Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cookies, Cookies and More Cookies

Now we all know about my baking addictions...But this year, I may have finally gone over the edge....

I love to bake cookies for all my neighbors. I do this out of the pure joy it brings me to have them delight in the tasty goodness of fresh baked cookies, filled with love and caring - Ok, I do this because we have horses, and as many of you know, horses get out. Not often, granted, but every once in a while, we loose one or two, or three... So far it has only been twice that they have actually gotten off the farm, but when they do, they are running for the hills, boy. And it is nice to know that I have cushioned the neighbors with plenty of baked goods to make them think twice about hating me when my horses eat their Miscanthus grass, or trot up on their deck for their afternoon release (if you catch my drift)- The pony has been known to do that.

This year, I think I may have gotten a little carried away, however. Not only did I bake enough cookies to take sizable tins to all who live within a 10 mile radius of me, but I still have a whole freezer FULL of cookies, bars, pies, cakes and muffins. What was I thinking?! Maybe it was because Aiden is SO good about sitting on the counter and helping me bake, or that Sarah LOVES to sift flour, salt and baking soda, or maybe I have finally lost my mind...Hummm, I think that last one hits home.

The last batch of cookies, I did drag the whole darn family into - even Uncle Mike, who I am sure, thought that he could get out of helping and play video games instead. I am all about the Holiday torture!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Our little thespian has taken the stage once more - this time as the Mother Mary in our church production of "Twas The Night Before Christmas, The Story of Christ's Birth".

Now, as Mary, Sarah was the star of the show - at least in her mind... There is no greater honor then to be chosen as Mary, even if you do not have a speaking part!

Doesn't she look thrilled?

Despite others in the performance - she took her job VERY seriously.

Even with some minor technical difficulties in wardrobe...

And a Merry Christmas To All!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tookie Mesipie

Tequila Christmas Cookies

1 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups dried fruit
1 (750 ml) bottle tequila (Jose Cuervo or your other favorite brand)

1. Sample the tequila to check quality.
2. Take a large bowl; check the tequila again to be sure it is of the highest quality.
3. Pour one level cup tequila and drink.
4. Turn on the electric mixer.
5. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
6. Add one peastoon of sugar.
7. Beat again.
8. At this point it's best to make sure the tequila is still ok, so try another cup just in case.
9. Turn off the mixerer thingy.
10. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
11.. Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.
12. Mix on the turner
13. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters just pry it loose with a drewscriver.
14. Sample the tequila to check for tonsisticity.
15. Next, sift two cups of salt, or something.
16. Who geeves a sheet.
17. Check the tequila.
18. Add one table.
19. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink.
20. Whatever you can find.
21. Greash the oven.
22. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.
23. Don't forget to beat off the turner.
24. Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the quetila and make sure to put the stove in the wishdasher.
25. Cherry Mistmas !

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fa La La

OK, I will be the first to admit that I have been a little lax on the postings around here. But, with all the Internet shopping and holiday decorating - I think I have a pretty good excuse.

We did finally make it this week to get our wonderful Christmas tree. I think it happened to be the coldest day on record that we ventured out - but, alas, it is here and it is beautiful. For a while there I was doubtful we would have a real tree this year, what with all the corn still in the fields and the Farmer working double duty lately. On Monday our salvation from fake tree doom came in the form of a snow day, or rather an "ice day". We had a lovely showering of rain just before the earth froze into a glittery ice kingdom as far as the eye could see. Why not venture out on the roads to bring home a Christmas tree? After all - a real tree is worth our lives, is it not? Bring me a tree or bring me death!

So I took this scary looking feller out into the woods with me to ward off the bears, as we hunted down that perfect tree.

Sarah is a great hunter, by the way. See how she lures in the tree by waving a branch over the ground as to leave a scent trail...

Ah-Ha! We have led one into our trap! The agile Farmer leaps on it and takes hold of it's trunk to immobilize it. There is no getting away from us now!

Ya know, each year we embark on this adventure together, as a family, and each year I have wonderful visions of how the Christmas tree hunt will go. There are visions of hot cocoa, and snowball fights, and hours of carousing through the wood (Ok- tree farm) to find that perfect tree. Heading home to a crockpot full of yummies and admiring our new tree in the warm glow of a lit fireplace. There have been years exactly like that - Norman Rockwell perfect. Then there are years in which the Farmer is laying down in a pool of mud trying the saw down a tree with the dullest saw blade the Tree Farm Man could find, as it pours down rain on our heads and we stand in sodden clothes praying the Farmer hurries up already and we can go home.

