Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wicked Wednesday Wrecipes

Please forgive me as I type sideways so the kidz can watch a movie. Also, I’m angstidy angsting over the impending visit to my mom. She’s doing well, surgery went fine and she wants to go HOME! But my brother convinced her to go to a rehab place, which gives me time to find a decent airfare. So to relieve anxiety, instead of typing something out, sideways, (which can only end badly considering how poorly I type head-on) I am going to link to what can only be described as a “show-stopping” dessert. I made a half recipe, which filled 4 mini spring -form pans, based only on having read the post.


I am definitely making this full size next chance I get.

Smitten Kitchen, my hips curse you!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just When you Think you can take a deep breath....

Life kicks you in the stomach.

I got a call from my Mom's friend last night that she (Mom) had fallen in her house. She got herself into a wheelchair and thought she had just bruised herself, then at some point decided to have Flo take her to the ER. Long story short: she's fractured the top of her tibia and has been admitted. We're (my bros & me) waiting on what the ortho doc has to say regarding what inevitably will be a surgical repair procedure. Needless to say, I'm sure her osteoporosis will have an effect on whatever is the course of action.

Mom of course wants to go home yesterday; it's been 11 or 12 years almost exactly (Xmas eve last time) since she broke her other hip. She had complications by way of pneumonia then, hence her urgency to get home "before she catches something" in the hospital.

My two nice guacamoles offered to go down if she needs assistance and my older brother & I anticipate going down for a bit to help her get settled. Sometime after the end of the week will probably be decision time as to who goes when. Happy New Year............riiiight.
My brother had told me last night "tibia", because that's what my mom had told him; all along, from info Flo had told me, as well as the same brother, I was visualizing the injury as near her hip. In the back of my head I sort of knew "tibia" isn't the leg bone up to the hip. I clarified with my brother today: she fractured the top of her femur and she is having the top of that bone replaced as her osteoporosis won't allow for the use of screws.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Breakfast

favorite mug

One of my favorite mugs from the Cruz pottery near Madrid, Spain, and one of my cinnamon rolls and the Boston Sunday Globe crossword.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Oh Joy!

Look what my favorite daughter and her cabana boy

2 guacamoles

got me for Christmas:

new camera

!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited!

Here are the rest of my gifts:

gift haul


“Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow” is from my barn owner; all the rest is from the kids-“Hello Cupcakes!” and “Bent Objects” AND (!!!!!!!!) “The Pioneer Woman Cooks”, fleece jammie bottoms and a fleece jacket. The jacket matches the camera- HA!

I went to my stitching store closing sale today and got this:

out of business sale

more Thread Gatherers silks, the fabric for CaHRH, plus 2 more pieces, a couple of packages of needles and Deb threw in 2 freebie charts.

Chickie left me a couple of “presents” in the basement. We’re having a little chat tonight about that.

I had a wonderful day- I hope you did as well.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Take a deep breath…

Merry Christmas eve! I have wrapping & cleaning to do; “White Christmas” is on amc; I’m waiting on the 2 guacamoles to come home from work& we’ll be getting Chinese for supper.

I made pot roast #1 today, cinnamon rolls, green brownies & dinner rolls.  I really don’t want to finish wrapping- I keep finding other things to do (like blog-writing!)

cinnamon rolls

Can’t wait for tomorrow  morning!

blurry chickie

“did someone say ‘Chinese food’???” 

xmastree 2009

We have lots more gifts than I expected.

I’m making churros for the kids for breakfast tomorrow, and will have to get up in the middle of the night to throw another pot roast in the Crockpot for dinner. Then mashed spuds, squash, green beans & corn and I’m done!

And this little one- she found her Xmas present and opened it! And started eating it! On my bed!!!



Merry Christmas to all and to all, a good night!"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

This is a very dense, heavy cake. Is that a New York-style? It is very important that the cream cheese be at room temperature so that it blends smoothly with no lumps.

Gerry’s Cheesecake

Crusts (choose one):


  • 2 cups finely processed graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 6 TBSP melted butter or margarine


  • 1-1/2 cup finely processed graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup finely processed walnuts or pecans or combination
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 6 TBSP melted butter or margarine


  • 2 cups finely processed chocolate grahamy bear cookies
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 6 TBSP melted butter or margarine

Crust Directions:

Combine all crust ingredients in a medium bowl. Press mixture into 9” springform pan- press up sides first, then press remainder onto bottom. Refrigerate while preparing filling.


