Monday, December 7, 2009

Yeah our tree is up - after some blood, sweat, and tears



After some issues its finally done. Actually we really lucked out on picking the tree. Last year it took an hour for DH, in laws, and I to agree on a tree.... this year it took us less than 15 mins. We walked onto the lot, stood up one tree, and it was perfect!

I had a major issue stringing up lights this year. Normally my DH does it but he has been at work every day for the last month. Well when i got to the last strand i had it backwards and ended it with a female plug..... So I couldnt plug it into the wall. This was discovered after about half the ornaments were up..... to solve this issue my FIL cut off the female plug and rewire it with a male plug.





Thursday, December 3, 2009

Too Freakin' CUTE!!


Thanks mom! I have to make these!



What you need:

  • Bakery pound cake
  • Powdered mini donuts
  • Marshmallows
  • Fruit Streamers
  • Fruit Roll-Ups
  • Safeway Fruit Snacks
  • Swedish Fish

  • Steps:

    1. Cut pound cake and mini donuts into sushi-sized pieces. Separate Streamers and make into a "roll."

    2. Wrap with Fruit Roll-Ups. Top with Fruit Snacks and Swedish Fish.

    Saturday, November 21, 2009

    Thanksgiving with the B's

    Every year Mrs. Benona hosts Thanksgiving for her friends and family. Normally I make a Chapman turkey but this year I am thinking trying something new. Here are links of food dishes that are inspiring me this year:

    Turkey (without the breadcrumbs)
    Gordon Ramsay - Roast Turkey with Truffled Butter and Citrus Breadcrumbs


    INGREDIENTS:

    Turkey Preparation
    1 x 5kg Turkey
    1 large onion, peeled and halved
    1 orange, halved
    1 head garlic, halved
    2 bay leaves
    2 x sprigs Thyme
    250g butter
    ½ bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
    2 x sprigs thyme, chopped
    ½ bunch tarragon, chopped
    1 x black truffle


    Pre-heat the oven to 220c (which is around 400F).

    Allow your butter to soften to room temperature.

    Open up the cavity of the bird and stuff with half the onion, half the orange and half the garlic. Season with a little salt and repeat. Finally stuff in 2 bay leaves and the thyme. Season inside the bird well and tuck the legs under the neck skin to secure - tie in place if necessary.

    Chop the parsley, thyme and tarragon and mix into the softened butter. Finely slice the truffle and roughly chop before adding to the herb butter. Season well. With your hand, gently feel your way between the skin on the breast of the bird and the meat itself. You want to open the space so you can fill it with the butter. Repeat with the skin on the legs - from the lower side of the breast feel your way under the skin and out towards the leg, loosen the gap.

    Fill a piping bag with the butter and gently pipe into the opened spaces under the skin. From the outside of the skin, gently massage the butter around the meat so it is well, and evenly covered.

    Place the Turkey breast side up on it’s baking tray, season well with salt and pepper before drizzling with olive oil. Bake in the oven at 220c for 10 - 15minutes to get a crisp golden start to the skin. Reduce the temperature to 180c and cook for approximately 30 minutes per kg basting occasionally throughout. To test that your turkey is cooked simply skewer the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices are running clear rather than pink. Remove from the oven, cover with tinfoil and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes.

    **********************************

    My mother-in-law's Dressing

    Dressing
    2-3 chicken backs
    1 8oz. Bag Pepperidge Farm corn bread dressing mix
    1 8oz. Bag of Pepperidge Farm herb seasoned dressing mix
    1 can chicken broth
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    broth from turkey
    1 onion - chopped
    1 tsp ground sage
    black pepper and esalt
    poultry seasoning (optional)

    Boil chicken backs, remove skin and discard. Pull meat off. Place onion in a small pot and add a little water. Cook for 5-6 minutes. In a large bowl place both kinds of dressing mix, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, onion, meat from chicken backs, and turkey broth. Add salt, pepper, and sage. Taste to see if seasoning is adequate and add a little bit of cooking oil if needed. If dressing mixture is to thick add more broth or some hot water. If dressing mixture is toot hin add some toasted bread (crumbled up). Taste periodically to see if anything else is needed. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until brown.

