Dec 26, 2012

What we did this Christmas

I want to wish a belated Merry Christmas to all those celebrating. I enjoyed the long weekend off from work the way me and mine always do.  We ate Chinese food and watched a movie.  Actually we watched a few movies and, thankfully, they were really good ones.  Here's the low-down on all of them in the order that I saw them.

  1. Argo - Go see this movie! I saw it with the older girls and my husband and we all loved it.  Actually, I think everyone in the whole, packed, theatre loved it.  In case you haven't heard about it, this is the story of 6 americans who escaped from the US Embassy in Iran when it was seized in 1979 and our country's creative efforts to rescue them.  Even though it's a true story and we knew the outcome going in, we were still on the edge of our seats. 
  2. Lincoln - This was such a good movie and the story was really important.  It absolutely deserves to be seen.  My only critique is that it's a long movie that felt like a long movie.  On the other hand, Daniel Day Lewis' portrayal of Lincoln is masterful.  He manages to humanize the icon.
  3. Silver Linings Playbook - Not only is Bradley Cooper sexy, he's a great actor too.  Actually, all of the performances in this movie are excellent.  This is the story of a man trying to get his life back together after being in a mental institution.  He has lost it all and often seems like maybe he came home a little too soon. This movie was funny and sad and ultimately really satisfying.

By the way, the picture above is of a little treat I made recently.  It's called Christmas Crack but we're calling it Hanukkah Hash.  There are recipes for it all over the 'net but here's the one that I used.

Dec 18, 2012

A Visit from a Dude in Red

It's that time of year again.


Time for a visit from Santa on his big yellow fire truck.


And our girl wore what any good Jewish girl would on such an occasion. Her I Love Hanukkah shirt.


Actually, it was a total coincidence but it totally worked.

Dec 14, 2012

ECF - Hanukkah Lights Edition

A little something as we end the Festival of Lights.


In rge back is a menorahe that we bought last year.  In the front is one that I made when I was younger than Stinkette.

Dec 11, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - Ten Favorite Holiday Cookies

I love cookies and the holidays are such a great excuse to make many batches of them. It’s also the time of year that I enjoy trying new recipes for them. You can really let your imagination run wild and decorate them colorfully or incorporate unusual flavors into them.


This is a picture of a plate of cookies we brought to a Hanukkah party 4 years ago. The blue and green ones were Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies  and the others were Mini Black & White Cookies. Those would have to be the first 2 entries on my list for this week.

1. Chocolate Chip – the classic never gets old.

2. Rugelach – in our house we call them Ruggies and we love them but I’ve never made them myself. I’d like to try it soon.

3. Hand Cookies  – we saw these on a show and I made them with a Girl Scout Troop. The girls had a great time and the cookies were delicious.

4. Cinnamon Maple Rings – These are in the Mrs Fields Cookie book and they are so good. I make them when I need something that is not chocolate.

5. Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies  – I saw these on a show the other day and they looked so good.

6. Brownies – Of course these aren’t cookies exactly but who cares. They’re irresistable.

7. Coconut Macaroons – The ones I make are dead-simple and yummy. They look like little haystacks but they taste divine.

8. Gingerbread – I really want to make some and decorate them with my girls over the holidays this year.

What are your favorites?

Dec 7, 2012

ECF - 17th Birthday Cake Edition

This is indeed a cake although it looks more like a cookie in this picture. It is a made from scratch chocolate fudge cake with a chocolate ganache filling. It's my girls favorite and they always ask for it for their birthdays.


One of the things that is making it look kind of flat (aside from the angle of the camera shot) is the frosting.  It's a black buttercream and the only part of the cake I did not make.  The decorations are white chocolate dusted with silver sugar.  Not my best work but DQ likes it and that's the point.

Can you guess what the motif is?  Here's a hint: it's been mirrored.

Dec 6, 2012

The Elephant in the Room

In a week marked by birthdays and the start of Hanukkah I’ve got the perfect finished object to share. Meet Elvis the Elephant! The pattern is E is for Elephant  by Emily Ivey and it’s pretty well written. Toys can be a little tricky because the placement of the features and where you attach the arms and legs can mean the difference between cute and creepy.


The yarn I used was Blue Sky Organic Cotton that happened to be on hand when I felt the sudden need to make this elephant. The color is fun and the yarn is very soft but I’m not sure I love it. It feels like it could shred into nothing way too easily and it leaves fluff in it’s wake.

This was one of those things that I saw and needed to knit right away. I didn’t have any great reason other than it looked cute and I thought Miss M would like it. She did – while I was working on it. She kept coming over an trying to grab it out of my lap. Now that it’s finished she is a little less interested in that classic toddler fashion. Snuggle, snuggle, drop. Right now it’s in a corner of mu living room. But only until she notices it again.


It really doesn’t matter if Miss M is kind of lukewarm on Elvis. The rest of the family is charmed. Who can resist such a cute tush?

Dec 5, 2012

To My Dad on His Birthday

Today is my father’s birthday. He would’ve been 70. He’s been gone for five years but it’s still so hard to believe that he’s not here.

All 7 in November 2012

This picture was taken last month during my trip to Indiana. It shows all of his grandchildren and all that he’s missed. Three of these children never met my dad and 2 are named for him. Another three of these children have had their Bat Mizvahs since he’s been gone and I know he would have loved being there to celebrate with them. Four of these kids have finished elementary school and moved on to Middle School and High School. My dad would have been proud to mark these graduations. There have also been football, lacrosse, and softball games he could’ve watched his grandchildren participate in.

He has missed it all and we miss him.

Dec 3, 2012


See that girl on the left? The one with the long, shiny, dark hair? That is what seventeen looks like. 17!!!!


I know that I say this every year but wow does that ever sound old. I think it’s because she’s the oldest. Everything with her is the first and the sense of amazement never fades and never gets old.

She says that seventeen is no big deal. It’s not really a milestone per se. There is no card for 17 and aside from being able to for to R rated movies without me, there really isn’t any change in status. None attached to the number 17 specifically but, in reality, there is ever so much that is notable.

This kid is amazing! Outstanding! She works hard in school, she holds down a few (yes, more than one) jobs, and she is active in youth groups, honor societies and school activities. I don’t know how she does it. I do know that I love her more every day and I feel so lucky to be her mom.