Saturday, December 12, 2009

Our Newest Grandbaby ~ Cambrie Noelle

Children's children are a crown to the aged
Proverbs 17:6

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Show and Tell Silent Night Cross Stitch

This is a favorite piece of mine made in 1990. I used to do a lot of counted cross-stitch but my eyes don't want to help me see those tiny little holes anymore.

This year the stitchery is being displayed on our fireplace mantle.
We traditionally end our Christmas Eve church service by singing Silent Night without music as the sanctuary gradually fills with the glow of candlelight.
There is something very significant as the congregation lifts up one voice of praise to God for sending His Son from heaven to earth.
Looking about the room and seeing families standing close together, their faces aglow by the golden flame is always a moving moment of the season.
"Silent Night" (German: Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht) is a popular Christmas carol. The original lyrics of the song Stille Nacht were written in German by the Austrian priest Father Josef Mohr and the melody was composed by the Austrian headmaster Franz Xaver Gruber.

The carol was first performed in the Nikolaus-Kirche (Church of St. Nicholas) in Oberndorf, Austria on December 24, 1818. Mohr had composed the words much earlier, in 1816, but on Christmas Eve brought them to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the church service

The carol has been translated into over 44 languages. It is sometimes sung without musical accompaniment.
The song was sung simultaneously in English and German by troops during the Christmas truce of 1914, as it was one of the few carols that soldiers on both sides of the front line knew.
The song has been recorded by over 300 artists.
(source: Wikipedia)

NOTE:  I have been asked many times if I knew where this pattern came from but did not remember the name of book and thought I no longer had the instructions.  I have found the booklet with the counted cross stitch graph for this Silent Night piece.  It is from a pamphlet titled, Christmas in Miniature by Gloria Steel and Pat Carson copyright 1978

Welcome Dear One ~ Cambrie

Our ninth grandbaby!
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights
James 1:17

Baby Cambrie

Born to Jamie and Joshua

December 10th 2009

Time 4:13 am

Weight 7 lbs. 6 oz.

Length 19 3/4

Joining siblings

Keri, Noah, Silas, & Caleb

Gentle Jesus, meek and mild

Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,
look upon a little child;
pity my simplicity,
suffer me to come to thee.

Fain I would to thee be brought,
dearest God, forbid it not;
give me, dearest God, a place
in the kingdom of thy grace.

Lamb of God, I look to thee;
thou shalt my example be;
thou art gentle, meek, and mild;
thou wast once a little child.

Fain I would be as thou art;
give me thine obedient heart;
thou art pitiful and kind,
let me have thy loving mind.

Let me, above all, fulfill
God my heavenly Father's will;
never his good Spirit grieve;
only to his glory live.

Thou didst live to God alone;
thou didst never seek thine own;
thou thyself didst never please:
God was all thy happiness.

Loving Jesus, gentle Lamb,
in thy gracious hands I am;
make me, Savior, what thou art,
live thyself within my heart.

Charles Wesley, 1742

Barefoot Bloggers ~ Croissant Bread Pudding

Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa fame has been one of my favorite Food Network personalities for many years. Five years ago, my husband gave me a signed photograph of Ina as a birthday gift. I was excited to become part of a blog called Barefoot Bloggers that prepares one of her recipes twice a month.

The recipe used for my first time participating is for Croissant Bread Pudding (which can be found in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook on page 192). It was a pick by
Peggy from Pantry Revisited
I halved the recipe and substituted egg Challah bread for the croissants.

Click here to see video of Ina preparing the Croissant Bread Pudding

Croissant Bread Pudding

  • 3 extra-large whole eggs
  • 8 extra-large egg yolks
  • 5 cups half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 croissants, preferably stale, sliced horizontally
  • 1 cup raisins


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla. Set the custard mixture aside. Slice the croissants in half horizontally. In a 10 by 15 by 2 1/2-inch oval baking dish, distribute the bottoms of the sliced croissants, then add the raisins, then the tops of the croissants (brown side up), being sure the raisins are between the layers of croissants or they will burn while baking. Pour the custard over the croissants and allow to soak for 10 minutes, pressing down gently.
Place the pan in a larger one filled with 1-inch of hot water. Cover the larger pan with aluminum foil, tenting the foil so it doesn't touch the pudding. Cut a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 40 to 45 more minutes or until the pudding puffs up and the custard is set. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday ~ The Porch at Night

Susan of A Southern Daydreamer has so many more beautiful Outdoor Wednesday posts. Click the button to visit.

~From The Christmas Album ~ Why Christmas Trees Are Not Perfect

My first From The Christmas Album post ~ hope you'll join in!
I saved this page from a 1981 Woman's Day Magazine.
It is very sweet story of sacrificial love.
(Click picture to enlarge so you can read the words)
Now it's your turn to share a special Christmas memory!
Whatever you like... no rules...
maybe a picture, craft, song, event...
just something you have tucked in your heart about Christmas !
Add your name to MckLinky!

From the Christmas Album
is posted each Wednesday for the month of December. I will try and post MckLinky by 8:00 EST on Tuesday the night before.

How to add your link:

1. Publish your From the Christmas Album post on your blog.

*Add a link back to my blog so other readers will know where to join in the fun.

*You are welcome to use my picture. Just copy and paste it on to your blog

2. Copy the "permalink" from from your From the Christmas Album post, not the link to the front page of your blog.

*Folks will be looking through these links all week long. If you link to your main page, it will be harder to find your From the Christmas Album post.

