Archive for December 2012

Merry Christmas!

From our home to yours, 
we hope you have a safe and happy holiday surrounded by those you love!

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Recipe: Spicy Roasted Rosemary Almonds

When I came across roasted almonds on the blog, Shutterbean, I new it would be the perfect accompaniment to the bourbon fudge. I mean it would be rude not to provide a balanced gift of sweet and salty.

Spicy Rosemary Almonds

1 16 oz raw bag of almonds
1.5 T olive oil
1.5 t chili powder
1.5 T chopped fresh rosemary
1 t sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 300 F. I brunt the first batch and reduced the temperature from Tracy's 325 and found success.

2. Toss the everything in a bowl ensuring the almonds are evenly coated. 

3. Spread across a foil lined baking sheet. 

4. Bake in oven for 10 to 20 minutes. Mine were well toasted after 10, so I removed them from the oven. You'll want to watch them closely as these guys can turn on you quite quickly. 

5. Cool to room temperature so you can package them to share with friends. Or you can keep them for yourself in an airtight container. Your secret is safe with me. 

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Recipe: Bourbon Fudge

Keith really knows how to make me happy. For my birthday last month, he gave me the most amazing chocolate truffles that were made with bourbon. We're talking little bites of heaven. I tried to pace myself and make them last as long as possible, but well, you see where this is going. Don't worry he's ordered more, but those little bites of heaven inspired the gift giving for this year.

It's become tradition to make a batch of rich chocolatey fudge. Don't worry, I use a really simple recipe.  But I upped the ante on it this time around. You guessed it. I introduced two of my favorite things... bourbon and chocolate. Talk about whoa! It's so good I almost considered hoarding it for myself. Then I remembered how easy it is to make and will probably make another batch to take with us when we see Keith's family. 

Bourbon Fudge

1 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 
1 t. vanilla
2-3 T. bourbon 
dash of salt

Even our bourbon is festive this time of year!
1. Line an 8 or 9 inch square pan with wax paper.

2. Melt the chocolate chips, salt, and sweetened condensed milk in a heavy pan on the stove top. Keep stirring to prevent it from burning. 

3. Once melted, remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and bourbon. You can also throw in a handful of pecans or walnuts if you like. 

4. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

5. Chill for at least two hours or until firm. 

6. Remove from pan, by lifting the wax paper. Cut into squares. 

7. Share as the perfect holiday gift, but be sure to sample a bite or two for quality control. 

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It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas

You may find this hard to believe, but we've had our Christmas tree up for several weeks now. We got a jump start on the holiday spirit when we took my family to Ford's Theatre for A Christmas Carol.  After seeing them off on Saturday morning, we spent that Sunday decking the halls. Of course, Sammy was there to supervise everything.

She wants to ensure people receive a proper seasonal greeting the moment they come into our apartment. As a thank you for her help, and because she's such a part of the family, we had to ensure she has a stocking hanging up too.

I'm hoping I can convince Keith that we should go all out and expand beyond the Charlie Brown tree next year, but it's not looking good. He's grown quite attached to this little guy. I just feel like our tiny tree is overwhelmed by the gifts. I wanted something fresh, which explains this impulse purchase from Whole Foods. Do you ever get sucked into those purchases too? No, just me.

For now, this rosemary tree will have to do as my fresh Christmas tree. It's pretty cute there on our buffet keeping the booze company. I'm fighting the desire to decorate even more, but then I'm reminded that I'll have to take it all down and find a place to keep it until next year. I guess it's a good thing work has been consuming so much of my time the past couple of weeks. Can't really start projects when you're too tired. 

Did you decorate this year? If so, do you have a fresh Christmas tree?

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Book Recommendations?

I admit I have a bit of a guilty pleasure when it comes to James Patterson novels. I enjoy that I can pick up one of his books and be entertained. Are they the best literary works? No, but I never claimed they were. I've grown rather attached to Lindsey Boxer in his Women's Murder Club series. 

I recently finished the latest book. And now I'm in a bit of a reading rut. I started Jeffrey Tobin's Oath. But I'm just put off by his writing style at the moment. I'm hoping I can revisit it and be ready to spend some time with it. I have other possibilities around the house, yet, I cannot get excited about any of them. 

So, do you have any suggestions? I'm open to style; I really want to read a good story. Thoughts?

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