Monday, December 31, 2012

Mealplan Monday #41 and Happy Birthday, Bubbie!

41 meal plans later...
It was a year full of cooking for sure.  Maybe I will figure out a way to get all of those plans on a rotating schedule for when I just cannot think of what to cook. 
 Or don't want to think that hard. 
 Either way.
This was Bubbie's birthday cake on Christmas night - red velvet cake with Cool Whip Frosting, French vanilla pirouette cookies, was weirdly wonderful.  
Monday - Fire-roasted Tomato Beef, rice, lima beans
Tuesday - Swedish Ham Balls, skillet cabbage, black-eyed peas, bubbly
Wednesday - Broccoli/chicken pot pie with homemade pie crust - I WILL learn how to do this!
Thursday - Crockpot Country Veggies with Smoked Sausage, cornbread
Friday - Freezer pizza, sald
Saturday - Dad grills
Sunday - Leftover Chicken Tortilla soup, chips and queso.
 Bubbie, stop it.
 Stop growing up so fast.  We can hardly keep up.
I can't believe how fast a year goes...
Happy New Year, everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Post-Christmas candy

One of the fun traditions my kids have with their grandma is candy making at Christmastime.  Ok, so it's the only tradition...still, they look forward to it, even though they are big, stinky teenagers now.
 Fudge is something I never make, so they have to go see Grandma to get it.
I think for Bubbie, it's a lot like science.  Fun to see how things turn out.  He's been very helpful in the kitchen lately, and I like that a lot!
 Scout was put in charge of boiling the sugar syrup for Divinity.
 And Penuche  My only job was to document.  Sweet!
 It's fun to see them side by side with Grandma in the background.
 Bubbie added extra dark chocolate chips and made the fudge fudgier.
 Dark chocolate fudge with pecans - yummo.
I think cooking candy teaches them patience.  Sugar has to be the right temp and worked a certain way to make candy.  It's not like the cooking they do on campouts or at home with me.
 The Divinity was made two ways - one batch with pecans, the other with crushed candy canes.  The boys did it all - smashing candy canes, chopping nuts, stirring and pouring...
 Texas pecans from Grandma's trees.
We had to finish up so we could make it to the Chinese buffet for lunch...there was no room in the kitchen to make real food...
Wonder how long all of this will last in my house?

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas at our house

The last couple of days went by so fast.  Since I worked Friday through Sunday, it seemed like Christmas was suddenly HERE.  Glad I got so much done in advance.  It gave me (and Hubby) time to just hang out, enjoying the warmth of our own home, full of our kids and good food.  He goes back to work today after a week and a half off.  I will miss having him around, but I have work to do, too - there are groceries to be bought and laundry to be done.  Plus, the boys have another week and a half of break, so there will be lunches and movies out, and they want to spend their Christmas gift cards.
post Christmas-gift-opening mayhem!
We had a great Christmas and feel so blessed.  We spent fun times together, going to see the Trail of Lights, a special Christmas Eve church service, playing games, watching movies, and celebrating Bubbie's birthday.  The house was pretty and cozy, with great things to eat.  It will be bittersweet when December ends, but I am so looking forward to what the New Year brings!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mealplan Monday #40 with Christmas treats!

These are the cookies I made for giving this year:
 Gingersnaps - one of my favs, fresh from the oven.
This recipe is from McCormick.
Gumdrop Cookies from Angie at Echoes of laughter.  Bubbie requested we "make these again next Christmas for sure!"  I took them to the cookie exchange at work.
 Cranberry Oatmeal Bars - a family favorite.
 Russian Teacakes - a cookie from my childhood.  Not sure if I will make Christmas cookies again today - it was a looong weekend and I have lots of cooking to do and a birthday cake to make for Bubbie.  Plus, a long nap will be had!
Monday - Chicken tortilla soup for dinner, assorted apetizers throughout the afternoon
Tuesday - Pulled pork tacos for lunch, Ham with the fixing's for dinner
Wednesday - Pumpkin Ziti (keep meaning to make this again!), garlic toast - grocery shopping day
Thursday - BBQ Sloppy Joes, tater tots
Friday - Crock pot beans with ham bone, corn muffins
Saturday - Dad grill
Sunday - Freezer meal, salad
A plate of cookies ready to be delivered to Hubby's office.
The neighbors got theirs in zip locs and a gift bag.
Hmmm....I might be persuaded to bake just a few more...for Santa. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My folded magazine "tree"

I came across an idea for this little magazine tree and I pinned it for future reference.  I used to make these as a kid - probably in Brownies.
The best magazine for it is a Reader's Digest and even though I know it's borderline sacrilegious to destroy one, I forged on...
I used a clip to hold the pages together that I had already folded.  
(Go here for a real tutorial.)
As you can see, I was at the breakfast table.  Scout was watching me, eating his cereal.  You never know when creativity will strike...I think it took me about 30-45 minutes.
Halfway there!  Time for Scout to catch the bus...
I really love my little magazine tree.  After Christmas it might go live in the bookcase.
For now it sits on the mantle with the little trees I am collecting...
a recycled thing of beauty, no?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Study in opposites

I stopped by my mother's house on Tuesday after lunch in Brenham with a friend.
 I think I woke her from a nap...
 She's the only elderly person I know who wears ruby earrings with a blue jean jumper while napping...
I brought her a gift: new pajamas with some homemade cookies, Crispix Mix, and a new leash for her dog, Gus, all packaged in a wicker basket.
I think she liked all of it!
 She made herself a quick lunch and sat down to visit.  Poured a coke...
 ...and enjoyed a fried Spam sandwich.  Not even kidding, that's what she ate.  Well, whatever bites she didn't feed to Gus.  The spoiled brat dog.
On her beautiful kitchen tablecloth, hand embroidered and with crocheted lace, sat this re-purposed ICBINB container made into a napkin holder.  I've seen it all now, folks.
A study in  opposites, my mother and me.
And my gift from her?  More beautiful handmade work in the form of a dresser doily with crocheted lace.  It's so beautiful that Hubby thought it was machine made.  Nope.
 It found its way onto  the bookcase in the hallway.
A second one is completely of crochet in two shades of turquoise.  So lovely!  Can you believe she calls these "tacky homemades"?  Might as well be gold to me. I cannot make such things.
It found it's way to my kitchen counter.  
Frugality, beauty, art, function.  
Those things are all related...
It's all in how you look at it.


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