Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas?

Don't you love poinsettias at Christmas?  These are beautiful (even if covered in rain water....)!  We've had a ridiculous amount of rain this week, with more to come.  Floods everywhere.

But, I think it will be clear for Santa's big ride, and Christmas Day will be beautiful and green!


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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My House Smells Like Christmas!

 A Christmas bakery at least.

This is what has kept me busy the past two evenings:

Ahh, candy cane cookies.  An old family favorite!

We've got:
  • sugar cookie stars (72)
  • peanut butter blossoms (48)
  • spritz wreaths (84)
  • Scottish shortbread (72)
  • candy canes (36)
  • lemon cookies (72)
  • brownie drops (72)
  • melting moments (84)
For a grand total of: 540 cookies.  Give or take (I think The Mr may have sampled a few.  For quality control purposes of course.)

Now to package and distribute!

What is your favorite cookie?


Mhnaty! Pin It

Monday, December 20, 2010

Office Christmas Decorations

Okay, these guys are actually too cute!

They are solar powered - I love the afternoon when I get the sun streaming through my window - they go crazy!

How is your office decorated?

Zentmrs Pin It

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Disney Christmas

Our present from my in-laws every year is a trip for the family to Disneyland. I love this kind of present - an experience is wonderful!

This year we went on a Monday. On Monday's Disneyland is not open until midnight (which we would prefer) but going on a Monday is totally worth it because there are not many people! I LOVE it when there are no crowds!

Though I took the camera with me, I didn't take many pics. Here are a couple of nice ones:

The Family (minus The Girl - she was already off with her friend by this time.... our gift to her is letting her take a friend with her and letting her hang out by herself to the extent that she wants to)

The Family in the sleigh - this is right outside where the turkeys that are pardoned by the President live

The Boy and I with Pluto!

My personal favorite - The Mr and me!


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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Wish List

Christmas is nearly upon us.  I've finished my Christmas shopping, and I've finished shopping for The Mr's birthday (which is the 29th).

I've been asked what I want for Christmas.  Well, I already know that my #1 Christmas wish is going to be fulfilled - I'll be with all of my family on Christmas, and truly, nothing is better than that!  And if we have word on my new niece, that would  be the best bow on top of the present that we could have!

But, I can share a few other things from my wish list too…
- La cruscet pans 

- This cool apron 

- Macro lens 

- Walk-about lens  

- and while we're dreaming here, the Canon 50D!  

What's on your wish list?


Mhnaty! Pin It

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cornflake Wreath Cookies

Christmas is a time of tradition and a time of memories.  The sights and sounds and smells all evoke memories for me. 

Just seeing a picture of these cookies makes it feel like Christmas to me.  These are cookies from my childhood.  My Grandma made these every Christmas, and they were absolutely my favorites.

They are really easy to make (though they don't ship well) and I hope you try them!

Cornflake Wreath Cookies

¾ cup butter
4 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp green food color
4 cups corn flakes
red hot candies
silver dragées

Melt butter, add marshmallows, stirring until all marshmallows are melted. Add extracts and food coloring; stir until it is a uniform green color. When mixture is smooth, add corn flakes; mix well but gently so as not to crush the cornflakes. Form into wreath shapes on sheets of waxed paper, decorate with red cinnamon candies and silver dragées. Let cool.

What is your favorite childhood Christmas cookie?

For more great recipes, check out The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap! If you have a recipe to share, please join in the fun!


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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday (yea!) and I wanted to take some time to thank the people most important in my life.

My parents, who (those many years ago) gave me my life.  I've been so blessed over the years to have them.

My sister, who has been my closest friend for just about my entire life.  She is truly a class act, despite all of my years of influence.  ;-)

The Mr, without whom I would be less than half the person I am today.  Corny as it sounds, he is the other half to my soul, and I am thankful every single day that we found each other.

My family who surrounds me with love and support, no matter what is happening.

My friends, near and far, old and new.  Friends are the heartbeat that keep our lives going.  Love to all of you.

