Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

On Tuesday morning I went to the mall to pick up a few items from Trade Secret. Immediately upon setting foot inside the mall my senses became overwhelmed with the smell of cinnamon roasted almonds. As I walked down the corridor I passed a little shop that was set up especially for the holiday season. As much as I wanted to stop and buy some sugary cinnamony almonds I resisted and bought only the shampoo, which was my intended purchase.

On the ride home I couldn't shake the though or smell from my mind, so once I got home I came straight to my computer and started searching for a recipe to make my own. After experimenting with a couple of variations I came up with the following recipe. I took these to my quilt guild Christmas party that night where they were a big hit.

You'll be surprised to discover just how easy these are to make! Enjoy!!!


1 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups almonds

1. Preheat oven to 250 deg. F (120 deg. C). Cover a 13x18" baking sheet with parchment paper (OR grease well).

2. In small bowl combine sugar, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl slightly beat the egg white. Add vanilla and beat until very frothy, but not stiff. Add the almonds and stir until well coated. Add the cinnamon and sugar mixture and toss until evenly coated. Spread evenly on the prepared pan.

4. Bake for one hour, stirring half way through. Allow to cool then store in an airtight container.

Just a note: I found that it was cheaper to buy a large bag of almonds from Costco than it was to buy them from the local restaurant supply store. Since you'll want to make several batches of this recipe, shop around to find the best deal. You can make two batches from a 48 oz. bag of Kirkland Signature almonds from Costco, which contains approx. 9 cups.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What I've Been Up To

I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving day! Our family enjoyed a fabulous dinner at the home of my brother and sister-in-law. That evening the rest of my extended family joined together at my home for an evening of desserts, games and visiting. We had a small crowd of 32!

Thanks to all who participated in the controversial candied yams poll. It appears that those in favor outweighed those who passed on the side dish. I mean that figuratively, not literally! LOL!

And because we didn't have quite enough to eat on Thanksgiving day, we were invited to dinner and a concert on Friday evening. And not just any dinner... We ate at The Roof atop the Joseph Smith Memorial building in Salt Lake City. It was a real treat not only to dine there, but also to watch as beautiful, historic Temple Square was lighted for Christmas.

Above is the Christmas tree in the lobby of the JSM building.

And this is one of the shots that I took of the spires of the Salt Lake LDS temple.
More lights. And lots of people!
After checking out the lights we headed across town to the Manheim Steamroller Christmas concert. We had fabulous seats at the tables near the stage! This was the first time that I had gone to one of their concerts. Hubby and I had a great time with all of our friends.

On Saturday the Ballerina and I made a quick trip to southern Utah to return College Girl to her home away from home. We did some shopping, ate dinner at Chili's and spent the night at my parents' winter home in St. George. It was fun to snuggle in bed together as we watch the movie, Elf, on TV. It was so fun to have College girl with us for a few days. We sure miss her when she's gone!
Last night was the Christmas party for the small quilt guild that I belong to. We each took a gift that was $10 or less. I took this little tote that I made from a Teresa Kogut panel from a year or two ago, along with some homemade cinnamon almonds. I'll share the recipe tomorrow. The party was pretty fun and I came home with a little snowman guy (that I put in my kitchen) and a few other holiday favors.
Look...I FINALLY finished binding my Trees on the Table topper. Now I can give it to my mother who's birthday was a couple of weeks ago. Better late than never, huh?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

No Middle Ground

Every year, the day before Thanksgiving, a Salt Lake City radio talk show host discusses those foods that we "just have to have" to make our Thanksgiving meal complete.

Not a year goes by that the controversial candied yams aren't the major focus of the discussion. Over the years one thing has become crystal either love candied yams or you hate them! Honestly, though, I didn't need to listen to the radio to figure that one out. We go the rounds each and every year at our house! I happen to belong to the LOVE camp, while my husband can't stomach the thought of eating them. That doesn't seem to be a problem, though. We have a great arrangement. I make them and he doesn't eat them. You know what that means...more for me!!!

Now I want to hear from you...

First, please give your answer on the poll to the right.

