Wednesday, December 15, 2010

the longest week ever

But in a good way.
I'm feeling really good about this week! We have gotten so much done and yet have not felt the least bit overwhelmed or worn out or even busy. It's kind of strange.
But I'm not complaining!
I'm just having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it's only Wednesday... I think I feel like we've gotten so much accomplished (and have spent so much together time) this week that my head keeps saying it must be about Friday by now!
But no... only Wednesday.

Monday the kids were home from school with the snow and I got all our presents wrapped and most of our packages ready to go.
Washed Savannah's hair and put it up in twists to make great curls/waves for the next day... she loves that!

We also made Christmas cookies...

(in our pajamas!).

We used this recipe again (nice and quick and easy and SO yummy! I LOVE the smidge of orange flavor in them!!) and painted them with the glaze paint. I love these cookies and how simple they are. I think we'll make another batch later next week when my parents are here. I'm happy 'cuz last time we made these, letting the kids go to town on the cookies turned out some rather, um, interesting designs. This year they actually painted and decorated things appropriately (ie, green trees with sprinkles, brown gingerbread boys with buttons, yellow stars, etc.) rather than mixing every color on every cookie with every kind of sprinkle! They actually look as good as they taste this time around!!

Tuesday Sawyer had preschool (a late start) but Savannah still didn't (yes, they're in different districts... and yes, it's annoying!), so after we dropped him off we did a little girl's day doing her Christmas shopping and lunch. I also spent the rest of the day putting laundry away, unpacking boxes that were still in our bedroom and then rearranged the furniture. It looks like a completely different room!
We finished up teacher gifts last night as well. Sawyer made glitter initial ornaments for his teachers and we did our good ol' standby of an apple for the teacher; homemade "gourmet" caramel apples* for Savannah's Mrs. K.

Ryan and I finished off the rest of the caramel last night with our own apple slices while watching tv... YUM.

Today school was back in session, but only for a half day since we're expecting freezing rain early this afternoon. So for the few hours Savannah was gone, Sawyer and I got out to finish up a tad more shopping. We were only out for two hours and we were SO successful I almost couldn't believe my luck. Sawyer found his gifts for his sister and his dad AND I found a new tie for Ryan, a wrap, the perfect new shoes and the perfect jewelry all for a Vanderbilt Christmas dinner party we have this weekend! I've had the dress for a couple of months (found a fabulous cocktail dress for a steal at Ross --$17--) and have been fruitless in finding just the right shoes and accessories... until now! I kept thinking it was a good thing I got the dress for so cheap because it looked like I was going to have to spend a lot on the rest of the outfit, not finding what I wanted anywhere. The best part was not only that we found exactly what I was looking for so quickly today, but that the necklace was on sale for $10 and the shoes for $20!!! Score!

Anyway, we got home before lunch and met Savannah off the bus and now the kids are busy with more crafting of their own accord... making millions of Christmas ornaments out of popsicle sticks apparently.
I think Ryan's planning on being home before too long to be off the roads before the ice storm gets here.
We finally got our kitchen tile in so maybe we'll think about starting that job this afternoon. Or maybe paint the dining room. Nothing like a house in shambles the week before Christmas right?? All I know is I feel like I'm on a roll this week so why not keep it going?

Coming up:
handmade present parade, pics of the tree, santa-hatted kids, and more holiday goodies!

*ETA caramel apple how-to:
(I just typed eat instead of eta... can you tell I'm hungry??)
(and sorry this might be so wordy, but I've done this the right way, and I've done this the wrong way, so I thought I'd try to help someone else avoid the wrongs with details. I've learned this can be a touchy process!)
I pick the biggest prettiest apples I can find for these "gourmet" caramel apples. And you need a couple of big popsicle sticks, a bag of caramels (as soft as you can find; they'll melt easier)(I buy Kraft 14oz), melting chocolate (both semi-sweet and white if you want for drizzling) and sprinkles, crushed candy bars, nuts, etc if desired.
First, make sure your apples are room temp. You don't want the caramel to set too quickly, you'll want time to cover well and smooth out.
-Melt the caramels on the stove (I've tried microwave-- does not work!) with 2 tbsp of water, stirring often while they start to melt and almost constantly the more melty they get. (directions for caramel apples should be on the bag)
-Once the caramels are melted and smooth, remove from heat and pour into a bowl that's as close to the same size as your apple as you can find.
Let the caramel cool and thicken slightly so as not to run off of the apple.
-Remove the stem of your apple and insert a large popsicle stick well into the apple from the top.
-Once the caramel has thickened a tad, dip your apple, rolling it and tilting the bowl to cover as best you can. I don't like to cover much past the "hump" of the top of the apple so you can still see the red/green beauty under there!
When you're satisfied with your coverage, place apple(s) on a greased plate or tray. Caramel will stick to wax paper, so if you want to use wax paper you still need to grease/spray it.
-Refrigerate caramel covered apple for about 30 minutes.
-Melt 8 oz chocolate in microwave... use baking/coating chocolate, not chocolate chips. I've tried both and chocolate chips just do not set as well. Go for the good stuff. Again, melting instructions should be on package.
-Again, once the chocolate is melted and smooth, let it sit for a few minutes to thicken just a bit. You don't want it to run right off your apple. The apple will be cold from the fridge, so once you dip you need to work a little quicker than the caramel. I dip to just under the top of the caramel line... I think it makes for prettier presentation to see that there's caramel under the chocolate.
-Again, place in fridge, just for 5-10 minutes this time. You can use regular wax paper now.
-While chocolate coat is setting, melt 1-2 oz (per apple) of white chocolate in small bowl.
When chocolate is just set, drizzle with white chocolate. You can be as messy or pretty as you want.
-Sprinkle with nuts, crushed candy, sprinkles, whatever you desire!

I always do these the night before I want to gift them and keep them in the fridge overnight.
Then wrap in cellophane, bunching together and tying around the stick with either curling ribbon or a nice fabric ribbon and they look oh so fancy!


Tracy said...

do you have a recipe for the apples? i know you had posted about them previously but not sure if you poste a recipe. they look like they would be the perfect gift for a teacher!

Mom said...

Love all the pictures and the fun post! Can't wait!! XOXOXOXOXO

Tracy said...

thanks SO MUCH for posting such detailed instructions...going to try these tonight. fingers crossed they turn out well :)

About Me

everyday life © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.