Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Happiest of New Years to all

It's been a interesting 2009.

Loss of a special friend, not through death, but circumstances. Employment for me. A new lease on vision for my husband. Another year older for all. Learning new crafts and revisiting some old ones. And becoming inspired by some absolutely amazing artists of all kinds. Just to list a few things.

I truly hope that 2010 will be a year that finds us all safe, secure and happy.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

As some of you may notice I have gotten into the holiday spirit by creating a new playlist, just for the next couple of days. I hope you enjoy the music. I also hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and enjoy spending it with friends and family.

A big holiday hug to all of you and Cheers!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Wee Ones

the youngest Wee One

loves to sing along with anything. Of course he doesn't pronounce the words correctly but he doesn't care

loves to hum along with Daddy, even after Daddy stops humming

loves to ask you the same question over and over and over. I guess just in case you didn't hear him the first 20 times.

must think himself part ant because he is forever picking things up that are either too big for him to lift or should be too heavy for him. Yet he does it anyways just for entertainment.

will hit first and ask questions later

the middle Wee One

loves to act out the movies he is watching

loves to taste and try anything that you are eating

adores his older brother

will lay in bed when he's supposed to be taking a nap and yell for his younger brother who is taking his nap on the couch downstairs.

will cry first and ask questions later

the oldest Wee One (well, really, The Boy)

stays up way too late

is a really good guy, for being a teenager

has a wicked, quick sense of humor

can get filled with righteous indignation when he sees greed or inequalities in the world

surprises me with just how much he has learned in his 15 years of life

listens and then asks questions

All in all I've got some really neat people as children

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Inspiration struck

Well I'm not sure it struck or was just tempted(grin)

I was reading through the blogs the other day I ran across this post, at maya* made. if you haven't ever poked around her blog, I seriously suggest that you do. Well I saw these little gift boxes that she urged everyone to try. I loved the idea of recycling and the idea of the "gingerbread" look. I thought about the milk carton I had in the fridge that was almost empty and remembered that I had seen some brown paper recently. Was it under the stair storage? Hmmmm? Gripped with the idea that I wanted to try this small project, I set about getting started. I prepared the carton as described.

When I went to get the brown paper, I discovered the Minahounies had obviously decided to use it for something. Heck, maybe they mailed off all of my socks that have gone missing. Minahounies? I hear you ask. They are the little mischievous house elves that move things or take things when you are looking for something. You know the ones. Anywho...

Since I couldn't find the brown paper for a gingerbread look I decided to go with white butcher paper. Luckily the Minahounies hadn't gotten to that yet. But to be honest I could hear a small snap of fingers and an aggravated growl when I picked up the paper. While I was planning how my little house was going to look I began to try and figure out what I was going to put in the box after it was finished and who would get it. I decided I would surprise my dearest and oldest friend with a hot chocolate gift box. I can't remember if I have mentioned about Our Best Bites recipe for the Ultimate Hot Chocolate. I love this recipe. What better gift box for hot chocolate than a converted milk carton? So here is my version of Miss Maya's gift box...

The front

The side

The back

And the other (that's a chair at a table and a light above it in the right hand window)

And then the items to go in the box. Sans the marshmallows, yup I am going to send those along as well. I created the the packaging for the ingredients, so that it would be coordinated. Yes I know very Martha Stewart of me. Scary, I know.
It's not perfect but I am proud of it and how it turned out. And it was actually wicked fun to do, as far as drawing the house details and such.

Give it a try and see what you can come up with.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A little cooking post

Ok, so the Brown Eyed Baker is hosting an amazing giveaway. And I want to win. To enter you create a post on your favorite holiday recipe. Well, during the holiday season I usually bake more cookies. So that will be the recipe I share today.

The recipe is for my all time favorite cookie. It's different and unusual. It comes from a cookie cook book my mother has used for years, ever since I was a wee girl. It calls for one ingredient that I can no longer find. If anyone knows of how to get a hold of it please, PLEASE, contact me. Even though you can't find the exact ingredient you can substitute. Curious? Just read on.....

Egyptian Rose Leaves*
(and yes they taste like a rose)

1/3 cup of shortening (I use real butter)
2 eggs
1 tsp rose soluble liquid (this is the ingredient that I can no longer locate. So if you have any ideas let me know. Rose water, cooking quality, is what you will need to use as substitution, but I would increase it to 1 1/2 to 2 tsp depending on how strong your rose water is)
2 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
red or pink or green decorators sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix shortening, sugar, eggs and rose soluble until fluffy.
Stir in flour and salt.
Mix thoroughly.
Chill for several hours or overnight.
Using 1/3 of the dough at a time (keep the rest refrigerated) roll into 1 inch balls.
Place on lightly greased baking sheet.
Flatten with the heel of your hand to about a 3/8 inch thickness.
Cut two slits 1/2 inch down at the top.
Pinch the bottom to form base of leaf.
Sprinkle with decorator sugar.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until very light golden brown.
Then enjoy!

You will note when eating these cookies that at first you will not note really any strong flavor. That is until you breath in. Then you will find that your head will fill with the most delicate, lovely rose scent. Ahhhh, heavenly.

If any of you happen to try these I would love to hear what you think of them.

Good luck to anyone else that enters the Brown Eyed Baker's contest and wish me luck too!

* This recipe comes from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book. My mother received hers well over 40 years ago as a gift. Here is the modern version. Whether it contains the same recipes, I'm not sure.