Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas at Grandmother's house

We had a lovely Christmas time with the family. The family has grown so much. The nieces and nephews that were once little children are now all grown and have children of their own. The food was abundant and delicious. We took a small scape and went to the next town to see "The Hobbit" and in 3D was very beautiful.
Natal na casa da avo. A familia quase toda estava presente. Os meninos e meninas estão casados então a familia cresceu muito. Eles agora tem filhos proprios. A comida estava abundante e deliciosa como sempre e na casa da minha sogra. Saimos pra algumas horas pra uma cidade vizinha pra ver o filme " O Hobbit" que foi em 3-D e adoramos.
Cousins had time to play a game of Catch Phrase. Os primos brincando um jogo de "Catch Phrase" electronico.
 More playing at grandmas living room.  The girl is pink is girlfriend of one of the cousins. Outros jogos na sala da avo. A menina de sweater cor de rosa e a noiva do  Dereck, sobrinho de meu esposo.
 This beautiful young lady is Cadie, she is a daughter of one of the cousins. Essa e a Cadie, filha da sobrinha do meu esposo.

 Time to eat, this young man is Cadie's brother. Esse e o irmão de Cadie.
 Jack who loves games and movies! Jack que adora jogos e filmes.
That is what we had to see from the car when we drove back on Saturday the 39th. The sun can barely been seen on the left. Husband always likes to take some of the back roads to make the trip shorter. I roll my eyes at that sometimes. We look forward to the New Year and hope it brings blessings to all of us. My hope is that we are going to be busy working towards a better world for ourselves and our neighboors.  When we lived in Brazil we had such big celebration for New Year. They had street parties with lots of music, a park with ferris wheels, and other fun rides for the kids. They also had street vendors selling wonderful candies and patries that we see only for sale at this time of the year. The little ones loves to buy a ballon or two and bring it home in a string. There is a big meal and we open champagne at midnight with hugs and cheers for the New Year. It's customary to go to the next door neighboors to give them a hug and wish them a wonderful new year ahead. I do miss all of that sometimes. Today we eat black eye peas and save a bowl of dried black eye peas behind front door for good luck. Hope you can enjoy what is traditional for you as a family and perhaps start new traditions. Wishing a Happy New Year !!!  
 
In Portuguese:
 
O dia estava nublado, bem a semana toda. essa foto foi tomado do carro. Meu marido adora tomar as estradas menos usadas então essa area e no meio do nada practicamente. Ele toma essas estradas pra fazer a viagem mais curta mas eu viro os olhos pra cima e digo nada. Bem, estamos olhando agora pra esse novo ano que se inicia e minha esperança e que estamos todos trabalhando pra um mundo melhor pra nos e pra nossos vizinhos. Antes eu vivi em Brasil e as festividades la no Nordeste eram infinitas com parques de festas, musica e comida aqui e diferente, pois ha muito silencio e somente celebramos com a familia. Uma tradição daqui e de colocar feijão de corda atras da porta da frente e tambem comer feijão de corda no ultimo dia do ano pra da boa sorte. Tambem coloquei ervilhas secas atras da porta da entrada num pratinho pra boa sorte ! Espero que voce fez algumas coisa tradicional nesse Natal com sua familia ou talvez começou novas tradicões. Desejo um Feliz Ano Novo!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas - 2012

Christmas got here really fast. I have been busy , making cookies, buying gifts and wrapping. I will also need to plan for the food we are having for our celebration and also for what we are taking to my mom-in-law's house. We will celebrate by ourselves on the 25th and be ready to travel the next day to my mom-in-law's house.  Celebrating with husband side of the family is so much fun. The family has been getting so big now that the nieces and nephew have children of their own. I wish you a wonderful Holiday time and may this Christmas reminds us all that this was created to celebrate Christ's birthday. May you all have a wonderful Christmas! Happy Holidays!
O tempo de Natal chegou rapido. Andava bem ocupada fazendo biscoitos, comprando presentes e preparando presentes. Tambem necessito ainda pensar no que devo fazer pra nossa ceia Natalina e o que vou levar pra casa da minha sogra. Aqui celebraremos no dia 25 e depois no dia 26 vamos viajar pra casa da sogra. La o groupo sera bem maior porque a familia e grande agora que as sobrinhas tem filhos. Esse e o  tempo que devemos lembrar que a razao que existe Natal e pra celebrar os nascimento de Jesus! Desejo a cada um(a) de voces um Feliz Natal!! Boas festas!

