Archive for the Category ◊ Winter ◊

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• Saturday, January 03rd, 2009

As if we hadn’t seen enough goodies between Thanksgiving and Christmas, January 3rd is none other than chocolate covered cherry day. Now, this particular celebration is the brainchild of candymakers and is designed to sell more of thoseĀ $1 boxes that people buy as gifts for people who surprise them with gifts, people they don’t know what else to buy for, co-workers, distant relatives, etc. But I grew up on my sister’s homemade chocolate covered cherries, and like most of my sister’s handiwork, her chocolate covered cherries have no commercial equal.

Now that we have families and children, neither of us has an abundance of time to devote to making candy — especially labor-intensive candy. Still, boxes of Queen Anne’s find little love in this household. So we’ll be enjoying a less-time consuming blend of chocolate and cherry goodness today in the form of Cherry Chocolate Cake.

Cherry Chocolate Cake

  • 1 box devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 eggs

Beat eggs. Add almond extract. Stir in cake mix and cherry pie filling. Pour into a greased, floured 9 x 13 pan, and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.

To frost, combine …

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 c. milk

in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in …

  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Pour over partially cooked cake and spread evenly.

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• Friday, January 02nd, 2009

According to several sources, January 2nd is none other than Happy Mew Year for Cats day. Since our feline readership is limited, I’m not sure there’s a lot of value in highlighting this particular day. But cat lovers might want to greet their furry friends with extra cuddles today (or a can of tuna fish — most of the cats that have adopted me over the years would choose tuna over cuddles any day). That said, I’m not at all sure the average cat cares one whit about the start of a new year, be it on January 1st OR 2nd. But the neighborhood strays assure me that they DO care about cuddles and tunafish, regardless of the occasion.

Moving on to other matters, January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month, National Get Organized Month, National Hot Tea Month, National Volunteer Blood Donor Month, and Oatmeal Month.

Now, to get offline and get busy organizing. (Does packing away Christmas decorations count?)

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• Thursday, January 01st, 2009

Happy 2009 to one and all!

New Year’s Day is the traditional time for New Year’s resolutions, a tradition I tend to avoid. But I’m embracing it this year for a couple of reasons. First, resolutions can be good motivation. Second, they can serve as a good excuse. What do I mean by that? Well, this year I’m making two resolutions:

(1) Update this blog at least semi-regularly. Daily would be ideal, but “life” sometimes gets in the way of “ideal.” So I’m shooting for at least five times per week — motivation.

(2) Avoid fast food restaurants. Granted, we eat very little fast food as it is. But we made an exception last night, and I paid for it dearly. Within an hour, “run for the border” became “run for the bathroom.” And so I ushered in the New Year.

All in all, NOT a pleasant experience. Hence, the resolution. “I’m sorry, honey. I can’t eat at {insert fast food chain}. Remember my New Year’s resolution?” — excuse! (Please note that for the purpose of this resolution, Chipotle and Subway to not constitute fast food. Vegeterian burrito bowls smothered in guacomole totally rock, and veggie delite subs on honey oat bread aren’t too far behind.)

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• Sunday, November 16th, 2008

If you asked me to name my favorite season, I’d be hard-pressed to do so. You see, my favorite time of the year encompasses the end of autumn and the beginning of winter — mid-November through the end of December, to be exact. And not just because I happen to operate a holiday website.

I enjoy most holidays. But I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. So much, in fact, that Christmas has come early to our house. In years past, the tree has gone up the weekend after Thanksgiving. This time around, though, Hubby set the Christmas tree up for me last night — in part because we’ll spend Thanksgiving weekend at his parents house this year and in part because we needed to get the tree out of the car trunk!

While hubby assembled the tree, I rummaged through our still-packed household goods and found most of the the Christmas decorations we’d had in Korea. Unfortunately, the angel tree-topper apparently didn’t make it back with us, and the nativity set I’ve never liked did. (Lyrics of “Some Children See Him” notwithstanding, I’m pretty sure the Christ-child didn’t have blonde hair and blue eyes!) Minor issues aside, the living room now sports a festive look, and the rest of the house is beginning to take shape as well.

Now, to finish shopping and start in on holiday goodies!