Thursday, December 31, 2009

The last post for 2009 ...

Here's hoping 2010 treats us better than this last year.

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New Year's Eve Day

Spent the day tubing at Pando ...

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What do you think?

How do you like the new design?*

*You better say you love it because it cost me money. Money I could have spent on other things like vanilla NF/SF lattes from Starbucks or a new book from Amazon. But it is all about making you -- the reader (note use of singular pronoun) -- happy. Your welcome.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Free is good.

Just because ...

Sign up and you can get a free bottle of One A Day gummi vitamins to try.—Be Heard. Be Happy.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

The aftermath ...

All that time preparing and it is over in minutes ...

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!

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'Twas the ...

'Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house, the creatures were stirring and ... Mommy already needs a drink.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A musical interlude ...

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

I did not offer to watch my neighbor's dog only to have her poop on my carpet the second she got into my house. Nope, didn't happen to me! (Truthfully, the dog doesn't bother me at all. She is 14 years old and these things happen. One day I will be 98 years old and I might have bowel issues too.)

I did not have a relative spend a great deal of time making it clear he or she likes me about as much as the above mentioned dog poop. Nope, not me! All my relatives think I am sweeter than sugar and nicer than pie.

I am not dreading the next two weeks of Christmas vacation. I am sure the kids and I will have a lovely time together. (If not, I have several bottles of wine to help me through it.)

So what about you? What are you NOT doing today?

P.S. Four days to Christmas! Yikes.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Season

This picture pretty much sums up the Christmas season - a flurry of activity. By January 2, it all seems like a blur.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Food, that's what I want!

The funny thing about being on Weight Watchers is that I obsess over food even more than I did when I ate whatever I wanted. I think it brings out my obsessive nature. I am way more excited about tabulating and recording every morsel than I probably should be. Red wine = two points. Five glasses of red wine = 10 points and a massive headache the next morning.

So, you ask, what is the point of the above paragraph. Nothing. I just needed a little segue way into posting the following recipe. ;)

There are many Polish treats that I love but unfortunately don't make myself. Chrusciki is one of my absolute favorite sweet treats but I can't remember the last time I had them. I know it is hard to get them to just the right doneness -- slightly crispy and not overally greasy. But the end results are a simple but yummy treat.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons dairy sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vodka, whiskey or vinegar (I don't remember that ingredient!)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vegetable shortening or oil for deep frying
  • Enough powdered sugar to dust the cookies / pastries with
Place the flour in a large bowl: make a well in the center. Add the egg yolks and rub in with the fingers until combined (or pulse in the food processor until you get the same result. NB: if you're doing this in the processor, use the plastic blade, not the steel one). Add all the other ingredients except the confectioners' / powdered sugar, and blend well. On a lightly floured work surface, knead the mixture for a good long while into a smooth dough. You need to trap as much air in the dough as you can during this process. If kneading by hand, just keep repeating a pattern of folding the dough, flattening it, folding again, flattening it, for at least half an hour. If using a mixer with a dough hook, knead for at least fifteen minutes. You should be able to see at least some little air bubbles in the dough.

Wrap in plastic wrap / cling film and allow to rest in the refrigerator for twenty minutes / half an hour. (You can let it rest overnight if you like.)

When ready to fry, roll out 1/16th inch thick. Slice into 1 1/2-inch wide strips. Cut the strips diagonally into 5-inch lengths. In each strip, cut a one-inch slit the long way, in the middle of the strip. Pull one end of the strip through the slit so that it looks kind of like a bowtie.

Heat the frying oil to 375F / 190C, or until a 1-inch bread cube turns golden brown in 50 seconds. Deep fry the strips in small batches until they turn light golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar. (Recipe courtesy of European Cuisines online.)

If you decide to make some, feel free to send some to me -- Weight Watchers be damned!

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

French braids and ponies and pigtails ... oh my!

I was apprehensive about having a daughter for a host of reasons but one of the main ones was having to do her hair. I can barely make my mop look presentable and I was going to be expected to maintain another person's hair? Yikes. So that's why when I do something beyond the ordinary brushing out the snarls, it is picture worthy.

Behold ...

I did a good job, if I don't say so myself. Hopefully this makes up for the state of her hair the other 360 or so days.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Come on in!

I decided to take part in the Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes this year. If you want to participate, hop on over and visit the site. 

Welcome to our holiday home ...

Please warm yourself by the fire ...

I do think the tree looks rather festive ... the blue ornament is a new one.

This one is a special one -- sent by a friend to remember our angel ...

Molly has been asking for a nutcracker decoration so I found this one at Marshalls. It is dual purpose - it holds some of our extra special cards. 

Hope you enjoyed the tour! Stop by again soon.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why is it that?

If the pants fit my bottom, its inevitable the length is too long? I'd like to blame designers who make clothes for people who are 5'8 and 120 pounds. But reality tells me I need to blame potato chips and wine.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

People say dumb stuff ...

I was thisclose to having to write this post from a cold jail cell. Someone said something to me that was so utterly stupid and mean that I was actually dumbfounded. I know, hard to believe but sometimes I can't talk.* Had I not been frozen in both mind and mouth, I might have hurtled myself across the room and pummeled them. (Let's just say it is was something in the "Ten Things You Don't Say to People Who Have Had a Miscarriage".) 

* Unlike the unfortunate "Cornbread Incident" of 2001 in Nashville where I did in fact run my mouth. But that's a story for another day.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

Of course I am not already regretting getting a real Christmas tree for the first time in five years -- less than 24 hours after bringing it into our home. Not me! I am just SO happy about the thousands of needles already on the floor and the rash spreading across my hands. Nothing says Christmas cheer like a pine tree allergy!

Of course, I am also not kind of hoping for another snow day for the kids. Not me! They get on my ever-loving last nerve when we are stuck together all day. Its not at all nice to know we have no where to be and nothing to do but relax.

Of course, I didn't panic when standing on in front of Macy's on State Street at 8 p.m. in Chicago amidst a crowd of hundreds, I couldn't find Jacob. Not me! I knew he was standing behind me even though I yelled out "Jacob" several times and was already planning on running towards the police officers on the corner. I did hug and kiss him ... repeatedly.


What about you? What did you NOT do today?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Chicago weekend

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

My final post ...

Dear Reader,

This is my final post. Perhaps this is my final moment of life. Because when my dear husband comes home to find I have broken the Christmas cookie jar lovingly purchased by his Grandma B all those years ago -- let's just say it won't be pretty.

So its been real and all. I appreciate you dropping by.

Soon to Be Gone

(Think he'll notice ...)

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