Easter Carrots

February 17, 2011

I know I’m a few months early, but I’ve already decided what I’m making for Easter. I am in love with these carrots. There was a fight over the leftovers here.

half a bag of baby carrots

2 heaping tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp dried dill

salt and pepper

4 tbsp white wine

chives or green onions

Slice the carrots into thick matchsticks – you want to get 4-6 per carrot. Boil until just tender. At the very end, drop in the green from green onions (scallions) or a handful of chives and just cook for a minute to wilt. Drain. Make little bundles of the carrots and tie with the chives or green onions (even if you only do a few, this still will look cute). Melt butter, sugar, dill, salt and pepper, and wine. Cook for a minute or two until combined and the wine has time to burn off and it thickens slightly.  Add the carrot bundles and gently stir, then serve. As you can see, I didn’t have a lot of success with the bundles, but I didn’t have much green onion here to work with. Next time I will have more and will be prepared. I just think this is so darn cute and will look wonderful for Easter.

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Yule Log

December 27, 2010

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrated. I thought I would share a photo from ours. My dad made this yule log for Christmas dinner. He says he made it once 30 years ago, but I don’t remember it. I think it looks gorgeous. The cake was very moist, but he used a prune filling that had some liqueur in it and I didn’t care for that. The mushrooms were light and yummy though.

Final Giveaway

December 5, 2010

This is my final Martha giveaway of the year. 10 lucky winners will get a Martha Stewart Holidays double-edged snowflake trim punch (this creates a strip of die-cut paper to use as a decorative strip) AND a set of Martha Stewart Holidays treat bags (each package includes 8 bags, 8 paper boxes/trays that go at the bottom, 8 tags, 8 pieces of ribbon, and 16 adhesive strips). The paper cutter is super fun to use and makes such pretty strips of snowflakes. It’s perfect for scrapbooking, crafts or making cards. The treat bags are a great way to package candy or small cookies. It’s hard to see in the photo, but the bags have tiny white dots on them which are really cute.  The prizes are courtesy of MSLO and they will mail them out. Previous winners of my other contests have written to tell me how much they liked the punches and treat boxes they received, so I know you’ll love them!

Here’s how to win. Follow me on Twitter. Then leave a comment here with your Twitter handle, so I can match you up. If you are already following me on Twitter, just leave a comment here with your Twitter handle. You must enter by midnight ET on Friday December 10, 2010. I’ll randomly and blindly select ten winners by random number drawing (numbers assigned in order of comments here). Sorry, offer limited to U.S. addresses only and entrants age 18 and up only. One entry per person. Winners notified by email given when entering, not responsible for email transmission problems. You are responsible for notifying me of your correct  address if you are selected as a winner. Contest closes at midnight Eastern time on 12/10/10. Prize is nontransferable and may not be redeemed for cash. MarthaAndMe reserves the right to announce the name of the winners on the blog. Prizes will be sent by MSLO to winners and MarthaAndMe is not liable for any failure of MSLO to deliver.

Martha Mondays: Thanksgiving Table

November 15, 2010

Thanks to Karen at Karen and Charlie’s Kitchen for choosing this week’s pick-your-own project  – Thanksgiving tablescapes. I liked the one where you make a small pumpkin into a candleholder, so I did a trial run with that, which looks sort of lame since it’s crooked. I guess you need a straighter pumpkin to get it to work! I just hacked away at it with a knife to make the hole, then pushed the candle in. I like this idea a lot, even if mine wasn’t the greatest in execution!

Here’s a photo of a centerpiece I bought a few years ago (I think I got it at the grocery store to be honest!) and which I really still love a lot.

Getting Organized with Martha

December 4, 2008

In my quest to do things the Martha way, I am taking to heart the suggestions in the December issue of Living.

On page 4, Martha provides what she calls “gentle reminders”. I’ve read her tipping guide. I don’t have that many people to tip, although I do have to buy gifts for teachers, tutors, and a house cleaner. Usually I do gift cards for these people and I’m going to do that again this year. However, I may be cutting back on the amounts (isn’t everyone cutting back?) and giving some candy (Martha’s recipes) in addition to the gift card.

Next, Martha suggest we create handcrafted gift card holders. I am going to give this a try for some gift cards I am giving to relatives.

Martha suggests we organize all of our paperwork from the holidays – receipts and warranties. I’m ahead of the game on that. I have a manila folder in my desk I put every receipt in. What I really need to learn to do, however, is to write on each receipt what it is for and what item it is. In the spirit of Martha, I’m going to add that to my to-do list.

Protecting our pets is the next tip. I actually have a funny story about this one. I have a gumdrop tree. It’s a metal tree that you stick gumdrops on. My kids love it. It usually sits on an end table in the family room. Last year one of our dogs disappeared while we were eating dinner at some point in December. He returned licking his lips which is a bad sign. It turns out he completely denuded the gumdrop tree! This year, we put it out again and I forgot about that, so he promptly helped himself again. We’ve now moved it to the top shelf of a bookcase in the family room. He occasionally walks over there and lifts his nose in the air and sniffs to let us know he would really like some.

Because we have big dogs with big tails, I don’t do candles, except for one Yankee candy that sits on a high table. I don’t have anything else that is dangerous for our dogs, so I think they are safe for the holidays.

Page 134 has tips for simplifying the season.  Martha suggests keeping a master calendar. I already do that. Next she says to remember to unwind. I do need to remind myself of that. Yesterday I ordered a holiday mystery for myself from Amazon and I am going to make time to sit down and enjoy it.

Another tip is to update your address book. When we got out the Christmas decorations, I found the cards we received last year in the basket I keep them in. I went through them to see if I could make any into gift labels and came upon a note from friends with a new address. I’ve got to add that into my address book (which I now keep in pencil so it is easy to make changes!).

Last year I cut back my Christmas card list and stopped sending them to people we don’t really know. I’m continuing with that this year. I bought one box of cards and that’s going to be it. If I need more, I have lots of leftover ones from years past.

Martha recommends postponing some holiday festivities. This is good advice. My dad’s family does not celebrate together until Jan 2 this year and we usually see my in-laws a few days after Christmas. It eases the craziness and gives you something to look forward to after the big day.

Another suggestion is to reevaluate gift exchanges. Oh, wouldn’t I love to do this! We buy gifts for some people that we barely know and I would love to put an end to that. It’s easier said than done though and negotiating something like in my family is nearly impossible.

Our decorations are completely up (I’ll post some photos soon) and my shopping is just about done. Next I’ve got to get serious about wrapping and baking.

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