Saturday, 25 December 2010

Queen of the Kitchen

Every year, we're faced with the same dilemma... how does one dress for the Kitchen on Christmas Eve?  (Or Christmas Day, depending.)  Well, this year, I figured it out.  I grabbed my favourite jeans, a yummy green satin blouse, my red jumper, a red embroidered apron to keep me clean and.......


Yep!  I dressed up in my tiara!  I'd actually planned it the previous day, but I left it at home, accidentally.  So, when Dad went over to get Grandma at lunch time (Grandma's living with me for a few months whilst she goes through knee replacement surgeries), I had him pick up the box that I'd set on my table that morning.  He didn't know what was inside.  Just brought it over.  I just put it on, and didn't say anything.  At some point, someone, either Mom or Lois, came in the kitchen and said, "Are you wearing a Tiara?!?"  I smiled and said, "Yep!  I'm Queen of the Kitchen today!" 

Here I am, reigning over my domain:
Now, I usually do a lot of the cooking for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  However, this year I did a little extra, because my nephew was demanding lots of time from my sister.  So, we had a very royal house this week:

Queen of the Kitchen (Me)
The Little Emperor (My Nephew)
The Emperor's Slave (My Sister)

The Emperor even has a "Jade Throne".  It's one of those BebePods, and it's green, so when the subject of his being the Emperor came up, I just naturally named his Pod "The Jade Throne."  I wish I could post a few photos of him in his throne (he LOVES it), but I must defer to the Emperor's wishes (or at least his slave's wishes!)

Anyway, here's some more images from the Kitchen Realm:

 The finished product (Apple Pie) was absolutely divine!  I hate to brag, but I really am justified in proclaiming myself Queen of the Kitchen.  You've never had Turkey or Apple Pie til you've had my Turkey and Apple Pie!

Happy Christmas

My favourite Christmas song is "O Holy Night" by Placide Cappeau de Roguemaure, in 1847.  I'm sure you're all familiar with the lyrics, but, tonight is the commemoration of that Holy Night.  Sure, we know that Christ couldn't have been born in December, and that we celebrate His birth on the pagan solstice festival, but the point isn't when he was actually born.  The point was, He was born!  That is what we celebrate.  So I've included the words below:  

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

May you have the Happiest of Christmas' this year.  

Much love, wherever you are,

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Did I Mention?

BYU (my undergrad Uni) has hired me again!  Remember when I popped my head into the Head of Dept's office, and he asked if I would do him a favour and teach his class?  Well, he also offered me a job for next term!  Wooo hoo!  I'll be teaching Intro to English Linguistics (which totally rocks because 1 - I've taught it before, 2 - It was the class I discovered Linguistics in, and 3 - It was the class that I met one of my dearest friends (Hi Coi!) in.  I've got a soft spot for that class.) and a 500 level course on Sociolinguistics (which is my area of expertise!) 

Sadly, that put paid to my plans for NYC for New Years and Boston for the following weekend of Blues Dancing *cry* But, the job is slightly more important.  I WILL come visit, Livia, CEG and Diana!  I do promise.  Just... not next weekend.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas Bloghop

Hi there.  Looking for Adele's installment of the Christmas Bloghop?  Well... you've sort of found me.  Some wires got a bit crossed, though, and the actual post is over HERE.  Don't know what I'm talking about?  Well, come join us.  Start by hitting Amanda's blog.  There are some fun Christmas projects and even a few giveaways!  See you on the other Blog!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

The Little Things

Yesterday, I was coming home around 9.00 in the evening, and I stopped at a petrol station.  I was tired and thirsty, so I decided to get a fountain drink as a little treat.  (Fountain drinks taste so much better than their bottled equivalents!)  So I went in the shop and got my drink, then went to the counter to pay, and the guy behind the til said, "Is that it for you?"  I said, "Yes."  He said, "Well then, how about, on the house tonight?"  I looked up (I'd been digging through my bag to find my purse) and I could feel my face light up!  I said, "Well, that's very kind of you!  Thank you!  Merry Christmas!" and left the shop.  But my grin lasted for HOURS!  Completely disproportionate to the small kindness offered.  I know that soda pop is just about the cheapest stuff on the planet, and they make an enormously ridiculous profit on them, but . . . that didn't matter.  It had made my day to get that drink free.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Non-Dairy Treats

My darling nephew is lactose intolerant.  I mean SERIOUSLY intolerant.  Rotten thing.  My sister can't even eat margarine with the tiniest HINT of milk in.  So, we've been getting creative.  Especially as the Christmas season approaches, she's been feeling the tragedy as the rest of us have started enjoying the holiday goodies.  (Oh, my nephew doesn't like my sister to eat chocolate, either!)

This evening, we went to a cookie swap, and obviously that meant we had to bring a cookie to share.  So, I thought, I know!  I'll do a sugar cookie that's dairy-free.  That way she'll be able to eat at least one of the treats.  So I did some digging.

Found out 2 things
1 - There are tons of yummy recipes out there that are dairy-free.
2 -  Coconut oil can be used to replace butter in just about anything, and it's WAY better for you than either butter, margarine or anything hydrogenated.  (But, you have to get the extruded (ie- pressed) stuff, because the heat extraction hydrogenates, at least partly, the oil.)

Anyway, we made sugar cookies using this recipe (click for a closer look):

Oh!  They were divine!  I'm so pleased!!! The sugar cookie recipe would be the most amazing recipe to use if you wanted to cut shapes with a cookie cutter, because they don't lose their shape.  They'll stay a crisp cut, rather than becoming a blob.  And, if you bake them til just under "done" they'll be chew inside and crisp outside.  Oh... one thing I learned.... I like the temperature a little lower than you usually find it in recipes.  So, even though this one calls for 375 F, I went with 350 F.  Just a matter of personal preference.  Also, rather than replacing the vanilla, like I suggest in the cookie recipe, with peppermint, you can add a tiny amount (I used 1/2 tsp) of peppermint to the mix w/o changing anything else, and give it a hint of peppermint!