Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Squirt has arrived!!

I know I haven't posted in a little while, and I'll be back with an update about Christmas etc, but for now, please go and congratulate Patti and Mark as they welcome a baby boy at 10:47pm on December 29th!!! V and I are thrilled.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I thought I'd steal this from m who shamelessly stole it from someone else. Before you read the rest of this post, jump over to m's blog give her a hug as she and M just lost their twin girls at 21w6d.

(Since I can't seem to strikeout I've bolded those items I've done.)

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (all through high school, if the school band counts)
4. Visited Hawaii (won this trip and absolutely will go back)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang/played a solo (in the high school band)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (who hasn’t?)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (crowd scenes in Meatballs)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (does lobster count or fish?)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (I used to work in a major hotel that catered to celebrities)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Made a baby - which isn't the same as having one as far as I'm concerned
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Third Annual Virtual Cookie Exchange

I was supposed to get this up on Friday but I was in massive baking mode because of our Christmas Open House on Saturday. If you want to check out the other contributprs, just go to Jenn's blog and see.

I made 11 different items on Thursday and Friday and have given you a picture of all items.

Starting at the top of the plate and moving down by row:

Sugar cookies, which I had intended to ice

Kiflins, Chocolate Walnut Truffle Squares, Egg Nog Tea Cookies, Earl Grey Bocca di Nonna, Maple Walnut Shortbread, Plain Shortbread

Tart Cherry Streusel Bars, Carrot Cake bars, "Inside Out" Almond Joy Macaroons, Fig-Date Rugelach

If anyone wants any recipe other than the one below just email me. My email is in my profile.

So without further ado. This recipe was in the Cuisine at Home Holiday COokies issue from 2006 (I think).

Egg Nog Tea Cookies with Butter Rum Icing

Makes about three dozen 2" cookies
Total time: about 1 1/2 hours + chilling


2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp table salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract


2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp milk
1/4 tsp rum flavouring or light rum
Red and green candied cherries for decoration

Preheat oven to 350F; line two baking sheets with parchment paper

Whisk flour, nutmeg and salt together for the cookies in a bowl; set aside.

Cream 1 cup of butter and sugar together in another bowl with a mixer until smooth. Add egg and vanilla; beat until incorporated, the mix in the flour mixture just until blended. Cover and chill dough for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Roll dough into scant 1 1/2" balls. Arrange on prepared baking sheets spacing 2" apart. Bake 10 minutes, or until firm to the tough and lightly brown in the edges. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Whisk powdered sugar, 2 tbsp butter, milk and rum flavouring together for the icing. Frost cooled cookies, then decorate with candied cherries or ground nutmeg. Allow icing to harden before packing cookies.

(Freeze cookies unfrosted for up to 1 month)

Note: I added a bit more milk to the icing to make it more spreadable and I decorated as I iced as it started to harden fairly quickly.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I'm still here...or what I've been doing while on hiatus

V pointed out to me that the my last post was October 31, 2008. I knew it had been a while. I didn't realize it was quite that long.

There's really not much going on IF-wise. When we last left our story our doctor had suggested using a surrogate and we had decided that financially, this was just not an avenue we could go down. Since then, and without going into any detail, we had a wonderful offer for surrogacy that in the end was not able to move forward. And we thank that person for even thinking of doing that and making that offer and putting herself out like that, regardless of the end outcome. So, we're back to doing our final FET hopefully March, but it may work out to being more like April or May.

I have also been to my own doctor for my annual checkup and to bring her up to speed and get her take on things. She found that my fibroids have returned (arg!) and since we have time before we are going to be doing anything, she has given me the requisition for a transvag ultrasound to see what's going on in there with them. I've got that scheduled for later this week and expect I'll hear something in January. Hopefully we don't have to do anything about them, and they aren't impeding progress.

So, to keep myself busy over past month and into the Christmas season I've been knitting and planning various parties. We are hosting six social events including the family Christmas. Three down, three to go.

November 22 and 29 had V and I hosting baby showers for two very close friends that are really family, and are having their babies in January, four days apart. One was for one if V's oldest friends (since high school) and the other was for Patti and Mark. I know that some of you think that I'm insane for wanting to put myself through the whole shower thing, but you know it didn't bother me. What does get to me is when people are sitting around swapping birthing stories, or passing around all the gifts. However, neither of those happened so all was good. We had the decorations, the games (which were pretty funny) and some great gifts. I chose to knit for both of them and in the end knitted the same thing in different colours. Patti had given me strict instructions that we weren't to buy them anything and by knitting, I abided by their wishes. ;) Part of the decorations for each shower was a diaper cake that I made (with the help of a friend).

This is the sweater I made first for our friend K who's shower was first.

I don't currently have a photo of Patti's sweater, but here is a swatch from the yarn website of the colour I used for hers.

This was K's diaper cake and below is Patti's diaper cake.

Each shower had about 30 guests who all seemed to have a good time.

The week following Patti's shower we hosted our annual Christmas Poker Potluck which he been going on for a number of years. This year about a dozen of us attended, and I made a completely non-Christmas pull pork recipe. We also always do a gift auction where you bring a gift with a value up to $40. We draw playing cards to see who starts and from there the first opens a gift. The next person has the option of "stealing" that gift or opening another gift. This goes on until all the gifts have been opened. This year I think the gift exchange lasted almost an hour as there were much thievery going on. Everyone had a good time and I don't believe anyone lost too much money during poker.

This coming weekend we are hosting our 5th Annual Christmas Open House. We usually have upwards of 100 people on the Evite but only see 1/3 to 1/2 that number. This year we may be seeing a few more as we've got 60+ people saying Yes. If there are any readers who will be in the GTA on Saturday who would like to join us to raise a glass to the holiday season, let me know and I'll add you to the list.

Our fifth event is much smaller and is just brunch for some family members on the 21st who can't join us on the 13th.

Then there is Christmas Day. We do this as a potluck event as well as we are expecting anywhere from 20-30 people if everyone were to attend. V and I provide the turkey and the ham, a few other dishes, beverages and I'm in the process of doing my holiday baking.

It wouldn't be a Trini Christmas without black cake (a very dark cake made with dried fruits and rum), ponche de creme (sorta like egg nog with a lot of rum), Sorrell drink or liquor (a drink made from the red sepals of the roselle plant), and Parang.

Anyway, that's what I've been and am doing right now. I'm hoping to participate in Jenn's virtual cookie exchange so watch this space in the next few days for my contribution.