Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Recipes

I looked at a lot of recipes for a cranberry jello salad and this is what I came up with for my version.

Cranberry Jello Salad

1 large package Sugar Free red Jello
2 cups boiling water
2 cups cold water

Make Jello following directions on box.  Put in refrigerator until thickened, about 1 1/2 hours

1 12 oz bag cranberries
2 oranges peeled and segmented
2 apples chopped
1 cup seedless grapes cut in 1/4s
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 - 1 cup Splenda

In food processor add half cranberries and 1 orange and finely grind.
Put in bowl.  Do the same with the remainder of cranberries and orange.
Add the Splenda and mix well.
Add 2 apples diced or chopped in food processor.
Add the pineapple, grapes and walnuts and mix well.

Add to thickened jello and mix to blend.
Pour into a bowl and put in refrigerator overnight.

Since we were going to Aunt Harries for Thanksgiving, where we always went as kids, I decided to make chopped liver in memory of Aunt Mill.  I remember that as the dish she always brought.  Nadine remembers sweet and sour cabbage.

Chopped Liver
1 lb chicken livers
1 large onion
1 hard boiled egg

Saute onion in oil.  Remove onion then cook the liver until no longer red in center.
Put liver, onion and egg in a food processor and combine to desired smoothness.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Holiday Snowball Cookies and OOPS!

Holiday Snowball Cookies
    •    1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
    •    3/4 cup powdered sugar
    •    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    •    1/2 teaspoon salt
    •    3 cups all-purpose flour
    •    1 3/4 cups (10-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Holiday Shapes & Morsels
    •    1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
    •    1 sprinkle powdered sugar

PREHEAT oven to 375° F. 

BEAT butter, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour; stir in Shapes & Morsels and nuts.

Shape level tablespoons of dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets. 

BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned. Remove from oven. Sift powdered sugar over hot cookies on baking sheets. Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar, if desired. Store in airtight containers.

I wanted to make these cookies since I saw a picture of them in the Wegmans Menu magazine.  I found the recipe and then I couldn't find the chips.
One day I found the chips in the back of the store and bought two bags and it was a good thing because the next time I was there, which was probably the next day, there weren't any more.
Yesterday I made the cookies but had a little mishap in the middle.  I was adding the flour (needs 3 cups) and specifically thought to myself that I need to keep track of how much flour I was adding since I was mixing in between each add of a cup.  At some point I remembered a couple of items for my shopping list and added them, then Larry came into the kitchen and when I went back to the cookies, "Did I put in 2 or 3?"

I looked up what the pitfalls were for too much or too little flour and this is what I found
. . . If you add too much flour, your baked goods will be hard and dry. If you don't add enough flour, the recipe will fall and fail.. . .
I added  1/2 cup more and hoped for the best.  The batter tasted good, they held their shape when I put them in and took them out and Larry said they tasted good.  I'll have to try another batch and pay attention and see how they compare.

Note (12/3/13):  I made another batch with the correct amounts.  I think I shorted the flour the first time, but there wasn't really a noticeable difference.  The one thing I did do the second time is make them smaller.  I think I rolled my balls too big the first time.  This weekend I'm going to make them again, everybody loves them.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Med Cruise Photo Books

Five months after our cruise and travels in June and one day before my Groupons expired I ordered my photo books.  One came yesterday and the other today.

Here are the links to each.  I love the covers which I created since I finally learned to use Photoshop Elements

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Visit with Laura and Greta - Nov 2 - 8

This was a spur of the moment, sort of, visit.  Greta was giving her notice at Bloomberg and then was going to have three weeks off before she started her new job, as VP of Brand Strategy at Pitney Bowes so she suggested I come to visit while she had some time off.  After a weather delay on Friday, Nov 1, I left on Saturday to go to Laura's.  We hung out on Saturday, had a late lunch and then decided to go to DSW before it got dark.  When we went down to her car, the battery was dead.  She called AAA and they came really quickly and installed a new battery.  After that we decided we didn't want to go to the store.  It was already dark and we were tired.
The next day we went to the gym, Laura to Zumba and me to Yoga.  Then we stayed after and Laura did the stairmaster and I walked around the track.
View from the track.
There's Laura on the stairmaster.

After we came home, Laura had an event at Sherry's to go to and I went to the store and made my squash soup that we had for dinner.  I brought a quart with me and we ate it on Saturday.
Her place looked really neat now that she's becoming so organized and neat.
On Monday morning we went to DSW and Laura got a new pair of boots.  Then we went to the train station and picked up Greta.  We went out for lunch then Laura and Greta went to the gym and I worked on emptying Laura's cabinets so that they could get as organized as everything else.

We had squash soup for dinner again and took a break for a group shot.  I hardly took any pictures this time but we did take a few corny ones later on for fun.
Tuesday when Laura went to work, Greta and I drove to her house.   Monopoly was the game of choice with the boys and we played the electronic version and also the old fashioned one too.
A picture of the boys.  The only one I took of all of them.  What was wrong with me??  Well, I'll see them again at Thanksgiving, which now is only
She did a presentation for Hunter's class on Wednesday about marketing as a career and then the kids broke into groups because each group had to do a commercial which she came back to film and edit.
After we left there we went to lunch at the Cos Cobber where we went when we were there for Mother's Day and I got the exact same lunch, a Grilled Vegetable Wrap and it was as good as the first time.
Thursday morning I drove home.

Laura's Poem

Laura was at a Woman's Weekend this past weeked and one of the projects they had to do was write some sort of message to their mother.  Laura wrote this poem (in only the 15 minutes they were allotted) and when she read it to me over the phone we both had tears rolling down our cheeks.  I wanted to save this forever.  I love you Laura!!

A poem for my mother
A woman like no other
Who I love with all my heart
To me you're a beautiful piece of art
With you I have so much fun
Our good times are never done
Over the years we've had some disagreements and fights
But always share our love for each other by that night
Our anger never lasts long
Because we know to stay mad is wrong
You've been with me through thick and thin
It's because of you I'm able to love myself from within
There were times when life got tough
I'd call to say I'd had enough
You'd listen to what I had to say
And tell me to make my way
Sometimes you had no sympathy
But I know you were being tough for me
You showed me how to be independent and strong
Something you've been all along
Together we've done so many things
I look forward to new adventures our lives bring
It's time to bring this poem to an end
I love you Mom, you're my best friend.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Happy Halloween

We went to a pumpkin carving party at Ann's before Halloween. I wasn't going to do a pumpkin but I brought one anyway along with an old pumpkin carving kit I had.
I made these cupcakes to bring.
When Ann's neighbor Nancy said she would clean out my pumpkin if I would cut the top off of it, I decided that would be a good deal. Once I got the top off and looked inside I thought that it would be pretty easy for me to do myself and I did.  But that was as far as I got.
These are the pumpkins that other people did.
And these are more.
When I got home I decided to carve the pumpkin using my kit.  I didn't know how old my kit was, but when I opened the book of patterns, the pages were pretty yellow and there was a coupon in there for Halloween candy that expired Nov. 2000.  Guess I had it for a while.
This was the cat that I did and I just love it.
This is what it looked like without the light.