Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Post Christmas Post...

Well, Christmas is over and we are ready to welcome in the New Year. With this warm weather and an extreme lack of snow, I am still having a hard time believing it is almost January!

We have had a wonderful 5 days with my parents. How fun to have them with us for Christmas. We had our traditional Christmas breakfast Monday morning of egg dish; fruit cup and Swedish Tea Ring. But then we broke from tradition for our main meal and I tried something new. Prime rib and twice baked potatoes!!

I was so nervous cooking the prime rib (never done it before) but it came out even better than I had hoped!! My hubby was in heaven and could have eaten the whole thing himself!!! He showed some self restraint and we even had enough leftovers for sandwiches the next day!

Sumo stayed very close to the kitchen just waiting for even the tiniest of morsels to fall to the ground! (I did sneak him a few pieces of meat...but Steve is not to know!!!) I mean really now, how can one resist that adorable face???

I did sneak in some knitting and have two things ready to felt when we head to Galena tomorrow. The first is a bowl that I am going to use as a candy dish this year at work. It is a pattern from the One Skein book and is made with Lamb's Pride bulky. I can't wait to felt it and fill it with Dove chocolates. Yum.

The second is another bag using 'Kirstin's Bag' pattern. I love the purples in it and am excited to see it felted.

I put a button on this bag and added a snap and a fabric covered bottom piece and gave this bag to my mom. The button I added is an antique button from the button jar she 'lent' me last summer.

On the cooking front, we made a double batch of Cream Wafers today...a favorite cookie of ours. It was also a special request from Ryan who wanted to send some home with Mallory tomorrow for her family. With lots of help, they are not too bad to make, so we whipped up a double batch.

Cream Wafers

1 cup butter
1/3 cup whipping cream (35% butterfat)
2 cups flour
granulated sugar

1. Mix butter, cream and flour. Chill one hour.
2. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
3. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured board.
4. Cut into 1 1/2 inch rounds. (I use a tupperware 'midgit' container)
5. Coat sides with granulated sugar.
6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Prick each cookie with fork in 4 places
8. Bake 7-9 minutes or until slightly puffy
9. Put two cooled cookies together with creamy filling.

Creamy Filling
1/4 cup soft butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yoke (Optional)
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
2. Tint red or green (or any color!) if desired.

I leave you with these adorable smore snowman ornaments that we received from a friend which I guess represent Steve and I (I'm the one with the knitting needles!!!) They go very nicely in my snowman bathroom.

Until next time...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas To All And To All An Orange Roll...

Thought I would share a delicious recipe that my mom brought for Christmas to go with our Swedish Tea Rings. They are Orange Rolls and they are amazing!! They have been Grand Champion ribbon winners at the Big Stone County fair several years running. You KNOW they have to be good!!!

1 1/4 cup Water
3 Cups Bread Flour
1 TBSP Orange Peel
2 TBSP Dry Milk
3 TBSP Sugar
1 tsp Salt
3 TBSP Softened Butter
3 tsp active dry Yeast

Put ingredients in order given into bread machine. Remove dough after the dough and first rise cycles are complete and place onto lightly floured surface. Divide into 12 portions and form into balls. For coating:
1/2 cup softened butter
3 TBSP Orange Rind
1 Cup Sugar

Coat each dough ball with softened butter. Mix sugar and orange rind and roll the buttered rolls in the mixture. Place in greased 9x13 pan and let rise until dough doubles...about one hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes; until just golden brown. Yum Yum!!

On the knitting front; I finished the One Row Scarf from the Yarn Harlots blog. It was a quick pattern to memorize and I love the look of it. I made it for a friend to give her daughter. (It actually matches a purse that I had made for her earlier in the year!!)

Had several groups of friends in last night, which is always fun. The first group came to help throw a small surprise birthday party for Aliya. It is her birthday today!!

The second group that came (much later in the evening as they are all college students and their nights seem to START at my bedtime.....) is a pyramid of Ryan's friends. This is the first time that they've all been together for a couple of years. Lots of laughter. They are a great group of kids.

All of this company wears out poor Sumo who couldn't even lift his head to take his daily medication. He had to eat it on his side! Once he lays down on his landing, he is down for the count!!

And now we are waiting the arrival of my parents who are coming to celebrate the Christmas Holidays with us. It will be wonderful to have them around. There will be lots of games; laughter and eating to be sure. I'll post again after Christmas. Until then, wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and praying that the Joy of Christ will fill your Hearts this Holiday Season!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tag...I'm it!

