for my gnomie Heather

Here is a gnome guy I made for my sister Heather. He is inspired by vintage gnomes that I have seen online, and was quite fun to make. I used pantyhose from a thrift shop (but still in package ;) for his head and body. It reminded me of the babies my mom made us from pantyhose when we were younger. One that was hooked to a blanket so you could make it move around and look real, anyone else remember those?

Anyway, lots of fun to make..

I also made eggnog squares for our party to use up some of the eggnog we had left. I didn’t read the whole recipe through before making them (I never do! haha) and then when I came to the part about the water bath I just said “aw forget it” and popped them in the oven. I still baked them the same amount of time, and they are wonderful! Nothing bad happened to them without their bath. Oh and I didn’t add any alcohol either…

Thomas is off for the next three days, so I might not get a chance to update…we have some fun plans for New Years Eve and New Year’s Day so I’ll be back with photos hopefully by Sunday or so. I hope everyone has a safe and fun New Years! See you in 2010!

in the kitchen…

I thought I would go ahead and post this peppermint icebox yule log cake I just made, even though Christmas is over. I think it would make the most perfect New Years Eve cake too…plus its vegan! I googled and googled trying to find a vegan version of this cake with no luck…so here is what I did. This is for our big Christmas celebration with my sister and her family tomorrow, which I cannot wait for!! I have to go wrap more gifts :) :) so exciting :) Oh and extra thanks to Katie who reminded me to make one with her yummy looking yule log.

Vegan Peppermint Icebox Yule Log Cake
This cake is best to make a day ahead of time because it needs time to freeze before and after “frosting” Plus then you can spend more time on decorating your yule log and not feel stressed. You can even make this cake over two days by making the chocolate wafer cookies a day before the cake.

-1 batch of chocolate wafer cookies completed cooled
-2 8oz carton’s of RichWhip non-dairy topping (I find these frozen in the kosher section of my grocer’s freezer)
– 6-12 peppermint candy canes (depends on what you have around I had about 6 candy canes and a handful of those circle peppermint candies which can work just as well)
-1/2 cup confectioners sugar
-1/4 cup cocoa powder sifted

1. Make the chocolate wafer cookies and allow to cool fully. I believe Nabisco brand Famous chocolate wafers are vegan so if you can find those you could skip making the cookies.
2. In food processor blend peppermint candy canes until they are a fine powder.
3. Whip one carton of richwhip with hand or stand up mixer until it holds soft peaks. Then gently mix in 1/4 cup powdered sugar and peppermint candy powder. The whipped cream mixture will turn a lovely pinkish color.
4. Lay out a sheet of foil in the area you are working. This will be used to wrap the log in progress.
5. Make stacks of cookies and cream about 6 cookies high. Use about 1 tablespoon of cream mixture between cookies. Once you have used all the cookies lay 1 stack on it’s side on foil. Add a bit more cream to the end and lay next stack of cookies up against first stack. Repeat until you have one long stack of cookies and cream on their side. Wrap with foil and freeze for about 4 hours.
6. Whip second carton of cream until soft peaks form. Add remaining sugar and cocoa powder.
7. Remove from freezer and at an angle cut a 2 inch piece off one end of the stack and save. Cut a 1 inch piece at an angle from the other end, and set aside.
8. Use cocoa whipped cream as a frosting and spread over the entire log. Then hook the two pieces you cut off onto log as little side branches. Frost them with cocoa whipped cream as well.
9. Use a fork to create lines through the cocoa whipped cream to make it look like bark. Put the whole thing back in the freezer for 3 hours.
10. You can then decorate your log by adding mushrooms, candy leaves, etc. Allow to sit at room temp for 20 mins before serving.

My favorite part was the decorating! There are just so many ways you can go with a yule log!

thank you cards..

B was quite creative with his thank-you cards, if not a little morbid ;) He used Sarah’s thumbprint notecard set, which he got for Christmas. He didn’t even complain about making the cards until he got to the “note writing” inside. My oldest son 14 still isn’t thrilled to write thank-you cards, but I think its important, so it is required. I just remind them how happy the gifts made them, and how happy the cards will make the recipient.

long live snail mail goodness.