Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas has gone to the dogs!


Our dogs get stockings and gifts at Christmas.  Wilson loves to play and so he really appreciates toys.  If Truman is sitting close to me, that's his gift!   This year I am making homemade dog treats.  I think the boys will really love them!

Homemade Dog Treats

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup brewer's yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup low-sodium canned chicken stock, plus more for brushing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, yeast, and salt; set aside
2. Place oil in a large bowl. Add stock and flour mixture in three alternating batches, beginning and ending with stock. Mix well.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to about 3/8-inch thick. Shape biscuits using a dog-bone-shaped cookie cutter or by cutting around a store-bought dog bone with a butter knife.(Make biscuits that are appropriate for your dog's size.)
4. If desired, you can spell out your dog's name or a holiday message in the dough with a toothpick (wet the toothpick first so it won't stick).
5. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
6. Bake biscuits 10 minutes. Brush with stock; rotate baking sheets, and bake 10 minutes more. Turn off oven, leaving door closed. Let dog biscuits stand in oven to dry completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Wrap as a gift, or store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

A (Real) Holiday Tablescape

Last night I hosted a soup supper for the office staff.  I wanted a holiday look, but with a lot of practicality to it as we were actually going to eat at the table, converse at the table and serve food from the table. This is what I did:

Each place setting was on a charger.  These chargers are from Pier One, from about three years ago.  The white plates are World Market.  The napkins are rolled and tucked into little bulb ornaments from this year's Walgreen's merchandise.  They are so cute!    The centerpiece is a row of candles from Pier One.  I love this centerpiece as it is low and it allows for conversation.  Woven through it is a strand of real greens.  We added a bread plate and a cracker bowl and we were able to converse, eat, and enjoy a simple table that was festive and fun.

Our main menu was a simple broccoli cheese soup and a taco soup.  Both were hits!  I asked each couple to bring a dessert to share.  That was so much fun!  We had a great variety of desserts from brownies to pecan pie!

We made a holiday cocktail of pink lemonade and champagne.  We make a batch of frozen lemonade and then add champagne enough to fill our pitcher.  We serve it over ice.

Here are the two soup recipes:

Broccoli Cheese Soup from Pioneer Woman and Taco Soup from Steffes Family Recipes.

Monday, December 5, 2011

2011 Christmas Music

There are more new Christmas albums on the market than I have seen in years!  Here are some of my favorites.  If you are in the market for holiday music, check these out!

This Justin Bieber album has everything you want in a pop holiday album.  It is upbeat, fun and filled with duets with people like Mariah Carey.  The best part?  Part of the proceeds go to charity.

I love Carole King, and this album, A Holiday Carole, is perfect for a 50 something like me.  She even has a couple of songs celebrating Hanukkah as well.

I am a huge Glee fan so you could hear me squealing when I found out that Glee had a Christmas album.  Holiday classics and some pop tunes are featured on this album.  Perfect for anyone who adores musicals.

Here are some albums I am wanting to hear badly but haven't yet.  This first one is an alternative album featuring one of my favorite bands, Owl City.  

And who would want to be without Michael Buble this Christmas?
If you have a favorite new to 2011, share it with the rest of us!  Until then, here is a little clip of Christmas music to enjoy!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cookie Swap

Nutella Cookies

1 c Nutella
1/2 c sugar
1 c flour
1 T milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients together well.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet (spray with Pam).  With the bottom of a glass, press until flat.  Bake at 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes.  Cool on cookie sheet for one minute before removing.

Strawberry Angels

1 angel food cake mix
3/4 c sugar free strawberry preserves
1 egg white
1 T milk
3 T mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cookie sheet by spraying with Pam.  Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips together with a mixer for 1 minute.  Beat an additional minute.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet.  Bake 10 minutes.  Let cool before removing from cookie sheet.

Our goodies for 2011!

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1

What is it about December first that makes it Christmas?  Is it that we just have 24 days until Christmas?  Is that all the weekends will be filled with holiday fun?  Whatever it is, I am thrilled that December is here!

We are in the throes of decorating the house.  I always do something different each year with the things I already own.  I like mixing it up!  This year we have a wreath on the mantle and garland around the kitchen windows!  I can't wait to show you but I am saving the tour for the various Holiday Home Tours across Blogland.

This weekend is the baking weekend.  We will make rum cakes and pressed cookies and start the candy making.  We do pretzel rods, oreo truffles, tipsy cherries, and the crock pot candy.  We will try a new recipe or two, but we haven't decided which ones~

Our trip to Kansas City was wonderful!  Halls had beautiful trees...