Friday, December 25, 2009

Meaningful things

We went to Arnprior last week, and found these napkins in a little store. After we stopped laughing, we decided we would buy these for some friends who have four children. She enjoyed them too!

The best gifts are those that help others. This gift represents stocking a medical clinic. Very nice.

And this gift represents helping start a small business. Terrific.

In our usual Christmas tradition, we go over to some friends for the Christmas dinner. We had been so busy lately that we hadn't had any time to vaccuum, so we cleaned the floors before we went over. The dogs were kept in the solarium while we were doing that so they wouldn't track wet footprints all over the house... Poor doggies - NOT!

When we go to potlucks, some people have favourite things that they always ask us to make. Helen and Steve like our Golden Crumb Broccoli Bake.

We actually make this recipe with cauliflower as well as broccoli - it adds a touch of sweetness as well as some colour. We also use real cheese instead of 'American' cheese. I used Colby cheese this time.

The cooked broccoli and cauliflower is covered with a mixture of condensed mushroom soup, mayonnaise, grated cheese and lemon juice. After that, some crushed crackers and the rest of the grated cheese are sprinkled on top of the sauce. This is what the dish looked like when it was ready to go in the oven.

And this is what the dish looks like after it comes out of the oven. It smells very nice too!

We also needed to take a pumpkin pie - as Steve loves pumpkin pie.

When I was buying the ingredients for the pie filling, I wanted to buy pure pumpkin, as a lot of the pumpkin pie filling is s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d with squash. The only pure pumpkin pie filling was a large can, so we would have enough filling for two pies. This is not such a bad thing... :)) So, Freda made two pie crusts and we baked them. While they were baking, I mixed up the filling. This photo shows the pies after the filling was poured into them. It smelled very tempting!

One of the best side-benefits about baking is that it fills the house with delightful aromas. Pumpkin pie is certainly no slouch in that department. This is what the pie looked like after taking it out of the oven - hmmm, looks good enough to eat (haha!).

Of course, you need to have whipped cream to accompany pumpkin pie. The recipe called for 'spiced' whipped cream, which basically just means adding a bit of cinammon and ginger when you're whipping the cream.

And this is what the pie looked like later on -- yummy! The pumpkin pie recipe called for cinammon, ginger and allspice - no nutmeg, surprisingly. Although the pie was delicious, I think I would add nutmeg the next time.

I'll close off this very long post by wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New Year!!!

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