Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hoo dat?

Several nights ago, I was reading in bed when I heard an OWL. It was not a Barred Owl, who calls "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?" I got up and looked out windows to try to spot it, but I think it was on top of my house. The next day I looked up owls in my Peterson's and from the voice descriptions determined it must have been a Great Horned Owl. COOL! I hope it caught a rabbit or two in my backyard.

Or some shrews. My next door neighbor told me he has shrews in his garage. He also claims that female shrews become pregnant within hours after birth. I'm not sure if he meant the shrew giving birth or the just-born shrews, but I have not been able to confirm either. Here are some interesting facts, though, on both shrews and moles. Anyway, he has been letting one of his cats out into the garage, and the cat has caught six so far. I hope they stay on his side of the property line.

Meanwhile, holiday prep continues. This is cranberry orange bread, using a recipe from Whole Foods for the Whole Family.

This is wonderful quick bread, but I always hated to make it because of the need to chop fresh cranberries. Now I have a food processor and that step was a snap. Is there an equivalent small appliance for zesting oranges?

Somewhere along the line, cheesecake became a holiday tradition. The recipe for this one came off the Philadelphia Cream Cheese packaging.

What causes a cheesecake to crack in the oven? Anyone? Anyone?

I forgot to purchase anything to top the cheesecake with, and being the lazy person that I am, decided instead of going to the store, I would make chocolate syrup from some of that cocoa powder that has been breeding in my kitchen cupboards.

Very simple to do (recipe may be found here). I measured the cocoa first, then discovered I didn't have the required amount of sugar, so mine is more semi-sweet than sweet. I also cooked it a bit too long - it's more like pudding than syrup. My SO and I sampled it on slivers of cheesecake last night (what?!?) and it tasted fine.

Another tradition that has evolved is Mexican on xmas eve. I will be making chicken fajitas and Spanish rice tonight, to go along with the salsa and chips. And for dessert, Mexican wedding cakes.

I think the recipe I used is from my mother. That cracked one in the middle? I ate that. Mmmm - buttery!

Happy holidays to all!

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