Posts made in December, 2013

A Goose for Christmas

Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in New | 1 comment

I have cracked the code to creating a sappy Christmas movie--working titles are playing out, A Goose for Christmas or Holiglazed.  I thought about Goose Gynasty except bringing a bearded physician into the plot would complicate my story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Pan over a New England Village (winter scene) or Beverly Hills-LA (Palm trees).
  • The heroine of the movie, a red headed goose wakes up cranky, slaps the alarm clock, and turns it off.
  • She is late to an orphanage where she is planning a charity benefit to build an artificial pond for goslings that were displaced from an historic millpond by a French Foie Gras farmer/developer.
  • A propeller that falls from an airplane unfortunately strikes the goose.
  • She has no ID and is transported to an environmental hospital.
  • Meanwhile a handsome gander, a photographer with a sharp-notched bill finds a tattered bonnet in the street.
  • He stares at the bonnet hard.
  • He gives the shabby hat to a single waitress at a diner in lieu of a gratuity, which she angrily throws in the alley behind the diner.
  • Six years previously, the svelte goose had been jilted at the altar by the gander who left for Peru to photograph llamas.
  • A downtrodden drifter finds the tattered bonnet in the alley and keeps it in his backpack.
  • The charity benefit goes forward on Christmas Eve in spite of the town’s grief for the goose.
  • A group of highly skilled ‘Green Geese’ veterinarians cannot explain a medical miracle that restores the goose to her former beauty.
  • She arrives at the benefit in a specially designed bird carrier and surprises the town folk.
  • The French farmer is overwrought with tearful joy at the Christmas miracle.
  • He hands the deed to the millpond to the goose.
  • The drifter drops the hat unknowingly at the feet of the gander.
  • The gander who was hired by the bank president to photograph the event recognizes his former ‘goose flame’ while at the same time recalls the ratty hat.
  • Snow begins to fall, or maybe (Santa Ana winds stir up) and the gander waddles toward the goose and sets the hat on her head.
  • Barbra Streisand (via helicopter) surprises the cheering crowd and sings, White Christmas.
  • The drifter decides to drift on-- but first stops at the diner for a ‘cup of joe’.
  •  The waitress realizes he is her long lost father whom she had not seen since he left her at a performance of Swan Lake when she was nine years old.
  • Zoom out…

I know this story and TV movie will take shape as soon as I find investors, pedestrian actors, and a location where the vibe is right for a movie such as this.  MP and I can make cameo appearances.

It smacks of a sequel, don’t you agree?

 

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Sugar and Spice Pecans

Posted by on Dec 16, 2013 in Holiday | 1 comment

Sugar and Spice Pecans

It is not exactly last minute yet but if you need a slew of small Christmas presents, hostess gifts, or party favors to set by the door, these Spiced Pecan snacking nuts are easy to make and easier to gift.

Very often, they are gobbled up before they are tied up--with a tiny bow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My ancient recipe calls for cinnamon and nutmeg but fast forward to 2013 by using my Pumpkin Pie Spice blend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toss the pecans with the egg white.  Make sure all the nuts are moistened so the sugarcoating will adhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combine the sugar with a touch of sea salt and spice blend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stir, stir to completely cover the nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pour them on a prepared baking sheet and bake the nuts for 15 - 20 minutes tossing them around after 10 minutes.  They will be dry and fragrant when done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't they look all glazed and Christmassy?

An irresistible combination of sweet perfume, salt, and a light crunch the ‘treasure’ nut and a light sprinkle of pomegranate seeds tossed with Christmas Cesar Salad elevates it to the dinner party star.

~ of course you can use walnuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

♥ xococo ♥

Sugar and Spice Pecans

Ingredients

  • 1 extra-large egg white, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt ( to taste)
  • 12 ounces halved pecans (about 3 ½ cups)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg white and vanilla; stir in pecans. Toss until nuts are completely coated.
  3. In another small bowl or cup, combine sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add to nuts and toss thoroughly with a spatula.
  4. Spread pecans on lined baking sheet. Bake until coating is dry, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool on baking sheet; and then store in an airtight jar.
  6. * or 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground fresh nutmeg
http://cococooks.net/sugar-and-spice-pecans/

 

 

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Christmas Candies

Posted by on Dec 13, 2013 in Desserts | 1 comment

Christmas Candies

Brittle, a hard candy confection embedded with various nuts or seeds has been a universal sweet made all over the world for generations.

