Hodge Podge

I LOVE english toffee. Love, Love, love it. Especially the stuff by V chocolates. But, because of the price I have only bought it once, I was totally addicted and I crave it all year long. Last night I made this recipe and it is sooo good (just as good as V's) and so easy. I suggest using a candy thermometer and cooking until "hard crack" instead of using her method of dropping drips of the toffee into ice water (I know this is the original method, but I have never been able to get it right).

Here is the recipe just in case you don't want to link over (it looks long, but if you use the thermometer you can skip half the instructions):

1 cup of butter
½-cup brown sugar
½ cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of your favorite nuts
1/2 package of chocolate chips
Prep: On the bottom of a 9x13-glass pan, spread a light coat of butter and ¼ cup
your favorite nuts. Also, have a small bowl of ice water ready to test your toffee.

The toffee recipe needs constant attention and stirring for about 10 minutes. In a
heavy saucepan, add butter and sugars and melt on high heat. Once the butter and
sugars have melted and started to boil, the toffee will go through 4 stages.

Stage 1: butter and sugars are melted, but not mixed. Keep stirring.
Stage 2: Butter and sugars are mixed and start to cook. Keep stirring.
Stage 3: Butter and sugars are bubbling. Keep stirring.
Stage 4: Butter and sugars change color, slightly (from light tan to dark tan) toffee
looks almost like taffy, it becomes smooth not bubbly. Keep stirring and start to
test for hard crack.

Hard Crack: Hard crack is when you take a small piece of toffee and when it hits
ice-cold water, it sizzles. This is when the toffee is done!

Pour toffee evenly into buttered 9x13 pan, do not spread or stir, just pour
directly from saucepan. Sprinkle with your favorite chocolate chips on top,
the hot toffee will melt the chips in a few minutes. With a spatula, spread the
melted chips over the toffee and sprinkle with your favorite nuts.

Allow toffee to completely cool, break apart with a knife and enjoy!
Christmas is just not Christmas without a gingerbread house to display in your house. My parents and all of my siblings (except for you K&J-we understand-Germany is a little too far to travel)got together and showed our talents at house building. Here is my kids creation. Peanut was in charge of the yard and Finley was in charge of the roof. I definitely had to give up my idea of a perfect cottage-like gingerbread house, once i relaxed, it was fun to see the kids imaginations take over. And Finally.....Peanut lost her first tooth. She was worried she was going to be stuck with her baby teeth for her entire life. The thing was hanging by a string for a week. She refused to let anyone pull it except for the sister at church who promised her 5 bucks to let her pull it out. Right before sacrament meeting on Sunday Peanut searched out Sister Phillips, who was on the stand playing the piano, to ask if she could come to her house later in the afternoon to get it pulled. Sister Phillips replied by asking if she could feel it to see if it was ready. Right then and there Sister Phillips pulled it. Eden returned to our bench with tissues shoved in her mouth and one in her hand containing the tooth, in the other hand was a crisp 5 dollar bill. She was all smiles. She is like her Dad and likes to make a buck (or five), she saves like her dad too, not like her mom.

(Not the best picture, it was late at night when we realized we should take a picture and I hate using a flash.)


Christmas Festivities

We enjoyed several Christmas traditions last week. We began by going to the Festival of the Trees to see peanut perform in her choir. She was so cute. I love watching her perform because she loves it and gets totally into it.
The kids sat on Santa's lap for the first time in their entire lives. Yes, Peanut is almost 7 and this is the first year she was brave enough to take a seat. She asked Santa for an American Girl doll and Finley asked for Spike the remote control dinosaur (he saw it in a magazine and has been in love ever since, and the display at Target only confirmed his love) . hmmm we will have to see what Santa decides on.Sunday we enjoyed a trip downtown to see Cache perform in his choir. He has been singing with the Sally Bytheway choral for 4 years now and they are AMAZING! They are right up there with the Mo-tab in my unbiased opinion :) I am glad that they perform at Temple Square each year because it gives an excuse to see the lights. I honestly don't know if we would make the time to see them if it wasn't for the performance. Without fail the lights were beautiful and the nativity and the Luke II video and the Christus brought a lot of great questions from Finley. I liked being able to explain the "reason for the season".


I am here..........

I have had some people ask if I was going to post their pictures on my blog, yes -I meant to do it sooner-I am sorry I have delayed it for so long. I know everyone likes to be famous even if it is on my tiny little, not very popular blog :)

And for a little personal update (since this is my personal blog).......Thanksgiving was wonderful. We enjoyed Wednesday night at Cache's family's house, I love that they celebrate the night before, It is wonderful to have everyone able to come. The food was as always-delicious. I made the Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato Casserole and mmmmm it was sooo yummy. Thursday was enjoyed at my brother's house with a small little group of my parents, us, and of course my brother and his family. We missed my 3 other siblings and their families and chaos that goes along with 8 more children and 6 more adults.

My morning sickness (evening sickness in my case) seems to be getting a little better. I only throw up 5 days of the week instead of 7, things are looking good.

I promise I will have some personal pictures up later, but here are some of the fun families I have been able to photograph lately. Remember, I don't claim to be a professional or anything close to one.