According to Wikipedia, “Ruh-roh” originally came out of the mouth of none other than Astro, the dog from “The Jetsons,” one of my favorite cartoons as a kid. The voice behind the dog belonged to Don Messick who also voiced  Astro.  But after Messick’s death and over the decades, Scooby has had plenty of voices … even now.

More trivia: Casey Kasem was at one time the voice  for Shaggy Rogers.  “Scooby-dooby-doo” was taken from the song “Strangers in the Night,” a Frank Sinatra hit,  where a chorus of doobie-doobie-do was adapated, according to the Scooby Doo history web site.

What we learn from kids and cartoons.



Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 5th, 2011

If you like gingerbread, and even if you don’t, there is  something  magical about a gingerbread house, and an extraordinary one will grace our December gift guide cover for Lake Erie LifeStyle.  Marnie Mead Oberle made a gingerbread house that is a true work of art — the photo here looks like a cute cabin compared to Marnie’s extraordinary hotel-style home complete with snowman, candles, shrubbery and a walkway.

Our model, 2-year-old Madeline Wachter, daughter of Tim and Claire Wachter did an incredible job. Jill Chaklos is our art director, and Rob Engelhardt and Matt Mead lit the scene in an inspiring shot that takes the cake (or gingerbread!) I am so honored to work with such talented folks. And a major thank-you to our Lake Erie LifeStyle intern Rachel Latsko from Penn State Erie who got some great smiles out of Madeline.

The issue is  full of great local — and I mean local — gifts that will knock your socks off.  It comes out Sunday, November 27 — yes that is Thanksgiving weekend, so good heavens — don’t recycle your newspaper until you pull us out!

Now for freebies! Thanks to Allure Hair Studio, in Erie, you can try a sample of Eufora hair conditioner. I tried it and I loved it. And I am picky. This concoction has a wonderful aroma of mint and lemon and left my ultra-dry hair soft, shiny and full of body. Comment here to get a free sample First one in gets the packet and you’ll love it. I’m buying a bottle.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 22nd, 2009


…. chocolate covered mouse.

How cute is this little delectible mouse? Former ETN writer, Robin Cuneo (married to current ETN staffer, Pat Cuneo) sent these in with the husband today.

Want to make your own? Recipe can be found here (though I think Robin’s ‘mice’ are cuter!)

Posted in: holidays, Recipes
Posted: September 30th, 2009


My sister-in-law sent me a link to some very cute Christmas cookie recipes at the Land O’ Lakes (the butter folks) Web site. You can download the PDF here (click on “Free Homemade for the Holidays Recipe Brochure”).

While looking for a link on their site, I noticed they also have some very cute Halloween stuff including simple snacks, fun Halloween cookies, and Halloween party recipes for grown-ups.