Saturday, December 31, 2011

Remember that Bailey's I mentioned?

One of the best recipes at my house this Christmas had to be the homemade Bailey's.  My mother-in-law liked it a LOT!  So much she didn't notice the dust bunnies.  

I've finally caught up to what the rest of the world has known for centuries.  Alcohol sometimes HELPS family gatherings!  My siblings and I found out much too late in our lives that a good Tom Collins or Old Fashioned smoothed our Dad right out.  That could have saved a lot of angst during our teen years.

Anyway, here is the best recipe EVER for homemade Bailey's.  
You're welcome and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

3 eggs (I used Egg Beaters)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 pint whipping cream (I used 1/2 whipping cream and 1/2 half-n-half.  Next time I might try to go even lighter with some whole milk)
1 cup whiskey or brandy   ( I used 3/4 c. brandy)
2 TBSP choc syrup  ( I used Hersheys and doubled it to 4-5 TBSP) 
1/3 c light rum
1 tsp vanilla

Mix in blender or just shake it really well.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Humbug. I need a Baileys.

I sure wish my parents were alive.  I want to look at them, well mostly Mom, with the frustration and exasperation of the holidays with teens, and for her to tell me it's perfectly normal.  Every year I have this fantasy that it'll be all wonderful, with music on the stereo, and all of us happily cleaning and futzing and generally getting ready for the holiday.  The reality is that my kids and husband just don't see the mess like I do.  Bad?  Wrong? Who's to decide.  I think the difference is that when my in laws come, they won't notice how messy the family is, they'll notice how messy I let the house become.  

It's always the Mom's fault.  Even though the Mom works full time.  We've still got a long way to go baby.

And once I'd like to hear a thank you from anyone here about the food I made.  Yesterday I created cranberry cocktail meatballs, spinach balls, baked brie, a bleu cheese ball, etc.  And I have 5 days of menus planned for 11 people to prepare in my "kitchenette".  And today all I get is tsk tsk's because I didn't make an antipasti platter with pepperoncini, red peppers, and other Italian things.

If any of you out there still have your Mom, and she made anything, literally anything, for you at Christmas; or she made sure there was something under the tree for you; or she made the holidays merry even in simple little ways, do me a favor - go thank her profusely.  Tell her how much you appreciate every little gesture.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

You Can't Have Too Many Cookies

COOKIE DAY 2011 was all by myself.  I'm just too busy this season to join up with my dear friend MG for our annual gig.  Instead I had a sugar frenzy in the kitchen between laundry loads.  I also managed to clean out the frig and freezer.  You see I have 6 extra Italians coming for Christmas, including 4 actual adults.  And that's going to require some frig space.  The mud room and deck will be my cold food back up.  And of course I don't want my mother-in-law to see all the food I've let get moldy.

Every year I try out some new recipes.  This year I made lemon-pistachio refrigerator cookies.  For you non-bakers that means you roll the dough into a tube about 1.5 inches across, slice it, and bake.  This recipe was underwhelming.  Not enough sugar.  Kinda tastes like play-dough.

Next up was Mexican Chocolate refrigerator cookies.  These lovelies were dark chocolate with a hint of cayenne pepper and cinnamon.

Also made the ubiquitous pretzel-and-candy thingies, and some sugar cookies.

But the hit has to be the Mocha Chewies.  Amazing.  Packs a luscious chocolate/coffee hit.  And they are so easy I'm afraid to admit it.

1/2 c evaporated milk
1T. instant coffee (I would just a bit more)
1 c. dark chocolate pieces (get the good stuff)
1 c. marshmallow creme
1 15oz pkg Oreos or something similar, finely crushed
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. chopped nuts (I use pecans)
1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 c. whipping cream

Lightly grease a 9x9 inch pan.  In a small sauce pan heat evap milk and coffee over low heat, stirring until coffee is dissolved.  Add the dark choc and mm creme.  Cook and stir until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.   In a large bowl combine crushed cookies and powdered sugar.  Add melted chocolate mix to cookie mix and stir until combined.  REALLY combined.  Stir in nuts.  Spoon into the prepared pan and spread evenly to the edges.
In a micro safe bowl combine the chocolate chips and cream.  Micro until barely melted.  Stir smooth and fully melted.  Pour over mix in the pan, spreading into an even layer.  Chill about 1 hour or until set.
Cut into tiny bars, about 3/4" x 3/4".  They are intense!

 This is the magazine photo, but mine are just as pretty.

 The aftermath

Monday, December 12, 2011

NOT a holiday movie, but an important one

I gave up Netflix to save money, so had to watch our last 2 DVD's before they charge me for them.  I hate Netflix.

Anyway, one was The Magdalene Sisters.  I'm so overwrought now I have to post or go mad.  This is based on the very real treatment of "fallen" women in Catholic Ireland.   While women in America were waking up to their own freedoms and liberation, teenage girls in Ireland who dared to wink at a boy, or were the victims of rape, or any other "crime" involving sex were locked away by the church in these Magdalene Asylums.  There under violent, cruel, and humiliating circumstances they were expected to spend the rest of their lives seeking penance for their sins.

THIS is what happens to women when religion runs the show.  THIS is what happens when men think they somehow get a free ticket to oppress women.  THIS is what happens when weak women buy into the whole man-of-the-cloth bullshit.  THIS is what happens when an entire society represses all forms of sexuality and looks to some absent god as a replacement. 

As the last chords of the movie died away, I wanted to pull my sleeping girls from the beds.  I wanted to hold them close and tell them to let no man or god deem them trash.  I wanted to line up all women, hike up our skirts, and wag them lady parts at society Braveheart style screaming "THIS is part of our bodies!  And what happens there is OUR story.  This is OUR property!  THIS is our RIGHT!"


Sunday, December 11, 2011

I'm losing it

I must be getting senile.  I find myself wanting the strangest things lately. 

Like a white Christmas tree.

And a belgian waffle maker.

And a Keurig coffee maker.

And a winning lottery ticket.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Look what we made . . . . literally

Holly Frame Christmas Card
Make unique Christmas cards this year at
View the entire collection of cards.