    *Sometimes I cook a muffin cake of corn bread to use in place of all the dressing mix

    *You can freeze extra dressing to bake at a later date if desired.



    **********************************

    Mash Potatoes

    Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs

    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
    • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter and set aside.

    Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until they are very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; return the potatoes to the same pot and mash well. Mix in the milk and melted butter. Mix in the mozzarella and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish. Stir the bread crumbs and remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the mashed potatoes. Recipe can be prepared up to this point 6 hours ahead of time; cover and chill.

    Bake, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes.


    ***********************************

    Desserts:

    Pumpkin Banana Meringue Pie

    Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence 2009

    Prep Time:
    45 min
    Inactive Prep Time:
    1 hr 0 min
    Cook Time:
    1 hr 30 min
    Level:
    Intermediate
    Serves:
    8 to 10 servings

    Ingredients

    Pie Crust:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    • 5 teaspoons sugar
    • Pinch kosher salt
    • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 2 egg yolks
    • Ice water

    For the filling:

    • 2 whole sugar pumpkins
    • 6 bananas
    • 3 large eggs, plus 1 egg white
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • Pinch kosher salt

    For the meringue topping:

    • 4 large egg whites
    • 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • Pinch salt

    Directions

    Crust:

    Combine the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Mix in the cold butter with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Work in egg yolks and 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water until the dough holds together without being too sticky. If it's still crumbly, add more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

    On a floured surface, roll the dough into an 11 to 12-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Ease the dough into a 9-inch pie pan, pressing firmly into the bottom and sides. Trim the excess dough, then pinch the edges. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

    Filling:

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Split the pumpkins down the middle and scoop out the seeds. Arrange on a roasting tray, cut side up, and roast for 20 minutes. Remove the pumpkins from the oven and lay bananas (in their skins) around and between the pumpkin halves. Return to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before handling, about 5 minutes.

    Scoop out the pumpkin flesh and add to a food processor. Peel the bananas and add the flesh to food processor as well. Add the 3 eggs, sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons butter, nutmeg, heavy cream and salt. Puree until smooth.

    Put a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and preheat to 375 degrees F.

    Pour the filing into the prepared pie shell. Lightly beat the egg white. Brush the pastry edges with the egg white and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Carefully arrange the pie on the preheated baking sheet, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake it until the pie is set but still jiggles slightly, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

    Topping:

    Beat the egg whites, powdered sugar, cream of tartar, and a pinch salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer until glossy medium peaks form, being careful not to over beat.

    Spread the meringue mixture over the top of the pie, covering right to the edges. Using the back of a spoon press lightly into the meringue and pull up on the spoon to form peaks all over the surface of the meringue (alternatively you can use a piping bag with a large star tip if you choose).

    To cook the meringue, preheat the broiler with the rack in the highest position. Put the pie under the broiler and broil until the meringue is set and golden brown, about 7 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning, as it cooks quickly. Remove from the broiler and cool before serving.

    *********************************8

    Chocolate Chess Pie with a Pecan Crust
    2 eggs
    1 sm. can evaporated milk
    3 tbsp. cocoa
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 1/2 c. sugar
    3/4 stick butter
    BE SURE TO MIX AS FOLLOWS: Beat eggs. Add 1 cup sugar and then add milk. Mix well. Mix cocoa with other 1/2 cup sugar. Add to egg mixture and mix well. Melt butter and mix with above. Add vanilla. Pour in 10 inch deep dish unbaked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

    ******************************************
    Candied Sweet Potatoes (recipe from Grandma Dot)
    Sweet Potatoes
    2/3 cup sugar
    brown sugar
    margarine
    cinnamon

    Boil potatoes untild one but not mushy. Cool and take peelings off. Cut in failry small pieces and place in baking dish. Spring 2/3 cup sugar over the cut sweet potatoes. Spring brown sugar generously over potatoes. Dot wellw ith margarine and then sprinkle cinnamon over top. Bake at 300° in oven until syrup in potatoes thickens.

