Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cookie Tree

We celebrate the Professor's Swedish heritage every year at Christmastime by having a Santa Lucia dinner. This year we celebrated the feast on Christmas Eve. Our menu always includes Swedish meatballs, a seafood dish, lingonberries, and flatbread. The other many dishes vary from year to year. This year, I set out trays of assorted cookies for dessert, and the showpiece was a towering cookie tree.
Sometime during this past summer in my garage sale ramblings I had found a set of graduated cookie cutters for making the tree, and I thought Santa Lucia was a great time to try it out. It worked beautifully: the recipes for the sugar cookie dough and the glaze used for icing the layers were very tasty.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Morn

Emmanuel, God is with us.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Decor: Finished

The last bit of Christmas decorating is on the dining room buffet.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Altered Window

A friend gave me two of her old windows when they had their old ones replaced with new, energy-efficient windows.

After removing the hardware, I primed and then painted one window black. I couldn't decide on white or black, but ultimately I went with black because I like the contrast with the soft yellow walls in my family room.

Once propped up on the mantel, I decorated around it with our Swedish Christmas items. I love how it turned out!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Yule Log Cake

I have wanted to make one of these Yule Log Cakes for many years and finally, last night, I had the event to make it for. We were invited to a dinner party with a group of friends and I was asked to bring a dessert. What better time than this to try my hand at making the cake? It turned out well; I just forgot to take a photo after it was decorated. I simply poked silk poinsettias into the cake across the top.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Brilliant Idea

I had an "Ah-Ha!" moment today as I was making lunch. I wanted to grind up some chicken meat for a sandwich, but it's always such a chore to clean out the blender after doing a little blending job. I don't like digging the tiny bit out of the bottom. Then I noticed that the screw-on blender base looked very similar in size to the top of a canning jar. I wondered....

I grabbed an empty canning jar and set the blade unit on the mouth. It fit perfectly. Then I tried the base piece of the blender (the part that screws into the machine), and it screwed on smoothly. Perfect!
Next I set the jar into the blender and turned it on. It whirled away!

So I was in business. First I ground up that chicken meat in a quart size jar. That's the jar I grabbed in the beginning so I just went with it.

Then I moved on to nuts in a pint size jar. I like to store ground nuts in the freezer, and a pint size jar is just perfect. Now I can chop them up and stick them in the freezer, all in one container.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Last of the Turkey

Using up the last scraps of turkey, and assorted veggies, I made this turkey pot pie for supper tonight. Very comforting for a cold autumn night.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It Is Finished

Finally, 6 months after I started, our house is painted. Complete. Done. (I'm not doing the laundry closet or the pantry. They can stay their existing color.)

I finished painting the kitchen this afternoon in the same soft yellow as the family room, living room, and dining room. The rooms all flow one into another so a cohesive color makes sense. And I like the cheery yellow, soft enough to be a neutral.

That's not to say that the kitchen is finished yet. It is not. We currently have no ceiling lights in the kitchen or over the table, and the ceiling has a large crack in it that needs repair. Oh, and then there's painting the cabinets, replacing the laminate counter tops, hanging some artwork, installing a towel rod or hooks, repairing the wood floor, and many other details I can't think of at the moment.