Friday, January 1, 2010

A baker in the family

A certain family member has become a great baker. She has involved herself in a baking challenge, and here is her blog.

Her blog is written in a language that is totally foreign to me! The one thing I do understand is that it is named for In the Night Kitchen, which happens to be a favorite of our grandson. :-)

If you are a baker, especially a bread baker, enjoy!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dear 2010, I'm not quite ready for you....

I'm starting the new year with minimal goals. Finish eating the treats we still have around here from Christmas. Send out a couple of holiday cards (some years they become Valentines; most years I don't send any). Put a new header on the blog. Hang up my new calendar (my husband reminded me of that one).

After that, I'll spend the weekend thinking about longer-term goals. I don't want to rush into anything.

But speaking of calendars, some will remember that I won a naughty calendar giveaway from Eva at Wrestling With Retirement. As she explains here, the calendar is a fundraiser featuring men from York, Maine. By popular request, here is Mr. January.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Strawberry Limoncello Martini


Here, in my husband's own words and in plenty of time for New Year celebrations, is his recipe for the world's most lovely martini. Olive Garden dips the edge of the glass into lemon juice and then into coarse sugar. This recipe skips that step, but I recommend you do the lemon juice-sugar thing.

***

BLissed-Out Grandma (BLOG) and I don't drink much alcohol. Until recently we rarely drank at home. We only occasionally order a drink when we go out to dinner. When we do order a drink, BLOG usually drinks only half of hers. So I was really surprised when she asked me to figure out the recipe for Olive Garden's Strawberry Limoncello Martini.

I searched the web. The one source I found that looked like inside information was very specific as to brands for the alcohol. I repeat their information here, but I don't know if brands really matter. The other information in the web recipe was incomprehensible, and some of the products were not available anywhere. So I assembled some lemon and strawberry flavorings and we began the taste tests. Here is the resulting recipe. Yield is 2 ample drinks.

4 oz. water
2 oz. Smirnoff Citrus Vodka
2 oz. Caravella (?) Limoncello
2 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate
1 oz. strawberry daquiri mix
1 Tbsp. sugar (BLOG says this is too much, but Olive Garden puts sugar on the rim of the glass and I don't. I think the resulting sweetness is equal -- but you be the judge.)
2 tsp. Real Lemon lemon juice concentrate
3 or 4 fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup ice cubes

Put everything in a blender and blend FOREVER. Then blend a little longer. You want it to be REALLY SMOOTH. Use a ladle to skim off the foam. Serve with a couple of fresh or frozen strawberries in the glass.

So much for not drinking at home. I now make a batch of these almost every Friday and Saturday.

Enjoy. BLissed-Out Grandma does.

***

Yes, I definitely do! As Peter says, we adjusted the ingredients a bit, and you may want to as well....sweeter? more lemony? more strawberry-y? We'll be curious to know what you think!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A noisy Christmas!

Christmas Day was wonderful....Peter and I spending a quiet morning, then him cooking and us getting ready for the kids, who arrived mid-afternoon....

There were lots of wonderful presents, but the ones I photographed with the new video camera were...DRUMS. We have new bongo drums for Vi and a new tomtom for Augie...which just happens to fit onto "Pa's" sparkly red drum kit. They've been drumming on everything in the house (okay, no glass or pottery or people) for a long time now, so the noise is nothing new. And they both love drumming.

video

Addendum: Yes, they both spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in their jammies. Augie occasionally insists on this. With all the excitement involved in the Big Holidays, I think it's great that they can feel comfortable this way!

Christmas eve

videoGrandma got a new video camera for Christmas, and she opened it early to use it for the holiday. The viewfinder flips forward so the kids can see themselves...a great feature since they love to watch themselves! Christmas Eve was a very casual get-together with the kids. Our plans to order Chinese food fell through (the restaurant was closed) so Abby made some wonderful chicken dumpling soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. We were so much luckier than all the folks who couldn't be with family because of the snow!

Still working on video from Christmas Day...more complicated than I expected!

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