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Monday, December 31, 2012

Movie Review: Lés Miserables

My husband and I saw the recently released movie Lés Miserables on Saturday evening.
My recommendation... go see it. Not for the very young (a few suggestive scenes and blood).  A story of redemption with fabulous music, costuming and scenery.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Local outing: Air Force Space and Missile Museum

My husband and I took my sweet aunt out to lunch today and while we were riding around the area with her discovered the Air Force Space and Missile Museum near Port Canaveral. Free admission and excellent tours on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Check it out here.

It's only been open for about one year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012 !

Merry Christmas, Everyone!  Hope you're enjoying your day as much as I am.  A few photos from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day...  off to see The Hobbitt tonight (movie tradition).

Best Christmas Lights in our Neighborhood

Christmas Eve Worship

Our Tree on Christmas Eve
Christmas Breakfas Kitchen Table

Traditional Orange Cinnamon Rolls for Breakfast

Christmas Lunch/Dinner Dining Room Table
Our Untraditional Christmas Dinner  Mmmm....!
As always, my favorite gifts are those sitting around our Christmas table... my husband and sons, and the knowledge that they all know God's indescribable gift of Jesus, His Son.   Emmanuel, God is with us.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Local Outing: Casa Féliz

It's been about a month since I posted on this blog.  Two weeks of being sick plus the extra activities of the Christmas holidays...  My husband and I discovered a new occasional outing in our area today:  Casa Féliz in Winter Park (near Park Avenue).  It is open to the public (free) from 1-3 p.m. each Sunday, usually with live musicians playing.  After church and a picnic lunch in the park with our son, we ventured over to check it out.   A lovely serendipitous outing...  here are some photos for you to enjoy.  What a treat that it was decorated for Christmas.  

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz P52 Week 52

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz

Monday, November 26, 2012

Electric Carving Knife to Slice Turkey or Ham

Just a tidbit here... if you are trying to carve a turkey or ham by hand, you're fighting a losing battle.  Break down and spend $20 ($15 if you use a Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon) and get an electric carving knife.  As my husband started carving our turkey the other night, the knife was working properly.     My parents had bought it for us when we were married 25 years ago so it had had a useful life.  It even came with a large serving fork.  We only use it maybe 4-5x a year but it's certainly having one to make the carving easier. Try it... you'll appreciate this little helper in your kitchen.

Electric Carving Knife

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Publix Salt & Pepper Shakers

Had to post this photo I took of Mr. & Mrs. Pilgrim in the changing of the holiday guard with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. :)  I've sold many of these pilgrim salt & pepper shakers in my Ebay store; a sweet piano student gave me Mr. & Mrs. Santa several years ago. 

Publix Salt Pepper Pilgrim Couple & Santa

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Easy Preparation of a Turkey

With Thanksgiving just behind us, here is a tip for future preparation of a turkey.  This was my first year to prepare a frozen turkey. I have always paid a little more and purchased a fresh one.  I'll definitely do that next year.  I bought a 20-lb. turkey and the second day in the frig it was still as hard as a rock.  I called the Butterball hotline and got some advice.   If I had not soaked it in water for 4 hours one day and 2 hours the next, we would not have had turkey on our Thanksgiving table this year.  It took four days to thaw even with this process and I still had to yank some of the giblets out that were frozen in the center.

How to Roast a Turkey

My usual method is to bake it the day before we eat it (I use the Reynolds' Oven Bags), and have my husband carve it that day as well.  I save the drippings in a ziplock bag and put everything in the refrigerator overnight.  The next day I skim off the fat and then put the congealed drippings on top of the sliced turkey.  Be sure to save 2-3 tbsp. of drippings to add to your gravy!  Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 300 degrees for one hour.  It tastes just like you baked it that day and there's not a huge mess all over your kitchen OR your dining table.  This simple process sure saves me on Thanksgiving or the day of the actual meal so I can relax a bit, too.  Try it.  I think you'll like it.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Mr & Mrs Publix Pilgrim Salt & Pepper Shakers

One familiar site in our house that I put out September 1 is this cute little pair of Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers by Publix.   They are getting stored back in the china cabinet as we decorate for Christmas today.  Do you use them in your home during the fall and Thanksgiving?

Publix Pilgrim Salt Pepper Shakers

How to Make Almost Homemade Gravy

I make gravy for the turkey every year generally just for holiday meals like the one we had yesterday for Thanksgiving.   My husband absolutely loves it and I have to admit, it does taste pretty good.  My mother used to make it totally from scratch using just pan drippings and flour with seasonings.  I have never mastered that ... always turns out lumpy and unflavorful for me.   Here is my doctored up recipe which uses this as a base...

To this, I add:
  • the fresh giblets (insides of the turkey that come in the little bags), boiled and chopped 
  • one sliced, hard-boiled egg
  • 2 tbsp. pan drippings from the turkey

I boil the giblets and the egg (separately) the day before and let them cool, then chop them all up and keep in the frig until needed.  Be sure to save a bit of the drippings (more on those tomorrow) to add to this gravy.

Stir together with the jar of gravy and heat slowly on the stove for about 20 minutes on a low setting.  Pour into a gravy boat to serve.  This gravy has texture and  is delicious.

How to Make Homemade Gravy

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Menu

What's on your Thanksgiving Day menu?  Here is ours...all are time-tested favorites which everyone loves.  Some years I add a dish or two new (raspberry sweet potatoes, fresh green beans), but the traditional favorites are always here.  I usually have a pineapple/cherry ambrosia fruit salad but I happen to have a lot of fresh strawberries right now, so we're having those with homemade whipped cream.  No matter what you serve during this special meal with your family,  it's the people that make the time at the table a delight and the food just adds to the pleasure of being with your loved ones.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and/or family!

Thanksgiving Day Give Thanks
 Thanksgiving Day Menu 2012

Sparkling grape juice

Baby corn
Sliced strawberries with homemade whipped cream


Thanksgiving Day Menu

Thanksgiving Day Menu

1 Chr 16:34 O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; 
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Stampin' Up Card Making Party

I had a fun time this past weekend for a few hours creating these beautiful cards  with Stampin' Up products with a small group of women.  I had made a few note cards several years ago but this time, I made Christmas cards... some easy, one of them very detailed.  The teacher was the mother of a young friend from church.  Her daughter was my personal "coach".   All of the pre-cut pieces, equipment and frills  for twelve cards were provided for a reasonable fee ($18.00,  $1.50 per card).   What a pleasant morning.  I went on a whim and was glad that I did.  Not being particularly crafty, I was delighted with these beautiful results.

I'll have to be on the lookout for Stampin' Up products when I am out buying inventory.  I have a few in my Ebay store at this time.

Stampin' Up Christmas

Stampin' Up Christmas

Stampin' Up Christmas

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Operation Christmas Child Deadline November 19, 2012

If you have seen the posts around Facebook or the signs around town and at the YMCA or local churches, remember that the deadline for turning in the shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child is Monday, November 19.  This is a simple project, especially for children, to participate in the joy of giving to  those less fortunate than themselves.

If you have not heard of this and have time today or tomorrow to shop for a few small items, THIS LINK (designed by my son), has all of the details.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holiday Art Contest

Just in case you don't receive our local newspaper, there is a Holiday Art Contest coming up for children in kindergarten through 5th grade.  My own children entered this and received awards when they were younger.  For homeschoolers, it's a nice incentive to create some special Christmas artwork and share your faith at the same time.

Holiday Art Contest

The deadline for entries is Monday, December 3.

More details HERE.
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