Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I love this time of year. 
I love that it's fall. 
I love that it's a time for family and good friends.
I love that we think a little more about everything we have to be thankful for.  I am so blessed and very aware of it this time of year.

Today I got to spend the day cooking.
You know that's my favorite kind of day.... home and cooking.
I was grateful for good girlfriends that dropped in today to visit for a few minutes.
I was grateful for a little package of Trader Joe's goodies that Jennifer sent me.
Among all the usual dishes I cooked for tomorrow I also made a new recipe.  I made it for a treat to take to my neighbor and I I saved a little for us. 
Spiced Apple Cider Bourbon Caramel

2 cups Apple Cider
1 whole Vanilla Bean, Seeds scrapped out and pod reserved
1 whole Cinnamon Stick
1/2 tsp grated Nutmeg
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Brown sugar
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
6 Tbsp butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
1/2 cup Heavy cream
3 Tbsp Bourbon

In a large sauce pan combine the apple cider, vanilla bean seeds, pod and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer and let reduce to approx 3/4 cup.  It should be syrupy.
Add in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt.  Clip on a candy thermometer and cook without stirring until it reaches 240 degrees.  Add in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time and stir till melted .  Remove the vanilla bean and the cinnamon stick.
Remove from heat and add in the heavy cream and bourbon.  Heat on low again and stir until it starts to slightly thicken back up, about 5 min.
Let cool in pan 10 minutes and transfer to a glass jar.  It will firm up as it cools.  Keep refrigerated.  This sauce will last several weeks in the refrigerator.
(if I don't eat it all with a spoon)

I plan on serving it over pies or ice cream.  And I am thankful that I tried this recipe.  This was easy and will make great gifts.

I hope your Thanksgiving is full of great food and people you are thankful for.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A big birthday

Mike turned 50 today.  It doesn't seem to bother him.  I, on the other hand have a really hard time knowing I'm married to a 50 year old.
He has been anxiously awaiting his AARP card to come in mail thinking he might get half off at the movies and such...I told him I didn't think that was the case but we'll let him hope...

Friday night at about 10 I hear a lot of barking and talking going on in the kitchen.  Jennifer has walked in with her dog and surprised us for Mike's birthday!!!
We were all very excited!  The dog cousins were really excited!

Saturday was of course much more fun with Jennifer joining us for the couple of things we had to do.
We started the day out with Kellie doing a little volunteer work and me cheering on kids from my school.  We put Jennifer to work as the photographer!
we did a little birthday shopping for Mike, a little hanging out and then went to visit Katie at work for a burger for dinner.
She made a lovely face when she saw us!  She also told me we aren't allowed to come back when she's working since we were watching the A&M and Alabama game while eating and her dad might have yelled a couple of times...

We woke up the birthday boy this morning and reminded him he is really really old.

Jennifer got to go see Katie sing in the praise band
We all took a little Sunday drive
and stopped for a little ice cream.  Puppy cones were the hit of the day!

Kellie made Mike a birthday cake.  She had just pulled her last baby tooth...a sad day for the tooth fairy.

And the favorite part of his day, having his favorite dog sit in the chair and watch football with him all day!
I'm proud of Mike, he has been working hard at dieting and loosing weight and had a goal he wanted to meet by his birthday and met it!  He has lost 75 since January.
I'm very proud of him.
Happy 50th Mike, we love you!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Worship yes, camping no

Last night we had a youth worship service at church.
We had a great local Christian band...

David's Plea, check them out...
We had a great speaker.  He's a local school counselor who I knew was a great guy but didn't know he could preach!  He had a great talk for those kids.  Really relevant.  And above all, he was really 'real' with those kids. 
Watching those kids listen and take in all the truth he was telling them was such a blessing. 

Here are words I thought I would never say, but I love working with those teenagers.  I love that my girls don't mind me being involved.  I love that the other girls call my two out if they give me grief!
I love that the girls tried to talk me into going on the camping trip. 
One of the staff told me I should go as the nurse because there might be rattle snakes. 
I love more that it was canceled!  Like I would be any help if there was snake bite!

It's a wonderful thing to see my girls worship but it's also exciting to see them wanting to share their faith and their church with friends. 
I'm a lucky mom. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The pink pumpkin update

Well, after a busy, crazy, no good, very bad week at work I was so excited for the weekend.
Today was one of those magical days were we didn't have anything we had to do on the calendar.

There has been a lot of laundry and football as the usual weekend but somewhere in there I forgot how much work cooking those first two pumpkins were because I decided I would cook the others I had. 

Now I remember that it takes a long time. 

Way to long.  It will be nice to have pumpkin in the freezer but I'm not thinking I will forget this time...
Or at least if I ever mention cooking pumpkin, could you remind me that I shouldn't do it.  Please.

The up side to the day of pumpkin was the pumpkin frapachinno I made myself
Then I made Pumpkin Flan.  Everything is cleaned up and I just ate a flan before dinner even.  A good day after all.