    Friday, November 20, 2009

    Gobble Gobble

    It's that time of the year again! TURKEY TIME!!! I love this holiday with all the yummy sides. This year it will be our first holiday season with out our grandpas. This thanksgiving I think of my Grandpa of a drawing he drew a few years ago.





    Here are some tips from my favorite chief Gordon Ramsay to make your Turkey Day a day to remember!:

    Gordon Ramsay's Turkey Tips

    • Test the Turkey - To ensure your turkey is cooked, skewer the thickest part of the thigh and check the juices. If they're clear, the turkey is done; if they're pink, the turkey needs more time in the oven.

    • Baste the Turkey - To avoid the skin shriveling as it cools, baste the turkey as soon as it comes out of the oven.

    • Rest the Turkey - Never slice the turkey straight from the oven! When the turkey is ready, cover it with tin foil and let it rest for at least 25 - 30 minutes. Resting the meat allows the juices to redistribute in the bird, making it moist and tender.

    • Slice the Turkey - Use the whole bird. Carve the breast first and then start on the legs.

    • Gravy - Don't forget the pan juices from the turkey-roasting tray! It's where all the turkey flavor is stored, and makes a great base for your gravy

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    IM ON TV - Lets make a deal Airing

    Tune your TVs tomorrow (wednesday) to CBS 9:00 AM Pacific Time for Lets make a Deal

    Im on it!!! Im in the middle part of the stage where Wayne Brandy walks out.

    The girl behind me with the sleeping bag costume got picked at the start of the show. Later on with the show a disco couple sitting next to me gets picked and they win big!

    Im wearing a Marie Antoinette costume with a big curly blonde wig.

    Please scroll down a little to view photos.

    Thursday, November 5, 2009

    One more recipe for Halloween: Witch's Brew Punch

    (Sorry no picture but it turns black inky color).

    2 - 1 liter regular pepsi
    1 - Large can of pineapple juice
    1 cup of sugar

    Mix and you are set. Its so yummy that I want to make it all year round!

    Saturday, October 31, 2009

    Witch's Hats


    Ingredients
    * Package of stripe cookies
    * Kisses (or hugs)
    * Canned frosting (or frosting in a piping bag)

    Directions

    1. Open bags
    2. Flip cookies choc. side up
    3. unwrapped kisses
    4. rim kiss with frosting
    5. Place in the middle of the cookie

    ENJOY!

    Peanut Butter Pumpkins



    Makes 15 pumpkins

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
    • 1 (16 ounce) package confectioner's sugar, sifted
    • red food coloring
    • yellow food coloring
    • chocolate chips

    Directions

    1. Melt butter in a large bowl and add a few drops of yellow and red food coloring, until mixture has a nice orange color. (I was lazy and did not dye the food. I left it as is)
    2. Add the peanut butter and confectioners sugar and mix together until a doughlike consistency is reached. (This means that when the dough is nice and stiff and it gets hard to add any more sugar, to let it go at that).
    3. Shape dough into small balls shaped like pumpkins; make ridges on the pumpkins with a toothpick.
    4. Add a chocolate chip to the top of each pumpkin for a stem.
    5. Refrigerate, if desired, to allow pumpkins to firm.
    6. Serve on a plate lined with toasted coconut and Halloween decorated cookies, if desired; these also look good on top of cupcakes.

    Happy Halloween

    Happy Halloween!
    Ill post in my next post how to make the Peanut Butter Pumpkins and witches hats cookies.






    Lets Make A Deal!

