Friday, December 18, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow...

In our area, tomorrow, Mother Nature is planning on dumping a whole lot of snow. Possibly up to twelve inches! For my friends and family up North and out Mid-West that doesn't seem like a lot...but for us Eastern shore folks it's quite a bit. I HATE to drive in the snow. BUT I LOVE being stuck inside safely with my hubby and little boy.
I've decided to do some cooking this weekend since my house is nice and clean, and we'll be stuck inside anyway. I wanted to make a soup... so I think I'll make my Lobster & Crab Seafood Bisque. This with shrimp appetizer, some bread and cheese, and possibly even a little glass of wine will be the perfect dinner for a snowy night!
Bobbi’s Lovely Lumpy Lobster & Crab Bisque Soup
Serves about 8.
3 cans of Bookbinder’s Lobster Bisque Soup
3 tablespoons of butter
3 - ½ cans of milk
¼ cup of light cream
3 lump crab cakes any flavor, chopped up into small bits
1 dash or two of crushed red pepper flakes
1 dash or two of parsley flakes
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Directions: Add three cans of soup, butter, milk, cream, red pepper flakes, parsley flakes, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper together in large saucepan. Heat but do not boil. Once warm, add the crab cake bits. Allow to simmer for at least one hour.

For variation: Cook 2 cups of Rice (directions on package – do not use instant), after it has finished cooking stir in a tablespoon of butter to keep from sticking. Spread cooked rice on plate, server warm bisque overtop.
Also - I sometimes like serve it alongside a nice grilled cheese sandwich - DELISH!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lighting Up The Night

I am so proud of my husband. Each year he sets out to make a holiday light display that is bright and festive - but also looks nice. He works really hard getting them all up, and making sure everything is not only working right, but looks good, and is secure for whatever the seasonal weather may bring. In other words...we don't just slap on some lights, throw some blow up "decor" on our lawn and call it a day. We plan it out, and each year we create our own decorations using wood, paint...and power tools! (This year's theme was Charlie Brown's Christmas - cute right!!) The light count this year came in just over 17,000!!! Amazing!
While I do have this picture to share with doesn't do the lights justice. I had to stand across the street in my neighbors' garden just to get in most of the house and lights. Tony's already joking that next year we'll have to set up the camera on a tripod on the neighbor's roof just to get it all into a picture. I'm pretty sure he's joking...but I guess we'll have to wait and see.
We had a nice little party last weekend with pizza and coffee, hot chocolate and cookies, where good friends of ours came with their kids and we enjoyed turning the lights on for the first time - all together. It's a great night, and I am so happy to share it with them.

I'm really very proud of my Tony. The house looks amazing honey...great job once again!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fun Wintry Decor

This year I wanted to decorate my home to look like a natural winter wonderland. Of course I couldn't go too wild with the theme since I have a little munchkin running around the house, but I really like the way the interior of our house turned out.

During the summer and fall Tony collects the large branches that fall from the trees surrounding our backyard into a pile. I decided to take a bunch from that pile, spray paint half with white glitter paint, and use these branches as a way to bring the outside in! Also - we cut down a small tree in our yard, so I used the branches from that to also decorate with a little extra green around the house. The pictures don't do it justice. With candles lit and the lights turned low, it looks quite festive and pretty.
I placed little baskets of cheer all over the house, which added an extra little sparkle!
Originally I planned on putting out my Christmas village on the shelves above our entertainment center...but once I got started with this year's theme, I just rolled with it. I created the "lanterns" in the middle out of paper using tape, funky scissors, and a hole punch. Tommy and I made white lanterns for the dining room table using the same idea, and dipping the bottoms into glitter. I love the way it turned out and they look so pretty when the battery-operated tea light inside is glowing.
I carried the "natural" theme to our Christmas tree this year. I hung ornaments in silver and gold, and white lights. Then Tommy and I painted pinecones which we collected at a local park and let dry (GREAT Toddler art project!) and we hung those as well. I LOVE the way the tree looks.
The last thing I made this year was my interpretation of a decor idea that I saw in the Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. I LOVE the way it turned simple to make too!!
The above welcome lantern is just outside on the landing to our front door. I also hung some holly branches to our porch lights...another easy thing to do which took about two minutes but added a little extra festive touch! More on our outside decor and lights in the next blog. ;)