Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend Happenings

I know I've been away too long.

I spent all day Saturday on my feet in the kitchen preparing food for our holiday party that evening. D has hosted this holiday party for the last 7 years so it's become a tradition. Although, as the years pass we invite fewer and fewer people. Only about 9 of us there this year, but I still wanted it to be special. I made homemade York Peppermint patties, fudge, and sugar cookies with chocolate frosting.

I messed up the peppermint patties pretty badly. Instead of 6 cups of confectioners sugar, I added 6 cups of regular sugar. Grainy, grainy mess. Into the garbage it went and my amazing husband was kind enough to run to the store and grab me another sweetened condensed milk so I could start over. He also went to 2 different stores for marshmallow creme because apparently Safeway was completely cleaned out of marshmallow creme. Seriously. The fudge was very tasty, though. It was firm yet creamy.

I didn't take a picture of the food. None of it. Didn't take any pictures at the party, didn't take any pictures of the Christmas decorations that I finally got around to putting up on Thursday night. I'll tell you why. It's because my heels hurt. My back hurt. And, some funky nerve in my lower back has been killing me for a couple of weeks and that hurt, too. When I could sit down and do absolutely nothing, I did. Even taking pictures was too much of a comittment for me by the end of the afternoon on Saturday.

During our party it began to snow. By the end of our party we probably had about an inch on the ground, and then after everyone left we kept accumulating. D got out his tape measure and measured 1 3/4" of snow. The trip to church on Sunday morning was interesting. We live on a hill and there's no way to get off the hill other than driving down the hill (makes sense, right?). The roads were icy but D managed to manuver like a pro and we arrived safely at worship. Evening service was cancelled and it's probably best - the temperature didn't reach above freezing the entire day so the icy roads just got icier and by Sunday night our cul de sac was a solid sheet of ice. Fortunately for us a sand truck came and sanded our cul de sac and road to our neighborhood.

This morning on my way to work, my car temperature gauge said 18°. Seriously - 18°. In Seattle. Right now the sun is shining and there are only a spattering of clouds in the sky. We are forecasted for more snow on Wednesday.

Tomorrow night, D and I are going to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle. I'm SO excited. I grew up loving the musical and it thrills me to be able to see it live on stage. D, of course, is not as thrilled...but he loves me and because he loves me he is going with me!

Whitney at Glamorous Life of a Housewife has a giveaway today - go check it out.

And now... Recipes

Homemade York Peppermint Patties

1 (14−ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tablespoon peppermint extract
Green or red food coloring, optional
6 cups confectioners' sugar
Additional confectioners' sugar
1 − 16 oz. bag semi−sweet chocolate chips

In large mixer bowl, combine Eagle Brand, extract and food coloring if desired. Add 6 cups sugar; beat on low speed until smooth and well blended. Turn mixture onto surface sprinkled with confectioners sugar. Knead lightly to form smooth ball.

Tear off enough of the mixture to make 1" balls and knead in hand until the consistency of bubble gum. Roll into 1" balls and place 2 inches apart on wax paper−lined baking sheets. Flatten each ball into a 1 ½−inch patty immediately after placing each one on the wax paper. Let dry 1 hour or longer; turn over and let dry at least 1 hour.

Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave set on high for 2 minutes. Stir halfway through the heating time. Melt thoroughly, but do not overheat. Melting the chocolate chips can also be done using a double−boiler over low heat. With fork, dip each patty into warm chocolate (draw fork lightly across rim of pan to remove excess coating). Invert onto wax paper−lined baking sheets; let stand until firm. Store covered at room temperature or in refrigerator.

Note from Jamie: I dipped a few, but it was a MESS. I ended up just using a butter knife to coat the top of the mint with chocolate and I left the bottom untouched.

Carolynn's Sugar Cookies
(Carolynn is my mom!)

1 c butter or margarine
1 c sugar
1 egg
3 T heavy cream or whole milk
1 t vanilla
3 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

Cream butter & sugar in a large bowl. Beat in egg, cream, and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Chill dough while oven is preheating. Preheat oven to 400 F. Roll out dough 1/3 at a time. Cut with cookie cutter. Bake 5-10 minutes.

Fudge

1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line an 8x8 inch pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and pour in semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.

I love the holidays. I can't wait for a week from now when D & I head down to Oregon for my family's week-long holiday tradition extravaganza. Always something happening around the holidays with my family. I think every day and night that we're down there is filled with something to do - never a dull moment!

I'll try to update again if we get snow on Wednesday. This is one of those weeks that I'll be taking my laptop home from work every night just in case it's too dangerous to get out on the roads the next day.

Happy Monday!

4 comments commented:

Micah said...

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers will be so fun! I love musicals! Especially on stage!

Jennifer said...

I love that your husband went back to the store for you - what a trooper. I sent mine out on Thanksgiving Eve for one thing. Poor baby it took him almost 45 minutes to get there and home.

Seven Brides for Brothers is one of my all time favorite musicals ever!!! I would give my right arm to see it live. I hope you have fun!

forever folding laundry said...

OK, why does your fudge have 1.5 cups of sugar and mind has FIVE!!!! I might need to give yours a try so I can feel better about eating it! =)

Sweet Simplicity said...

I was hoping that you would give us the recipe for the fudge! Thanks!