" " " " Singing With Birds: December 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

Hello Friends!

I've missed you. Thanks for hangin' in there during our transition. I hope you've all been merry through Christmas too!

After a two week break from blogging, we have moved from southeast Idaho to southwest Idaho. We are camping in temporary digs till we close our new home in about two weeks...yeah, we get to move it all one more time!


I shed some tears as we drove away from our snowy home. Thanks Mom for reminding me, "It served it's purpose." We will miss our amazing neighborhood and BYU-Idaho. We are grateful we were able to raise our family in such a wonderful place. We will cherish memories of our life in Rexburg and hope to visit dear friends in the near future.


I never want to forget the snow hanging over our back deck!


Before we packed up and headed out we had one last celebration with our helpers and I made a favorite family dessert we enjoy all Fall and winter long,

Dicken's Pudding Cake with Vanilla Sauce


This can be made ahead of time, although my guy likes it warm, out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. When you are in the middle of a mad-dash, the most time consuming part of this is grating the apples and chopping the nuts. Both are made easier with your food processor.


Bake it up, make a quick vanilla sauce and then kick back and enjoy time with your guests! Serve with a dollop of whipped cream...


or a scoop of ice-cream, or both if you are like my guy!


Serve with lots of love as you say goodbye to 2010!

Dicken's Apple Pudding Cake
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 4 cups grated apples
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together sugar, butter and eggs. Stir in flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Add nuts and apples and mix well. Pour into a greased 9 x 13" pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with hot vanilla sauce and sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.

Vanilla Sauce
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup cream (or evaporated milk works too)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • dash of nutmeg
Combine butter, cream, and sugar in a small saucepan. Simmer on low for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir once. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla and a dash of nutmeg. Serve over pudding cake.


I’m sharing this post at these fabulous blogs:
{M} Between Naps on the Porch * The Girl Creative * Sumo’s Sweet Stuff * The DIY Showoff * Skip To My Lou * Keeping it Simple * Craftomatic Mondays {T} Today’s Creative Blog * All Thingz Related * Blessed With Grace * Sugar Bee * I’m Topsy Turvy * It's a Blog Party * Balancing Beauty and Bedlam * All the Small Stuff {W} Blue Cricket Design * Someday Crafts * My Backyard Eden * Trendy Treehouse * Sew Much Ado {Th} House of Hepworths * Somewhat Simple * Fireflies and Jellybeans * Paisley Passions * Yesterday On Tuesdays * The Shabby Chic Cottage * Beyond The Picket Fence * Life as Lori {F} Tidy Mom * Designs By Gollum * A Little Knick Knack * Decor Mamma * Fingerprints on the Fridge * Fun to Craft * The Shabby Nest * A Few of My Favorite Things * My Romantic Home {S} La Bella Vita * Funky Junk Interiors * A Little Lovely * Tatertots and Jello * Be Different Act Normal {S} I Heart Nap Time * Under the Table and Dreaming





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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Looking at Christmas


Looking at Christmas

Mother, please tell me-it's Christmas again--
Why did the star shine in heaven back then?
"Heavenly Father was happy and He
Wanted the Nephites and Wise Men to see
Jesus was born, and the star was the sign
Telling the world that the Babe was divine."

"Why was he born in a stable with hay?
Kings lived in palaces back in that day."
Jesus Christ's kingdom is heaven, you know.
Money and palaces stay here below.
He came to earth just to show us the way
We can be with Him in heaven one day."

"Presents and toys, then, are
things of this earth.
Why do we give them to honor His birth?
"That's a good question. My
child, you are wise,
Looking at Christmas through
Jesus Christ's eyes.
Love is the answer. Love is the way
To properly celebrate Jesus
Christ's day."

"God loved the world, so He
gave us His son.
Love for each other brings real
Christmas fun."
"Gifts giv'n when thinking of
only their worth,
Just like fine palaces, stay on
this earth.
Thinking of others and showing
your love
Brings happiness here and
great joy up above."

by Therese Aurich


May we feel the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ in our homes and lives this beautiful time of the year, as we celebrate His humble birth, life of service, and the gift of His Atoning sacrifice.

With best wishes for the merriest Christmas ever,


I am sharing this post at Lynn's Reason For the Season Party. Please join us to see nativities from around the world. Also, Joni's It's Your Wonderful Life Party. You don't want to miss her cute Christmas apron giveaway!
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Truffled Bird Nest Cookies

Truffles, Coconuts, 'n Pecans, la la la la... 

