Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Years from the Parlor

Another year is upon us.  A time to reflect upon ones life and goals.  I wrote some resolutions last year and now I will evaluate them.  First, I have to walk to the refrigerator to fetch them and perhaps grab a snack while I am there.

1) Start a healthy cooking blog
-leads to healthier eating
-weight loss
I did start this blog last year.  I call it Twisted Sister Cafe'.  I was relatively successful until I blew it off entirely around about Sept.  Through then, it did lead to healthier eating and weight loss.  I dropped about 14 pounds and looked pretty swell.  But all good things must come to an end and the holiday feeding frenzies of October, November and December packed it on again.  Guess I have to keep this on the list.  Grade?  I give myself a C+ for half the years efforts.

2) Get fit enough to climb part of the Barr Trail (to where it meets the incline) about 2,000 feet elevation gain.
-friends getting married May 5th at the top of Pike Peak
-Need to be able to climb part of the Barr Trail when they arrive
-Leads to weight loss and better health.
I did technically accomplished this goal in April.  On the downside, I lost my pedometer and some skank found it and kept it.  A couple of weeks later, when my friends arrived, I had strained some body part and was unable to walk much of anything.  I did lose weight and feel great, but alas, after 3 months of sitting on my ass doing other things, lets just say, well, all that was lost has been gained.  Grade? Another C+.

3) Learn to identify my gulls
 accomplished this last winter and really felt confident during gull seminar.  However, all that knowledge has drained from my brain and now I can't tell the difference between a yellow-footed and a yellow-legged.  Still, I did see some new species last year and was able to identify them.  Grade? Perhaps a B.

4) Learn my bird calls - bird by ear
Despite endless hours of bird calls playing in my car and home (can you say boring???),  I think I only can identify 40 species by sound -not so good and not much of an improvement over last year  - perhaps I learned 20.  Then in October, I ditched the bird calls, returned to alternative rock music and have not learned a single one since.  I guess this resolution has to stay on the list.  Grade? D.

5) Farts
This was a resolution added to my list 10 days ago by my 29 year old nephew.  I am not sure how to accomplish this - louder? smellier? more often? But I do have to say, in this arena of my life, I need to set no goals - I am a master already.  So for the "farts" resolution, I give myself an A+.  Glad I excelled at something in 2015.

I think the moral of this story is that I need to write resolutions that last 1/2 a year.  Then I would accomplish them all! And October, November and December must be declared resolution free months, unless of course, those resolutions pertain to eating more candy and holiday decorating. Hope you lads and lasses accomplished more in 2015 than I did.  Cheers and have a Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Creepmas Day 13

The last day of Creepmas is upon us -  I have cracked a bottle of proseco, turned on "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and His Lordship and I are fixing to devour a lovely Creepmas dinner. 
My little gift today was a lovely spider choker.  I had plans to model it for you but my house is cold and I don't feel like changing my clothes. It won't look very good with this sweat shirt. 
I have enjoyed spending the last 13 days with all of you reader and bloggers. Alas, that other more intrusive holiday is beginning to rear its ugly head and I must begin the long process of shopping, cleaning, decorating, travelling, cooking, wrapping, eating, drinking, on and on it goes.  So if I don't swap a howdy for awhile, you'll understand I am otherwise engage.   I have to go now - the occupants of Halloween town are about to make Christmas - that's my favorite part of the movie.  Merry Creepmas everyone!
Anyone want a kiss under the mistletoe?  From a spider?

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Creepmas Day 12

Today I am menu planning for Creepmas dinner on the 13th.  For my meal, I want to focus on foods that are red and black. I found beautiful black rice and lentils at the store today but his Lordship want beans.  Beets, red current jelly and pomegranates are representing the red foods.  The main meat course will be venison because, in order to make the holiday mash up sufficiently macabre, we are going to eat Rudolf.  So here is the menu we will make tomorrow night.

Tonight, in hopes Krampus hasn't overlooked the Haunted Parlor again this year, I am leaving out cookies and a shot of vodka.  I hope he likes them.

I haven't forgotten to open my little calendar. Mostly it's been black candies, dark chocolate and licorice, plus a gift from his Lordship I cannot share on this PG blog.  Well, I better get cooking - I have a cheesecake to make and I want to check in with every blog participating in Creepmas. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Creepmas Day 11

Yes - the Creepmas cookies are baked, decorated and ready to make their appearance on the blog.  Most I will freeze and share with Baby M at Christmas. But a few got devoured today.

