Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tutu Heaven

I made this tutu for my niece Lucie and my sister-in-law sent me this picture on Christmas morning. She seems to like it! I'm loving the Christmas pajamas underneath.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

From The House's

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lovely Loveseat

I finally found and acceptable loveseat for our house. We have limited space and I wanted something somewhat older looking but in good shape. I found this jewel on Craigslist for $25! It's in perfect shape and goes great with the house.

One day I think it would be fun to recover it and maybe take the ruffle off the bottom and let the wooden legs show...or maybe a different type of ruffle. It's in great shape though so nothing now.

Yes, that is clean laundry on the floor that I took off the couch to take the picture...I need more than just one day off a week. I'm blaming it on Chick-fil-a.

Finally Ready!

We're finally ready for Christmas. It took me longer this year because I'm working a lot more and don't have much time at home. I mailed off the last present to Ga on Friday.

I had great idea's for my Christmas wreath but had to compromise because I didn't have enough silver balls and Target was sold out when I went back. :( The lights came from the Salvation Army thrift store for $1 a strand. I put one up inside too. Thanks to our blizzard last week I need to replace a few bulbs that don't work now due to excess wind.

We bought our tree from Lowe's again this year but got a different kind; Scotch Pine. The limbs are sturdy and it's a lot fuller than the Fraser Fir but unfortunately doesn't smell as nice.

You probably can't tell but it's snowing pretty well right now. Nathans on a walk to the store across the street for a few things. It's really pretty for the first few hours until it gets driven on and turns all gray and dirty.

How did I miss this! So I've never seen Holiday Inn! I love Bing Crosby and White Christmas so I'm very excited to add this to my favorite Christmas movie list. Oh and I wish I could dance like Fred Astaire...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weather Report

Yesterday we woke up to howling winds and a couple inches of snow that was blowing around. When Nathan took me to work at 7:30 it was 11 degrees and by the time he picked me up at 2:30 it had snowed another 3-4 inches. The wind was so bad and the snow is so powdery here that you can't see.

This morning when we got up it was -4 but it's warmed up to -2 now.

I sank when I stepped off the back steps.

Nathans new form of exercise.

As I was taking these pictures our neighbor who was shoveling his sidewalk and said "and this is only the beginning". As if we haven't been told this a million times already.

'It's a Wonderful Life

Last Saturday night we got all dressed up for the free showing of It's A Wonderful Life at the Orpheum Theater here in Sioux City. It's an amazing theater that was built in 1927.

I bought a new hat for the occasion and wore Nathans grandmothers velvet skirt.

There is a huge radiator heater behind this beautiful grate!

We tried to take a picture of ourselves in this mirror...didn't work out to well.
(Nathan bought me the coat at a thrift store here in town when he was visiting for his interview)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chocolate-Infused Barbecue Sauce

I made this last week and put it on chicken and baked it. It was really yummy! It makes a pretty good amount so I'm trying it on pork tonight.

Chocolate Infused BBQ Sauce
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Combine ketchup and next 9 ingredients (through pepper) in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Reduce heat; simmer 8 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; add chocolate, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
Yield: 3 1/2 cups

Monday, November 29, 2010

Anniversary Dinner

Two weeks ago on our anniversary we went out to dinner here in Sioux City. I had to ask around at work to find a place that was nice since we know nothing about the restaurants here in town. We ended up at a restaurant called Kahill's Chophouse. We were a little hesitant at first since it was in a hotel but it was excellent. I made a list of what we had since I didn't want to disturb the other guests with my camera flash.

Before going out.

Blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped with
jalapeno bacon and balsamic reduction

Grilled wrack of lamb with rosemary,
red wine sauce and mushrooms

Mid-rare New York strip with
flash fried green beans

Baked Granny Smith apple stuffed with
pecans, raisins, and served with
ice cream and caramel sauce

Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon

It Begins

I left work this afternoon to find this...snow blowing across the parking lot. First snow of the season.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Raw Milk Update

Thank you Fedders! Our family at church that has the chicken houses as well as 2 cows gave us milk and eggs last week. The milk is wonderful and raw so the things I can make with it are endless.

After sitting over night in the refrigerator there was a nice layer of cream on the top.

I skimmed it off and ended up with about 3 cups of glorious cream.

Let the whipping begin!

Homemade hot chocolate with the freshest of cream!

Next: Butter!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Elynore Gray Madson

My great friend Brandy and her husband Houston just had their 3rd child last night. I am so thankful she arrived safely and without a lot of drama. The only really, really sad thing is that I'm too far away to go see her and her mama.

Elynore Gray Madson
6 pounds 8 ounces.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Chocolate Cake

For those of you who really, really need a pieces of Chocolate Fudge Cake here is the recipe.
This is taken from Nigella Lawsons cookbook Nigella Bites.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

for the cake:
2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup best-quality cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup corn oil
1 1/3 cups chilled water

for the fudge icing:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
1 cup plus 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.
Butter and line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans (I made 3 6-inch layers that I then cut in half to make my tall 6 layered cake).
A large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl or wide-necked measuring cup whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until blended. Using a stand or electric mixer, beat together the melted butter and corn oil until just blended, then beat in the water. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix together on a slow speed. Add the egg mixture, and mix again until everything is blended and then pour into the prepared tins.
Bake the cakes for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake-tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave 2-3 minutes on medium or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let it cool slightly.
In another bowl beat the butter until it's soft and creamy (use a hand or stand mixer) and then add the sifted confectioners' sugar and beat again until everything's light and fluffy. Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth.
Sandwich the middle of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then ice the top and sides, too, spreading and smoothing with a rubber spatula.

Serves 10

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Party

So we celebrated Nathans birthday last night. Here are a few pictures...

Packing Up & Moving Out

I finally found my camera cord yesterday...it was in my computer bag! Exactly where something like that should be. Here are a few pictures of our last day in NC and our long drive to Iowa.

Lunch of leftover pizza on a box

1/2 way done!

Last of the house stuff.

Early Tuesday morning driving through NC mountains.

Rainbow in TN


Lots of rain & wind.

Almost to St. Louis our stop for day 1.

Friends Les & Helen Prouty who put us up on Tuesday night. Thank You!!

Two of their grandson (twins) Caleb & Thomson. Can they get any cuter?

Signs that we were close to Iowa (this was in Nebraska).