Saturday, December 27, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Prep: 20 minutes
Chill: 4 hours
2 tsp. whole cloves (ground cloves OK too or just put whole cloves in directly and strain them)
½ of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 tsp. of vanilla extract instead)
1 64 –oz. bottle apple-cranberry juice (you can also use plain apple juice)
4 medium purple and/or green plums, pitted and sliced (or apples or pears)
1 750 – ml bottle Gewurztraminer or other fruity wine
Place cloves and vanilla bean in center of a 6-in square of cheesecloth. Bring corners of cloth together; tie closed with clean string. Pour apple-cranberry juice into a large container or pitcher. Add plums and spice bag. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours. (For easy preparation just add a tsp of vanilla and ground cloves to the mix). Remove and discard cheesecloth bag. Stir in Gewurztraminer. Serve beverage and plum slices over ice. (Or omit the ice and heat the juice mixture and wine in a 4-quart Dutch oven until hot. Serve in heat proof mugs.)
This next recipe is adapted from a holiday favorite served at our favorite coffeehouse that ends in "Bucks". Many of you have already requested this recipe of me and taken one look at it and said, "Never mind, can I just eat the ones you make?" The answer is - SURE! I will not stop making them for all of you, but wanted to share the recipe if you wanted to give them a whirl.
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup diced dried cranberries (Craisins work just fine!)
6 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks (I use chips)
3 cups powdered sugar
4 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice (about one regular sized lemon)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup diced dried cranberries
Drizzled Icing (Optional):
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
Makes 16 servings - 1 hour 20 minutes / 40 mins prep
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix 3/4 cup diced dried cranberries and white chocolate into the batter by hand. Pour batter into a well-greased 9x13-inch baking pan. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly across the pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cake is light brown on the edges. (Watch it in the oven - you do not want to over-bake! This was my mistake the first time making this recipe). Allow cake to cool.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
It does help to come home to these every day. And look - we even got snow!
Then, we went to look at these. Can you believe it?
We felt it was time to get a dog now while we still have Annie - so she can teach her good doggie lessons. So, we just went to look (yeah right). Ten puppies! Can you even stand it?
Bill picked his girl - they called her Cici. They said she was very sweet and the most athletic.
I was learning about how to give shots... But, I think I'll find a friend willing to help. Neither Bill or I think we can do it!
We stopped at Lynn's house on the way home. Doesn't she look cute posing by her tree?
Her name is Libby. This was after bath - which she did NOT like by the way.
Annie already showing her the ropes on going outside to "potty". Good thing these pups were used to being outside. Training a puppy when there is snow on the ground is not exactly what I had in mind.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
We were touched remembering Mom too - she was so great about taking us to those concerts and I know she was with us that night too. We were bummed we didn't dress up with side ponytails and flourescent legwarmers like many other gals did. That was a crack-up. So many women were there - groups of girls from all over the place re-living old memories just like us.
Oh, don't tell our husbands, but we thought our guys were still pretty cute. She always liked Jordan and I was a sucker for Joey. Oh, to be fourteen again.
If you were a fan, here is a little Please Don't Go Girl with my fav - little Joey. Oh, and Happy Birthday, Heather! You'll always be my BFF!
I did almost all of my recipes from The Pioneer Woman. Have you been to her site? I adore her! She has great recipes that are easy to print out, but on her site has step-by-step instructions with photos for you to refer to if you have trouble. We had the Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey, Delicious, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Whiskey Glazed Carrots, and the Scrumptious Caramel Apple Pie - among other things.
Here is Bill carving the turkey...
Mr. Carson - he is getting so big! Tanner and Maggie were excited "Baby Carson" (as they call him) can walk now!
Friday, December 5, 2008
I've gotten sick twice in November - like you think you are better and a week later - BAM! I think I've pretty much rounded the bend now, just a bit of annoying hacking.
Work has been very intense. I don't even have to tell you why - you know what I do for a living.
Family stuff has been difficult and stressful. I'll leave it at that.
My friend's husband's passing away - that has been tough. That was my first time seeing a military service with honors - Taps and the 21-gun salute is enough to shake anyone up.
I've tried to just bury my head in the sand a bit to deal with all of it. It is working for now. But, it is Christmas! Where have I been? I'm normally knee-deep in the flurry of the holiday by now. I've bought like one gift. We have our outdoor lights up (thanks, Bill), but still no decorations and certainly no tree. Ugh.
I'm going to get with it here soon. This post is to hold myself accountable. I hereby swear to get into the holiday spirit! Amen.