3. Add your permalink to Mr. Linky.

*Do not sign Mr. Linky until you have your From the Christmas Album post published on your blog.

Inappropriate links will be removed at my discretion.

Hope you'll join in and add your post to MckLinky!
Click here for From The Christmas Album guidelines

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sables ~ French Shortbread Butter Cookie~TWD

Whether you call them Sables, galettes or palets as they do in France or Shortbread as they do in Scotland or Shortbread, sand tarts or butter cookies as we do in America, these tender cookies are pretty for the holidays in festive colors or anytime with white sugar.

Dorie says they are as popular in France as chocolate chips cookies are here in America. She did a great job with this recipe and instructions for achieving a delicious cookie.
Just as Dorie says, the cookies are light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on the top.
Thank you to Barbara of Bungalow Barbara for picking a perfect seasonal recipe from Dorie Greenspans cookbook, Baking From My Home to Yours.

From Dorie's Book:

Sables, rich, tender shortbread cookies, are as popular in France as chocolate chip cookies are in America. And for several good reasons: the pure flavor of butter, the cookie's key player; a paradoxical but paradisical texture — the cookie is both crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth tender; and it has an anytime rightness that makes it as perfect with a tall glass of milk, a bowl of ice cream or a basket of berries as it is on a petits fours tray in France's grandest restaurants. I learned to make sables in Paris working with some of the city's best patissiers, and this master recipe is based on what they taught me — the Playing Around variations are my American riffs on their standard.
The dough for sables is shaped into logs and then sprinkled with sugar before it is sliced and baked. During the year, I coat the logs with sparkly white decorating sugar. When the holidays come around, I double the recipe and go mad with color, sprinkling some of the logs with brilliant red sugar, some with green and some with a rainbow mix. Trimmed in color and packed in festive tins, these make terrific Christmas cookies.
If you're new to sables, take a look at the pointers (at left) before you set to work.
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature, plus 1 large egg yolk, for brushing the logs
2 cups all-purpose flour
Decorating (coarse) sugar
Makes about 50 cookies
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth and very creamy. Add the sugars and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. The mixture should be smooth and velvety, not fluffy and airy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in 2 of the egg yolks, again beating until the mixture is homogenous.
Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and the counter from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek — if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple more times; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough and the dough looks uniformly moist. (If most of the flour is incorporated but you've still got some in the bottom of the bowl, use a rubber spatula to work the rest of the flour into the dough.) The dough will not clean the sides of the bowl, nor will it come together in a ball — and it shouldn't. You want to work the dough as little as possible. What you're aiming for is a soft, moist, clumpy (rather than smooth) dough. Pinch it, and it will feel a little like Play-Doh.
Scrape the dough out onto a smooth work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long: it's easiest to work on a piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic to help form the log. Wrap the logs well and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours, preferably longer. (The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.)
GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Remove a log of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it and place it on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Whisk the remaining egg yolk until it is smooth, and brush some of the yolk all over the sides of the dough — this is the glue — then sprinkle the entire surface of the log with decorating sugar.
Trim the ends of the roll if they're ragged, and slice the log into 1/3-inch-thick cookies. (You can make these as thick as 1/2 inch or as thin as — but no thinner than — 1/4 inch.) Place the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving an inch of space between them.
Bake one sheet at a time for 17 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the midway point. When properly baked, the cookies will be light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on top; they may feel tender when you touch the top gently, and that's fine. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest a minute or two before carefully lifting them onto a rack with a wide metal spatula to cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the remaining log of dough, making sure the baking sheets are cool before you bake the second batch.
SERVING: Serve these with anything from lemonade to espresso.
STORING: The cookies will keep in a tin at room temperature for about 5 days. If you do not sprinkle the sables with sugar, they can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months. Because the sugar will melt in the freezer, the decorated cookies are not suitable for freezing.
Playing Around
LEMON SABLES: Working in a small bowl, using your fingers, rub the grated zest of 1 to 1 1/2 lemons (depending on your taste) into the granulated sugar until the sugar is moist and very aromatic, then add this and the confectioners' sugar to the beaten butter. (Sables can also be made with orange or lime zest; vary the amount of zest as you please.)
PECAN SABLES: Reduce the amount of flour to 1 1/2 cups, and add 1/2 cup very finely ground pecans to the mixture after you have added the sugars. (In place of pecans, you can use ground almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts.) If you'd like, instead of sprinkling the dough logs with sugar, sprinkle them with very finely chopped pecans or a mixture of pecans and sugar.
SPICE SABLES: Whisk 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg into the flour.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It started in low... then it started to grow...

You know how it begins...
Your first Christmas together with just a few tree ornaments...
Children arrive and with them arrives more ornaments.
Little hands lovingly create more ornaments...
Like reindeer clothespin ornaments and picture ornaments...
And more and more ornaments...
Add to that your own handmade ornaments...
Ornaments from dear family and friends...
The tree b-u-l-g-e-s with precious ornaments!

Now, I LOVE each of those heartfelt ornaments


I have a few very special ornaments. so... I put up a small tabletop tree each year just for my special ornaments.

As children grow and leave the nest, many of those dear homemade ornaments now bedeck their own tree.

My little tree has now grown to full size. Filled with my most cherished ornaments.

Each Christmas I sit quietly by the glow of this tree and gaze on each little angel, cradling a tiny baby, and reflect on what it means that Jesus is:

The Lamb of God
Almighty God
God is with us
Son of God
Prince of Peace
King of Kings

The Light of the world
Wonderful Counselor
Almighty God

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah: 9:6

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