Monday, December 31, 2007

Elementary Essay

What does Happy New Year mean to me? Football!

Outback Bowl, Chik-Fil-A Bowl, and the Sugar Bowl!

From sun-up to sundown it's wall to wall football. The ceiling fan will be on to keep the tv cooled off. Of course, Pork Roast, black-eyed peas, turnip greens, and cornbread will be filling up the kitchen island so plates can be loaded up at halftime. But the food is not the centerpiece of this day. With alumni from Florida State, Auburn, Georgia, Colorado, USF, and Ohio State coming in and out for visits, we have to be equal opportunity fans. We're ready to good naturedly cheer for everyone's favorite team. New Years Day is college football's day . A colorful, exciting, heart-pounding day. Go 'Noles, War Eagle, Go Dawgs, Go Buffs, Go Bulls, Buckeye pride!!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Home again, home again

Just back from a wonderful visit to Georgia for Christmas with lots of family and cold weather. Brr-rrr-rrr! Favorite things: fire in the fireplace, cuddley sweaters, walking in the fields with dogs and children, millions of stars and a huge moon in the sky.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Big Birthday Giveaway Day

Welcome to the Birthday Extravaganza!

It's my birthday so that means presents for you. To honor the Pay It Forward promise, I'll be sending a hand-made gift to the first three people who comment on this post. When Sandi at Whistlestop Cafe had her PIF day, I was lucky enough to catch it early (insomnia pays, sometimes). Now it's my turn.

“I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this Paying It Forward exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, which is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.”
Just let me know which is your favorite beeswax ornament (see the Christmas Open House post for a picture) and it's yours! There are bears, scotties, stars, angels, a rocking horse, and snowflakes.There will be some extra special surprises thrown in , too. I'll try to get it to you by Christmas but it is something you can use all year in your decorating.
Happy Day!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Open House

Roxy welcomes you to the Holiday Home Tour hosted by Notes from A Cottage Industry and Christmas Tour of Homes hosted by BooMama!
Click on any picture to see more detail.

This tea caddy is in the hall with Christmas house lanterns and trees.

The banister is one of the first things to get decorated.

Here's the BIG tree in the living room (this picture shows about half of it). It's got ornaments from years of collecting and saving.

The Winter White tree in the dining room has the only snow we'll see in Tampa.

The Nativity my grandmother made when I was a young bride has a special place on the buffet

Here's my favorite Christmas china...a birthday present from two darling daughters.

Beeswax ornaments that
smell so sweet!

My little kitchen tree with toy cooking utensils for ornaments.

Our chocolate Advent calendar.YUM!!!!!

The mantle is ready for it's close-up, Mr. DeMille

Thanks for visiting........come back anytime!..........please enjoy the family recipes below. There's more a few posts down.

Merry Christmas to ALL!

If I Knew You Were Coming I'd Have Baked A Cake

Christmas time usually means cookies, but this is a wonderful cake to have on hand for drop in company. It can be made in loaf pans for gifts and is beautiful frosted with Royal Icing.
Sour Cream Pound Cake
1 cup unsalted butter
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 eggs separated
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups regular flour
1/2 pint sour cream
Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Add vanilla and salt. Blend in egg yolks one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with sour cream. Fold in beaten egg whites. Bake at 350 for 1 1/4 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 30 minutes before taking out of pan.

Cookie Swap

It's cookie swap day at Scappy Jesse! here's my contribution......

Glazed Pecans
3 cups sugar
1 8 oz carton sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups pecan halves
Combine sugar and sour cream in a heavy 2 1/2 quart saucepan. Cook over low heat sirring constantly until the mixture reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Continue stirring until mixture begins to cool. Add pecans, mixing well. Place small clusters of pecans on waxed paper and cool completely.

Sausage Cheese Balls
3 cups bisquick mix
1 lb. hot bulk sausage
10-12 oz sharp cheddar cheese-grated
1/2 cup water
Brown and crumble the sausage, drain. Combine in large bowl Bisquick, cheese, sausage, and water. Roll into small (no larger than a quarter) balls and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Yield about 200.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Special Delivery

Our sweet mail lady rang the door bell this afternoon and that can only mean one thing.......something too big to fit in the mailbox. WoooHooo! Here's what I found when I opened the door.
So I brought it inside and got after that box with some scissors (don't want to break a nail!). Here's what was inside.........a pretty package from Kari & Kijsa! That silver snowflake is going right on the Winter White tree in the dining room. Here's what was inside..................................which is also going in the dining room. To see how it looks, just go to the Open House post and you'll find it on the buffet. Thanks Kari & Kinjsa! I love my silhouette.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Action Jackson

Son Jack has moved to Utah to work at Snowbird Ski Resort. He'll be snowboarding everyday and rock climbing when he gets time to travel to the southern part of the state. Wonder if he'll miss days like this?

