Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Easy Jello Dessert

We don't eat dessert with dinner very often, but occasionally I like to make this easy and light jello dessert. A few family members who claim they don't like jello will eat this.
I think strawberry jello is the best in this recipe but you could try any flavor.
It takes two 3 ounce boxes of jello. Mix your first box of jello with two cups water just like the directions on the box. Pour into serving dish and let set till firm in refrigerator. This dish shown is smaller than a 9x13. I would double the recipe if using a 9x13.

In the meantime take the second box of jello and make it like the directions on the box, but reduce your water to 1 1/2 cup. Put it in the refrigerator just until it is partly set.

This had jelled a little more than I like, but it still turned out okay.

Beat in one 8 ounce container cool whip, or you can use real whipping cream if you like, which makes it even better!
This is what it looks like after mixing in the cool whip.

Pour on top of the first layer of jello making sure that the first layer has completely set.
Put in refrigerator until firm.

The layers look so pretty in a glass dish...Enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Broiled Grapefruit

If you are like me, you probably have a lot of citrus on hand right now. My favorites are clementines, navel oranges and grapefruit.
I have always liked my grapefruit with a some brown sugar sprinkled on it and this is a refreshing change from eating them cold. It is simply delicious.
The sugar melts and caramelizes on top and the grapefruit warms slightly. Be sure to squeeze out all the juice at the end. It's the best part!
You could make this with honey and eliminate the butter to make it healthier if you like.

Broiled Grapefruit

2 large grapefruits, chilled
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 teas. cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
Preheat a broiler.
Cut each grapefruit in half crosswise. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each half so it will stand upright.
Using a serrated grapefruit knife or a small sharp knife, loosen the grapefruit segments in each half by carefully cutting between the fruit and peel and then by cutting along either side of each segment to free it from the membrane. Leave all the segments in their shells. Place the halves upright in a baking dish.
In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, melted butter and cinnamon. Spread the mixture evenly over the grapefruit halves. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.  Put under the broiler about 4 inches from the heat source and broil until the sugar is uniformly bubbly, approx 3 minutes. Watch closely... Mine took more like 4-5 minutes.

Linking to: Mealtime Monday

Monday, December 19, 2011

First Snow!!!

Just a short post to show you our first snow of the season this weekend.  But like I told my husband, technically winter starts this week so it's right on time. I wouldn't mind winter so much if it was equally divided with the rest of the seasons. I love all the seasons but the last few winters have been so long I feel like I get cheated out of my favorite seasons, spring and fall.
 I would enjoy it a lot more if I could stay at home and not have to go out and drive in it! Our area has a lot of hills so it can be a quite a challenge sometimes.
Everything looks so pretty covered in white although most of it melted today. Just at dusk I happened to see this cardinal perched in a bush and thought it looked so pretty against the white snow.

Just enough to cover the ground.

Can you find the bird in this photo? This is a Brown Creeper and he really blends in with the tree.
 I never see him until the snow flies. He showed up right on time. I never see him at the feeders, just this tree. He spends all his time going up and down this tree looking for food other birds hide. 

May your day be "Merry and Bright."

Friday, December 16, 2011

Feathered Friends

One of my favorite winter pastimes is watching the birds at the feeders. They are a little slow showing up this year due to the mild weather. Their colors really brighten up the drab landscape at this time of the year. I just love watching them flit from one feeder to the next, competing for a position on a feeder.
Last winter a flock of bluebirds frequently visited my birdbath but completely ignored any offering of food I put out. Imagine my shock this morning when I looked out the window and there are several bluebirds at my suet feeder.

These two females wait for a turn on top of the feeder.

This male has a "birds eye view" up on the spouting.

One of the competitors.                   Red Bellied Woodpecker        

Come on!! Hurry it up would you?   I love the expressions on their faces.

Another Competitor is a Downy Woodpecker.

Don't eat it all now... Save some for me please!

Maybe she won't see me here on the other side.

Well....I guess she doesn't feel like sharing this morning.