Then there are years like this year. A year in which we are late getting the tree, so we are forced to jump on any available moment that the family is all together and able to venture out, even if it is only 10 degrees outside, and we rush from the car to the field of trees, pick the first one we see, and make a mad dash back into the store to pay for it and retreat to the warmth of the car once more.

I think Aiden thinks we are crazy... Doesn't that cold, red nose just break your heart? Get that boy back to the car!

And what better way to finish up this festive day then hitting the KFC drive through and heading home for a nice sit-down supper.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tis Not Good

This, here, is the beautiful view from our front window. Please note that I am not outside at this time, but instead am taking pictures from the warm side of the wall. As lovely as this all looks, tis not good.

Why? Do you ask? Well, let me tell you...Coming from a gal that LOVES snow and gets so excited about the first snowfall that she will wait up all night just to watch it out her bedroom window, I have a few reasons. Let me state my case, if you will.
I now have to have an archaeological dig on my front deck to find the rotten Halloween pumpkins that have been left out as a charming "Thanksgiving" decoration because someone was too lazy to get rid of them before hand. (I have no idea who that someone is...)
I will also have to form a search and rescue party for the mailbox once the road commissioner gets done with us.
My car will take two days to unearth out there - and it is cold, Man! Of course, I have TWO perfectly good garages I COULD have put my vehicle in before it snowed...But again with the cold thing - it is too cold to go out at night and put my car away. I wonder if the snow will wash it too?
But, oh the beauty. The shear winter land delight. I have to say, regardless of all the above atrocities, I will still be going sledding this evening with my daughter!

Oh yea, one more reason this much snow at the beginning of December is not good - the Farmer still has 1000 acres of corn standin' out there somewhere, and that ain't good. It makes for a crabby Farmer. I guess that should have been the most important reason, huh? Oh well - I get to see him tonight, I am happy! Wonder if he will cart our sleds back up the hill for us?.....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Dinner that Wasn't

With having Thanksgiving at someone Else's house, you miss out on one very important thing...The leftovers. So I had it in my head that I needed to make my own Turkey Dinner the evening before last. I gathered the bird...Uhm...Ok, I may have cheated a little on the bird. I found this wonderful JennyO bird in a bag thingy that promised I did not have to defrost. I am all for no defrosting. After all, I never really know when I can cook the bird after it has been frozen...For me, defrosting is a mysterious and unreliable thing. I can take the turkey out of the freezer, sure, but how many days it will take from that point is lost on me..Anyway! So I have the bird in a bag here.Doesn't that lovely woman on the front of the package make this look glamorous? I am sure that is what I will look like when I finish cooking this foul.
Some left over cranberries, scalloped corn (what a great invention that is!) and sweet potatoes, all of which I froze the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, I can defrost simple things like these.

Then I whipped up some taters and gravy. This is what my gravy started out like - look at that! Then I did some culinary magic and Viola! Just look at that smooth texture, that wonderfully thick, mouth watering texture. Ok - So I lied - it came in a bag too.
Here is that bird in the oven - ain't she a beauty. I can still smell that wonderful aroma wafting out of the kitchen... They come in this nifty cooking bag, as long as you can push a button to turn on the oven, and you are trusted with scissors to put some vents in the top, you can cook a turkey! I didn't tell the Farmer I used scissors, it will be our secret...

Then I got a little too busy nursing an infant and let the turkey cook a teensy bit too long. Oh well, almost everyone can do this.
I have to say though, this was a very good turkey. So tender it fell off the bone, and very well seasoned. Then there was the discussion I had with the wine bottle... It went something like this:

Me: "Oh, you're one of those bottles."
Wine: "He he, you will never open me!"
Me: "Do I even own a cork screw anymore? I knew I should have stuck to the cheap stuff."
Wine: "Here I am, cold and tasty and you will never open me!"
Me: "Oh look, a cork screw! Now, how does this work again?"
Wine: "You will never figure it out! Look, you couldn't even cook a turkey in a bag!"
Me: "hummmm, I think it goes like this.... Ah-ha!"
Wine: "Oh NO! Wait a minute - she still doesn't have it right yet. He he he"Wine: "Uh-oh"
Me: "Ta-Da! I didn't even drop any cork pieces in the bottle this time!"Wine: "Chucks."

Ok- so once the wine was opened, the dinner table set, fixin's fixed, it was time to eat...There was only one thing missing - the Farmer. Insert telephone ring here...

