Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice!

Happy Solstice everyone! After today we can look forward to the days getting longer and Spring's eventual return.


We experienced one of our rare winter snows this past weekend,


lovely coming down


and mostly gone by today, typical for NC. Some of the Nest residents were not at all happy with the snow, but they found the bird watching to be excellent.

bird watching

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Decking the Nest and A Recipe Too!

Well the tree is up, some of the presents are wrapped, carols are in heavy rotation ( my favorites being Jethro Tull's Christmas Album and The Sounding Joy by The Mair Davie Duo...good stuff!) and the cookie making is about to commence! I thought I'd share some pictures of my tree and a great easy cookie recipe. First the tree and it's trims...

As you can see, it's a mix of handmade, antique, and just plain silly...note the crab? Also it was recently pointed out to me that a lot of the ornaments are vertical...well I do love icicles and of course I have all those gorgeous okra!

This last ornament is very special to me because it once belonged to my great aunt Florence. She was my grandmother's older sister and one of my favorite people of all time. Her own grandchildren lived far away, so she lavished all of her huge store of affection on the four of her eyes we could do no wrong. Aunt Florence was a fantastic cook and going to her house always meant some wonderful treat would be waiting for my siblings and me. This recipe was one of our favorites and in my mind Christmas just isn't the same without these yummy cookies.

Flossie's Party Cookies
1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sifted white flour
10 oz. milk chocolate ( can sub bittersweet chocolate)
chopped nuts ( for Xmas can sub crushed peppermint

Cream butter and sugar until light. Add egg and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla then flour. Blend well. spread in an 11x17 jelly roll pan and bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with broken bits of chocolate. Let these sit for 1-2 minutes, so they melt, and then spread evenly over the cookies with a knife. sprinkle with the chopped nuts (or peppermint). When cool, cut into squares and store in a tightly covered container in a cool place.

To give credit where it is due, the dark chocolate and peppermint idea comes from my sister and it really does make for a lovely and yummy Xmas version.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Last Ones!

TheHoliday Crew

Well the last ones for this year anyway. I loaded these ladies into the shop this morning and now I'll be working on presents for the next few weeks. Every year I say I'll get them made in advance, and every year I end up with a bunch to make right before the holidays...I must be a pressure junkie. I'm planning on closing the shop on the 14th so I can concentrate on cookie making, present wrapping, egg nog drinking and all that other fun holiday stuff, but I promise to still keep updating my blog until I reopen in January. So wish me luck and no tangles as I delve into my tasks... and I will see you soon!

...and in the same Holiday spirit, I made a fun Ornament treasury today that you should definitely take a peek at here!