Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress):  Not much accomplished. I'm still working extra hours at the day job. Hopefully this week or next week will be the end of the extra hours.

Quote of the Week:  “Assume and expect nothing and you’ll be just fine.” ~ Unknown

What I'm reading: I'm still reading Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas. It's a good book, I'm just having a hard time finding time to read.

Random Things:  I'm attempting to cull my list of Christmas cookies I'm going to make this year. I want to pare it down from 6 to 7 different kinds to half that amount. The problem is my siblings each have a different favorite and are lobbying for the ones they like best.

Random Photo of the Week: 

     Somebody spent Thanksgiving hanging out under the table hoping for treats.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday Sweets

Since my writing time has been non-existent lately due to extra hours at the day job, I thought I would continue sharing recipes from family and friends on Mondays until after the holidays.

Today's recipe is for homemade almond bark. My sister makes this every year and gives it away in decorative tins. It's a huge hit among my family members.

Almond Cranberry Bark

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
16 ounces (1 pound) milk or dark chocolate wafers (The kind you use when you make your own chocolate candy for Easter. They are usually sold in the bulk section in the supermarkets in my area.)
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries (She has used the cherry and orange flavored cranberries in the past so feel free to experiment.)
1 tablespoon orange zest

Line baking sheet with waxed paper and set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and sugar. Stir constantly until the sugar melts and the almonds are a golden brown (about 4 to 5 minutes). Quickly spread the nut mixture onto the wax paper lined baking sheet. Remove the wax paper with the nuts from the baking sheet onto a flat surface. Allow nuts to cool completely.

Line the baking sheet with a clean sheet of waxed paper and set aside. Once the almonds are cool, melt the chocolate wafers using a double boiler. Be careful that the chocolate doesn't get too hot or it can scorch. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the almonds, cranberries, and orange zest. Pour onto the wax paper lined baking sheet as quickly as possible. Using a spatula, spread the mixture so it's evenly distributed and about 1/4 of an inch thick. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Cut or break into pieces. Store in container with a tight fitting lid to keep fresh.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you and your families had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. For those of you who do Black Friday shopping, I hope you find all the bargains you're looking for.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress):  Not much accomplished. I 'm still working extra hours at the day job.

Quote of the Week:  “You are the guardian of your joy. Don’t let anyone take it from you." ~ Unknown

What I'm reading: Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas. I'm a huge fan of Ms. Kleypas' books. 

Random Things: We received our first snowfall of the winter season. 14.2 inches. I much prefer the first snowfall of the season to be an inch or two. I like to ease into winter and all it entails - snow shoveling, treacherous driving conditions and such.

Random Photo of the Week:

                                           Somebody enjoying his new blanket. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever

I thought I'd share a recipe for chocolate chip cookies today. The recipe belongs to a friend who received it from her mother-in-law. I guess it's a sure sign your mother-in-law likes you when she shares the recipe she's famous for. My friend calls them MIL's chocolate chip cookies.

I call them the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever tasted. Here's the recipe:

2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup uncooked oatmeal (rolled oats)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips or peanut butter chips or any other type you'd like to use

Place butter in a medium sized saucepan. Melt butter and set aside. Add both types of sugar and mix well until well combined. Refrigerate for 10 minutes - keep it in the pan, just put the pan and all in the refrigerator. 

While you're waiting for the 10 minutes to pass, mix the flour, rolled oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl. When the 10 minutes are up, remove the pan from the refrigerator and add the vanilla, the egg, and the extra egg yolk and mix well.

Add the flour mixture to the pan and stir to combine. Add the chocolate chips and the second type of chips of your choice. Place parchment paper on your baking sheet. Take about a tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball using your palms. Set on the parchment paper on your baking sheet. When the sheet is full, place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. After the 30 minutes, take the baking sheet from the refrigerator and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cookies are golden in color. Remove from parchment paper to a cooling rack to allow cookies to cool completely.

Makes 24 cookies.

Friday, November 18, 2016

This I know for sure...

In the area where I live we get an average of 7 inches of snow in November. To date, we haven't received any snow worth mentioning. We received a few flakes in October that melted almost as soon as they touched the ground. Unfortunately, the lack of snow is going to come to a end.

The meteorologists are forecasting rain late in the day on Sunday, changing to snow through the overnight, and into Monday. They are calling for lake effect snow which means there will be bands of snow that can drop more than an inch an hour.

I'm not complaining that the snow is coming. After all I live in an area that gets an average of 100 inches of snow during the winter season. I am worried though because I just graduated last week from an orthopedic boot to a brace that you can wear in your shoe. The problem is that the only shoe I can wear with the brace on that doesn't put pressure on any of the surgical scars is a cloth slipper type slip-on shoe that has no tread to speak of. I'm worried about slipping on the ice that is sure to form under the snow since it's supposed to rain and then change to snow.

I'm going shoe shopping after work today and hoping I can find something with good tread on the soles that I can wear with the brace that doesn't hurt. I have to wear the brace until at least January 5th so I definitely need to find something I can wear in the snow while wearing the brace.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress):  Not much accomplished. I 'm still working extra hours at the day job. November is one of our busiest months as our fiscal year comes to an end.

Quote of the Week:  “Let it be enough.” ~ Sophie Bush

What I'm reading:  I just started Just Kiss Me by Rachel Gibson. I'm a big fan of her books. She writes wonderful contemporary romances. If you haven't read one, go to the library and borrow one or get one from the bookstore. You won't regret it.

Random Things:  I stopped at Michaels Craft store on my way home from work and bought the supplies I needed to start making my holiday cards. I hope to be able to start working on them this weekend.

Random Photo of the Week: 

 My new planner bands for the coming year. Ordered from Ronda's Planner Accessories.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Moving Forward

I realize the election was about a week ago and I normally stay away from any kind of political post, I thought the two quotes below are appropriate regardless of which candidate you supported.

"After the election...If you win, don't gloat. If you lose, don't despair. This has been hard on all of us. Treat others the way you want to be treated. We all will need it." ~ Unknown

"What counts now if not just what we are against, but what we are for. Who leads us is less important than what leads us -- what convictions, what courage, what faith..." ~ Adlai Stevenson

Friday, November 11, 2016

Happy Veterans Day

                                Please take a moment today to remember and honor
                                      our military veterans both past and present.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): Not much accomplished. I worked extra hours at the day job last week.

Quote of the Week:  “You can’t live your dreams and your fear at the same time. Furthermore, if you’re not living your dream, consider that you may be letting fear win.” ~ Unknown

What I'm reading:  I finally finished the Sarah MacLean book I was reading. I've just started Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

Random Things:  I've decided to do handmade Christmas cards this year. I haven't made any in the fast 6 years or so, but have been inspired by some of the cards I've seen posted online by other paper crafters. I don't send out very many so I should be able to get them made and sent by the second week of December.

Random Photo of the Week: 

                                Somebody's all tucked in and ready for winter.