Monday, December 26, 2011

A Little More Christmas Stitching

I am determined to finish Christmas is Forever before the end of the year. Only one more "moteef" left and then the rest of the verse. Highly doable, even at my slow pace, as long as I don't get too fussy about the umpteen thousand letters I have to stitch. I counted them all when I started working on it last night and realized I wasn't even halfway done. I also found a mistake so I'll be frogging two of them. I know that doesn't sound bad but I turn into Rain Man when I'm stitching a lot of letters like this, obsessively counting them over and over, adding and subtracting so I know how many I've done and how many I have left to do. If it wasn't for all my counting and re-counting, I might actually be done!

I really need to find a support group.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

White Chicken Chili

Ah yes! Another post about food! But 'tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry and, by gum, I plan to do all three!

At the risk of repeating myself I have to say this stuff is gooo-oood! My sister-in-law, Tammey, introduced me to white chili a couple of years ago and, well, it had me at hello. Our "go to" recipe comes from Cook's Country magazine, and we pretty much follow it verbatim except for substituting chicken breasts for the thighs. I have an extremely low tolerance for dark meat chicken. We also leave out the fresh cilantro which I have an even lower tolerance for after having a job that required me to chop mountains of the stuff. One whiff of cilantro and I'm on the floor in a fetal position sucking my thumb. Luckily I don't have the same reaction to the dried, flakey variety so we use that instead. Now, this recipe has a secret ingredient that really sets it apart from any other recipe we tried: a can of white hominy, drained, rinsed, and pureed. It smells gross (oh ye of the sensitive nose) and pureed beans look exactly how you'd think they'd look (ick!), but it really does add a lot of flavor and helps to thicken the chili. Plus it's easy to deal with the hominy when the recipe also includes this:

Four chopped jalapenos! Hoo doggie! These bad boys should come with a warning label: Do not touch any part of your body for 24 hours after handling! No amount of hand washing seems to help, either. You just have to let it wear off.

Anyhoosie, if you're tired of the same ol' same ol' and want to mix it up a bit, give this white chicken chili a try! The recipe can be found online right here:

White Chicken Chili


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peppermint Bark

Let me tell you, this stuff is goooo-ooood! Bordering on addictive! And it's so amazingly simple to make, I just have to share the recipe with you:

Peppermint Bark (courtesy of Miss Paula Deen)

1 cup crushed candy canes
2 pounds white chocolate
Peppermint flavoring, optional

Place candy canes in a plastic bag and crush into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller. (I smacked mine with a rolling pin. Quite satisfying if you're feeling a little Bah Humbug-ish!)) Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Combine candy cane chunks with melted chocolate (add peppermint flavoring at this point if desired). Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm. Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces.

Notes: I didn't want to mess with the whole double boiler thing so I just zapped my chocolate in the microwave, 15 seconds at a time, stirring until it was smoothy smooth. I also added enough peppermint flavoring to make my eyes burn but can't say that it made a huge difference in the final product.

And what would a stitchy blog be without some stitching! It's not much but here is my progress on Christmas Is Forever:

Good thing Christmas is forever because there's no way I'll have this finished before the 25th!

That's about it for me! Wishing everyone holiday cheer!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holy Cow!

It is my honest belief that the cows that give the milk used to make Bluebell Ice Cream must truly come from heaven. It's that good! But how did this Texas girl end up with two half gallons of "Little Creamery" yumminess in her Michigan freezer?? I'll tell you how!! My boyfriend Phil (also heaven-sent!) made a secret trip down to Kokomo, IN (the nearest place to buy Bluebell) in order to surprise me for my birthday. He also brought back five different pints along with the two half gallons. It's like having my own Bluebell Ice Cream parlor! (One that doesn't bother with bowls... I confess to eating it straight from the carton!)

The ice cream was not the biggest surprise, however! Phil also gave me a traditional Claddagh ring he had made especially for me in Ireland!
It's not quite an engagement ring but it does symbolize our commitment to each other. The hands represent friendship, the heart love, and the crown loyalty. I feel so blessed to be the person Phil chose to wear this ring!

In stitchy news, I've been working on Lizzie Kate's Christmas Is Forever.
This is the special edition kit from 2008 so I figure it's about time I got 'er done. It's also one of my Crazy January Challenge projects, but we don't talk about that particular failure!

My son left me a note on the fridge reminding me that Christmas is 10 days away. I've done minimal shopping and decorating so it looks like it's time to push it into hyperdrive. My daughter's last final is today so I'm hoping we can meet her for a quick celebratory lunch before she has to go to work, and then get some shopping done.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit, and I hope you are enjoying the holiday season!