  • 32 oz. cream cheese (4 bars)- softened to room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2-1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp FRESH lemon juice

Filling Directions:

In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients until smooth with mixer. Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. DO NOT open oven! Turn oven off and leave cake inside for additional 30 minutes. Remove from oven & chill.


I use a 9” springform pan. My oven runs a tad hot so I turned the temp down to about 340 degrees. I wrapped in plastic while it still was a wee bit hot, and took the picture the following morning. When I peeled back the film, some condensation dripped on the top of the cake, which is the source of the pale spots. :^(

Nothing that some raspberry topping won’t cure!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Suffice it to say that we have a LOT of snow. Sorry- no pictures- I made myself busy baking cookies all day. Chickie hopped off the bed at 4:30 this morning, so I followed her down. I had to shovel the patio and a small place for her to tinkle; we had close to a foot then. After I got her settled, I continued shoveling my car & driveway- at least a path to the street so I could walk Miss Fussbudget. By 6:00 am, with the snow still coming down to beat the band, i was finished and went back to bed. I woke back up around 8:00. I made a short walk to Walgreens for a paper & some shortening & started in on baking.

At 3:30, i stopped to shovel again, and take Chickie for her afternoon constitutional. Short phone break with the BF, and I have one more batch of cookies, and then baklava to make.

Before I forget, here is a stitching update:


That silk floss is very variegated; it’s kind of a trick to do. i know on the model, they stitched it symmetrically. They must have started each leaf with a new ply of floss and stitched in the same direction (or mirror image direction). I’m not that clever, and I’m also a frugal Yankee bitch! I’m still loving it though!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Good News, Bad News….

First the good stuff:









new stockinfs 

For the 2 guacamoles.


last fabrics

L to R: 32 ct. Mushroom lugana, 36 ct white linen, 36 ct. LSL “Patina”, 32 ct LSL “Sand Dune”

Now the bad news, and it’s bad…

Cranberry Cross Stitch is closing its doors! WWWAAAAHHHH!!!!! By the end of the month! WWWWAAAAHHHH!!!!!!

Several of our group have stepped up and offered to host us at their homes. I so hope we can keep our group going! I look forward to Thursday like, well, like Christmas! We have such a good time- laughing , stitching, bitching and eating. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself at home on a Thursday. The only slightest consolation is the sale Deb’s having after Xmas. I bought the fabrics because you have to “see” the color in person, and I’ll probably head back for silk threads; hopefully there’ll be some left.  Sigh*

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winter Wednesday Wrecipes

Well, Christmas doesn’t begin with a “w”. What was with the internet today? Was everyone ordering online? Facebook barely worked at all. Anyway, it’s late; I almost skipped a recipe but realized I had this one on file already. I make a couple of pans of this very year- one whole pan goes to my boss, and I split the second into two smaller pans for a couple of special relatives.


  • Honey Syrup (see recipe below)
  • ¾ cup each finely chopped pecans, walnuts & almonds
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1-1/4 cups butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 package (16 oz) Athens frozen filo dough-

use one roll of dough; save other for later or keep frozen. Please note there are approx. 21 leaves per roll of dough, though sometimes as many as 24 - divide total number by 3 for 3 equal amount layers of dough separated by 2 layers of nuts

Prepare honey syrup and set aside. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix nuts & spices.

Melt butter.

Brush bottom and sides of 9” x 13” baking pan (disposable aluminum works great) with some butter. Open filo and unfold leaves; cover with damp towel & plastic wrap to prevent drying (see filo package directions).

Carefully separate 1 leaf and set in buttered baking pan. Brush lightly with butter and repeat 6 times, ending with butter.

Sprinkle ½ the nut mixture evenly over top to edges. Layer 7 more filo leaves in pan, brushing each layer with butter. Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture. Layer remaining filo leaves over nuts, brushing each layer with butter.

