Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving and Three Recipes

Bread pudding. Do not judge it by the photo; it is really quite good and does not need a sauce. Mom said it tasted like fancy French toast.

I tried making this for the first time Sunday and loved it so much that I wanted to make it for Thanksgiving and surprise my grandparents (it is Papau's favorite dessert and perhaps Mamau's also). I looked at a few online recipes and comments and then used the Betty Crocker as my guideline but changed a few things to get this recipe.

1/4 cup of butter
1 and 1/2 cups of milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 tsp. almond extract
6 cups of sourdough bread (not soured)

Warm the first two ingredients together until butter is melted. Blend eggs, sugar, salt, and extracts. Add bread and then add milk mixture. Pour in greased square stone set on glass dish full of water. (I did this because some comments mentioned burning and suggested the glass dish to help; I may not have needed it because I used a stone). Bake @ 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

I do not know the recipe for the starter (it is called potato starter, I think), but here is the bread recipe I used ( I got up at 6:15 after going to bed at 11 or later, and I worked 8.5 hours today with close to two hours total of driving, so pardon the lazy recipe photos, being an adult is hard . . . first world problems :/).

I have bread waiting to be made into bread pudding tomorrow as I finish this post on Wednesday night.

For our church Thanksgiving celebration on Tuesday I made this recipe (doubled) for mac and cheese but used twice the amount of sharp cheddar (instead of sharp and mild) and substituted cream cheese for the cheese food. I think I would either use another recipe it or try more adjustments. I liked it right out of the oven, but cold at the church it was only okay. . . which might fit most homemade cold mac and cheese dishes.

I also made these homemade samoas on Monday for Tuesday. I would turn the oven down a little when toasting the coconut and stir at least every two minutes (or maybe skip the toasting completely). I would also keep the 1/4 of the caramel on very low and use a double boiler on low for the coconut-caramel mix. I think homemade caramel might taste better too. These are the presentable ones. I am not satisfied with this recipe. I want them to really taste like samoas . . . they taste like caramel cookies. I think I will try a more homemade caramel or sugar syrup that doesn't drown the coconut flavor next time.

Last night I made pumpkin bread for my work potluck today from our good old Pillsbury recipe. It is almost like pumpkin cake.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hallmark Christmas Favorites

Edited and re-posted.

These are a few of my favorite things, somewhat in order of favoriteness.

1. Christmas Card and Thanksgiving Day Parade. I think the latter kind of counts as a Christmas movie because of the parade. These are a cut above the average Hallmark film because of the acting, humor, characters, sweetness, etc. We own these on D.V.D.s. We watch Christmas Card several times each Christmas season.

2. Hitched for the Holidays and Let it Snow. The first is so funny and features better acting but does have considerable angst. I actually re-watched it after writing most of this post, and I think it might be closer to my top favs. The second is super cute and the romance occurs before the end and the angst is familial not romantic; the story is a bit more complex than your average Hallmark. Also, awesome headband and Christmas traditions.

3. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Fir Crazy, Window Wonderland, A Season for Miracles. These are more regular Hallmark quality, and the first and last are super funny. The second one is on this particular favorite tier because two cute guys and the line "get a clue cuz." I think I could put the last one between 2 and 3. This film is super sweet but has considerable angst and is an older one, one of the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies.

4. Snow Bride, Call Me Mrs. Miracle, and Naughty or Nice, pretty cheesy but fun.

As to new movies for this year, I do not think any really made higher than than 4. The Nine Lives of Christmas is cute (or rather he is cute) but more average Hallmark on the scale of sweetness, angst, acting, plot, and humor. A Royal Christmas is about the same on ranking, though again the guy was super cute plus British. At least the film was better than A Princess for Christmas which was painfully embarrassing to watch. I thought Angels and Ornaments was awkward and embarrassing, except for the Angel and his story which were sweet. I saw a tiny part of North Pole and this film and the other previews do not look overly interesting.

Here is our "baby" cat Mumford "watching" with us.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Another Fashion Post: Epic Boot Buy

I am Summer in colors, and apparently also in style. I struggle with my winter style. I know what I want, but it is much more expensive and/or time consuming (since I need to sew and knit some items).

I have been a little bit better than last year um maybe? sometimes? but my style really still needs work. I look too librarian/schoolmarmish sometimes and too school girlish other times. The first style is fine for some people . . . above age 30 . . . and the latter for some below age 20. I am not satisfied for either look for me. I like elegant.

Anyway. I am really, really, REALLY picky about boots. I remember reading What I Wore about the concept of cost per wear. And I wanted real leather boots. I really want grey boots, but I can use brown too. I am picky about style too. I want round toe and do not like the noticeable rubber soles. I want heels both because my legs are short and need lengthening and because heels make the shoes (and outfit) more elegant. But I do not like short shafts which seem to be the fashionable length for boots with heels. Anyway.

I was searching ebay for boots. And found these.  Perfectly my style. What a deal even with the shipping. I ordered them as fast as I could. I did not say anything to anyone fearing skepticism because of ebay. But I just got them today, and they are what the listing promised.

They have some wear, particularly on the heels. But I am not exactly gentle on shoes (I have some waiting for new heel taps), so if I had bought brand new shoes, they likely would not have looked that way long. They are snug in foot and calf width, but  I need to lose weight, so for the calves that is fine. For the feet I can suffer if need be. These boots are quite beautiful.