All of my best memories have you all in them.  My worst memories are alone, because even when bad things happen, having my friends and family around makes whatever it is a lot more bearable.

You all are the gift that gives year after year - thanks to all of you!


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Friday, November 19, 2010

Two Pea Soup

This was such delicious soup - The Boy even liked it!  I used the slow-cooker method and it worked beautifully.

Pea Soup
Makes: 6 Main-Dish Servings
Start to Finish: 1 hr. 30 minutes

1 large onion, cut in wedges
2 medium carrots, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut in 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup dry split peas, rinsed and drained
2 lb. meaty smoked pork hocks
1/2 tsp. dried summer savory or marjoram, crushed
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 16-oz. pkg. frozen green peas
1/3 cup packed fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In shallow baking pan toss onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil to coat. Roast, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned on the edges, stirring once.

2. In 4-quart Dutch oven combine roasted vegetables, 6 cups water, dry peas, pork hocks, savory, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pork; set aside.

3. Stir frozen peas and parsley into soup. Cool about 5 minutes. Transfer soup, half at a time, to food processor or blender. Cover; process or blend until nearly smooth. Return to Dutch oven. Stir in lemon juice.

4. When cool, cut pork off bones. Chop pork, discard bones. Set aside 1/2 cup pork to top soup; add remaining to pureed soup. Heat through. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, top with reserved chopped pork. Makes 6 main-dish servings.

Slow Cooker Two Pea Soup: Thaw frozen peas. Finely chop onion, carrot, celery, and garlic (do not roast). In 4- to 5-quart slow cooker combine the chopped vegetables, dry split peas, savory, pepper, and 4-1/2 cups water. Add pork hocks; cover. Cook on low for 9 to 10 hours or on high for 4-1/2 to 5 hours. Remove pork hocks. Place thawed peas, and parsley in a blender. Add about 1 cup of the soup; process until smooth. Stir into soup. Carefully cut pork off bones; chop and add to soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice.

For more great recipes, check out The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap! If you have a recipe to share, please join in the fun!

If you are looking for more healthy and budget friendly recipes, check out the recipes at Get Healthy Cheap:
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Shopping for Christmas Cards? Try Shutterfly!

I've been a fan of Shutterfly for 8 years. And we've been buying their cards for just about that long.  Two of my favorites from years past?

This one, with our 4 cats pictured on front...

And this one, with my Gracie and her Christmas lights.
Anna the Elf...
... and Santa Morgan.

I have loved the styles in the past, but this year's crop is absolutely fabulous!  I've narrowed my list down to these -

And they've got lots more!  Shutterfly is where to turn if you are looking for:
My favorites are the holiday story cards - I always write a Christmas letter and have been waiting for someone to be able to put it in my card for me for years.... and voila!  Shutterfly to the rescue!

Last year we didn't use Shutterfly.  And we ended up sending our cards out two days before Christmas... using address labels that we printed improperly... making it so that we had to send the whole batch out again AFTER Christmas.  

So you know that this makes me very happy - Shutterfly will also address, stamp and mail them for you - makes sending out cards really easy.  

Take a look at Shutterfly... and let me know which is your favorite!

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, find out how à


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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - What We Did for Halloween

We were cruising on Halloween this year. We decided that we were going to make this Halloween one for the books.  Well, the photo albums anyway.

We had a formal dinner that evening - and they decked out the dining room, Halloween style!

Even the string quartet joined in on the fun!

So here we are before dinner, in our formal dining finery...

... and afterwards? Decked out for the Halloween Party!

The King and a Witch  (my mom and dad)...

... and a flapper with Fred and Wilma Flintstone (The Mr's aunt, mom and dad)!

Flappers run in the family (my sis)!

And a couple of scurvy pirates - ARRRGHHHH!!! (The Mr and me)

We all had a fabulous time - one of the best Halloweens in memory!

Ni Hao Y'all


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Around the Ship

The Mr, my sis and enjoy the art and ornamental chairs on board the Ms Oosterdam...

More fun in port coming next!


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