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Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Images of Home

I just love vintage Christmas cards, and there are so many lovely images that one can enjoy just by browsing the internet, especially Pinterest.  I've found a few over the past few days that I think are lovely and I wanted to share a few of them here with you today.

The image to the right is one that I actually extracted from an old Christmas card.  I love the little red house and the church with the bell tower next door.  It probably appeals to me because of the colors, which are all of my favorites!  But I also love the feeling of a gentler, simpler time that is conveyed.  It is truly lovely!
And this image, with the field of snow and the big blue sky, such a charming wintry scene.  The little green farm house with smoke coming from the chimney, one could easily imagine that inside grandmother is ready with some fresh baked sugar cookies and mugs of homemade hot cocoa, just waiting for her grandchildren who are busy sledding outdoors.

And speaking of cocoa, here is Ina Garten's recipe for

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

2 1/2 cups of whole milk
2 cups of half and half
4 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tablespoons of good cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder
Whipped cream

Heat the milk and half-and-half in a saucepan on medium heat to just below the simmering point. Remove the pan from the heat and add the semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolates. When the chocolates are melted, whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla extract, and espresso, if using, and whisk vigorously. Reheat gently and pour into cups or mugs.

Crush 4 candy canes (I place them in a plastic bag and break them up with a wooden rolling pin). Stir 1/2 tablespoon of crushed candy cane into each mug, top with a dollop of whipped cream, sprinkle with crushed candy canes, and put a whole candy cane stirrer into each mug. Serve hot.

Sweetened Whipped Cream: 
Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high speed only until the cream makes soft peaks. Yield: 1 1/2 cups

And finally, here is one more.  Anyone who knows me knows that I just LOVE the night sky, so naturally this charming scene with the full moon rising over the little house all decked out for Christmas is just charming!  I can just imagine the lovely sight of the light through the windows and the moon illuminating the snow and casting long shadows of the bare trees across the lawn.  I wish I could just step right into this setting!

And with that, I'm off to do a little shopping this afternoon!  No matter how much I plan there always seems to be a few last minute details that need tending to!

 Until then . . .

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