With a sharp knife, cut pastry into 6 lengthwise strips about ½” deep (not thru to bottom of pan). Make diagonal cuts across strips ½” deep and 2” wide. Pour any remaining butter over top. Bake until golden brown, 22-28 minutes. Place pan on wire rack; pour Honey Syrup over top. Cool completely. Cut along scored lines to serve. Refrigerate leftovers, but best served at room temperature.

Honey Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-3/4 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup honey

Heat sugar, water & lemon juice to boiling; stir until sugar is dissolved. Boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in honey. Cool and set aside.


A bevy of bountiful baklava

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

If I Only Had a Brain....

One of my books:
I told the sales guy: It's DEFINITELY got "Venice " in the title- maybe "Butcher of Venice"?
He searched by "Venice", "butcher", murder/mystery- nada.
Guess what? The book is called "The Monster of Florence". *SNORK* at least I had a city in Italy correct.

Sooooooooooo close. But close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I’m Dreaming of…

lots of sleep! Trip #2 to Boston this morning for another load of stuff. I’m glad to say it’s actually looking like she’s divesting of things. It was sweet going in- I hit all the lights on Mass Ave. green until Huntington. Then all green again until Beacon. Same going out- all greeeen!


I went to ride this afternoon, the Axester was a gem as usual. Just after I started, the hay guy showed up with 375 bales of hay. I helped Jim & Jodi unload what was left- about a third of the truck. It’s nice clean-smelling stuff, and each bale feels like the “right” weight. The horses got scraps from the couple of broken bales- they snarfed that right down! But now my hands are a bit sore. i had my pebble-grip knit gloves, which was better than nothing, but they really weren’t heavy enough protection from the baling wire. Last night we all got together for  Xmas dinner at the Longhorn. It was my first time there- it was excellent! I got steak tips, mashed & a Caesar salad. The waitress screwed up – Jim & Jodi ordered the same thing and the waitress put a “2” next to their order. Jim got 2 baked potatoes, and Jodi didn’t even get a plate! They expedited her plate, though, and she was eating about 5 minutes after us (we all waited initially). We were done early, so I did a bit of shopping at Borders. I totally wasted about 15 minutes of the floor help’s time- I vaguely knew the titles and premises of 2 different genres of books, but not enough for him to actually find what I wanted. Not his fault at all- it was my fault! You can take the girl out of the barn, but you can’t put her in a book store!

Friday, December 11, 2009


You may have seen on other blogs, Friday Fill-Ins.

I went, I saw, I copied, I pasted:

1. Good times: __a plate of cookies & a cup of tea__.
2. _I NEED to sell_ my home.
3. Sleigh bells ring _are you listening ?
4. ___Money- just a _ little.
5. Once more __I don’t want to ride_.
6. ___Will this cold snap ever__ end?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _TV watching_, tomorrow my plans include __visiting Bob & barn Xmas dinner_ and Sunday, I want to __sleep___!

And in an awesome development, I stitched today! I actually stitched!


Yes, Virginia, there IS a Great Pumpkin!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wicked Wednesday Wrecipes

I got this recipe of Martha Stewart’s site- it came up as a Cookie-of-the-day newsletter. They came out very good when all was said & done; I would say that the frosting recipe needs a little work- mine came out a bit grainy from what I think are minute flecks of butter due to the technique of the recipe, not so much the ingredients. That said, I followed the directions exactly for both parts and made no substitutions. (But OMG! I just did the most stupidest thing with a frozen pizza!!!!) Here’s the link to Martha’s Recipe.

Surprise Cookies

  • 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 large marshmallows, cut in half horizontally
  • Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light & fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, milk and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add reserved flour mixture; mix on low speed until combinedsurprise cookies1
  3. Using a tablespoon or 1-3/4” ice cream scoop, drop dough onto ungreased or parchment lined baking sheets about 2” apart. bake until cookies begin to spread and become firm, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Remove baking sheets from oven and immediately place a marshmallow half, cut side down, on top of each cookie, pressing down slightly. Return to oven and continue baking until marshmallows begin to melt, 2 to 2-1/2 minutes. Transfer cookies to baking rack to cool completely before frosting.surprise cookies2
  5. Spread about 1 TBSP of frosting over each marshmallow, starting in center and spreading outward until marshmallow is covered.

surprise cookies3

Chocolate Frosting For Surprise Cookies

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 4 TBSP (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Place confectioners sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in butter and cocoa powder. Add milk and vanilla and whisk until well combined.

