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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Post on All Things Christmas

So... I couldn't find an EXACT copy of my Christmas card - but here is a similar one - M and I had fun filling them out together this year - not done yet - he just happened to use MOST of them so now I need to find some still-cute ones tonight after my final! Jeez!


Our Federal Building had it's Christmas Party last Friday. I know lots of people have cancelled their parties this year due to the climate - but ours has always been at one of the judge's homes and mostly everyone brings one dish. This year I baked both my favorite sugar cookie recipe from a local chef who is a family friend ...

and I also did a Giada De Laurentiis recipe - although I fear I used a bit too much mint in my love of mint for the other people eating the food. However, they did go quickly - didn't sell out completely - but they were munched on by at least a dozen or more diners... PLUS, M HATES peas, but loved this one. haha

Sweet Pea Crostini:
Ingredients
Sweet Peas:
2 cups chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen peas
1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 ounces finely diced prosciutto
Crostini:
1 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
3 to 4 cloves garlic
Directions
For the Sweet Peas: Warm the chicken broth and red pepper flakes in a medium

saucepan over medium-high heat until the broth boils. Add the frozen peas and cook until the peas are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the peas in a mesh sieve.

Place the peas in a food processor with the mint, salt, and pepper. Puree the pea mixture. Place the pea puree in a medium bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the crostini: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the baguette slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in the oven until toasted and golden around the edges, about 10 minutes. While the crostini are still warm, drizzle the tops with extra-virgin olive oil. Using a whole clove of garlic in your fingertips, rub the top of the crostini a few times to give a hint of garlic.

I do not put the cream in - it is fluffy and dense enough as it is, and I think it just adds fat to the dish.... I DO get generous with the proscuitto though... To finish, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the pea puree. Top each of the crostini with about 1 tablespoon of pea puree. Sprinkle with a bit of the diced prosciutto. Serve immediately.


Talk about LAME - now, I love Lowes - my Daddy works there as a pre-retirement job (and he can hang out with lots of people we know and get them to buy from him, among other benefits! ha!) and so M and I wanted to go there to get a tree to support Daddy. WELL, guess what? Lowe's delivered their Christmas trees to their stores BEFORE EVEN THANKSGIVING. Soooo when people like M and I were wanting to buy a REAL tree and a cast-iron tree stand, there was NOTHING left. Whether it was a fresh tree - while there were some they were either tiny or too tall (for our lame-ass townhome)! or a nice tree stand (who the heck puts a 6.5 foot tree into a plastic tree stand)? So we sadly wandered into the building to look at fake trees - neither of us has EVER had a fake tree before - but the more expensive ones were nice. We picked out this baby:



And when we went to check out - it was only $90! 50% off! Yay! We were very excited. And you know what? It looks nice!! I will post pictures of it soon with all of the presents around it.

<3

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Perfect Place, Take 2

Some changes from the last place we looked at:
Is a townhome
In a village-country club setting
50 grand more expensive (but still affordable)
New, but still of quality construction



Front of Residence:


Foyer/DR/Kitchen:


Great Room:


First Floor Master:


MASTER WALK IN CLOSET!!!:


Bedroom #2:


Bedroom #3:


Bedroom #4:


Walk-out to Community Greenspace at Back of House:


Looking Back towards House from Greenspace:



Things I do not like so far:
No drive-way, and no garage.
Is a townhouse
Not a charming old estate
Closer to Charlottesville
Nonexistant acreage
Nowhere to garden
More expensive


Things I do like so far:
New
HOA-maintanance++++
Hardwood Floors
Walk-in closets
4BR, 2.5 BA
Colonial Architecture
High Ceilings
Crown Molding
Mountain views
Ceiling Fans
Built-in Bookcases

Monday, December 1, 2008

Disappointed

Just found out a lot of bad things about the town where the house is so... we are not going to get it.

We were literally -> <- this close to getting it. We were so lucky that there was a counter-offer, otherwise we would be obligated to get the house. I am completely devastated, naturally.


So sad.