 Coconut pudding! One of my favorite desserts. Fiz pudim de coco porque e meu favorito nesse tempo!

Biscoitos na foto acima , alguns pra nos e outros foram pra doar na igreja. Fiz 6 duzias. 
 Making cookies and more cookies, some were given to church and they give to shut ins and others in the community. I made 6 dozens I had some in cute bags and gave to people who rendered services to us in the community.

 I made some crochet bags and have a wine bottle inside or Cider and have those for a few friends! Hope they will like it. It is very easy to make. Fiz bolsas de crochet e coloquei uma garrafa vinho dentro pra algumas amigas.
Homemade cookie mixture for the family. Fiz mistura pra fazer biscoitos pra dar pras cunhadas.
 A corner in a small table here in our house. Gathered some fresh pine when we went out in a nature walk.
Made a few pans of scones for us and to take along. I also plan o making some biscotti. Um papai Noel num canto de uma mesinha aqui em casa. Foto abaixo, fiz scones pra nos e pra levar pra casa da sogra e tambem vou fazer biscotti amanha.

 This is around our town. I love to see the trees looking like candy.
 O inverno realmente estava assim alguns dias atras e hoje esta tudo assim branquinho outra vez. Tambem esta muito frio.

This can be seen from our living room window. To me this photo says " Merry Christmas"and with it I want to wish you Merry Christmas!
Essa foto pra min diz "Feliz Natal" e com essa foto quero desejar a todos um Feliz Natal!!!



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving - It was a great Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for. We are all healthy and most of us made to the family get together.  We went to my mom in law's house. She is elderly but she loves to cook. She made the turkey, gravy and wonderful mashed potatoes for us. Me and a couple of other sister in law's made the rest of the food. She had her book of devotions in the center of the table to read to us. Cousins and one friend decided to play a bit outdoors even if the temperatures were frigid.
There is plenty of room for a game to the left of grandma's house. The friend thought he had to get a shot to brag a bit in facebook.

Different types of casseroles, salads and the yummy turkey. Eat, drink and be merry was the thing to do! We had punch, my mom in law doesn't like alcohol in her house.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Annual Christmas Fair!
Many vendors sold their merchandise on Sunday the 11th. They had homemade breads and rolls, homemade jams and pickles, customs jewely, baby blankets,etc. One booth had lots of things made of wood. I got a few things from a girl whose grandma's lives here in town and this girl actually lives in Thailand and brings lots of stuff every year to sell at this fair. All things made by women in Thailand. This helps women which is something I would endorse. Her company is Sapahn. Take a look at www.sapahn.com. Handmade items are great.
Uma feirinha annual do Natal aqui na nossa cidade. Eles tinhas  pães , roscas, geleias caseiras, pickles, bijouterias, roupas e coisas pra bebes e muitas outros artesanatos. Comprei algumas coisas de uma jovem que vive em Tailandia, a  avó dela vive aqui na cidade. As coisas sao lindas e feitas pelas mulheres da Tailandia. A companhia e Sapahn, de uma olhada na internet.  www.sapahn.com



