Monday, January 2, 2012

Post Christmas Baking

For the first time in over 15 years, I did not get around to my usual Christmas baking,  I LOVE cookies and counted a few years ago that I made 144 dozen of them.  I used to make about 7-8 different kinds and sometimes doubled and tripled the batters.  I would wrap them all up in pretty tissue papers and bows and hand out to co-workers, neighbors, friends, teachers, and whatever was left, we would eat. 

Since we were out of town for eight days over Thanksgiving, and started off with a busy first part of December, I had to give up many things on my list, and sadly, my cookie baking was one of them.  Part of me felt strange not making them, this was a tradition of ours.  But, on the other hand, it was a lot less stressful knowing I wouldn't be in the kitchen for days!!

Today was the last day of Christmas break with the kids, and a well deserved day spent in my jammies.  Now that the Christmas rush is through, and I had time on my hands today, I got the baking bug!  I was craving some sugary, and buttery goodness and thought of a recipe from my sister-in-law's mom I received last year.  The moment I tried these melt-in-your-mouth goodies, I knew I had to make them.

Super Sugar Cookies
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
Combine oil, Crisco, and sugars.  Beat until creamy.  Add beaten eggs, and almond extract, beat together.  Combine flour, salt, soda, and cream of tartar.  Add flour mixture gradually.  Refrigerate dough for at least two hours.  Make walnut sized balls, and roll in sugar.  Place on cookie sheet.  Flatten with bottom of glass with sugar coating.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Mmm, mmm, mmmmm!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Twenty.12...Day 1

I'm ready to put 2011 behind me and start off with a fresh, new year!  Twenty 12, here I come!!  We hosted a fun family New Year's Eve at our house last night (my parents, 90-year old Grandma Jeanne, Tim's dad, my brother, my sister, brother-in-law and kids, and my next door neighbors).  With seven kids between my sister and I, home is the most fun to us surrounded by the people we love.  We had loads of food (as usual), our little ones' talent show, a game of Apples to Apple, lots of laughs, and we finished it off with fireworks.

Today was such a peaceful and relaxing start to the year!!  Yesterday, it felt like a spring day, it was foggy in the morning, then humid in the afternoon (or, shall I say, a bad hair day)!  Today, we woke up to the brightest, blue skies and much nicer temps!  Hooray for Texas cold fronts!

We knew it was the perfect day to spend outdoors with our family of five.  First, we headed to one of our favorite pizza spots - Grimaldi's (as if we need ANY more food)!  Then off to one of the prettiest parks surrounded by Lake Woodlands.  There were kids and families everywhere, it was such a stunningly beautiful day out.  I wanted time to stand still and enjoy the laugher of my kids, and the last few days we have left with them before it's back to the usual routine of school and work.  The ducks were in full force and we came with a box of cheese crackers, I'm sure they loved us!  Most of the leaves have fallen off the trees by now, but there were a few that had the prettiest orange leaves left.

As Tim watched the kids, I took some pictures and sat and thought about how blessed I am!  I am looking forward to a new year, new experiences personally and with my family, new things to learn, and goals that I want to accomplish in this last year of my 30's.  I feel like now that Brody is three, I can finally breathe a little and come off this crazy train that I have been on for years!  I'm ready to be me again.  Having three kids is HARD!!  I'm ready to slow down and enjoy life's little treasures.  I'm ready to be in the moment again.  Now that I am approaching 40 (and that was so scary to just type), I am ready to do things for me again! 
Breathe, pray, live, enjoy, learn, plans for Twenty 12!!!

Happy New Year!

Clear blue favorite kind of day!

Some fun with the ducks!

I'm excited to see what path 2012 will take me on!

Happy New Year!