Monday, December 26, 2011

Two days of Christmas

Christmas Eve!
  My father in law has a tradition every year he sends us a honey baked ham.  That is our Christmas Eve dinner. 
I have started a Christmas Eve tradition a few years ago. We fill up our stockings with gifts and Christmas Eve we open them. This gives us the opportunity for the family to exchange gifts with each other. Christmas morning is all about the gifts that Santa brings. Since Christmas Morning there are some significant gifts for The Cisco Kid we give him little play toys and candy in his stocking.
We got the Cisco Kid into bed at 8:00 p.m. because we had so much wrapping to get done.  We started around 9:30 and we did not finish until 12:30 a.m.
It took the Chief and me three hours to wrap the gifts for The Cisco Kid and a little over an hour for him to open them. All The Cisco Kid asked for this year was an electric guitar and a skateboard. When he got up he searched for the boxes that looked like the guitar and amp. He went right to the guitar and them he went on the hunt for the amp. He spotted a very large box and thought it was the amp. It was his gaming chair instead. The search went on. The amp turned out to be his next pick. That was one happy boy.

After we opened all the gifts, we ate breakfast. I made my traditional Egg Soufflé. I prepared it the day before so all I have to do is put it in the oven and bake it for an hour.

Egg Soufflé link

After a long fun day of playing with all The Cisco Kids new toys we were ready to just relax. In my comatose state I vaguely remember saying goodnight to everyone around 8:00p.m.
This year we had turkey for our Christmas Dinner.   

These Christmas Holiday pewter plates weigh a tone. I have been collecting pewter for about 25 years. I got these plates about fourteen years ago and they came all the way from Mexico.
A girl that worked for me in California went to Mexico regularly to visit her family and one time I asked her if she could bring me back some Pewter plates. I know here in the states pewter plates go for about $40.00 each. I also knew that in Mexico they were much more inexpensive. I gave her $100.00 and asked her to bring back whatever $100.00 would buy. She brought back twelve of these wonderful Christmas Poinsettia plates. I was in shock. Even though I could only use them for Christmas, they are one of my prize pieces.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Enjoying winter break

The Cisco Kid has a total of eighteen days off from school. He had school on Friday Dec 16th but I decided to keep him home so we could do some Christmas shopping for the Chief. After we were done with Christmas shopping we come home and made some hot chocolate and had some delicious cookies. Usually we are running from one activity to the next but now that it is winter break, it gave us some time to just do whatever we want. Some of our days were filled with putting up some train track, Wrapping gifts for family and friends, doing a massive mail out of my Christmas Cookies to family and friends & getting out my Christmas cards. Last week we had a Pack meeting with the Cub Scouts and I suddenly became panicked that I did not start on my Christmas cards. I looked at the Cisco Kid in his Cub Scout uniform and thought....That would be a great Christmas Card Picture! I quickly took his picture in front of our Christmas tree and went to Walgreens pictures on line, ordered the pictures and when we were done with our Cub Scout meeting we went to Walgreens to pick them up. The next day they were all mailed out. The Church The Cisco Kid goes to had a Play called NOEL! They had a live Nativity scene complete with sheep, donkey, chickens, & a lama. I guess the lama took the place of the camel. There was a Choir and a narrator telling the story of the birth of Jesus. After the Play we went to the other end of the Church for the activities. There was a Christmas light show, Hay ride, Cookie decorating, Model building, Pictures with Mickey & Minnie, Cookies and Hot. All of this was free. We enjoyed it so much that I invited one of our friends to go with us again. This time it was Girls and kids night.
Christmas Card Picture.
The Church where we saw the NOEL play and activities. Later that week we went with friends.
Our first visit where The Cisco Kid did his cookie decorating. 
The Cisco Kid and I just love our trains.  We only put them up during Christmas. 
 This year we have several tracks so two engine can run on the tracks at the same time. 

We are half way through the winter break and we have much more fun in store.   


