Saturday, December 11, 2010

Favorite Things--Day 11

minty hot chocolate. I am typically a coffee only kind of a person. Very rarely will I drink tea (I have to be feeling really wretched and be convinced it will make me feel better if I drink it) and I usually think why drink hot chocolate when you can have a nice, strong cup of coffee. I also am not usually a peppermint lover. It's "okay" but not a preference that I usually go for. However, when I was in college (my pre-coffee days) a friend introduced me to peppermint hot chocolate. It is fairly simple...make the hot chocolate and stick a candy cane in it. I fell in love. It is perfect for this time of year. You can also stick a piece of peppermint candy in it, but it is tons more fun to have the candy cane that you can stir with, suck on, and get sticky with while drinking the hot chocolate. I've introduced it to my kids and they love this sticky treat.

Favorite Things--Day 10

a merry open house! Last night we had our annual Christmas open house for our church family. It is one of our favorite events for the year. This year was especially fun because we had to miss doing it last year. I was ill and getting ready to have surgery so it was one of many things that got crossed off the calendar last year. So it was really great to have our house full and merry again this year. We guesstimate that we had around 50-70 people or quite possibly more. On the menu was mini-tacos, taquitos, chips and salsa, BBQ mini-wieners, cream puffs, eclairs, and pecan pie muffins.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Favorite Things--Day 9

venison. Did you know that technically venison is "the flesh of any game animal used for food"? I thought it was just deer, but my encyclopedia husband informed me the other day of this technicality. For some reason, I'm frequently tempted to verify his vast knowledge. This morning was no exception. As I sat down to type, I pulled up the handy and yes, he was right. I don't ever remember him not being right. You would think I would learn not to waste my time by checking. Here's the interesting thing though. That definition of venison is considered "archaic". Only Joe would know the archaic definition of venison. With all that said, I do love venison. And by venison, I do mean "the flesh of any game animal used for food." I can't really think of anything Joe has killed and prepped that I haven't enjoyed. Oh Yeah, I don't like wild duck. Anyway, I especially love that which is shot by the providing husband and then butchered in my kitchen. It is his way of getting to enjoy his hobby and loving on his family at the same time. It is also his way of bonding with his buddies. Last night he butchered his 6th deer of the year in our kitchen. No, he hasn't shot 6 deer this year. He simply enjoys (and is really good at it) butchering other guys deer...especially when the other guy joins him and it is his first deer. (Congrats Aaron!). So maybe this is a dual favorite thing...venison and the man I love who loves giving me venison.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Favorite Things--Day 8

my eldest son is so very interesting. Only God could have created a child like John. He has the wondrous ability to be completely laid back and oblivious to anything else going on in the world. And he can also be one of the most intense children I've ever met. He has a great appreciation in life for extreme order. His laugh is very infectious. His brain is amazing. He seems to be one of those rare people who is both right brained and left brained. He cherishes alone time in his room and loves snuggles on the couch. I thank God daily (yes, even in those moments when we are trying to get out the door and I've told him 8 times to find his socks and shoes and he can't remember what he is suppose to be doing) for my sweet "John, John".

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Favorite Things--Day 7

Pecan Pie Muffins. About 10 years ago Joe and I visited Grandbury, TX. It was a short distance from our home at the time. I only remember a few things about the was cold for Texas, it was one of our last trips before we embarked on parenthood (I was very pregnant), I had one of the most delicious meals I've ever had in my life, and pecan pie muffins. We stayed at a bed and breakfast. The hostess served them for breakfast so we basically had dessert for breakfast. She was so gracious to share the recipe with me and since then they have been a staple in our house around Christmas time. I am currently preparing for our annual Christmas open house and have the recipe out in preparation for that (they are one of the more popular items at our open house). I thought I'd share the recipe:

1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 stick butter (do not substitute margarine)
1 egg

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Yield: 12 muffins

That's it. Seems to easy to be so delicious doesn't it? Trust me, they are yummy. I typically make them in mini-muffin form. Joe has been begging me for the last couple of years to make the full size version and serve them over ice cream with caramel. Ahhh, I gain weight just thinking about it which is why I've not attempted it. I'm also afraid I would never go back to the mini version.

Favorite Things--Day 6

My favorite thing for yesterday (yep, I'm already a day behind) is blogging. When I was in high school or was it junior high...I think it was junior high...I toyed with the idea of wanting to write for a living. At that time I was thinking more about fictional writing then non-fiction writing. That is about as far as the idea went. By college I was settled in on Accounting and the rest, as they say, is history. In 2007 (I had to look it up) I was introduced to the world of blogging. My initial thought was that it would be a great way to journal and keep a scrapbook of our four kids and it certainly has been wonderful for that. What I wasn't anticipating was that it would give me a somewhat creative outlet. I'm not really a creative person (what accountant is?) so to say that I now have a "creative" outlet is kind of amazing. At a minimum, I have found a hobby that I love. Before blogging and even occasionally now, I would participate in what I called "the hobby of the month". I would learn how to do something, work on a project for about a month, and then sell all the hobby materials on ebay because that hobby wasn't for me. Blogging has stuck and I so enjoy it. I have even toyed with the idea of some articles getting published somewhere (if anyone would have them). We'll see where that idea goes. Hopefully, it lasts longer than the one in junior high did...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Favorite Things--Day 5

Some of my favorite winter time things are things that make me feel warm. When we lived in Iowa the shotgun season was the second week of December. (It probably still is.) That week was notoriously freezing cold...I mean really, really cold. We'd be sailing along into winter and then as soon as Joe was ready to go hunt, the wicked cold weather would pour in. We are approaching the second week of December and even though we no longer live in Iowa, it still gets really cold that week. And this year is not going to disappoint. We are entering into some major cold (although I've seen colder second weeks of December). So here are some things that warm me up:

  • a fire in my fireplace: it doesn't even have to be giving off a lot of heat. For some reason, just looking at a fire makes me feel warm.
  • my sweater boots: Joe got me an early Christmas present a few weeks ago and they are my new favorite thing to wear now. They're not the most practical foot attire when the weather is crummy (they don't take water too well), but they are wonderful at keeping the feet warm. They are the only pair of shoes that I tend to wear around the house.
  • a good cup of coffee: coffee deserves a whole post to itself so I won't elaborate here.
  • flannel sheets: my sister told me the other day that she got herself her first set of flannel sheets and loves them. There is nothing better on a cold night then to get into bed and have the soft, warm flannel instead of the cold sheets.