Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas in Mississippi!

I hope your Christmas was as merry as our was! SB explained most of our Christmas Day, but I'll show you some pictures from when she wasn't around. These would have been posted sooner if it wasn't for my parents' computer (it doesn't always function like you want it to).

We spent the morning of Christmas Eve with Nick's side of the family in Madison, MS.
Then we headed to my parents' house in Greenville, MS. We are fortunate that our parents' houses are only 2 hours apart from each other, once we drive 4 or 5 hours over from Alabama.
We spent Christmas Eve night at the Archers' house (my cousins).
My dad entered their house with a face full of shaving cream and his singing Santa hat. Then he gave Molly a "special kiss." It was very entertaining!

She soon got over the fact that shaving cream got in her eye, and she helped Doc get cleaned off. Then on Christmas night, Molly got Doc back by rubbing shaving cream in his face. Then he gave Tator a "special kiss!"
Back to Christmas Eve.
Here are some of our wonderful cooks! We had a great meal of shrimp and grits.

Now more photos of Christmas Day!We spent a lot of time photographing Stephen Small! Nick's coat was one of his favorite gifts!Nick and I made our really good margaritas!Putting on the crowns! Refer to SB's blog for details. And I'll leave your with pictures of our 2009 Christmas Dance Party! Sorry about the quality of the photos, but these were too funny to not post. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twelve Days of Christmas

Last Sunday our Sunday School teacher gave us this information about the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. I had never known this information before, and I'm not sure where he found it.

The Origin of the Twelve Days of Christmas

To many, The Twelve Days of Christmas is a delightful and nonsensical rhyme set to beautiful music. Considering its historical origins, the song had a very serious purpose when it was written and meant a great deal more than a simple repetitious melody with pretty phrases and a list of very strange gifts.

In England, during the period of 1558 to 1829, Catholics were prohibited from any practice of their faith (private or public). To avoid persecution and certain death, Catholic leaders created this musical allegory as a teaching tool to instruct young people in the meaning and content of the Christian Faith. The hidden meanings listed below, were understood by those of the Christian Faith.

1 Partridge in a Pear Tree= Jesus Christ, Son of God

2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments

3 French Hens =Faith, Hope and Charity (the Theological Virtues)

4 Calling Birds=The Four Gospels Which Sing the Song of Salvation

5 Gold Rings = The Five Books of the Old Testament

6 Geese a-Laying = The Six Days of Creation

7 Swans a-Swimming=The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

8 Maids a-Milking= The Eight Beatitudes

9 Ladies Dancing=The Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

10 Lords a-Leaping=The Ten Commandments

11 Pipers Piping=The Eleven Faithful Apostles

12 Drummers Drumming =The Twelve Points of the Doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

Also, in REAL SIMPLE magazine (my favorite) it showed that the actual gifts in The 12 Days of Christmas would cost $21,080.10.

I hope you have a safe and Merry Christmas!

Luke 2: 8-12

"8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christa]">[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Julie and Julia

Sunday night I started watching the movie Julie and Julia. I thought it was good! It is all about cooking and blogging (2 things I also enjoy). I also really like Meryl Streep. Anyways, watching the movie was keeping Nick awake, so I turned it off and went to bed. Monday morning, after Nick left for work, I finished the movie while drinking coffee in bed (my Christmas vacation had officially begun)! Like I said before, I really like this movie! It inspired me to cook and blog about what I was cooking. Well, I was already planning on cooking several things (for other people and for a Christmas party). However, almost everything I cooked has already been blogged about.

So here we go. These are all the items I cooked yesterday.

1. Cranberry Tea- recipe on SB's blog

Lately, I have been drinking this tea over ice, but it also really good hot.

2. Black Russian Cake- my friend Dorothy's blog

This cake was very easy to make, and it is very good!
Mixing the cake ingredients. I thought it made a very pretty color.

The final product! I have two pictures of this because I am still working on my photography, and I couldn't decide which picture looks better. What do you think?
This was very easy to do, and it is very good!
4. Hash brown Casserole-I couldn't find this on any blog, but it is your basic hash brown casserole: hash browns, butter, cheese, sour cream, onion

5. Brownies-I made 2 different types of brownies. Both Paula Deen recipes.

First type of brownie: Symphony Brownies.
1. Mix your favorite brownie mix (from the box).
2. Pour half of the batter into a greased pan.
3. Put a Chocolate Symphony Bar down and pour the rest of the batter on top.
These are better if you get the Symphony Bar with almonds and toffee.
4. Then bake following the directions on the box.

The picture below is what was left after I transferred these brownies into a Christmas dish. You can see the melted candy bar in the middle. Yum!!
Second type of brownies: Creme De Menthe Brownies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 (10 oz) package Creme de Menthe baking chips (recommended: Andes)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/3 cup cocoa
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Because I was cooking so much today, I was trying to be as neat and organized as possible. I laid all of the ingredients out before I began. This prevented me from running around a messy kitchen searching for the next ingredient. All of you may already be this organized, but sometimes I'll just start cooking and grab things as I go. This sometimes causes me to be slowed down, put something in at the wrong time, or leave out an ingredient. Last time I made these I forgot the mints! The main ingredient! Laying it out before hand is something I must continue to do first.

Using an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl;beat at medium speed until creamy.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, mixing well.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and baking powder.
Gradually stir into butter mixture. Fold in mint chips, but save some to top brownies.
Spoon into greased pan. Bake for 35 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven.
Allow brownies to cool before frosting.
To make frosting: combing butter, cocoa, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and milk in a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until dry ingredients are moistened. Beat at high speed until spreading consistency. Top with shaved mints.

Here is all the food wrapped up and ready to go to its different locations.
If you haven't watched Julie and Julia, rent it, enjoy, and cook something. Bon appetit!