Monthly Archives: December 2013

New Year’s Eve

I really have been preparing my whole life for entertaining. I love cooking, making appetizers and dips. Even though we don’t invite people we still party like we have half a dozen guests. Here are the highlights from our New Year’s eve food. Jalapenos poppers, they were a bit hotter than I like, but they were still gone in 20 min.


I made stuffed mushroooms for Madigan.


I like a good spinach and artichoke dip.

I had my first sausage ball at christmas, and wanted to see if I could make them gluten free…they were close, but turned into sausage cakes. Oh gluten you make things so much better.

This is almost the Superbowl menu, minus the wings and shrimp. New Year’s day I am making a ham, an uncured local ham. I am going with a recipe that is very different than what we normally do with a Smithfield ham. Since this one hasn’t been brined, smoked or cured. Also will make black eyed peas, which we have done since Boomer and I got together, greens and rice. All good luck food. We could use a good 2014!

It was a nice day

So we got outside to move the coop, clean out the poop, put new bedding in. We also decide to move the ground rod and the poultry netting. I want to have the hens on the garden spaces to get all the left over seeds and bugs. Turn the soil a but and give them something fun to do.



Sorry about the chicken butt picture, but they move fast when trying to get to the goods under the leaves.

It was nice being out with the chickens, they are fun to watch. We have one very curious hen, we call her Floppy comb, because, well, she has a floppy comb.


We are in the very beginning stages on garden planning. It’s a great time to pick something new to try and make sure we have seeds for what did well last year.

Homemade gifts

So this year we asked Boomer’s brother Zach, and his wife Ashley, if they would be interested in making gifts for each other this Christmas. The text I sent was no money and no gift cards. I know they are both clever and crafty. I mentioned this homemade Christmas idea in October, giving everyone a good amount of time to do what they needed to do. And I think it turned out so great.

When we met up for breakfast at Margaret’s, Zach even mentioned being excited about about the gift exchange. Later we talked about how we all needed to keep in mind it’s the thought that counts. How we really tried to do something that fit each person. It really added some excitement to opening presents. Not just what you were getting, but also what you we were giving.

And serious, they nailed it…even for Madigan. (Which I thought would be the hardest.) But they know our girl loves Star Trek so they made her a great blanket. Cool, cozy and super warm.


For me, beautiful homemade cards, nicer than those 3-D wrapped in plastic ones.




Boomer’s gifts were awesome too: Reinbeer!



And a set of coasters, that combine two of MY favorite things, cocktails and Scrabble!



I know not everyone wants to or can do fun creative homemade gifts. It really made Christmas have a fun feel, gave it an excitement and I am hoping it was fun enough for all the participants that they want to do it again next year.

*I did not take pictures of what we made. Ashley collects tea pots, so I made her a candle in a tea cup. Also Lemon infused and Vanilla infused vodka. And an egg carton garden, with egg shells to start the seeds, and plant markers.


When it comes to healthy living, buying local and growing your own food, December is not the month for any of that. Every picture I take seems to be about cookies and fudge, a lot of my purchases are from Amazon and other than eggs, nothing is growing other than my waist line.

So here’s our Christmas tree–it is very much who and how we are, a hodge podge of insanity, but it works for us.

We have gotten a “special” ornament every year to remember what she was interested in, we have a Buttercup from Powerpuff Girls, Lightening McQueen, Dora and My Little Pony. This year, it’s Voyager.

Here are the cookies I mention. I ate a dozen over the course of baking them.

And even Madigan’s Surskit has got in the holiday spirit.

After the new year I hope to be back, posting ideas for the garden, maybe a little weight loss and chicken pictures.

Happy December!