Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'mmma Back!

If any of you have Super Mario Brothers for the Wii, you will be familiar with the title of my post today. Yes, that is where we have been. Stuck in front of the Wii! Santa was good to us, but our favorite was the new Mario and Luigi adventure. Things are going to get difficult when holidays are over and it's back to routine. :-

Dinnon met Mario last winter, and immediately they became friends. They both LOVE spaghetti, so how could they not get along??

I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas! I am sure plans are in the making for New Years. Monsters love New Years, and they already have their party hats and streamers, ready to ring in a new Decade! They tend to celebrate a little early though, as midnight is pretty late, they were once told if they stayed up too late, they might turn into pumpkins.

I plan on getting some mini monsters couples sewn up soon, to post on my etsy site. I have taken a bit of a sewing break, a reality break really.. and have to get back into the groove of things!

A pretty picture from yesterday with all the frost... so neat! We got so busy with Christmas that we haven't gotten to that snowman yet.. maybe today!

I am looking forward to 2010. We have 2 birthdays in January, Dinnon's, and our daughters. Then the "birthday season" is over. Ahhh.. It's 4 months of birthdays around here, craziness!

Have a great week!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nuts & Bolts

Why are they called Nuts & Bolts?
I think because normally they have cheerio's and pretzels, which represent nuts and bolts.
Well, ours don't have cheerio's.. so why aren't they called Peanuts & Pretzels?
Um, I don't know, I guess you could call them that.
And fishes! Do we have to put the fishes in? I really love fishes.
Yes, we have to put them in.
I don't think I am going to like this.....one bit.
There are lots of different version of "Nuts & Bolts" out there. Some have cheerio's, some do not, some have Crispix instead of Shreddies, ect, ect. I have even seen them with Bugles and a ranch dressing..yum. We might have to make those still. Ours have fishes. Baked up little cracker like fishes, edible ones. Some shreddies pretzels, and peanuts... all tossed in a big roaster, mixed up and baked with a dressing!

Nuts & Bolts

1 Cup Butter
1 tbsp Soya Sauce
2 tbsp Worchestershire
1 tsp Onion Salt
1 tsp Garlic Salt
6 Cups Shreddies
1 Box or Bag of Cheddar Fish
1 Bag Prezels (about 400g)
2 Cups Salted Peanut

Mix shreddies, fish, pretzels and peanuts in a roaster. In a sauce pan, combine butter, and seasonings, stir until melted. Pour over cereal and mix well. Bake uncovered for about 1.5 hours @ 250 F, stirring every 20 minutes. Recipe doubles well, and is strongly advised!

P.S. No fishes were hurt in the process of making this recipe.

P.S.S. Klip still refuses to eat the fish, but he LOVES the shreddies.. he just wanted you to know.

Dinnon's favorite was by far the pretzels! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

9 More Sleeps!!

Hello! I am finally done all my Christmas baking! A few tins full to pass out over the next couple of weeks :) Finally the DEEPFREEZE is over.. and the sun is shining bright. Who knew that -13 could feel so absolutley warm and balmy! The cold was good.. since we had to stay in..we got the baking done, but after a week of it, one starts to feel housebound.

