Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas with the munch

we had an absolutely wonderful Christmas.
hope you did, too.

here is our day in pictures...enjoy.
















grandma and pop pop in honolulu
watched the munch open her gifts via video chat on oovoo!

getting good at opening gifts!


disbelief....elmo has come to live with us.


gramps and gramma






seriously?? more presents??


over it.

chatting away...


our good friend, "uncle" chandler spent the day with us!


great grandma and great grandpa!





only 360 more days till next Christmas!!
be blessed...

Monday, December 28, 2009

home run

there are times in life when you have to step up to the plate and hit one outta the park.

let me break it down for you.

its Christmas day...you were up till 4:30am the night before assembling gifts for your baby girl's 1st real Christmas that she will be able to actually open gift at.
you're tired.
there are 6 hungry people depending on you to feed them a fabulous holiday dinner.

at 12 noon, you wander into your bedroom to lay your head down "for a few minutes" because you are a walking zombie at this point.

you then wake up at 2 hours later and dinner is supposed to be ready for consumption by 4 or 5pm.
nice one.
does domino's deliver on Jesus' birthday??

i drag myself into the kitchen knowing what's waiting for me.
i am scuuured.
its in the fridge.

i had bought a crown roast of pork.

i've never cooked one in my whole life.
i had the pleasure of eating one once before and that's why this lil piggy was in my fridge.

it was one of those meals i still remember to this day.
it was AH-mazing and i wanted to recreate it for my own family for Christmas.

i can handle most things.....but a CROWN roast?
the name alone intimates me.
WHY did i do this to myself??
do i even have enough time to cook it now?

i prayed...i cooked....they ate.
silence.
the good kind of silence.
mouths are full...eyes big.
lots of smiles and thumbs up.
it was a home run!!

i don't think i have ever been this proud of something i have cooked before!
it was tender....melt in your mouth tender.
juicy and very flavorful.

i'm not scuuuured of you anymore, crown roast of pork.

here is my recipe for an untied roast:

Crown Roast of Pork
5-6 pound crown pork roast, about 8-10 ribs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
kosher salt
pepper
1 cup dry white wine or cooking wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Rinse and pat roast dry.
Place the roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan or large heavy duty baking sheet.
Rub all over with the olive oil and the garlic.
Season very generously with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with fresh herbs on both sides of roast.
Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, basting every half hour with wine, until a meat thermometer reads 150 degrees to 160 degrees F. (20 minutes per pound).
Remove from oven and let rest at least 10 minutes before carving.
its ok if its a little bit pink inside.
its actually what you want.
trust me.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

christmas cards

i just love opening the mail through out the month of december.

you fling the junk mail and bills aside and rip open brightly colored envelopes with "fun" postage stamps.

CHRISTMAS CARDS!!

pictures of friends from near and far, updates on families and beautiful, thoughtful cards.
now that you have lots of amazing cards and photos...what do you do with them??

this is how i display ours...


i hang a piece of twine along the walls in our living room.
punch a hole in the top left of the card and hang the card with an ornament hook.
i like to hang ornaments along the twine as well.

when you are ready to take the cards down, don't just toss them.
i have a Christmas photo album for photo cards we receive.
cut off the greeting portion so only the picture remains.
on the back of the picture, write the year and the families name.
its fun to look back and watch families grow up over the years.

reuse pretty greeting cards as gift tags for next year's gifts.
i use a circle cutter or a craft punch....even regular old scissors.
cut out the pretty designs on the card or even just the part that says merry Christmas.
punch a hole in the top of the cut out and attach pretty ribbon.
write to and from on the back.
tie to gift.
done!






Thursday, December 24, 2009

salty sweet goodness

this has got to be one of my all time favorite taste combinations.

have you had the good pleasure of trying a lula's salted caramels??
my auntie ani introduced them to us on our last trip up to monterey.
oh man.
so good.
my love for salty sweet treats was refueled.
when we got home from monterey, i was on the hunt for confections i could make that would satisfy my craving for all things salty sweet.


this recipe i'm about to share may seem like an odd paring with saltine crackers and chocolate but believe me it works.
make some and tell me i'm wrong.
go ahead....i dare ya. i TRIPLE dog dare ya.

i love me some christmas story ;-)

this is such a simple recipe that packs a powerful taste punch and yields a very large amount.
its the perfect treat to make for your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers during the Christmas season!

Salty Toffee
yields: A LOT

2 sleeves of saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, use light brown if its what you got!
1 12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 12 oz bag of brickle toffee bits (available in the baking aisle at the grocery store)

Directions:
Line up the saltine crackers very close to one another in a single layer on a parchment lined 15x10x1 jelly roll pan. Takes about 40-50 crackers.
In a saucepan, bring butter and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-6 minutes or until mixture is thickened and sugar is completely dissolved, still stirring constantly. Spread evenly over crackers.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 7-8 minutes or until bubbly.
Take pan out of the oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake for 3 minutes longer until chips begin to melt.
Using an regular or offset spatula, spread out the melted chocolate chips evenly over the crackers and brown sugar mixture.
Sprinkle evenly with brickle bits.
Let cool to room temperature.
Place in the refrigerator and chill for about 1 hour.
Break or cut in to bite size pieces.
Store in an air tight container. Enjoy!
adapted from: allrecipes

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