Merry Christmas Everyone!

I’m taking a few days off starting Christmas Eve, so unless I find a computer this will be my last post until 30 December. 🙂

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas…may it be safe, warm (for most us of in the USA…brrrr!), and full of love, music and laughter.

Cutest trio of Angels ~ Sparks Christmas Parade 2009

ps: Don’t forget to throw out some seed and suet for the birds in your yard! Catnip for your kitties…and a nice bone for your dawgs.

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For Today ~ 21 December 2009 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 21 December 2009

Outside My Window… Snow still on the ground and it’s now raining off and on.

I am thinking… YEAH! My boss gave me a Cabela’s gift card for Christmas. 🙂 I get to run amok in Cabela’s soon! Oh yes…happy Winter Solstice!

I am thankful for… Our new place that we’ll be moving to soon. It will be a non-hurried move…a bit at a time…after Christmas I’ll kick it up a notch.

From the kitchen… Pizza…maybe. Maybe not.

I am wearing… Jeans, tennies, and a black turtleneck.

I am creating… Finished the hand-sewing on the quilt…it’s all wrapped and ready to put under the tree. No more creating this week!!!

I am going… Go pick up part of the oak table and six chairs that I won at a local auction for $30! Will have to go get the rest of it tomorrow with the truck.

I am reading… Just online news and the newspaper.

I am hoping… My constant wish ~ That everyone that is looking for a job, finds one. (Keep fingers crossed and send up a prayer…my husband just started his 3rd week of work, and still liking it!)

I am hearing… The ice machine and a liquid nitrogen tank hissing like a pressure cooker.

Around the house… boxes…I’ve been packing.

One of my favorite things… sunshine…it’s been missing for a while now.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… take a few boxes to the new place each day…go to moms on Wednesday for our Christmas (sister and I).

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

A quail sitting on the fence after the last snowfall.

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The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

LOL Cats & Dogs…need a funny today?

Need a smile? Look no further…am posting some of the LOL Kittehs I’ve collected from icanhascheezburger?

This one is for my displaced Texan up in Michigan…

For Oreo and Donna….

I feel (and probably look like sometimes) this way now and again…

For my BIL….

And now for something completely different…this guy just makes me giggle everytime I see him on tv.

Peppermint Candy Biscotti and German Hazelnut Cookie Recipes

Not sure how many of you visit the blog Mennonite Girls Can Cook ~ they have awesome recipes over there to try.

Over the snowy weekend I made two of their cookie recipes ~ German Hazelnut Cookies and Peppermint Candy Biscotti

Peppermint Candy Biscotti, Peanut Brittle, German Hazelnut Cookies

The hazelnut cookies are a great shortbread like cookie with yummy chocolate. Very easy to make.

GERMAN HAZELNUT COOKIES
1 cup hazelnuts finely chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour

Beat butter and sugar together until light.
Add egg yolk and vanilla.
Blend in flour and hazelnut.
Form into 1″ balls and make an indent on the center with a wooden spoon.

Bake on a greased baking sheet @ 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cookies should look light in color.

Fill the center with melted semi-sweet chocolate.

I’ve never made biscotti before, not so hard actually! Was quite easy ~ and they are VERY YUMMY INDEED! Am going to make more of these.

PEPPERMINT CANDY BISCOTTI
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup crushed peppermint candies
14 ounces vanilla candy coating (I used Raley’s White Chocolate Chunk Chips)
several drops red or pink food coloring (I didn’t use the food coloring, no need…very pretty without it)
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
additional crushed peppermint candy to decorate

