Friday, December 30, 2005
Anyway, I haven't been crafting or cooking lately. I've been deeply engrossed in a novel that I started on Tuesday on our drive back home. It's called Wedding Ring by Emilie Richards. I'm about half way through it and some parts had me in tears -- it's a very good book. Besides the three main characters and each of their lives, it's about a wedding ring quilt that they are trying to restore. This book is making me want to quilt again. Of course in my situation, I need to do some serious reorganization before I sit down and actually quilt. I still have that village quilt I was happy to get back into during the fall. "What ever happened to that?", I ask myself.
Besides reading I watched this great movie yesterday, Kindom of Heaven. Once I got past the bloody battle scenes, it was very good. My dd bought the dvd for dh last month. I'm surprised I enjoyed it, because that is usually not my type of movie.
For Christmas I received some wonderful gifts. My dd gave me Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, which I was hoping for. I heard so many good things about this cookbook that I just had to have it. I also received an iPod Shuffle from dh, which I have been wanting since it came out. So besides reading and movie watching, I was copying some of my favorite cd's and figuring out how to get them onto my iPod. That was little bit of a time-snatcher, but I have some of my favorite tunes on there and now it's more of incentive to get my behind to the gym and work out!
Have a great FRIDAY!
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
This recipe has been floating around the family for a few years. Mom was very busy this month, she made pumpkin breads and assorted cookies for everyone. This bread was very good and very moist.
Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Bread
A dessert bread made from pumpkins - Every year in Half Moon Bay, California there is a Pumpkin Festival, at which prizes are given for the largest pumpkin in the world. Never mind that for the last two years the winner has been in Nova Scotia: the citizens of Half Moon Bay take pumpkins very seriously. At Christmas time in Half Moon Bay, people give each other little tins of this bread as presents.
Yield: 3 loaves
3 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cup cooked pumpkin
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Cream cheese (optional - for serving)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter containers well.
Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the eggs, oil, pumpkin and water. Beat thoroughly. It's easier to get all the lumps out if you use an electric mixer. Stir in the walnuts with a wooden spoon.
Pour the batter into containers, filling each only half to two-thirds full. Bake for 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the sizes of your containers. If you're using a very small container, start checking much sooner. The bread is done when a wooden pick in the middle comes out clean.
Cool about ten minutes, then loosen the edges of the bread with a knife, and turn out of the pans to cool the rest of the way on a rack.
For baking containers, use a loaf pan, metal soup cans or one-pound coffee cans, etc. If you use the coffee cans, this recipe will use three of them.
Serve each slice spread with cream cheese, if desired.
Anyway, at my Mom's we made tamales on Friday night. It was me, my brother, my dd and my Mom making tamales. It's a matter of us assembling them and then my Mom showing us how to make them and cooking them in her big steamer pots. Although, it was just us, usually we have more relatives involved in the process, we had a great time. My brother is always fun to be around.
My brother, sister-in-law, and my two neices and nephew, and my neice's dh came for dinner on Christmas Eve, and of course, my dd and dh. For dessert on Christmas Eve, after we ate tamales, beans & rice, and more, Mom made us Beignets! Yikes, like we didn't have enough to eat! Not a great photograph, but they were delicious!
We had Beignets with hot cocoa in these cute cups!
On Christmas day we went to my brother and sister-in-law's house for dinner. Where they had both sides of the family over for dinner. It was nice to see everybody again, funny how a year goes by so quickly.
Again, I was walking around Mom's house and snapping photos of . . . whatever . . . here's another one of my cross-stitch projects that I gave to my Mom many years ago.
Another cross-stitch project hiding behind the lamp . . .
Yes, I do cross-stitch, it's just been a long time and it's been very hard for me to get back into it lately. I will have to make it a New Year's Resolution, because I really did enjoy it.
I'll try to post some more photos, it seems to make my blogging a little more interesting, even though my camera is not all that great. No I didn't get a new camera for Christmas (sigh).
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
We've been having some awesome sunrises lately, my camera doesn't seem to catch the beautiful colors. And it doesn't seem to feel like Christmas around here either, the temperature has been around 76. That's pretty warm, I didn't have to wear long sleeves or a jacket all day and I'm usually cold. Of course, when we go up NorCal for Christmas it will be a whole different story. I hear it's pretty cold up there. This picture is taken at work outside our back door.
After work, my dd and I ran a few errands and then we were off Christmas shopping. I needed to get a few things for my coworkers and then something for my mom. We ended up in Orange County, a much better place to shop than my town. I still need to shop for dd and dh, and I have to do that tomorrow and have it done! We are leaving very early Thursday morning for Sacramento, again. We are making tamales Friday night. It's a family affair so I want to be sure we arrive ahead of time and well rested to make them.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Our neighbors are back from their cruise to Mexico. She just came over to pick up her keys and a huge bagful of mail. She brought us a gift from Mexico -- a wall hanging for our patio. Right now it's hanging in the kitchen. I love the bright colors!
