Monday, December 28, 2009

Hot Cocoa and a Toast

As life tumbles forward, our family has found the need for some new traditions. Cassandra presented her fantastic idea and I carried out the implementation 125%. It's what I do.
It was late Christmas Eve following a busy day filled with skiing at Alta and extended family pictures and parties.
Each of us mixed up our own batch of steaming gourmet cocoa complete with freshly whipped cream and peppermint stirring sticks purchased in NYC.

I had fabulous new mugs and about 5 different cocoa mixes to choose from.

But by far the favorite, was the Balagio Mix...deep, dark cocoa. Almost like drinking fudge.

Dressed in new, fuzzy warm sweats we piled into the car and headed to the cemetery with our cocoa.
A moment for Jocie...
A toast to our angel girl to let her know we are thinking of her this Christmas.
Here's to you Jocie!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cookie and a Cold One

There are a few things I really look forward to this time of year, and one of them is Cookie Exchange at Debi's house. After some family discussion and recipe testing I decided on my Snowflake Sugar Cookies.

After rolling, cutting and baking 10 dozen of these yummies, it's time to frost the flakes.

Some would get colored sugar in red or white.

These were some of my favorites...Chet's too!

And if you know anything about cookie exchange, you know it's all about the presentation. I took a different approach this year and added a couple of Diet Cokes with each recipient's dozen cookies.

And this is some of what you get to take home with you.

Debi is the most gracious hostess. You can always plan on a wonderful lunch and a prize from our hostess to bring home with red and white gumballs!

And the best part of Cookie Exchange is strolling through Debi's home. She really knows how to deck her halls. Like this Santa grouping...

And the giant jingle bells that adorn her banister.

And then there's the nativity sets...lots of them in all sizes.

And of course the table is beautifully decorated and then you catch a glimpse of the delicious lunch....mmmm! I missed a picture of desert, a hazelnut torte cake.

And finally a group shot of the bakers... Thanks ladies for sharing your cookies and recipes. And a special thank you to Debi, for inviting us into your home during a crazy time of year. What a lovely afternoon!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pie Night 2009

Pie Night rolled around very quickly this year...just a week after Thanksgiving. With a trip to NYC just days after Pie Night, this explains why I am just now catching up. I made the usual favorites...Lemon Meringue, White Chocolate Banana Creme, Blackberry, Apple, Banana Creme, Caramel Pecan, Key Lime, Dutch Oven Apple, Coconut Creme, Deer Valley Cheesecake, Turtle Cheesecake and Red Velvet Cake,
This year I auditioned some new entries for Pie Night including this beauty...The Chocolate Snowball. With not even a sliver remaining, it seems everyone enjoyed it.
Also new this year was this Honey Pecan Pie, in honor of Dean's honey.
I also added Gingerbread Pumpkin to the menu.

Which pie/desert to choose is the hardest part. Dean advises everyone to have many small pieces of different kinds.

Dione and friend her hair!

One of Dean's longtime friends Craig, reacquaints himself with the Seeholzers from years ago.

The kitchen gets very crowded. Especially with everyone returning for 2nds, 3rds, etc...but no one counts calories at Pie Night. All diets are completely forgotten for one night!

The lovely Katie and her roommates.

Mama G and K-Dawg...absolutely love her!

Little Miss Eli wanted to take Izzy home. Ummm... I don't think so.

Lisa with Lindsay, Sid, and Autumn. Jocie sure has beautiful friends doesn't she? Sometime you should ask these girls about some of the crazy pictures they took of themselves that night.

It was a fabulous night with so many friends attending...Here are some of my favorite comments overheard during the evening.
Pie Night is my spiritual epicenter of the holidays.
So...which one of these pies did you make?
What are your thoughts on a monthly Pie Night?
Awww honey, just one more slice!
We would have to cancel Christmas without Pie Night.
How do you make all these pies in 1 day?
You make your own crust...for all of them?
What time is dinner tomorrow?
Dean the blinds look awesome...nice job!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

The girls and I couldn't wait to cook Thanksgiving dinner together this year. We sent the boys out to do some skeet shooting, as it turns out Chet is pretty good with a gun. We basted our little bird all morning and the result was delicious and beautiful.
Taking a page from a traditional Normal Rockwell painting, I loved bringing the turkey to the table to be carved.
Cassandra woke up ready to cook.

It was really fun to have Rod and Kathi and their sons Jared and Brandon join us for the meal.

After dinner entertainment...making the napkin ring into a monocle.

I wonder what Maggie is thinking while sticking her nose out an open window.

Chet waiting for his turn to play Rock like a rockstar!

Dean missed his career...should have been a rock star.

Jared taking his turn.

Rod (aka Steven Spielberg) has a try at the drums.

And the family dinner wouldn't be complete without the girls singing and playing the piano together. This time it was "Breath of Heaven". Simply beautiful...
Yes, I realize Thanksgiving was a few weeks ago...just trying to catch up! I hope you all had a Happy Ho Ho Turkey day.