Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wiinter Wonderland

The snow is amazing right now.  Huge, fluffy flakes are surrounding me, and I am sitting in wonder of it all.  I am not thinking of bad roads; I have no place to go.  I am not thinking of anything but this moment, this place, and this time.  I am thinking of rich hot chocolate with fresh whipped cream and candy canes.  I am thinking of apple, cranberry, and walnut pie for tonight's dessert.  I am thinking of my granny's potato soup, and how she makes it perfectly.  I am thinking of a blue eyed man who I believe is also thinking of me.  I am thinking of going sledding with two children who still believe in the magic of it all.  Perfection is here and not within the open packages that still reside under the tree.  Today and this one moment will last a lifetime. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, it can be a season to be stressed, tired, overwhelmed, and all of the above, but for you,  I hope it is also a time of blessings, peace, and good will toward men.  I wish you all the happiness in the world to you and yours. 

I am getting ready to head into the kitchen to prep for my Christmas Eve luncheon.  My family gathers here prior to church to watch my kids open their gifts, and I usually just do finger foods:  Paula Deen's chicken salad, variety of breads, cheese ball, and sweet and sour meatballs.  Dessert will be eggnog pound cake, cookies, cookies, cookies, and a chocolate chip cheese ball.

Here is the link for the chicken salad:  http://www.food.com/recipe/paula-deens-pecan-chicken-salad-377918

Can't forget the chocolate cheese ball.  This is the first time I have made it, and may I just say wow!  I want to thank my friend K. for mentioning it on Facebook,  I so have to make it again next weekend for New Year's:  http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/chocolate-chip-cheese-ball/Detail.aspx

To my children:  I love you, and you are blessings on every level.  I believe in you always, and thank you for teaching the truth behind unconditional.
To my love:  Well, after seventeen years, we are finally getting it right.  I thank God every day for you finding me again. You were my past, you are now my present, and yes, you will be my future. 
To my parents:  Thank you.  You have my back always, and I am very blessed to have been raised by two moral, loving people. 
To many of students:  It has been a year since you said goodbye to a friend, and I remember him as well.  I pray you will find peace.
To one who knows:  You can say anything you want, but I will not dwell in the drama that you create.

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.  ~Charles Dickens

Monday, December 13, 2010

Country Living's Onion Pie

Today I began testing a few recipes for our upcoming Christmas party.  To be honest, I didn't want to try an onion pie for the first time at the party, and it is a snow day after all.  It was either this or catch up on the other 130 things I need to do by this weekend, and food always wins. 

I found the recipe in Country Living magazine, and here is the link:  http://www.countryliving.com/recipefinder/onion-pie-recipe-clv1210

It doesn't get any easier than this.  It only took about ten minutes after the onion were sauteed.  It is basically mix, bake, forget.   Of course, my Thing Two won't touch it.  In fact, as he helped me crack the eggs, he said could not understand why anybody would want to ruin a perfectly good pie by adding onions.  Thing One is older and has a more sophisticated taste.  She puts ranch dressing on her french fries.  She really liked it, but on Saturday, she wants me to add more bacon.  My opinion?  I like it, and more bacon won't hurt at all. About two more slices.  It isn't a main dish with the rather rich flavor but it is a great appetizer.  I may even use it again as a side dish.  Yes, this is one recipe that will staying in my little red recipe box.  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You Know You Are a Scrooge...

by annonymous:
If your only contact with three spirits on Christmas Eve is gin, vodka and bourbon -- you just might be a Scrooge

If you turn on the lawn sprinklers on Christmas Eve to keep carolers away -- you just might be a Scrooge

If you buy all of your Christmas gifts at a store that also sells gas -- you just might be a Scrooge

If you get your Christmas Tree at a rest stop at night -- you just might be a Scrooge

If you give bathroom fixtures as Christmas gifts -- you just might be a Scrooge

If your favorite Christmas movie is Jurassic Park - you just might be a Scrooge

If your idea of Christmas dinner is a six pack of beer and a cheese log - you just might be a Scrooge

If you think "Ho, Ho, Ho" is a line from a Rocky movie -- you just might be a Scrooge

If your favorite pastime is putting defective bulbs in your neighbors' string of Christmas lights or defacing Christmas lawn characters with eggnog - you just might be a Scrooge

If your only holiday decoration is a rotting pumpkin - you just might be a Scrooge

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snow Day!!!!!!

The kids and I are home for our first snow day, and I know this will be a pain in May, but for now, this is bliss.  The housework is finished, so I have a few hours to just be lazy, and I can really do lazy.  In fact, I think I have it down as an art form.  I have Christmas music playing, snow falling, and hot chocolate with whipped cream and peppermint.  Ahhhhhhh.

Well the kiddies are drinking chocolate, but I have a cup of Russian Tea, and it is my favorite winter time treat.  I had an email yesterday asking for the recipe, so I am going to give two.  One is for you who prefer to steep your own tea.  The other is a mix I make and store in an airtight container. 
Russian Spice Tea

Instant Russian Tea :  I use this one, but I did change it a little.   I cut back on the tang by 1/8 cup and added 1/8 cup of instant lemonade.  I also like to use the mix as last minute gifts during the holiday season.  Take a dollar store basket and fix it with a mason jar with pancake mix, assorted syrups, and Russian tea.  Yummy. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Apple Puff Pancake and More

Every other week in the summer, I fix my daughter a puff pancake with fresh berries. I use my cast iron skillet,and we shimmer organic raw sugar over the berries when finished to give it a little extra sweetness, plus I prefer the texture. Well, last night, as the snow fell, I kept coming back to the puff pancake for Sunday breakfast, but alas, no berries. My eyes caught the bag of green apples and the things that make me go mmmmmmmmmm.

Being the good Appalachian girl I am, I always have apples on hand. I have been known to open a can of cooked apples for what we call "fried apples", but my kids and I like it better when I simmer butter, sugar, and green apples. In the winter, I often add cranberries and serve it over pancakes. Well, the question loomed, "How can I mix the two?"

My experiment began like this: Basic Puff Pancake recipe from Betty Crocker's Cookbook for Women, page 42.
2 Tablespoons of butter melted in a glass 9 inch pan
3 eggs or 6 egg whites
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup fat free milk
1/4 tsp. salt

Whisk eggs and then beat in the rest of the ingredients until mixed. I added a sprinkle of vanilla on a whim. Do not over beat. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

I took the basic recipe and layered green apples in the batter. Sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on the top.
 The results were delicious.  The pancake was not too sweet, and the apples were not too soft.  This isn't a pie at all.  The tartness of the apples was the perfect addition to the batter, and I will be making this again in the future for sure!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Chicken Taco Soup: Good for the lazy cook, Like Me

Ingredients:
1 lb. cubed cooked chicken breast
1 packet of taco seasoning
4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 can of sweet corn
1 jar of salsa ( I prefer Herdez mild salsa)
1 cup of uncooked elbow macaroni

Bring seasoning, broth, and water to a boil. Add chicken and salsa and reduce heat and simmer for twenty minutes. Add corn and macaroni and simmer for additional ten minutes or until macaroni is tender. Garnish with nacho chips, cheese, and sour cream if you wish.

We are in the midst of our first snow, and this was a big hit with Thing One and Thing Two (my children). I also broke out the bread machine for the first time this winter. Ah, soup, bread, and Russian Tea while watching The Thin Man. A perfect recipe for a snowy Saturday night.