This has to be the yummiest chair for napping I've ever had. It's perfect for two people to snuggle up on a cold winter day. I don't even have to coax Nick to nap with me. This is our afternoon routine right after lunch. I enjoy it so much that I don't want Winter to end!
We had a nice celebration meal for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I cooked all day making Enchiladas Suizas, Chicken Mole, Menudo, tacos, rice, beans, and bought Mexican sweet bread for dessert. I invited our associate pastor to dinner. We enjoyed having him over and he led us in a decade of the Rosary prayed in Spanish.
|cilantro ready to be chopped|
|All packaged and ready to be delivered. I made 12 loaves for the parish and 8 baby loaves|
for giving to friends and family.
The girls also decorated and entered a gingerbread house in a contest held that day. They didn't win. First place went to a giant hobbit hole made of gingerbread and frosted green. It was quite impressive!
Over the weekend, I took a trip to Atlanta for my sister, Nora's, graduation from her Master's program. It was a relaxing weekend watching tv, sleeping in, and catching up with her. I needed the break so she was quite accommodating. This week finds us busy before the holiday break with concerts, projects, and buttoning up school work. Gabe asked for a Christmas party with his friends so I spent this morning putting together a Christmas table for the food that will be served. He and his friends will be sledding, decorating cookies, and possibly watching a movie. He's so excited to be a host for a change. He couldn't believe I agreed to have the party. As a result, he's been super cuddly and kind, finishing his homework in a timely manner, and doing his chores.
We've also been enjoying our Magnificat Advent Companion, the last few ornaments of our Jesse Tree, and starting the O Antiphons. I get so excited for these last days of Advent, but I have to slow my thoughts and anticipations down to really absorb the richness of the season. Besides there are 12 days of Christmas to enjoy, relish, bake, and celebrate. There's no need to rush.....all will be well and as it should be!
Finnish Coffee Braids
2 c. milk
1/4 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 c. lukewarm water
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1 t. ground cardamom
7-8 c. flour
2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
Scald the milk and pour over butter, sugar, and salt which has been placed in mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve and cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile, pour yeast over 1/2 c. lukewarm water and stir to dissolve. When milk mixture is cooled, mix in yeast, eggs, cardamom, and 2 cups of the flour. Stir with electric mixer for 2 minutes scraping sides of bowl. Gradually add in remaining flour and knead with electric mixer for 8-10 minutes until dough is formed and leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out and place in greased bowl turning once to grease both sides. Let dough rise for 1 hour until doubled in size. Punch down dough and divide into 4 parts. Divide each part into 3 additional parts. Roll each part into a long rope about 10-12 inches long. Braid 3 strips together to shape bread. Tuck ends and allow to rise an additional hour until doubled in size. Bake loaves at 315 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Drizzle glaze over warm bread. Decorate with candied cherries and silver dragees. Makes 4 loaves.