Monday, December 20, 2010

Be Jolly By Golly Blogfest

Today is the Be Jolly By Golly! blogfest hosted by Jen Daiker. Post pictures of your holiday decorations, share a treat recipe, favorite holiday drink and then visit everyone else.

We love Christmas decorations, and almost every corner of the house has something in it.

My hubbies Santa collection has a home on the piano. For many years the kids would buy any and all Santas at the Dollar Tree for his birthday, which happens to be a week before Christmas. Poor man.

We also have this beautiful crystal nativity that we put on top of the bookcase. Why? Because my kids are still not "safe". Ooo, I should take pictures of all the broken glass outside for you to see. My kids decided to throw glass ornaments at each other the other day. Yeah, I don't know why we even try to have nice things yet.

These bunnies are left over from a time when I tried to sell things (Christmas Around the World) to make a little extra cash. I'm so NOT a party market girl. I like to go to the parties and occasionally buy stuff, but don't make me try and convince people they need all this clutter.
Here's our tree. Every time we go on a family vacation we buy something we can use as an ornament. You can see our Yellowstone and NYC ornaments in the second picture. It makes decorating the tree so much fun, filled with "do you remember this?" and "remember how..." I love it!

Our mantel, and my little guy sleeping on the couch dreaming nice things under the tree.

Puffy ornaments hanging from the kitchen light. 

There is lighted garland all along the banisters. These are the kid's night lights the month of December.

Finally, below is the foyer light and a reminder of what the outside looks like. Yes, we like Christmas at our house.

Favorite Holiday Drink?
Hot spiced cider or chocolate with whipped cream and crushed peppermint.

Holiday Treats
This is a Christmas tradition (and special occasions) thanks to my mother in law.

2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter

Bring the first four ingredients to a simmering boil in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat--stirring frequently. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes until it starts to thicken. Stir it often to keep the milk from scalding.

Remove from heat and add the vanilla and butter. Serve with warm biscuits. I've found that a thinner and crustier biscuit is yummiest when soaked in chocolate!

Spiced Walnuts

* 5 cups walnuts
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* dash of cinnamon

In a large saucepan over medium heat, place the walnuts, sugar, water, honey and cinnamon. Bring mixture to a low boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla, stirring until creamy. Cover counter top with waxed paper. Pour walnut mixture onto waxed paper and using two forks, pull nuts apart. Let harden; break into pieces to serve.

That is what the recipe says. It didn't work for me. For one thing, it doesn't say how long to cook the mixture and when I finally dumped it, it was very thin and nothing was sticking together. So, I figured I must have done something wrong. I fixed it by heating my oven to 250, spreading the mixture on a pan and baking it for 30 minutes. I took them out and stirred the nuts every 10 minutes and finally let them cool on the pan. They were yummy!