Friday, December 31, 2010

Another closing of a year-----something I have never really felt the urge to celebrate. So we are meeting up with some of our dearest friends for a quiet Italian dinner at a new restaurant, some good wine and then---to be honest---probably home to my PJ's well before midnite. Through the years, some Christmas presents are sometimes forgotten and then resurface much to the delight of the recipient. One year, a stocking stuffer was found a year later in the stocking and today I found a present from the heart that I overlooked in the bustle of Christmas. My husband gave me a cookbook I have been wanting--by Ina Garten. Today I noticed the sweetest inscription inside--"To the Greatest Cook in the World, from the Greatest Husband in the World". He got it half right and I love it!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I have boxes and boxes of old pictures. Every year I sort through them and put some favorites together and make a calender on an online photo site for my family. I actually think they look forward to it! This vintage pic is one of my favorites from this year's calendar. My father in law's annual tradition of standing on his head on Christmas Eve while the grandchildren gathered around and grabbed the change falling from his pockets(they didn't know he would stuff his pockets with coins for them). We all should develop some sort of unique rite to bring a smile to people's faces after we are gone!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My knitting needles were clicking away from October through December when I decided to make 1. a pair of fingerless gloves for my photographer son and they turned out so well that 2. I decided to make a coordinated hat to go with it and liked it so much that 3. I thought my other son would be pleased to have a hat that has the colors of the Ohio State Buckeyes on it and 4. he would love some gloves too and then 5. I didn't want my husband to feel left out so 6. he got a hat and 7. a pair of gloves and then I didn't want to offend the photographer son's girlfriend who doesn't care for the team colors I knitted so 8. I made her a hat in the colors of Michigan and 9. a pair of fingerless gloves to match. And then while I was on a roll, my husband has 2 sisters with birthdays in December and 10. one got a purple fingerless glove and the 11 the other got beige and then along the way 12 I knitted myself a torquoise pair and 13. a black pair and whew, 14. I didn't get my husbands ski sweater finished---yet. But before I get the sweater finished, I received some really soft alpaca yarn for Christmas--a skein of gray and a skein of scarlet and I really feel the urge to make myself a pair of striped socks!!!! Here are 3 of the recipients modeling their new woolens!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Can Christmas really be over with? Already???? We had a wonderful gathering of family, fun and food! It started with the annual arrival of Santa Claus! We broke with tradition and instead of attending our own Parish's Midnite Mass instead we went to our Cathedral for a beautiful, traditional Midnite Mass. A fitting end to the Holiday was a little excercise on the pond for a sunny skate!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Look at this cute door! Unfortunately it didn't win a prize at my employer's annual Christmas door decorating contest but I think it is cute. The theme is mittens and scarves and at the end of the week, the woolens are donated to charity.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The marshmallows were a success. I got the recipe from this great foodie blog, Smitten Kitchen- I followed the recipe exactly and sprinkled crushed peppermint sticks on top. I also splurged and ordered some Williams Sonoma hot chocolate and plan on serving these together. Love to try new recipes!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Every other blog I read features someone making yummy looking marshmallows. And last year I tasted chocolate covered homemade marshmallows and they were yummy!!!! So this last Sunday morning before Christmas just seemed to be a good day to try them out. I plan on using them in Hot Chocolate so I sprinkled crushed peppermints on top. They are chillin in the fridge and I am chillin on the couch but tomorrow I will give a report on how they turned out. Really easy to make---but a little sticky messiness seemed inevitable.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Aren't we all just really getting tired this time of year? And to make matters even more tired, the surgery center I work at is incredibly busy this week. But-----there is hope on the horizon and it is a man who knows how to make a tired wife dinner! He pulled out a package of asparagus ravioli from the Cleveland West Side market, whipped up a tossed salad and poured a glass of wine. This man is a keeper!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mother Nature must have felt guilty after yesterday's storm because today was sunny, gorgeous---and cold. Me--I had a day off to bake and get ready for Christmas but I took time out for a walk in the park with Magglio. And then back to baking! The steamy kitchen window made the Christmas lights look magical at dusk.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Baking day!!!!!! Which is great because it is a wet, heavy snowstorm outside. I didn't plan it this way but while I was baking I noticed that I was making thumbprint cookies from my Mom's Betty Crocker Cookie Book(I think these was the first cookie recipe I ever attempted way back when) and I was using her rolling pin. So of course---I made all the principle characters pose for a picture!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care----and Gross family legend says if you haven't been good this year, your stocking will fall down. And it may be true because Matt and Adam's stocking have a hard time staying hung------but mine hasn't fallen down yet. And yes---that is a stocking for Magglio! And on a positive note-----there is a winter weekend snow storm coming! How fun is that!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and I watched a reunion on the news of the 90 year old survivors of Pearl Harbor. To me, they truly are the Greatest Generation. They saw the world change in saw many ways--both good and bad. We can all learn from them. And, of course, to me, the greatest of the Greatest Generation was my Mom. Here she is---teaching my son Adam how to make her Hungarian pastries. Perhaps Adam can put to good use what he learned and make us a batch for Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

