Saturday, November 29, 2008
Our Fifth Annual Very Changeling Christmas Contest begins December 1st
with the first of 12 Gingersnaps:
Gingersnaps: Santa Paws Lena Austin
Gingersnaps: Canine Cop BJ McCall
Gingersnaps: Serendipity 5A Dawn Montgomery
Gingersnaps: Christmas Knight Alecia Monaco
Gingersnaps: Another Chance L. Shannon
Gingersnaps: Cupid Sierra Dafoe
Gingersnaps: Serendipity 7C Lexxie Couper
Gingersnaps: Sophie’s Present Anne Kane
Gingersnaps: Summoning Leila Brown
Gingersnaps: Sugar Plums Kate Hill
Gingersnaps: Pole Serpent Renee George
Gingersnaps: Christmas Party Moira Rogers
12 Changeling Gingersnaps, 12 Chances to Win!
Grand Prize: Free E-Books For a Year(All Changeling 2009 e-book releases)
Five First Place Winners will each receive free E-books for a month (All Changeling January 2009 e-book releases)
10 runners-up will receive Five Free Downloads of their choice.
Friday, November 28, 2008
1. Doing a brine rocks! We modified Aton Brown's Roast Turkey brine by using leftover turkey broth we had frozen, but the results were well worth the effort. The turkey was so moist, you could cut it with a fork. Halfway through the cooking time we had to stop and remove some of the broth from the roaster for fear the turkey was boiling, not roasting.
The reserved broth was the perfect stuff to make the gravy, since it had time to sit on the counter and the fat rose to the top to be removed. We didn't need to save it because we had a little sage butter left from when we put some under and in the turkey, so it formed the basis of our roux for the gravy rather than plain old turkey fat.
2. I'm adding a note that next year we make the Roasted Asparagus and Leeks the day before to allow the vinegar and flavors to infuse into the veggies. The huge amount we cooked just could not get done while the turkey rested, and the flavors hadn't really worked their way into the veggies. Today, however, they're delicious.
3. Making some of the recipes ahead worked beautifully. After a small flurry of activity in the morning while we got the turkey out of the brine and put the sage butter "coins" under the skin, we were able to enjoy our guests as they arrived, offer them beverages, show them the munchies, and yak out on the porch. When the timer went off, Dante and I excused ourselves to baste or whatever, but other than that we were relaxed and sociable. That alone is a miracle in our tiny "two butt" kitchen. (Insider joke: The kitchen is so small, two butts rub together and three is real intimacy.)
Other than these minor additions, all the recipes go into the book with no changes. Most are tried and true recipes, so they need no new notes.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I know! I know! How dare I serve a raw egg eggnog? Well, I do dare, dammit. Y'all can spend your time and money making those cooked custard type eggnogs, but I'll take this every time. We don't add the bourbon or brandy. It's just not in us to spike the eggnog. For added safety, you can use pasteurized eggs if you're feeling nervous.
Our tradition is to serve the eggnog in the evening with the Snowballs (Yes, I'll post that recipe too.) and toast the beginning of the winter holidays. Why the Snowballs? Come back tomorrow and find out.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Yes, I know it's faint. That's what happens to recipes that are close to forty years old.
2 cups of peanut butter
1 lb margarine, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
2 boxes confectioner's sugar
Blend all ingredients together. Roll into small balls. Dip into chocolate Candy Melts, if desired. (This is a change from what Cindy wrote. Candy Melts are a modern alternative to her recipe.)
Candy Melts are the easy way to get chocolate dips and candy. Go here:
I love candy melts! They come in a variety of colors and flavors for creativity with little effort. Candymaking becomes a snap with Candy Melts. You can really be impressive for next to no effort with Candy Melts.
Update: I found some Candy Melts at Wal-Mart, JoAnn's Fabrics, and Michael's Crafts.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I posted this recipe on another one of my blogs, but it's worth repeating. IMHO, it's better than a rice krispies treat. I don't bother with the sticks. Let's face it, not many of my cookies and desserts last long enough to get fancy. This one is colorful and seasonally appropriate as is.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I've been looking for this recipe for years. We found it in Bon Appetit magazine back in the '90's and have been winging it ever since we lost it in a move.
I'm so happy! Dante's attempts to reproduce this delicious recipe have been successful, but it's nice to have the original back. Hooray!!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I love the self-warranty idea especially. Since I buy appliances on a cash basis, declining the extended warranty and putting the money I would have spent into my emergency fund makes a lot of sense. Then I get the interest instead of some company that puts up too many restrictions on my being able to collect on the warranty later.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Here's the address: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/booksbeyondtheboundaries
Just turn up your speakers!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
For those families who love that crunchy bit of stuffing, this is the answer. You avoid the possibility of food poisoning by never having the stuffing near the bird, and there's more crunchy bits to go around without fist fights.