I have been 'tagged' by my blog friends, Deb and Shelley:

"The Rules: Each player of this game starts with the "6 weird things about you." People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you have been tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog."

Six weird things about me:

1. I cannot stand when my gas tank gets below 1/4 of a tank. I kind of panic until I can get to a gas station. I also keep an eye on gas tank levels of cars I am riding in and calmly point out when it dips below 1/4 of a tank. (Of course I am married to someone who loves the 'thrill' of seeing how far below 'E' he can go!!!)

2. I microwave my M&M's. They are so yummy when they are melty. If I am traveling I have alternative ways to heat them.... On the dash on a sunny day; in my pocket; on a heat vent; etc...

3. I can remember my phone number from when I was little, as well as the phone numbers of all my friends. I can even remember the license plate number from our good old station wagon! (LE 5278) I just can't remember where I put my keys last...

4. I still like to hold my breath when I go through a tunnel. But I am happy to say that I no longer flap my arms when I go over a bridge!!!

5. I hate the whole i before e thing except after C. Doesn't that make 'weird' weird????(Oh, and I did look up 'weird' in the dictionary as I was writing this...just to make sure!)

6. I look up the recipe for mashed potatoes and hard boiled eggs in my Betty Crocker cookbook EVERYTIME I make them.

But as Popeye use to say: "I yam what I yam"!

Now for who to tag. I am going to tag Sheri at the Loopy Ewe; Bonnie; Allison; TeAntae; Heidi; and JKnits.

Those who leave comments are free to share funny weird things about yourselves as well. Those closest to me MAY share additional weird things about me...but do beware!!!! ;-)

Until next time.....

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ballband; Bingo; and More.....

Well, I am scurrying around trying to get the last minute knitting done before Christmas. I have a few 'special orders' from friends that I would like to have done by Friday. In between stitches, I am trying to get the shopping done; baking done; and spend some fun time enjoying having the kids home and their friends as well. Here's a bit of a glimpse:

First off, Sumo continues to be a huge help in the knitting department. He faithfully sits at my feet and keeps me company at any time of the day... whether it is 3:00 am and I can't sleep or 2:00 in the afternoon, right in the middle of HIS prime nap time. (Well, in reality, all day is his prime nap time!!) When I need to get up for a minute, he watches over both my knitting and my coffee. Haven't quite trusted him with my chocolate yet....

Here he is with my latest 'Kirstin Bag' I'm working on... (and my Iced Latte....)

Now, I know that some of you may be feeling sorry for Nikko, that she doesn't quite get the same blog time that Sumo does, but to be honest.. she finds my knitting boring, and lets me know!! I tried to get her to watch over this 'One Row Scarf' I am working on and she let me know what she thought of it! And then she got up and dragged the ball of yarn across the room, almost taking out a few row of stitching at the same time. That's ok. She has a right to her opinion! But a bad attitude is not blog-friendly!

I can finally show you the bag that I knit for Ryan to give to his girlfriend, Mallory. (He is giving it to her I think I am safe!) It was such a fun bag to knit. I know I will make more in the future. Brown and pink is her favorite color I went with that. I double stranded Lamb's Pride wool, which produced a VERY STURDY bag... A few more rows of pink, and it would have been perfect for a laptop!! I think it will make a great book bag.

Now, on to Bingo! A group of the kids' friends came over for an impromtu game of Bingo.. including some AMAZING prizes!! Steve was the Bingo caller and did a great job! It could be a good retirement job for him when the time comes :-)!!

Here are a few of the Bingo gang:

And some of the AMAZING prizes:

Mallory got a 'Shana Original'... a Very Hungry Catepillar hand sculpted masterpiece. It was 'stolen' back later when Shana's mom got a 'Bingo'.

Aliya got this adorable pink and purple duck.

I hit the 'jackpot' with all of these fun prizes.....

I will leave you today with a quick picture of the pies that we had at the Lockwood Christmas; courtesy of my oldest brother Greg, who is one of the best pie makers I know. And, although we are usallly all so very full by pie time, these always taste amazing!!!

They are pumpkin; pecan/cheesecake; and apple. And yes, I had a sample of all 3 :-)

Until next time.....

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lockwood Christmas....

