We leave for the OC first thing in the morning... I've run myself ragged these past few weeks, I can hardly believe it's actually time to go. I hope to share with you upon our return, all the funnes to be had with the niece and nephews and get to hear all about your wonderful holiday celebrations as well.
Enjoy your families, friends and have a blessed holiday!
Here is my entry for this month's Tie One On. I'm thinking it's pretty obvious that this month's theme was "Holiday Apron." The other entries won't be revealed till January 1st, but that is okay, it will sort of be like getting another gift a week after Christmas.
"Too bad I don't cook..."
I plan on taking this with me to California. My dad has requested that I be the one who help him cook the Christmas Dinner. My first thought when he asked me this was, he must be drunk. I mean, does he really know what he's getting himself into by having me anywhere near the kitchen? There are knives and ovens and other things in there that I have no idea how to use... But I figure if I wear this while helping, at least I'll look the part. Maybe I can convince him to just put me in charge of the blender. "Cocktails anyone?"
Each year since my mom passed away, I've received a Christmas card from one of her very dear friends, Sandy. It really is a testament to their friendship and it means so much to me that she has kept her contact with me.
My mom and Sandy met back in 1977 when my mom took a leap of faith, quit her good paying job, and decided she was going to be an Interior Designer. Just like that she said to herself, I want to be a designer and poof, she was a designer. She put together some drawings, took pictures of her own house and went into a Design House and told them they should hire her. They did. Sandy worked there too and they soon became fast friends. Both were recently divorced, raising their children, and just trying to make their way by utilizing their creative talents. About 2 years later they parted ways from the Design House and started their own business. They created "We Hang Together" and soon found themselves overbooked, designing and hanging wallpaper all over Southern California. The business eventually closed and they went their seperate ways as far as working went, but remained best friends till the day my mom passed. They had a connection; fearless, seekers of beauty, sense of humor, artists, independent women...
Sandy was such a good and dear friend to my mom and for that I will always hold a special place in my heart for her. She and her husband live in Hawaii now and I look forward each year to receiving a card in July (my birthday) and her yearly home-made card for Christmas...
I couldn't ask for anything more... Christmas night, movie theater, Will Ferrell starring in the role of Franz Liebkind, the Neo-Nazi Playwright and Pigeon Fancier responsible for penning the worst play ever written. I mean, what could be better? A little New York, a lotta' Broadway, some Will Ferrell AND pigeons? I'm so there!
This is what happens when you try and bake 4 different types of cookies in one day, along with finishing up your Christmas Cards, sew some Christmas Presents, oh and also attempt a Pot Roast for dinner... It was inevitable, something had to give.
Unfortunately for me, it was my Tea Time Tassies. They actually tasted fine, they just weren't too pretty to look at. Here is the recipe...
3 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sifted Flour
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbs. Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
Dash of Salt
3/4 Cups Pecans (broken up bits)
Soften & Blend Cream Cheese & Butter, stir in Flour. Chill for 1 hour.
Shape into 1 inch balls and press into muffin tins; bottoms and sides. (mini tins) Filling Directions:
Beat egg with sugar, butter, vanilla & salt, stir in nuts. Spoon into tins, about 1/2 - 1 Tbs per cookie.
Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 min. Yields- 2 dozen
I also made Bourbon Balls, Sand Tarts and Hello Dolly's...
I inherited these from my Grandma, Bertha Williams. I also got the recipe for Tea Time Tassies from her... They are like little mini pecan pies and the best cookie ever. It was a Christmas time cookie tradition at our house to bake these and a few others. My mom and I would spend a whole day making all of our families favorites; Bourbon Balls, Sand Tarts, Hello Dolly's, and Tea Time Tassies of course. I always loved getting to make the dough and then form the little pie shells in these mini tins. It was sort of like making a Pecan Pie for my Barbie doll.
Come back tomorrow to see the actual cookies... (If there are any left over, that is...)
