Friday, December 21, 2012

Rambling My Way Through the Christmas Holidays...

Wow, it has been a minute since I posted. Kinda hard to miss me considering all that has been going on in this world we live in. I purposely decided to post this on December 21st, since folks were thinking it was doomsday. I don’t know about you, but I believe only God knows when this world will end.

This week has been busy, but not busy. Does that make sense? I have a very clean desk because only about 3 or 4 of us are working in my unit this week. So I have been crazy productive. And my desk proves it.

It is hard to believe Christmas is next week. I worked like a fiend to get ready for our annual holiday meeting in December and once it is over, I finally get to relax only for Christmas to be knocking on my door. Since I didn’t buy a lot of gifts, I baked and did homemade gifts I feel kinda like superwoman or something.

So since I am really rambling my way through this posts here are some pictures of my Christmas decorations:    
My Hear No, Speak No, See No Evil Angels
Another ornament
Hair Puffs Angel Topper
More decorations
Dining table decorations
Livingroom decoration (excuse the bags on the couch)
Kwanzaa Centerpiece in my den
  So on Thursday, December 13th, I did some marathon cookie baking.  Yes, I got off work at 5 and went home and baked cookies until after midnight (I was off Friday).  I made sure that at least during Scandal I was only putting and taking pans out of the oven during the commercial breaks.
The cookies for my 2nd job kids.  Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Chip Toffee Nut, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Raisins, Triple Ginger Cookies... Also, sent some to my brother as well.

Fed. Ex almost got me because I had been waiting on my beeswax to be delivered and you know when I got them?  When I was getting in my car to go to my 2nd job on Friday.  But I made the candles.  They turned out alright.  Had quite a few to crack and I did re-melt but it didn't keep it from cracking again.  However, the Ginger lime fragrance and the fact I actually made them made me pat myself on my back.  I am so glad I did this project.  And since I have a pound and 1/2 of beeswax...I have so more candle making to do...
One pound of the wax and my Ginger Lime fragrance and my free bottle of Plumeria fragrance.
Ready for the oven.
Up Close
The finished product...
Wrapped and ready.  Smells wonderful.  And my book club members loved them.

My meeting went well.  I was well organized so I was able to enjoy a glass of wine before my members arrived.  My spread was amazing as well...

The spread with menu cards.  Looks good doesn't it?
Dessert table w/treat bags to take cookies home.
Mini Salted Caramel Apples pies...No Lattice work cookie cutter flowers.  LOL!
A little blurry by the end of the night, because I killed the entire bottle of the Cupcake Red Velvet wine...
What was on the menu you asked?  Chicken and Ham Salad finger sandwiches, Buffalo wings, Jerk wings, Crispy Asian Orange wings, Honey BBQ wings, Sweet and Spicy meatballs, Veggie stuffed mushrooms, Savory stuffed meatballs, Bottom of the Lake Dip, Asian Salad, Broccoli Crunch salad, Fruit tray and Veggie tray.  With cookies and the pies... Overachiever.  That would be me.
So my past weekend was busy, but satisfying.  Then Monday came and I had to mail packages.  I went to three different post offices looking for a box that I found I could only purchase online.  Ugh!  However, I mailed my packages.  I also tried to purchase my Kwanzaa stamps but didn't have any at the final post office.  So I ordered them online and it said it takes one to two days to get them.  As of right now.  I do not have my stamps.  I have addressed Christmas cards, but no damn stamps.  I quit the post office.
This weekend I work all weekend.  Some where in between working and running errands, I have to wrap The Guy's gift and see him to exchange gifts.  My life.  I also have to cook my dishes for Tuesday, but I have all day Monday to ponder those things as I relax in pjs and drink wine.  Looking forward to the brief time to relax, because I will be at work on Wednesday.
Guess who is here? 
Carson, baby!
Carson's school picture.  Look at those muscles.  I thought he was ready for the club because his shirt was showing off his muscles, but I looked closely at his shirt and realized the monkey picture would not do.

Lala cheesing hard after giving folks whatever crude she had.  Now she is feeling real good and everyone else is side-eyeing her.

I hope you and your families have a blessed Christmas and I see you next week!  And continue to pray for Sandy Hook Elementary.

P. S. I have my Samsung Galaxy 3...for much less than my provider was offering.  It is a good idea to read forums.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Starting to celebrate the holidays...

Thanks to Beautifully Complex for the this wine suggestion because I saw it on your blog.  Will tell you all about it this week.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend...

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Creative Cooking...Tomato Basil Soup

Remember a few posts back I told you about my book club having our last meeting at a neighboring town restaurant and although I was disappointed they no longer had the crab claws I was craving, they did have a great Tomato Basil Soup. Oak Tavern in Prattville made my dining taste buds stand up at attention. The soup was flavorful, filled with chunks of tomatoes but it was one of those comfort foods you know you want to taste over and over again. Well, the weekend after Thanksgiving, I decided to make the soup and I found a really easy recipe on Jenny Steffens blog and added a few extra things to give me the taste that I fell in love with at Oak Tavern.


3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 - 14 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes

1 - 14 oz. can of whole tomatoes

2 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)

1 tsp of sea salt

1 tsp of sugar

1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup of heavy cream

3 tablespoons of fresh basil, julienned

1 tbs Chopped cooked bacon

2 Roma tomatoes chopped

Sauteed garlic and cooked bacon

After adding my sugar, sea salt and pepper


In a saucepan, sauté your garlic and bacon in olive oil until fragrant and do not burn your garlic. Then add your crushed tomatoes. Next, add your whole tomatoes one at a time and squeezing them into your saucepan. I unfortunately tended to get the tomatoes on everything instead of just in the saucepan, but make sure to add the juice into the pan as well. Now it is time to add your chicken stock and salt, pepper and sugar. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then reduce your heat and add the cream and julienned basil and your sliced roma tomatoes.
After adding my cream and basil. 

Then prepare to have your taste buds dancing as you taste your first spoon of this delicious soup.
Absolutely delicious!

Verdict: Adding the bacon and roma tomatoes added more flavor and great texture. I ate the soup every day for a week. It was tasty, comforting and hell, I feel like making it again this weekend. I will definitely keep this soup in my rotation. The reason I used the bacon was for the flavor and I didn't want to saute the garlic in the bacon fat, which would make it to greasy and it cut back on some of the calories.  And no I didn’t eat it with a grill cheese sandwich; least you forgot I do not like cheese for real. Make this your taste buds will thank you.

Look at the tomatoes sticking out.  I love this soup, really I do!

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Disclosure: Just so we are all clear any opinions or thoughts made on this blog or site are my own. Comments and statements from third parties may or may not be the opinion of Cashana Musings. I do not get paid to write book reviews or reviews of products or services. All reviews are based solely off my opinion as Cashana of Cashana's Musings. While I may receive review copies of books and even products or services they in no way influence my writing. All items that were received by me for review are disclosed as such. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Currently, we do not do advertisements.