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
2. Combine the soft butter and sugar in a large bowl.
3. Beat until creamy.
4. Add the eggs and continue beating until well mixed.
5. At low speed . ..add the dry ingredients and then the crushed candy.
6. Divide the dough into four pieces and with floured hands .. make each piece into a 9 by 1 1/2 inch log.
7. Place the logs 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet. (I put them on parchment paper…makes taking them off the cookie tin VERY EASY!)
8. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the tops are cracked and they just begin to brown.
9. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes.
10. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F.
11. Carefully remove and slice each log into 1/2 inch slices with a serrated knife.
12. Arrange pieces back on the the cookie sheet cut side down.
13. Continue to bake for another 12 – 14 minutes turning once until light golden brown. and crisp on both sides. Remove to cool on wire racks.
14. Place candy coating in a saucepan and melt very slowly. Remove from heat.
15. Stir in food coloring and peppermint extract.
16. Dip each Biscotti part way into the warm coating and sprinkle with crushed candy canes and allow to set on a wire rack.

And last but not least…here is my Grandma McDonald’s Peanut Brittle recipe that my mom adapted to our high altitude (4500-4700 feet). Since it’s in the picture I’ll post the recipe again.

GRANDMA McDONALD’S PEANUT BRITTLE
Mix together in a large pot the following and bring the mixture to 240F (this is high altitude degrees)…250F for lowlanders.
3 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Water
1 Cup White Syrup

Add 1-1/2 pounds of Raw Peanuts and STIR CONSTANTLY to 290F (high altitude degrees)…300F for lowlanders, then take off heat.

NOTE!!!! Have a large lipped cookie tin (I use one that is about 22″ long) all buttered up ready for the next step.

Stir in:
1/4 tsp of salt
1 TBSP butter
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 tsp Baking Soda

Spread mixture onto the greased cookie tin and let cool. Break when cooled.

For Today ~ 14 December 2009 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 14 December 2009

Outside My Window… Fog…and lots of it!

I am thinking… I miss my sunshine…I love winter, but with sun. I can stand the 18F highs if I only have the sun out.

I am thankful for… My little 2001 Saturn sedan…it’s great in the snow, and I still have yet to buy chains for it.

From the kitchen… Last night I made pork carnitas tacos. Also made Peppermint Biscotti, German Hazelnut cookies, and more Peanut Brittle.

I am wearing… Jeans, tennies, and a bulky red cowl-neck sweater, hair down.

I am creating… Still working on that wee quilt, am hand sewing the binding on now.

I am going… go to our employee Christmas potluck today, I have to bring a salad so I made my SIL’s Cranberry Relish.

I am reading… Just online news and the newspaper.

I am hoping… My constant wish ~ That everyone that is looking for a job, finds one. (Keep fingers crossed and send up a prayer…me thinks my husband finally found a full-time permanent job!)

I am hearing… Amy Grant’s Breath of Heaven on my Pandora station. Just love Amy!

Around the house… boxes…I’ve been packing.

One of my favorite things… sunshine.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… sew, pack, bake.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

A sample of my weekend baking…

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The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sparks, Nevada Snow Plows…WTF?!

Good grief…

While sitting in the front sunroom after getting off of work yesterday, I watched a snow plow going down my street (off of Prater, near an elementary school)…with its plow UP.

Not once, twice, thrice….BUT FIVE TIMES! My street could have been cleaned!

4:48, 4:50, 4:51, 4:53, 4:56 pm.

They can have the plow down on Prater, but turn the corner down a residential street UP GOES THE PLOW! I mean for goodness sakes! You are going down my street to get back to Prater, so put the bloody plow down!

WTF?!

Photograph Thursday ~ 10 December 2009

Making this a picture day…photographs of Bower’s Mansion (29 November), Sparks Hometown Christmas Parade (5 December), Snow (7 December).

Washoe Valley, NV

Washoe Valley, NV

Washoe Valley, NV

Steps behind Bowers Mansion

Bowers Mansion, Washoe Valley, NV

Cutest trio of Angels ~ Sparks Christmas Parade 2009

Sparks High School Marching Band

Christmas Parade

A cold cutie patootie

My nephew (leaning forward-middle) in the Sparks Christmas Parade 2009

4:00 am on Monday morning...it was still snowing.