Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas is Near

After the tragic events of last Friday in Connecticut, I debated about posting a holiday recipe. I thought about the mothers who wouldn't be baking cookies with their children this year, about the presents that won't be opened under the tree, about the grieving brothers and sisters, aunt and uncles, grandparents and friends, who won't have a vey merry Christmas this year.  I cannot imagine how these people are coping with such a horrific tragedy. I just hope that some how, some way, they can feel the love and prayers and know that so many people all over the world are sending them a collective hug, embracing them in our hearts and sharing in their pain and sorrow.  When tragedy strikes we always seem to come together, we always want to try and help and we try to carry on.  I suppose we try to make life normal again, try and move past the pain, and just function again.  Reconnect to the ordinary. I've been keeping very busy. It's how I'm dealing with it all. Not giving my mind time to wander too much. My packages have are almost ready to mail, most presents are wrapped, the house is decorated (thanks to Sterling).  Our holiday menu is complete and we've picked up everything needed from the grocery store except for those last minute items.

We had our extended family December dinner at our home this past Sunday.  Sterling and I prepped, cleaned, decorated and cooked our little hearts out from Friday until the first knock on the door Sunday afternoon.  Sterling cooked TWO turkeys, his famous baked beans, potato salad, pigs in a blanket for the kids (although the grownups indulged in these too!)  I made deviled eggs and rosemary toast points for the brushetta, several cookies and one of my favorite sweet indulgences, sweet chex mix.  This stuff is SO addictive!!

Here's the recipe I used:



1 box chex mix (12-15 oz) I use corn or rice chex (or sometimes Crispix)

1 can nuts of choice

1 c. butter/margarine

2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. light karo syrup

1/2 tsp. baking soda

I sometimes add M&M's because they make them in every holiday color

Put the cereal and nuts in a VERY large tupperware bowl big or you can use a brown paper bag. Over the stove mix butter, brwon sugar, and karo syrup. Bring to a boil for 1-1/2 min. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Mix well and pour over cereal and nuts. Stir to coat well if using bowl, or shake bag vigorously. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir or shake bag.  Repeat THREE TIMES. Spread on wax paper and let cool. Add M&M's.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Every year my company hosts a Come Meet Santa holiday breakfast.  Jonas was SO excited when Santa arrived and was more than happy to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what he wanted this year for Christmas.  Paisley, however, wanted NOTHING to do with Santa until mom was standing behind him, and then she thought his hat looked interesting!  Paisley enjoyed her breakfast and had a pancake in each fist and was content to munch and watch the festivities unfold.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Whole Foods!

One of our FAVORITE places to shop is Whole Paycheck Foods!  They have THE BEST produce ... hands down!!  And if you're looking for a "specialty" ingredient, most assuredly they carry it.  Not that I would EVER make a recipe requiring saffron ... not at $40 an ounce.  They have samples throughout the store if you go on a weekend!  Fine cheeses, homemade gelato, bakery items still warm from the oven.  They make a lobster bisque that rivals any I've had on the east or west coast.  There is ONE indulgence that I always get when we go ... from their deli, they have a curry chicken salad that I could seriously subsist on if that was the only thing I could ever eat again. Flavors to make your tastebuds dance in pure delight.  Definitely not for the weak at heart if you don't like heavy spice, but if curry makes you sit up and take notice, then this is something you MUST try sometime soon.  Spoiler Alert - this salad goes for $19/lb. but they will sell it by the 1/4 pound package.  If there is anyone out there that has a recipe for this heavenly dish that they want to share, I would be forever in your debt!

Heading into work this morning, the radio announcer said that it has been 248 days since we had snow ... not sure why they think this is a bad thing, except that the farmers will be complaining come next planting season.  But ANY day without snow is one day less of winter in my book.  But don't get me wrong.  There is nothing lovelier than snow falling ... I just don't like to "have to" drive in it.  So if I could just sit back with a good novel, fireplace roaring, cup of hot cider and no where that I have to be, it's the most wonderful time of the year!!

Paisley vs. Birthday Cake

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Celebrating ONE!

Our sweet Miss Paisley turns ONE today!  This past year has just FLOWN by with celebrating all of her "firsts" and many more yet to come.  She had severe colic her first 3-4 months, but when that cleared up she turned into the HAPPIEST little gal and is so quick to give a smile or laugh out loud at her brother's antics. She is already demonstrating that she is a force to be reconded with.  Big brother Jonas is so good about letting her play with "some" of his cars and trucks, which she dearly LOVES ... yep, I can see already she is going to be somewhat of a tomboy opting to mimic her big brother and follow in his footsteps. Laura and Jeremy have done SUCH an amazing job raising their two precious children and watching them discover their worlds will be the highlight of my retirement years ahead!

So Happy Birthday, my sweet precious granddaughter!  You make my world complete!  LOVE YOU to pieces!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

December - Holiday Traditions

I ran across this photo while looking for new holiday treat recipes and these cupcakes just had me giggling out loud!!

LOVE the idea of a melted snowman cupcake! 

I'm gearing up for the entire month ahead as we have so many holiday events and traditions to partake in! 

We kicked off this season with our company's annual VISIT WITH SANTA this past Saturday.  Every year it gets better and better.  This year they had a SANTA that had a REAL white beard ... talk about authentic looking!  And each package under the tree had a child's name on it ... in past years they were either just marked boy or girl ... so getting something PERSONALIZED directly from SANTA was quite the treat for the kids attending ... and there were about 50 this year.  They also provided a nice breakfast for everyone, and Paisley had a pancake in BOTH hands and was quite happy with herself !!