Okay, I think it's time for a new camera. My pictures either come out too dark or too light. I've had it for about 3 years. It's not an expensive camera, maybe that's why. I hope Santa is nice to me this year. (I did drop some hints)
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Today was another day that flew by, at least I'm finally done with my Christmas cards. I almost thought, "let's skip it this year". Oh no, I couldn't do that. Some of my cards are going to England, I know those will arrive late. I usually receive my in-law's cards late, too. I'm not worried about that.
I also went to Trader Joe's for a little grocery shopping. I bought this wonderful wreath -- a real wreath! I am so happy with it. I hung it near the hallway, so every time I pass by it I can smell fresh Evergreen. I don't know why I'm making a big deal out of it, but it brings back memories of my childhood. I don't know why I didn't think of this before. Now, I'm thinking about going back and buying another wreath for the doorway.
Last night I made a roast in the Crockpot. It came out okay, I had alot of left over. Today I made Shepherd's Pie with the left over beef. I haven't made that in a long time, which is one of dh's favorites. I am not a big fan of this dish, in fact I don't eat it. But dh loves it!
. . . served up with cabbage.
Dh came back for seconds and polished off the rest. I still have more left over beef, I'm thinking about chili?
Friday, December 16, 2005
Anyway, our marriage has had it's ups and downs, it is definately not perfect, but I love my husband very much and have no regrets of running off to a foreign land to marry him.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
I think I may have used a few times, but not within the last few years. I did a little digging in my recipe files and found a recipe that should be used with this type of rolling pin. I usually make a plain rolled cookie dough, but since I did the Swedish cookies, why not bake German cookies. Again, I have all the ingredients. I'll let you know the results. I know my dd is going to be surprised when she comes home this weekend and discovers all these cookies. She's going to wonder how I did it with only a toaster oven!
I have a busy afternoon and then I'm off to my first aid class tonight. Oh yeah, tomorrow my dh and I celebrate our anniversary. I think I will make a special dinner tomorrow night, I'm not sure what we plan to do, but I know going out will be a crazy on a Friday night during the holiday rush . . . . we'll see, we still might go out.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I came home started baking another batch of cookies, the batch that I had waiting for me in the fridge. These were gingerbread cookies, they are the rolled cookies, which are my favorites. I guess because you can do as many as you can and if you get busy you can stop and put the batter in the fridge and continue the next day. I suppose you could do that with any cookies, but with rolled cookies it's best to roll the dough when it's chilled. I have at least 3 different types of cookies done so far. Pretty good for me. Sometimes I wonder why do I bother? Especially since I don't need to have any sweets around the house (I'm still going to Weight Watcher's, you know) and my dh isn't really a "cookie person". Well, dd loves cookies and it's just "tradition". Plus she can help me decorate them when she comes home this weekend. My mom always made cookies during the holidays and I want to do the same. Of course, she still does and we are swamped with cookies, but I plan on giving mine to my cousin Chris and her family, and then there's my Aunt Lucy and cousin Gabe I dont' want to forget. I like the smell of cookies in the house anyway.
Okay, I guess I'll mix up a batch of chocolate chip cookies now . . . take care.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
I did mix a batch of gingerbread dough during my break today, but I'm just too tired to do anything else - maybe tomorrow night.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Okay, here are a few of the cookies, some are a little toasty looking, but I'm getting the hang of it. Oh, if you flip the cookies over you can fill them with jam or cream.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
.... to be continued
Saturday, December 10, 2005
This morning I was up early, went to my usual Weight Watcher meeting and was sorely dissapponted to see that I didn't lose a pound. I didn't gain either, but I have really been sticking to the program, working out, and avoiding alcohol, too. I was very sad and just about came home in tears, wait, I did come home in tears! I snapped out of it and started sewing. Oh, what a stress reliever that was. I had the radio on to Christmas music and I think I sewed until noon. I made the pillowcases for the children at work, for when they make their reading pillows next week. One side of the pillow is Christmas fabric that was donated by one of the parents and the other side is white fabric, where the children can draw thier own design using fabric markers. We have bags of fiberfill at work, the children can stuff their pillows and then sew them up. I know it will be a big hit with the them next week.
My neighbor came by this morning and dropped off their keys and an invitation to their annual "cookies and beer" party. We will be house-sitting while they are on a cruise to Alcupulco. Yes, a cruise that they invited us to go with them, but not a good month for us, nor a good time. Anyway, she brought over this beautiful wreath she made for me. I was so embarrassed because it was an amazing wreath and the wreath I had on our door looked old, faded, and just plain tired compared to the one she was giving me. So I promptly took that one down and threw it in the garage and replaced it with my new wreath. It looks beautiful!
Okay, enough rambling. Have a great weekend, or what's left of it.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Anyway, work has been getting better. Some children I just have to tolerate. Some of the children are really having a great time with all the fun art projects we've been doing with them. I have to remember to take some pictures of some of their projects. Most of the projects I think up as soon as I walk in the door, so much for being organized.
While visiting my Mom's over Thanksgiving, I noticed she still has two of my early cross-stitch projects, one in the kitchen and the other in the dining room. I couldn't resist in taking a picture. I have done so many stitchery projects in the past, but have no photo of them. Here was my opportunity to take a picture of the pair and post one of them.
Have a great evening!