Busy Hands

So much to little time. It's hard to know where to start. Do the tole painting first..........................

then the collage assembly?

What about all those vintage photographs that need to be scanned?

Oh, can't forget the felt mittens that need to have their jingle bells sewn on.

The swag is made for the mailbox someone needs to go put it up. Guess who!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Drum Roll Please

Here's the very best recipe for a sugar cookie that you can cut with cookie cutters. They can be iced and decorated or eaten plain. Delicious either way!
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Cream butter and sugar, Add egg and vanilla. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and add. Chill one hour. (hint: leave dough not being used in refrigarator. It is easier to cut when cold.) Bake on cookie sheet at 375 degrees for eight minutes. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wish Book

Sometime between Thanksgiving and the first of December, the wish book would arrive in the mailbox. It's hard to understand the anticipation of a mail order catalog today with five or six showing up everyday whether you want them or not. But back in the dark ages when the only things ordered by mail were seeds and Maine hunting boots, the Sears catalog was eagerly waited upon.
My brothers and I would race down our steep curvy driveway to the mailbox looking for the big book. The day it came, wrapped in brown paper with ordering instructions printed on the outside, we would leg it back up the driveway as fast as we could. Then we'd flop down on the den floor, huffing and puffing from the hill climb, and flip open to the toy section. The pages were turned carefully and we'd each choose one item we would like to find under the tree on Christmas morning. I was always fascinated by the costumes page. There was a nurse and a doctor, cowboy and cowgirl, beauty queen and football player. Wonder what kind of kid would want that instead of Chatty Cathy or an Easy Bake Oven?
When we got to the Lincoln Logs and Matchbox cars, my eyes would glaze over while waiting for something more interesting. Like the Fabulous Barbie pages! One outfit after another straight from 5th Avenue. Gosh, Barbie was stylish with those open toed mules and leopard prints. We certainly didn't know anyone who dressed like that.

There was always a featured baby doll who got a page all to herself.She was back lit on a red velvet drape as if to say, "Only the luckiest little girls will get this doll this year." The doll was usually wearing a long pink or white chiffon gown and was lying on a matching ruffled pillow. I'll never forget the Christmas I became one of the luckiest girls and found the coveted doll under our tree. She was just as dainty and sweet as she looked in the wishbook. I moved her from my wicker cradle to my pink vinyl baby carriage and back all day. She really was a dream come true. That doll is the only toy from way back then that is still with me today. She lives in my grandmother's old trunk at the foot of my bed so when I'm rummaging around looking for something packed away, I'm reminded that I'm still one of the luckiest girls in the world.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What's For Lunch?

In this world of plain organic soy yogurt, vegetable puree drinks, and tofu patties, a girl can get a hankering for a grilled cheese sandwich. And I don't mean Jarlsburg on sourdough panini, either. I mean American slices on white with mayo. With chips and a sweet pickle on the side. The kind of lunch you could get from the lunch counter while Christmas shopping at Lenox Square........ before they enclosed it. A Coke to drink goes without saying. A Coke float if a person was feeling extravagant.

If you could have anything you like for lunch, what would it be? Throw caution to the wind. Banana and peanut butter sandwich? Datenut bread with cream cheese? Or the ever popular Olive loaf?

The lunch fairy is poised to grant your wish......all you have to do ask. Silent's your chance to speak up.....don't be shy (What's good in the U.K.?). Or even better, share a recipe for a fabulous luncheon dish. Aspic,anyone?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Thank You Notes

My cousin in Virginia just sent me this reminder and I'm passing it on to you. Let's Say Thanks has made it easy for everyone to send a postcard to a military member at Christmastime letting them know we're thinking of them. Just go to the website, choose a card design, sign it , and hit send. It's that easy! The cards take a little bit of home overseas to the guys and gals who won't be spending the holidays with their families. Please take a minute to do this little act of kindness. It's a little thing that means so much.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Birthday Santa

My mother loves to tell the story about the day I was born. I made her cry because I ruined her Christmas that year. First of all, I was late. Come to think of it, I'm always late. That's why I set all my clocks ahead random amounts so I'm never really sure what time it is. But I digress. My parents already had a cute little eighteen month old boy who they wanted to spend Christmas with......they didn't even know me. So I showed up on December 20th...late...and Mom's doctor told her she might go home the 24th. She cried. The good news is she made it home in time and my Dad bought me a Coca Cola Santa that Rich's was selling that year. We have an old black and white photo taken with a Brownie camera of that Santa on the sofa next to a big blob of blankets. I was somewhere in the big blob. That ol' Santa saw many Christmas days with us, but he finally disintegrated.
Not long ago, Coke started selling the Santas again. My dad got me a new one for my birthday and the new guy spends every Christmas on the sofa......just like his predecessor. It just wouldn't be Christmas without him