Then leave a comment about that that one item is that you must have to make your Thanksgiving dinner complete!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Because We Might Still Be Hungry

Just in case we don't get enough to eat on Thursday, we'll have plenty of food to eat when we attend a board meeting at The Roof Restaurant. And if the fine dining isn't enough, Friday is also the night when they turn on the lights at Temple Square, which is a wonder to behold!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Inflicting More Pain

If you're sick and tired of listening to me go on and on about all the fun that I had last week shopping for Christmas decorations, then please skip to the bottom of this post where you will see a picture of my youngest daughter, the Ballerina, frosting a cake.

Today I made a trip to Tai Pan Trading to purchase a Christmas wall sign that I had seen there a couple of weeks ago. TPT is the home decorating mecca of Utah. The Sandy story is 100,000 square feet of decorating overload! I won't post pictures of the things I bought today because you've probably seen more than enough Christmas decorations on my blog. I will, however, post some pictures once the house is decorated. If you want to find out more about TPT then click on the link above to go to their site.

This picture was taken earlier this year. Today the parking lot was FILLED with cars belonging to hundreds of my closest friends.
Look at this pumpkin plate that they gave me for free. I must be one of their favorite customers! One thing that I'm bummed about is that I discovered a 20% off coupon AFTER I got home. It would have saved me several dollars on my sign. :-( And I know that Kim is bummed because Tai Pan Trading has the lime green Christmas ornaments that she's looking for. This is the Ballerina (and Soccer Guy's girlfriend) frosting the spice cake that she made for dessert yesterday. She's really becoming quite the good little baker! See DH in the background? He's washing the dishes like a good husband. LOL!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Play Day (Part 2) promised

I appologize in advance to all of you who wish you were here, but aren't. LOL!!! Kim, if it was tough looking at yesterday's pictures you'd better read (or look) no farther. Below are the pictures that I took at our second stop yesterday, Scrooge and Marley's. When I asked the shop keepper if could take pictures to show my friends she told me "yes" and that she was "flattered". Isn't that sweet? The woman at Broadbent's was just as kind.
Although this shop has been around for a while, I only first visited it this year. Again, I appologize to all of you who came to Utah last year and didn't get to step foot into this amazing shop. It's just about 1/4 mile down the street from Broadbent's. This little old home is filled to the rafters with everything you need to decorate your home (and all your neighbors') for the holidays.
I love everything about this table. The white dishes, the greenery and berries, and the candy canes...
Oh the candy canes! They're wonderful, they're real and they're made by Hammond's Candies. They had baskets and baskets full. I just checked out the Hammond's website and discovered that they'll be showing these candy canes on Martha Stewart on Monday, November 26th. You can check out their website to see if there is a location near you that sells these sweet confections. Don't you think that ribbon adds such a nice touch?

It was in this room that I bought some garland to send along with my tree skirt swap. I may need to go back and get some more for myself. Seen enough? No?! Well then let's walk out back to the "shed".....

Now this is some porch, wouldn't you say?! See that "It's a Wonderful Life" sign on the tree to the left? I bought two of those. One for myself and one for my brother and sister-in-law, to who's home we are going for Thanksgiving. I think I'll add mine to the wreath that goes on my front door.

Come on now... Let's step inside the shed for a look around.

Well, that's it for today. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Play Day (Part 1)

Most Friday's start out the same. We wake up at 6:30, have breakfast as a family and spend a few minutes reading from the scriptures. After that I get dressed and ready for the day, then the carpools begin...first to the junior high to drop of Blondie and her two friends and then to the elementary school to deliver the Ballerina and her friend.

Today was a special day for the Ballerina. It was her turn to take the "snack bar" for her fifth grade class. Last night we made mini cheese cakes with raspberry topping. She said they were a hit, which I knew they would be! :-)

Each Friday morning (and Monday's too) my three friends and I head to Einstein Bros. Bagels for an hour or two of "therapy" over bagels and diet Coke. We usually head straight home to take care of our "duties" for the day, but today we made a stop a Michael's to pick up a few small decorative Christmas trees. Well, that really got us in the mood for shopping, so one of my friends and I decided to make our way to one of my favorite shops in all of the world...Broadbent's. My friend's 21 year old son (who had the day off from work) asked his mom if she was just going to play all day. Can you guess what her answer was?

