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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, December 14, 2007

Elaine and Ronnie's House Decorated For Christmas

I went to Elaine and Ronnie's to take photos of her Christmas decorations. She does a great job decorating, especially on a budget. Her den is decorated in a lodge look so she keeps to that in her den Christmas decorations.

Here she made her own garland using boughs from an evergreen and red wooden bead garlands. It looks great!
She has wreaths at both the stairs to their back deck. Ronnie had borrowed our outdoor fireplace in order to have a fire for Luke's "Going Away" party (he's leaving Monday for base camp in the Air Force).
The den entrance from the deck.
On to of their entertainment center in the den. Remember, she decorates her den in a lodge look.

Her Fontini nativity. It think it's lovely!

Here is their Christmas tree in the den. Luke and Hannah got it, put it up and decorated it for her!
Her walls have her lodge look decorations like fish, fishing gear, creels, canoes, etc.
Their den fireplace.

One of her Santa's that Aunt Ruth made.

This is their living room. This faux fireplace used to be Aunt Ruth's. It's lovely! The old clock used to be our Grandmother's.

This little fiberoptic tree is in their living room.

Vintage Christmas balls.

Their dining room.

Vintage Christmas balls.

Another faux fireplace that she picked up at a thrift store and painted. It just fits into their dining room.

Their breakfast room windows.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

At Some Disputed Barricade by Anne Perry

I just finished this book in Anne Perry's WWI series. Another good one. See my comments on her previous books in the series in earlier blog entries.

The Reavely siblings save the day again. Hannah Reavely MacAllister is only seen once (she was a main character in the last one) still taking care of her children and living in the village of St. Giles. Matthew Reavely is in London still trying to put a name to The Peacemaker. The Peacemaker seems to be losing his sanity in his quest for peace with Germany at any cost. In London there have been 4 men knocked out of office who could have been counted on to stand strong when it came to peace negotiations after the War. The Peacemaker is trying to set up his chessboard with men who believe in an Anglo-German world empire of peace and prosperity. At least that is what he believes in. He will help Germany in any way to bring about an end to the War. Surely by now, he realizes that if Germany won, there would be no Anglo-German world empire, only a German world empire? But that may be the crux of his insanity. Anyway, Matthew is trying to stop this latest attempt to skew the group of negotiators that will be needed when war ends. He is able to save the last of the 4 men but the other 3 are lost and, even though he has brought the devious plan to light, he still has no idea who The Peacemaker is.

Meanwile, on the Front, in the trenches, Judith Reavely is still driving ambulances and Joseph Reavely is back as the Chaplain of his men. They have a new leader named Major Howard Northrup who is arrogant and thinks, as a commander, he has to be in control. He refuses any advice from his men who have been there a lot longer than he has and knows the ropes. It ends up with some of them being killed and injured unnecessarily. Then one day he is shot in the forehead and killed. Was he killed in the battle by Germans? Was he killed by friendly fire? Was he killed by one of his own men? Captain Josephy Reavely has to find out! And, at one point, is in an air fight with the Red Baron himself and gets off a shot that hits the red bi-plane!

Anothe good read!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Beanie Weanies

I made my own Beanie Weanies Monday night. Back in October we had a big hot dog and hamburger cookout and we have lots of hot dogs left. Instead of eating hot dogs every week, I've added Beanie Weanies to the menu. It's so simple!

I just open a large can of Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans and another small can. Then I cut up a small pack of hot dogs and add a good dash of Worcestershire Sauce, stir it up and bake for about 30 mins. It's very easy and very good. The clean up is a little much. I spray this small casserole dish with Pam but you know how baked beans are! My tip: Rinse it out good, set in the sink, fill with water and tap a little bit of automatic dishwashing detergent in it and let it soak for awhile. The water softeners in the detergent will break down the food and makes it easy to wash or just stick in the dishwasher!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Little Doggy Christmas Carol

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree
How high up are your trimmings!

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree
How high up are your trimmings!

Before the pups we trimmed your boughs
Close to the floor, as space allows

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree
How high up are your trimmings!

The balls aren’t glass, no tinsel yet..
After that last trip to the vet

O Christmas Tree O Christmas
Tree How high up are your trimmings

Empty boxes wrapped carefully
Now barricade our Christmas tree

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree
How high up are your trimmings!

When pups are grown (haha) we’ll trim with glee
And have a normal Christmas tree

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree
How high up are your trimmings!

All Day Macaroni and Cheese

All Day Mac 'n Cheese

16 oz cooked and drained elbow pasta 4 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cup milk (you can substitute lowfat or nonfat or powdered milk for the milks)
2 eggs
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Spray Crockpot with nonstick spray. Mix everything together and pour into Crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours-Do not stir, it will cook and firm up.

Notes: You can reserve out some cheese to sprinkle on the top and make a super cheesy layer, or you can mix up your favorite casserole topping (i.e. cracker crumbs and butter) and sprinkle that on top too.