There is ice on the pond---and not just any old ice but swirlty pretty patterns. This makes us very excited because--hopefully---we will be skating soon. The first ice of the season is usually the smoothest and best to skate on!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I was able to cross something off my bucket list today! Dan and I went to the Toledo Symphony's performance of Handel's Messiah. The picture is of poor quality because I wasn''t sure if I was allowed to take photos, so I quickly held my phone up and snapped away---before the performance started!! A great way to head into the Christmas Season! Hallelluia!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Magglio must have been a very good doggie this year because Santa Paws made an early visit this year. What fun to come home from work and find this package on the back deck. And inside----a Bassett Hound cookie jar! Now how did Santa Paws know that Magglio loves cookies!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One more picture from the Lights Before Christmas. It was that magical dusk time of the day and we came upon these huge orbs that were covered with lights. "Dan" I said, "build me some". I don't think he heard me and maybe just as well because it would take a LOT of lights!

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving 2010 is history already. We ate, we drank, we enjoyed each other's company and we had fun. We baked, we roasted, we played board games, we visited the Cleveland Westside Market, we went to the Lights before Christmas at the zoo, we laughed, we hugged and we had fun. I like this picture---it is a few of us at the Toledo Zoo visiting the Lights Before Christmas. It was cold but, again, we had fun! It is kind of a representation of the transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What a great time of year! Everyone I talk to either has family coming in or are going to visit family. With that being said, my heart goes out to those who are lonely or have lost a loved one. The loneliness and grief becomes even more acute amidst other's joy. On a happier note--I took today off and I am going to do this EVERY year. I have been having a wonderful day---baking and preparing for the festivities. Just me and Magglio. Every now and then, he takes a nap and I have a cup of tea. These Cranberry Muffins are going to be our breakfast for Friday---we are getting up early and heading back to the West Side Market in Cleveland. Food. It's all about the Food.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Does this coat make me look fat? Magglio was told by the vet---much to his chagrin---that he has gained a pound every visit! And he cannot gain anymore!! And this guy lives to eat! Plus he thinks he is a lap dog so every pound is very noticable to us humans.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It may have looked to passersby that we were having a tag sale---and good thing nobody stopped to browse. But it was a warm sunny day so we pulled as much furniture outside as we could and cleaned the carpets! Because---the holidays are coming and guests are coming too! And afterward! Up went the Christmas tree!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's been one thing after another---sick dog and vet appt, hair cut appt, grocery shopping and all this after 8 hours of work. I'm not complaining but I didn't have time to take a picture for today. And I had plenty of opportunity too----like the scary looking child sized sock monkey display at the grocery store, or almost falling off the treadmill on my lunch hour at the gym or even the sad looking family of pumpkins I saw lined up at the curb awaiting the garbage truck. Instead, here is a picture from Magnolia plantation in Charleston. This cyprus bench was placed there over 175 years ago and the trees grew around it. Interesting, isnt it. Cyprus must be pretty durable!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Company's coming! And I am getting the urge to bake! I have new appreciation for Thanksgiving--it used to be a holiday I took for granted. Perhaps it is because so many family members have scattered throughout the country-----and some of those loved ones are coming back to Ohio next week! From places like Indiana and Virginia! So here's to good food, family and fun times!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I couldn't wait any longer---it's rainy and cold outside and there is a Christmas tree inside! I've been collecting Christmas kitchen ornaments this last year and decided to put a little tree in my kitchen to display them! I know--it isn't even Thanksgiving yet but I couldn't wait!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's getting to be that time of year---lists are made, plans are drawn up and then, for whatever reason, nothing goes like we wanted. This year I have decided to make less lists, less plans and just kind of go with the flow. We will see what happens----

