Monday, December 29, 2008


I am quite excited that the moons aligned and Philly made it into the playoffs. Wow. They needed help from a few other teams and they got it while they embarrassed the Cowgirls. Santa gave me a late Christmas present!! :)

Here are some of the headlines from today that made me smile.....

  • Eagles stomp Cowboy's 44-6 to clinch playoff berth

  • For team of destiny, the rout to the playoffs

  • Eagles fans gloom turns to euphoria

  • Eagles defense provides reminder of just how good it is

  • Eagles are wild

  • Win over Cowboys could make any Eagles fan believe in Santa

  • Another meltdown by Romo, Cowboys

  • Birds favored by 3 over Vikings (the team they play in the next game)

Next Sunday will be a big day!!! I would love another win from the Birds!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas photos

This year was a good Christmas and I am sad that it is over. It seemed like it went by way to fast. We spent time with Jim's family on Christmas day and we did our own little Christmas on Christmas Eve. Here are some of the pictures from Christmas.....

At Jim's sisters

Jamie and Travis bought the boys a puppy for Christmas. This guy was so soft and cuddly but in a flash he could become fast and nippy with those little razor sharp puppy teeth. I didn't care, he was so darn cute.

This was one of Ryan's gifts, and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to try it on. It has a button on the side that will make it sound like one of the Star War's characters.

The boys received a Wii from the grandparents.. they are a lot of fun to play

While we were outside, Ryan chased Jake (the puppy) around and he became SUPER hyper. It was at this point that he would walk behind you (while you were sitting on the ground) and bite your back. Those teeth were super sharp but they he gave you a cute little puppy look and let you smell his puppy breath then everything was okay :o)

Santa brought Caden some of those shoes with the wheels.... yes I am out of touch and can't think of what they are called. Caden still needed a little help, so Jim was helping him out.

this picture is fuzzy, but it is me trying to get away from Jake's teeth. I can't be sure, but it looks like Jake is looking at me while trying to taste my ankle.

This is one of my favorite pictures from that day... I love that Ryan is in focus, but everything else is slightly blurred.

Look at that face and little pink tongue.... how could you not love him?

Christmas Eve

Chewie and Taylor opening their Christmas gift

This was my favorite gift that I gave to Jim. It is a miniature lamp (night light) from The Christmas Story. It is so perfect!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A cookie that is going to be in my current rotation

I have about 20 different food blogs that I look at and I found this recipe on It sounds like a lot, but I keep them in my favorites and check them out about once a week. I love them all because they are all different enough to give me new ideas and recipes to test out my culinary skills. This cookie was damn tasty and is more flaky than gooey. I don't think I was very successful in rolling the cookies while keeping the cinnamon/sugar/nut mix in the middle. Since most of my filling stayed on my cutting board, I ended up making a simple frosting and adding that to the cookies to help give it a little more sweetness. :o) If you have some time and a lot of counter space, I highly suggest you try making this cookie!

Hungarian Horns:

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of butter, chilled and cut into cubes
2/3 cup sour cream (do not use low or non-fat)
1 egg yolk

Whisk the sour cream and egg yolk together in a small bowl until well-combined. Reserve.Combine the flour and chilled butter cubes in the bowl of your food processor and pulse to combine, as if making a pie crust, until the butter cubes have reduced to the size of peas and a sandy texture has formed. (Alternately, you may cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or two forks - but I prefer the food processor.)Place the butter and flour mixture in a large mixing bowl and to it add the sour cream and egg yolk mixture. Mix well, first with a spoon and then your hands, until the dough begins to come together. It will be soft and a bit sticky, but continue packing it together with your hands to form a ball of dough, working quickly to ensure the ingredients are well-combined. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic and chill in the fridge overnight.


1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
one egg white, lightly beaten

Combine the sugar, nuts and cinnamon in a small bowl, cover and reserve until its time to bake. (The egg white will be used to brush the cookies prior to baking, so reserve it as well.)To bake the Horns:Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and remove @ 3 tbsp. of the sugar/nut/cinnamon mixture to a smaller bowl and reserve.Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. One at a time, roll each piece of dough out, on a floured surface, into a 12 inch round circle. Spread the dough with 1/3 of the remaining sugar/nut mixture and press the filling lightly into the dough. Using a sharp knife, cut the circle of dough into four equal quarters, then cut each quarter into four equal triangles. (See photo below.) Roll each triangle from the wide end to the point to form the horn and bend it slightly to form a crescent shape. Repeat with the remaining triangles until all the cookies have been formed.Place the rolled cookies on a large, un-greased cookie sheet, brush each horn with the beaten egg white and top with a sprinkle of the reserved cinnamon sugar and bake at 375 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.The horns will puff a bit as they bake, so leave a bit of room between them as you place them on the sheet. This recipe will yield 48 cookies.

