Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Cookie Jar is FULL

The cookie jar is full--of dog biscuits. And that silly Basset Hound seemed to know that this baking session was for him---as evidenced by our reflection in the oven door! These biscuits are so simple to make and are full of healthy stuff too. And so econonomical---we even made extra for Valentine treats for friends.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Let it Snow!

If I want to really touch a nerve with people, I will throw out the remark that I love snow. If on Facebook, I post a status update, I may get a response or 2 but just let me publish that "Hooray it is Snowing" and all hell breaks loose. Well, it is true--I love the snow. And last nite around 8pm, it started with a pretty powdery snowfall and continued through the nite. Today when it stopped--beautiful, glistening snow on the ground. The kind that when you step in it---or write on it--it crunches. And yes, that is a Christmas tree in the picture. But I prefer to call it a Valentine Tree.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I am cleansing my home of negative energy. Don't laugh---and I am exaggerating a bit. But there are a few projects sitting around in corners that are weighing heavy on my mind--until they get done!! I picked out two projects that bother me the most in their unfinished state and am vowing to get them done. One is this beautiful sweater I started knitting 2 years ago. It requires many balls of yarn to complete the striped pattern and they are all sitting in a basket in my sunroom. But I am pleased to report that I finished the back this last weekend! And the other project requires a little more thought. They are tubs of my childhood memories--scraps of this and that, baby shoes, you name it---that need to be sorted. I just have to figure out the best way to store them OR gather the courage to toss them out!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You don't appreciate what you have until it is gone---and what is gone is temps in the 30's. In it's place is COLD and WIND and chill factors that factor in on really cold side. This image is from our ski trip last week to upper Michigan. They had some HUGE ones and this one was from the deck of our condo

Monday, January 25, 2010

Here's what's cooking at our house! Potato Chip Cookies. The "potato chip" aspect always turned me off but once I made them----Delicious!!! Nothing about them tastes like potato chips--just a delicate nutty cookie. And to give proper credit---I got the recipe from the

Potato Chip Cookies-----from

8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature;
1/2 cup granulated sugar; more for shaping
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
8 oz. (scant 2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 oz. (1/2 cup) finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup finely crushed potato chips
Position oven racks in the middle and top of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment.
Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed in a large bowl until creamy and well blended, about 4 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and beat again until blended. Add the flour, pecans, and potato chips and mix on low speed until just blended.
Shape heaping teaspoons of dough into 1-inch balls. Arrange the balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Put some sugar in a shallow bowl. Lightly grease the bottom of a glass or measuring cup with soft butter. Dip the glass into the sugar and press the glass down on a dough ball until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat dipping and pressing with the remaining balls.
Bake until the cookies look dry on top and the edges are light golden, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating and swapping the positions of the sheets for even baking. Let the cookies cool on the sheets on racks for 5 minutes before transferring them to racks to cool completely.
Store at room temperature or freeze in an airtight container, separating the cookie layers with waxed paper.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This about sums up our day---not much energy and hanging out around the fireplace. Magglio has discovered the hearth and has made it his favorite spot. I didn't want to post a picture of the out of doors because it is GRAY and RAINY and not very pretty. But-----snow is in the forecast by tomorrow morning!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chez Gross a la Saturday Night

There was a time when a Saturday nite meant going out to eat---and we looked forward to it. But restaurants no longer hold the same charm for us and a Saturday nite now means a quiet candlelit dinner at home. Go ahead and say it-----we are fuddy-duddy's. But tonite, a quite bistro style dinner means home-made pizza with dough from the bread machine and a great bottle of Merlot. Followed by a movie and cup of tea with lemon.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Out with the Poinsettia and in with the Daffodils. I couldn't resist this bouquet while grocery shopping----isn't it amazing how a simple bunch of sunny blooms lights up the room and dispels the gloom! I feel better already----this and the fact I did go back to the gym today!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tis the season---for the midwinter blahs. No energy-no motivation-not sure what to do! Kind of like this picture from our ski weekend. We went snowshoeing in the Jordan River Valley--so pretty and my husband delights in getting us off the beaten path! But back to the subject at hand---I did get myself back to the gym and the eliptical machine! So that is a start and I did feel pretty good after that!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A trip to Petoskey always means at least one trip to Symon's General Store in the Gaslight District. This corner market is jammed full of jars of delicious food, coolers full of delicious cheeses and meat and unusual old fashioned candy. In the past we would stop on the way out of town but now we make it our first stop----and stock up on nibbles for our trip.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pull up a chair, because I have a story to tell. Once upon a time, 2 days ago, a group of hale and hearty individuals grabbed their snowshoes, a few granola bars, jumped into our Tahoe and drove to Deadman's Hill in upper Michigan for excercise and fellowship. They came to the end of the road----where the sign says "End of Paved Road---unplowed area ahead" and did what all wise people do---parked the SUV(actually they tried to go farther but the conditions prohibited it) and snowshoed in. About 1 half a mile into the trail, at the top of the hill and the trailhead, they came to a very small Hyundai with 2 individuals standing there looking stuck. How did you get in?, we asked. Never mind that, they said, the question is "how do we get out" Our fearless group of 4 women and 1 man sprang into action. The Hyundai driver said "never fear, a group of snowmobilers called a tow truck but that was an hour ago AND----I have a shovel--which he proceeded to hand to us. We crawled under the car, dug him out with one shovel and snowshoes just in time for the tow truck driver to walk in and say " I don't think I can get my truck in here" So we pushed and we pushed and we got that driver out. We are still asking ourselves what on earth he was thinking driving that little car into that unplowed area!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thrummed Mittens