They didn't hang around very long. I was so glad I happened to see them and hope I'll see more of them this winter.
 And here's a few more random shots of birds seen at the feeders.


Tufted Titmouse

Purple Finch


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sugared Cinnamon Pecans

So, what is up with the price of pecans this year??? I had to pay over 11 dollars per pound at a bulk food store. CRAZY!!
In my quest to simplify Christmas,I don't make a lot of cookies and candy anymore, but I love these sugared pecans.When I saw the price I almost decided I don't need them that bad, but in the end I gave in and decided to splurge. They really are worth it!
I'm sure you could use almonds or cashews in this recipe as well.

Sugared Pecans

1 egg white
1 Tbsp water
1 pound pecan halves
1 cup white sugar... I think you could cut this back to 3/4 cup.
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Grease one baking sheet.
3. In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white and water till frothy. In separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt and cinnamon.
4. Add pecans to the egg white, stir to coat the nuts evenly. Toss the nuts into the sugar mixture until coated. A ziplock bag works well. Spread the nuts out on the greased baking sheet.
5. Bake at 250 for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

"these are a few of my favorite things"

I don't know why or what it is, but every year it seems to get harder and harder to get into the Christmas Spirit. I think the older you get, the faster the time goes, and it's like I just put everything away and it's time to get it back out again. This year especially. We had a long winter and such a short summer, it just doesn't seem possible Christmas is in 2 weeks!
 I used to decorate every little nook and cranny, but in the last few years I decided to simplify the Christmas season and just do some of my favorite things.
I still think a Christmas tree is mandatory although I confess it's crossed my mind a time or two not to put one up. After all, we never had a tree growing up and we survived. But in the end it just wouldn't feel like Christmas without a tree.

I started collecting snowmen ornaments years ago, and these are a few of my favorites.

I also like birdhouses. Maybe snowmen and birdhouses don't go together, but hey, it's my tree. I put on what I like.

I adore this little acorn birdhouse.

An Angel Snowman....

and a snowman skater.

This crackled snowman is another favorite.

When the tree goes up this becomes a good place to take a snooze.
 Bailey loves to sleep underneath things. Well, at least he did until the recliner episode. Now he's gotten a little leery of such places, but the tree has been pretty harmless so far. I have to keep to skirt tied around the tree or he will drag it all over the house to sleep on!

I love the slim pencil trees.They are perfect for small spaces.

Let's not forget why we celebrate.

Something new this year. I thought these are so pretty and they are super easy to make. This idea comes from Esther at fleurcottage. You can check out her blog for instructions. I put the little battery tealights in mine.

Wishing everyone a Blessed Christmas.

A Song for Sunday

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Glazed Cinnamon Crescents

These little cinnamon crescents are a breeze to make and so good warm from the oven.
 They are full of cinnamon flavor and absolutely melt in your mouth. It's like a little cinnamon roll without all the hard work.
Unroll your crescents and separate each one and lay out on a cookie sheet. Spread some of the butter/sugar mixture on each roll.

Roll them up crescent roll style.

Try to pinch the ends shut as good as you can.  Some of your butter/sugar mixture will leak out anyway. That's fine if it does.
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
Let cool slightly, remove from pan and drizzle the glaze over them.

Try not to eat them all at once!!!

Glazed Cinnamon Crescents

1 can crescent rolls
4 Tbsp butter softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat oven to 350. Stir together soft butter, sugar and cinnamon until combined.
Separate crescent rolls and lay out on a ungreased cookie sheet. Spread an equal amount of the sugar/ butter mixture on each crescent. Roll up starting at the wide end. Try to press the ends to seal. Some of the mixture will melt out.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or golden brown. Let cool slightly then drizzle the glaze over them.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon butter softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
 1 Tbsp hot water more or less
Put powdered sugar in small bowl with the soft butter. Add just enough hot water to melt the butter and to achieve the desired consistency. Add vanilla. If you get it too thin add more powdered sugar.