"This is just about the best thing that happened to me today..." Low Fat Egg Nog Latte...
Seriously though, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I think I've bitten off more than I can chew, but then again what else is new? Since tomorrow is another day, I'm thinking I need to forget the Grande and just go for the Venti!
I've been feverishly working on our Christmas cards most of the weekend... A lot of cutting was involved, some gluing of course and I even got to use a hammer of all things. My least favorite part was tying the strings. But I think we definitely will be getting our 2005 Christmas Message out to all those who will be recieving...
I am just off my game this weekend... We went to a holiday dinner last night with some friends and I got home too late and too tipsy to post day 9. Whoopsi! There were holiday drinks, great company and good food, but do you think I remembered to take any pictures? Well, I did take 1...
Sour Apple Martini... Yummy!
Is it wrong that I never even got out of my jammies or left the house today?
With a full day off today due to "Icy Roads" (say this in a sarcastic voice like me...) I took full advantage to surf the web for gift ideas for some hard to shop for family members. I stumbled on what I think is going to be one of the all time best gifts. Ever. One of my favorite bloggers, anh-minh lead me in the direction of this fabulous idea. So to her I owe a big BIG Thank You. Genius, I tell ya! I can't wait to see how it all turns out... I will be a bit crunched for time, but all the same I just know it is going to be a great gift.
Up till now I was just a casual user, but for this project, I had to go Pro.
And to think just 4 days ago it was 80+ degrees outside... Today; Freezing Rain. I think the temperature was ... Uhhhh, I don't know like 19? Who cares, all I know is we got told to go home from work at 2:30pm, and I was out the door and home in this position by 2:45pm. It don't get any better than this!
Anyone else not impressed with Oprah's Favorite Things list this year? I thought it was real sweet choosing to surprise and give the "Things" to all the selfless volunteers who dedicated themselves to physically help out Katrina Victims and all, but I just thought the "Things" were less than overwhelming. I really only saw one thing that I have on my own list...
I hope Santa is paying attention...
Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker...
Subscription to Real Simple Magazine ~ Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
Walk the Line Sountrack ~ Jimmy Buffett; Live at Fenway Park
Years ago my Grandma made this felt tree to use as a package design. My mom's side of the family always had a tradition to "decorate" their packages instead of just "wrapping" them with paper and bows. Some how this tree survived many many Christmas' and my mom inherited it from her mom. She then began her own tradition of ALWAYS putting it on my brother, Scott's packages. He commented that it was old and ugly so I think she secretly did it just to creep him out. It got to be quite funny over the years, "Noooo, not the Tree on my package again this year!" he would say. Eventually he caught on and would look for it to appear on a package of his and would wait for mom to leave the house and he would remove it from his package and put it on one of hers. Then she would figure it out and put it back on his, and this went on and on... I guess it's just one of those "family stories" that only we find funny...
When my mom passed away and we went through her belongings, I found "the tree" and sent it to Scott to keep forever. Now, his wife waits until Christmas Eve and in the Spear Family Tradition lovingly places this old felt tree on one of his packages. Awesome!
We spent the better part of the day and night out at Ceder Hill State Park... It was an absolutely gorgeous day, especially being out on the lake. TL's brother and sister n' law are driving thru and have landed here for a few days. When I say they are driving thru, I mean just that. Picture a couple in their mid 50's, who just this past summer sold their $600,000.00 house in Vermont for cash, and who are taking a 1 year sabbatical from their jobs, and going on a cross country journey for the next 18 months. No time table, no agenda, just them, their fifth wheel camper, and their dog Marcy out on the open road. I'm pretty jealous of their idea, it almost makes me not like them. But we managed to have a great day, hanging out, swapping stories of the open road and had a pretty darn good cook out. Where they're from in Vermont, it was 26 degrees with 7" of new snow. "Only in Texas" they kept saying...
Tomorrow's high here in Dallas is expected to only be 52 degrees. So weird.