    A bunch of WestCare employees went to the taping of lets make a deal. I sat in the middle row where Wayne Brady stood the whole time. He is a lot smaller and shorter in person. Very nice and funny guy. But i didnt get picked to make a deal :( Maybe because I didnt have a sandwich?






    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Happy Stale Cake Day!






    R.I.P Papa Hoffman

    James Murray Hoffman





    HARTSVILLE — Funeral services for James Murray Hoffman, 87, will be held at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 28, 2009, at Lakeview Baptist Church. The Rev. Dr. Gary Colboch, Rev. Dr. Tim McKnight, Rev. Kenny Lynch, and Rev. Cliff Leonard will officiate with burial in Westview Memorial Park Cemetery directed by Brown-Pennington-Atkins Funeral Home. The family will receive friends Tuesday, October 27, 2009, from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Lakeview Baptist Church Debt Retirement, 202 Lakeview Blvd., Hartsville, SC 29550 or to the American Ex Prisoners of War, 3201 E. Pioneer Pkwy. Suite 40, Arlington, TX 76010-5396.

    Mr. Hoffman died Sunday, October 25, 2009. Born in Chesterfield, SC, he was a son of the late Dewey and Eliza Morrison Hoffman. He was a member of Lakeview Baptist Church and the Higher Ground Sunday School Class. He was retired as the owner of Quality Fuel and Quality Auto Sales. He was a member of the V.F.W., the American Legion #53, was a P.O.W. and a veteran of WWII.

    Surviving are his wife of 67 years, Dorothy Thomas Hoffman of Hartsville, SC; sons and daughters-in-law, Jim and Debbie Hoffman of Hartsville, SC, Blake and Patricia Hoffman of Hartsville, SC; daughter and son-in-law, Debra Lynne and Bruce Bartels of Florence, SC; sister and brother-in-law, Kathryn and C.M. Morris of Florence, SC; sister-in-law, Clara T. Griggs of Augusta, GA; brother-in-law, Wayne M. Thomas of Hartsville, SC; 9 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren. The family would like to express their gratitude to caregivers, Arlene Jett, Joyce Tarte and Agape Hospice.

    To sign guest book and view slide show: http://www.bpafuneralhome.com/


    I seriously need to log in more

    I need to log in more often. Normally i just update facebook and call it a day....

    Thursday, July 2, 2009

    R.I.P Grandpa Roberts




    Richard Leslie ROBERTS

    (September 8, 1926 - June 28, 2009)

    Age 82. Died peacefully in his sleep at the VA Hopsice Center of Seattle. Richard was there since Oct 2008.
    Survived by his wife Beverly of Enumclaw, WA, daughter; Barbara Chapman (Walter) and daughter Cathleen Lorenz (David), Five grandchildren: Fiona Bartels (Ben), Alexandra & Colin Chapman, Sarina & Desirae Lorenz, and step-son Michael Smith, many friends and extended family.

    Born in Los Angeles, CA he first came to the Tacoma area in the 50's and started his jewelry and franternal supply companies. moved to Normandy Park in the 80's and then to the Burien area in the 90's.

    He was a member of the Tacoma Gun Club for many years. Served his country in the USMC WWII in the South Pacific, where he earned 2 silver stars and 4 purple hearts Former owner of Roberts Jewelry of Tacoma and University Place, also owner of Roberts Fraternal Supply Co., located in Burien. Lifetime member of the Tyler Masonic Lodge in Tacoma, the Marine 1st Div. league of Seattle, He was co founder of the Tacoma Scots Pipe Band where he was their bass drummer for many years. He also founded the Scottish Tacoma Highland games.

    Remembrances please, to the Disabled Vets Assoc, VA Hospice and or Hospital, the Tahoma National Cemetery and or VSO groups, or charity of your choice. Inurnment service will be scheduled later, at Tahoma National Cemetery, where Heroes Rest.

    Columbia Funeral Home and Guest Book

    Friday, May 22, 2009

    Late May Garden

    Can you believe this all grew within a month?








    Thursday, May 21, 2009