Archive for December, 2009

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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Friday Night Sewing

Anna was kind enough to let me come over this weekend to do some quick sewing with her machine. Okay, I bribed her with wine and chocolate, but it was still a nice gesture. And I had a great time.

First, I finished the taggie blanket for Daughter. I love it. And it was really easy. Sewing to me was just like riding a bike, it came back to me immediately. I haven’t sewn since high school. My sister and I spent hours with our grandmother learning to sew. And what did she teach us to make? Why, running tights. We were in Cross-Country and Track and tights were expensive and Minnesota is cold, she we made our own. We even had the elastic waist and stirrups. They were great. But what was even better was having Grandma teach us to sew. I can’t help but think of her as I pick up the hobby again.

After the taggie was completed and pressed, I started on the more difficult project. The Christmas Stocking for Daughter. I really had no idea what I was doing, except that I wanted to create something that would compliment our current stockings (on the right). And I really like it! I had to hand sew the green toe and heel onto the red, which was confusing, but Anna helped me figure it out. And I lined the thinner front red material with the red felt I was using for the back, just to make it a bit stronger.

I am still trying to figure out what to put on the front to jazz it up. I saw this stocking at Crate & Barrel today. It has felt circles added with decorative stitching. I could do snowflakes with decorative stitching, or I could stuff them like my stocking. What do you think?

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December Challenge

It’s already December. I can’t believe it. At least there was snow, okay, a dusting, on the ground this morning. But really, December, already? In addition to the Holidays, which means cookies and shopping and a tree and more cookies, December makes me think about the end of the year. The new beginning right around the corner. The refreshing feeling I get when I see January on the calendar.

And last night, while surfing around, I followed this link from a favorite blog (Superhero Journal). The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge. What a fabulous idea. I can’t wait. And I’m already late! So here goes. I’ll start right now.

December 4: Book. Where No Gods Came, by Sheila O’Connor. Right before Daughter joined us, I read one of my all-time favorite books again. Maybe it’s because it was written by my Grad School Mentor, but mostly, I love it because it’s a beautiful story. I love it. I could read it again and again. Find it. Read it. You’ll love it. And if you can’t find it please let me know. I can find it for you. And then you’ll love it.

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I just canceled my Cooking Light subscription. Again. They kept sending me renewal notices for a year at $20. I’ve been subscribing to the magazine for at least 10 years. A new subscription is $9.99. HALF the price. Last year when this happened, I called, complained, and paid the lower rate. This year I keep returning the notices with a nice little note explaining my position. I haven’t heard a word from them. Yet. Meanwhile, I’ll stick to Eating Well, Bon Appetit. and Food and Wine.

But, before I let it go, as I still have a few months left, here’s a recipe we made tonight for dinner. Very simple, very tasty and very fast. Mongolian Beef with Green Onions. We served it over rice with some extra hot sauce and a nice Pinot Noir.

So, Goodbye Cooking Light. It’s been a good ten years, but I’m done. And BTW, the redesign? I don’t like it. Makes the magazine hard to read. All your pages look like ads. I’m disappointed. But keep posting those recipes to your website. I’ll find them there instead. And I’ll save that 20 dollar bill for more groceries. Thanks.

Oh – one more thing. Go the the Food & Wine website and sign up for their weekly newsletter. It’s the only one I receive that I look forward to, that I actually read. It’s great. Enjoy!

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I missed posting last week about how Thankful I am for friends, family, coworkers, sunrises, sunsets, chocolate, wine and fresh ahi tuna. So, thanks. And if you need to smile today, follow this link.

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