Friday, December 16, 2011

Three days of Baking

I have spent three days baking all my Christmas Cookies. I made ten different kinds including three new recipes. The new Cookies are Italian Pizzelles and Date nut cookie. The third cookie was a total accident. I was going for my chocolate dipped lady finger cookies and I added to much butter. The result was these spectacularly crispy and chewy cookies. I like crispy cookies and chewy cookies and now I have the best of both worlds in one cookie. Now if that was not good enough, I added chocolate and nuts to the edges.

This is the result!

The delicious crispy and chewy cookie.

1 cup butter plus 3 tablespoons
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1tea. vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet Bark Coating
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Cream 1 cup butter and sugar. Add flour and vanilla, mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Shape dough into logs 1/2 inch wide' cut log 2-1/2 inches long. Place on un-greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. In a Microwave melt chocolate and remaining butter. Dip one end of each cookie into chocolate and then into nuts. Place on waxed paper until chocolate cools and hardens.
Once the batter refrigerated for at least one hour, roll the dough into small balls.

The Second Cookie is the Date Nut Cookie.
1/2 cup butter softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of honey
1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tea. Baking powder
1/4 tea salt.
1 cup of dried Dates
1 cup of chopped peacan

Cream butter, sugar, vanilla, honey and egg together. Gradually add dry ingredients. Blend the nuts and apricots with a spoon. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Once chilled, roll into 1-1/2 inch balls and flatten the tops. Place on an ungreased baking sheet about one inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10- minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.

Chopped Dates
Chopped Pecans
Italian Pizzelles.  A light crispy cookie.

3 eggs, beaten
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter (melted)
3 c. sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. anise extract
Add and beat ingredients together in order listed. Drop by rounded spoonful onto center of preheated grid (pizzelle maker). Close lid, allow to cook until steaming stops (30-60 seconds). Cool on wire rack. Store in airtight container.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Scouting Christmas Party

Our Annual Christmas Party was a huge success. We had a food drive and everyone had to bring in a non perishable item. We have our annual gift exchange and every child that wants to participate must bring in a gift worth not more than $5.00. Every family must bring in a cover dish. I brought in a very large tray of Lasagna and a Honey Ham.

The Kids played seven different Minute to Win It games. We called it....Two Minutes to Win It because the ages of the children ranged from six to ten, and one minute for some of these games was just not enough time.

After everyone was done eating the children sat in a very large circle with the gift they brought. Our Cub Master then reads a story with lots of rights and lefts in it. Every time he says right, the children pass the gift to the right. Every time he says left, the children pass the gift to the left. It is cute to watch all the children watch these wrapped packages go back and forth.

My Balloon Christmas tree.
They had to put a Christmas ornament on the ribbon and transfer it to each other by rotating around. 
Rolling a ball down a 2x4 without it falling off.
Stack 9 nuts on top of each other with a skewer.  
All the gifts for the gift exchange. 

There were about 60 children.  
This was the script he read.  The Children had to pass the gift to the RIGHT  and LEFT every time the word was said. 
Christmas was almost here and Mother RIGHT was finishing the Christmas baking. Father RIGHT, Sue RIGHT, and Billy RIGHT returned from their last minute Christmas errands.

"There's not much LEFT to be done," said Father RIGHT as he came into the kitchen. "Did you leave the basket of food at the church?" asked Mother RIGHT. "I LEFT it RIGHT where you told me to," said Father RIGHT.

"I'm glad my shopping is done," said Billy RIGHT. "I don't have any money LEFT." The telephone rang, and Sue RIGHT LEFT to answer it. She rushed back and told the family, "Aunt Tilly RIGHT LEFT a package for us RIGHT on Grandpa RIGHT's porch. I'll go over there RIGHT now and get it," she said as she LEFT in a rush.

Father RIGHT LEFT the kitchen and brought in the Christmas tree. By the time Sue RIGHT returned, Mother RIGHT , Father RIGHT , and Billy RIGHT had begun to decorate their tree. The entire RIGHT family sang carols as they finished the trimming. They LEFT all of the presents under the tree and went to bed hoping they had selected the RIGHT gifts for their family.

Now, I hope you have the RIGHT present for yourself because that's all that's LEFT of our story ... except to wish you a Magical Holiday ... isn't that RIGHT?



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