Monday, November 29, 2010

What an Experience This Would Be

I received an email today with the link to this video and just had to share it with my fellow bloggers.

How incredible it would be to happen upon a group like this!

Monday, November 22, 2010

16 At Last

Happy 16th Birthday, G2! I hope all your dreams come true.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's Almost Cookie Time!

My friend, Lanyardlady, is gearing up to spend the day with her daughter making holiday cookies for their friends and family.

I love making cookies for the holidays so I'll be checking her blog on Sundays for any recipes she cares to share. I'm sure she'd love for you to stop by too.

When I read her blog entry yesterday evening I immediately thought of the incredible recipe I found for gingerbread men last year. You can go here to see it or I've added it below along with a couple of slight changes I made to the instructions - just as personal preference.

I made the small gingerbread house and men shown above and I must say they were by far the best gingerbread cookies I've ever eaten. I'll be making them every year from now on.

The two changes to the instructions I would suggest are -  (1) it says to roll the dough out to 1/8 inch but I like my cookies on the soft side so my dough was rolled to about 1/4 inch thick.

(2) instead of rolling the dough out on a floured board or counter top, I use equal parts of flour and sugar that have been mixed together. It keeps that flour-y build up off the bottoms of cookies.

Here's the recipe:

Gingerbread Men

1 (3.5 ounce) package cook and serve butterscotch pudding mix
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a medium bowl, cream together the dry butterscotch pudding mix, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon; stir into the pudding mixture. Cover, and chill dough until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare baking sheets by greasing them with a little shortening or by applying a light coat of non-stick spray. On a floured board, roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness, and cut into man shapes using a cookie cutter. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ten Times Four

Last month we celebrated Girlie's fourth birthday. It was a fun time!

Today, at exactly 1:18pm, Son (Girlie's dad) will be 10 times older than Girlie. (Check out what a cute baby he was back in the day by clicking here.)

I tried to find a nice way of saying, "Happy BIG 40, Son!" and this is what I came up with. Afterall, it's better than saying Son is 20 times older than G5.
But maybe an even nicer way would be to compare Son's age to Mickey Mouse. Mickey turned 80 yesterday.

Have a great weekend everyone! You too, Son!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One Yummy Recipe

Most people who know me know that I love to cook. The recipes I look for and use are down home recipes, comfort foods if you will.

There are some things I've just never tried using.

Puff pastry is one of those things.  A week or so ago I found a recipe that looked like fun on Picky Palate. It involved puff pastry, Nutella and marshmallows. Easy enough for someone using puff pastry for the first time.

The name of the recipe is Nutella-Mallow Pillow Pockets. And it is SO simple. The first thing to do is to remove the two pastry sheets from the box and put them on the counter to thaw. I put them on waxed paper to thaw.

Next, unfold them

and cut each one into four equal squares - well, as square as you can get them.

Get out the Nutella, a bag of mini marshmallows and some sugar. The original recipe calls for granulated sugar but I used raw sugar instead because the granules are a bigger.

Approximately 2 tablespoons of Nutella are spread to within 1/2 inch of the edges of each square and I did just that.

Let me say here that these are VERY rich pockets. I think in the future I'll cut the Nutella back to 1 tablespoon or so per puff pastry square.

Next, top the Nutella with 10 to 15 mini marshmallows.

Fold over each square to make a triangle and seal using the tines of a fork. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Oops! I forgot to take a photo of the next step. Mix 1 egg white with 1 tablespoon of water and brush each triangle with the mixture. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 22-25 minutes or until the pastry just turns golden.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. The pillow pockets can be sprinkled with powdered sugar but they are good with or without it.

That was my first experience with puff pastry. I think I'll be trying other recipes using it sometime soon.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Small Town Veteran's Day Parade

Hawk looking for a snack

Thursday and Friday were rainy days. That was a good thing because our neck of the woods has been very, very dry!

No luck so off he flew. 

Rain means clouds and thick clouds means hit-or-miss internet for us. Generally, it's more miss than hit! I was able to visit a few of your blogs and I was even able to comment on one or two.

I'm catching up now though because the rain has moved on. Just in time too.

Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day for a Veteran's Day Parade.

