Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Very Proud Auntie!

So, last week I went home to California for the holidays. It could not have been a more perfect Christmas. The food was great...seeing my family was great, as always, and most of all getting to see my niece's new horse, CJ! I am such a proud Aunt. My niece, who's 12, has been riding horses for some time now. See, she's an English hunter/jumper equestrian rider and she has already acquired MANY ribbons. :) I think I'll be watching Paris in the Olympics one day. ;) Here are a few pictures of my beautiful niece, Paris and her new horse CJ.

She's a natural!

CJ has such great demeanor also. He's a very solid horse!

And I was even able to spend a little time grooming CJ with her while sis mucked out his stall, lol. Guess that's what mother's are for, huh? :) Thanks sis for taking a great picture of us!

More Christmas pictures to come as soon as I get a hold of 'em! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your families! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tis the season for sweets, sweets and more sweets!

I've already given up eating good this month especially with all these goodies! Coreena, Jim's oldest, and I cooked up a storm the other night. She had two parties for school and she wanted to bring alot of goodies to share. I didn't even take a picture of everything. I was too busy stuffing my face and kept forgetting to take pictures and kept forgetting to help too!

Aren't these adorable? Chocolate dipped pretzel sticks sprinkled with crushed candy cane.

Sugared walnuts and chocolate chip pumpkin bread.

Of course we can't forget peppermint bark!

I'm sure after that evening I gained ten pounds. *sigh* I did remember the sugared walnut recipe though! Very easy and very addicting. I warn you!


1 cup sugar
1/2 tbs cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt.
6 tbs half and half.
1 tbs vanilla extract
2-3 cups of whole walnuts
Boil to soft ball stage or 236 degrees all ingredients.. Once you have reached 236 degrees add 1 tbs vanilla extract and quickly mix in 2-3 cups of the whole walnuts. Spread them out on wax paper and cool.

See, you know me....easy is good. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tis the season....

I think I am back to blogging on a regular basis! :) The last three months I was attending a few classes at the local college including an herb class that I just love! So, much of my spare time was taken up by homework! My last piece of homework is for my herb class. I am currently working on a very large herb chart. I will be painting pictures of each herb I describe in the chart along with the botanical name, uses, etc. I hope it turns out good enough to frame later! I still have to turn it in before the start of winter session. In our last class the instructor brought us all the most delicious topping for vanilla ice cream...a sort of blueberry, orange and lavender compote! It was delicious! Different, I must admit but still VERY good. I'll include the recipe below if anyone is interested. :)

So, I am ready to start baking, crafting and enjoying the holidays!

Until then...a little cozy picture for your enjoyment. I've dressed the townhome with a little holiday cheer. Emma is certainly enjoying laying on the cozy couch by the fire. :)

Here's that delicious ice cream topping recipe! Enjoy! It's so easy to make.

Blueberry Lavender Ice Cream Topping

1 1/2 lbs frozen blueberries
20 stalks of lavender if you still have fresh lavender around - just need the tops of each stalk (the lavender buds) - this can be optional if you don't have access to fresh lavender buds
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of orange flavored liqueur

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add sugar and dissolve. Add orange liqueur and bring to a boil again. Add blueberry and lavender buds and return to a boil. Put in refrigerator until cold and serve over ice cream!

How easy is that? :)