Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'll Be Alone For Christmas

This year was the very, very first time that Randy and I were alone for Christmas.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bonus Saturday at WalMart

Way before we moved from North Texas, Randy and I made a deal never to step foot in a WalMart to get groceries - or anything - if we didn't have to.  Lucky us, a fancy new Kroger was built right down the street from us.  Even though WalMart was closer and WalMart was cheaper, Randy and I took a blood oath not to shop there.  

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Nothing Says Christmas Like ...

... A lopsided inflatable bear on an artfully lit and decorated R-Can-Sauce mudder.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Enough is Enough

It is right about now that I am officially tired of Christmas music.  Since Thanksgiving Day, I have heard every Christmas song, in every rendition, sung by every artist known to man and some not, at least three times.  I have been waking up every singe morning the past week with 'Baby, It's Cold Out There' stuck in my head.

And it is.  Cold out there.

Anyway ~

There are certain recordings of certain versions of certain Christmas music that no one should ever be subjected to listening to ever again.  Because of this I declare:

When I Take Over My World, The Following Christmas Music Will Never Be On Any Playlist:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Boo Part Too

Last week, Randy and I participated in the Ghost Tour at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs.

This is our wonderful Ghost Tour guide, Keith.  Keith is a wealth of knowledge about the history of the hotel, the ghosts and the Eureka Springs area in general.  He even laughed at a couple of my jokes.

I adore anybody who laughs at my jokes.  Thank you, Keith!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wild and Crazy Eureka Springs Arkansas

Last week, Randy and I took Roxy on her first overnight excursion to Eureka Springs.

Eureka Springs is eclectic little town, full of cute, quaint and artsy shops.  Most of which were closed for the winter.  It was really, really, really cold.  Our first stop was to check into the hotel.  The second stop was lunch.  We decided on Geradi's for lunch since it was close to where we parked the car with my precious dog in it.  We did find out later that it is unlawful to leave your animal in your vehicle unattended.


Friday, December 17, 2010


Randy, Roxy and I went on an adventure on Wednesday this past week.  We traveled a little bit north and about 100 miles west to Eureka Springs and spent the night at The Crescent Hotel.  

The Crescent Hotel is 124 years-old and is haunted.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

O Heavens to Christmas Cookies

I took the plunge this week and decided to make me some sugar cookies.  

I read the recipe carefully and all the way through.

I assembled all my ingredients.

I tasted the dough to be certain of it's flavorfulness.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Date Night

I love dates.  Dates are delicious.  When I was a kid, one of the cookies that mom would make for the holidays was a date-filled cookie.  It's not a festive looking Christmas cookie, it was just a cookie with date filling plopped on it and a piece of cookie dough placed on top.  Sometimes, mom filled them with a raisin filling, those were yummy, but the date ones were my favorite.

It was a cookie, and y'all know how I feel about cookies.

Dates are the fruit of the date palm, and are a staple food of the Middle East.  An un-ripe date can be anywhere from red to yellow.  Date palms are easy to grow and I am tempted to try to grow a couple.  You need a male tree and a female tree and takes a whopping four to seven years for the female tree to bear fruit.

I guess I am going to stick to getting my dates the easy way - buying them at the store.

If you like dates and you like bacon (who doesn't like bacon?), here is a tasty appetizer to try for the holidays:

Cut slices of bacon so they will wrap just once around a whole date.  Wrap the bacon around the date and secure with a toothpick.  Broil, turning once, until the bacon is crispy.  Delicious.  Remember - it is very, very important to use pitted  dates!

As you can see, I am lacking a key ingredient to the above recipe.

On to another kind of date ...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Not Entirely Happy

I didn't have much for high hopes yesterday.  My day started off with my coffee filter folding over in it's little confined space.  Not all the coffee grounds were drenched evenly with the water, and I ended up with a pot of coffee that I could see through.

This would never do.

Since a portion of the coffee grounds were still dry, I debated using them again, but decided against it.  This was the deciding point of the day.  This is where I make the decision for the day to go either really badly or really well.

I am not sure that the last sentence is good English.

Anyway ~

I started out with fresh water, fresh coffee grounds and a fresh filter.

When I make the choice that my day is not going to be determined by a silly pot of coffee, I go all the way.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

O Heavens to Cookies

It's the holiday season and y'all know what that means ...

... Cookies

Yep.  Cookies, cookies, cookies are everywhere.

I love cookies.  I would do most anything for a cookie.

I said most anything.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gobble Gobble

A thousand years ago, when I was attempting my first Thanksgiving dinner, Debbie spent time writing down, by hand, on college-ruled notebook paper, step by step how to cook a turkey with stuffing.

Al Gore had yet to invent the internet and so email was not available to instantly receive turkey cooking instructions from your older sister.

Or communications from Ethiopia to tell me that I have won the Ethiopian lottery.  Which I haven't played.  But have still won.  Go figure.

Anyway ~

I used those instructions for many a year.  Even when I felt fairly confident on what to do, I still referred to my trusty instructions, carefully written out by my sister.

Those papers are yellowed, creased and torn but are still stashed in my Betty Crocker cookbook, the one Mom & Dad got for me Christmas in 1978.

These days we no longer roast our stuffed turkey in the oven.  These days we brine our turkey and Grandpa and Sammy cook it in the garage using the Big Easy.

This year we used cranberry juice and salt as the brine.   While the turkey was a festive pink color after it came out of the brine and was very moist after it was cooked, the cranberry juice didn't add much for flavor.  I think we will be going back to our tested and approved Taste of Home brine recipe.

Early this week, Randy and I officially declared ourselves tired of Thanksgiving leftovers and ordered a pizza.

Have the BEST day ever!
~ Dorothy

Apple Brined Turkey
  • 2 quarts unsweetened apple juice
  • 2 -1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 4 ounces fresh ginger root, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 15 whole cloves (not 14, not 16)
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves

Combine the above ingredients in a large sauce pan.  Bring to a boil; stir and cook until the salt and sugar are dissolved.  Remove from heat.
  • 3 medium oranges, quartered
  • 3 quarts cold water

Stir in oranges (I give them a little squeeze first.) Add the cold water to cool to room temperature.
  • 1 12 - 14 # turkey

Place turkey in a five gallon plastic bucket with a lid.  Pour the apple juice mixture over the turkey.  Cover and refrigerate for 18 - 24 hours.  
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Rinse turkey with cold water.  Rub with oil.  The turkey - rub the turkey with oil.  Cook like you want to.