Monday, 31 December 2012

Play: Post Christmas Bliss!

YES! We got a white Christmas......and it got whiter! And with 5 days off of work....I got a lot of play in.
Shawn got up early and went for a hike in the woods behind our house. (I stayed in my pj's and drank coffee laced with Baileys looking through the many new magazines I received) Shawn then decided to brave the retail world......crazy man, he went shopping! The boys and I were having nothing to do with that.....we went hiking in the woods behind the house! We decided to track Dad. All was going great until we got the barbed wire fence, I was then given a lesson on how to get through said fence "Mom, put your foot on this part, and crawl through the hole.....ok,'re through!"
When we got back to the house, we used my nifty new Nespresso milk frother/steamer and made hot chocolate. Then it was back to serious toy play.
On the morning of the 27th, we awoke to a glorious winter wonderland, we couldn't even open the front door! So the boys bundled up, and went out the basement door and commenced digging out the front door.
Which was followed, of course with another hot chocolate (and more Baileys' coffee......we ran out of the Bailey's on the morning of the 28th)
Then, it was time for us (ME!) to build the LEGO (Ninjago actually.....Fin has given up on correcting my pronunciation, "Just call it lego Mom") robot warrior (yep, more coffee was involved, with Bailey's and frothy milk) We didn't leave the homestead for 2 1/2 days (except when we ran out of milk, had to run to the corner store)
We capped the evening off with a night hike through the back woods on our snowshoes, then to bed (after hot chocolate). Christmas bliss, wish I could capture that feeling all year long!
Next up: New Years Eve bash, McShane style.....sushi & fireworks!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Eat: Cookies!

Well, after the week (and a half) that we just had, this post should be about Drink. But, instead because I said I would go to the Kindergarten party, and bring cookies, this post is Eat. Even though I baked said cookies at 10 pm, after I got home from work. Wine was involved. And then when I iced said cookies at 8 am (with coffee) I will still file this post under Eat. And I will share what I think is the best sugar cookie recipe ever. Well, at least ever in my world. I found this recipe got it, a magazine! Canadian Living last Christmas in fact (I've adjusted ever so slightly) and the icing recipe....adapted from Martha Stewart's Living.

Brown Sugar Citrus Sugar Cookies
3./4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp each finely grated orange, lime and lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Beat butter with sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and zest.
Whisk together flour and baking powder. Stir into butter mixture to form dough.
Divide in half, wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least 30 minutes)
Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut. Refrigerate on lined baking sheet for 10 minutes before baking.
I find baking time to be anywhere from 8-12 minutes, depending on cookie size, at 350 F

Sugar Cookie Icing!
2 lbs of icing sugar
2/3 cup water (you may need more)
1/2 meringue powder (I get it at the Bulk Barn)
food colouring (I use paste, it is way better)

This make A LOT of icing. Blend everything except colour together. You want it to be the consistency of white glue. Divide into bowls to make colours.  If you want to paint it on, make it a bit thinner (think paint) if you want to pipe it on, keep it glue like. I have little squeeze jars with icing tips that I like to use. I also got this nifty little tool for Christmas:

Friday, 21 December 2012

Drink: 3 Ovens, 11 women and 989 cookies

I've been participating in cookie swaps for the past 7 or 8 years. Often, both my husband and I participate in  swaps with our co-workers, which usually means about 12 dozen cookies! Chatting with my neighbour (the best one ever!! Our surrogate parents/grandparents.......the kind that leave food in your fridge when you are away so you don't have to cook when you return)
Anyway, we were at a church breakfast (love country living) and came up with the idea of doing a cookie swap, where we all gather together and do our baking! So, we booked the church kitchen, invited a few of our friends, and before we knew it we had 11 ladies signed up!
The kids ran, crafted and played while we baked and then packaged up our goodies.
I'm already planning next years.....and maybe a dinner club in the meantime.
Anyway, I did not get any recipes to share, and Shawn is not ready to go public with his ginger snap recipe (which I sadly did not execute as well as he does) BUT I will leave you with this yummy Christmas Tea recipe I came across in yes, a magazine about food:)

Christmas Tea
8 cups boiling water
16 chai tea bags
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup spiced rum
1/2 cup vanilla vodka
2 cans condensed milk

Pour the water into your crock pot over tea bags (If they have strings, leave them hanging out for easy retrieval) Let steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags, add rum, vodka and cinnamon sticks. Let cook on low for 2 hours. Stir in milk and serve! Serves about 10 mugs.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Laugh: A Lesson in Love

The boys, at age 5 and 7 are at the stages where kissing girls is yucky. A “kissing” scene may be coming up in a movie.....well as kissy as they get in Disney & Pixar, and the boys look away as though a monster is about to jump out in the scene.  However,  Fintan already has his future wife picked out, Stella. They met when they were about 4 months old, and have BFF's ever since. She was the only girl invited to the Survival Man birthday party, and he was the only boy in attendance at the princess fairy party.
So, the boys and Dad were having a discussion about girls before bed the other night, apparently a JK girl has a wee crush on Iain, and he is not impressed. The conversation turned to Fintan and his relationship with Miss Stella, whom he is very careful not to let on to his male friends about their future nuptials. If the boys found out, he said, they would sing “Fintan & Stella sittin' in a tree.....” Well, you know how that songs ends. The next song however took us by surprise, and had the both of us laughing our $%@ off.....and wondering just how this one ends:
“Fintan & Stella sittin' in a car, are they naked? Yes they are......”
Oh......the things they learn in the school yard.