My tried and true recipe is here.  His Lordship even helped with the decorating - those bats with sprinkles are his.  He also frosted the trees.  Hope you enjoyed the Creepmas cookies and are inspired to make some of your own.  Only 2 days left.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Creepmas Day 10

What would Creepmas be without at least one epic fail in the craft department? I purchased a little gingerbread cookie house on sale at Cost Plus with such big dreams of the perfect gingerdead Creepmas house.  Something like one of the amazing structures below..

Alas, it was not meant to be.  Upon opening the box, I found the cookie walls and roof broken in multiple pieces. Any sane person would have just thrown it in the trash.  I am not sane.  I set about glueing the parts back together with the black frosting provided by the kit.  I let them dry about 5 hours. The instructions said to decorate before assembly which I gladly did.

Then came the fun part - actually putting it together into a house like structure.  I enlisted his Lordships helpful hands and we began.  1 wall up, then 2, then 3 - it looked like success might be ours.  But wall number 4 actually split back it two, pulling other broken pieces off and shifting the whole thing, giving it the appearance of a house with major foundation issues. 

"This thing will never support a roof!"  I cried as I stuck my finger yet again into the icing on the decorated sides.  Then I had the brilliant idea to glue the roof to cardboard so it would not crumble again. Finally, I put the roof on and over and over, watched it slide off.  Carefully,  I slipped my Tupperware freezer mates under the eaves and let it dry overnight.  I have to say it is a pathetic piece of crap, but if your still reading this I suppose I can let you see some pictures just for your perseverance.

This is what is supposed to look like:

Here's what I made:

See all those black lines? That's where I mended it with frosting.  From this angle you can see the cardboard, the uneven roof and the black smudges were I stuck my fingers in the icing a dozen times.  Such a sad little thing but I will be damned if it is not still standing!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Creepmas Day 9

In recognition of Pumpingrot's snowman design for Krampus and indeed for scary snowmen everywhere, I present my 2015 pumpkin snowman sculture.  He is part of the dungeon d├ęcor and is oh so frightening.  Thanks to all my neighbors for the leftover pumpkins and to Rot for the inspiration.  Here are some pictures of him doing his thing.

His hat is fashioned from cardboard and gorilla tape.  I carved him and then painted him with primer to inhibit mold.  I put my flashing strobe inside for a fun holiday effect.  He he is in a video.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Creepmas Day 8

Today, I am doing some Creepmas baking with the pumpkins I snagged post thanksgiving from my generous neighbors.  One of them was getting awfully manky in the garage and required immediate attention. 
eewww - pumpkingrot  and I'm not talking about our favorite blogger
I sliced off the nasty parts and cooked the remainder in the oven with a little water.  Then pureed the soft part, not the skin, in the vitamix. I found some yummy looking recipes online for pumpkin shortbread. I baked last night, without any high altitude adjustments, and am pleased with the results. Instead of eating the whole pan, I will share it with others at a holiday gathering on Thurs. Or so I say -Thurs is, after all, two days away. It has a shortbread crust, pumpkin filling and a crumb topping- very decadent!

I found the recipe online at allrecipes here.  It's a keeper.

Ooops - I forgot to check box number 8.  Damn - it is a little slip of paper that says "See his Lordship" .  He has gone fishing and I will have to wait for hours. :(  Maybe I should have some pumpkin shortbread to ease my disappointment.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Creepmas Day 7 - I got nothing

Oh Creepmas has been a challenge today - 3 partially finish projects, lots of setbacks, 8 hours of work and I got nothing to show you except Bob, who is above, wearing a tiny top hat and holding a Christmas bouquet.  So I will open door 7 and be done with it - I must be running up against Creepmas hump day or something.
It is a Hammond's Candy Corn Caramel.  After the frustrating project fails I have had today, I need that sugar. Hope your Creepmas dreams are closer to fruition than mine.

Bob is my grim reaper who comes out at Halloween.  He's got a small hat and holiday pick for Creepmas.  Here he is unphotoshopped for Jackie

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Creepmas Day 6

For Creepmas Day 6, I have been wrapping gifts to various family members.  I just hope they are as enamored of skull and blood splatter ribbon as I am.


Here's how they look with the Creepmas Tree.

My little gift tags are made with spider doilies scored in post Halloween sales.  The blood splatter ribbon and the skull ribbon were also post Halloween.  Everything else was acquired post Christmas last year except the black and white paper.  It is available at Michaels anytime for like $1.50 a roll.

Ooops - forgot to mention that my little calendar surprise was a licorice salt water taffy.