Last year when my friends came to Utah for a quilt retreat, we made several stops at Broadbent's in Lehi. Broadbent's is the oldest family run department store in the United States, established in 1882. For such a small store, they carry quite a variety of seasonal decoration, quilt supplies and other odds and ends, including some furniture. Years ago, when I made my first trip to Broadbent's I was in search of RUFFLEY slips to go under the Christmas dresses that I had made for my two (at the time) daughters. That would have been ten years ago, as I remember being big and pregnant with the Balleria in those Christmas pictures! At that time Broadbent's only had a small (but good) selection of quilting fabrics. Now it seems like the quilting area gets bigger each time I visit!

Anyway, at the time of the retreat, Broadbent's was filled with all sorts of fall decorations. As wonderful as that was, Christmas is my all-time favorite time of the year to visit the store. The place is decorated from head to toe with holiday cheer! Here's a little eye candy for your viewing pleasure.....
These decorations make me feel like I'm in a winter wonderland. I picked up a decoration here to send with my mini tree skirt swap.

Their decorated trees are out of this world! I think there were at least 10-12 decorated trees in the store. And the great part is that if you see something that you like on the tree, you can take it off and take it home...for a "small fee", of course. (I hope the woman in the picture doesn't stumble across my blog and find her fanny on display for the whole world to see!)

And speaking of behinds...I'm really bummed that my pictures from the room with the nativity scenes, didn't turn out. They have the largest selection that I have ever seen in one place; from the fabulous Fontanini creches down to the fun and whimsical sets. It think I've bought at least two or three sets here.

This room is filled with decorations for cowboys and outdoorsmen. There were three or four different trees in this room, but most of the pictures came out a little blurry.

The above two pictures show the area dedicated to decorating your kitchen. Feels pretty festive, huh?
Oh, yeah...I'd better show you some pictures of the quilt shop. LOL!

That's all for today, but if you'll stop by tomorrow I'll show you some pictures of where we went after we left Broadbent's!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Law of the Harvest

"For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7

I love the Law of the Harvest. I'm a true believer that when you put forth good works that good will be returned to you. That's not so say that bad things never happen to good people, but in general I have found that you truly reap what you sow. I've been thinking a lot about this lately and I'm sure that it has something to do with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. This past week my husband and I had an experience with one of our children, College Girl, that really brought this point home. Without getting too personal or going into a lot of detail, here is a little of what transpired.

Our daughter has a friend who has been going through some personal stuggles, many which stem from her family environment. College Girl really wanted to help her friend, but wasn't sure what she could do. She called and talked to her dad about the situtation and her dad's advice was to be prayerful and to spend some time pondering how she could help. A day or two later they were talking again about the situation and then my husband asked College Girl if she had decided how she could best help her friend. What happened next was one of those "parental pay days". Our daughter told my husband that she knew what she should do because she had watched our example while growing up. She listed several accounts of when we had helped some of her friends over the years, many of which we had forgotten. We truly felt humbled.

It feels so wonderful to watch your children grow up and make good choices. It gives hope in a time when the world is filled with troubles. This was also a good lesson to me that my children are following my example...for good and for bad. Now that's a wake up call!

I heart you, College Girl! You make me so proud.

Along the same line...

I've been wanting to share this with you for a long time, but have never had my camera with me at the right time.

Every morning when I drive Blondie and her friends to school I pass this little stand along side the road. The area is a little more rural and there are several orchards and large gardens. In the summertime the shelves are lined with excess produce that is free for the taking. Last week there were three large pumpkins waiting to be taken home. They're all gone now.

On each side of the stand there are these signs...

Simple rules, don't you think? I don't know who built the stand or who maintains it, but I love the feeling that I get every morning when I drive by. It makes me feel part of a bigger communinty who cares for one another.

And on a completely unrelated subject, except that it has something to do with Thanksgiving...

Don't you just love this turkey? I know, I's totally kitsch, but there it sits on top of the piano for all who enter my home to see. My mom had one just like it when I was growing up and when I saw it in Target last fall I just had to get it for myself. Did you, too, have one in your home when you were growing up?