Thursday, November 30, 2006

Advent Carnival

Advent Baking Carnival

Danielle has asked for some recipes for an advent baking carnival. This recipe is a great tradition for us and one that was started, like so many of our traditions have been, by the iniative of one my oldest children, in this case - my oldest daughter, Amanda.

We were living on Patterson Lake in Canada and she decided it would be fun to bake some cookies to leave for St. Nickolas, in honour of his feast day on the sixth of December. All children were banished from the kitchen, and when she was done a most festive picture was unveiled. Yet, I was dubious as she had decorated molasses cookies that have a hint of ginger to them with chocolate candies that in Canada are what we call Smarties, but resemble what here in the States are called M&Ms.

I was made to wait until the next morning when I was presented with one of the largest and most colourful cookies with a hot cup of coffee and I was immeadiatly addicted. I humbly apologized to my daughter for have doubted her culinary abilities, and then consumed another two or three.

Saint Nickolas day for us as well as Christmas morning, just isn't complete without these delicious cookies.

Preheat oven to 350 F

1/2 c White Sugar
1/2 c molasses
1/2 c shortening
1 egg

1/3 c HOT water

2 tsp baking Soda
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon

2 1/2 cups of flour

1 - 2 cups M&M

Cream the first four ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the HOT water to these creamed ingredients. They will appear to have curdled but don't worry all is right!
Then mix all the dry ingredients in a seperate bowl. Slowly blend this flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
You may need to add more than 2 1/2 cups depending on the humidity. You want a soft dough that you can easily roll out on a floured board or counter.

Roll about 1/3 inch thick and then cut with you favourtie cookie cutters and decorate with the M&M's

Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.

ENJOY!!! Read more!

Stationary Gymnastics...

I have discovered a sure fire way of putting Elsa to sleep whilst burning oodles of calories and working towards my goal of being down a couple of sizes in time for the wedding! It all started the other day when Elsa was desperate for me to hold her and kept skirting past my knees while I pedaled away a couple of miles and watched a DVD on the laptop. Determined not to stop peddling as internal computer that was being generated by my spent energy would cease operating and I would have start all over again, I bent over and scooped her up. She settled into my shoulder and was asleep in less than a minute. I held her the rest of my tour de France as I figured her sleeping weight in my arms had to help burn off those nasty little calories. The next day, she was ready for our bike ride and off we took. This time though she decided she wanted a little snack as we sped up and down the imaginary hills on my screen, so she scrunched over sideways and nursed while I pedaled. Again, she was out like a light in a minute, much to my relief as balancing her while she nursed, even if on a stationary bike, is a challenge. Again today, she nursed herself to sleep whilst I biked a solid 2.7 miles. Olympics 2008, here we come. Assuming there is a category for Stationary Gymnastics, that is!

Read more!

Old Tech VS New Tech

My six year old computer geek who can locate and sign into Rush Limbaugh and select whether he wishes to watch the video, or listen to the show, has spent the past hour exploring a small manual type writer. It was not even electric.

The look of delight on his face, as his tongue stuck out to the left while he concentrated was immeasurable. He practiced changing the ribbon from red to blue. He learned how to make capitals. He struggled not to hit the keys too quickly and so cause them to catch togethere.

He grinned when he sat back to survey the results of his hard work. Lots and lots of even black and red letters all in a row. He accidently knocked the ribbon out of alignment and delicatly worked with it, trying to get it back in place. He took breaks to watch the large trucks, and the men who are operating them, as they dismantle huge pieces of machinary and then carefully washed his hands before coming back to the challenges this 'new' piece of equipment posed to him.

So today old technology was new for a while, at least to one little boy. Read more!