Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snowy weather

Such unusual weather this year.  Michigan has been unseasonably warm and free of snow -- until this week.  Well, I guess we had one snowy day in December... but that is about it.  Finally in mid-January we got a nice load of the fluffy stuff and some cold temperatures.  I saw a forecast of 40 degrees and rain showers for tomorrow so I guess it will be going away again.  
Don't get me wrong -- I don't like cold winters and this warmer weather suits me just fine.  I'm the type that likes snow in December (gotta have a white Christmas) then by January 1st I want it gone.  So, I guess I've been fortunate so far.  It makes one wonder if this odd weather is part of a natural cycle or if Al Gore was right... 
Anyway, after feeding the chickens and breaking the ice out of their waterer, I snapped a few photos off the other day.  You can click on the photos to make them larger if you want (especially the first one -- you can see individual snow flakes!).

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Homemade Kahlua and Irish Cream

These two delicious liquors are easier to make than you would think.  Much easier than the limoncello I made last year.  I made a couple of batches of each and gave several bottles away at Christmas.
So, here are the recipes I used:

Homemade Kahlua
4 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp instant coffee
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups vodka
Blend the water, sugar and instant coffee together in a saucepan.  Just as it boils, lower the heat to medium low and simmer for a couple of hours -- stirring occasionally.  Let the resulting syrup cool completely then add the vanilla and the vodka.  Enjoy!  

Homemade Irish Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 2/3 cups Irish whiskey
1 tsp instant coffee
2 Tbsp chocolate syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract (I skipped this ingredient)
Put everything in a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.  Store, refrigerated, in a tightly sealed container.  Shake well before serving.  Use within a couple of months.

Both recipes are awesome and oh-so-easy to make!  They are so much less expensive than the store-bought versions too.

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Favorite Things - A Nice Hot Corn Bag

Just a quick post today -- about one of my new favorite things.  Mom made me two "Corn Bags" for Christmas and I have been enjoying them every night since then.  It is pretty self explanatory -- it is a fabric bag or pouch filled with field corn.  You can throw it in the microwave then take it to bed with you.  I have a large one that I keep on my feet, and a smaller one that I move around to where ever I feel cold.
We keep our heat around 60-63 degrees in the winter to help reduce the amount of money we spend on fuel oil.  Before Christmas, I would freeze when I got into bed.  Now I look forward to a nice warm cozy experience.  I fall asleep twice as fast too.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday week this past week!  This Christmas was very pleasant for me -- one of my favorites.  I had today off for the New Year holiday, but I head back to work tomorrow.
I'm not making a bunch of New Year's resolutions this year -- because it usually ends up being the same stuff anyway.  I am, however, going to make a list of (fun) things I'd like to do this year.  I am off to do that now...
May you have a prosperous and peaceful year!