Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

2007 is almost gone and a brand new year is about to begin. I always get excited at the thought of a brand new year. As far as resolutions go, I usually don't make the usual ones; losing weight (though I need to), being organized, etc.
But this coming year, I do plan to spend more time with my family. Not just my immediate family, but extended family that I don't get to see enough. They don't live so far away, it just seems we are so busy we don't have time to visit. I am also going to eat out less. The amount of money we spend eating out is ridiculous when I can make the same meal at home for the fraction of the cost.
The coming of the new year also brings one of my favorite events of the year. Seed catalogs! (doesn't take much to excite me). I got the Burpee catalog in the mail Saturday and alreay the pages are dog earred and worn. I always make a list of what I want, then when I total my order up I am shocked and have to go back and re-think my order.
These Flavorbust hybrid pepper is beautiful! I am definitely going to order these. They are so pretty and have a long yeild.
I seem to have a pepper thing going this year. I love this Big Daddy pepper! Look how huge it is! Our family is big on pepper and this pepper is sweet and works well for roasting.

I am also like the sound of the EZ Serve lettuce. This is advertised as a sweet, buttery soft leaves. Usually I only grow Black Seeded Simpson, because that is our favorite. But I am going to give this one a try.

I also like the look of that Peppermint Twist geranium, but I have never had very good luck growing geraniums from seed.

Here's hoping 2008 is the very best year for you and your family!



Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Well, actually merry day after Christmas! Christmas Eve and Christmas day went by in a whirlwind. Fortunately, most of our family lives within a half hours drive, so we were with "kith and kin" both days.

I made these marshmallow snowmen and sugar cookies for my friend and has so pleased how they turned out. The snowmen are just two marshmallows on a skewer then dipped in white chocolate and decorated with melted chocolate and an M&M nose.

My dear son Yngwie got me this adorable doll for Christmas! It is made of celuloid and is only a couple of inches tall. I absolutely love it!
My dear husband got me these two Christmas kids to put under our tree. They are so cute!
One of the highlights of yesterday was seeing my great niece who is just two dressing up with all her princess attire. Now is she a diva or what!

It's back to work today. :( Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed day!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Apple Butter!

I absolutely love apple butter! I have previously written how when I was growing up our neighbours made apple butter in a huge copper kettle outside and how much I enjoyed being there. Maybe the fond memories "of old" is part of my liking of this sweet, spicy, preserve.

Last night I made a few jars that I will put with homemade bread for Christmas gifts for my neighbors. The recipe comes from my Aunt Nadine.

20 Minute Apple Butter

8 cups applesauce

5 cups sugar

1/2 cup red hot cinnamon candies

1/2 cup vinegar (yes, I really mean that)

5 teaspoons of powered cinnamon

a few drops of oil of cloves

Bring applesauce, sugar, candy, vinegar, and cinnamon powder to a boil in a large kettle. ( A really large kettle because this mixture "pops" like crazy!) Boil for 15 minutes stirring constantly so that it doesn't stick then add a few drops of oil of cloves. (I usually find this is the pharmacy area of the drug store.) Boil 5 more minutes. Pour mixture into hot sterilized jars and turn upside down for 12 hours to seal.

This is almost, but not quite, as good as the apple butter of my childhood.
Hope everyone has a blessed day!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Good Morning!

Just popping in to say a quick "Hello".

I finally got my neice's apron finished this weekend. It was a little tedious inserting the lace around the scalloped edge and pocket, but I love the finished product.

Just one more week until Christmas Eve! I love this time of year. Yngwie and I went to the mall yesterday evening to pick up a few things we wanted to get for his friends and it was so packed you were shoulder to shoulder. But I was pleased to see that everyone was in a great mood. No shoving, yelling, etc. Everyone full of the Christmas spirit. I was even more pleased to hear many cashiers saying "Merry Christmas"! I am sure everyone has heard about that debate.

I know this week is going to fly by as we are so busy.

Hope everyone has a blessed day!


Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Show and Tell!