You can see I made a note about going lighter on the onions. Ours came out too "oniony" and I personally blame the onion being cut too chunky. This year, I'll be using an onion in several recipes, so I'll chop up a couple in the food processor and scoop out what I need from a ziploc bag.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Then again, there are those who can have all the carbs they want. For my beloved DH, this is his potatoes. Perhaps it's a good thing my son-in-law Phil is 2000 miles away, or there would be a battle royal!
This easy gratin is a snap to make and darn near irresistible. I'm glad my DH runs off with this dish to the porch for a pig out as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
"Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."
Consequences: Similar amendments in other states are being used to take away benefits from public employees (Kentucky, for instance), and dissolve domestic partnership registries used to provide health care benefits and pensions (in Michigan).Broward and Palm Beach Counties and the cities of Tampa, Gainesville and Miami Beach, among others, offer Domestic Partnership Registries. Most Florida universities and more than half of Fortune 500 companies offer Domestic Partnership benefits. These benefits would be placed at risk, if not outright abolished, if this amendment passes.Every unmarried Floridian will be impacted by this amendment - especially divorced or widowed seniors and public employees who, under existing programs, can share some benefits such as hospital visitation privileges and health care coverage without being married.
Hurting Seniors Amendment 2 could force seniors to choose between important benefits like sharing health care and important government benefits.
"Gay Marriage" Bait & Switch Amendment 2 claims to ban "gay marriage" but Florida already has multiple laws banning same-sex marriage.
Massive Government Intrusion Amendment 2 puts the government where it doesn't belong - regulating the personal relationships of Floridians. Hey, Governor! Keep your laws off my body and your nose out of my bedroom!
Hiring Expensive Lawyers Amendment 2 could force unmarried Floridians to hire expensive private lawyers just to protect their basic legal rights. Here I think is the real crux of why this legislation even made it to the ballots. The lawyers can now charge outrageous fees as unmarried domestic partners must come to them in hopes of protecting communal property and giving each other the hope of having the one they live with and who knows them best some rights.
Dramatic Consequences Amendment 2 could take away job benefits from university employees and be used as a defense to domestic violence - as in other states which passed similar amendments. Why am I not surprised?
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Tell those young pups the world deserves to know good recipes. They're hard to come by.
Sloane TaylorSweet as Honey...Hotter than Hell
PHOTO OP! www.aspenmountainpress.com
FRENCH KISS www.eternalpress.cawww.sloanetaylor.com
Darn right. Even my mother admits she was dubious about the Roasted Asparagus and Leeks until she tried it. I'm tripling that recipe this year. I already have to triple most of the recipes in my collection, or everyone complains bitterly. The only one Dante and I alone will share in all likelihood is the Fauxtatoes Deluxe. That's a low-carb alternative to the mashed potatoes and Autumn Potato Gratin. I may even make the Gratin in a low-carb version, just so I don't feel deprived too much.
The worst irony of the story of the Roast Turkey with Sage Butter recipe is the same as the Snowball recipe. Everyone loved them so much, we put the recipes "in a safe place" and promptly lost them! I found most of my other recipes over the years, but those two I mentioned remained lost until just this year. Two years ago I designated a special binder for my holiday recipes and put sheet protectors inside. When I found one of my "specials" I dumped it in the sheet protectors to preserve it. I found the Snowballs recipe this past summer, and now finally the last-- Roast Turkey with Sage Butter. The collection of the best of the best is nearly complete.
There are a few Christmas recipes yet to fulfill, such as the Blonde Fruitcake my grandmother made. I have her recipe books, but I've not had the ability or energy to make all those fruitcakes to find which one it was. This year, I may give a few a try. One of them has got to be the one my grandmother and mother made in the fall and doused with good Kentucky bourbon or dark rum, wrapped in cheesecloth, shut in a tin, and hid in the linen closet until Christmas. Mom doesn't remember the recipe, except it came out of one of the cookbooks I inherited. (Frustrated scream)
My grandmother died when I was only twelve, so all her secret recipes were lost. My mother, bless her, is an unenthusiastic cook at best. All I have are the cookbooks and a few scribbled notes on the sides of some of the pages. Some of those notes helped me identify a few almost-lost recipes, like the Red Velvet Cake that is completely from scratch. There's a secret ingredient that elevates it from "chocolate caked dyed red" to a sublime confection. I took the cake decorating class with Red Velvet Cake and my White Chocolate Cake with Cherry Liqueur Filling in mind. Those have to be perfect layer cakes, or it's just not worth doing. I'm still scouring thrift stores for the right cake display tiers. (I will not pay those exorbitant rates for the things in kitchen stores! My last name is not Rockefeller!)
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