While growing up, my Grandmas were famous for their beautiful Christmas cookie platters. My favorites were grandma's Bird Nest Cookies. She filled them with raspberry jam and they were a heavenly combination of shortbread, toasted nuts, and jam.

















  I switched it up a bit combining my 4 favorite things, the same shortbread nut nest, chocolate truffles, and coconut-pecan topping.

Here’s my secret combination, Truffled Bird Nest Cookies, hope you love ‘em!


Truffled Bird Nest Cookies

Makes 16 cookies

Ingredients:
½ cup butter
¼ cup brown sugar
1-cup flour
2 cups pecans, chopped
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
8 chocolate truffles cut in half (I buy mine at Costco)
1¼ cup pecans, chopped and toasted
1-cup sugar
1-cup evaporated milk or cream
3 large egg yolks
½ cup butter, cut into pieces
1/8 tsp. salt
1 ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut
½ tsp. Vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and brown sugar in a food processor if you’ve got one, otherwise a mixer works just great. Add flour. Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball and then dip in the beaten egg white. Then roll in crushed walnuts.. Press center with finger.


Bake in a 350-degree oven for 8 minutes. Take out of the oven and press center again. I like to use a measuring teaspoon for this hot project. Bake 10 minutes more. Take out of the oven and gently press a half of a truffle into the middle.

Return it to the warm oven for about 5 minutes to melt the truffle. With the back of a spoon smooth the truffle out to fill “your nest.” Cool and let truffles set back up while you make the Pecan-Coconut Topping.

Toast 1 ¼ cup chopped pecans in a 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Oven temps vary, so keep an eye on those nuts! Combine sugar, milk or cream, egg yolks, butter, and salt over medium heat in a saucepan. Cook, stirring until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and let it cool. It will thicken as it cools. Spoon topping over the truffle, rounding out your nest.

Drizzle with white melted chocolate...


and leave a few chocolaty surprises out for Santa!


Merry Christmas to all,

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Bring Your Cookies ON!

Well today's the big day!


It's time for us to link up our favorite Christmas cookies with Jodi @ Pleasant Home. I'm guest blogging at her party and I hope all of you will link your cookies and join in the fun. My thanks to Jodi who has one of the best sites in blogland. From quilting to cupcakes I love everything she shares, and often boast I am her biggest fan! I hope you like the cookies I made and have posted HERE


You may also know I am a fan of Betty's cookie mixes. Here is another 2010 prizewinner, made simple with her sugar cookie mix and cream cheese frosting. Of course you can make your own too!

image courtesy of Betty Crocker

Betty's Red Velvet Cookies

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon red food color
1 egg
3/4 to 1 cup Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy cream cheese frosting
1/4 cup chopped nuts


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, cocoa, butter, sour cream, food color and egg until soft dough forms.
  2. Roll dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until set. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  4. Frost cooled cookies with frosting. Sprinkle with nuts. Store tightly covered at room temperature. Makes 36 cookies.
Ah-hah: Use a cookie scoop instead of trying to roll out into balls. It works just as well!

Happy Baking All!

I’m sharing this post at these fabulous blogs:
{M} Between Naps on the Porch * The Girl Creative * Sumo’s Sweet Stuff * The DIY Showoff * Skip To My Lou * Keeping it Simple * Craftomatic Mondays {T} Today’s Creative Blog * All Thingz Related * Blessed With Grace * Sugar Bee * I’m Topsy Turvy * It's a Blog Party * Balancing Beauty and Bedlam * All the Small Stuff {W} Blue Cricket Design * Someday Crafts * My Backyard Eden * Trendy Treehouse * Sew Much Ado {Th} House of Hepworths * Somewhat Simple * Fireflies and Jellybeans * Paisley Passions * Yesterday On Tuesdays * The Shabby Chic Cottage * Beyond The Picket Fence * Life as Lori {F} Tidy Mom * Designs By Gollum * A Little Knick Knack * Decor Mamma * Fingerprints on the Fridge * Fun to Craft * The Shabby Nest * A Few of My Favorite Things * My Romantic Home {S} La Bella Vita * Funky Junk Interiors * A Little Lovely * Tatertots and Jello * Be Different Act Normal {S} I Heart Nap Time * Under the Table and Dreaming
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