Monday, December 29, 2008

I couldn't stay away...

I'm still on a bloggy vacay officially but I wanted to show you a few of my favorite pictures from Christmas.

Enjoy! These aren't in any particular order...

SS & SD - Brotherly & Sisterly love


Lil J's Christmas Dress

Sis & Beefy

Middle Sis with Bratty Nephew #1 & #2

Bratty Nephew #1 & #2

Lil J repping VT! GO HOKIES!

Pretty girl

Bratty Nephew #3 excited about his "unnnerwear"

One of my favorite gifts. Lil Sis made this bag for me - it reflects my inner rocker, while identifying me as a Mimi. And all the little buttons say things that are perfect for there is a couple dozen more in the bag so I can interchange them. I love it! ~Especially since she burnt her new area rug making it. It's sacrafice was much appreciated!~

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

Yesterday after the small scare I decided to take it easy, let S handle dinner and take a break from the baking. I'm only working till noon today and then I'm off until January 2.

Tonight we will go to my aunt's annual Christmas Eve celebration with most of my family. Then tomorrow morning we will celebrate Christmas with SS, SD and Lil J and maybe my two oldest nephews. After that we are all going to my Dad's to open gifts with him and my stepfamily.

This weekend we are headed to the mountains of West Virginia to visit our friends and ring in the New Year together. As you can see my holiday will be all about family & friends...with a side of traveling so I will be on an "unofficial" blog break. Don't be surprised if I pop in a time or two since I love this little bloggy world and all of you in it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sour Cream Pound Cake

I worked on a few more things yesterday evening. Here's what I've made so far:

Eggnog Bread
Preacher Cookies
Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies
Sour Cream Pound Cake
Peanut Butter Balls
Snowball Cookies
Sausage Balls
Reindeer Noses

I still need to make:

Mexican Pinwheels (not a cookie)
Potato Chip cookies (I'm still looking for a good recipe so they are on the back burner for now.)
Peanut Butter Balls (My first batch won't be enough to last through Christmas)

Featured today is my Sour Cream Pound Cake recipe. I don't remember where I got this recipe but I've been making it for the last 11 years.

Here's what you need:

1 cup butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
3 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.

Mix baking soda and vanilla with sour cream; add alternately with flour and mix well.

Pour into a greased & floured 10" tube pan. (I used 4 mini loaf pans plus one regular loaf pan.)

Bake @ 325 for 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Dust with confectioners sugar if desired.

If you are interested in any of the other recipes that I don't have a link for just let me know!

Sorry for the late post but I had a small scare last night. I woke up around 5 because my heart felt like it was literally beating out of my was very quick and erratic. I got up, moved around and thought it would go away. It didn't subside until after 7:30 this morning so I thought it was best to go to the doctor this morning. She said my EKG looks good and if it happens again she will monitor it with one of those 24 hours devices.

For those wondering, I didn't go to the emergency room because I didn't have any other issues. No pain, no shortness of breath or nausea. Just the erratic heartbeat. So I'm okay now and I just hope it was a fluke. I am prone to weird ailments so hopefully I can add this to that list.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snowball Cookies

Saturday I didn't do anything but lay on the couch taking numerous naps throughout the day. To make up for it, I had a bake-a-thon yesterday.

Here's what I made:

Eggnog Bread
Preacher Cookies
Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies
Sour Cream Pound Cake
Peanut Butter Balls
Snowball Cookies

I still need to make:

Mexican Pinwheels (not a cookie)
Sausage Balls (obviously not a cookie)
Potato Chip cookies (You convinced me to try these!)
more Peanut Butter Balls (My first batch won't be enough to last through Christmas)
And anything else that I come across between now and Wednesday.

Today I'm sharing my Snowball Cookie recipe.

Here's what you need:

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups (12 oz pkg) semi-sweet chocolate mini chips
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
Extra powdered sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375.

Beat butter, vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour.

Stir in the chips and nuts. (Batter will be stiff.)

Shape tablespoons of dough into 1 1/4" balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 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.

This recipe is supposed to make 60 cookies but I think I made mine a little bigger so it wasn't quite that many. Snowballs have a shortbread texture, with the added bonus of chocolate and walnuts. They are one of my favorite holiday cookies.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Does Laughter Cure?

I sure hope so. I'm sure that S hopes so. I'm pretty whiny when I'm sick and this cold is kicking my ass. It's now moved to my ears and my throat. That means sounds are muffled and I'm constantly clearing my throat. Those two things do not make for good conversation.

What? ~clear~
Blah, blah, blah...
What?! ~cough, cough~
Blah, what I said, blah, blah, blah...
WHAT?! ~cough, cough, hack, clear~
Never blah, blah, blah...
Huh? What?! ~cough, cough, hack, clear, hack, hack~
...other person walks off...

Oh well. It probably wasn't important anyway right?

They say that laughter is a cure all* so if anything is ailing you right now you need to watch this video and at least give that theory a run.

Video link courtesy of Leigh Ann, a fellow Larry the Cable Guy fan.

*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It was completely made up by a deathly** ill person who didn't feel like doing a real post today.

