Thursday, December 27, 2007

New England Trip

I'll be out of town for the next week visiting my sister in Rhode Island. I'm hoping to be able to post some pictures of the area while I am there. During my visit we are going to go to the White Mountains in New Hampshire...I bet there will be some great photo opportunities there. We are also thinking of stopping in Boston for a day. If anyone has any recommendations of "must see" places for me, please post a comment about it :D My tentative tour of the area includes Rhode Island, Massachutes, New Hampshire and maybe Maine. It will just depend on how much can be seen in a short amount of time. I'll be available by email the entire week so feel free to drop me a line at deborah150 at hotmail dot com.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Sunday, December 23, 2007


My sister Danielle was able to score a couple Red Wing tickets for us. The only downside of this was the tickets were for a Wednesday night and we live about 3.5 hours away....hhhhmmmm...what to do. Well, it is the Wings and nothing beats a great hockey game so we took a half of day of work on Wednesday and went to the game.

Here we are at my sister's bar--Foran's Irish food and beer in Detroit... (pic taken by her) getting ready to go to the game:Our seats were in section 207. Good seats, high enough up that we could see all of the ice, which was a nice bonus. All these pics were taken with my Canon G5 point and shoot. It zoomed in pretty good:
Gotta love the Zambonis:
Getting ready to drop the puck:
Pic of rink with no zoom used
The game was great, fast moving and entertaining. I was a little disappointed that no fights broke out (just kidding). It was an aggressive game though and the Wings pulled through to win 6-2. The drive back was long, arrived home around 1:30 a.m. and had to get up and go to work the next day---6 a.m. comes quick when you're tired :( We will definitely go to another game, next time though I think we will try for weekend tickets.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cookie Exchange

My friend Laura and I hosted our 3rd Annual Cookie Exchange last weekend. Laura was gracious enough to host at her house (for the 3rd year in a row--THANK YOU Laura!!). We had 11 varieties of cookies exchanged this year. I made Sandies by the Sea. They are so good, even though they look a little time consuming they were very easy to make. Leave a comment with your favorite holiday cookie and recipe if you feel like sharing. Here's the recipe (I did not use the sea salt on mine, because I couldn't find it in this small town, and I think when I make these again I will use milk chocolate instead of bittersweet, but its all about your personal preference):

2C. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 C firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C pecans, *lightly toasted and very finely ground (using a food processor)
20 caramel candies
3 Tbsp cream or whole milk
2-3 Tbsp large crystal sea salt
1 C chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate morsels

*To toast pecans, place nuts in a single layer in an ungreased shallow pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pan to cool.

1. Combine flour and salt in bowl, set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar using an electric mixer or wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla; beat to incorporate. Add dry ingredients in batches, mixing between each, and then stir in ground pecans. Cover and chill dough 1 hour or until firm.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or butter the sheets.

4. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls with floured hands. Place on baking sheets at least 1 inch apart, and depress a cavity in the center of each ball using your thumb or rounded implement. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the bottoms are brown and set. Check halfway through baking to see that the depressions are still deep enough to fill. If not, use a floured spoon to redefine.

5. Remove cookies from oven and let them sit for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer with a metal spatula to a wire cooling rack set over a piece of parchment paper.

6. Melt caramel candies and cream together in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Fill the center of each cookies with approximately 1/2 tsp of the caramel. While the filling is still warm, sprinkle centers evenly with sea salt, and let them sit until firm.

7. Place chocolate in a sturdy plastic bag in a bowl, in microwave and heat on medium at 30 second intervals, massaging between each, until melted. Cut a small hole in corner bottom of bag and drizzle melted chocolate across each cookie; add additional salt if desired and allow cookies to sit until chocolate has become firm.

Makes 1-3 dozen 2 inch thumbprint style cookies

Here's the cookies all dressed for the party:

'O Christmas Tree was cold and windy when we went to pick out our Christmas tree. We went to a new tree place this year. We see a sign near our home that said trees $8 so we went to check it out. It ended up being at someone's pole barn with a bunch of cut trees in front of it. The sign said to just leave the money in the mailbox (its the small print on the right side of the above picture). Honestly, I think you would only find a honor system tree lot in northern Michigan. We looked around for a bit and finally decided on the best one for us.

Here's the gang checking out the possible trees:
Here's the keeper:
Dang, than you always have to try to figure out how to get the tree home. I think it was around 20 degrees when Alan was tying the tree to the car---dang, I hate freezing cold weather!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Thanksgiving Snapshots

My very creative sister-in-law, Deb, made these very cool cornucopias for Thanksgiving:
Gus hoping for some Thanksgiving treats:
The guys peeling lots and lots of potatoes. I think they peeled 10+ pounds. I don't know how many they were expecting for dinner, but we had potatoes left over for days afterward.

Girl Scout Swap

Back in November I took my Girl Scout troop to a swap in Manistee. The girls made over 100 pins to trade with other girl scouts from the region. They had a lot of fun and traded for a lot of fun different pins.
Here's Emma ready to trade her pins:

Here's some pins that Emma traded for:
It was busy, busy trading with other girl scouts:
Some Girl Scouts were very prepared with custom containers:
Emma made seashell buddies (we collected the seashells from the beaches of Hatteras Island):
Some girls pinned their trades on really cool bucket hats: