Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

As you are snug in your beds and the visions of sugar cookies dance in your heads, may all your Christmas dreams come true and your New Year's wishes bring hope and happiness to you and your family.  

Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Caramel Corn/Cracker Jack Anyone?

I've had a little break.  A blogging break again, that it!  It's obvious that blogging has not been a priority lately but I should at least make an effort to do some type of holiday related post. 

In an effort to decorate our little tree in a way that will be safe for little fingers to explore, only one casualty occurred.  And this was the fault of Grammie.  Too bad it was a souvenir from our trip to Ireland a few years ago.  But at least I have this record of  it's beauty - even if it is broken!  And so far, the Christmas tree has been enjoyed by this little elf without any more mishaps. 
An early winter (not even officially winter) ice "event" kept me in the house today.  So it was a good day to get a little holiday baking accomplished.  If there is one recipe that I would say has become a tradition in our family, it would be Caramel Corn - or Cracker Jack as my mother would've called it.  Every year I get out my trusty old hot air popcorn popper (a gift from back in the seventies!)  and Grandma Mary's big ol' (most likely an antique!) roasting pan and mix up a batch of Caramel Corn.  The smell alone is worth every calorie!

Caramel Corn

8 quarts (approx.) popped corn in a large oven roasting pan

2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup white corn syrup (regular pancake syrup will work fine)
1/2 t. salt
      Mix sugar, butter, syrup and salt together in large saucepan and bring to boil for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and  add 1 t. vanilla and 1/2 t. baking soda and be prepared to stir quickly as this will foam.  Pour over the popped corn and stir gently.  Place in a 250 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. 

Make sure your roasting pan is big enough!

Don't forget to stir every 15 minutes while baking.  Make sure you taste test a kernel or two every time!

 After 1 hour, dump out on large clean surface to cool and break up any large clumps.  Taste testing is optional, but I dare you not to!  When cool, package into plastic storage bags or storage containers and hide until ready to serve to snack starved family or package and give as holiday gifts.  Enjoy!

Do you need a quick recipe?  Try these little Faux Turtles.  Simply stack a small pretzel with a Rollo candy and a large pecan.  Place in a warm oven and when the candy is soft, press the pecan down to smush together.  If you want to dress them up a little, drizzle a little melted white candy coating across them and place in the refrigerator until set.  You are done! 

Have a blessed Christmas holiday this year!

PS:  Christmas miracle.  My laptop recovered on it's own accord!  The resident computer geek had determined that the hard drive was okay but the keyboard and mouse would not work nor would the battery hold a charge.  Then out of the blue, it started to work again!  Guess it just took an extended vacation! 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Please Bear With Me!

Is anyone still out there? Or has my blogging negligence lost any of my followers that still take the time to read what little drivel I might finally produce?

Last night after a nice encouraging conversation with my daughter E, I finally found some desire to update this little blog. After all, this is my 300th post(!!) and we just returned from another wonderful trip so I have some great photos from our trip to New Orleans and Oklahoma where we spent Thanksgiving with my sister's family and also our son and his family. Plus tomorrow is my 56th birthday(!).

But yesterday was the day my laptop hard drive decided to take it's last whirly breath :(. I'm trying to not be too concerned, after all we've got a new iPad, a combination birthday, Christmas, anniversary present. So after transferring several photos to use I logged onto Blogspot only to discover that it's not supported on the iPad! My blogging desire is slowly dissipating and and this, my 300th post, is published by using the email posting function of Blogger.

So until I get my PC repaired, my NOLA and my cute grandson photos will have to wait until later. And while many of you are posting your pictures of holiday decorations, quilts and cookie recipes I'll be reading your blogs and working up to posting my 301st blog entry. Hopefully it won't take as long!

One photo to share. Grammie and Papaw with little J and his "little" brother B in my sister's OK backyard.

Thanks for bearing with me!