And the monsters... they tend to go a bit crazy!
So, to keep them somewhat occupied, we set out to make Whipped Shortbread. This recipe again is not mine, it was passed on from someone at somepoint, and I have been making it for a few years now. It's the Best Ever, Melt in Your Mouth, Whipped Shortbread!
We did a practice run for Santa. This is "Thee Plate", and "Thee Cookies" that we are sure the Big Guy will absolutely love! Try em out if you like....
Whipped Shortbread Cookies
1 lb Butter
1 Cup Icing Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
3 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
Preheat Oven to 350F
Blend butter (a bit) with mixer to soften. Add vanilla and mix.
Slowly, add icing sugar, flour, and cornstarch (continually
mix the whole time while adding dry ingredients).
Beat well with electric mixer.
Drop by spoonfulls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
A new recipe to add to our Christmas List is this one... Yum Yum for your coffee. There are no pictures in the process because it got a bit messy, and Dinnon & Domo had to be set aside so they didn't get near the rum. They were a little sad they weren't allowed to taste test... Monsters are kids, and kids don't get rum. But.. I let them label the jars, which is seriously important!
One "key" ingredient that you need is gelatin, which I had major troubles finding. Innisfail doesn't seem to carry such a thing, but I think the place to find it is in amongst the canning stuff. Somewhere along the spice aisle there is usually a place just for pickling supplies and jam supplies, that is where you can find it.
It's like a creamer for your coffee, and as soon as I took a sip I said..Oh.. Yummm! It makes quite a few jars, which keep in the fridge for 5 weeks, and are awesome little somethings to pass out to family and friends, even neighbors :) You can even decoate them with a ribbon or two :)
Yum Yum For Your Coffee
1 Litre Whipping Cream
2 Envelopes of Gelatin
1 Cup Cold Water
12 Egg Yolks
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Rum
Canning Jars
Whip cream until stiff, and refrigerate. In a saucepan add
gelatin to 1 cup of cold water, let stand 2 minutes. Heat on low
until it comes to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand.
In a bowl, beat yolks, adding sugar gradually over the next 5
minutes. Add gelatin in thin stream to yolk mixture.
Fold in whip cream, and add rum. Mix. Fill jars.
Date and refrigerate for up to 5 weeks.
Makes approximately 10 - 500 ml jars
Add to your coffee to taste.
And of course we have been playing with lego too! Our advent calendar has had some really fun pieces in it, and we set out to make a bit of a Christmas setting. Dinnon's favorite thing is the skating rink. It's funny to see the different positions the skaters are in each day.
We have a festive little house, complete with a smokey chimney, snowmen, and trees. If you look close you can see the fireman on the ladder making sure all the lights are in good working order on the Christmas Tree.
Presents being delivered, a little boy playing in the snow, and Santa even cruising around on his snowmobile! He uses that instead of his sleigh before Christmas so the reindeer can rest up before the big night!
Yes, only 9 more sleeps! So exciting! And this weather! Equally as exciting! Dinnon, Klip, and Domo pulled out the "snowman kit", and can't wait to get building!
Come back tomorrow.... There will be Yummy Nuts and Bolts!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tis The Season To Be Jolly.. Fa La La La La La

Happy Friday! Looks like we are in store for a bit of a snowy friday, but it's the weekend none the less. Yay!
I love wrapping. All the pretty bows, and bags, paper and colors!
I quite like prettying up different packages, and find some kind of peacefullness in it all. Especially with a glass of wine, and some Christmas tunes :)

So we set out to do the last, yes the very last, of the wrapping!

Our course there was tonnes of helpfulness.. airplanes flying around, present moutains being scaled, while jousting up them with scissors in hand. And some pretty cute little hats as you can see :)
They seemed to enjoy wrapping just as much, in a totally different manner. At one point I even had to rescue Dinnon from his knot of ribbon, as he couldn't escape.

St. Nick is less than 2 weeks away! Dinnon makes sure that this little snowman is updated daily... only 13 more sleeps you know.

Our stockings are hung, on the curtain rod with care, as they do not all fit on my fireplace :)

The tree is up and decorated!
And Santa had some time to send Domo and Dinnon a message on his portable north pole. They are super excited they made the nice list, and were mesmerized by his beard.
(Pssss. If you have little believers in your house, go to this awesome cool site, and have Santa send your little people a personalized message.. or even your big people!
Have a great weekend! And check back soon, we are hoping to whip up some shortbread, candy cane cookies, and even some yum yum for your coffee!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Good Friends & Good Food :)

