Tuesday, December 29, 2009

peppermint bliss.

this Christmas was just fabulous!
as the kids are getting older, we've decided to make a few new traditions. it's been really fun.
the weekend started off with robert and I walking to our favorite little bakery in east nashville, Sweet 16!

fresh kosher cinnamon rolls and drew's brew's coffee!
this year we decided that on christmas eve we were going to walk down to the first franklin united methodist church.
walking 4 blocks...in the freezing cold.

normally shannon, my sister-in-love makes the dessert for Christmas eve, but this year I had the pleasure of making a "light christmas eve dessert" as our christmas eve meal is massive and there is never room for the dessert.

I make beignets! (french doughnuts!) i used the Cafe Du Monde's Recipe!
with some hot coffee, such a hit!

then of course my dad read the story and we opened our new christmas pajamas, and a book!
after indulging ourselves in the most fattening and sugary foods we all got into the hot tub then nestled into our new pajamas and cuddled into our beds.

despite my adult-hood, i still woke up at 6:30am ready to celebrate christmas.
my husband didn't agree and wanted to sleep in.
so i got up, made coffee and waited until 9 to wake up the rest of the siblings.

christmas morning!


after enjoying hot Costa Rican coffee from my sweet friend Jenny Deloach.
we opened our stockings!
filled with our "every year" underwear, hand picked godiva chocolates, socks, and much more!

then we enjoyed some of my mother's famous crepes!
complete with her fresh lemons, from her meyers-lemon tree inside our house!

i made homemade honey-butter.
top a crepe with honey-butter, lemon and raw sugar. oh my goodness!

then we opened gifts!


the next day we decided to keep the tradition's coming, we went to Pfunky Griddle!
You can go and get unlimited pancake batter and make the pancakes yourself!
blueberries, bananas, chocolate chips! they let your taste buds indulge!

robert + josh made a huge chocolate chip pancake!

oh and fabulous bottomless coffee!

my husband wasn't ready for the huge, Ellis feast and ended up passing out with our dog.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

warm delights

i love the reverence of the morning.
the silence.
the birds outside my window.
when my feet first come out of the covers and touch the ground, and are frozen.
no filters of daily situations have crowded my vision.
i am so happy.

some of my best-loved days start off with 2 admired ladies.
once (or twice, if lucky) a week, we get together and just indulge and dream.
every time we gather there is some marvelous homemade treat, pancakes, scones, muffins, or some left over dessert from the night before.
this week it was Sarah's homemade rice flour apple pie!

then we always have coffee, and sometimes breakfast.
but the most fulfilling part of this ritual is the intimacy and love that is exchanged.
the dreams we have for our lives, traveling the world with our spouses and dogs.
what life changing things we are experiencing every day.

i usually get in my car to head home, i can be brought to tears by any little thing because i realize how blessed i am to have these women in my life.
i find myself being thankful.

Julia- strong, and independent, but soft spirited and sensitive to her surroundings.
motivated and determined, yet hopeful for things unsolved.
her heart reaches out to others in so countless courses of action.
she is a nomad deep down. but has settled, but soon she will rise and become a wanderer.

Sarah- sweet hearted and in a strategic way, inspires me.
the peace that surrounds her is surpassing to me.

as part of every year christmas tradition, my family admires the very thoroughly covered trees and bushed.
we went and were instantly put into the christmas spirit.
chocolate. lights. love. family.

christmas lights!

surprise my hubby + dad with their favorite banana pudding- even made little tart pans!

we went and took "backdrop" pictures at the Opryland Hotel with our dear friends, the Rhodes.

Saturday my parents offered to take robert + i to our favorite breakfast/lunch/dinner place in nashville! Marche!

a fabulous weekend! now to get ready for christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

my thoughts on christmas.

homemade strand of ornaments.

I cannot believe that it's christmas 2009 already. its like a jug of milk sitting on my doorstep, i must grasp it and enjoy it before it goes sour!
For most of us, this year has been a roller coaster of experience.
The economic fall has impacted almost everyone and some people more then others.
The burden hasn't just been financial, but emotional. People's dreams, plans, mindsets have all been altered.
In my opinion, this year's recession has resulted in a culture wide increase stress and apprehension.

homemade stockings: wizards doggy stocking
my homemade stocking.

The anticipation for the christmas season is for months in advance! Scented candles, indulging in sugary foods, wrapping paper, consumerism; but it is also a stressful and anxious time.

I love celebrations, as I am sure other's do to, family traditions, cherishing those holiday memories from the past. Along with the blissful memories, we build up a stress for preparation and expectations and fear of letdowns, and past family quarrels.

cut down our own trees and made ornaments!

All of us want christmas to mean something, to be memorable until it comes down to the "shop till you drop," spend spend spend, swiping your credit card over and over, road rage cause by traffic jams, long lines. We are usually just happy to "survive" it.

Americans spend 450 billion$ on christmas every year!

Why don't people use their already talents (reading, writing, creating, talking, eating, baking, crafting, eating) to make gifts; like when we were kids.

What if we gave all the money we spend on christmas to the lonely, thirsty, hungry, hurting, poor, needy?

