Friday, December 30, 2011

Year-End Review 2011

I started blogging in March of this year.  I never expected it to become such a huge part of my life.  I have such fun visiting and commenting on other blogs.  I have started to really "see" the world around me.  I actually "look" at things in a different way (especially colors!).  I thank all of you for supporting me and having faith in my blog.  


My top three posts this year with the most "views" are:


(1)  Celebrity Cook Along with Rachael Ray 


Gruyere Mac & Cheese


(2)  The Talking Teacup


(3) I Love Fall



Blogging is a great way to capture life's best days and all those "Kodak moments".  I realize how truly blessed I am, to be able to spend time with friends and enjoy all there is for us.


My personal favorite posts are 


(1) Come to My Halloween Party

(2) Kiwi's Sweet 16

(3)  A Lovely Summer Sunday


I have been thinking about resolutions, and in addition to the usual ones like eating better and moving (exercising) more, I want to 


get back into old hobbies like crocheting






try some new craft projects.  I want to paint my guest bedroom's brass headboard and lamp with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint




I want to practice on my little portable sewing machine


and I want to get my tiny yard presentable so that it is "blog worthy".  


tomatoes and basil pre-blogging days


All right, I have put it all out there via this post, and I will hold myself accountable to all of you with upcoming ones  ;-).  It is certainly not for lack of inspiration or tutorials!


Sharing this with The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays, the first one for 2012!  


xo







Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Come to my New Year's Eve Party

I decided I want to spend New Year's Eve at home, all comfy cozy, and share it with all of you



I made a cranberry punch


stuffed mushrooms
A few hors d'oeuvres for us to nibble




We can just relax and take our time


Or we can break out the bubbly




I have some noisemakers and confetti for midnight




Of course there will be cake!


And we can reminisce




Mr. New Year's Eve himself


Guy Lombardo


I feel a little nostalgic, a good dip can lighten the moment




Here's a preview getting the ball ready in Times Square.  We have a better view right from the living room  ;-)


http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/top_stories/153160/workers-prepare-times-square-new-year-s-eve-ball


Wishing all of you the happiest and brightest New Year!  May 2012 bring all of us good health, lots of  happiness, and prosperity.  



Sung by Dougie MacLean

Joining Jenny Matlock for Alphabe-Thursday's "Anything New Year's Eve", Honey at 2805 for Potpourri Friday,  and The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.

All photos except for Mr. Lombardo are from my "Let's Party!" board on Pinterest.  Click on my link and you can get recipes, etc.

xo

Sunday, December 25, 2011

God Sent Us a Saviour





If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.

If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.

If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.

If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.

But our greatest need was forgiveness,
So God sent us a Saviour.

                                -  Roy Lessin





Wishing you peace, joy, and love this Christmas.  


Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.  
                                                                                                                     ~Laura Ingalls Wilder


xo

Friday, December 23, 2011

Struffoli!

I debated about making these, but my "best friend/closest I have to a sister" really, really looks forward to these every year.  I spend Christmas Eve at her home.  So this morning I made a small batch and took some photos to share with you along with the recipe.  It is probably too late for this Christmas, but you could make a batch for New Year's.  If you can recruit an assistant, that would be very helpful.  Recipe can be doubled, but if this will be your first attempt, I don't suggest that.  


Struffoli
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 T. brandy (optional but good)
1 tablespoon melted butter


Deep pot with couple of inches of vegetable oil slowly heating up


1 cup honey
2 tablespoons colored sprinkles (confettini or 'thousand and ones')


Sift the flour, baking powder and salt onto a board and make a well.




Beat the eggs with vanilla, brandy and melted butter until thick .  Slowly add beaten eggs to the center of well incorporating flour from the sides.  You can use a fork or work with hands.  




Dough will start to form and is very sticky.  Add small amounts of flour to board and your hands while kneading until dough is smooth and elastic.  Knead until all flour is gone and dough looks very smooth.  




Cut dough in  half and check if there are tiny air holes.  My camera could not take a good photo but if you don't see any air holes, keep on kneading.


There are 3 good ones in center
Cut a slice of dough (approximately 4" x 2"), cover remainder with a dish towel, and roll the slice into a rope.  


If the rope is getting longer than your board, just cut it in half.


I even these up as one end was thicker
Cut rope in smallish pieces.  




Drop one into the pot, if it starts to sizzle and turn, oil is ready.  Add to pot and the little dough pillows do become round.  




Using a 'spider' or slotted spoon, turn them once.  When light golden brown, remove to a dish with paper towels to drain.  




When you have finished frying all of the dough, put them into a very large bowl or pot.  Heat the honey in a small pot and add sprinkles.  (I forgot to buy sprinkles as I always seem to have them sitting on a back shelf in my pantry - not this time)  You can also add some orange or lemon zest to the honey.    Pour over the struffoli, carefully turning to make sure all are well coated.




Mound the struffoli onto your serving plate in a pyramid shape (traditional) or you can put them in small aluminum loaf pans or cupcake liners.  You can top with additional sprinkles.  Keep tightly wrapped with plastic wrap or cellophane.


Joining 2805 for Potpourri Friday, Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday and The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.


Wishing all of my readers and followers love and best wishes for the holidays.


xo











Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What goes with tea? Antiques!

What can be better than a wonderful tea, and then stopping in to check out the latest finds at the antique store across the way. 
Bucks County Antique Gallery, Chalfont, PA
It is the kind of store where you just don't know where to look first or which aisle to start in, but once you get acclimated, it is a wonderland.




Love the red velvet tablecloth, Santa is some centerpiece





















A little Magi humor  ;-)




Never saw the repairman, I bet!




I was surprised to see these two "love doves"




Mrs. Dove is in the nesting box, baby doves on the way?




A sure sign of peace




I didn't buy anything but certainly had my eye on several items.  


Peace be with you, as well as joy and love this season.


xo

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Talking Teacup Dressed for Christmas

I love gift exchanges with my friends.  We love to choose a special place, and we never seem to mind the drive.  It is so relaxing, and the weather here the day we visited was unusually mild, even reaching 60.  





The Talking Teacup in Chalfont, Pennsylvania was our choice for a Christmas tea. (To read about another visit during the summer, click here)




Santa greets guests at the door. (The floor has little tea pots stenciled on it)




Lots of lovely choices for last minute gifts.  




The owner, Kathy, brought out fresh baked breads for sale




A cozy fireplace to welcome you with its holiday finery






Being seated at a table in a lovely enclosed porch 




Pine in the rafters




My idea of a lunch break with friends


I want dishes like this - J-Bro and Italian Countryside (sigh)




A happy friend with a teapot-shaped sandwich




Chocolate mint roobius tea, delicious, not too minty but rich 


Orange cranberry cake, fudgy brownie and sugar cookie (the diet starts in earnest January 2nd, along with the austerity program)  ;-)




My sentiments for all of you 




Joining Trisha at Sweetology 101 for Tea Party Tuesday, Jenny Matlock for Alphabe-Thursday's "Anything Christmas" and The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.  


xo
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