G1 and G2 were asked to bring their mini-sprints and join the parade of a small town a few miles south of where we live.

The local Boy Scouts carried the flags and led the parade - well, after the Sheriff's car and a police car anyway.

This parade had a very special start. When it got to the middle of town, the parade stopped and there was a prayer for all those, past and present, who have served in the military and for their families. Then there was a moment of silence for all those who have given their lives in service to the USA. I do believe you could have heard a pin drop. That was followed by the singing of the National Anthem.

Then the parade resumed. Despite their few numbers, the school band did a wonderful job!

The boys and their cars seemed to be pretty popular with the kids.

There were several veterans who rode their motorcycles in the parade.

Old Saint Nick even made an appearance!

After the parade was over we were invited to the local VFW for lunch. Guess who was in line? George Washington! He looked pretty good for his age too. I'd left my camera in the car and my phone doesn't take very good pictures.

When I got back to the car I remembered I had my small camera in my purse. So I could have shared a picture of George with you. Rats!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Boys' banquet and a Recipe

Last night was the boys' racing banquet. G1 is pretty proud to be the points champion this year.

G2 came in second. His trophy was really nice too.

Both boys got trophies for perfect attendance at the track. Those trophies were just a smidgen taller than me. (I'm 5' 4".) Here's AD with G1. 

And here he is with G2. I think it's pretty cool that G2's AE shirt has the number 9 on it. 

Here's a picture of the boys with their parents. It was a good night. 

G1 won this in the prize drawing. G2 won an air compressor. Congratulations to both boys on their race season!

I haven't posted a recipe in a long time. As I was blog hopping the other day I came across a recipe for

Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn. It is outrageously wonderful. If you try it, you might want to invite some people over. It makes a bunch!

I found the recipe here. Check out other recipes on the site. There's so many I want to try.

Cinnamon Caramel Corn with Pecans & White Chocolate
aka Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn 
Recipe from Our Best Bites

12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup kernels)
1 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup Karo syrup (or honey makes a good substitution)
1/2 cup (1 stick) real butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 squares almond bark (about 4 oz)*

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside. 

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a 2 liter capacity microwave safe bowl.  Mix well.  Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture.  Pour corn syrup over the top of everything.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine.  Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes.  Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more. 

Remove from microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda.  Stir to combine.  Mixture will foam and rise.  Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pecans and stir very well so everything is well coated.  

Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan.  Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  

Remove from oven and spread out on a large piece of parchment, waxed paper, or foil.** 

Melt almond bark according to package instructions.  Drizzle over popcorn mixture.  When almond bark is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks and enjoy!

*my note: In the package of almond bark that I used 2 squares equalled 4 ounces. Be sure to check your package.
** I thought I could skip this step because the caramel corn was already on foil. Ummmm - no! The caramel corn really does need to be moved to another piece of foil, parchment paper or waxed paper. I used parchment paper.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Is it just me?

I'm not sure what's going on. I visit all my blogger friends most everyday and most generally leave a comment - at least I TRY to leave a comment.

It seems recently that sometimes my comments go through and sometimes they just won't! And it varies from day to day which blogs I can't leave a comment on. It is just too weird.

So - is this happening to any of you?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Enduro Race and Demo Derby

I mentioned yesterday that we missed the big Neewollah parade because G1 and G2 were going to participate in the last Enduro race of the season on Saturday. It was a 200-lap race and the boys didn't fair as well as they did the last time.

This is the car G2 raced. It lasted for 128 laps.

Since the race was the day before Halloween, drivers could "dress" their cars up if they wanted too. This was G1's car. It's the same one he raced the last time, just painted like a patrol car. One of his friends had some old lights they he borrowed. They really worked. Too bad the car didn't work as well.

It only lasted 6 laps and died. G1 managed to get it up to the top of the track. Some of the other drivers evidently couldn't see it even though the lights were still running. G1 got hit 4 times from behind before they stopped the race and pulled him off the track.

This is how the car looked after we got it back up on the trailer. It almost looks like it was in the demo derby that was after the Enduro race.

These are some pictures from the demo derby.

It was pretty dusty.

I really wasn't as close as these pictures appear. I was using my zoom lens.

This car was NOT on fire.

It was a fun day. The only thing that's left of this race season is the banquet next weekend.