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's November 13---the middle of November!--and what were we doing in this 65 degree weather? Riding around in a convertible! I definately wanted a picture but I couldn't ask the driver to do the honors, so I got creative. Gorgeous, sunny autumn day--but it won't last for long!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I know I have used these pictures before--but it's Veteran's Day and I love being able to honor the Vets in our family. It is fun over on Facebook to see people using pics of their Dad's--and Mom's----in their profile today. I've been watching WW2 on the History Channel and I cannot comprehend the horrors of being in a war. Thank you to all our Veterans and Active Members of the military for giving us the greatest gift of all--freedom. The pics are my dad, Edward P Kinsey who was a 2nd Ltnt in the Army and my father in law--Donald Liberty Gross who was in the Pacific. Isn't that a great middle name--Liberty? He said his Mother was offered a Liberty Bond if she named her son Liberty. I wish we would have carried on the tradition with our kids.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I am still on my food high. Thinking about unexpected treasure we found at the West Side Market in Cleveland. Look at all the fresh pasta---some of the Ginger Lemon is sitting in my refrigerator. Part of the fun was going up on the balcony and watching the excitement below--or sipping your coffee like we did. And yes---the neon sign does say Cannoli--filled to order. We finished our last one last nite.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We live 2 hours from Cleveland and never realized that Foodie Heaven existed a morning drive away. Oh sure, I was there as a kid---but I thought like all good things from the past, that it no longer existed. I was so wrong. The West Side Market is still thriving and full of tempting goods such as Canolli, Apple Fritters, the BEST looking meats I have seen in a long time, cheeses and fresh pasta and so much more. I knew it was a good sign when the first vendor we saw was Magyar---Hungarian!! We came home with too many cannoli, Hungarian smoked bacon(we put it on our pizza, butternut Ravioli and Lemon Ginger Fettucine----oh, and Hungarian White Breat and Nut Roll. And while there we ate a huge Apple Fritter. We are definately going back before the holidays for goodies!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Snap.There's that hour I lost last Spring! Don't forget to turn your clock back tonite. I think we should just stay on Daylight Saving's Time year round--but that's just me.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I have found my sewing niche in life! Handbags, tote bags and any kind of bag. It is fun to choose fabric---and fun add-ons like old brooches and they are very forgiving of small mistakes--because after all, it is just a tote bag!! And an added bonus--I can customize the lining with pockets to fit whatever I want. Such as knitting needles, Ipod and camera. This pattern is from Ava Rose Tote bag on Etsy and the fabric is from Ikea. Yes, those are Christmas lights on the porch and in the bushes. I took advantage of the nice weather last week. No, I am not turning them on until after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

There's a photograph that has been causing great excitement to photography and history buffs. I didn't want to post it and infringe on copyright law but you can see it if you google "oldest photograph of humans Cincinnati"It is the riverfront in Cinci and it was taken in 1846 and has images of humans on the riverfront. You can zoom in and almost peek in people's windows! It reminds me of a pic I took in Cincinnati looking into Kentucky but it does have a riverboat in my picture too!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

As promised---here is the winner of the Pumpkin decorating contest at the hospital where I work. It was our maternity department and they always have a pumpkin that is reflective on what they do----deliver babies! This year it was Siamese Twins!!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

More pumpkins from the Pumpkin decorating contest at work! So creative and such a fun time of year. You never know when a halloween costume will pop up. There was a Disney princess at Mass tonite and a pumpkin riding in a cart at the grocery store. Tomorrow I will post the winner of the contest.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


It's that time of year--our annual pumpkin carving contest at the hospital where I work. I am always AMAZED at the creative ideas different departments come up with. I will take my camera tomorrow and post some individual entries!!