**Deathly ill is a complete exaggeration of my actual condition. But it's my blog and I can embellish if I want to.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Letter for the Northpole

Dear Santa,

It's that time of year again but I'm not going to tell you how good B has been. We all know she has been extremely very really so kinda sorta a little maybe good. Instead I'm going to give you a few tips when stopping by this year.

1. Please take your shoes off, or at least wipe your feet. Cleaning up the soot last year was a pain in the ass.

2. I'm sure the reindeer like to rest while you are delivering packages, but I'd appreciate if you could clean up after them. Finding reindeer poo in my front yard was not the gifts I had in mind.

3. If you aren't going to eat the whole plate of cookies, please don't bite into each one. No one wants your leftovers.

4. Crumbs belong in the trash, not on my table or on the floor. The vacuum is in the closet next to the front door.

5. While I'm sure you have a lovely tree at home, please don't move my ornaments around. I decorated the tree like that on purpose.

It's really great of you to deliver gifts to good boys and girls every year but you need to remember you are also entering people's homes so please be considerate. We try to leave treats for you and the reindeer - the least you could do is clean up after yourself.


B's right nostril*

*This is the only body part that seems to be functioning properly this morning.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Finally finished...

S went last night to have the final color added to his tattoo...

It's awesome although a tad bit scary to see when you wake up in the middle of the night. ;]

Whatcha think?!

And the stocking goes to...

Dani @ Riddle Me This...

Congrats on your win!

Although I think I'm the real winner cause I had over 200 comments/entries for my first ever giveaway. I love all the comments and seeing what every one's favorite cookie is.

The most popular answers were gingerbread and sugar cookies.

The most unusual sounding were potato chip and meatball.

My sweeties favorite is Preacher cookies - recipe found HERE.

So what's my favorite? Well it's hard to choose just one since I'm a dessert cookie fanatic but for Christmas my favorite...

Mini Chip Snowball Cookies

It has a little chocolate, a few nuts and lots of sweetness in a bite size package. I love them! Recipe coming soon!

Thanks to everyone for playing along...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Preacher Cookies

You could say I was inspired by your responses to my GIVEAWAY. Or that I just wanted to do something nice for S, who commented yesterday that I "rocked his world" - oh yes it's true. I do rock his world.

Either way I went home Friday and made Preacher cookies. It's one of the easiest cookies ever made but they are delicious.

Here's what you need:

1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Add the cocoa powder, sugar and milk to the melted butter. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Add vanilla, salt and peanut butter. Stir until the peanut butter is combined. Then add the oats.

If you eat a big spoonful I will not judge you. I promise. Just let it cool a little bit first.

Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. I like to spread mine a little to make them look more like an actual cookie but it's your choice.

Allow them to cool and then try to only eat one. It's impossible.

And look how pretty PW's rum cake turned out. Trust me when I say it tasted as good as it looks. This is HIGHLY recommended for any holiday party.

I also recommend that you enter my GIVEAWAY if you haven't already. Today is the last day...the winner will be announced tomorrow!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

I just finished decorating our second Christmas tree. Literally. Just. Now. I do a special one downstairs for S that revolves around his favorite things - Harley Davidson and sports, specifically the Hokies.

I love it so much more than my bigger, nicer, much more expensive tree upstairs. Of course the one upstairs this year just got a few balls and some bead garland, while this one got some TLC.

With the lights on...

With them off...

The tree topper...

Some of my favorites:

A little boxer in honor of Oz...

I just got this one last month and I love it!

How many Christmas trees do you put up? What kind of ornaments do you prefer? Do you think it was a waste of time to put a tree with only 10 days to go? Have you entered my GIVEAWAY yet?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Local video...

I'm feeling quite lazy today. After darts last night...where I managed to close out not one, but TWO amazing wins...I went home and made PW's rum cake. OMGosh this cake smells as good as it looks but it's for a party tonight so I haven't cut into it's buttery goodness yet.

It was well after midnight before I my head hit the pillow. Needless to say, I'm tired and my brain isn't quite functioning yet. Please excuse my laziness, but I'm leaving you with two videos from my hometown.

The first is a local DJ that lost a weight loss competition. This was his punishment - public humiliation.

The second video is an awesome Christmas lights show that I cannot figure how to embed on my page since it's from the local news station and not youtube. ~sigh~ Youtube makes everything so easy. So I apologize that you will have to click the link and suffer through a few seconds of advertising but it's worth it. Promise.

**EDIT** My sis is so smart she found the code to embed. Thanks Sis!

**EDIT EDITED** I can't stand that the video starts on it's own so I have removed it. Please click THIS link if you want to see it.

Don't forget to leave me a comment - maybe it will pep me up a bit. And if you haven't entered my first ever GIVEAWAY yet be sure to do that too.

Have a great weekend ya'll!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I formally accept...

I'm was actually thinking ahead as to what my post would be about today and I came up blank. Oh I have ideas, but I just want to use them at another time. Trust me. I have a plan.

Anyway, while begging for help on Twitter and reading through other blogs I found my inspiration or should I say assignment?

Mama Kat wants to know about my worst dentist experience. She must be one of those weird people that like to hear about other's pain, but I won't give her that kind of satisfaction.