Setting aside “peanut allergies”, which are on the rise for theoretical reasons, Peanut Brittle was my mother’s favorite broken butter and sugar candy.  For years, I bought a See’s gift box for her until I learned how I could simply make the brittle in the microwave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have all the ingredients weighed and measured out, with tools nearby—it goes quickly and is molten hot.  You also must know your microwave like a sister.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a microwave-proof bowl (I use a 4 cup measuring cup), Combine peanuts, sugar, corn syrup, and salt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Microwave on High for 5 minutes; stopping to stir half way until mixture bubbles vigorously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remove from microwave; stir in butter and vanilla.  Return to microwave and cook on High another 2 minutes until candy turns a light gold color.  Do not overcook. Remember candy will continue to cook after being removed from microwave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remove from microwave; quickly stir in baking soda; mixture will foam up (crazy fun to watch).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immediately pour onto prepared baking sheet and spread thinly.  Lightly dust surface with pink finishing salt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let stand until hardened

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Break brittle into pieces.  Store in airtight container at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet and salty Peanut Brittle and Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark are lovely on a buffet or as a gift. This was dessert at Heritage House on Tuesday.

Blonde Peanut Brittle with Pink Salt

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt, plus more for finishing
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 -1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  1. Cover a baking sheet with foil or a silicone mat.
  2. In a microwave-proof bowl (I use a 4 cup measuring cup), combine peanuts, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Microwave on High for 5 minutes. Stop to stir half way until mixture bubbles vigorously.
  3. Remove from microwave; stir in butter and vanilla. Return to microwave and cook on High another 2 minutes until candy turns a light gold color. Do not over cook. Remember candy will continue to cook after being removed from microwave.
  4. Remove from microwave; quickly stir in baking soda; mixture will foam up. Immediately pour onto prepared baking sheet and spread thinly. Lightly dust surface with pink finishing salt. Let stand until hardened and cool. Break brittle into pieces. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
  5. Makes 1 pound
  6. © Copyright 2013 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  7. All Rights Reserved
  8. http://cococooks.net/
http://cococooks.net/christmas-candies/

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The Hills Were Alive

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in New | 2 comments

For various reasons I could not convince Cole to watch The Sound of Music Live with Carrie Underwood last week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the 6th grade, Cole played the part of Rolfe Gruber, the messenger boy in love with Liesl in the Mariner’s Elementary School play.  He sang too-- Sixteen Going on Seventeen.

Are you smiling with me?

xxcoco

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Starstruck

Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in New | 5 comments

December 8th in 1980 was a Monday night.  My husband was not yet Poppy or MP.

Our oldest son Ty was eight and Cole was almost three years old.  Our new baby boy, Gray had completed our family 10 weeks earlier.

Monday Night Football announced by Howard Cosell, was a good reason for me to take the baby out Christmas gift shopping—I bought only one thing that night from Nordstrom—a pair of deerskin slippers.

 

 

Home, I needed to get home and tell my husband his much-loved super rock star; John Lennon was dead; murdered at the entrance of the building where he had lived in New York City.

 

 

 

 

 

It is a ‘where were you’ memory.

 

 

 

The autograph and photographs now were more precious.  Pictures of John Lennon, his wife Cynthia, and Ringo Star taken during the Summer of Love in Athens, Greece were part of history.   Bob was eighteen.

 

 

 

 

A random encounter with John and Ringo occurred that afternoon while Bob and his friends were waiting for Stavros Melissinos, the famous poet/sandal maker to reopen his shop after the lunchtime rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband remembers seeing an entourage of beaded and bespectacled “Hippies” coming toward them.  Having only seen The Beatles in their Mod culture clothing, taken aback and unsure of how to react he reacted indeed.

 

 

 

 

He took it upon himself to step up; pound on the door and announce to the popular proprietor, “The Beatles are here!”

 

 

 

 

Nearly 30 years later during a deep dive into the study of Romans Bob wrote to Mark David Chapman, Lennon’s killer at Attica State Prison.

With a divine mixture of disdain and a compelling urgency to forgive, the words he wrote led to a reply.

Despite theology,  a distaste for counterculture activism, or the strangeness that  may come upon those we idolize; the music and lyrics of John and Paul cast a silhouette of our youth and foreshadow the mystery we call life.

Let it Be

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