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Archive for December, 2006

Christmas

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Leah sure did…

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I can’t pass up a great craft idea. After reading this tutorial last night we all sat down and made a gumdrop wreath.

 

It was an easy project to do and kept my 4 1/2 year old daughter and 18 year old exchange student busy for quite a while.  It really brightens up my kitchen window on such a dreary day and made me smile each time I looked at it today. It also makes washing the dishes a whole lot cheerier! 

Merry Christmas everyone! From our family (including the cat Howard) to yours!

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Even while Leah is fighting an ear infection and pink eye, we did have a bit of craft time today. She actually taught me how to make these. Apparently she picked up this particular craft skill in preschool.

First, gather up a bunch of red, green and white beads (the funky shape of these beads works well for this project).

Next, take a pipecleaner and cut it in half. Fold over one end slightly so the beads won’t fall off. Then follow this pattern. To make a wreath ornament, put on five green beads, then two red beads. Repeat until your pipecleaner is full, shape into a circle and attach yarn to hang on your tree.

To make the candy cane, just alternate between two red beads and two white beads.

 

Cute!

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Looking for a yummy dessert that is the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee (or hot cocoa for that matter)? Look no further. I have made this Sour Cream Coffee Cake over and over the past eight or so years. Make sure you grease the pan real well with melted butter and flour. If not, your cake may come out in two pieces! It tastes best if made one day before serving and is delicious served for dessert or even for a brunch. Enjoy!

SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bundt pan with melted butter and flour. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Fold in the sour cream and vanilla. Fold in salt, baking powder and cake flour. Spoon half of the batter into a greased bundt pan. Using the back of a spoon, make a slight indentation in the batter and add the following filling:

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Spoon remaining batter over the cinnamon-nut filling. Bake for approximately one hour. Remove from pan after 15 minutes and sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving. Serves 10 to 12 people.

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Hope you guys like the header. It is one of the pictures I took of the tree at Rockefeller Plaza when we visited recently. I figured it adds a little Christmas spirit to my blog.

This morning my daughter and I hand delivered the scarves I made for her pre-school teachers. You can see the first two completed here. I am really happy with the way they all turned out, especially the beaded one below.

Knitted with Moda Dea Beadnik yarn together with a cream colored yarn, it really came out beautiful. The little beads give it just an extra shimmer. I also quickly knitted up a scarf with fun fuzzy yarn you can buy in all the major craft supply stores. Knitted in her teachers favorite color, blue, it is a fast and easy scarf to knit when you don’t have a lot of time.

Hope your hungry. My next post will be my all time favorite recipe for sour cream coffee cake.

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Knitting for Peace

I can’t remember the last time I knitted something for myself. Just like a lot of the things I do in my life, I enjoy doing them for other people. The highest compliment that you can give me is to sit down at my dining room table and say “this tastes really good.” When I saw this book yesterday, I knew it was right up my alley. What better way to show how much you care than making a hand knitted blanket for Project Linus or a hat for Chemo Caps.

 

The book itself explains how and why each charity got started and what type of items they need. Along with the beautifully photographed knitting projects, the book includes various sample patterns. A book like this would be a welcome addition or perfect holiday gift for the knitter in your life.

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Growing up in the northeast, I am used to a cold, sometimes snowy Christmas. The recent warm weather, although enjoyed by all of us, was starting to get a little old. I mean, come on already, it’s December! Luckily, it definitely felt a bit more festive outside, with a high of 38 degrees yesterday, when we ventured into New York City to see the tree.

This has become a yearly ritual for us and every year I enjoy it more. The crowds of people, bundled up in their hats and gloves, Christmas music and snowflakes glowing on the Saks Fifth Avenue building just puts you into that holiday spirit.  Below are a few pictures I took around Rockefeller Center yesterday.

As you can see, we first arrived at the tree while it was still light out but once it turned dark is when everything really turns beautiful. Above is a picture of my niece Candice. I love how you can see the reflection of the tree and of Candice in the window behind her.

Earlier in the day we had a really delicious lunch of noodle soup in Chinatown, with a stop over at the Green Tea Cafe for some hot coconut bubble tea. All that food warmed us up for our trip uptown to see the tree. NOW if feels like Christmas!

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