Christmas Blondies

Image

Given the name, these are nice to make around the holidays. Being our first year in our new house, I had high hopes of baking a lot between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The other day, I realized that I had not baked a single thing in quite a few weeks. I had meant to have a kitchen full of cookies and pies and other goodies. These Christmas Blondies were on my list of holiday goodies that I had planned on making sooner. I guess it is never too late though, especially when chocolate and cherries are involved.

(From a Better Homes and Garden magazine two or three years ago)

Makes 24 Bars (12 the way I cut them)

2/3 c margarine, softened

2 c brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 T cherry juice

1 1/2 t baking powder

2 t vanilla

1/4 t salt

2 1/4 c flour

3/4 c chopped dark sweet chocolate (6 oz) — I used Ghirardelli choc chips

1/2 c chopped cherries

Preheat oven 350*F. Lightly grease 13×9 inch pan.

In large mixing bowl, beat butter. Add brown sugar. Beat. Beat in eggs, cherry juice, baking powder, vanilla and salt. Add flour; beat just until blended. Stir in chocolate and cherries. Spread in pan.

Bake 30 minutes or until golden. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

I’m hoping to make these every holiday season. It seems like most people can say that their families usually make the same kinds of cookies each year as a tradition. I can usually count on my mom to make the same four kinds every Christmas, and it is nice to look forward to each year. Especially if it something you only get once a year. Do you have cookies or other goodies you make every year for the holidays?

Checking Off My List

Our house seems to finally be coming together. It feels good when I can check a project off on my list. It must have been over two months ago that my mom gave me a little shelf to hang on the wall in my spare bathroom. See previous post here to see how, with the help of my mom and sister, the top half of the bathroom was painted a light green to cover up an overwhelming teal. The bottom half is now all white instead of the gray. I used the same white paint on the little shelf my mom gave me. It used to be a golden yellow color with fake black crackling. It has been dry for a few weeks now, but I just finally got around to hanging it.

Image

I’ll have to play around with accessorizing.

Image

And here is a picture of the lovely teal that was on the wall when we moved in:

Image

It is a nice feeling when I get something done around here. I don’t think any room in our house is completely put together even though it has almost been a year since we bought it. Even this little spare bathroom is not done yet. The cabinet is still missing the knobs (there wasn’t a single knob in the house when we bought it). I also want to find something to hang on the opposite wall above the towel bar. For all I know, I should look around my basement because there might be something I already own that I can use.

Also, thanks mom for making this platform to go under our pretty cabinet. We got this antique cabinet from a family member when we moved, but I could not actually use it because the doors would scrape the floor when opened. My mom made a small platform to put the cabinet on so it is raised off the floor. Now I have a handy place to keep my cookbooks and things I use to pay bills. It is also right next to the back door, so I keep my purse and things I bring to work on top of it. Very handy!

Image

An Understanding Owl

Image

When I came home from running errands today, I saw an owl in my yard. In my excitement, I ran inside and got my camera. I started the frustrating process of trying to take a picture. My essential tremors make taking pictures really difficult. My shaking causes most of the pictures to come out blurry. I usually try to find something to rest the camera on. In this case, I tried steadying my hands by putting my elbows on the handle bar of the grill on our back deck. I was glad this owl was very relaxed and not in a rush to go anywhere. In fact, an hour later he is still there. I am glad for that because, out of the 66 pictures I took of him (or her), I deleted 63 due to being blurry. I can’t take a picture with this light-weight camera for the life of me. I have a nicer camera that is a Nikon N75. It is an SLR and I love it because the weight of it steadies my hands and weighs down the tremor. Unfortunately, I was out of film, so I took 66 pictures with the lighter digital camera, and ended up with 3 keepers. Here are the other two of my friendly owl:

Image

As you can see by the above picture, he is very close to my back deck.

Image

Thank you owl for sitting calmly while I tried to take a picture that would do you justice (or at least not be blurry). I hope to see you around again!