Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Aunt Millena's Pizelle Recipe

Pizelle are a holiday tradition at my house.

1 cup sweet cream butter (2 sticks - 1/2 pound)
6 large eggs (room temp)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp Anise Oil (not extract)
2 tsp baking powder

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time until creamy.
Add the oil of anise and mix well.

Sift flour and baking powder together. Add the dry mix to the cream mix in small amounts until all incorporated into a soft batter.

Heat the Pizelle Iron until the red light goes off. Spray with PAM on both sides of iron (or oil with canola or vegetable oil with paper towel.) Place a healthy teaspoonful of batter in the center portion of each side of the iron. Let batter sit for about 5 or 10 seconds to warm up and then gently close the lid and squeeze to compress. Batter will spread out to the edges of the iron. You may need to experiment to find just the right amount of batter to place on the iron. Keep lid closed until red light goes out. Then you may peak if you must but you can smell them when they are just right and lightly golden brown. Open lid, remove with large spatula and cool on wire rack or on waxed paper. You may also mold still warm pizelle over custard cups to make small dishes to fill with ice cream or roll them on dowels or cone forms to make pirouettes, cannoli or ice cream cones.

Pizelle with Iron

Traditional Italian anise pizelle can also be made in other flavors but we prefer the anise ones with a glass of red wine or a cup of strong coffee.

Plate o'Pizelle

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Manhattan by Proxy

Secretly envious of our friends, Kathleen and Anton and their holiday trip to New York City, we salute them vicariously by drinking Manhattans, straight up and mellow, in Florida.


Hope y'all are having a grand time!
Send pix.

(Damn, these are good!)


Monday, December 25, 2006


and her GATORS -
Florida Style!

Friday, December 22, 2006


The holiday menus were done and the marketing lists compiled last evening. W4D volunteered to do the food shopping. As I have mentioned many times, the man loves to grocery shop. Fine by me.

I make organized grocery lists by section; produce, bakery, frozen, meats and then groceries and dry goods by aisle. Since I don't get all giddy at the thought of grocery shopping like some un-named spouses, I have a plan that gets me in and out with the least steps and the least wasted time. W4D considers a trip to the market as a joy to savor and can spend hours browsing. Me? I gotta get in, I gotta get out.

Anyway, on my list were several kinds of fancy bakery cookies since I didn't yet get time to bake. Oh, I will make some Pizelle tomorrow or Sunday and bake more next week but I wanted a few nice cookies that I could technically pass off as my own in case people stop by for coffee over the weekend before I have time to bake.

As a kid, my mother always made Pfeffernusse, those little German spicy treats with cloves, allspice, cinnamon and honey that are covered with a mountain of powdered sugar. W4D had never eaten pfeffernusse before we met. To me, they are a Christmas tradition. No time to bake - go buy me some!

This afternoon, W4D, armed with his lovely wife's perfectly organized grocery list, marched into the bakery and asked the elderly clerk where the Farfengnugen were located.


Yes, please, I want some Farfenguggen.

Poor confused old cookie clerk.
Eventually W4D showed her the list.

Ah, you want zee Pfeffernusse!

In other news, later in the afternoon, W4D sent me a photo of an adorable yellow and black convertible VW Bug that is for sale at our fave car dealer. It's a darling car and I've always wanted a yellow and black convertible bug but we don't need another small car and I just funded my IRA today and I don't do car payments. No yellow Beetle Bug for moi this December.

Tiny Tree
Tiny Tree sits on my desk

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter Solstice

On this, the shortest day of the year, Winter has officially arrived and so have the robins. There are hundreds of them chattering in my yard, gobbling all the purple berries from the camphor tree, digging for worms in the lawn, fighting over the bird bath which is now devoid of water. The robins and I are happy. It is 75 degrees and sunny outside and we're all barefoot.

Tonight, I make the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus, prepare the grocery lists and wrap presents. Wish I had a week all to myself to prepare for the holiday. I've been so busy that no cookies were baked but who says you can't bake the week AFTER Christmas? The house is a wreck but a messy house is a happy house.

I wish I had found the time to keep up with my blog this fall. Autumn is my fave time of year and now it is Christmastime already and where has the time gone? I am so tired of working 10 and 12 hours a day. Calgon, take me away.

Sure would love to put my feet up with a nice cocktail and a cigarette. I quit smoking almost 5 years ago and while I am really proud of that accomplishment, that doesn't mean I don't still want a ciggie, especially when I am stressed out and over-worked and GAWD, I WANT A CIGARETTE RIGHT NOW. Right this very second, I want a PACK of Benson and Hedges. Gimme, GIMME. Ahem. (take a deep calming breath, Flaurella, breathe deeply and slowly)

Instead, I will have a little slice of pumpkin pie and a cup of coffee. Never had time to bake pies this year but the bakery doth provide at times like this. As you can see, I like a little pie with my whipped cream.


