Archive | December, 2010

The Best and the Worst: Holiday Edition

23 Dec

I consider myself somewhat of a Christmas music expert (a Christmas music expert and a chuche expert) and these are my most favorite and least favorite seasonal tunes…

The best: Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, “A Christmas to Remember”

This song is a classic!  The album it is off (Once Upon a Christmas) is a classic!  The ridiculous mannequin-filled video is a classic!  And I love, love, love Dolly’s voice!  (Did I include enough exclamation points for you?)

Kenny and Dolly

And now for the worst: “The Little Drummer Boy”

This song is a real stinker!  I can’t put my finger on what it is I don’t like about it but…I don’t like it one bit!

Key Lime Pie

20 Dec

Raise your hand if you have eaten half of a key lime pie in the last 24 hours!  Am I the only one?

Last night we baked a key lime pie using this simple recipe.

Finally bored of waiting for us to drop ingredients on the floor, Fig curled up near the kitchen as we baked.

Normally I would feel guilty about consuming this much butter, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk but if Mother Nature can snow and snow and snow like this, well then I can have key lime pie with Diet Coke for breakfast!

The dangerous, delicious pie.

Girlie Times

18 Dec

On Friday I had dinner and a night out in Uptown with the sweetest girls I know!

Pasta sauce (for our dinner).

Adorable cups and straws (courtesy of Target).

And the ladies themselves.

But you just wait because the girlie times did not end there!  On Saturday we stopped by Maya’s Christmas party.  The apartment has a stunning view of Minneapolis that unfortunately does not photograph well, so you’ll have to take my word for it.  I loved catching up a little bit with our Carleton friends last night!

Me and the girls (minus Megan) at Maya's! (The wonky eyes in the photo are the result of my poor attempts to correct red eye, oh dear, those peepers are looking very wonky...)

So, how was your weekend?

Sugar and Spice

15 Dec

First for the sugar.

My mater and I stopped in at Williams Sonoma a few nights ago and we spent time sizing up the store’s candy selection.  I squealed when I spotted my very favorite foreign chuche!  We peeked at the label and of course, the little sweets are a product of Spain.  I pulled the only producto de España right off of that shelf!  I am waiting for my confectionery expert badge to come in the mail any day now!  Not only do I have an extensive knowledge of American treats I am now branching out and becoming an international chuche connoisseur, if you will.

Fiona's Red Berry Blocks.

And my favorite candy. I imagine that Santiago would be very proud of my discovery.

Now for the spice.

I made an attempt at gingerbread cookies and I used this recipe of Martha Stewart’s.  Gingerbread men are my favorite holiday cookie but I had never made them for myself.  My cookies are doughier than I like but I’ll chalk this batch up as a valiant early effort in my gingerbread career.  Now, if I can find a hardening cookie glaze that does not call for confectioner’s sugar (our family doesn’t care for the too sweet taste of royal icing) I will be able to bake you the perfect batch of gingerbread cookies!

Gingerbread trees and gingerbread bells.

And my spicy gingerbread tree (that I am about to eat)!

And finally, this is something nice (and almost too pretty) that I am listening to on a quiet Wednesday night…

Digging Out

12 Dec

Freezing my tushy off!

The city was buried in nearly two feet of snow yesterday!

Because I get restless trapped inside for hours and hours on end my mater and I went on an expedition this morning.  The wind chapped my cheeks and the bright snow made my eyes ache…but sometimes you just have to stretch out your legs and and breathe some fresh (chilly) air.

Minnehaha Creek.

Ducks, paddling away in what must have been very icy water. I loved how their bright orange feet looked under the cold, clear creek. Those are some tough birds!

Lake Nokomis.

Snow-covered pine trees.

I am savoring the last precious pages of my novel…

Winter Weather Woes

11 Dec

A big, bad winter storm has hit the Twin Cities!  I heard a rumor (on WCCO News) that 14 inches of snow have fallen in Minneapolis.

Kitty was intrigued by the snow whipping past the picture window this morning.

And I bravely posed on our sidewalk earlier tonight; that snow drift there looks about as big as I am! Holy cow!

Our street is a serious snowy mess.

And our neighbor's car, buried.

I’m tucked in at home with a good book, a cuddly kitty, and some Hot Tomales.  Bring it on Mother Nature!*

*I am strictly joking and do not in any sense want to challenge Mother Nature; Mother Nature has dominated the state of Minnesota today and should not be further provoked…

Friday Flowers

10 Dec

Happy Pink Day, you guys!

Big fat lilies, gifted to me by my favorite boyfriend last week for my birthday (that we celebrated a few days early).

One more shot of my lovely birthday blooms.

I’ve been working away as a Christmas elf all day and now I’m mulling over what to do about my holiday card situation.  I’m thinking this project will rely very heavily on Martha Stewart and the items that I can find in our attic crawl space.

The crafting supplies I've assembled.

Well, I’m going to go listen to this Cheryl Cole song and eat some Swiss cheese (while brainstorming my Christmas card options)!