New Jersey Pictures

My flight from Austin to Philly was nearly empty. I believe that most people had their own row to them selves. I took advantage of my empty seats and SLEPT!! My flight left at 7:25am, and I had been out the night before so I didn't get a lot of sleep.

It was overcast in Philly when I landed, but here are a couple of shots of the city as I flew in.

One of the bridges in Philly... I have no idea the name of this one

Mom helped decorate Fred's house for Christmas

During her down time, mom volunteered to be a cross walk guard. Poor mom... she will wear anything I hand her, just to get a funny picture :)

Hmmmmm.... home made chocolates!

Forgive me because I can't remember the name of this candy shop but mom has been going here ever since she was a little girl. It smells heavenly as soon as you walk in... kind of like you were just bitch slapped by chocolate but yet you totally don't care because it is soooo worth it. There are so many wonderful types of chocolates and candies.

On my last day of vacation we drove to Pennsylvania to do a little shopping at unique shopping center. It is called Peddlers Village and they have around 60 shops that range from kitchen gear to super soft robes in all colors. We at lunch at the Cock and Bull, and I think we are all pretty darn happy with our meals. Fred ordered the tuna melt, I ordered the roast beef sandwich and mummy got the soup and onion rings. Before we left I checked the weather and it said the high would be around 60 degrees. Okay, that's nice because the weather before that day was always hovering in the 30's. HOWEVER, the cold decided to stick around and stay in the upper 30s while we shopped. Normally I wouldn't have minded, but I didn't bring a thick jacket. The weather people screwed me!!! :o)

Fred found a new woman while we were shopping. I thought it was a bit forward of him to lick her the first time he met her, but she didn't seem to mind.

Mom had to get in on the action

Fred and I

ahhhh..... brother and sister

It snowed on my first night in NJ!!! Big thick snowflakes that covered everything! I was sooo excited! The picture below is Fred's steps leading to his front deck.
This is one of my favorite pictures from my trip. I only had my little camera with me so I was slightly limited and the fact that is was snowing pretty hard didn't help things :o). But you can see the snow right below the tree on the left... it is swirling down.
Have I mentioned that I love the snow!?!!

Mom and I went on a Holiday Decorations Tour. People opened up their houses for this tour to allow people to see how they decorate for the holidays. I came away with a lot of wonderful ideas. It is an added plus to be able to look at the way people have their houses decorated normally. The homes that we went to were actually condos and most of them had the same floor plan so it was really neat to see how each person had their homes set up. Even though they were the same size and shape they were all unique.
Mom is trying to read the map to find the next house to visit.
The Santa Lama... we visited a Winter festival near Fred's that had animals to pet, food to eat and items to buy. I tried to get either mom or Fred to hug the lama but they wouldn't do it.

Mother is evil. She bought these delicious doughnuts filled with creamy goodness for us to enjoy. I don't normally eat doughnuts, but these were to damn good to pass up. I don't know why, but all of the food seems so much better back east. I think it has something to do with the recipes being handed down year after year. Most of the shops that my mom likes to go to have been around for a long time, and I'm positive that they have perfected the food over the years. I am serious when I say I would weigh 400 pounds if I lived back there.
yuuuuummmmmm!!!! Cheese steaks

Momma rockin the Christmas Pimp hat that she bought for Jim
Fred also rocking the Christmas Pimp hat
Mom as SOOOO excited to see that the jackass in the van was touching her rental car. She had the rental insurance so it wasn't that big of a deal, plus we couldn't see any damage to the car once we pulled away from the van.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Baked Potato Soup

4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
3/4 sweet yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 leek stalks, chopped into bite size pieces
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups 2 % milk (I was bad and used one cup of cream and one cup of 1% milk)
4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever you would like)
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf (I didn't use one)
2-3 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (didn't use)
In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat. Once the bacon is done, remove to paper towels for later use. Remove all but 2 teaspoons of bacon grease from Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery and leeks to the pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes then add the minced garlic and stir frequently for 45 seconds. Add 3 cups of chicken stock, milk, russet potatoes, sea salt, black pepper, half of the bacon crumbles and the bay leaf. Cover over medium low heat for 60 minutes.

When the potatoes are tender, bring the soup to a slight boil. Mix the corn starch with the 1/4 cup of chicken stock and mix thoroughly. Add the slurry to the soup and stir. Taste and re-season if desired. Reduce heat, add cheese, and let the soup thicken for few minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and top with bacon crumbles and parsley.
This recipe was perfect for a cool night! The recipe didn't originally ask for leeks, but I had them in the fridge so I added them in. While this recipe was damn tasty, I saw some recipes with sour cream added into the soup. I'll try it out and let you know :o) Enjoy!!