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.