Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category
I’m always surprised to see people buying cooking tools that only do one job. A friend of mine went out and bought a Quesadilla maker, that couldn’t be used for anything else, and she already had several frying pans that were perfectly suitable to the task. That, to me, is a waste of time and money.
So, what I’m going to talk about here are tools that you can use any time of year, and that can be used for many jobs. I have all these products in my kitchen.
I’ve done a lot of shopping for you, found the best prices, and best products. This is a no-brainer! You can shop for the products by clicking on the link provided, or the picture, the choice is yours.
- Stand Mixer
- Food Processor
- Cookie Press
- Cookie Sheets
- Nesco Roaster Oven
- Electric Knife
- Measuring Tools
When we originally talked about this, I was going to make Scrambled Burger Quiche, but I never made it to the store, so there I was with another mystery on my hands – what could I make that would be simple, quick, and stunning with what I had on hand.
I looked in the refrigerator and saw I had a package of cream cheese, 4 apples, eggs and Panko bread crumb topping left over from Cranberry Brown Betty. Amber had made a wonderful Gorgonzola Pear tart for Thanksgiving, and that was what gave me the idea to make this tart. Mystery solved! Apple Cream Cheese Tart coming up!
As most of you already know from the annual Catholic Seder posts, and the First Communion posts, we are a Roman Catholic family. Advent is a special time, it the time to start anticipating the birth of Jesus. Much like nesting syndrome in pregnant mothers, it’s a time to prepare your home to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
I realize that for a lot of people, it’s all about shopping. I don’t have any problem with wanting to save money, that’s a good thing. I have a problem with people not remembering what Christmas is about.
I love what my wonderful friend Maria said in explanation to Spane:
- It’s not Santa Claus’s birthday
- It’s not Rudolf the Reindeer’s birthday
- It’s not Alvin and the Chipmunks’ birthday
- It’s Baby Jesus’ birthday
When Spane and I were living on Elk, I had three boxes of Christmas ornaments, one of which Marissa had been given me for Spane’s first Christmas. All the seasonal decorations were in a little storage area behind the apartment, and on moving day, I completely forgot about it – the next day, they were gone.
God has blessed me, I am a very fortunate person. My friend Amber is the manager of an apartment building. One of her tenants had left behind box with a Christmas tree, lights and skirt. She gave it to me a few months ago. I also had boxes of decorations that I had collected, mostly from garage sales, and occasionally, the side of the road.
I am most fortunate to have a friend like Maria. She did the most amazing job of draping the garland on the tree, and the lights. Then Maria led us for the Advent prayer for the First Sunday of Advent. It was really a joyful time.
Last year, on the way to school one day, I found a bag with some Nativity figures in it on the side of the road. I took it home and put it in storage. Later that week, I was talking to my 93 year old neighbor and she told me that the set I had found had originally been stolen from her. When I said I would return it, she said, no, that Spane would appreciate it, and I should keep it. I am very grateful to her for doing that. The set is lovely!
I found another of the Lenox Baby’s First Christmas for 2003 for Spane on Ebay, I found a special angel ornament for Maria (with her name on it), and I even found an ornament for Rolo.
Below are pictures of our tree, the Nativity, and our ornaments.
I suppose I am brownie challenged, or lazy. One of these days, I promise to make brownies from scratch, but for now, the Betty Crocker Frosted brownies in the box had Box Tops (you need those when you have a child in a public school), they’re good, and easy to make.
But, I wanted the brownies I was making for Caleb to be special. Considering that Halloween precedes the Day of the Dead celebration, I thought it would good to put some of the spices the ancient Aztecs used in their chocolate.
Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors have been observed by Mexican indigenous civilizations perhaps for as long as 2,500–3,000 years. The festival fell in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, about the beginning of August, and was celebrated for an entire month. The festivities were dedicated to the god known as the “Lady of the Dead”, corresponding to the modern Catrina.
In most regions of Mexico, November 1 honors children and infants, whereas deceased adults are honored on November 2. This is indicated by generally referring to November 1 mainly as Día de los Inocentes (“Day of the Innocents”) but also as Día de los Angelitos (“Day of the Little Angels”) and November 2 as Día de los Muertos or Día de los Difuntos (“Day of the Dead”).
You will want to use Panko bread crumbs, because they are large and very dry. Broken up bread will not absorb enough of the juices to make a nice top on this. Breadcrumbs that come in a can will not work either, as they are too small, and you would just have a cranberry pudding instead of a Brown Betty.
If you like to add things to your cranberry sauce, like pineapple or nuts, you could easily add them to this recipe as well.
Make this for your Holiday table and enjoy the smiles from guests. Enjoy!
Recipes in this Post
From Other Posts
Well, today you get a double header. There is a craft project and a great dinner you can try. Originally, I had the recipes for the Chicken Kabobs with Rice Pilaf and Yogurt Sauce in this post, but I decided they needed to shine on their own, and the marzipan pixies needed a page by themselves.
What is marzipan? Marzipan is mostly crushed almonds mixed with sugar. It differs from almond paste in that it is more firm, and more suitable for creating figurines. When I was growing up in Germany, there was a wonderful bakery that for Christmas, made the Nativity scene with gingerbread, and all the figurines were made of marzipan. It took up the entire window, and everything was edible!
I want to thank Tom Fox for his inspiration, lending me the marble to make the wings, and for taking the final photos of the girls! Thanks, Tom.