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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

How is 2018 starting for you?  Things are fairly quiet around here.  Ella caught her tradition ‘I’ve been to Toronto’ cold and has had a miserable few days.  I really should buy stock in Royale.   We have basically been house-bound since we came home from Toronto and I’m starting to go stir-crazy.  I think today is the worst yet.  It’s 2pm and it’s -20C and -40C /F with the windchill and the wind is blowing like crazy!  I love winter but weeks of -20/-40 get tiring.  I need to get out to get January groceries but I’m certainly not going out in this weather.

I’ve tried a few new recipes lately that I thought I’d share with you.  I’ll share the links, if they stop working let me know.  I’ve got the recipes written in my cookbook too.  The first is a delicious way to use up the last of the turkey, turkey and biscuit casserole.  Found Colin’s new favourite pizza crust, pizza crust.

OK, apparently I’ve lost the link for the next recipe.  We had steak the other day and ended up with some leftover (they were huge).  Pinterest to the rescue again and I found Steak Soup.   It was good with fresh garlic buns.

Steak Soup

serves 6

2 Tbsp oil                               4 cloves garlic, minced                                  1 onion, minced

5 small potatoes, diced       2 large carrots, diced                                     2 cups steak, diced

1 tsp salt                                 1 tsp pepper                                                     1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup tomato sauce          4 cups beef broth

Saute onions and garlic.  Add the rest of the veg. for a couple of minutes.  Add everything else.  Boil, then simmer (covered) for an hour.

 

I used some home canned tomato sauce in the soup so I had to find something else to do with the leftover tomato sauce.  Enter home-made ‘condensed tomato soup‘ and chili mac.  I really liked the chili mac recipe because it only made 4 servings, we won’t have to eat leftover pasta for days.

So that’s how I’ve been spending my days, what have you been doing to stay warm?

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O Christmas Tree

The days are whirling by a mile a minute and I just realized I forgot to share our tree.  We had to wait for Daddy to be finished combining corn so we were a little later than I hoped.  Also, it was a bitterly cold day -20C plus windchill.

Cedar Hill Christmas Tree farm has new wagons this year.  They have a very low step so now I can get in without a helpful ‘shove’ from Colin.

As usual, we decided on the first one Ella picked out -after traipsing around looking at a bunch of other trees.  Colin had a hard time cutting the tree down this year because the trunk was frozen (the saw might not have been the sharpest either, but no one listens when I say to bring ours!).

Back inside to warm up with some lunch and hot cocoa.  Ella and Daddy went out and did some sledding too.

The tree seemed bigger out in the field.  Oh well, Ella did a fabulous job like always just with fewer decorations.  I like my new garland for the door way.  I got it at Michaels for 50%.  It’s holly leaves and berries.

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Crafting On this week is my poor scarf with yet another pattern.  I really wasn’t ‘digging’ the Versailles pattern.  Looked around and actually found a pattern that I had purchased a long time ago but never used.

The elves have been up to their usual mischief.

Though one day they tried to help dust.

And just when you think they’ll be helpful this Advent…

They get into Daddy’s Turtles!

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Christmas is Coming!!!

Well, Christmas is still a while away, but do you know what is fast approaching?  Stir-up Sunday!!  November 26 we’ll be busy chopping and mixing.  I’ve shared the Christmas pudding recipe before but a reader has pointed out that I didn’t share the Christmas cake one.

I don’t have any pictures of the cake, I’ll take some this year.  This is my Great Grandma’s recipe.  People love it, it’s a nice mix of cake and fruit and nuts.

Christmas Cake

1 cup butter                                                 1 1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup                                    2 1/4 cup flour

4 eggs, beaten                                             1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup strawberry jam                            1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon                                       1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp mace                                                1 cup currants

All the following need to be chopped fairly fine:

1 cup raisins                                                 1/4 cup candied lemon peel

1/2 cup citron                                              1/4 cup candied orange peel

1/2 cup glace cherries                              1/2 cup nuts (I usually use walnut)

* there was a time I could buy all the peel separately at Bulk Barn, but now they only seem to carry ‘mixed peel’ which ticks me off.  So now I buy 1 cup mixed peel.

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add in the corn syrup and eggs and give it a good mix.  Stir in the jam.  Mix the dry ingredients (sprinkle a little of the flour on the chopped fruit to keep them from clumping) and add to the wet.  Stir in the chopped fruit/nuts.  Pour into a greased & lined 9×9″ cake pan.  Cover with brown paper after the first hour.

Bake 275F for 3 hours.

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Candlemas 2017

I love calling today Candlemas instead of ‘Groundhog Day’.  I don’t know why we suddenly need a rodent to tell us the weather forecast.  The old poem does a good enough job:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas bring clouds and rain,
Go winter, and come not again.

I belong to a Facebook group that has a lot of British/European ladies.  They are all talking about their snowdrops and such.  I headed out this morning to look for my snowdrops:

Oh, right, they are still buried under a foot of snow and it was -21 C (6 F) this morning with snow in the forecast.  But I guess that means the worst of winter is behind us?

I’m disappointed we won’t be able to go to church on Sunday.  I love the Candlemas service in Ottawa.  Ella has a skating competition on Sunday and we can’t do both with all the driving.  Hopefully next year.

We were in Ottawa doing some errands and visiting with my friend Teresa.  Came home to a surprise.  Look what Daddy bought us!!!

Took a while to convince Daisy she couldn’t catch them.  So much fun ripping around the fields.

“I want to ride too, Momma”

One worn out and chilly Ella.  Warming up in her mermaid tail that Auntie B made for her and reading her Minecraft book bought with her Christmas Chapters’ cards.

I picked up a couple of cool books too.  Ella is very excited to start the LEGO Shakespeare (she bought herself the Brick Fairy Tales and Brick Dracula/Frankenstein).  I treated myself to a beautiful, illustrated copy of The Hobbit.  My old paperback copy has seen better days.  I want to read it with Ella and I will enjoy the larger print in the new copy too.

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albert_chevallier_tayler_-_the_christmas_tree_1911

 

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!  May you all be happy and surrounded by the people you love.

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yarnalong_gsheller_aqua

Wow, it’s been a busy week.

Off to get our tree last Tuesday.  Had to stop for our annual height chart picture.

Ella found a great tree.

Just a nice amount of snow this year -so much better than last year’s rain.

Ella loved the snugly bunnies in the cafe.  This one is named licorice.

Before we left they hit the hill a couple of times.  Ella thinks they need an escalator.

Ella did a great job decorating the tree (Daddy did lights and garland).  My job is unwrapping the ornaments.

The Elf mischief continues.  Who knows where we’ll find them every morning.  Luckily we caught Faith before she stared to nibble Ella’s gingerbread house.

And now for the reason you’re reading this, my knitting for Yarn Along this week:

Some Christmas socks for Colin.

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