I’ve been spending lots of nap and bedtime breaks this week addressing Christmas cards and wrapping presents, so I’m trying to catch up with a big post full of a bunch of random happenings from the week.
As I type this post, a big winter storm is raging outside my window. Snow is flying sideways. Wind is howling. My power keeps flickering out. It’s a blizzard called “Winter Storm Draco.” We woke this morning to a winter wonderland. The girls are thrilled, as this is the first big snow of the year.
I love that they are naming winter storms now. I think it gives some street cred to the hassles, and sometimes perils, of living in the north country. We’ve had snow falling for about 16 hours, but Draco is just starting to pick up steam now, so we’ll see how it turns out. Hopefully we don’t lose power before I get this post done…
Meanwhile, we’re just staying in and trying to keep busy. We’re preparing for Christmas (I still have a ton of wrapping to do before the weekend) and reading lots of Christmas books. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree,” and “Christmas in the Big Woods” are the Christmas favorites right now. Other popular reads this week have been “The Snowy Day,” “The Gruffalo,” and “Interrupting Chicken.”
The girls are finding cozy spots to hang out, to hide from monsters, and to play peek-a-boo.
We got a fun and thoughtful gift from a friend of my Mom’s last week. She came across this Cinderella’s Castle gingerbread house kit, thought of my girls, and got it for them! What a sweet thing to do.
The girls were so eager to get it out and start working on it. I struggled with putting the frame of the house together on Monday and then had to put it away for a while to let it dry (and let myself recover from the frustration of getting it to stay up). We finally finished it today, and they had a blast!
They were so proud of the finished product.
They’re already begging me to take it apart and eat it. Thanks Mrs. P!
I drew my last Chopped ingredients a few weeks ago. They were Crab, Pineapple, and Black Licorice. Holy crazy combination.
I decided to make Crab Tacos with a corn, roasted red pepper, and pineapple relish and some black licorice and lime mayo.
I roasted some peppers and then chopped them up and put them in a pan with some corn and chopped up pineapple. I seasoned this with salt, cumin, and a little bit of chili powder and threw in some minced cilantro when the cooking was done.
I cooked the crab with minced garlic and chopped onion that had been sautéed in butter. I used cumin, salt and pepper for seasoning.
The ingredient that I had the hardest time with during the cooking was the licorice. I wanted to melt it to add it into some lime mayo, but couldn’t figure out how to get it to melt. I tried just putting it in a pan over medium heat, but it started to burn.
I got some new licorice pieces, added some water, and put it over low heat to avoid burning. The licorice was melting very slowly and the water just kept evaporating. After a long time messing with this, I ended up getting enough licorice-y liquid to add to the mayo and the licorice was soft enough that when I strained the liquid, I could mash little pieces of licorice through the strainer to get more of the flavor in the mayo.
I know, my Chopped experiments probably always sound kind of gross.
This one turned out pretty well though.
The girls helped me with the cooking and learned about always tasting your food before serving it.
The finished product was good. Though the licorice was the trickiest ingredient during the cooking, the thing that caused the biggest problem in the taste of the finished dish was the pineapple. I used a little too much and didn’t chop it finely enough, so it was pretty overpowering. The licorice got lost under the lime in the mayo, so it wasn’t easily detected in the dish.
Weird as it sounds, and in spite of the problems, it really was quite good. I might even make this one again (with less pineapple).
Haven’t picked my next ingredients yet.
The week has been packed with Christmas readying and savoring. Last night I took the girls for a drive through a local park to see the Christmas lights. They called out through the whole drive, “Look Mama! More! Look, I see more!” over and over.
We got out to see the live reindeer they had on display. Lass would go anywhere near them, but Miss was pretty excited.
She really wanted to see Santa, but he’s only at this display on Friday and Saturday nights. I’m going to try to brave the mall to see him tomorrow if the roads aren’t too bad.
We’re embracing winter and the holidays this week. My girls are begging me to go out and play in the snow. They’re pretty persistent, but I have insisted that we wait until the blizzard stops, party pooper that I am. They are eager to make a snowman (Miss says it will be a Snow Queen, complete with a crown) and snow angels, and get into all sorts of other snowy fun. Wish me luck with this in our two feet of snow!