Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Arboretum

I love the arboretum. I cannot believe that we lived in this town for 15 years before we discovered it. I love the seasons I got to see winter. It was divine. I felt like I was at my beloved Oregon coast honestly. The air was misty, the grounds were breathtaking, and the vibe is just In the fall the place is covered in pumpkins...spring and summer, there are actually flowers called sparklers that look like the real thing. The best part? Our picnic spot on the hill over looking the lake. This is a hill that little one rolls down, runs down, dances down, falls down...and laughs, and laughs. One day he rolled and fell down it, all while holding onto a homemade chocolate chip cookie from our picnic. Today I'm attaching a photograph of me and little charlie by the infinity pool...another of my favorite things. Love, love, love.
p.s. Yes, that leaf in my hand was a gift from my sweet son and it came from this magical place too, can you believe it?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

a merry little dessert

So, big Charlie decided out of the blue that he wanted chocolate pecan pie for Christmas day. He had never had one, but for some reason really, really wanted one. I said okay and found a recipe. I actually found 5 and melded them together leaning toward the most chocolaty of them (this was a good choice...just ask Charlie). I love this pie because while it is extremely decadent and truly divine, it is easy as pie to make. Marie Calendar has started making frozen, ready made pie crusts and they were perfect. We had too much filling, so my mother-in-law took the second frozen crust out of the tin, popped it in the microwave, and we broke it into pieces and began molding it artistically around a few little glass baking dishes. These little mini pies turned out not only adorable, but my favorite of the day. Here are some photos and the recipe follows. Enjoy! xo

Chocolate Pecan Pie

3 eggs
1 cup of Karos syrup
2/3 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1/3 cup of butter softened
1 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of pecan (large pieces)
1 1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Mix together eggs, syrup, sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla well. Fold in pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into a 9" pie shell (or if you use the Marie Calendar shells, use one for a full pie and mold the second crust into 2-3 mini pies). Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake 50 minutes or until the center is set. (It will jiggle a little, but will be mostly set). Enjoy this beautiful pie.

Christmas cards out...check!

I just got my christmas cards out...I stayed with it and I am really proud of that part. It's funny because the ones that were the most difficult were the ones that I was the most happy to have sent. Most especially the one to my cousin, with a hand written recipe for Lemon Lush pie enclosed...a recipe found at an amazing little restaurant on the Oregon coast while visiting my dear aunt aggie...a recipe that she was able to get because she had connections and knew the chef...a recipe made even more precious to me after she died quite suddenly in March. Yes, that was a card that needed to go out. I called and told my mom that my cards just went out and she laughed and said, your cards always go out after's a tradition! Well, on that note, Merry Christmas (a little late) to each and every one of you. xo

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wish Cookies...

We discovered Nyakers this Christmas. It is an amazing and delightful little cookie. I don't know what I like best, the cookie or the story. This is how it place the cookie in the palm of your hand, make a wish, and break it. If it breaks into three pieces, you get your wish. It is truly magical. Here are some photos of my charlie and his wish cookie, broken into three....make a wish sweet boy.
I just know it's gonna come true. xo

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We got an amazing and spectacular tree! It's an "emerald" tree from the pacific northwest (like me) and it is so beautiful. Little one and I are running around the house, me in my jingle bell apron and snowflake hat, and him in his cowboy hat, underpants and cowboy boots, pulling out decorations. It is so amazing to see what comes out of each box...oh, the memories. I already have everything that will light up, lit. We just unpacked our singing frog that sits on the kitchen table singing and ribbeting...what other treasures are in these boxes?