Monday, December 14, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas


The tree is decorated and the Christmas decor is in place and except for a few additions of cedar swags and such in front of the house, I am done with the decorating.  I've only one or two more little things to pick up and I'll be finished with the shopping, too.  Of course there's the wrapping to do and I haven't gotten the cards ready to mail yet.

Here's a peek at a few of my Christmas touches...the above pic is of my centerpiece on the kitchen table.


I have a collection of snowmen and Santas...I love these.
I wish the quality of the pic was better.  Have asked Santa for a new camera!
  

As you know, I'm new to blogging and I can't seem to find my photos that have been cropped for showing.  Maybe when I figure out what I did with them, I'll post a few more...at least one of the tree.  That is if the tree is still standing.  Little Stormy, the kitten, is really fascinated by all the new things to "play" with, especially the ornaments on the tree.  We have to watch her very carefully.  She's been put in "time out" downstairs several times already, and we'll have to forego decorating and putting up the tree down there this year.

Time for me to get busy.  There's so much to do and so little time.  Hope you are ready or almost ready for Christmas too. 

Until next time...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside!


Here's a favorite recipe that always helps me get through a winter day or night.  This is one of my mother's recipes that I have always loved and still make often.

Blond Brownies

1 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup nuts (optional)

1/3 cup Crisco (you could probably use butter)

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Sift first 4 ingredients into large bowl and add 1/2 cup nuts.  Set

aside.  Melt shortening and add the brown sugar.  Mix well and

cool slightly.   Then mix in the egg and vanilla.  Lastly, mix into

the flour mixture, mixing well.

Spread into a greased (I use cooking spray) 9 x 9 baking dish

and then sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  Enjoy!

This is a very sweet, chewy, delicious brownie.  I always double the
ingredients and bake in a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stormy

Can't quite believe it.  A week gone already and I still have to get the house decorated for Christmas.  It's going to be difficult trying to decorate around our newest family member who just happens to be into everything.  I'm talking about Stormy, the kitten my hubby found wondering around alone one night.  Hub is a lineman and was called out to work one stormy night this past June.  When he returned to the building to park the bucket truck after the job was done and was walking to his vehicle to return home, he saw this little kitten walking toward him meowing.  He looked around and didn't see any other kittens or their momma, so he picked her up and brought her home!  He didn't think she would have wondered off by herself so far from the closest homes and decided she must have been dumped out there.  He woke me up around 2 am when he got home and said to get up and look down the hall...and there she was.  My first thought was "but she isn't a Calico" but we all fell in love with her anyway.  Our son happened to be visiting that weekend and he chose the name Stormy for her.  We watched the local newspaper for a couple of weeks in case someone reported her missing, all the while hoping no one did.

Here is the source of our Christmas decorating dilemma.  The photo was taken as our daughter placed a punch bowl she had borrowed on my table.  She had taken it somewhere and had it wrapped in a bath towel to keep it from getting broken.  Stormy, the always curious kitten, had to investigate and climbed in.  And, no, we don't like her jumping on the table, but this was too cute not to take a picture of.


She is so sweet, but also a lot of work at the moment.  She is into everything and has been known to climb my sheers in the living room window!  My husband isn't any help at all...he just laughs at her antics and lets her get away with anything.  And this is from a man who was previously not a big fan of cats and had said no to having one in the house again!  He has really enjoyed her and gets a little testy when I am aggravated after hauling her out of trouble for the umpteenth time and tell him that I'm going to give her away.  It is fair to say that he is totally smitten.  Now if we can just figure out how we're going to put up a tree without her climbing into it and knocking it over or destroying all the ornaments!!

Until next time...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pics from Branson

Thought I'd share a few photos.  I didn't take very many, just wanted to enjoy the Thanksgiving vacation without a camera in my hand.  Here's a few at the condo:

The living area:


The kitchen:


And the deck:

 

The view from the deck:


 And a little Christmas decor:


And a few pix of the beautiful Silver Dollar City:


Remember to click on photos to enlarge

 

Now that I've been to SDC and saw all the wonderful Christmas lights you'd think I would be ready to decorate my own home, right?  Not really.  I just took down the fall stuff today and hopefully will be ready to start by the weekend.  Have you got your home all decked out in all its Christmas finery, yet?  These next few weeks will literally fly by.  I better get busy now!

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Our Thanksgiving trip

We got back from our wonderful trip to Branson for Thanksgiving Sunday evening.  Had a great time...the weather was perfect, altho my son was wishing for colder weather we still lit the fireplace almost every night.   We just enjoyed relaxing at the condo on Thursday after a turkey dinner and played a few games of cards. My daughter and I did make a quick trip down to the Landing and watched a brief water show and drove up the strip to look at all the Christmas lights.  On Friday we went to Silver Dollar City and it was beautiful as always, especially after dark all the Christmas lights are just breathtaking.  Saturday was a another lazy day around the condo with more card games...that new game we learned was fun!   We headed out in the late afternoon to explore.  Our children went downtown and Hub and I went to the Imax and looked around, then stopped by Danna's BBQ for takeout.  I did get by the Grand Village and stopped into one of my favorite shops there, the Mulberry Mill, for some dip mixes.  We have been going to Branson for Thanksgiving for a few years now and have seen all this before, but it never gets old for me.  This is the best way I know to get into the Christmas spirit!

Here is a favorite recipe that I got years ago from my mother.  You can use some of your leftover turkey (or a roasted deli chicken) for this and make some broth with just water and chicken base to cook your spaghetti in.  This is probably my favorite casserole. 

CHICKEN CASSEROLE

1 large chicken, cooked
1 quart chicken broth
12 oz spaghetti
large onion, chopped
large green bell pepper, chopped
1 stick butter or margarine
1 small can mushrooms, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can milk
1 lb Velveeta
salt and pepper to taste

Cook chicken until done.  Remove chicken and when it is cool, take meat off bones.  Saute the chopped onion and green pepper in the butter or oleo.  Cook spaghetti in the broth and when done, stir in the cheese (which I cut up in pieces first), a soup can of milk, salt and pepper while the spaghetti and broth is still hot.  Stir gently a few times while the cheese is melting.  Add the mushrooms and the sauted onion and pepper, and lastly the small pieces of chicken.  Mix well and pour into a large (9 x 13) casserole.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.   (You might want to divide this into 2 smaller casseroles so you have one to freeze.) 

Until next time...