Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Part 1

Our Christmas festivities started
last night with Joshua's family.
Sheri came home for Christmas
so all of us were at Dad and Mom's.
We had a delicious meal and a
wonderful evening of fellowship
that lasted until 1:00 a.m.

Here are a few photos
of our Helmuth Christmas.

Carving the cake. It was special to have Grandmother with us.

Mike opened up salt and pepper shakers and said "thanks".
Mom looked over and said,"That's Hannah's gift!"

Mike's 25 suckers he put on his wish list.

Dad and his tree stand seat from Caleb.

Mom in her cool socks from Hannah.

Caleb's helicopter from Josh.

 Sheri with her box of goodies from Hannah.

My gift to Hope that included a broken dish.
Don't put too many things in one box!

 Ryan and his helicopter from his wife.
It must have been a helicopter year.

Josh and his gun snake and shells from Mike.

 Watching crazy "Jib Jab" movies Mike created
with our faces. Go here for a sample.

Louise hidden amongst the aftermath.

A super intense game of Life going on here.

 I am so thankful for the blessing of family.

Blessings to you as you spend time
with your family this weekend.
Remember, you can't take all these
things with you to heaven- but your
family is one thing you can take with you.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chocolate Cake Ideas

Looking for a special cake
for your Christmas dinner?
A chocolate cake is one
of the funnest and easiest 
cakes to dress up.

Today I used my basic chocolate cake
recipe and whipped up some
icing with some of the same
ingredients as tiramisu.

Slice the two cake layers in half.

Simple, easy and delicious.

For this one I just used creamy white icing and topped it with
 seedless raspberry's and drizzled chocolate.

Chocolate Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup of hot coffee* 

*I heat 1 cup of water in microwave and add 1 very 
rounded table spoon of instant coffee.

Mix together in order listed. I usually have the mixer on slow the
whole time I mix up this cake. Pour batter into 2 greased
and floured 9 in. cake pans. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes,
or until center springs back when touched.
Cool cakes and slice each layer in half.
Then you know how to do the rest.
I don't think you need directions for icing a cake.

Tiramisu Icing

1- 8 oz. container of Mascarpone Cheese
2/3 cup 10x sugar
2 tsp. coffee liquor
2 tsp. tiramisu syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups whipping cream, whipped

Mix together Mascarpone Cheese, 10x sugar, coffee liquor,
tiramisu syrup and vanilla. In a separate bowl whip whipping cream
until it holds light peaks. Add too Mascarpone Cheese mixture and
beat until combined. Don't over whip- the texture will get funny.

Creamy White Icing

1 cup Crisco
 4 cups 10x sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbsp. milk

Mix until creamy.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Centerpiece

Looking for an inexpensive centerpiece
to grace your Christmas table?
Go to your fire wood pile and pick
out a nice piece of wood.

Have your husband cut out the center for you.

Cut a block of floral oasis in half and lay in the center.

Fill it with moss, pine, pine cones and berries.

Taaa daa... a Christmas centerpiece for almost free.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Merry Christmas ...

... to all of you who are visitors here.
I enjoy interacting with each one of you
and hearing your feedback.

I really enjoy blogging...
not for the attention or whatever you
you would call it- I blog because I have
a passion for cooking and like
sharing my recipes with others.

May your Christmas be restful.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Cookie Bake

Today was the 5th annual cookie bake/exchange
with Noel farm ladies and my friend Karana.

This years total topped all-
1,500 cookies baked.
We each usually mix up 2 - 3
turns of cookies. It's so nice
because you get all your Christmas
cookies and candies in one day.

I am so blessed to have a family
I can do things like this with.
Here are some photos from our day.

Karana's Peanut Butter Blossom's

Brenda's Spice Cookies

 Faith's Praline Cookies

 Beth's Spritz Cookies

 My Sugar Cookies with Orange Marmalade

JoAnn's Gingerbread Men

Maggie's Cranberry Nut Cookies

Mom's Reese's Cookies

Aunt Shirley's Chocolate Crinkles

Meredith and Trenton's Pretzel Sticks

Good ol' Dad counting out Mom's candy.

  Danielle helping her mom.

Sweet baby Riley.

I'm ready for the long hard winter-
my freezer is full of cookies.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Photos

I took my nephews Chistmas photos
this afternoon. A two year old will
not sit still for photos until you give him candy.
So... they both have candy in their mouths,
at least it's a festive candy.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Chirstmas...

Well folks, it's that time of year.
When we bring pine trimmings in to decorate,
and baking aromas fill the air.

 I made turtles with a good friend
on Saturday and had a wreath 
making today with some friends.
Then made party mix and sugar cookies.
When I take off work I try to 
pack in as much as possible.

Here are some festive photos
documenting the last couple days.

No recipe needed. Just over cook my carmel apple recipe
and you have caramel brickle. Delicious.

My best friend, Karana, wrapping caramel
around the pecans.

Friends since second grade. Oh, the stories we could tell.

 Ready to exchange at our cookie bake this Tuesday.

 Gathering pine for our wreaths.

What character a tool filled basement adds to a backdrop.

The finished product.
Part of the group. Suetta and Faith are missing.

Then around 8:00pm my dear sister-in-law Hannah
helped me with my sugar cookies.

Aunt Hope has retired Sawyer from decorating cookies-
at least until next year.

Hannah has taken his place and does a lovely job.
She doesn't even mix sprinkles.

Ready to grace our cookie plates.