Farmer: "I'll be late."
Me: "Late? Really? I made a turkey! And I have wine - real wine, not that $3 stuff I usually buy. I used a cork screw."
Farmer: "Bla bla bla..Chisel plow...Bla bla...Have to help...Bla bla bla bla...Late."
Me: "Fine." - click.

But have no fear, Sarah, Aiden and I enjoyed a very nice turkey dinner by candlelight. And now I need a new bottle of wine....Not really, but I would have liked to have polished it off! Darn nursing child.

Fine Times

Jake, Abby and little Jack out in the field with the Farmer.

Saturday I was more then pleased to be able to spend the entire day with my friend, Abby from up north. As you will see she is slightly pregnant, expecting the new addition at the end of this month. Let me be the first to say, she is radiant. I was so jealous of her beautiful round belly, I could actually here that biological clock ticking again. I seem to have this problem whenever I am around expectant mothers...

But seriously, look at this man -who wouldn't want to have his children. OK - maybe loose that hat, but these babies seem to turn out so darn beautiful despite his obvious lack of style.
So to end the great day of Walmart-paloosa that Abby and I had while she was here and her Hubby and child rode with the Farmer in the field, we ventured over to The Bardell Life's home for some wine, grasshoppers, and Wii! What a combination! Nothing like serving up the booze to a pregnant lady.

Here we have our dear friend, Jen, boxing in the living room. That would be her son and daughter also in the picture, and no, she did not whack him in the back of the head, as it looks like she may be doing. She did, however, become very sweaty and out of breath!

Here she is again - now some of the children have actually taken to running away from here - note the fleeing child in the background.
This would be that before mentioned fleeing child, Jack. Ain't he handsome? I believe he likes "See Food"... I cannot wait to see if the new baby looks like his/her big bro.

Did I mention there were grasshoppers involved?

And this is what you get when you give a pregnant lady too many grasshoppers...Ok- Cool your Jets, we did not make the pregnant lady drink alcoholic beverages! She insisted...NO, I am kidding! But I do not understand WHY you cannot have alcohol when you are pregnant - this is the only time of life when I actually NEEDED a drink. I mean, your hormones are on overload, your not sure you can go through the whole labor/delivery thing, you feel like a overinflated beach ball...EEK! Somehow we forget all this and fall right back into baby bliss when we see someone else carrying a child, funny how that happends.

Movin' On To Bigger Things

We have graduated to mashed potatoes and squash - yummmm

How else would we come to kissable cheeks like these?

Monday, December 1, 2008


We spent Thanksgiving at The Farmer's Uncle Pat and Aunt Barb's house this year. This was the first time that we actually had a big family dinner for this particular holiday. Usually it is a much more subdued event at one of our parents home. I would have to say that I enjoyed it immensely. It was nice to be surrounded by family - I am big on crowds.

The turkey was wonderful, the drinks were plentiful, and the desserts were heavenly (oh wait, I made the desserts, can I say that about my own cooking?....)

Food, Food and more food....

Aunt Barb and Aiden - notice that snazzy John Deere hoodie?

Boy, this kid sure gets around - here he is again with Uncle Pat

This is one of Pat's girls, Karen. Here I should mention that it is not even remotely fair that she should be this adorable. For heaven's sake - she could be a Michele Pfifer look-a-like! Good genetics, I suppose - she has two sisters that are equally attractive... I knew I should have gone on a diet before Thanksgiving....
Not to mention, she makes a mean drink too - she will be quite the catch!

And this was all that was left.

OK, again - it is NOT fair!

Girl's Night Out

A couple of weeks ago some crazy lady put me and a few other all too cooped up Moms in charge of a Girl's Night Out for the Moms that belong to our Mother's of Preschoolers group. Little did they know what they were in for! Having way too much time on my hands, I decided to go all out with this little festivity... I went to a local up and coming salon and begged for all sorts of free services, and, whadda know, they said yes! The other gals and I then went door to door to beg for free door prizes and once again ran into good luck. We even went as far as decorating the hall with twinkle lights and tulle, candles and glitter, not to mention tables of food and beverages brought by all. It was lovely.
We did not get the response we would have liked to have seen, but the spa services were spectacular and with so few people the Organizers could take full advantage of all the wonderful goodies available! Heck, I even came away with some pretty cool door prizes!

Here we see an unsuspecting Mom getting her eyebrows waxed - Mine have never looked so good, personally...

I am not sure what this was called - but it involved some ultrasound jelly and a little electric device. It is supposed to eliminate wrinkles...Humm, maybe they should have demonstrated on someone who actually HAD wrinkles!

The Organizers
(oh yea - and Aiden, did I mention that he is permanently attached to me now and I could not get out of the house without him?)