My cookies came out taller. I did pat down the tops of each marshmallow as I took them out to cool. My frosting is not nearly as shiny as hers. Maybe her stylists took the photo of freshly frosted cookies? They tasted great, though. If I make them again, I might make a ganache with milk chocolate and a bit of corn syrup for shine, instead of her frosting.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter Wonderland…



My cell phone (new this year) takes the most crap-tastic photos!

Also, load one of daughter’s stuff was picked up & brought home yesterday. Sunday morning is the best time to drive into downtown Boston. Now I have about 4 more loads to do! (Corolla)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

At least someone around here gets spa treatments!


dirty blanket

 dirty face

I have to deal with this EVERY day!

(sorry for the poor quality cell phone photos. )

Saturday, December 5, 2009

You better Watch out…

or your ornament hooks will get into the liquor cabinet and hold a wild party over the year hidden in their box in the basement:

ornament hook orgy

The only thing you can do to separate them is to pick them up by the scruff of their skinny little necks and give them a good shaking.

Enough came to their senses so I could complete this project:

tree 2009

I also finally had some time for this:


Sorry about the funny angle; I love those crows!

Friday, December 4, 2009

A bunch of party animals!

Those stitchy ladies partied me right under the table! We had a wonderfully fun time at Linda’s house last night- tons of food &  tons of laughs.

We tried to limit the food to an appetizer and a dessert each, but we still had way too much- but in a good way!

We had hummus, chili dip, shrimp cocktail, spinach cheese squares, antipasto squares, cheese & crackers, kielbasa bites, my empanadas, gingerbread, cupcakes, a chocolate chip spread, fruit, fruit tartlets- and that’s all I can remember.

I came home with wonderful gifts: a pretty Xmas mug & tea, a snowflake fleece throw, a fragrance diffuser (lavender- my favorite!), some delightful hand crème (cucumber/melon), and some stunning handmade note cards- real flower buds attached to the face of the cards.

xmas haul

Here’s what I made:


I put a tube of Udderly Smooth hand cream and some Lindt chocolates inside.

I came home stuffed and tired; luckily I had Joanne and Jeanne chauffeuring me- thanks girls!

It was such fun- thanks to all the “bitches”! ;^)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

Please forgive my one day break- a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

I made these for our Stitch & Bitch Xmas party at Linda’s tomorrow night:

Spinach Empanadas


  • Two- 8 oz packages cream cheese, chilled
  • ¾ cup butter or margarine, chilled
  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt


  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled (reserve bacon fat drippings)
  • one- 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained & squeezed dry
  • one- 8 oz container cottage cheese (1 cup)
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg, beaten


This dough recipe is too big to fit in my full-size Kitchen Aid, so I divided all dough ingredients in half, then combined everything back together in a large mixing bowl at the end.

1. To make pastry: In large bowl of food processor, add 1-1/4 cups flour & 1/8 tsp salt; pulse a couple of times to combine. Add one package cream cheese, chunked, and half the butter, chunked.


Pulse or process until mixture is crumb-y and starting to come together in a ball.


Turn out into a large mixing bowl, and repeat with remainder of dough ingredients. With lightly floured hands, knead mixture about 2 minutes until it comes together into a cohesive, smooth ball. Divide ball into 2, flatten and cover each tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours, or freeze for 30 minutes

2. To make filling: In medium skillet, cook onion & garlic in bacon drippings for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is tender but not brown. Stir in crumbled bacon, the spinach, cottage cheese, pepper & nutmeg. Let the mixture cool.


3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one round of dough to 1/8” thickness. Using a 3” round cutter (or glass), cut out as many pastry circles as possible, re-rolling scraps and using second ball of dough as necessary. Place 1 scant teaspoon of the filling on each pastry circle. Do NOT overfill!! Moisten edges of the circle with the beaten egg and fold the circle in half over the filling. Pinch edges tightly closed.


5. Place the pastries on ungreased or parchment lined baking sheets. Gently seal the edges of the empanadas with the times of a fork. Brush the tops of each pastry with the beaten egg and prick a small vent in each with the fork.


6. Bake in 425 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or golden brown.



These freeze well and reheat in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes.