Monthly Archives: December 2008

Happy New Year!! Tourtiere..yum..

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  Its hard to imagine it came by so quickly….and slipped out quickly too.  Ours was really lovely.    We were all at my mom’s for Christmas Eve which is when we celebrate.  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-051 It was wonderful for us all to be together and it was so cute watching Madeline getting so “into” it this year and helping to hand out gifts.


The dinner my mom had prepared was just so abundant with delicious food.  We truly are blessed. 

On Christmas morning the Love Bunny and I drove to Rochester, NY to spend the afternoon and evening with his daughter and her family.    langstons-to-xmas-decorations-167Jack is 1-1/2 years old now and he was so sweet and loved his trucks and toys.  We came back home the next day.

Tonight for New Year’s eve  we are having my girlfriend Kirsti and her husband for a Pajama Party!  They’ll come over and we’ll have appetizers and play some games. 

We are having French Canadian Tortiere which is a meat pie for dinner.  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-171  Last week the Love  Bunny and I made one for ourselves and it was just so yum we decided to remake it for New Year’s dinner.  We are also making New England Clam Chowder.  They live an hour away so will spend the night.    My birthday is on Saturday and Peter’s is on the 17th so we’ll be celebrating birthdays too.    langstons-to-xmas-decorations-177

If you are interested here is the recipe:

Tourtiere (French Canadian Beef Pie)

2 lbs combination of minced meat, pork and veal

1 large onion, diced

1 can chicken broth

1/8 tsp ground cloves

salt and pepper to taste

sprinkle of paprika

sprinkle of cinnamon

Double pie crust – I used a ready made package.  (gosh I wish we had these in Canada).

Fry the onion in some oil until softened.  Remove from pan and put aside.  Brown the meat in frying pan stirring into little pieces and then add the cooked onion.  Add spices.  Add broth and stir together.  Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes stirring periodically.

Put down the bottom pie crust in 9″ pie pan.  Add the meat mixture.  Put on the top layer and pierce with fork.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned at 425F. 

I serve it with gravy, my zucchini relish and/or chili sauce.  YUM!!!!

To all my lovely blogging friends I wish for you a wonderful New Year and from us here to you there may your 2009 be full of good wishes…good health and good cheer and EVERYTHING good!  Your friendship means so very much to me.  Happy New Year and see you then!!   Judi


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Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays




I am off work now officially on Christmas vacation until  January 5th.   Today we celebrate our family Christmas at my mothers.   She lives about an hour north.  I am cooking the turkey here this year and when its done we’ll grab it and the Love Bunny and I will be on our way.  We are so ready to be together with the family for a lovely evening.

To all my wonderful blogging friends I wish you a VERY Merry Christmas and holiday season with your family and friends.  Enjoy each other with good food, your faith, laughter and good memories.

This is a Merry Christmas “forward” I would like to share with you.  Its fun. Enjoy *hugs*   Judi


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Cookie Exchange








We had a cookie exchange at work today.  There were 9 of us participating.  So on Sunday morning I baked 9 dozen  White Chocolate and Cranberry.  This is the recipe:

Mix together until well blended:

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white

Add 2 eggs and 1 tbsp. vanilla and continue mixing.

Combine 2-1/4 cup flour and 3/4 tsp. baking soda.  Mix that into the first ingredients.

Stir in 1-1/2 cups dried cranberries and 1-1/4 cups white chocolate chips

Drop in tablespoons onto baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.   They are best when a little doughy do not allow to brown.  This recipe made 36 cookies. 

For the cookie exchange I was able to fit 12 cookies into each of 9 cello bags and I added a little Christmas decoration.   Don’t they look pretty in their packages?  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-028The remaining dozen we each put onto a separate plate.  We drank apple cider and each would take a turn passing our cookies around and telling a bit about them.  We also printed a copy of our recipe for everyone.  It was great fun and in return I came home with a lovely mix of 8 dozen cookies.   langstons-to-xmas-decorations-048langstons-to-xmas-decorations-0473The selection of cookies was great and I can’t wait to share them over the holiday season.  It really was fun and although initially it took me 3 batches to make enough it was easy because I just had to repeat the same thing and ended up with all kinds of different cookies!  YUMMY!!!

Have you ever been in a cookie exchange?  How many dozen did you have to bake? 


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Blue Monday – Christmas Buddies

Blue Monday Instructions

Its Blue Monday hosted by Sally from SmilingSally.   Be sure to click on Sally’s blog to see her Blue Monday and all the other participants.   The list is growing so take a visit through all the wonderful Blueness and don’t forget to leave a comment.   They’ll all be so happy to know you’ve been there!  Enjoy.

Some years ago I went with the Love Bunny to Houston, Texas the day after Christmas through New Years.  He had to finish up some work  there.  On one of those days he would drop me off to do some shopping while he did some inspection work in the area.   I found some wonderful after Christmas special.  Then he would pick me up and drop me off someplace else.  It was really rather fun  checking out new stores in a new place.  I just wish I had known Shelia from Notesongs then.  We might have met and she could have showed me her best shopping grounds.   I love to shop and I’m happy window shopping too! 


I found these wonderful and cute buddies, Santa and BLUE Snowman.  Mr. Snowman is featuring his lovely BLUE jacket and BLUE and white scarf.   He has somehow lost his carrot nose I’ll have to fix that.

The Love Bunny looked at me and shook his head and wondered how in the world we could take them back by plane. I just loved them though and they were such a bargain and I HAD to get them and not just one pair but TWO.   One pair for me and the other I would split for each of my sons.  I couldn’t leave them behind.  I said we’d do it somehow!!  We only had little suitcases with us because we were only there for a few days.  As it was we had bought another one that was full of great goodies.  Well we worked at it seriously and somehow we managed to fold them up and get them home.  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-037 


Thank you for visiting on Blue Monday enjoy the other participants and have a lovely day…. Judi


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About Christmas This and That…

Oh my on Saturday it was -18C and you know we were off work for the afternoon because of the snow on Friday?  Well this morning I drove about 40 minutes southward to the next closest Pier 1 looking for another 2 of the red and white bird plates.  The roads were white and shiny slick because of the cold and it was a touch slippy too.  I was able to find another 2 of them oh I wanted to get another 6 to make 8 and probably I’ll be sorry later.  Anyway now I have one for each of the 4 white dinner plates I showed you on Friday.  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-002And I found these darling white birdie salt and pepper shakers to go with them.  Aren’t they lovely?  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-007 And I found these red on clear striped vinyl placemats they are sitting on.   I can really use them all year long so that’ll be nice.  *clapping*  Merry Christmas to Judi!

I’ve been looking at the gifts I am getting ready to wrap and I’m listening to Enya.  Do you like Enya?    langstons-to-xmas-decorations-014While I was at Chapters on the night I found the birdie plates next door in Pier 1 I stopped to listen to the music being played.  This is the 2nd time I’ve gone into Chapters and come out with the CD I hear them playing.   This is a new CD called “When Winter Came”.  I find the music so hauntingly beautiful.  It is suited for Christmas but also for winter and I know if I’m not sick and tired of it before long because I’ve been playing it over and over and over…I could listen to it all year long too…while I’m eating off the red and white bird plates all year long..*lol*. 


and…. I made some Swedish Nuts last week.   They are very yummy and very easy to make. 

To make them you’ll need:

3 cups of nuts – I used a mix of walnuts and pecans

2 egg whites

1 cup sugar

1 stick of butter

1 tbsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325F

Whip the egg whites until you have soft peaks and then add the sugar and continue whipping to form harder peaks.  Then add the vanilla..whip that in.  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-112langstons-to-xmas-decorations-114 Stir in the nuts and continuing stirring until the nuts are well covered.

Place the butter in a jelly roll pan and into the oven to melt.  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-111


Carefully stir it around to cover the bottom as it melts.  Add the nuts mixture over the butter.   Bake for 35 minutes stopping to stir the nuts 4 times while they bake.  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-137

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  Keeps well in a tight tin container.  I keep some of it in this drinking mug which has a tight lid but not tight enough to stop nibblers from testing them.  Yummmmmmmm…

I am also sharing 2 of my favourite Santas.  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-132 The one on the right was a gift from the parents of a young lady Geoff went out with years ago.  The one on the left I made a dozen years ago.  His body is a wood block which I’ve fattened and softened with pillow filling.  I made his face out of paper mache and sewed his jacket and clothes which I think make him look quite festive.  His arms are padded and covered wire and they can be moved up and down.  His hair is a bit scraggly but I guess its wind blown from all that flying in his sled.   Every year when I take him out I think I’d like to make a few others that are different from him but so far I just enjoy him on his own.


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Glycerin Squeaky Clean

Its almost Christmas and I don’t have one bar of soap to give to any of the family this year!  Thats a good thing and a bad thing actually.   I make handcrafted soap and always give my family soap.  This year I reduced the usual quantity thinking maybe I could guestimate a smaller  amount.   Well that wasn’t a good idea because I made about 35 lbs that were approximately 4 oz each so that was quite a few bars and they’re all gone leaving some disappointed customers and now family too. 

I’ll show you what they looked at as I was making them… halloween-and-soup-010oh I was feeling so inspired and my place mmmmm smelled lovely….halloween-and-soup-027 A basket of some  of the bath bombs, in here Lavender and Red Currant and ThymeTea.  Do you use bath bombs?  They fizz so nicely in your bath releasing sea salts, mineral salts, skin softening sweet almond oil and lovely essential oils.   Wonderfully relaxing after a hectic day…

 Putting together little baskets  halloween-and-soup-068


are these not pretty?  Pretty cello bags and crates of wonderful bath goodness…halloween-and-soup-009

big baskets of goodies…



and little baskets of handmade bath products….


I was so pleased  this week for a request for 10 more soap…and 2 more small baskets…and whooops all gone…I’m thrilled, really thrilled but…no glycerin soap clean family this Christmas…..


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Snow Day and New Plates

Brrrrrr its a snowy, blustering, blowing kind of day out there!  AND we got a snow afternoon from work.  Our office closed at noon and I’m home with a free gifted Friday afternoon.  Love it! 

I wanted to show you the new plates I picked up at Pier 1 last night while on my way to Chapters Book store right next door.  Seeeee…peeking from under my white salad/soup plate?  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-004

red and white with a lovely bird…langstons-to-xmas-decorations-015

  Now they only had 2 of them left so I am going to call another location and have more put aside for me.  I just love them!  They go nicely with the white plates and are  one of my favourite colours…red.  I plan on making some napkins to go with them.


This Christmas as I’ve paid for items the cashiers have noted all the reds in my purchase AND my red coat too!  I hope others in my family are loving the colour because it looks like Santa in HIS red suit is sharing the colour this Christmas.

You know how I love salt and pepper shakers well here is another Fitz and Floyd set I have and love to put out at Christmas.   langstons-to-xmas-decorations-0301 

So what to do on this free found afternoon?  I came home and changed into something real comfy and I have the Christmas music on.  I have 9 dozen cookies to bake this weekend for Monday’s cookie exchange at work as well as finishing some Christmas shopping. 

Today I’ll stay inside and enjoy the day.  I hope you have a lovely day too!  Judi


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My Paint Job

I told you I did a bit of painting in my kitchen to include the walls and cupboards  a couple of weeks ago.  My kitchen is very small so the pictures only show bits and bites instead of the big picture but at least you’ll see some fresher changes.  The whole picture looks good.  Here are before and after views… this view langstons-to-xmas-decorations-012


















  looks like this now – langstons-to-xmas-decorations-1151















 One side of the  kitchen changed from langstons-to-xmas-decorations-0081this







 to this….










 The other long side was like this…from here it looks real busy… langstons-to-xmas-decorations-009









now its this way.  I’ve added lights and greenery which looks like with the lighter cabinets and I think I’ll keep it like that and just add different seasonal flora throughout the year.  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-126It makes for such a nice atmosphere in there…










It really does look different in the kitchen and although I loathe painting walls I’m very happy with the outcome.  That was a successful project I think.

Have a lovely day today…. Judi


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Time for Blogging and Angelica Pickles

It has been a busy couple of weeks and I know you have all been busy getting ready for Christmas and the holiday season.  Its a lot of fun doing all those extras but I was falling behind in it all.


With the painting in the kitchen and making the soaps and bath products and basket orders and in between setting up for Christmas I just was not having the time after work to get it done.   I also had computer connection problems that mysterously eased up after about 5-6 days.   Anyway we had a lovely but busy weekend and I decided to put off the planned Christmas shopping until tomorrow.   I am home having a more restful evening and blogging.   I’ve missed everyone!.

I wanted to show you the new addition to my family. You probably remember in October I showed you pictures of “Angelica Pickles” .  I did adopt her about 12 days ago from our Animal Health Centre and thank you for your comments about declawing.   I decided to have her declawed last Tuesday and  she seems to be recovering from that.  For the first few days she slept in my closed door bedroom along with her kitty litty and food and water..peuuu.. because I didn’t know whether she was a furniture scratcher or not…a leather furniture scratcher.

The night before she came home I picked up some essentials….  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-0182

When she arrived she checked out everything….langstons-to-xmas-decorations-030  climbed into things langstons-to-xmas-decorations-035 and onto things….    langstons-to-xmas-decorations-0262 rested on the leather couch nicely….  langstons-to-xmas-decorations-050 and even the other one…langstons-to-xmas-decorations-053 and she was just pretty…    langstons-to-xmas-decorations-0472 IHer tootsies  are a little tender and she’s not bouncing around much but each day she’s better.  She’s such a good little girl. 

Have a lovely day…. Judi


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I have had a busy but nice week because it was a productive week and weekend and now its Tuesday already.   Since the end of last week I’ve now had some computer connecting glitches and I hope I’ll get those sorted out on Friday.  I sure hope so.  I have some pictures but at home in my camera and I’m at work so hence can’t write much.

I just wanted to say hello and hope to see you my the weekend….I’ve done some looking around and everything at blogland is sooo festive!  I just love it.

Keep well and see you soon.  *hugs*     Judi


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