Thursday, December 31, 2009

The girls

Don't ask me why, but this is what we did at our Christmas get together! These are all the girls in our family...me, my sister, sister-in-law, 4 daughters, 2 daughters-in-law and one grandchild. And we do have fun together!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Marcia makes marshmallows!

I saw some homemade marshmallows on foodgawker the other day and I thought to myself, this is my next project! But I looked through the recipe and it looked rather difficult, or so I thought. So I googled good old Martha Stewart and watched a tutorial of how to make them and it looked easy...but then, I'm a visual learner. So I tried them. I decided to add crunched up candy canes to the fluff stuff in the last minute of whipping the fluff. See how you can see the little bits of red in the marshmallows? I loved how they turned out. Warren came home and I informed him that I had made marshmallows. He said, "why would you do that when you can just go buy them?" Well, I said, "just because I can." Actually, I like a challenge, I like to try new things and there's a nice little feeling of accomplishment I feel when I can do it! I've had my share of flops, but it's still fun to try (cake pops for instance). And when I make something from "scratch" at least I know what's in it. Granted, these are not the top of the line nutritionally, but they are very good. Now I tend to think "rubbery" when I think of the store bought jet puffed ones...what does that mean anyways???


So here is my marshmallow with a hint of peppermint in my fair trade dark hot chocolate that I dearly love. It was oh, so good!

Here's the recipe if you're interested.
You need 3 pkg. unflavored gelatin (not to be confused with jello gelatin)
(If you buy it in bulk, each pkg. = 3/4 T)
Pour 1/2 C cold water in your mixing bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over it, let set 10 min.
In a saucepan, mix 2 C sugar
2/3 C light Karo
1/4 C water
Slowly bring to a boil, stirring, let it boil rapidly for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and carefully pour over the gelatin mixture in bowl. Add 1/4 t. kosher salt. Immediately start beating it with the whisk attachment on high speed for 12 minutes. If you have a Kitchen Aid, you can just walk away for 11 minutes. If you want to add finely chopped candy canes, add them in the last minute, along with a bit of vanilla. You could probably use strawberry flavoring or whatever, I guess.

By the time the 12 min. is up, you have a big fluffy mass of white stuff. You then pour it into a 9x9 pan that has had saran wrap lined both ways in the pan, with a 2 in. overhang on each side. And it needs to be sprayed with Pam. (Get this pan thing done ahead of time!) So then you pour the fluff stuff on the saran in the pan. Spread as good as you can, then take another piece of saran, spray with Pam again and lay it on top of the marshmallows, Pam side touching the marshmallows. You can kind of smooth them this way. Let them cool 2-3 hours or overnight. To cut, lift them out of the pan onto a cutting board by lifting the saran wrap. Get a large knife, spray with Pam. Cut down the middle first, you should end up with 36 squares. The last step is to roll them in some sifted powder sugar and they're ready to eat. I went right for the hot chocolate myself...I also dipped a couple in melted chocolate for fun. Oh, and you can put them in a freezer bag and freeze them.

If you try these, I would be curious to know if you did and if you like them!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Woo Hoo!

Yesterday I had a follow up clinic appointment AND my O2 sat was 96% AND (drum roll)...my FEV1 was 52%, up from 41% two weeks ago AND I was at 1.28L, up from 1.11L. My best PFT's in a long while! Can I have a little applause please??!!! Bring on the holidays!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cookies!

The gingerbread house that I threw together last week out of a kit. The little boys love touching it and would love to lick it!



These are one of my favorite Christmas time cookies, thumbprints. They are a bit of work, because you have to roll the dough into tiny balls, then into egg whites and then chopped pecans. You bake them 5 minutes, then press your thumb in the middle and bake 5 more minutes. Then buttercream icing in the middle!! I could easily eat 10 of those buttery little things at once!

Kayden and I made gingerbread cookies one evening.



He was a little concerned that they would jump out of the oven when I opened the door!


Steph and the boys came over last Monday afternoon to help with the cutout cookies. I tried to show Perrin how to put the sprinkles on the frosting, but he was just interested in eating them!

Well, basically, so was Kayden!

The cookie cutouts are another favorites that my mom always made. They are not the soft kind. They are more crispy and a little soft in the middle. And again, very buttery tasting...yum! I do love butter!!!

He did get some sprinkles on before he started licking his fingers and eating!


These are cookies that I took home from a cookie exchange that our church had. It was fun and interesting to see all the different kinds of cookies!

Saturday evening Warren and I went to hear Tiffany sing in the Messiah. It was wonderful with the live orchestra!! Then last night at church was the kids Christmas program. It was really cute and well done!! Now I'm officially in the Christmas spirit!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Early morning!

Wednesday morning we got up at 4:15 (which was almost the worst part!) to get ready to leave for my bronchoscopy. We had to drive to Cleveland and it was scheduled for 7:30. Everything went smoothly and on time and we were able to leave a little before 10 and were home by noon. I was light headed and slept on the way home and then crawled into bed and slept much of the afternoon. The doctor did some tissue biopsies and cultures and then "washed" out my lung. He only went in on one side, the side that I'd had the pneumothorax on several years ago. He said that that side would be less likely to collapse again because it would have built up scar tissue where the tube had been put in to reinflate. At any rate, I had no side effects other than coughing up some blood, which he said was normal. At any rate, I'm glad it's over! I'm hoping to hear back from the doctor by Mon. I have an appointment at clinic on Tues. morning.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Whew!!

I had a clinic appointment yesterday, which was good timing, since I had just been sick. I was definately a little nervous about doing PFT's, I was afraid they would've dropped a LOT. I did lots of praying as I was driving there!! Well, I was very surprised to find out that my FEV1 was just the same as 2 months ago at 42% and 1.11 L. My O2 level was 94%. So, yes, I was relieved! Dr. M. did say that overall I met the criteria for doing IV's for a week or two, but after she and Dr. S talked, they decided to keep me on oral cipro for two more weeks instead. So I am a happy camper!! There is only one issue left...I am supposed to have a bronchoscopy next Wednesday (9th), since I haven't cultured any bugs for a year, just aspergillus, they want to see if any are hiding down deep. They are just surprised that I haven't had any more pseudomonas for over a year...so not sure why I keep having flare ups. But since I've been on the cipro and will continue, I may have to cancel and do it later. So I'll call that doctor on Monday to see if I'll be doing it or not. And that's the end of my rather boring little post!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Finally...

finally, I feel like I'm starting to emerge into a real person again! After 10 days of feeling yuck, I was able to be up a good part of the day and actually get some things done!! I'm still on antibiotics for several days yet, but feeling SO much better! The tree is decorated and the Christmas music was playing today!

Kayden had his third birthday a few weeks ago and I made these rainbow cupcakes. They turned out cute, so I thought I'd post pictures. I found the recipe online. It was a white cake recipe, but I just used a Betty Crocker white mix. You divide the batter up equally into 5 smaller containers or cups. Then use food coloring, red, orange, yellow, green and blue into each. I made mine pretty bright. Then put about 1 T of each batter into a cupcake paper, first blue, then green, yellow, orange and last red. Don't try to spread out the batter, just let it sort of go together. I did bake them in cupcake pans. Kayden and Aila thought they were cool! They were fun to eat!!







Happy Birthday Kayden!!!