Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ugly Sweater or Maybe Not

Yesterday my daughter called me.  They are having an ugly Christmas sweater day at her job on Friday.  She asked if I would check around at a thrift store and buy her one.  We had to go to Fond du lac, Wisconsin today, so I was happy to stop.  The first store I went into was Goodwill.  There was another mother and daughter looking for an ugly sweater.  I think many people had gotten there first.  Hardly any sweaters remained on the racks.  What I did see looked exactly like the ones I have in my own closet.  It made me feel really old and lacking any taste in clothing.  Next I tried the Salvation Army store.  I had the same experience.  Last I went to the St. Vincent de Paul store.  Nothing.  Every organization and business in the area must be having ugly sweater day.  I texted my daughter and told her I had more of a selection in my own closet.  Then I looked at what I was wearing today.


When I got home, I packed up a few sweaters to show my daughter.  I hope they aren't ugly enough because that would make me feel a lot better.   I gave them to her tonight.  Our grandson had his 4K Christmas program.  It was very cute.   The kids had so much fun.  Even Santa put in an appearance.

Ewan was a reindeer.

As I looked around the audience, I realized it would be very hard to determine who was participating in an ugly sweater contest and who was wearing their favorite sweater.  It could be very awkward indeed if you complimented someone on their ugly sweater, and it turned out to be one of their favorites.  It is best to keep your mouth shut this time of year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Carrot Cake Gluten Free and Regular

December 14th was my husband's 70th birthday.  My daughter had the family party.  She made lunch, and I made the cake.  I could have sworn I posted my Carrot Cake recipe before, but I couldn't find it so I wouldn't expect anyone who reads my blog to find it either.  I made two cakes.  The first was the one I have made for years.  It was my mother's recipe and is written on a piece of ripped paper in smeared red ink.  If I have posted this recipe before, I apologize.  I don't have a photo of the cake because I didn't take one, but everyone knows what a cake looks like.

Carrot Cake

1 scant cup of oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups flour
2 t. cinnamon
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
7 ounces unsweetened coconut (scant cup)
1 8 3/4 oz. can crushed pineapple with the juice
2 t. vanilla
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped nuts

Mix the oil and sugar.
Add the 3 eggs and beat well
Then add sifted dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix.
Next with a spoon fold in remaining ingredients .

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with baking spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

The second cake I made was also a Carrot Cake but it was Gluten Free.  I did take a photo of that one, for some reason.  I just followed the directions on a Gluten Free yellow cake mix and then added some of the ingredients I used in the regular cake.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free yellow cake mix
⅔ cup water ( I drained some crushed pineapple and used the pineapple juice instead of water)
½ cup softened butter
1 t. cinnamon
¼ t. nutmeg
2 t. gluten free vanilla (used my own made from vodka, which turned out great)
3 eggs
1 cup shredded carrots
⅓ cup crushed pineapple
⅓ cup unsweetened coconut
¼ cup finely chopped pecans

Mix together and bake at 350 in a 8 inch square pan sprayed with coconut cooking spray
Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely before you frost .

I put bigger pecans on top, but I should have finely ground them also.

I used the same basic Cream Cheese frosting used in many recipes.  Numbers in parenthesis are for the 9 x 13 cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 oz. (5 oz.) cream cheese ( I used the Neufchatel cream cheese because it is lower in calories and it was on sale)
6 (10) T. butter
2 (3) cups powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 (1 1/2) T. milk or as much needed to make a creamy frosting

Happy Birthday King Michael,  I hope it was a good one.

Our Grandson's Church Christmas Program

Last Sunday two of our grandson's were in their church Christmas program.  We started out the day attending church.  It was a darling program.  It was upbeat and fun.  They did a great job.

My son in law was one of these puppets, I think he was the green one.

The kids played the bells.

Sam reciting his poem.

Jack, of course, had his memorized.

After church we went to our daughter's house for a birthday party.  It was my husband's 70th birthday.  She made lunch, and I brought the cake.  I made Carrot Cake.  It isn't my husband's favorite, but it's one of mine.  He really likes plain yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  I know it was his birthday, so I will make him that boring cake sometime in the future.  I will post the carrot cake recipe tomorrow for Tuesday recipe day.