Posted in Inspirations, tagged Christmas, family on December 29, 2009 |
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Hope everyone is enjoying time off with family and friends. My daughter, Jessica, and I spent time together making cake balls to give as gifts this season over the holiday weekend. They were a lot of work, but we had fun making them. We started creating them on Christmas Eve and finished on Christmas night. Of course, we did other things in between… like going to Christmas Eve services and opening gifts on Christmas morning. It was a very special holiday for all of us just spending time together.
Jessica’s Cake Balls (and Pretzel Rods, Too)
1. Use a boxed chocolate cake mix. Bake according to directions. Cool for 30 min., then crumble cake. Mix in 1 can icing. (We like cream cheese frosting, but you can use any flavor that goes with your cake.) Mix well with electric mixer to blend well.
2. Chill in fridge overnight in bowl.
3. Roll chilled cake/icing batter into small balls and place each ball in a mini muffin tin. Freeze balls for about an hour.
4. Melt chocolate coating. We used almond bark. Dip each ball in melted chocolate to coat. We used a toothpick and a fork.
5. Place each coated cake ball on waxed paper. Immediately sprinkle with toppings to decorate. Our favorite toppings: crushed candy cane; crushed Heath Bars; chopped almonds or pecans; crushed peppermint almond bark from Ghiradelli; Christmas sprinkles.
6. DO NOT refrigerate. It will make the chocolate coating sweat.
7. If you have extra almond bark, lightly coat pretzel rods with the melted chocolate. (I held one end of the rod and used a spoon to coat the pretzel.) Then sprinkle favorite toppings on each (I like crushed Heath Bars). Let set on waxed paper, too. Makes a pretty party tray!
We did a little research on cake balls before making them. Seems like they originated in Texas. They are really pretty, but I forgot to take a picture of the finished product!
Happy New Year to everyone! You’ll see us at the gym… after eating those cake balls and pretzel rods!
Jessica making cake balls
Jessica with "cake ball hands"
Rocco dons his Christmas garb, unhappily
With Jessica and Jon on Christmas Eve
Relaxing at home with Tom
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My friends decorate my Christmas tree
Each year during the holidays I host a luncheon for my friends. We always have the same menu… by popular request… and we share books. It is always a highlight of my holidays, and I get book ideas of what I might read in the upcoming year! Everyone brings a new book, and then we do a book exchange using the method often reserved for white elephant parties. Each guest tells a little about her book, and then we each get a number and choose the book we’d like to take home (if we are lucky enough not to have it “stolen”). This year I got The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan, the creator of www.CircusofCancer.org.
Here are some of the books I’m thinking about reading that my guests brought:
- City of Thieves by Daniel Benioff
- Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
- Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall (two people brought this one!)
- The Blind Side by Michael Lewis (will read this before I see the movie)
- What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell (love all his other books)
- Mindset by Carol Dweck
- March by Geraldine Brooks (loved her People of the BookI)
- Somebody Else’s Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage
- Influencer by Kerry Patterson
And here’s my recipe for vegetable soup that I always serve at the party. It was given to my family by our 90-year-old next door neighbor when I was a kid. He told us that if we ate this healthy soup, we could bend nails! It’s probably my favorite soup recipe of all times. Let me know how you like it if you make a big pot during your holiday season. It’s quite festive!
Royer Homemade Vegetable Soup
- 3 cans each of corn, green beans, and peas (including liquid)
- 2 large bottles V-8 juice
- 1 lb. lean ground beef, crumbled (will cook in the soup)
- 1 small head cabbage, chopped into small pieces
- 1 bag baby carrots
Put all in a large soup pot and simmer for 2-3 hours. Add rivels to soup and cook for 15 more minutes.
Note: Rivels are a Pennsylvania Dutch kind of tiny dumpling that thickens and adds texture to the soup.
To make rivels, stir together (using a fork) 3/4 cup flour with 1 egg and a pinch of salt. Then add to the boiling soup and stir to break up the rivels so you have little dumplings. Cook for about 15 more minutes.
Yummy homemade vegetable soup
My son, Jon, and daughter, Jessica (in background with her dog) visit with guests at my party.
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