In fact during the worst experience I ever had at a dentist's office I never even got to see the dentist. This office was new to my family and I had only gone once before because you see I'm quite picky about my dentist. I've had a few that should have held the title "Torturer" not DDS so I try to be selective and ask for referrals.

Even with a referral I knew after the first visit that the office was different from any other, and not in a good way. The area where he worked was open. Meaning I could see 3-4 chairs from my chair and we were only blocked by cabinet walls. Each section had it's own equipment but I'd never been to a dentist's office where I could eavesdrop on the other patients.

Other unhappy patients. Ugh.

Sometimes you have no one to blame but yourself. I knew I should not have even booked an appointment but he said I had a cavity so I scheduled a follow up visit. A morning appointment. Have I shared that I'm not a morning person?

So on that morning I show up, check in and sit down to await my torture filling. I notice there is a different receptionist this time. And she's interesting. She's on the phone, assuming with clients and speaking very, do you say? Ghetto. Yes, she was very ghetto - using slang and an accent that was obviously not her own.

I'm sitting there and listening to her take calls. Waiting. And waiting. And waiting. After about 45 minutes I ask her if the dentist is going to see me today. She just gives me a basic "he'll be with you" and sends me back to wait. And wait. And wait.

With each waiting minute I'm getting more and more pissed off. But before I could go back to the desk she abruptly gets up, puts on her coat and leaves with one of the nurses. I'm thinking maybe she's taking a break.

Nope. They get in the car together and leave. LEAVE. Do you understand what I'm saying? While I'm waiting for almost an hour for some freakin' doctor to put a needle in my gums and drill the crap out of my tooth, the reception, who is my only link to the evil dentist, leaves! I was in shock. S-H-O-C-K.

A minute later another nurse makes her way through the hallway so I grab her and ask about the dentist. "He'll be with you shortly." So I tell her that I've already been waiting and I've been told that by the receptionist that has now left the building.

"Oh she had to go pick up her car. It was being repaired and it's ready."

That was it. The last straw. I said well I've waited way too long as it is and now I'm leaving. She asks if I want another appointment. I looked at her like she had an arrow in her head. Not hardly.

Another dentist bites the dust.

If anyone has any insight on why the dentist asks you random questions while his hands are elbow deep in your mouth I'd love to know. Personally I think they like to hear us sound like idiots when we answer them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordful Wednesday - The Champs

While I was at Bratty Nephew's birthday party this weekend S was at his championship game. He's played adult league football for the past 3-4 years. Maybe longer, but it's hard to remember when he plays Fall league, Winter league and various tournaments. And that's just football, he also plays softball and basketball.

When he started his own football team it was on the bottom rung of the ladder - the "C" league. This year he moved to the "A" league, which in itself was huge. Then they won regular season.

Sunday they won it all.

I'd like to say I'm a supportive wife, except I'm really not. I hate sports and cold weather so I never go to his games. But I'm proud of him and his team this year. Just from being on the sidelines I can tell you it's a great group of guys who worked really hard and they DESERVED to win. Plus they beat the snot out of my Dad's old team - loved that!

Congrats honey!

S is so happy about their win he even posted a comment on my GIVEAWAY post.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My First Ever GIVEAWAY...

Welcome to my first ever GIVEAWAY! And my 165th post. Not that the number has to do with anything but I just wanted to point it out.

Now back to my regularly scheduled post...

I gave this a lot of thought and came up with items that I would like to win, which of course means I'd like to keep it all. But it's about sharing some Holiday Spirit with ya'll so I will suffer for your happiness. By suffering I mean that I bought an extra for myself.

Here's what you can win:

It just wouldn't be a giveaway from me without some Holiday socks!

Cookie cutters to make the mess with, a towel to clean it up and little bags to share your goodies!

Since I wouldn't expect you to share ugly cookies I've included some sprinkles and decorating gels.

And finally...what was this?

I got a lot of creative answers from my teaser yesterday, but Bejewell finally got it right. It is a Starbucks gift card holder. Ain't it cute???

Oh and it contains a $10 Starbucks gift card.

Let's recap. You get a "stuffed" stocking with a pair of Christmas socks, cookie cutters, a holiday towel, goodies bags for sharing, decorating gels, sprinkles and a $10 Starbucks gift card all snuggled up in it's very own super cute fuzzy holder.

To enter:

1. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite Christmas cookie. OR if you're not much of a baker let me know what's your favorite Starbucks beverage. For this simple task you will get ONE ENTRY.

2 I'm at a measly 6's starting to affect my self esteem so I need your help. For a SECOND ENTRY - follow me OR subscribe to my blog. And then leave another comment letting me know you did.

3. Post a blog about my first ever GIVEAWAY and earn a THIRD ENTRY when you come back and tell me about it.

*And I'm giving an extra entry to ALL the ladies who guessed yesterday because I'm in the giving mood.*

The GIVEAWAY will end next Wednesday at 12:01 AM (12/17) and the winner will be announced on Wednesday morning. I get paid on Wednesday's and I think you should too!

Now go forth and spread the word!