Tuesday, December 16, 2008

12-16-08 Christmas Tree Ornaments

12-16-08 My favorite things about the holidays, besides the obvious being able to spend time with friends and family, is decor and embellishments. I love the way a Christmas Tree looks when it's perfectly lit, and Steve did such an incredible job on our first tree ever, this year. It's hard not to tear up, every time I walk past. Did I mention I'm pregnant and emotional? 
Then when you decorate the tree with all of your beloved keepsakes and heirlooms, it just makes this time that much more special. This edition of my blog I thought I'd share 5 of my most cherished tree ornaments.
1. a bear my husband and I found while we were honeymooning at Lake George in upstate New York.
2. Also from the Lake George area, it's a hand crafted angel from recycled pieces.
3. Is similar to a bell in the way it's constructed. Steve and I found this one while we were in San Antonio awaiting a Spurs game while vacationing in Texas a few years ago.
4. Is a gift from my mother, for nearly a decade my mother would find an ornament she loved and give both my sister and myself one. That way, no matter where we were or who we celebrated with that year we would all have that kind of a connection.
5. Came from my mother-in-law. It was an embellishment to a gift she wrapped for me.

Which brings me to my other favorite holiday tradition. Gift Wrap. Sometimes it just doesn't matter what's inside. A great gift starts with a great wrapping job. It's just another way to show people how much you care for them. I LOVE gift wrap. Tomorrow, I'll put some images up of my favorite wrapped gifts from under our tree.
Thanks for looking.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

12-11-08 Wow's Birthday

12-11-08 This is my sister Hillarie's birthday today. I tried to ring her on 3 phone numbers and a text but she is not surfacing, good for her for taking a day away from it all.
I'm sure she couldn't possibly miss our dad's faithful Birthday good morning jingle "You Say it's your birthday." You just haven't lived, until you've heard that song, full back-up bad, live @ 7:30 in the morning, over the phone. He has been honoring us with this tradition for several years now. I usually listen then ask him to call back and leave me a message so I can keep it for a few months, it's so fun. Then he calls back with the same number for next year. It is something I look forward to every year.
In honor of Hill's Birthday I thought I'd post some pictures of her daughter, my niece, Reagan. She is growing up now, she'll be 2 in February and really starting to come into her own, in terms of personality and she is so much fun to play with. Over Thanksgiving she found herself a little Santa hat and hammed it up for the camera.
Thanks for looking.
Happy Birthday Wow (it's a pet name)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12-10-08 O'Brien Clan

12-10-08 O'Brien Kiddos
These images were shot for the families annual Christmas card. Meet James, Emily and Hannah. They look like a Merry bunch ;)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

12-9-08 Abad Wedding

12-8-08 Steve and I shot this wedding a little over a month ago. Our couple was thrilled with the results. mainly they were renewing their vows after 14 years of marriage and trying to have photographs that best complimented their original photography. She email me images of their family posed together 14 years ago and I was able to best match those with their maturing daughters. They were quite the party crowd, everyone had a blast and the DJ was excellent. I hope you like the images.

Monday, December 8, 2008

12-8-08 Thanksgiving Tribute IV

12-8-08 Mom's Stuffing
Mom use to make this when we were younger, and she insists that she can't do it anymore, in fact she swears she can't cook anything anymore.... She cooked for us for years and now she'd like to sit back and let someone else do it. That's cool, I don't mind taking the reins.
2 loaves of low carb wheat bread 
1 loaf of wheaty-nutty bread
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 16 oz package of Sage pork sausage
2 medium onions (chopped)
4 stalks celery (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
32 oz of chicken stock (store bought or I make my own, by boiling the neck and innards of the Turkey for 15 minutes or so)
1. Start by toasting all of the bread. I prefer in the toaster, it gives the bread equal brownness and you can be working on 2 things at the same time. Then chop the bread into 1/2 inch tiles, mom used to tear the bread but I prefer the uniformity of the squares for my stuffing. This part can be done right before assembly or up to a couple days in advance. 
2. Saute the sausage until nearly done and add onions, celery, and garlic. Saute until the onions are wilted. 
3. If you're preparing your own chicken stock then take this time to do that.
4. Combine bread with seasonings then add sausage mixture, stir until thoroughly combined. Start adding chicken stock until bread is damp and clumpy. If you don't need it all don't use it all. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. A little trick I learned from Rachel Ray is to make sure that all of the stuffing has crust, since it is everybody's favorite. So we put some of the stuffing in the bird but it dries out the bird some, so we try to cook the bulk of the stuffing this way. Prepare muffin tins by coating them with cooking spray. Form balls with the stuffing and drop them into the cups. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes checking often. You're looking for brownness and texture from the crust of your stuffing muffins. All of the ingredients are pre-cooked so cook to desired doneness.

Hope you like all of the fun recipes.
tomorrow we'll be back, I'm not sure what we'll be writing about but I'm sure it's going to be fun.