These dish towels are going for four sisters in laws, mom-in-law, one for daughter and one blue one for myself! :) They are actually sack towels that she attached a panel  in front for color and fun. I also got this cute baby cloth with yellow crochet trim and a burping cloth for our niece who is having a baby next January.
Essas toalhas de prato tem uns apliques bem bonitos, alguns com o tema de cafe outros com bonecos de neve como pode ver. Havia varios temas. Comprei um paninho com bico de crochet e outro paninho pra ombro pra o bebe da sobrinha Ruth que vai nascer nesse Janeiro.
 A close up:
These items were from Sapah. You may check sapahn.com   .  This bag is vintage, with very colorful embroidery and letter handles and cames with 4 antigue Burmese coins adorning it. A bolsa abaixo e feita de material antigo. E um bordado em alto relevo,  alsa de coro e decorada com conchinhas e moedas antigas de Birmânia.
Glass beads jewelry that cames in tiny woven straw containers as you can see below. Contas de vidro e o que usam pra essas bolseiras que vem em caixinhas de palha como pode ver abaixo.
 This is a close up of a small bag, these tiny pleaded work used to be all done by hand but now a days they are done by sewing machine. It's so tiny that I couldn't imagine my eyes ever working on something like this. Essa bolsinha e feita de pano com todas essas preguinhas minunciosas. Sao bem pequenas e não posso imaginar meus olhos fazendo algo assim.
 In another booth I got a Catholic medallion. No I am no longer Catholic but I enjoy these medallions. Hoping this has been a good week for you so far and wish for a great weekend ahead. Tambem comprei umas dessas medalhas Catolicas. Ja não sou Catolica mas apprecio essas medalhas. Desejo uma boa semana a todos voces!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Preparing for Christmas -  Making something cute to give away at Christmas time. I have seen these before but have never really made these but decided to make them this year. We usually go to my mother-in-law's house for Christmas. My husband has lots of simblings and thus many nieces and nephews and now those kids are married and have kids of their own. I live 5.3 hrs away and thus it's a problem taking all the food I need to take with us. My mom in law is getting older and I think that next year we will no longer meet at her house but we shall take turns between us and my husband's brothers and sister. It will be different since Holidays have always been at her house either Thanksgiving or Christmas or even for the 4th of July. It's tradition for us all but now it will be broken. So many great memories of our kids and their cousins playing excitingly around the house. Thanksgiving and Christmas will be at her house this year. Nothing stays the same forever. Life brings changes. How does your family celebrates Christmas or other holidays? Where do you go?


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!
Our friend La Neal stopped by with her little ones.  Some of the other kids in the community came over with some pretty nice costumes. We have to have pumpkin pie for dessert tonight. Somehow it goes with a Halloween night. Taking photos at night in our kitchen is a problem. The light there just isn't ideal.
Do you have Halloween in the area where you live?

Nossa amiga La Neal veio com os filhos e parou aqui pra pegar uns docinhos com eles. Hoje e Halloween! Eu fiz torta de gerimum porque vai bem com a noite de Halloween.



Saturday, October 27, 2012

 Above you see our first snow and we love it! We need lots of moisture to recuperate from the horrable drought. Wishing for lots of more snow!
Below are some photos of this great farm we visited. Our friends who live here have 25 cats in this red barn. I saw a cute white one that I wanted to bring home however one more cat in this house would be a real no no! The sand all around there was so fine like the sand you see in the beach by the ocean. The history behind this place is pretty phenomenal. They head their house with a wood stove and it was so toasty and warm. In the afternoon they have a rafter of wild turkeys that came by the fence which is only about 4 to 5 feet from their big kitchen window. I tried to take a photo however they are wild animals and as soon as they hear the slight noise they run away.



 This place was fascinating with the creek to the left and so many trees that it looked like a small forest.

 These photos below is the house and vineyards of their daughter and family. They actually live in Chicago now a days but still keep the house at this place. I remember getting a few bottles of wine from Pete's Creek winery.