The countdown is really on now! Only 16 more sleeps! I am finally done all my Christmas shopping, yay! I just need to wrap. I like getting my stuff done early, and then I can enjoy the whole month, visit with friends, have a bevvie, and some Christmas goodies :)
Everyone has for surely seen the Christmas classic "Rudoph The Red Nosed Reindeer", if you haven't.. you must! I am a collector of "things", yarn, fabric, buttons, monsters, and of course Rudolph. I have him on the tree, under the tree, I am sure there is even a keychain somewhere!
The monsters like this Rudolph in particular because he sings and talks when his little red nose lights up. It's quite the cheer fest, and somedays you can nearly cringe at the repetition, but he is really cute none the less. Klip declares that Rudolph is one of his best friends. He really hates to hear how the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names.
Monsters are all about good company, and they make all sorts of fun new friends! Like this little guy for instance, his name is Babo. Babo comes from a whole crew of "ugly dolls", who are completey adorable!
And another friend, is this little red guy. He goes by the name of Henry, and really doesn't say alot of anything. He loves to watch tv, and appreciates peace and quiet during X-Files!
We of course love to have snacks when people come to visit, so we set out to make a few Christmas favorites!
Baking with these 2 was a wee bit messy, but always entertaining. I promise there was no licking of any spoons, and we of course washed this bowl after Klip got out. 3 Favorites are Cuban Lunch, Skor Bar Squares, and Caramel Popcorn Twists! These are in no way my recipes. They have been passed on from friends, whom got them from others..ect..ect. I am sure you can find all different versions if you google, but these ones are guaranteed goodness!
Cuban Lunch
(Maybe not so pretty to look at)
2 pkg Peanut Butter Chips
1 pkg Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 Cups Crushed Ripple Potato Chips
1 Cup Crushed Unsalted Peanuts
Mini Muffin Liners
Melt chips in microwave. Stir in peanuts and potato chips.
Drop in paper cups and refrigerate.

Skor Bar Squares
3/4 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 tbsp Butter
1 Pkg Chocolate Chip
1 Pkg Skor Bits

Cream first 3 ingredients together until well blended. Press evenly into 9x13 pan. Bake @ 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on rack while preparing filling. Heat sweetened condensed milk and butter in saucepan , stirring constantly over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Spread over baked base and bake 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Sprinkle chocolate chips over evenly, and put back in oven for 2 minutes. Remove from oven, and spread chips with spatula. Sprinkle toffee bits on top, pressing lightly into chocolate. Chill to set. Cut into squares. Makes 4 dozen, freezes well.

..And the Caramel Popcorn Twists recipe is on the bag!

Soooo Yummy!

We hope to also make time for candy cane cookies, shortbread, and nuts and bolts!

Hope you are having a great week!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Brrrr!

-34 today is a wee bit overly chilly! And the insane amount of snow this weekend was crazy as well. I suppose that there is no doubt now, winter is in fact here!
Our kids took advantage of the snowfall, bundled up tight, and set out to make igloos. These 3 stayed in and watched from afar, anticipating the hot chocolate when they all came in. Monsters love hot chocolate.. monsters love everything EXCEPT broccoli, it's a little known fact. Sometimes snowdays can get a little boring, and copious amounts of tv and video games are involved, but this weekend it was all about the lego. Oh, so much awesome lego!
Of course with kids, advent calendars are always involved with Christmas. And although all 4 of them would still love their chocolate a day.. we have been doing a lego advent calendar for a couple of years now. Same idea, each day you get to open up a little door and then build a super awesome little lego man, or sled, ect. Of course we have to take turns, which sucks sometimes (my day is Friday, and Dinnon and Klip get weekends) but we are going to have an awesome little winter set up come Christmas Day!
We got a super cool snowman and christmas tree to add to our "Christmas Lego", and Klip was up super early saturday, and set out to build alone.
But he needed some assistance from Domo. They soon figured out the directions were upside down, flipped them around, and they were on their way. Domo had to get the snowman's nose on "just right".
There was a bit of cheering once he was fully intact, and then all 3 then set out to build the tree, with it's twinkling lights and prezzies underneath!
2 really cool lego pieces to add! Yes! They thought about it for a bit, and decided the snowman needed a name, & hummed over a few different ones...
And agreed on Carl. Yes, Carl the snowman is for surely awesome with his big red bowtie, and black tophatThey found Carl and the tree a perfect spot on the platform, which we will reveal more of later on. As well as show you more of our little daily lego creations, some christmas favorites, and traditions. Last year there was NO SANTA in the advent calendar and that was really a bummer, so we set out to track one down on ebay! He even came with an elf :)

