Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!

Are you ready? I had every intention on being on "top of things" this year. Didn't happen. I was going to wrap presents as I bought them, and have our Christmas cards sent out a couple of weeks ago. I also wanted to make a number of homemade gifts - this didn't happen. All of this was to be part of my plan of "simplifying Christmas".

After a hard week at school, I picked up my daughters and headed to the grocery store. I knew I was stressed, but I didn't know how it impacted my family. A nice grandmotherly type woman was behind us in the checkout and she asked my girls if they were ready for Christmas. My five year old replies, "We are ready for Christmas, but our Mommy isn't!" Where did they get this from?

Well here is my "sermon". Enjoy Christmas! Think about the baby Jesus being born in Bethlehem (without all the comforts, lights, gift giving, etc.). Jesus truly is the reason and the greatest gift!! So slow down, play a game with your family, listen to the Christmas music, enjoy the beauty of the decorations, and quiet your hearts for the Christ Child.

Merry Christmas to all!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


There are many times that I think I should just have a food blog! Many of my posts deal with food (or should I say goodies) and I have found myself reading blogs about food! Is this an obsession or what?! Some of my favorite blogs include: 4 Reluctant Entertainers, The Simple Wife, My Messy Thrilling Life and The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Check them out sometime.

I mentioned that I was making fudge in the last post for my Cookie Exchange. It turned out great and we had a nice group of women, for the gathering. In addition, I have a variety of eight dozen cookies - need to pace myself for the holidays. Do you know the average person gains 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years?

Well, my cookie exchange also inlcuded a brunch, since breakfast food is my favorite and I just love those easy overnight breakfast casseroles. Things were going fairly smoothlythis morning until I turned on my oven. The kitchen started to smell - that really bad smell, that happens when food has boiled over into your oven and you didn't clean it up. Well, I opened up the windows (it was in the 20's outside and snowing), turned on the exhaust and started burning the yummy smelling candles. I got the odor under control and got my casseroles baked. Then, after the cookie exchange, I decided it was time to clean the oven (thanks to self cleaning ovens!!). At this point, I was glad I was the only one in the house - there was so much smoke! This time I opened up the front door in addition to the windows. I don't want to see what our heating bill is going to be next month. Well, I should have a clean oven after this. All this to say, from the advice of my friend, "don't you have the really big oven foil - you should go get some."

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I am excited about this afternoon! I'm going to do some holiday baking, actually in my case it will be holiday candy making. This Saturday I'm hosting a neighborhood Christmas Cookie Exchange / Brunch and I need to make my goodies for it. The recipes that I will be making include a peanut butter fudge and a chocolate fudge. Here is the recipe for the peanut butter fudge:

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup peanut butter
7 ounce jar marshmallow cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: Combine sugar, evaporated milk and butter in a sauce pan. Bring to a full boil and stir constantly for exactly five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until melted. Add marshmallow cream and vanilla. Beat until mixed. Spread in a buttered 9 x 13 pan. Set until cool. Then place in fridge.