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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dinner Suprise for Santa



Sometimes Santa gets a little tired of just cookies and milk...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Santa's Workshop



Fill these wooden baskets with goodies and they make the perfect gift for neighbors, family, friends and teachers. Download the instructions on how to make your own handmade wooden basket HERE.

Monday, December 7, 2009

TORCHING THE TEDDY GRAHAM


We have a tradition in our family called Candles that we do the whole month of December.
I can't remember how it started but every night we gather around the kitchen table, light candles, read stories, sing carols and get into the holiday spirit. Every year I have to remind the kids, HUSBAND, and now In-laws, "DO NOT light your strands of hair on fire!", "DO NOT put the paper on the flame and watch it burn!", "DO NOT make sculptures out of the melted wax!", and in general "DO NOT PLAY WITH THE CANDLE FLAME!!!". What would candles be without mother's reminders? So every night, it is the same ritual.

My Son-in-law came up with a new way to break my rule. Last night we served up hot chocolate with miniature marshmallows during candles. Alex, our favorite son-in-law (he was the only son-in-law there last night, so hence our favorite!), was of course playing with the flame. He took a miniature marshmallow, a staple that he plucked out of the chocolate label, put the marshmallow on the staple and roasted the marshmallow. I freaked out and ran and got some skewer sticks for everyone. Teddy grahams and chocolate chips joined the party and we spent the rest of the night making "LITTLE BITES OF HEAVEN". A new tradition has been born.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

WORKING THROUGH THE NIGHT...

I'm pretty computer savvy. Don't you just type up a page, say abra-cadrabra and it's posted online? Apparently it is a little more complicated and time consuming.

We're racing the clock to Christmas so we came up with some time saving short cuts to get our fantastic Christmas products online. We decided to proof the produt packets on the computer instead of printing them out. Great idea in saving time and not to mention economical.

Dad didn't get to sleep until 6 in the morning but we saved enough time that the dinner packets were available for purchase before Thanksgiving. Quite an accomplishment. We started to sale some of those packets over the weekend. Dad happened to print out one of the packets and I sat down to read through it. Staring me right in the face in BIG, BOLD, RED LETTERS was one of my printed edits. The edit said, JOSEPH FIX THIS BOX!!!!!! Well, yes he did fix the box, but he didn't get rid of my edit comments. We are still laughing. JOSEPH FIX THIS BOX!!!

Everyone that bought this packet now knows why we went back to using my trusty crayons for editing. We have yet to figure out how to get Dad to bed at a decent hour though. So much to do!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

HOW MUCH DOUGH CAN MY FRIDGE HOLD?

How hard is it to make a recipe that you have made for years? Not that easy. One would think that one would keep a great Norwegian recipe in a very safe place, so that one could use it year after year. Well, of course, my safe place is in the back of a telephone book. Really now, you can't get safer than that. Every year when I need that recipe I just go get that old telephone book. Not this year, when I desperately wanted to include the recipe in one of my theme dinners. Apparently, someone needed that page with my Pepperkake recipe and tore it out of the telephone book.

Not to despair, I have a Norwegian cook book at the cabin. Nope, the Norwegian cook book is not at the cabin, or anywhere for that matter. I have looked high and low at least 4 times, and it is not high, low, or anywhere. I did however find a recipe in another, not so good, Norwegian cook book. I gave it a go.

Attempt #1: Not good, the dough didn't have a very good flavor. That's okay, we'll just put the dough in the refrigerator. If we didn't like the cookies the first time, then certainly it will be good another day, right?

Attempt #2: I changed a few ingredients around, still pretty nasty, but we'll just save that dough too. There must be some way to recycle it.

Attempt #3: let's use a gingerbread recipe from a regular cook book and add some pepper. Not good. The cookie was not crisp, thin, or good to eat. Into the fridge it went.

Attempt #4: Let's ask a Swede for the coveted recipe. Brilliant! They will have a great , authentic recipe. It probably was great except somehow the conversions did not translate. Dad was trying to convince me that he had it right. Let's see... 6 1/2 cups karo syrup, 5 1/2 cups flour, 3 eggs and some melted butter. Sounds to me like we are making soup. Two cups syrup and 8 cups of flour later, we were ready to roll out the dough. I have to admit that I thought, this really would be the recipe. You melt the syrup, butter and spices together and it was yummy. Almost a ginger caramel. Unfortunately the dough was better than the cookie though the grand-babies loved them. Also, they spread all over the pan and you couldn't tell they were gingerbread men. (That might have been because the only cookie cutter I had was a bunny!!!) I'm not going to experiment with that recipe again but now we have 4 batches of dough in the fridge with a purpose yet to be determined.

Attempt #5: found another recipe that claims to be thin and crisp, but too much ginger and a bad, after taste.

Attempt #6: Using the recipe from attempt #5 I decreased the ginger by a teaspoon, added an extra teaspoon of cinnamon, added a teaspoon of cloves and two teaspoons of pepper. Yes, you heard me, two teaspoons of black pepper. When I returned to the kitchen the plate of cookies was gone along with the milk. The recipe is perfect! Nice, crisp, thin and yummy.

Now, we have 5 batch's of gingerbread cookie dough that nobody ate the first time. There must be some way to recycle that dough! The neighbors?