26 December 2011

Christmas Wrap Up

Christmas Eve Morning

We woke up early and packed up the car in order to drive to Marceline.  We stopped for breakfast at BK Bakery and then proceeded up to Moberly to do a small bit of shopping at Randolph Mercantile.  We got to Marceline around 10.  We opened gifts and then ate lunch.  Bob and I bought Taco Soup and mom made Vegetable Soup with Beef.  We had cookies and candies and of course, eggnog!  Afterwards we went into downtown Marceline to shop at the new shop Curiosity and to Debbie's shop Simply Made.  Found adorable things in both shops!

Christmas Eve

Santa Sack was opened to reveal our Christmas PJs from Target, Zingo, and Christmas Karaoke.  We had pan seared scallops, baked goat cheese and red sauce with crostinis, homemade meatballs, bratwurst wrapped in croissants and various cookies and candies.  We watched The Sound of Music (the ending) and played our game and then went to bed!

Christmas Morning

Ashley was the first up, as usual!  Santa had come and so we sat down to open stockings.  After the stockings we open presents and then had breakfast.  This year I made a breakfast ring, a cranberry cocktail and gingerbread cake pops that looked like reindeer!  We all admired our gifts and then Ash and Eric left for Christmas at the Hasty's house.

Christmas Night

The Hasty family came over for a visit and for dinner.  Bob made a pork loin roast marinated in Dr. Pepper and herb encrusted.  He also roasted Brussels sprouts and made his wonderful Gratin Dauphinaise potatoes.  It was such a great meal.  My dessert was Oreo stuffed brownies. Yummy.  Renee gave me a candle and I gave Renee a wreath from Debbie's shop.  We had a great visit with Renee, Bob and Evan.

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25 December 2011

Merry Christmas

From our home to yours, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

04 December 2011

Nutella Cookies

The Steffes women put together a last minute cookie swap when I found out that we were mostly all going to be together in Macon this year.   Jeanne and David celebrated in Nebraska this year.  I put together an invite and put a plea on the Keep Smilin' Project page and off we went!

Ashley and I baked our cookies when she got home on Wednesday.  Ashley baked a simple but delicious Nutella cookie found first on Pinterest.  I baked a Weight Watcher Strawberry Angel cookie.  

Joy's Popcorn Cookies

Our containers, ready to swap!

This year's participants!

Nutella Cookies

1 c of Nutella
1/2 c white sugar
1 c flour
1 egg
1 T milk

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Blend all ingedients together well. Form into 1″ balls. Place on a cookie sheet. Press down firmly with the bottom of a glass. Bake 7-8 minutes or until set. Cool.

Strawberry Angel Cookies

1 angel food cake mix
3/4 c sugar free strawberry preserves
1 egg white
1 T milk
3 T mini chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350.  Spray a cookie sheet with Pam.  Blend all ingredients together with a mixer for 1 minute.  Beat one additional minute.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Cool on cookie sheet.  Store between layers of waxed paper.  Cookies are chewy with the bite of angel food cake.

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01 December 2011

A Study in Tradition, part 2

Last year, I took you through a photo journey as Bob's cousin Dianne made the traditional mincemeat pies here and this year I am showing you how my sister, Tammi, makes the rolls that have been served for our Holt family for many years.

My sister agreed to this photo essay under one condition:  I could only photograph her hands.  No other parts of her body.  I signed in blood. Ok, not really but it sounded very dramatic.

Yeast, oil, water

Add in some sugar...

Oh yea, baby, the yeast likes some sugar!

Add in a little flour....

Oh no!  How did this picture get in here?  {snicker}

Work it, Tammi!

It's magic!  That gooey, sticky mess is now a smooth ball of dough.
Rise, oh master, rise!

Even though its the next picture, 20 minutes or so elapsed...

Make into little puffs of goodness, and bake.
These bake in the oven and smell up the kitchen with a warm, yeasty smell that drives us all nuts!  As soon as they come out, someone who remains nameless (Chris) (Ben) (Ashley) (Bob) (Tammi) (Terri) grabs the center roll, butters it up and shares it with the rest of us.  Mmmm.

Grandma Holt would be so happy to know that her yeast rolls continue on.  As Tammi was making them, I overheard Kassie say, "I can't wait for Grandma Tammi's rolls."

23 November 2011

Thanksgiving Eve

I love that our school system allows us the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off.  Several districts I have worked in before had us working until noon on Wednesday.  I feel much less rushed and able to enjoy the holiday more since I can do preparing the day before.

So what is going on in the Steffes house in 2011?  Ashley and Eric came home from Indiana last night and we visited shortly before going to bed.  We woke up bright and early on Wednesday, though, as we all had big lists of things to accomplish!

Ashley and I had some beauty routines to attend to first, then we both headed to Walmart to do some shopping.  The store wasn't busy but then again, there weren't many cashiers either.   We got our supplies without any problems and headed home.