Join Kelli over at http://kellishouse, for Show and Tell. It's been awhile since I have participated in Show and Tell and I have missed it!
Today I thought I would show you some of the special ornaments on my trees.
This very old ornament belonged to my Grandmother (who is 95 years old!) when she was a child. It was given to her at a Sunday school Christmas party. Over the last 90 years time and use has taken a toll on it. After this year, I am going to frame it and keep it out all year long.
Have you ever seen one of these on a tree??? Yngwie place this "binky" on the Christmas tree 14 years ago, when he was two, and it has gone on the tree every year since.
This old Santa also belonged to my Grandmother. This was given to her by her aunt.
Any child of the late 1960's early 1970's remember her? It's Dawn! I love small dolls and used several of them on my tree. I guess I got a little heavy handed with my ornaments this year and ran out before I finished decorating all the way around. So I pondered for a moment, what could I use to finish the tree? Then it hit me! I ran into my craft room and pulled out a couple of boxes of Happy Meal toys, twisted floral wire around them and hung them on the tree! That is why Dora The Explorer is hanging from my tree.

Each year we buy one new ornament for our tree. This year it was this glass Hamburger!
This is our Living room tree! It is 12 foot tall and his a real 'bear" to put up and take down, but once completed, we love it!

This is our family room tree. Mostly Hallmark ornaments, but also some handmade and vintage ornaments as well. I have never been able to figure out how to take a good picture of the tree with just the Christmas lights on with my digital camera. It always turns out blurry.

I hope everyone has a great weekend



Thursday, December 13, 2007

Creme De Menthe Truffles

These truffles are soooo good! This recipe comes from the Land O Lakes Holiday cookies magazine.

Creme De Menthe Truffles

1/3 cup Land o Lakes heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Land of Lakes butter
1 (10 oz) package of creme de menthe baking chips (substitute 60 Andes mints if you can't find them)
1 (12 oz) package vanilla flavored candy coating
2 drops green food color

Powdered sugar

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (melted)

Combine whipping cream and butter in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until melted (4-5 minutes). Add cream de menthe chips. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. (2-3 minutes). Cover, refrigerate at least 2 hours or freeze for 1 hour until firm.

Dust hands with powdered sugar. Working quickly, shape into 1 inch balls. (Truffle mixture will be soft, repeat dusting hands to make rolling easier). Place balls onto wax paper lined baking sheet, refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, melt candy coating in a deep 1 quart saucepan over low heat; stir until smooth (8-10 minutes). Stir in food color until well mixed. Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes.

Remove truffles from refrigerator. Place truffle in candy coating mixture. Use a small spoon to coat truffle; immediately remove and place onto waxed paper. Repeat with remaining truffles. (Work quickly so the truffles do not melt). Refrigerate until coating is set (about 10 minutes).

Drizzle each truffle with melted chocolate. Refrigerate until set (10 minutes). Store refrigerated up to two weeks.

Makes 48 truffles.

Have a great day



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm still alive!

There I go neglecting my blog again! Wow, this time of year is so busy. Last week-end was our open house and it went wonderfully! I was afraid that either no one would come or that everyone would come at one time, but neither happened. We had 87 people over the course of the evening, from 6:00 p.m. to when I ran Yngwie's friends off at 1:00 a.m. (They did help me clean up some). I was having so much fun that I forgot to take any pictures! I am so upset over that, but life goes on. I have the pics that I took just before our guests start arriving.
The top photo and the above are of the dessert island. I will share the recipe for the mint truffles tomorrow, they really turned out good and were very easy to make.

I was afraid that I would run out of food and made waaaaay too much! We have been eating leftovers for 4 days.

I still have alot of Christmas shopping to do, as I put it off getting ready for the open house, so I am going to try and get it done this week during my lunch hour.

Yesterday, we had record breaking highs for our area. It was 74 degrees! I would complain but with the ice storms that are to our west, I would rather have the heat. We are expected to get the tail end of that storm this weekend.

I hope everyone has a great day!