I "thrummed" a pair of mittens. In other words, I knitted a pair of mittens that have the fleece or roving knitted into the inside. If you've ever had your bare feet inside a pair of Ugg slippers, then you will know how delicious this will feel on my hands. The mitten on the right is the inside out mitten. They do, however, make your hands look quite plump---warm, but plump!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Plays well with Others!

I am playing with old toys---and new toys too! These finger puppets were bought for Adam a long time ago by my Mom and sister. They are too cute and colorful too pack away so they spend their days sitting on spool holders with my thread. I took their pictures with my macro lens that I got for Christmas. Not only are they cute-----they are pretty photogenic too.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We've upgraded the Human Zamboni. Several days ago I posted a pic of my son shoveling the pond. He is still clearing the ice for skating(like the Zamboni does at hockey games) but he now has a snowblower and has it done in record time!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I've left a string of colored Christmas lights on an evergreen just for snowy winter nights like this. The bulbs look so pretty with a little blanket of snow on top of them. Almost magical-----and the neighbors probably think I am crazy!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Whew! What a busy weekend. Lots of fun and not much rest so hopefully a quiet week is ahead. It was clear, cold and sunny here today so we met some family at the park for a good snow shoe workout. Unfortunately, the cold air worked up a good appetite, so the burned calories were soon replenished with a hearty dinner.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Making snow angels aren't just for kids---as my sister-in-law and I demonstrate. It has been awhile since I have made one of these in the snow but I vow to do it at least once every year.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

We've been hearing about the "big snow storm" for several days now, and honestly, I've been looking forward to it. The first flakes started falling at noon and by 3pm the roads were slippery and visibility not very good. What was even better---after work I had nowhere to go but home-where vegetable soup was simmering in Crock Pot. It is tapering off now and teachers and students throughout the area are doing snow dances and wearing their pajamas inside out in hopes of a snow day tomorrow. Me--I am sitting in front of a roaring fire with a trusty Bassett Hound by my side.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The temperatures have been frigid for the last week and the pond is frozen and ready to skate. Matt felt like skating and playing hockey and spent hours clearing the ice like a human Zamboni. Do you know what a Zamboni is? It's the big vehicle that cleans and smooths the ice between hockey quarters and always illicits a smile in our household when we see one---or even hear the word ZAMBONI. After several hours of hard labor, the ice was clean and the young man too tired to skate!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The last ornament has been packed away in my old trunk and every year as I close the lid on the decorations, I feel a little sad. Not so much because Christmas is over, but because I wonder how the next Christmas will find us. Will we be happy, will we all be together? What will the coming year bring? One year I even slipped a note inside the trunk---handwritten to myself "I hope this Christmas finds you happy!" And it did! I hope the coming year brings you lots of happiness---good times, good friends and good health!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The pond is frozen!! It doesn't happen every year that it freezes enough for skating and when it does, we are like kids! We make sure it is safe by drilling a hole and measuring to ensure it is 6 inches deep. This year, much to our delight, we found out Magglio is actually a hockey player. He slipped and slid and loved every minute of it. Usually the first freeze of the year means super smooth clear ice but this was a little bumpy---but we enjoyed every minute!

Friday, January 1, 2010

This blog started as an experiment one day. I wanted to learn about starting a blog and I was also looking for a way to practice and improve my photography. What I found along the way was that keeping this daily web journal has made me look at life a lot differently. I challenged myself to always find something in my sometimes mundane day that is worthwhile enough to share---not only to comment on but to photograph. And the truth is--there is a lot in everyone's daily existance to celebrate and appreciate. This last year has made me realize that the most important part of our lives is those people we love and who love us. We never know when our time on earth will end and we must never take any moment for granted. The day after Christmas a most extraordinary young woman I knew--an RN at the hospital I work at---was called in to work in the early morning hours and was hit head on and killed instantly by a young man with a suspended license who was driving the wrong way on the expressway. It has made all of us vow never to take another moment, another person, another anything for granted. So on that note, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your stopping by to read my blog, to make a comment or tell me in person that you read this. I appreciate you more than you know. Have a wonderful and LOVING New Year. We are following a family tradition and eating our pork and sauerkraut. Ours will be in the form of an old Hungarian dish called Koloszvari Kaposzta which means Scalloped Pork and Rice. It is from a Hungarian church cookbook and the contributer of the recipe is Mrs Stephen Kinsey Sr---my grandmother!