Monday, December 27, 2010
a nice treat...
Due to the inclement weather and the mess that is holiday air-travel, my sister got snowed in here in Asheville for two more days! This meant we got to spend part of the afternoon at the Book Exchange, since it's been closed most of the weekend. It's a nice treat...as are these sparkling chewy molasses cookies from notmartha. We tried making some with blue sanding sugar, and I love the way they turned out.



Off to make some hot cocoa to go with them...

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Sunday, December 26, 2010
easy as...
apple pie...



I've never made an apple pie before. Cobblers and crumbles, yes. Pie with proper crust, no. It seems kind of intimidating and complicated. But I've wanted to give it a go for a few years now, just haven't had the combination of the right occasion and enough time. Turns out it's not really that hard, just time consuming.

It all started yesterday at around noon with the peeling, slicing and macerating of apples. I used the basic recipe here with a bit of tweaking. The short crust pastry was really pretty easy, and my new rolling pin worked a treat.

This one used a combination of 4 Granny Smith apples and 2 Honeycrisp. I added a bit more lemon juice than was called for, since I like a nice tart pie. It was a hit, and the small amount that was leftover we had for lunch today.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010
i'm dreaming...
We woke up this morning to a beautiful snow scene. It was so cozy inside opening presents, making crepes for lunch (thanks, Paul!), drinking tea. Eventually we had to get outside in it...











A very merry christmas to one and all...

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Friday, December 24, 2010
another year older...
We got a last-minute surprise day off of work today (many thanks to the bosses!), which may or may not be attributed to the fact that it is indeed my birthday. I got to have a great lazy morning with the Je (including cake for breakfast!) and a fantastic lunch at Chai Pani downtown. Then a bit of window-shopping and people-watching, a bizarre story from and old man while browsing for rolling pins, and back home for some cookie-baking.

After Paul got home, we gussied ourselves up and headed off to Satchel's Bar at the S&W for drinkies and nibbles. Oysters, calamarie, and prosecco...fantastic. Due to that "other holiday" that is also today, we virtually had the place to ourselves in all it's Art Deco glory.







And now off to a Christmas Eve party...

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010
stringing along...
I've been seeing lots of felt garlands (like this one on Purl Bee) and have been wanting to make one this year. But honestly, all the cutting of little felt circles does not fill me with holiday excitement at the moment. After all, this year I'm all about planning things early and letting the chips fall as they may. In the end, the colorful Anthropologie catalog that came in the mail (from which I was otherwise regretfully uninspired) and my newly excavated 1" hole punch led me to create a compromise (which turned out quite well with very little time invested)...

Step 1: Punch a whole bunch of 1" circles (or whatever size punch you have) out of colorful paper. I liked that the catalog pages were matte and had different colors on each side.



Step 2: Thread sewing machine with desired color thread (I used a limey green). Sew across center of one circle, keep stitching into air for at least another circle's width before adding next circle. Keep going until garland is desired length or you use all your circles. (No worries if you don't sew straight through center of circle...it'll still look good.).



Step 3: Put on tree. Love it!

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Sunday, December 12, 2010
roll 'em up...
I spend last night wrangling fusible interfacing that didn't want to fuse, and piping tape that had a mind of his own. But I'm really happy with the outcome of our gifts for our nieces in Australia. The older one is four and she loves drawing (and of course the younger will love whatever the older one likes). Thanks to Skip to My Lou for the tutorial and inspiration. I made a few alterations (including sewing in a hair elastic instead of a ribbon tie so as not to frustrate little fingers). These just really make me grin (and want to make one for myself!)...

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