Friday, November 30, 2018

November Rain

Well its the last day of November...
and Autumn has definitely hit So Cal.
For over 24 hours...
heavy rain and high winds have battered us..
but boy did we need it
The air is fresher...
and today its even a bit chilly
But the plants are loving it

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Christmas Prep...and Cake Box Fudge Brownie Cookies

The decorating is going well.. and Im on track to be finished by the weekend. MrD keeps calling me to check that I haven fallen off the ladder and broken a hip. Seriously...its three steps high.. but its kinda nice that he cares about me that much to worry. He says to wait til he gets home.. but seeing as hes working twelve hour days...when he comes home I just want him to rest. The only thing I asked him to do is to help me put the tree its quite heavy...and connecting all the wires is confusing. Its looking pretty and begging to be fluffed out and decorated
In the midst of it all...I had to stop and make some cookies for our Bible study and church fellowship ... and MrD of course.

I was never a fan of cake box mixes. I have always baked from scratch. But honestly.. these cookies are the best....and MrD's absolute favourites. They are soft and chewy on the inside ...and I bake them a bit longer so the outside is a bit crunchy. They are incredibly easy to make but be warned tho... I find these cookies spread a bit... but its no biggie

 Cake Box Fudge Brownie Cookies

1 (18.3 ounce) package Chewy Fudge Brownie mix
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
  • Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  • Combine brownie mix, flour, oil, water, eggs, and chocolate chips in a large bowl. 
  • Drop spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake in preheated oven until cookies are just set, about 9 minutes. 
  • Let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Food....Food...and More Food

Yesterday I celebrated my lovely walking partners birthday with lunch at The Cheesecake Factory.
We both chose from the Skinnylicious menu.... 
so we didnt feel so guilty choosing a dessert.
Her's came with the obligatory lit candle
As she has now left me for a week..I got out there at 6am for a quick walk..
just as the sun was coming up. 
No filters were needed to capture the pretty sky

Then I headed home with big plans for what I needed to do today...and what  busy day it turned out to be.. Its time to change from Fall to Winter

First I stripped the bed and washed all the covers, replacing it with our Christmasy ones. Then I headed for the kitchen and living room and took down and stored all the Fall stuff. It all looks so bare

Now.... MrD was going to pull down all the Christmas storage box's when he got home... but impatient me... I struggled and got them myself. I rearranged the furniture to make room for the tree. Its funny how a house suddenly looks messy with a load of boxes. Bare no more!. But the day was going fast and so I just piled the boxes in the corner.. and got myself into the kitchen. 
First I made a bowl of shortcrust pastry..and while it rested in the fridge... I stripped down what was left of the turkey, got rid of the carcass(at last),  and made a tasty pot pie filling
With the pastry nice and chilled... I made a couple of pies..and of course I had to give them a festive touch. I had pastry leftover... so Im keeping it yo make something on Friday 

Tomorrow I'm getting stuck into getting the Christmas decorations done. It usually takes me a week.. but I'm planning to get them up by the weekend...

Wish me Luck

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Monday, November 26, 2018

Whats for Dinner ~ Meal Plan Monday

Thanksgiving over... its time to start preparing for Christmas. Over the next few days, the Fall decorations will be coming down and the Christmas ones going up. No lights will be switched on until the 3rd of December... the 14th anniversary of my dear Mothers death. My mother adored Christmas... so its the tradition that the Christmas lights will be switched on on that date in celebration of her life. Mind week is so busy it will take me that long to organise it all

Today...its my lovely walking partners we are having lunch out.. then she is leaving me for a week to visit Seattle. So I will be walking alone...and a bit later than 5.30am. Then this afternoon MrD and I have dentist appointments.. So dinner is leftovers of the weekend curry.. Theres plenty for him and a small dish for me if I'm peckish.

Thursday is Bible study and Fellowship at the church.. and in the afternoon I have a hospital appointment with my oncology surgeon. Its just a check up and I'm sure everything will be good.

The rest of the week will be taken up with baking (got to use up that leftover turkey in a couple of pies), decorating, stitching and getting the Christmas parcel ready to go to the Uk next week. So a bit of wrapping and card writing is on the agenda

A busy week indeed...but I just love it at this time of year

Weekly Plan - 26th November 2018
Monday             Turkey Curry Leftovers

Tuesday              Beef Tacos

Wednesday        Turkey Pot Pie, Mashed Potatoes

Thursday           Baked Ham. Cauliflower and Vegetable Cheese, Baked Potatoes

Homemade Pizza

Saturday            Day Out with Hubby

Sunday               Butternut Squash Soup, Home made Bread

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Saturday Snippets....

It was bits and bobs kinda day..
Little H's birthday continued with a trip to the Blue Planet Aquarium
it was lovely seeing photos of him and Little Miss together as we all live so far apart...
and he really takes his Big Cousin responsibilities seriously...
As for MrD and me... we had a light breakfast of cinnamon and raisin bagels..
and headed for the mall  to start a bit of Christmas shopping 
(no way were we going on Black Friday)
Fall Mornings in California are a bit different to Wales.....
I of course had to look at some festive decorations...
and buy a new one for the tree....
and I saw a perfect one for my walking companion...who adores Paris..
(light bulb moment...hmmmm)
As we were walking through the mall.. I spied Santa sitting by the Christmas tree
and my phone rang!
It was Miss C and Little Miss calling to say goodnight...
so I turned my phone round so she could see the man in red...
and her face said it all....
Next year I will take her to see Santa in person!
On the way home we called in the fabric store...yes I know...
but I got some cute fabric for my Christmas Apron..

Not a very exciting day...but I certainly enjoyed it...
Next week Christmas prep starts...

And I cant wait!!

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Friday, November 23, 2018

Happy Birthday Little H....

Mr D and I had a lovely..peaceful Thanksgiving... 
Unbelievably we didnt eat toooo much.. even tho I made a huge lots and lots of leftovers. The turkey was lovely, moist and the point where it collapsed as we got it out of the pan. 

Can someone please tell me how to get a huge turkey out of the pan without its legs and wings falling off? Maybe just let it rest longer and grab it with both hands........
Today out celebrations continued and we Facetimed with the UK. 
Our eldest grandson turned six... and we were so blessed to be with him at his party.
Miss C and Mr P had travelled up to Wales from Newcastle with Little Miss to join in the fun
It was a spiderman affair...with lots of balloons, a bouncy castle and an amazing cake
Little H was quite happy to play with the huge spiderman balloons...
until the "real" Spiderman made a surprise appearance
(I think he picked up the wrong costume from the cleaners...wink)
Little Miss was less impressed...
 and didnt believe for a second he was who he said he was
.and kept trying to unmask him
But both enjoyed tucking into the food...
especially Little Miss and her ham sandwiches...
And of course... 
the whole thing ended up with the compulsory blowing out of candles.

I so miss my grand babies...but next year...
God willing they will all be here for Thanksgiving...
I cant wait!

Love and Hugs 
Phoebe x

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving...

Wishing you all...
 a very Happy...and stress free... Thanksgiving
Love and Hugs
Phoebe and MrD x