Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
We were having family over, so I turned it into a centerpiece!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Something fun and festive for Christmas morning. For a non-alcoholic alternative, make Shirley Temples, substituting maraschino cherry juice for the Grand Marnier and Ginger Ale or 7UP for the champagne.
On the night before Christmas, gently crush enough ripe, fresh cherries to have one cherry for each glass. Place the cherries in a small bowl and add a shot of Grand Marnier for each cherry. Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge overnight, simultaneously chilling enough bottles of champagne or sparkling wine to serve a glass for everybody around the tree.
In the morning, put one cherry and a teaspoon of Grand Marnier in the bottom of each glass. Top with the chilled bubbly.
A Note From The Little Lady: For some added festive color, we sometimes use a Rose Champagne.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Looking for a good book to make your way through over the holidays? Want something that's easy to get hooked on, easy to read, and easy to set-down-and-pick-back-up during those busy holiday moments? This is one of the best books I've read in a while. It wasn't mentally challenging, but there was enough substance to make it worth reading. Something about it had me addicted from the start. I typically read while I work out at the gym -- my praises behind this combo are a whole 'nother story -- and let's just say I had some fantastic sweat sessions while reading this book.
From Publishers Weekly:
"In her first and second bestsellers, Good in Bed and In Her Shoes, Weiner came up with female characters so smart, lovable and mordantly funny that they reminded readers that Bridget Jones wasn't the first single woman to light up a bestseller list or the big screen—there were Sheila Levine, Mary and Rhoda, the Golden Girls. Now, just as the star-studded movie version of In Her Shoes is about to be released, Weiner delivers the interwoven tale of four new mothers who come to form a tight posse in contemporary Philadelphia. The heart of this third-person narrative is Becky, an overweight but thoroughly appealing chef at a chic bistro. Married to an adoring doctor and living in a cozy row house, the warm, nurturing Becky is the latest incarnation of Weiner's previous protagonists, as Weiner's fans will recognize as she rushes to help another woman who collapses into sudden, crushing labor pains after a prenatal yoga class ("Being in labor all by herself —no husband around, no friend to hold her hand—was about the worst thing she could imagine," Becky thinks. "Well, that and having her midriff appear on one of those 'Obesity: A National Epidemic' news reports"). The woman whom Becky helps is Ayinde, the gorgeous wife of an NBA superstar. Picturesquely if improbably, she, Becky and another expectant mom, perky blonde Kelly (who was also at the fateful yoga class and lent a helping hand) become fast friends. Eventually, Lia, a beautiful young actress who has left Hollywood for her hometown of Philadelphia in the wake of a tragedy, joins the group. For much of the story, Weiner, a wonderful natural writer and storyteller, renders her characters and their messy, sometimes wrenching lives in details that resonate as the real deal. In the end, alas, she slips in a soapy Hollywood ending. Still, this is a rich portrayal of new motherhood and a fun ride. Weiner's readers will root for her to trust ever more her ability to float between comedy and pathos, leaving the shallows for true and surprising depths.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. "
Monday, December 21, 2009
I need photography classes. Or a better camera. Or both.
Just trust me? It tastes good. And it's cinchy to make.
Friday, December 18, 2009
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 egg yolks
1/8 c. bourbon or light rum or banana liquor (I used Malibu Coconut Rum)
In a saucepan, melt butter and sugar over medium heat. Do not boil. Remove from heat and slowly blend in egg yolks. Pour in alcohol gradually to own taste, stirring constantly. Sauce will thicken. Pour over pudding decoratively and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
This was a nice variation from our typical veggie sides of plain 'ole steamed veggies, seasoned with butter, garlic salt, and pepper. The potatoes and green beans compliment each other well, and the addition of bacon? Yes please!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
1/2 bottle Catalina dressing
1/2 packet (about 2 heaping T.) dry onion soup mix
1/2 can whole berry cranberry sauce
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Cookie #12 in The Little Lady's "12 Days of Christmas Cookies."
Source: Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
2/3 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
2 egg yolks
1 t. vanilla
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
Friday, December 11, 2009
Andes Mint Brownies
Makes about 36 pieces.
"Cookie" #11 in The Little Lady's "12 Days of Christmas Cookies."
1 package fudge brownie mix
egg(s), according to brownie mix directions
water, according to brownie mix directions
vegetable oil, according to brownie mix directions
approximately 24 Andes mints
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Combine brownie mix, egg, water, and oil in a large mixing bowl, following directions on the back of the box. Stir until well blended. Spread in prepared pan. Bake for amount of time suggested on box, or until set.
PlaceAndes mints over the hot brownies. Let stand for 1 minute or until mints are thoroughly melted. With a knife or small spatula, spread the melted mints evenly over the top of the brownies, to frost them.
Cool completely. Cut into bars.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Peanut Blossom Cookies
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Cookie #6 of The Little Lady's "12 Days of Christmas Cookies."
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Makes approximately 4 dozen.
Cookie #1 of The Little Lady's "12 Days of Christmas Cookies."
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1-1/2 t. vanilla extract (or rum extract)
2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
Using a cookie press fitted with a disk of your choice, press cookies 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugar.
The disk I used to make cookies pictured above:
Bake for 6-7 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.