Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Treats

The other day I thought it doesn't feel much like christmas. For one thing, this is the first christmas in many of years I didn't get that sigh of relief after finishing finals. Although I have to say I'm not complaining, I would much rather omit the sigh than to have to be in school. I decided I couldn't sit about and whine, it was my job to be the mom and I had to make the christmas treats. This is my crowning glory. My Buche de Noel. I like to think of it as a birthday cake for my mother in law. My husband was so proud of my achievement. My mom always puts a holly sprig on it, but my apartment is fresh out of holly so I used a cookie.I also made sugar cookies with my boy. He loved the batter but the cookies he didn't really care about. First you have to make the batter the day before with a pastry blender and store it in the fridge over night.Then the next day you roll it.Don't forget the fun cookie cutters.And of course we had to put sprinkles on top.And then since I was such a good mommy, I was blessed, I was also craving gingerbread men, and while I was at my mother in laws, someone brought a HUGE one.Here are my recipes:

Christmas Log
Preheat oven to 375
Use a 10x15x1/2 pan
1 cup cake flour
(2 tbsp. corn starch can be added to regular flour if you don’t have cake flour)
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In mixing bowl beat eggs till thick and lemon colored. Add sugar. At low speed, blend in water and vanilla. Gradually add flour – beat only until smooth. Pour in pan pushing to edges.
Bake 12-15 minutes. Invert immediately on a towel. Remove wax paper. Let cool two minutes—roll with towel. Let rest 10 minutes or until cool. Unroll—remove towel. Fill with whipped cream, roll up and frost with chocolate frosting so it looks like a “branch” or a “log”.

Sugar Cookies
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
Combined flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt and sift into bowl. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add egg, milk and vanilla; mix until dough holds together. Press into ball. Wrap and chill well. Roll 1/2 of the dough at a time on lightly floured board. Cut into shapes with floured cookies cutters. Arrange 1” apart on ungreased cooky sheets. Bake at 375 for about 8 minutes. Cool cookies on racks.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Flowers for the Bride

My brother in law got married on Tuesday.
I spent a whole saturday of decorating for the reception, which included making her bouquet. On monday when I saw her I asked her if she wanted me to make another one, long story short, she got one. Pictured above.
She wanted something small, some might thinks this bouquet is lacking but its what she wanted. Actually she wanted one rose, her mom wanted more we compromised that's what weddings are all about. I think it was perfect for her, but maybe I'm biased since I made it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Tour of my Apartment

I found BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes 5 minutes before my hubby came home from work, I haven't been back home since, because of a wedding. Hopefully I'm not to late to participate. Here is how I decorated in a small apartment, using many holiday handme downs. If you came to my house the first thing you would see is my jingle bell wreath on my apartment door. I love this, because of the glitter, I love sparkley things at christmas (although my husband would say I love anything that sparkles all 12 months).Our stockings are hung by the window with care, since $500 a month doesn't buy a fireplace. I hand make stockings for all my family.Here is our 2 foot christmas tree. It was a handme down from my grandma. Here are some of my favorite ornaments. The santa in the background, is a handme down from my mother, its kind of ugly, but I love it because I remember it being in my house as a child. The christmas clock I made a few days ago. One of my sister in laws and I have a love affair going on with Believe signs, thats why I have two with my tree.
This is my favorite presents, its from my brother. I love it, because my sister in law (a different one, I only have 10) wrapped it so simply but beautifully. The tree skirt is another handme down from my childhood. This santa also came with the other from my mom. Its a little too....traditional crafty looking for my taste, but its nice to have a santa on the floor that my son can look at and touch, so he can experience Christmas for himself. This nativity is also on the floor for my son to experience for himself. My mother in law gave all of her children this nativity and its a great nativity for children, because it has a music box.Here are some more of our nativities. My mom collects nativities which means she has more than she can display in her house. She has passed many on to me, including these two. I love my Fontanini Nativity. Speaking of Love, I absolutely love my feather tree. I partly love them, because I got married at christmas time and one of my receptions was decorated with feather trees. Here are some more Nativities, we have another five sets in our closet (apparently mother like daughter), but we had no room to display them in our shoe box of an apartment. Most of these my husband brought back after living in Chile for two years. (The Joy one is a handme down not Chilean.)I almost forgot, my lovely kitchen christmas craft, I made when I was probably 14. That would be the explanation for the awful handwriting, and the poor lay out of words. Thank goodness for moms who save those types of things. Thanks for coming over!

Monday, December 17, 2007

She is here!

My sister recently, as in, on Friday had her first born.
A few months ago I experimented with quilting again. I made her this quilt.
Turned out really good I think, much better than the first quilt I ever made in my life. Its great because its clearly girly, hence holly hobby in the middle, but it doesn't have pink in it, I thought my sister would appreciate the lack of pink.
As you can tell it is a kid tested, kid approved quilt.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holiday Craft #3

Here it is another clock. The pun is intended. I know you are probably sick of seeing clocks, but I can't help it I bought 6 or so of them. I still have 2 at least left. I know its super busy looking, but I like it that way, that is how christmas feels to me. In a good way

Thursday, December 6, 2007


I finished it this morning, the clock for my future cousin in law. Who knows if she'll like it. I planned on doing it in neutral khakis colors, but the next thing you know I've spent five bucks on paper, and it has a giant flower on it. From what I've read lately, authors don't know how their books will turn out, its a surprise to them as well as to us, thats how I feel about this clock. Although I think it looks pretty good, lets just hope she does too. And if she doesn't oh well.

My son should be in severe trouble, but how do you punish a toddler who isn't caught in the act? He cut holes in my latest embroidery. He is always a pill to the Nth degree when I'm working on a clock.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Too personal

Sometimes I feel like making presents for people is too personal. My cousin is about to get married, to a girl I have never met. Part of me feels obligated to make her a present, because she is family. Obligated is the wrong word, I also have no idea what to buy them. Her shower is on saturday so I started making her a clock. I feel like this is way too personal of a persent to give her something i have made when I don't even know her. Here is a conversation I had with my hubby about it.
Le says:
i think maybe Candice will hate her clock, i don't know if i should finish making it, maybe candice hates them on clocks or maybe she hates flowers, it has a flower on it
Le says:
i've never met her how can i know what she likes
brent says:
just finish making it and let her decide
brent says:
you aren't forcing her to put it up
brent says:
maybe she will love it and has never gotten something like this
brent says:
maybe she would prefer to get some joke used granny panties, but that isn't for you to decide
brent says:
you give her what you give her and don't worry about if she likes it or not

The problem is... who wants to invest time into making a present if the person isn't going to like it. Although I guess the same goes with investing money in a present. As far as I know they don't have a registry. I guess I'll just have to finish it and not worry about it.

Holiday Craft #1

I know you have been waiting in anticipation for #1 since you saw #2. Here it is, my mom saw the saying somewhere and wanted me to come up with a pillow design for her. I wasn't going to make one for myself, but I really like the silver pipe cleaners and after making one for my mother and one for my sister in law over thanksgiving I thought whats one more, I need one for my hard work, plus I love the pipe cleaners. Close up, notice the silver around the tinsel word, I'm thinking about redoing it so you can actually see it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My present to me

Santa in green polka dots.
The angel AND a star all in one for the top of my tree. I love angel things. I like how it looks like she is having a bad hair day but she still has her sparkly glam, and big feet.
One for the middle of the tree.
And a candy cane angel who would have thought? Notice she is also having a bad hair day.