Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pretty, right? I thought so. So how has your holiday season been? Mine has been very relaxed and calm. Last night we had dinner at my mother-in-law's home. I bring the same thing every year: Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. It is delicious, and one of the few things I can eat there. I've come to the realization that even though many people know I'm a vegetarian, its not really something they keep in mind come holiday time. Not that I expect people to cater to me, but something more than mashed potatoes, crackers, and the crudites platter would be nice.

Today I'm actually cooking, and yes, its more than dessert. I'm making brisket, latkes, brussel sprouts, asparagus, and bruschetta. Its my own little bit of Jewishness during the Festival of Lights. I'm hoping that drinking coffee with Bailey's is kosher.

Santa did bring me some new boots and a new running top, and Sephora Santa (if you're not familiar with that Santa, go here) brought me a new Shu Uemura eyelash curler and Nars' The Multiple in Orgasm. I like Sephora Santa.

I had plans to go snow shoeing today, but I fell asleep on the couch after yummy Jet Potatoes and the afore-mentioned coffee with Bailey's. You don't know this Jet Potatoes of which I speak? Well, if you were at my "Run-n-Brunch" event this past May, you'd have eaten them and raved about their White Trash goodness. For those of you who either 1) ignored my invitation, 2) were not invited because I don't like you, or 3) don't fit into either #1 or #2, but weren't here anyway, below is the original recipe.

Jet Potatoes

Preheat the oven to 450.

In a large bowl, melt one stick of margarine (I use butter, but the original recipe uses margarine). Add to this one can of cream of mushroom soup, 8 ounces of sour cream, one bunch of green onions (chopped), 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. of black pepper. Add to this one 2 pound bag of frozen "country style" hash browns (these are the ones that are cut into cubes- DO NOT use Potatoes O'Brien that have the green peppers, they make the dish taste icky). Stir well until all potatoes are covered. Place this mixture in a greased 9" x 13" pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the top with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and a mixture of 4 cups crushed Corn Flakes and 1/2 stick melted margarine (I use the pre-made Corn Flake crumbs and omit the butter, for obvious reasons). Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the dish is bubbly and golden brown on top.

Traditionally, these are served at my mother's house with Sue Wallace's Monkey Bread and Peaches & Bananas (literally, canned peaches mixed with sliced bananas), and the beverage of choice is coffee with Bailey's, until my dad and brothers bust out the Chartreuse and get all goofy. Enjoy this with your own family, whomever they may be, unless you're in the neighborhood, then stop by and see us. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Which Ghost Brought THESE?!...

So, I have ghosts in my house. Seriously. There has been more than one occasion where the following has happened to me:

1. I am sleeping upstairs in my bed, with my body facing the edge of the bed, back to the bedroom door.
2. I am actually half-asleep, like in that dream state just before you really wake up.
3. I hear slow, deliberate footsteps coming up our stairs. It sounds like men's dress shoes (we have wood floors).
4. My husband has always been away at these times, and let me tell you, I lock those doors tight. I don't want to deal with any of his friends stumbling over to our house from the bar because they know I won't kick them out.
5. So the steps continue to my bedroom, and move around the bed to where I'm "asleep."
6. I feel- that's right, I FEEL- someone sit on the edge of my bed right next to me.
7. I try not to pee on myself, count to three, and with my eyes still closed, I flip over so my back is now towards the ghost on my bed.
8. Once I've flipped over, I open my eyes, look at the alarm clock, and the time is always the same: 3:33 am.
9. I can't make this shit up.

So, my point is this: was it that ghost who brought the Chupacabra of Cookies to my house (they are the Candy Cane variety of the Evil Lofthouse Cookies. They taste like butter mints.), or was it one of the Christmas ghosts? And if it was a Christmas ghost, was it the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, or Future?

Let the debate begin...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Renovation Dirt Can Look Cool, Too.

Top photo is some dirt that was behind the old cabinets in the kitchen. The cobwebs and shadows give it that abstracted look. The bottom photo is the same photo as the top one, just with some iPhoto filtering. I like 'em. I'm always tempted to give art as a gift, but its just too personal of a medium for me to impose on someone as a gift: "Look! I created this, and I want you to treasure it as if it were my first born!" I just don't think its practical- and if I'm anything, I'm practical.

So, I'm thinking of creative ways to not spend mountains of cash on my friends this holiday season. My ideas so far include: 1) cookie exchange; 2) my W.T. recipe collection; 3) knit hats and/or scarves; or 4) handbags all around. In all actuality, it will probably be a bit of each of those.

And if you don't know what "W.T." is, then you get a hat. Knit out of icky acrylic yarn.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Out and About with My Peeps

Don't we look happy and well fed? My Peeps from the left: Susan (a new friend), me, My Favorite Redhead, and Lynnie Poo. By this point, My Favorite Local Celebrity had to leave us for her bartending gig (but she looked soooo cute in her new skirt/boots/overcoat combo!), and I had switched from vodka gimlets to bottled water. I was wearing my spankin' new green birthday coat (thank you, Mother-In-Law!) from BB Dakota , bought at the locally owned Gigi's Boutique. I did manage to get a good pic of My Favorite Local Celebrity at her bartending gig (below). She's on the right.

Anyhoo, I did get a bit of holiday shopping done, and I don't think I'm the only person with this problem: What do you get the kid who has everything? I struggle with this every year, and usually end up getting clothes, or- worse yet- books (at least from the kid's point of view). Now, I know that I would be geeked with nice clothes or a good book, but when you're seven, the aunt that gives you clothes or books is L-A-M-E. So I think I'm gonna get the kid this game I saw on the television called djubi . And maybe a cool t-shirt for good measure.

So that was Friday. Saturday and Sunday were spent getting creative with left overs, squeezing in a workout at the YMCA, and being surprised that I was not hung over. Really! Now I just need to start hiding all of the displaced items laying around the house (due to the Neverending Renovation) so I can decorate my house all sparkly like. I think I may even host a cookie exchange...

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday surrounded by people they love, and spent the rest of the weekend making themselves happy. Have a great week!