Today is National Cheese Lover’s Day and I’m super excited!
Hm…not really. I’m of two minds, or two tastes, when it comes to cheese. Offer me a hunk ‘o cheddar and I’d say a polite “no thank you”. (As compared to my childhood response of “eww…gross”. I like to think I’ve matured since I was seven.) Uncooked, i.e. raw, unadulterated, naked, as it were, cheese is not appealing to me and never has been.
Offer me a plate of hot, gooey macaroni & cheese (homemade, of course) and I’ll dive right in. I’ll gladly consume any other baked dish that contains cheese like lasagne or cheese soufflé. And I love freshly grated Parmesan sprinkled liberally atop pasta.
Geez, I’m getting hungry.
So far my only caveat to my personal ban on raw cheese is a cheese ball appetizer I made over the holiday season. Oh my goodness gracious, it was divine and won rave reviews from all our guests. Here’s the link to the recipe. I promise you will not be disappointed. The recipe makes a goodly amount so I divided it into two portions, formed into log shapes and wrapped in plastic before refrigerating.
Ooh, this would be perfect for that large televised sporting event, that football one, the one that’s coming up in a couple weeks. (Hubby is a Packer’s fan, i.e. a Cheesehead – oh, ha! – so we don’t really care what happens in that “super” game.)
Just when you thought this third Sunday in January couldn’t get any more exciting – what could top cheese? Well, hold on to your hat – or feathers – because today is also Penguin Awareness Day! So as you go about your day, be aware of any penguins who might cross your path, like this cutie.
My apologies for seemingly falling off the face of the earth. Surprisingly enough, moving into a new house three days before Christmas, AND hosting Christmas dinner leaves little time for extras like writing blog posts, or sleeping.
To add more excitement, a ripping windstorm roared through on the 25th and we lost power – as I was peeling the potatoes. Thank goodness for a propane range and a propane “wood stove”. We were cosy, well fed, and we opened gifts by the light of the camping lantern. The latter added to the cosy feel, in my opinion.
A week and a few days later we experienced another windstorm. Boy oh boy, the trees were dancing! We didn’t lose power, amazingly, but our kayaks and the 17’ freight canoe were shuttled around the yard as if they were made of paper. No damage, thank goodness. We left the canoe where it landed, safely tucked amongst the trees. <grin> Dare I say we’re over the worst? Probably not, there’s lots more winter to come.
As far as the move goes, I think we are over the worst. Ninety percent of the boxes have been unpacked and we’ve lugged over 80 kg of cardboard and packing paper to the recycling depot. We are getting settled in our new nest and starting to feel “at home”.
Here’s a snapshot of the view from the dining room.
The water you can see through the trees is pale because it’s covered in ice. Yes, the ocean freezes when the temperature falls to minus 15 degrees Celsius. Brrr!
And here’s Bruno checking out his new stomping grounds.
P.S. Today is Bubble Bath Day, so go fill the tub with bubbles! And don’t forget your rubber duckie!
Today is National Bake Cookies Day. Seems to me we just celebrated cookie day. *scrolls back through previous posts and discovers it was Homemade Cookie Day*
Not that I’m complaining, mind you. One can never have too many cookies. Unless one eats too many and one feels ill afterward. Glad that’s never happened to me. Certainly never the still-warm cookies that require taste testing.
This is prime baking season in my house. My fruitcake was baked a month ago and has been “fed” with whisky every Wednesday since. Why Wednesday? Why not?
I’ve baked these chocolate chip cookies twice in the past month. I’ve also baked a test recipe for America’s Test Kitchens, and a batch of Pecan Fingers. Yesterday I baked Swedish Christmas Cookies and a second batch of Pecan Fingers. I predict there’ll be at least one more batch of Pecan Fingers before the end of the year. They’re hubby’s favourite.
I don’t often veer from the tried and true cookie recipes. They’re part of what makes this season so special. A real tree in the corner, a turkey in the oven, and a plate of sugar cookies, shortbread cookies, and Pecan Fingers all combine to make the season bright. <grin>
Do you have foods that scream “Christmas” to you?
According to a list of weird and wacky holidays and celebrations, today is National Noodle Ring Day. Um…I need a bit more information. Is it the case that we’re celebrating ring-shaped noodles? Is the creation of ring-shaped noodles so noteworthy we need to devote a day in celebration? I think someone is pulling our collective leg. I certainly won’t be running out to purchase a can of the famous chef’s ring-noodles-in-sauce to serve at my banquet.
I mailed my Christmas cards today. The list of friends and relations getting an actual paper card in the actual mail is shrinking as we move more and more recipients to the email version. I think that’s sad in a way. Receiving an email card just isn’t quiet as satisfying as a paper card. And you can’t prop an email card on the mantelpiece, or stick it in a decorative card holder (ours is a wreath topped by a snowman), or suspend it along with its fellows on sewing thread around doors and windows. But with the price of postage increasing, and the relative ease of sending an e-card, using technology to spread cheer and holiday wishes makes sense. We’ll also save a few trees. Except that will mean less work for the foresters and pulp mill operators and the greeting card manufacturers. A conundrum.
Do you send greeting cards? Paper, or via the Internet, or a mix of the two?
Here’s an excerpt from the upcoming release (THIS FRIDAY!!!) of my next book, Love and Turmoil. You can pre-order now if you'd like to be one of the first to get your cute little hands on this fun story.
Arabella and Sam are discussing a way to protect her family.
“We’ll be affianced for a few hours at most. There can be no talk of—of—love. Or any other nonsense. Please, don’t mention this in front of the girls.” She licked her parched lips. “Not until I’ve had a chance to explain—”
“Arabella.” He clasped her hand, enveloping it in his calloused grip. “I was speaking in jest.”
“Oh—I see. Forgive me.”
“There is nothing to forgive.”
“Thank you.” She suspected she could lose herself in his eyes if she allowed it. Deep blue with silver flecks. Just like the ocean on a summer day. She focused on his hand as it held hers, large, tanned, strong. A man’s hand attached to a man’s body, with all its man parts.
Here’s what the story is about:
Six months after burying her wastrel husband, Lady Arabella Woodbridge has resigned herself to a lonely life in the countryside with only her two adopted nieces for company. Being a young, respectable widow is – frustrating. Then the charming and wickedly handsome Samuel Payn takes up residence in the neighboring manor house.
Retired explorer and occasional pirate Samuel Payn is on a two-fold mission – retrieve buried loot, and locate the father who abandoned his mother to a life of poverty. But a gang of murderous villains is also after the buried treasure. And someone is threatening to tear apart the lovely widow’s family.
Will Sam’s single-minded determination to uncover his true identity threaten Arabella’s happiness - and his life?