We got started right away.  We got a gingerbread cake in the oven for our trifle. We made a batch of cookies for the Steffes Cookie Swap tomorrow.  Ashley made a simple chocolate cookie with Nutella in it.  It is so chewy and luscious!  Then Ashley made pumpkin pudding for our trifle.  We let the pudding cool and then I made a batch of pumpkin seed brittle to decorate the trifle top.  After it cooled, we broke it into pieces.  When the pudding was cool enough, we layered our trifle dessert, wrapped it up and its in the refrig cooling.  We packaged up Ashley's cookies and started making my Strawberry Angel Cookies.  Time for a Sonic break!

After lunch we cleaned up our messy kitchen and Ash and Eric headed over to his parent's house.  All his family was in town!  Bob came home with a crown roast, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, pumpkin gnocchi and some good looking bread.  Our Thanksgiving dinner with the four of us is tonight!  I think we are going to be fed well!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to all!
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17 November 2011

Love the Pie Project

I think pie making is a fading art.  In order to preserve this wonderful dessert, I am participating in this linky party!  Click the picture to go see a lovely world of pie, pie and more pie!

Here are a couple of yummy pie links that have been previously posted here at Lakewood Manor.  They are worth repeating and sharing!
Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom  sponsored by Cherokee USA, Le Creuset, Wilton, Bags by Bloom and  Harvard Common Press
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It's My Birthday!

I was born November 17, 1958 to Jerry and Shirley (Holt) Oliver in Marceline, Missouri at around 3:00 a.m.  There was a light snow that day.  I was born in a hospital, the first in my family to do so.  I was the oldest grandchild of Raymond and Lorraine (Wilson) Holt and Joe and Mildred (Dorrell) Oliver.  I came into the world welcomed and loved.  My aunts and uncles doted on my (oh yes you did, David) and I have pictures to prove it.

At Christmas 1958, I am about four weeks old here.
 I love my birthdays and have never regretted any birthday that has come my way.  I imagine it's because it was a time of celebration in my family.  Both sides would come together, with my great grandparents, and watch me blow out a candle and take a big bite of cake.  I would be wearing a fluffy {scratch} dress and black patent leather shoes that would be off my feet in a flash.  I would be surrounded with all kinds of girly toys.

Today I am 53 and so grateful for every year!  I will say that I don't feel 53 but I believe that is due to a profession where it is ok to show your inner child (elementary principal) and the more often you do, the better!

I am looking forward to opening the cards and letters that have been arriving at the house for the past week and opening the gift that Bob left for me.  Still surrounded with all kinds of girly things!  I am looking forward to my morning phone call to my mom who will spoil me with words of love and praise as she does every day.  I am looking forward to my students giving me homemade cards and the text messages from my nieces and nephews and posts from my Facebook friends. 

God continues to bless me with birthdays, so I am going to love each and every minute of it!
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15 November 2011

A Mizzou Tailgate!

We love our Mizzou Tigers!  Bob and I have bought season tickets since 1980 (student tickets!) and this year was no different.  However, what was different is that I missed quite a few games since I was studying and since Ash and Eric moved to Indiana.  Bob and I tailgated with our University Club once and Bob has gone to other tailgates this year but finally we were able to have a tailgate this year... with Ashley and Eric!!!

It was cold... a morning game... so our tailgate focused on breakfast.  Bob made a scrambled egg and sausage mix, biscuits and gravy and cinnamon rolls.  Bob placed a broken biscuit in a bowl, covered it with scrambled eggs and sausage, then poured gravy over it all.  It was hot and delicious!

Ashley and i snuggled into our blankets and watched the other tailgaters.  It is so much fun.  Across the way someone had a World Series Cardinal flag flying under the Mizzou flag.  Cool!  One couple brought a firepit with them.  Our neighbors had a kerosene burner with them. 

This was a fun tailgate, mainly because we were with our kids and we were excited about seeing Mizzou beat #16 Texas (which they did!).  

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13 November 2011

Cooking Together

I think most people know that Bob is considered the cook of the house... but it wasn't always the case.  Ask Ashley, I am sure she remembers "Invent A Casserole" and other famous dishes!   Bob made a suggestion that the two of us go to a cooking class together in Columbia that was hosted by Inside Columbia magazine.  Our class was Cooking with Wine.  It was so much fun and we learned a lot!  We thank Craig Cyr, from the Wine Cellar and Bistro for his excellent instruction!

Cute aprons!

Ingredients for a Norton wine sauce

Reducing the wine sauce at the MAJOR stove

 If you would like more information about these classes, visit their website at http://comoculinaryadventures.com/.  You can see a list of chefs and any upcoming classes.  Bob is doing the Holiday Baking 101 class next.
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11 November 2011



I love unique moments i think today qualifies! Did you mark this moment in your life?

Driving back to school!