Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas by phone

OK, we made it through. Just the two of us...not so bad. We really, really missed having the "kids" home, the mounds of wrapping paper to climb over on the living room floor, the early morning wake up, and the Raffi's Christmas Music we listen to every year, but we made the best of it. It was a great opportunity to really focus on "the reason for the season."We attended the Children's Mass in the evening, which was the sweetest thing, then we came home watched "It's a Wonderful Life" on TV. Later we went to the amazingly beautiful Cathedral in Memphis for Midnight Mass. The music was spectacular, and the Church was packed to the rafters with people from all faiths. It really was a Holy night. I'm not used to going to bed at 3AM, however, and was sure I'd sleep in 'til noon (part of the strategy for handling my kids not being home), but no, I woke up at 7AM! We spent much of the day talking to our kids on the phone as they opened their gifts, which was fun. We got them each a Garmin Nuvi navigational system (which should help them find home next year :) They might be adults and all gorwn up but still get stockings every year, which are packed to the brim with silly, and serious gifts. I love that they still treasure the traditions they grew up with. So here's to Christmas...may we always treasure old traditions and keep making new ones!

Monday, December 10, 2007


Eclectica Scrapbooks and Stamps (LSS) had it's annual Staff and Instructor Holiday Celebration/Dinner/Cookie Swap. Our "Dirty Santa" gift exchange was fun, but a bit too polite with only a few steals. Everyone ended up with a lovely gift in the end. As I promised, here is the recipe for the Cookies I brought. Enjoy!

Maple Walnut Shortbread dipped in Chocolate

1 cup butter (softened)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 egg yolk
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. maple flavor
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts

1. Beat sugar and butter until smooth. Add 1/2 cup walnuts and egg yolk; beat until blended. Add flour, baking powder, salt and maple flavor. Beat on low speed until stiff cookie dough forms. Shape dough into a ball, wrap and place in fridge for about 45 minutes.
2. Heat oven to 350degrees F. Divide dough into 8 equal parts. On lightly floured surface, shape each part into a rope 12" long and
3/4" thick. Cut into 2" lengths; place about 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet. I flattened centers slightly with one finger.
3. Bake for 16-18 minutes until edges begin to brown. Cool completely.
4. In a double boiler melt chocolate chips; stirring until smooth. In another small bowl place toasted chopped walnuts.
5. Dip one side of each cookie into melted chocolate then into walnuts. Place on sheets of parchment or waxed paper; let stand until set. (I put mine in the fridge.)

Don't ask for the calorie and fat count...'cause you just don't want to know!

All packaged and ready for the swap...