Saturday, December 6, 2008
This is a comfort food that is good for you and hits the spot on those really cold days (or any day!).
It is guilt free and healthy.
My Low Calorie Vegetable Soup
Onions, raw, 1 cup, chopped
Carrots, raw, 2 large chopped (7-1/4" to 8-1/2" long)
Celery, raw, 4 stalk, small chopped (5" long)
Leeks, .5 cups washed well and chopped
Endive,1/2 cup, chopped
White beans, 1 cup
Red cabbage 1/4 cup
Swanson Chicken Broth 99% Fat Free, 4 cups
Water, tap, 2 cups (8 fl oz)
Mixed frozen veggies- 1 bag
Saute onion,leek,celery.carrots and any other remaining veggies in olive oil.
Add liquids -
Add remaining items (beans and barley).
Cook until slowly until all is tender-season. Enjoy!
*feel free to add rice, pasta or barley.
(I usually prefer barley)
Number of Servings: 8
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tanya said they are also called a glass "Friendship Ball" which is traditionally hung in your window year-round to remind you of the joy and sparkle of friendship. Such a unique and gorgeous gift!
They have many different colors and gorgeous options available in their shop.
So rush over to Sunday Baker and enter to win one of these unique gorgeous ornaments...oh and please tell Tanya I sent you in your post.
Rush over to 5 Minutes for Mom and enter this contest... they will announce the winner Saturday, December 20th.
"TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE
MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.
I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE
AND TO SEE JUST WHO IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.
I LOOKED ALL ABOUT, A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS, NOT EVEN A TREE.
NO STOCKING BY THE MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND.
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.
WITH MEDALS AND BADGES, AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT CAME THROUGH MY MIND.
FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.
THE SOLDER LAY SLEEPING, SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.
THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER.
NOT HOW I PICTURED A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.
WAS THIS THE HERO OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?
CURLED UP IN A PONCHO, THE FLOOR FOR A BED?
I REALIZED THE FAMILIES THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.
SOON ROUND THE WORLD, THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.
THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS, LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.
I COULDN'T HELP WONDER HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE, IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.
THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES AND STARTED TO CRY.
THE SOLDIER AWAKENED AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
"SANTA DON'T CRY, THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE,
I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, I DON'T ASK FOR MORE.
MY LIFE IS MY GOD, MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.
"THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP.
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT, I CONTINUED TO WEEP.
I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS, SO SILENT AND STILL,
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.
I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT.
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR SO WILLING TO FIGHT.
THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE, WHISPERED,
"CARRY ON SANTA.
IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.
"ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH, AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
These are the most adorable crosses I have ever seen.
Hurry over to The Giveaway and check out what is going on...
Can you believe they are actually giving away your choice of any single color Cross Necklace or Keychain by DC Stuff.
Necklace is adjustable.
Cross size is about 1 3/4x1 in.
Each cross is coated with a layer of clear coat acrylic to avoid rusting & chipping of the colored wire.
Each necklace comes in it's own little bag.
Specialty salts are the finishing touch to really great recipes. Ritrovo’s collection equips the home chef with the ability to completely amplify or modify the flavor profile of ANY dish from baked goods (hello sweet salt!) to grilled fish. There is no other salt product on the market that compares to Ritrovo’s quality.
The Marxfood.com blog is having a really neat giveaway .
That’s why they are giving away a flight of seven Ritrovo finishing salts valued at $120.
Ritrovo’s Fine Finishing Salts Collection has just been added to their web store and they are really excited about these exceptional artisanal salt blends.
If you go HERE you can enter the giveaway-A winner will be chosen by random and announced on Monday, December 8.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Bunny's Warm Oven
Now I have had these cookies in the past -
I could never find the recipe to make them.
When I ran across Carols post...I couldn't wait to make them.
Let me tell you they came so good-
I should have made 2 batches.
I will make more tomorrow for sure!
I'm submitting this to Food Bloggas Eat Christmas Cookies blogging event. Check this link to participate in the event. Or check here to see the roundup (gets updated as entries come in).
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
U.S service men and wom en for our being able to celebrate these
festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people
stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq
Sunday, November 30, 2008
It was absolutely delicious. Everyone loved it.
Of course I forgot to take a picture!
I am posting it with its original photos courtesy of
Great Chocolate Cakes and Recipes
These photos are not mine!
Adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle.
For the cake:
* 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup cake flour
* 1 cup cocoa powder plus 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
* 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
* 2-1/4 cups sugar
* 4 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
* 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place a rack in the centre of the oven. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube ban.
2. On medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (4 to 5 minutes). Add your eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Mix together the vanilla and sour cream.
4. Combine your dry ingredients. Add them to the butter and sugar in three additions, alternating with the sour cream mixture. Start and end with the flour mixture.
5. Pour your batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Test the cake with a cake tester or a toothpick to ensure that it’s cooked in the centre.
6. Cool the cake for 15 to 20 minute and then unmold.
7. Let it cool completely before glazing.
For the Dark Chocolate Glaze:
* 3 ounces dark chocolate (I used a Lindt chocolate with 65% cocoa solids — use your favourite chocolate)
* 1/3 cup heavy cream
1. Finely chop your chocolate.
2. Boil the cream and immediately pour it over the chocolate.
3. Let sit for 2 or 3 minutes and then stir until the glaze is smooth.
4. Place the glaze in a bowl and let sit for a few minutes to set a bit. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
5. When you’re ready to glaze the cake, place your cake on a wire rack with a lined tray beneath or place your cake directly on some waxed paper to or aluminum foil to avoid making a mess.
6. Pour the glaze over the cake and allow it to drip down the sides.
7. Let the glaze set completely.
For the white chocolate drizzle:
* 1 small bar of white chocolate (I used Lindt)
1. Melt your white chocolate in a double boiler.
2. Once it’s melted, stir to ensure that it’s smooth.
3. With a squeeze bottle, pastry bag or with a fork, drizzle the chocolate over the glazed cake in a decorative pattern.
4. Let set completely before serving.