And here is just something funny. Wilson is incredibly obsessed with mealtimes. Here is the OCD cat in action.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Bill and I were gifted with the opportunity to be with them this morning. As you might imagine, it was difficult for me and brought back many memories after having gone through this with Mom. However, I wouldn't have chosen to be anywhere else; it truly felt like a privilege. There was so much love in that house, it was that feeling that comforted me as we left.
Please hold Evelyn and her family in prayer today during this incredibly difficult time.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The billing company reversed the charges when I called (the good news). The bad news is that I still don't know for sure how this happened. My hunch is that it surrounds a website I visited a few months back where I purchased some magazine subscriptions for my brother's birthday. He let me know they'd never arrived. I found the site again and tried to check into the delivery. Funny - no response, but suddenly these charges started relating to a much different kind of subscription.
Bill and I have had our jokes around this. Couldn't they at least tell us what the site was? What was the password at least? haha. Yeah. Trying to keep up the humor in a frustrating situation sometimes doesn't last long.
Any advice on not having this happen again? We're all ears!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I got another one of those verification calls yesterday right after I got home from work. I didn't think much of it, called the 800#, but this call was different. I didn't recognize the charges they listed off. I went on-line to look at my account and there was a $1 I-Tunes charge and right after it four charges within seconds of each other from some odd "billing" website. I have used I-Tunes, but haven't done anything with that account in a couple of months. I didn't even recognize the other website and when I pulled it up it listed only very generic information. To even look up a charge you had to enter your credit number (I'm not that dumb!). The credit card company said it appeared to be fraudulent use of my card and it would be canceled. I have to report this to my local police department and then pick up a "fraud packet" at the credit union. This is the card I use to pay all almost all of our bills. This is going to be as much of a pain as changing my name! Grrrrrr!
I'm thankful that this was caught early, but feeling very confused and angry this has happened. Wow - some Happy Halloween! I think I need some more candy.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Here are the list of fun memories:
Alyson wanted to go see Gym Class Heroes at the House of Blues. She and Marcie kept talking about it and I just couldn't figure out who Jim Claskey Rose was? Say it out loud - get it? Jim Claskey Rose / Gym Class Heroes was the joke of the entire weekend.
First night, Marcie headed out with the other two girls to Caesar's for shopping. She said for us to catch a cab and meet up with them. Al and I are cheapskates so we walked - in the wrong shoes. My feet were so messed up when we also WALKED THE ENTIRE WAY BACK. I took off my shoes - but that didn't last long once I started walking in glass. My feet were also solid black. It was sick. Alyson had bought tennis shoes at Caesar's so I wore her size 11s on the way back. They were laughing at me going "clippity clop" all the way home. I was so grrrrrumpy - which made them laugh all the more!
Alyson hit it off with a waiter - she named him Estefan and he was Gloria. We still are wishing they'd exchange numbers.
Alyson kept saying she couldn't believe how high up our hotel room was for being on the fourth floor (except we were on the 12th).
Alyson and I entertaining ourselves with hats and sunglasses at Urban Outfitters. We laughed way too hard!
We had drinks bought for us the last night and Alyson gave out her phone number only to get 13 text messages while we were at Mamma Mia wanting us to come meet them at the bar Minus Five (no, that did not happen). (But, we LOVED Mamma Mia!)
All in all - great fun with awesome friends. Good times!
CLICK ON ALYSON'S PICTURE TO WATCH THE SLIDESHOW.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
We walked for ALS - for those just diagnosed, those currently suffering, for those who have lost their battles - and for Mom. We felt her presence heavily that morning. We laughed and cried for her and certainly - we missed her.
Afterward, in true Mom-fashion - we went to Mexican. It was Dad, Scott, the girls and I and we had a great lunch at The Matador in Tacoma. It is my new favorite Mexican restaurant. Jessica and I discovered it during bargaining last year. Have you tried it? It is very delish!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
There is more of course, but that gives you an idea. Thanks to our great photographer - Lyndsey Pearson. Check out her site... We were fortunate to have Lyndsey take our photographs. Lyndsey is my friend Heather's little sister. I was so pleased it worked out and she did a wonderful job. Lyndsey was able to capture many of you - and your children. So, be assured - if we were fortunate enough to get photos of you, we will share the bounty!
A sincere thank you to all. I can't tell you how much it meant to us to have you celebrate with us. We knew a Friday night wasn't an ideal time for people to attend. I know many of you traveled to be here, raced here from work and the million other reasons it might have made it difficult to attend - so thank you! It was hard to be able to visit with everyone - that made it hard. But, it was incredibly meaningful that you took the time to attend. We felt very happy and loved. It was great to come home and share our happiness with our friends and family. And also to those who let us know they weren't able attend, but held us in their hearts - as they say in Fiji - Vinaka!