We are back from our weekend and had a WONDERFUL time! I ate WAY too much.. but that is always the way it goes! I have to tell you, my family has some interesting traditions that we get very excited about at our get-together! Thought I would share a few with you:

The first is the JOB JAR. What is a job jar?? Well.... it all started years ago when yours truly was hating the whole 'girls do all the dishes..guys go watch football' thing. I mean, growing up the only girl with 4 brothers kept me striving for life to be 'fair'. (Or, at least unfair in my favor!) To this end, I suggested a 'job jar' where we would put all the jobs of the day into a jar and everyone would draw one. This way, the work was evenly distributed and you knew what you had to help with and then you were off the hook for the rest of the day. We throw in a few 'loafs' just to make it fun. (The first several years, in fact, I got a loaf and felt somewhat vindicated!) Here is the master list that we post where you fill in your name across from the job you drew...

Of course, the DREADED jobs are the washing and drying of the dinner dishes. The anticipation in the room can be felt as we all hold our breath when we draw our job..... will WE have to do the dinner dishes???? This year, my dear hubby got 'Wash Dinner Dishes' and my niece got 'Dry Dinner Dishes'. Poor things. We have tried to soften the blow by giving them the honor of signing the honorary aprons for those who pass this test. Here they are after they have successfully washed and dried all of the dinner dishes and signed their names on the aprons. (As you can see, last year I had to dry dinner dishes......)

It may all seem silly, but it is a fun way to spread the work of the day and have a little fun with it at the same time!!

This year the host and hostess were my younger brother Gary and his wife Colleen.... Thanks for having us all 26 of us in! A true act of love :-)

After the job jar, we all gather to open stocking stuffers. (Instead of exchanging gifts..we buy stocking stuffers for everyone.) This is followed by the first meal of the day; our traditional Christmas breakfast of Egg Dish; Frozen Fruit cup; Swedish Tea Ring and Ham.

We then fast for about an hour and put out the snacks.

After about 5 hours of snacking, we have our main meal of meatballs, lefse, potatoes, torsk, corn, etc.. etc..We sit down for the feast! (This is just 1 of three tables!)

We know where to sit by the cute little reindeer nametags...

My niece opened her gift which contained the Kitty Pi bed. We did get a few pictures of Cougar in it... mostly in attack mode! (I think he was trying to kill the fringe!!) I'm hoping he will someday realize that it is already dead and enjoy curling up in it for a nap!

Gave my mom her birthday clutch that I had made quite some time ago for her to take to her Red Hat Society meetings....

It is the pattern "The Clutch You'll Never Give Up' from the book One Skein. I used WOTA and Paton's Red.

Well, may share more in a further post. A Fun Fun Day. But always good to come home as well.

Oh, and Sumo was very happy to see us! (He had stayed home guarding the house!!) Brave dog!

Until Next Time....

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Pretzel, A Kiss, A M&M and More....

Well, another day spent in the kitchen and out running errands as we get ready to leave in the morning for Minneapolis to celebrate Christmas with my family. We start at 8:00 am with breakfast and go until well after supper. It is always a great day!! I made a few extra snacks to have around while we are there. One thing I made is a pan of the caramel Rice Krispie treats and I am SO PROUD to say that I did not even sample them!!! This may not seem like a big thing to you, but trust me, it is!!

I made a batch of these: If you have never made them, they are so easy and taste great. A perfect treat to do make with young kids! You need:
1 bag of Holiday Ring Pretzels (I use Old Dutch)
1 bag of Hershey Kisses
1 bag of M&M's

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place pretzels on parchment paper on cookie sheet. Place Hershey kiss inside each pretzel. Place in oven for 3-4 minutes... until chocolate is soft. Remove and press one M&M into chocolate. Place in fridge until hardened. You can vary this with all the fun Kisses and Hugs that are available now!!

We got the popcorn and cranberries strung as we watched "It's A Wonderful Life". What a great movie. I always get a little teary eyed at the end when all of George's friends show up to help. Reminds me of all the wonderful friends and family that I have been blessed with as well!! (Not that they've ever given me $8000.00.......)

Now the tree is complete!! Doesn't the popcorn and cranberries add?? We have strung popcorn and cranberries every year since we got married. It has been fun over the years to see the kids' strings get longer and longer. (When they were little, I would tie all of theirs together for the top layer!!!) This year Kirstin was the fastest and longest.... It is the bottom string.
No small feat!!! (She is quite proud!!)

Sumo was on hand to help with any stray popcorn kernels that might need to be eaten.
(If only he had opposable thumbs, he could actually help us string it as well!!!)

