Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hodge Podge

I really appreciate those of you who have sent words of support and encouragement about my "down" day yesterday. I don't know for sure if anybody out there said a little prayer for me, but I certainly feel uplifted today. I wouldn't say I'm feeling super happy, but I'm not feeling sad either. I'm back to my semi-comfortable "I'm just going to have to wait this out" attitude. =-)
Still no word from Lois. I'm starting to get paranoid that she never got my email on Sunday. But I emailed with Barbara C today and she hasn't heard from Lois either. She was paranoid about the lost email thing too! LOL! I don't want Barbara to have to wait any longer to hear from Lois, but it is true that misery loves company. It's good to have someone to comiserate with. We're both hoping for second referrals and I bet we have lots of the same questions right now.
Well, my mind is pretty occupied right now by the events of this coming weekend. We're hosting the Christmas get-together for my mom's side of the family (about 20 people). Six of them are staying the weekend with us! It somehow feels like I've graduated since I'm now the one hosting this event. It was always at my Aunt and Uncle's house when I was growing up (they always seemed so perfect and "together"). I guess Eric and I have "arrived." =-) There is a certain amount of pressure that comes with upholding all of our family traditions, but I love it!
Today the kids and I shopped most of the day, preparing for the big feast and all of the goodies that I need to bake/make before Saturday. I spent an obsene amount of money on baking goods, meat, and bread--way more than our usual grocery budget. I love Christmas but our bank account does NOT!
Here are two really good recipes to try if you're in the mood for something new. The first is my Aunt Margaret's "Drip Beef." This sounds really weird but it is SO GOOD! You basically slow cook a pot roast in seasonings until it falls apart into strips of drippy goodness! Then serve on french rolls or hoagie buns for a very savory meal! The second recipe is one I just tried for the first time tonight but it's definitely going on my all-time favorites list. It tastes very much like a twix candy bar when it's done--and it's so quick and easy to make!
Aunt Margaret's Drip Beef:
3 - 4 Lbs. chuck roast
1 Tbs. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. oregano
3/4 Tbs. Lawry's Seasoning Salt
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 c. water

Add everything together. Cook on low in crock pot all day. As the beef becomes tender, periodically use a fork to strip it away from the larger part of the roast. Serve on rye buns or french rolls
Caramel Crips Bars:

"An irresistible twist on cripsed-rice treats, this simple melt-and-mix recipe takes the calssic kid favorite to a whole new level."

Makes about a dozen large bars or 2 dozen small.


4 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup (1/2 stick) butter
14 caramel candies
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 1/2 cups crisped-rice cereal
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips


1. Line a 9X13 baking pan with a piece of foil that extends at least 2 inches over each end. Grease the foil (I used Pam); set the pan aside.

Melt the marshmallows, butter, and caramels in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir continuously until smooth (approximately 9 minutes).

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract (I forgot to do this and think it's going to be fine). Add the cereal and chocolate chips; mix well.

Spread the mixture in the prepared pan. Let it cool completely, at least 45 minutes.

2. Transfer the mixture to a cutting board by lifting up the foil. Carefully peel off the foil. Using a sharp knife, cut the mixture into bars. Store in an airtight container.
Merry Christmas,