But then "gift-giving" is also many people's love language.

so you find your balance.

be free to celebrate. :)

this picture doesn't do these little owl ornaments justice!
home made snowflakes for decorations! made with old sheet music!


recipe of the day!

healthy peanut butter doggy cookies!
(and people friendly! good healthy snack)

2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. non-fat powdered milk
1 egg
1/3 c. raw sugar/honey/agave (whatever you prefer)
1 c. cold water
1/3 c. natural peanut butter
1/2 c. coconut oil/vegetable oil/saffleflower oil (whichever you prefer)

(may need more water)

oven to: 350
roll out and if you can find a dog bone cookie cutter its very easy!

Monday, November 30, 2009

a little bit more giving

here are a few more pictures from the thanksgiving weekend.
and of course the recipe!

home made pumpkin ice cream on thanksgiving!

so this week weekend, being so full of cold turkey sandwiches and dried up mashed potatoes, we decided to do TACO NIGHT! i made my famous guacamole.

like my grandmothers apple pie, french pastry recipe; i don't think i will ever give up my guacamole recipe! its just too great. just indulgence. not once have i made it, and there be left overs. although guacamole is simple and most people make a wonderful version of it, mine has something special besides love in it to make is superb! maybe one day.

price eats alot: again.

on sunday we drove to Salina, to meet our dear friends Stephen + Christie Miller for breakfast. the only place in Salina, KS for breakfast is this place called Russell's.
When i looked them up, the first thing on their website says "if you feel like a cinnamon roll at 3am, Russell's is the place to come!"
i knew right then we would be in a pool of grease.
it was fabulous!

robert got these 3 HUGE pancakes for 7$. and he couldn't even finish them!

then we went to target to try and get in the spirit and got sad because of consumerism so we picked up a baby instead. (maybe he is from santa)

his name is finn.

then of course we had game night:
Scrabble Slam


and now for my recipe:

peanut butter chocolate cup tea cakes!

first i make my gooey peanut butter cookies!

(this makes about 2 dozen- or 17 big cookies)

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. organic raw peanut butter (or almond butter)
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 free range eggs
2 tbs. light corn syrup
2 tbs. water
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

oven: 375 degrees

in a bowl, mix together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until creamy smooth!
beat in eggs, one at a time, then the corn syrup, water and vanilla
then add the flour, baking soda and salt. all together.
then bake for about 12-14 minutes or until they look done!

then while the peanut butter cookies are cooling, take some chocolate chips and melt them in a double-boiler, make sure you don't burn the chocolate and stir it frequently!

dip each cookie into the chocolate (with pastry tongs) then hold the cookie for at least 30 seconds to let it set, then place on wax paper.

once the cookies are all dried, roll them all in powdered sugar!

walllllah! you have an incredible, pretty tea cake/peanut butter chocolate cup!


more bites tomorrow!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

the act of giving

being our first year married over the holidays we decided to spend a couple weeks road tripping around in november to really have a "relaxing/adventurous holiday"

so on november 17th we packed up the dog, moped and some snacks in the volvo stationwagon and headed outta town. from nashville to kansas city we only stopped twice to let our dog go to the bathroom

something about driving into the open plains is so calming. like a gush of warmth in the cold christmas craziness.

we spent a lovely time in kansas city. drinking with friends and eating a lot of food.

since we have been gone our days have been full of live music, lots of coffee/hot chocolate/ soy eggnog with brandy.

so we are now in Mcpherson, KS. just a little north of wichita and west of topeka. its a small quaint town of seems to be 5,000. a little smaller then i am used to, but i love the warmth and friendliness of every old lady and scruffy man here.

a few days after getting to mcpherson, robert's parents had a fish fry for us! so delicious! hush puppies everywhere!

making sushi for my in laws. they have never had it! boy did i change their minds about it.

on thanksgiving robert and I just enjoyed each other. it was a wonderful, renewing morning of us just remembering how we fell in love, our first kiss, our first memories and all of our other "first" and the ones yet to come. we realized how blessed we are to be healthy, full of wealth and knowledge, our families love us, and happy. it was a good thanksgiving. and we didnt over eat...which is good.

we did make pumpkin ice cream! it was to DIE FOR. although i almost did because i kept snacking and i am allergic to dairy :(
it was worth it :)

games are the big thing for us right now. every game you can imagine

killer uno
gin rummy (still unbeaten)
chutes + ladders

i am not really good at any of them except killer uno + gin rummy. unbeated at gin.

more bites later.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

belgium + france

november is a time to cook for me. things and meals that i never cook any other time of the year.
i dont usually eat breakfast, although I know it's so important for me to.. but this weekend robert and I cooked breakfast like never before! my oma's famous crepe's with strawberry preserves and raw sugar. oh my gosh they were delicious. and the trick is, if they look like lace, or a doillie, then they are good crepes! mine are getting there. they are so fabulous!

so we celebrated france yesterday. and on saturday we celebrated belgium! with homemade belgium waffles. i woke up to the smell of maple syrup and blueberries in my house. wish i could bottle that fall smell up.

compliments to my husband's mad skills!

also this year, being our first christmas married we have decided to make our own stockings, decorations, and ornaments! we are starting our own traditions and we are so excited!

above: my stocking

below: wizard and the top of robert's stocking!