I think I may have accidently started a new tradition on popcorn/cranberry night. Under intense pressure, I caved and made a batch of homemade caramel rolls. (Didn't even start them until 7:00 tonight!!) These are made with the Swedish Tea Ring recipe, except for, instead of making the ring, you roll up the dough and slice them into 12 rolls. For the caramel you need 1/3 cup butter; 1/2 cup brown sugar and 3 TBSP white Karo syrup . Melt butter in microwave. Stir in the brown sugar and Karo syrup. Heat in microwave another minute or so until nice and creamy. Place in greased 9x13 pan and put rolls on top. (I like to use a glass pan so I can keep a close eye on how done they are) Let rise and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (Watch closely... you want them to be quite brown so they aren't doughy!!) Flip onto jelly roll pan or cutting board. Best warm.....

Well, off to finish packing. Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Tree Decorating and More.....

I received this picture from my parents and thought you would like to see the Swedish Tea Ring that my dad made for our family Christmas this weekend. He's always been the master Tea Ring maker!! And, although it has been a few years, he hasn't lost his touch!!

He varies the recipe some and adds Maple flavoring to the frosting and tops it up with the Maraschino cherries. Mmmmm, looks great, Dad!!!

(Recipe is in my last post)

I finished my second purse from the pattern I am writing "Kirstin's Bag". I changed the top a bit, but think I will go back to the original one. Again I used the Paton's SWS... I just love the colorways of this yarn when it felts!!

The Christmas tree is up and decorated...for the most part! Each year one of our family traditions is to watch ''It's A Wonderful Life" and string popcorn and cranberries for the tree. We will be doing that Thursday night when Aaron gets home from college so he won't miss it. But we got everything else on.

Steve always puts on the little white lights first. I then add the red ribbons and red apples all over. And then it's time to add the ornaments...which consisit mainly of wheat ornaments handmade by my mom.

Here are closeups of a few of my favorites....

This last one is not actually made from wheat, but I have several of them and they look so beautiful on the tree. I wonder if my mom can make one big enough for the top of the tree...wouldn't that be pretty?? (hint hint)

Kirstin and Aliya helped with the tree from beginning to end. Here they are at the Christmas Tree farm helping to choose the 'perfect tree'....

....and in front of the tree after the decorations are all in place

As for Sumo, all of this Christmas decorating and baking and shopping etc.. just wears him out. Poor thing!!

Until Next Time....

Monday, December 11, 2006

Swedish Tea Ring...

I have spent 7 hours in the kitchen already today preparing food for our family Christmas in Minnesota this coming Saturday. One of the things that I always bring are the Swedish Tea Rings for breakfast. They are easy to make and quick to impress wherever you take them!!


Dissolve 2 pkgs. yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (add 1 Tbsp. sugar to feed the yeast) Let sit 5-10 minutes.

In the meantime:

Put in Cusinart/Kitchen Aid bowl: (referred to as mixer in recipe)
4 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Mix in another bowl:
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted shortening (not oil)
1 egg

1. Add yeast mixture to milk mixture and stir.
2. With mixer on, slowly pour the liquid into the flour mixture.
3. Let the mixer knead the dough for 5 minutes or so. (Check the dough periodically and if too sticky add a Tbsp of flour at a time until you have a nice dough.)
4. Knead on counter a few minutes.
5. Place in a lightly greased bowl and let rise until double.

6. Roll dough out into a rectangle.

7. Spread with melted butter (1/4 cup) and sprinkle
with a cinnamon sugar mixture.
(Little over 1/2 cup)

8. Roll up. Form a horseshoe and cut the dough every inch or so, but not quite all the way through. (I first cut off the ends and put in a separate pan for rolls)

9. Bring the dough together in a circle (on greased cookie sheet, or pie dripping pan) flipping each section on its side until it comes together.

10. Let rise again

11. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. (time varies a bit by don't want it doughy)
12. Frost with powder sugar frosting.


1 1/2 cups powder sugar 6 tsp. milk 1/4 tsp vanilla

Mix all together. Add additional milk tsp. at a time.

Here are my finished ones of the day:

After they cool completely, I will wrap them well and put them in the freezer to bring to Minnesota. My dad is also making one with Maple frosting to bring as well! (Thanks Dad!)

The rolls will not get frozen. They will be eaten.

ALWAYS make that little pan of rolls...keeps the family happy :-)

Until next time.....