Sunday, October 21, 2012

Autumn lights and food

The photo above was taken today. I like how the sun cames in through these windows giving us these lovely Autumn lights. I made a simple Sunday dinner. I had while wheat pasta with alfredo sauce. I add some extra cheddar cheese to the sauce. I also had some chicken breasts with herbes de provence., fresh pineapple cut up and lettuce/tomate/white onion for salad. 
Around our house we are happy to see colder temps and the lovely changes in nature in general.
Our son has been helping in the kitchen since he loves to cook and I am glad to have him make something for us to eat. He made qibbe. I liked the pine nuts inside.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

A lovely gift

A marvelous gift from my friend Andi.  http://mysistersknitter.typepad.com/my-blog/2012/10/winner-post.html
I am indeed lucky, look how beautiful this shawl is.  It's 100% wool and feel so soft and gentle. Thank you Andi!!! I love it!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Focaccia

For the love of Focaccia~

Francesca at http://www.fuoriborgo.com/fuoriborgo/ got me in the mood for focaccia. I have been in love with focaccia since we lived in Atlanta - Georgia back in 1996. I think that was the first time I tasted focaccia. Got hooked by it.  I usually use this recipe but add tomatoes, fresh oregano, basil and sometimes green and or black olives.  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easiest-Focaccia-Recipe/Detail.aspx?prop24=RD_RelatedRecipes
This was great with pesto and pickled peppers for the guys. I do not eat hot peppers! We also had different cheeses to go with our focaccia
My son also made a few days ago a great recipe and we all enjoyed. Cardamon Chicken with rice.
(Djeaj ma Riz Boukhari) . It's a Lebanse recipe from a book he got.
 
FOR THE CHICHEN:
I whole chichen about 4 1/2 lbs cut into 10 pieces
2 tablespoons apple cider vinager
1/4 cup extra virgen olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
1/2 cup peeled and shredded carrot (use large roles of a greater)
2  3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon groud cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/16 of a teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 cups boiling water
1/3 cup of tomato paste
3/4 cup peeled and diced tomato (1/2 inch)
FOR THE RICE:
1 teaspoon extra virgen olive oil
1 cup converted (also called parboiled rice)
2 1/2 cups hot reserved broth
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/2 cup toasted golden raisins

To prepare chichen:
cut chicken into 10 pieces.Leave the skin on. Rinse in a bowl with 6 cups cold water and the vinager to refresh the flavor of the chicken. Drain and set aside.
Pre-heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, salt and spices,saute over medium-heat for a couple of minutes. Add the pieces of chicken and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add the boiling water, tomato paste, and tomatoes. Stir well dissolving the tomato paste in the water. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a rolling boil, uncovered, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat. Transfer the pieces of chicken to a flat tray and set aside to cool, uncovered. Reserve all of the broth.
After 15 minutes remove and discard the skin and bones from the pieces of chicken. Do not remove the center bone fro the thigh of drumstick. Place the pieces of chicken in a container just large enough to hold them and cover with some of the reserved broth.
To prepare the rice:
Prehear the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Stir in the rice and coat the grains. Add 2 1/2 cups hot reserved broth and increase the heat to high. Bring to a rolling boil; then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for 15 minutes or until the broth has been absorbed. Then remove from the heat and set aside covered for 20 minutes. Fluff the rice , separating the grains with the tines of a fork,before serving.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds and raisins over a foil lined baking sheet, keeping them separate, and toast in the center of the oven, shaking the pan occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the almonds are golden and the raisins seem inflated. Remove from the oven and drizzle some of the melted butter over each, mixing well to incorporate the butter. Transfer to a paper towel-lined dish. Set aside to cool before using.
To serve:
Warm the meat and rice. Arrange the rice on a platter with the pieces of meat around the perimeter of the rice. Scatter th e room-temperature toasted nuts nad raisins in the center. Garnish with sprigs of parsley and diced tomato around the edge of the platter. Serve with Jalapeno-cilantro salsa as a condiment over the meat and rice, along with Pita Crouton Salad (optional.)

This was taken from a book he has on his kindle fire.  The book is : Classic Lebanese Cuisine by Chef Kamal Al Faqih
It is nice to have something different to serve and he served this with a  nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (Two Vines)