Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing You All A Merry Christmas

Wishing you all the very best of the Christmas Season. May the joy and peace of Christ live within your homes always and may your New Year be all that you deserve it to be.

God bless each and every one of you.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Concert

Thought that I would share some pictures that I took of our school Christmas Concert/Mass. These first ones are of some of the students getting ready downstairs at the church.

This is a photo of one of the students I work with a great deal. Doesn't she look lovely?

These are many of the students in my class. One of whom just loves to get his picture taken. Notice him waving at me.

Some of the actors from the live Nativity lining up on the church stairs just before going in .

The students in the class I work in lining up with their candles on the stairs, this was just prior to the Entrance hymn.

The Grade 4 class singing one of the hymns during the Mass.

Some of the French Immersion students acting out the Gospel.
All in all a very good night.

Off to visit you all.

Have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Look What Came In The Mail

I meant to post this on Friday evening, but got caught up in the daily give and take of life. Meaning I spent part of the evening going over the Circle journal from the previous year and reaquainting myself with everyone.

Then yesterday afternoon, upon returning from my visit with a friend, I started to read the second journal. Today will be my first day of recording my experiences. So many of you lead much more exciting lives than I do, but I hope to leave with all of you a glimpse of what living on the prairies of Canada is like.

The other wonderful gift that arrived in the mail at the same time is this.... my book swap partner sent me these. Thank you Mary

I was partnered with Mama Bear from Bears In Exile/Return Home

Thank you Mama Bear for the lovely recipe book and the Heather Grahame novel. I really like to read her novels and this looks to be a great one.

Now I need to go and get a little done before we leave for Mass this morning. Hope to share some more surprises with you over the days leading up to Christmas. I will be visiting off and on all day. Kurt is home and I will have to wrestle the computer away from him at some point.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Still Busy In The Kitchen

I have one thing to share with all of you before I start my kitchen adventures. I recieved this lovely parcel from Carrie at Under The Willows. It is her laundry detergent sample packaged just beautifully for me to try. It is going to get used this weekend. It smells so good that I can hardly wait to use it!

This chocolatey goodie is called Chocolate Brittle Surprise. Thought I would share the recipe with all of you.

Chocolate Brittle Surprise
35 unsalted soda crackers (this is the surprise) 2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup margarine or butter 1 cup chopped pecans (I use walnuts)
1 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking oil spray. Place crackers on foil in 5 x 7 rows. Microwave butter on high for 2 minutes. Add brown sugar and stir. Microwave on high for 2 more minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour over crackers and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. It should bubble but not burn. Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot crackers and let soften. Spread the chocolate over top. Sprinkle with nuts. Chill 1 hour and break into pieces. This can be frozen.

This is my version of Peanut Butter Cups. I am too lazy to coat the small cups with chocolate and chill.

Peanut Butter Cups
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
2/3 cup graham wafer crumbs
30 mini paper cups

Melt the margarine and peanut butter in a large saucepan, cooking over medium heat until completely melted. Stir in icing sugar and graham cracker crumbs. press about 1/2 tbsp into each paper cup.

Melt the chocolate chips with about 2 tbsp margarine. Spoon and smooth over the peanut butter filling

Cream Cheese Mints

4 oz package softened Cream Cheese
3 1/2 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
1/8 or more tsp peppermint flavouring
Dipping chocolate

Combine cream cheese, icing sugar, and peppermint flavouring in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed. Roll into small balls and press down with a fork.

Melt chocolate and dip the patties into the chocolate. Lay on waxed paper to harden.

This is the start of my cookie making. These are my favorites, Whipped Shortbread...the jar is getting empty, just may have to make some more.

Whipped Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter softened
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, butter and icing sugar. With an electric mixer beat until light and fluffy about 10 minutes. Form doug into balls and press down with a small glass. You can decorate them with sprinkles, or cut up pieces of red and green marachino cherries.

Bake for 12 tp 15 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies afe lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes. Store in an air tight container.
Off to visit all of you this evening.
Everyone have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sharing Recipes

Thought that I better share a few of my recipes from my last post.

Pastry for 12 tarts (I cheat and buy mine ready made)
Pour boiling water over
1/2 cup raisins
Let soak until the edges of the raisins turn white. Drain.
Cream 1/4 cup butter or margarine
Add 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar and beat thoroughly.
Add 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 beaten egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
Few drops lemon juice.
Combine until blended.
Fold in the drained raisins and then spoon the mixture into the unbaked tart shells. Fill each tart about 2/3 full.
Bake at 375 for about 20 to 25 minutes, trying not to let the filling to boil (I never seem able to do this).
This recipe doubled and triples easily.

Chocolate Snowballs
1 large package chocolate chips
2 cups coconut
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
Melt chocolate chips and butter in a large saucepan. When the chocolate is melted and smooth, mix in the coconut and the icing sugar (powdered sugar). You may need to add a bit more icing sugar to the mixture. Form into balls and let harden. Just before serving roll in some more icing sugar if desired.

Old Fashioned Caramels
1 cup butter or margarine
2 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
14 oz can Condensed milk (not evaporated)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Line a 9 x9 pan with foil and butter lightly. In a heavy 3 qt saucepan, melt the margarine, and when melted add the brown sugar and mix well. Stir in the corn syrup and cook over medium low heat until the sugar dissolves and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat and stir in the condensed milk. Cook over medium low, stirring constantly, until candy thermometer reaches firm ball stage or about 244F. This takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Cool to room temperature. When candy has completely set, carefully remove the foil from the pan. Using a thin blade, cut into pieces, using a sawing motion. Wrap each piece in waxed paper. Store in refridgerator. Makes about 2 lbs of candy.
I have had to put the caramels back in the fridge to harden while cutting them as the heat from the blade and my hand softens them.

Scotch Shortbread
1 lb butter
1 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Cream butter and icing sugar together in medium sized bowl. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt until a soft dough forms. Press dough into 2 pie plates. Prick dough with fork every 2 inches or so. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or until golden. Cut into wedges while still warm. When completely cool remove wedges and store in an air tight container.

I have been busy with more baking over the last week. Hopefully I will be able to post again tomorrow and share a few more of our family favorites with all of you.

Off to visit all of you, hope the coffee is on.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Baking the Days Away

This past week and the weekend saw me getting started on my baking for Christmas.

The first thing I got ready were my Buttertarts. Christmas isn't Christmas without these. I managed to make 3 pails full or 5 dozen of the little fellows. Had to taste test them of a few less than 5 dozen went in the freezer.

Two plates of buttery shortbread were next on the list. Had to try these as well, I don't want to serve anything I wouldn't eat myself....Would I?

Candy making started today. So far I have made......

Almond Bark......

Chocolate Snowballs. These will be rolled in icing sugar just before serving.

Caramels, cooling and waiting to be cut and wrapped.

Tomorrow I plan on making Whipped Shortbread Cookies, and Nut Toffee. Slowly but surely I am getting everything done. I may even get time to get a few of my refrigerator cookie recipes rolled into logs and into the fridge.

Well off to vist you all, between running to see the conclusion of The Amazing Race.

Everyone have a wonderful evening.

God bless.