Friday, December 25, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
And this was tonight. It seems to be Willie's Favorite Position on Willie's Favorite Spot in the House. Not that he ever gets to come into the house. Ahem. This little boy with the big mitts has purred and kneaded his way into all of our hearts. And now we're going to leave him and Molly here at home (our nice neighbor Amy is going to take care of them) while we go play and celebrate down in California. I'm quite sure there will be a few staring contests through the sliding glass door while we're away. Abby will be going to stay with her old friend Sasha. Lucky girl...Tom knows how to spoil a pup! Even though all our Fuzzies are going to be in good hands, we're still going to miss them like crazy.
I have to go hug a Fuzzie now. =)
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Hi Athena and Zoe! (That was for you!!)
Maybe the Cookie Monster should come to our house! This past Wednesday, my good friend Kathy came over and we had the 2nd Annual Cookie Baking Extravaganza. (Scroll to the bottom of that post for a photo of last years haul!) We don't just bake three or four varieties. No, that won't do. We baked a grand total of 19 varieties of cookies! People, NINETEEN!!! This was bright and early, around 8:00 am. Kathy was just unloading her stash of doughs, icings, toppings and supplies. My Kathy just might be the most organized gal I know. Hi Kathy!!! =) She inspires me. See? Those are all my bowls along the back counter and on the left side of the island. Have I mentioned how much I love my island? Cuz I really do. It is a bakers dream. Anyway, once we get started, we don't stop. I'm not kidding. We mix, roll, cut, bake, sprinkle, ice, stack, etc. Oh, and we taste. A cookie from each batch is split in half and we critique. Sometimes, we have to re-test a cookie...for quality control purposes only. Heh heh.
There isn't a lot of time for photos. We're just too busy. But these little gems were my most anticipated cookie on my list. They are Lemony BonBon's. Just the name alone makes my mouth water. So, you start with a pre-roasted pecan half. And then lay them good side down on the baking mat (and if you're me, you make sure they're all laying in the same direction!...kinda like the hangers! Hi Missy Laura!) I digress.
Next, you place one of the rolled balls of dough on top of the roasted pecan... ...and squash it flat with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake, cool, slather with lemon icing and... YEEEAHHHHHH!!!! For a girl that likes lemon, these did not disappoint. I think this recipe will be on next years list for sure.
Now, lest you think we have only idyllic, perfect cookies to show for our efforts, I offer you these: Ummm...that is a dozen cookies. Ummmm...they tasted really good. Ummm...okay, I can't come up with anything else redeeming about these. And while they were Kathy's recipe this year, I have to say that I had a similar Fail last year with a similar recipe. They ended up with Earl Grey ganache sandwiched between them but were so delicate, it almost wasn't worth it. I know...I lost you after "ganache" didn't I?
All in all, it was the perfect day of baking. Until about 5:00 when our feet and backs were aching from NOT SITTING DOWN ALL DAY and we headed to the Roadhouse for dinner with the menfolk. Hayley came with and snarfed down her dinner before heading off to Confirmation at church. After dinner, we went back to the house for another hour or two of final icing and packaging. If you got some of the cookies, we hope you enjoyed them. It is truly our labor of love and we have a ball doing it. And no doubt, Kathy and I will be hunting down new recipes and cookie cutters for the 3rd Annual Cookie Baking Extravaganza!
Have a lovely day and stay warm! Even you SoCal folks down there!
Monday, December 7, 2009
My grandpa was an old German baker and these are made from his secret recipe for gingerbread. Honeycake, as he called it. I grew up watching my mama make the little houses and then I got to help decorate them. For a full recap of the entire process involved, go HERE (Step 1) and HERE (Step 2) and HERE (Step 3!) This house if for my friend, Holly. I put one of the houses up for bid in the Silent Auction for our Sports Booster Club (GO COUGS!!!) and Holly very sweetly camped out at that table to make sure she got the final bid for a little gingerbread house. I just sent her an email letting her know that her fresh prize is ready for delivery.
I have got to find little strings of lights. Obviously.
This is the last of the houses...errrhhh...houses and trailer! Can you stand it??? This little darling is for a friend of Dan's. He's a sweet old man that lives right on one of the prettiest lakes around here. He has this cute little trailer and the most amazing trees, plants and bushes surrounding it. He invited us over to fish off of his dock one day. The fishing wasn't so good but it sure was fun to sit in the sun with a margarita and a fishing pole, watching the bald eagles soaring above and listening to fishing stories with friends. So this is my ode to Bud...my rendition of his charming trailer with a little bit of Lake Shoecraft thrown in for authenticity.
HI BUD!!! Thanks for the fun afternoon fishing off your dock! =)
And now if you'll excuse me, I have to eat so I can take my back pill!!! (See, I told you it couldn't be done!!!)
Friday, December 4, 2009
First of all, a happy photo. This is my dishtowel drawer. I know….sigh. This is just one of those things that makes me smile. And yes, I really do keep them folded and stacked all orderly like that. My own mother laughed at me when she saw me folding my dishtowels just so. What can I say? Happy. Once December hits, the everyday towels switch places with the holiday ones. Admit it: Looking at that photo brings a smile to your face, doesn’t it? =)
Then I found little fishie plates and about died of The Cute right there in the store! Hayley and I decorated these little babies last night. It’s time consuming and a little messy, but the end result is worth it.And for all the kitty fans out there: This is what I have to go through to get a photo. I think its pretty obvious that our MollyMo didn’t get the memo about kitties staying off the counter. Tsk tsk.