Wish I was there . .
My passport is ready and I can be packed in minutes.

31 December 2008

Welcome 2009!

A Song for New Year's Eve
by William Cullen Bryant

Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay—
Stay till the good old year,
So long companion of our way,
Shakes hands, and leaves us here.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One little hour, and then away.

The year, whose hopes were high and strong,
Has now no hopes to wake;
Yet one hour more of jest and song
For his familiar sake.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One mirthful hour, and then away.

The kindly year, his liberal hands
Have lavished all his store.
And shall we turn from where he stands,
Because he gives no more?
Oh stay, oh stay,
One grateful hour, and then away.

Days brightly came and calmly went,
While yet he was our guest;
How cheerfully the week was spent!
How sweet the seventh day's rest!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One golden hour, and then away.

Dear friends were with us, some who sleep
Beneath the coffin-lid:
What pleasant memories we keep
Of all they said and did!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One tender hour, and then away.

Even while we sing, he smiles his last,
And leaves our sphere behind.
The good old year is with the past;
Oh be the new as kind!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One parting strain, and then away.

Wishing you a joyous and adventuresome New Year!

30 December 2008

Daring Baker Does December

Just in case you thought I accomplished nothing but skiing, skating, and shoveling during my winter time, here's some pictures that demonstrate otherwise. During my vacation, I completed my December Daring Baker project - a French Yule Log! Besides the challenge of six layers, I had the added challenge of baking at my mother's house. Upon retirement, Mom donated or threw out most of her baking/cooking pans and utensils. Seriously, the women only owns a tablespoon measuring spoon - no teaspoon. Don't even ask about different measuring cups for liquids and solids!
This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux. They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.

My Mom and I decided that the Yule Log was to be used as dessert for Christmas. Although my enthusiasm to bake was a bit less than usual due to the holiday craziness, I found the recipe quite manageable as I broke up the baking over a couple days. The recipe as presented to the Daring Bakers had numerous options, and when printed was over ten pages! But once I narrowed my choices and put them in order, the actual baking was more straight forward than I first thought.

My French Yule Log was composed of the following six elements and Hubby who has a serious chocolate addiction made many of the selection:
1. Chocolate Dacquoise (Almond Cake)
2. Milk Chocolate Whipped Cream (Chantilly)
3. Dark Chocolate Ganache Insert
4. Praline Feuillete (Crisp) Insert
5. Chocolate Creme Brulée Insert
6. Dark Chocolate Icing

My visiting relatives included some young men who were not waiting for me to take "pretty pictures" before digging in, so I had no time clean up the plate or the cake to show the six layers. Additionally, my only available baking pan was a full size bread pan, so my "log" is rectangular. My chocolate ganache insert was too thick and never really softened. I was quite happy with the crisp layer and the Dacquoise was moist and tasty,even though I made it ahead of time and kept it in Tupperware.
If you look to make the recipe (check out Saffron and Blueberry for it), here are my suggestions. I found that I had to double the dark chocolate icing recipe. I know the recipe warns about the Milk Chocolate Chantilly's inability to stay frozen, but mine never ran and it was out of the freezer for more than an hour. And yes, I did actually make the lace crepes and not substitute Rice Krispies for the Praline Feuillete. Also, I did not have a cake holder to use in the freezer, and instead used wax paper and tin foil, resulting in my mirror finish becoming tacky. I just covered the top with a bit of powdered sugar and ground almonds. Where the recipe called for piping, I made do with a spatula.
Even with the equipment challenges, the Yule Log tasted wonderful and was devoured. The teenage boys had two slices within two minutes, each trying to make a clean cut through the frozen ganache! At some point, I'd like to try this recipe again with some other flavors, a true yule log pan, and my piping bag.

Thanks to this months Daring Baker Hosts!

29 December 2008

How I Knew Winter Was Over For Me

Florida, December 29, 2008 at 5:17 P.M.

24 December 2008

Merry Christmas to All . . .

Wishing you and your family a peaceful holiday celebration.

21 December 2008

Welcome Winter!

Since leaving Florida, we have had snow everyday - first Colorado, then Boston, and now 10-20 inches (25.4 - 50.8 cm) tonight in Maine. No complaints here. We've skied, had snowball fights, built a snowman, went ice skating, and just enjoyed the cold weather. I hope to find some time to also cross country ski. Stay tune for the stories of ski school, my tumble into the woods, and more holiday merriment. For now, here are a few pictures from Beaver Creek, Colorado.

The view from my borrowed window seat in Beaver Creek Colorado.

I wasn't the only one who loved staring out the window. There was a window seat in this picture window and the kids would sit looking out and playing Go Fish.
. This is the view coming down the chair lift. Yes I know I should be skiing down, but the green (easy) trails are up at the top and at the more difficult trails are at the half way point of the mountain. I am not qualified to ski anything but beginner trails, which is how I ended up buried in snow, off trail in the trees you see.
Hope everyone is enjoying this winter weather!

10 December 2008


Chem professor was suppose to leave exam for me to take this morning. Go to room for exam - no exam. I call professor - exam will be there "sometime" this afternoon. Have to find another time to take it before tomorrow night. Grrrrrrrrrrrr! (Really am thinking lots of four letter words but am trying to keep it PG around here since Hew is a parrot and I think he'd be kicked out of preschool if he repeated my current thoughts).

07 December 2008

The countdown begins . . .

Five days until I head out to snow and cold! The list of things to do before boarding the plane is long and my chemistry final is Wednesday, but very early on Friday we take off to Colorado for a legal seminar. After the seminar, we fly to Boston for a weekend of Christmas in the city with the kids, and then it is just a three hour drive up to Maine and my family for Christmas. I can't wait for some real winter weather!

Hubby has attended this seminar for the past five years. I have always had to work and for a number of years the kids were too little to enjoy the benefits of a seminar in the mountains. Last year, Hubby took his Mom and the kids while I worked my last week as a teacher. They skied, skated, and drank cocoa, while I graded mid-terms. But this year, I will be with them! This is my first visit to Colorado and the thought of mountains and snow permeates my brain when I am suppose to be memorizing chemical equation. I fear that on Wednesday, I will doodle pictures of mountains and skies instead of converting moles to grams!

Look for some very non-Florida like photos in the near future!

04 December 2008

A Little Bling

SWAROVSKI INNSBRUCK Flagship Store located at Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse in Innsbruck.
October 2008