This year we wonder if there is going to be a caroler in the box. Dinnon loves the chipmunks, but Klip is much more refined and could sing to Bing Crosby all day.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Oh The Weather Outside Is FRIGHTFUL

But the fire is so delightful, and since we've no place to go, Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow.

Hmph.. not really the case. It's snowing crazily here, and the lovely weatherman says 20 cm's by the days end. I don't mind the snow, but I hate the winter driving! And I do have places to go!

About a week ago, I stepped out to go to work, and I looked up to this awesome crisp sky! The pinks were so vibrant and pretty, that I had to take a pic. Today, my pic would be as white as the page I am writing on!

So, all 3 of my boys took food and fashion this year, when I was in school.. it was known as Home Ec. And of course, sewing and cooking are on the agenda. So instead of a loonie store tomato, I set out to make them pincushions, and they turned out to be some pretty cute chickens. Which then in turn sent me on a chicken mission, and I ended up with an army of them by the end of the day. They have been an awesome "little something" on my table at the markets, and want to thank everyone for all the chicken love! I pray no eyes have fallen off, I always worry about that! Anyways, this little guy is made out of muslin, and I have come to love this fabric, and sew, paint, and create things with it constantly.

Like this little guy. His whole head is made from muslin, and then just painted white overtop. This is one of the patterns that can be purchased from Homebodies. They have a series of month to month patterns, as well as others. You can see, and purchase them all here.

All the raggedy dolls I make, are also made from the same fabric, and then most are painted, tea stained and baked to give them an older, distressed look.
I hope to get some chickens, and a doll or two in my Etsy Shop very soon!
Have a great weekend, and if you are out braving the roads this weekend, remember that you can get some great Christmas shopping done at the Christmas Bazaar at the Westerner this Saturday from 10 to 4!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December!

It is really starting to feel Christmassy around here since the recent snowfalls. Thankfully our outside lights were put up early, and they are looking extra lovely twinkling through the snow. We also managed to put up our tree this weekend. It's not decorated, but up, and I am good with that for now. Our cats seem to rather enjoy the tree as well, so before we dangle anything off a branch, keeping a close eye on them, and a water bottle near, seems to be going pretty alright.
Dinnon also has a tree, a perfect little tree. You may have seen the odd mini monster perched on a branch here or there at the last craft sale. A little garland, and some multi colored lights were great on it, but he was insistant that it needed a star, so a star he set out to make.

A monstery star of course. As with monsters, it had to have a bit of personality, so with a little felt and buttons ....
A perfect one was created :) It really is the cutest little addition right to the top.

A quick group shot from this morning. I have been working away at getting a variety of things together for this weekend. I will be at the Red Deer Christmas Bazaar at the Westerner from 10 to 4 on Saturday. Admission is a non perishable food donation, or a cash donation to the Christmas Bureau. There will be 200 hand crafted vendors there! I have never been to this craft sale, and can't wait to take a peek at all the different things!
I am also happy to say that Corinne from Rocky Mountain Flowers now has some of my little crew in her awesome flower shop! Yay! Not only is there flowers, but lots of great unique gifts. You can find out a few more details about her store online, or on her Facebook Page.
A newbie in our house. Meet Riggus. Riggus is obviously made from a magic mitten..and although he looks a bit angry, he is rather cheerful, yet odd, and fits in quite well! I hope to make some buddies for him to high five in the near future.
I have all these new socks just waiting for me, and I am hoping tonight I will be able to get to them. Along with a blanket, and possibly a chicken or two.

Have a great week! And be sure to check out the Christmas Bazaar this weekend!