Just add some chopped ham steak and some fresh bread, whip up a quick salad and you have a classic comfort meal. You could throw in some shredded zuchini. Maybe 2 Tbsp of wheat germ to add fiber. Wouldn't this be a great, easy but cozy After Christmas dinner? This recipe is great to take along to potlucks, to bring to a family who needs meals, or even to make while camping.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Drinks

Egg Nog

4 cups milk (you can used evaporated milk, whole milk or 1%-2% milk)
5 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups light rum (none or more or less rum)
4 cups light cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. Sugar has an insulating effect, and will help prevent the eggs from coagulating in the heat. Combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. You must have the liquid of the milk in with the yolks or it will coagulate and produce scrambled eggs. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil but it should reach 160 degrees to kill any bacteria. Use an instant-read thermometer. When the mixture reaches the correct temperature, immediately place the pan in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Strain to remove cloves, and let cool for about an hour. Stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoon vanilla, and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.
Source: Allrecipes.com

Candy Cane Hot Chocolate

4 cups milk
2-3 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 peppermint candy canes, crushed to powder
1 cup whipped cream
4 small peppermint candy canes

In a saucepan, heat milk until hot, but not boiling. Whisk in the chocolate and the crushed peppermint candies until melted and smooth. Pour hot cocoa into four mugs, and garnish with whipped cream. Serve each with a candy cane stirring stick.
Source: Allrecipes.com

Hot Mulled Cider

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 large orange, quartered with peel
2 quarts apple cider

Place filter in coffee basket, and fill with brown sugar, allspice, cloves, cinnamon stick, salt, nutmeg, and orange wedges. Pour apple cider into coffee pot where the water usually goes. Brew, and serve hot. Note: I wasn't too sure about pouring apple cider in my coffee maker. So I make this in a crockpot and put the spices in a tea strainer or cheesecloth. But keep it covered or it will reduce and become too strong and sweet.
Source: Allrecipes.com

Old Virginia Wassail

2 quarts apple cider
2 cups orange juice
1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice
2 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1/2 cup honey

In a large stock pot over medium heat, combine the apple cider, orange juice, pineapple juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves and honey. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat, or transfer to a slow cooker to keep warm while serving. Strain out cinnamon sticks and cloves before serving if desired. Note: You can make this in a crockpot but it won't come to a boil. So maybe bring to a boil and then transfer to a crockpot? Keep it covered or it will reduce and get too sweet.
Source: Allrecipes.com

Peppermint Punch

1 quart peppermint ice cream
1 cup cold milk
2 liters ginger ale, chilled

Place ice cream in a punch bowl, and allow to soften slightly. Blend in milk and ginger ale. Stir until frothy. Serve at once, or keep chilled until ready to serve.
Source: Allrecipes.com

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Angels In The Gloom by Anne Perry

I finished this book today. And I've started on the next in the series. I really enjoy these books. This is Anne Perry's WWI series with the Reavley family. There are 2 sisters and 2 brothers who are struggling to do their duty during one of England's most terrible times, WWI. In the first book of the series, their parent's are killed in an automobile accident on the same day Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated which started WWI in 1914. His father had found a document betraying English allies by making a treaty with Germany. In order to avoid a world war, it was suggested that England and Germany shake hands. Germany would take over the nations around them and England would stay out of it in order to keep their territories. "An Anglo-German empire of peace, prosperity, and domination, the cost of which was the betrayal of France and Belgium, and ultimately most of the world." John and Alys Reavley had rushed to try and stop this document from being signed but had been killed. The author and negotiator of this treaty was not known, so the Reavley siblings had begun to call him The Peacemaker. A pacifist who would make peace at any cost, even dishonor. The Reavley siblings have been trying to discover who The Peacemaker is and how to stop him. They have solved murders that are caused by The Peacemaker without finding out his identity.
In this novel, it is 2 years into the War. Judith is single and driving ambulances along the front in France. Joseph is a chaplain working in the regiment that holds men from his small village of St. Giles. Living in the trenches with them. Matthew is working in London doing intelligence work. Hannah is married to a naval officer and they have 2 children. She is keeping the home fires burning in the home, as well as, their village. Her husband, Commander Archie MacAllister, has command of a warship named the HMS Cormorant.
At the beginning of this book, Joseph is injured and sent home to St. Giles to recuperate. While there he meets his father's closest friend, almost a second father to the siblings, Shanley Corcoran, who is managing a scientific organization that is about to come out with a guidance system for weapons. If it is completed and works, then it may turn the tide of the War and England could begin winning in the seas. But the young scientist who is the genius behind this invention is murdered. Who did it? Joseph and Hannah try to find out.
Meanwhile, Matthew is still trying to find The Peacemaker and how he may be involved in this murder and how to thwart The Peacemaker's machinations to bring "peace" by giving Germany the victory. We find out that The Peacemaker is trying to use the Irish who are pro-German because they think Germany will destroy England and Ireland can finally have their country.
We go from the Front in the trenches to the English countryside village of St. Giles to London. Everyone is consumed with the War. Every thought and action is about the War.
I would recommend this book to anyone.

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