Archive for December, 2009

Happy Holidays!!

Be warm. Be safe. Be happy.

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Sriracha Hot Sauce

Heads up to all you spicy food lovers. The January issue of Bon Appetit features an entire article about Sriracha Hot Sauce, AKA Cock Sauce. This is powerful stuff and can liven up just about any dish you can find. I’ve used it on stir-fries and curries. I’ve seen it in Burgers, Tator Tots and Ketchup. It’s readily available at most grocery stores, so there’s no excuse to not keep a bottle in the refrigerator. The recipes in the article include Deep-Fried Eggs with Sriracha Remoulade and Sriracha-Soy Fried Chicken in Lettuce Leaves. Go buy the issue and a bottle of sauce and enjoy!

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Every year I make a batch of Gingerbread Men. I love the little guys. I love the holiday flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. I love to decorate them with white frosting and red hots. And I love to share them through the holidays. But this year I made the mistake and tried a new recipe. Ugh. What a mess. I knew something was wrong when I started to roll out the dough and it was so thick and pale in color. Really? Light brown gingerbread? But I kept going, rolled the dough out cut out a bunch of little men. I baked them. I let them cool. But when I went to move them from the cookie sheet to the cooling rack a head popped off. And then another.

Until half of my little men had detached heads. Well, that’s not going to work. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I certainly could not share these little men without heads.

So, I started over. I found the recipe I used last year (and will use every year from here on out) and made up another batch. These were a lovely dark brown color (1 1/2 cups molasses will do that) and they rolled out beautifully and their little heads stayed attached.

I still need to decorate them, but I’m relieved to have a kitchen full of gingerbread men. I’m sure my family and friends will be too! Enjoy!

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I have a recipe holder on the counter and it holds everything I’ve made (and liked) for about the last year. So I went through the stack this weekend and found a couple favorites that I wanted to try again. One of them was this recipe for Thai-Style Beef and Asparagus Curry. It’s very simple and very quick with only seven ingredients. We like our food hot, so I doubled the curry paste (still could have used more!). But it was still delicious and I’m looking forward to the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Yum!

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Wednesday, Um, Walk

It’s been really cold here lately. Really cold. Like below zero cold. Right now it’s 12 degrees, and honestly, that would feel warm compared to the -4 this morning. needless to say, I didn’t go for a walk today. I walked from my house to my garage, into daycare, back to the car, into the office, back to the car, back into the daycare, back to the car and finally into the house. Where I think I’ll stay until I do the same thing tomorrow morning. But I felt I had to show you something that I saw today, so from our 5th story windows I took the shot above.

We’re in the North Loop part of town, just North of downtown Minneapolis and the warehouse district. There’s a sweet reflection on the shot, but below I tried to clean up the photo and highlight a few landmarks.

It’s a decent view, but in a month I won’t have it anymore. We’re moving to the second floor. No more elevators, but also no more view. Oh well. Soon I hope it’s warm enough to get back outside. Soon….

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Etsy Find(s)

I’ve been looking through Etsy for a simple necklace to give my Niece for the Holidays. She’s 11, so I don’t want anything too childish, but I still want to find something fun. Without breaking the bank. I found a few great options.

I love these simple circles from Daisy Chains.

And this smiling star from MaryMaryHandmade.

Or this amazing little bird from ZoozJewelry.

None of these would be limited to a tween, in fact, I might just need to order one of these little elephants from ZoozJewelry for myself!

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Thanks, Jen

Jen hosted another pARTy this past Saturday and I stopped by just long enough for a glass of wine, some cheese, a handful of candied walnuts and a couple quick projects. She had a few options of things to make this year, as she usually does around the holidays, but I opted for a simple project. A journal. I’ve been tempted lately to buy the 5-year journal, but would much rather use somethign that I make myself.

Above is the journal I made with an existing Paper Source book block with Jen’s beautiful book cloth and ribbon. I wanted the colors to reflect the Ocean. I think I succeeded. And I love it. I’ve already written in it!

Thanks, Jen

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One look at the thermometer this morning and I shivered. It’s zero. Or maybe a little below. But zero is low enough.

To deal with this cold weather, I made a big cup of tea and pulled out the lovely Raspberry Jam Jen brought me this summer. I can picture her in her kitchen with the windows open stirring a big pot of freshly picked raspberries. Can you see the leaves on the trees and feel the cool breeze? I can. And I can taste the summer sun on my toast. Thanks, Jen. Now I can deal with this weather!

Have a lovely weekend. Stay dry and warm. And try not to left the craziness of the holiday season get the best of you. Remember to slow down and smell a pine tree. Inside or house or out. Enjoy!

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Moment of Peace: Snow

Inspired by the Best of 2009 Blog Challenge, our first substantial snow fall. I love how the snow softens the world around me. And it brightens our dark winter evenings. Enjoy.

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Holiday Bows

I started making Holiday Bows this weekend. I followed this great tutorial from How About Orange. It couldn’t be easier. For this one I tore a page from a Cooking Magazine. There was a piece of a chocolate cake on one side and an ad for pasta on the other. It will be fun to see how the different pages create different colored bows and it will justify all the stacks of magazines I have in piles all over the house. I knew I’d need them someday!

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