Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our Christmas Vacation....


Well, we're still on vacation, and it is sunny, but cold! The snow has all melted away, but the winds are 50 miles an hour or more. Hopefully no more snow will fall before we leave on our way back out East. It has been a vacation filled with lots of food and family. And of course, a little after Christmas Shopping.
While out shopping it is hard to believe the economy is so bad, there are so many people out shopping those bargains. I think the bargains are pretty much what they had before the Holidays, except for the wrapping paper and stuff. It's been nice not to worry about baking or prepping for a dinner.
I've been busy each day, helping my Mom with the B & B, turning over the guest rooms, as people come and go. Big crowd coming in for New Years. The great thing about them is no food, they fix their own. And Mom's last day of work at her day job is tomorrow, after 28 years as County Treasurer. She looks forward to retirement and running the Inn full-time, LOL.....
I'll leave you with thoughts of where I would really like to be........
On a Beach, On an Island, with a Pina Colada in one hand and a good book in the other! Until then think of warm thoughts.....

Monday, December 29, 2008

Daring Baker December Challenge.....




This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux. They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand. This is not the usual Yule Log that you know, the spiral one that looks like a log, with powdered sugar for snow. This is 6layers of craziness, or 7 in my case...


THE CHALLENGE RULE is that you MUST MAKE ALL 6 of these elements for the log:
1) Dacquoise Biscuit
2) Mousse
3) Ganache Insert
4) Praline (Crisp) Insert
5) Creme Brulee Insert
6) Icing

I decided to make mine in a round shape, like a torte. It wasn't too hard to do, if you did it in steps. I realize that, it may be too hard for the average Josephine....so I will just refer you to the recipe, instead of boring you with the 12 pages...LOL. And by the way, the person who wrote this lovely recipe, writes in French on her website, (a beautiful site, at that), so if you do decide to make it there are pictures that illustrate the steps.
Thanks for checking it out~!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What do you do on a Yucky Afternoon....


What do you do with 3 Four year olds on an afternoon, when it is cold and yucky outside.....Gingerbread Houses of course! My littlest one here, had a couple of friends over after school to do the traditional thing in our house, make gingerbread houses. Each year we make houses to spruce up our holiday table. I knew they would have so much fun, as long as they didn't eat alot of candy on the way. Which to my surprise they didn't.


They acted like quite the architects and designers, as they assessed how they were going to decorate. They didn't need much assistance at all, except to handle the pastry bag full of royal icing. The other two boys, who are twins, were very excited to show Mom and Dad. Word has it from their Mom, that the candy is now all stripped off, and located in the tummies of their siblings......Ours will last until I throw it away. My kids are more chocoholics, then hard candy eaters. That is why I made sure not to include M&M's...... LOL



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's a Holiday Open House in Blogland.....

It's Holiday Open House in Blogland and Kimba of "A Soft Place to Land" is today's hostess. So take some time to visit others and see what great decorating ideas you might get, just click on the sign above to link up! But, while your here take a stroll through my home, and see some of this year's holiday decor.


No snow here yet, so the entryway is all cleared off for you.


Coming into the foyer you notice the cute little built in bench of our house circa. 1885



And on the first landing, I am displaying my gingerbread cookie cutter collection.
Most are from the 40's and 50's, you can't find them anymore...

And look at this little Santa decorating his Gingerbread house...




Then there is the antique snowmen guarding their little house.



This wonderful Snowman stands guard in my dining room. One of many....


And this collectible hand-painted Santa, stands guard over my dough area.


For this skinny, tall tree, I decided to use my antique children's pots and utensils, as the ornaments. Since it is in the kitchen it makes sense that it have cooking utensils on it. And I think it turned out great!



A close-up of the tree, check out that Little Bo Peep percolating coffee pot!






I've been collecting Baking and Pastry Santas since they started making them.

And these are just a few....

Some sit on my Kitchen Mantel, overseeing all my Holiday Baking...





Our bigger tree in the living room. This is the one that Santa will visit.


The lights behind the bulbs, make them look luminary....



And when it is Holiday decorating day with the family, I make up a few pizzas, and play my large collections of Christmas CD. It really gets you in the mood...And of course we munch on all those Christmas cookies!


EASY PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE


INGREDIENTS

1 Tbl. dry instant yeast

1 1/2 c. warm water

2 tsp. sugar

1 Tbl. olive oil

3 1/2 c. flour

pinch of salt


DIRECTIONS

**In mixing bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and sugar let sit 5 minutes until bubbly.


**Add olive oil, flour, and salt, and mix with dough hook to combine. Then mix on medium for 5 minutes to knead it, until it comes away from side the bowl.


**Transfer to greased bowl, cover and let sit, until it doubles in size or about an hour. Punch down and let rise agin, about 30 minutes.


**Stretch out onto pizza pan, and top with your favorite toppings.


**This Dough amount will make one thick large 18" Pizza, or 2 thinner 16". I think it was pretty good thick, and the kids loved it!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Go Elf Yourself, We did!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bake Sale Crazy....


I'm in the kitchen trying to come up with great ideas and products for a bake sale on Friday. So, I am busy, busy....My kitchen counters are loaded with things waiting to be iced, waiting to be baked, and waiting to be packaged. Crazy life! I hope with the recession, people will still buy, buy, buy...or I will be freezing alot! I'll post soon about these great praline bars I have been making. De-lish!!! Off to catch up now!