I still want a cigarette.

Stress be gone.
Away with you!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Hoodie Pup

I admit it.
I am guilty of dressing the dog.
After all, it is cold in this old house and he's but a puppy and needs to keep warm.

Throw the Ball

Isn't he a cutie?
Here is is standing up.

The Hoodie Dance

Yes, he sort of jumped out of the frame but when you see a cute puppy walking around on his hind legs, wearing a blue velour hoodie, you try to take a photo.

I also bought him a maroon and pink smoking jacket but it was too small. Now, I am searching for a raincoat for him. I don't think he will take kindly to rain booties though.

More puppy pictures located here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Time Passages

It has been a momentous week. Not only did our puppy learn to tripod like a big boy when he tinkles and then scratch the grass with his hind feet with gusto afterwards, the shuttle launched at night with the most beautiful display I have ever seen -- even when we were right across the nearest causeway, close up and personal. I swear it was more spectacular on a cold crisp night, 100 miles north and 40 miles inland than right there in person! The night sky turned to dawn upon launch and was all orange and glorious with the shuttle streaming NE for what seemed lke 5 minutes but must have only been a couple. We could see the Boosters fall off with absolute clarity and we watched the shuttle light reflection until it was almost to Jacksonville. No matter how many times you've seen it, what a sight! Always a thrill, we could even feel the thrust and hear the engine roar all the way to Gainesville.

In other news, it was very cold here this last week. and for three days, I had to wear real shoes, with closed toes....and closed heels. Argh! I am now actively searhing for fur-lined flip flops. All that leather wrapped around my footsies gives me the willies. Since I am not big on toe socks, I need furry flip flops. If you find some, let me know.

The other big news is I celebrated my birthday on the 11th. I think I may now offically be middle aged. I wonder exactly what middle age is now? When I was a young whippersnapper, I thought it was age 30. Who knows nowadays? It might well be 40 or 50 or 60 or greater. Regardless, I like to consider myself right in the middle of life.

Yesterday, W4D had a little cocktail party for me and some close friends and then fixed me a lovely birthday dinner. Here's the dessert. I asked for pumpkin pie. I got cannoli and cheesecake.

Birthday Dessert
Beggars can't be chosers.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Too Depressed for Words

I am so totally bummed. We didn't get our tickets to the BCS National Championship game in Arizona. I think the method of selecting who eventually received tickets was fixed and I am really angry with W4D's Gator Club. We could still go out West and enjoy hanging out in the atmosphere of a Championship game but but we wouldn't get to actually be in the arena. Maybe we should use that four grand for a nice vacation or toward that RV I want to buy. I dunno. Guess we'll talk about it tonight and try to make a plan. I just cannot believe we didn't get tickets and won't get to see the Championship Game. Dammit. I am so depressed.

Fly to Vegas, watch the game on TV
Drive to Arizona and hang out anyway
Cruise to the Caribbean and watch on satellite
Plan a trip to Italy for Spring
Go buy that 2006 gunmetal 4 Runner I have had my eye on
Remain near the Swamp and have a huge party
Stay home nekked and pout and watch it on the tube

Crap. Now I will have to buy Christmas presents.
Bah humbug.

Autumn on the River Styx
Autumn afternoon on the River Styx
Where depressed GATORS go to
Weep over not getting BCS Tickets.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pig Parts Everywhere

Jaws of Death!

All the Gators around Flaurel's house have little piggies in their powerful jaws. We here in The Swamp had eggs, pancakes, link sausage, sausage patties and bacon for breakfast. We practically overdosed ourselves on PORK.

We know what they are eating for breakfast in Arkansas this morning

Congratulation to my Florida GATORS
2006 SEC Champions!

It was an exciting game.
Kudos to the Arkansas Razorbacks.

They played with talent and heart.

The GATORS are now 12 and 1 and we'll find out this evening who we'll be playing in the BCS. The Gator Nation is very excited about the possibilities. W4D has already booked a hotel in Mesa, Arizona since that's the closest accommodations he could find in the Glendale proximity. While I wanted a trip out west this year, I was thinking about March or April, not a month from now. We'll see what happens.

Those of you who bet on Arkansas will be receiving my "Sorry Hogs" Consolation Prize. I'll post a photo later this week since I don't wish to spoil the surprise you will be receiving in the mail.

Now, do we want Ham or Pork Tenderloin or BBQ Butt for supper?
It's difficult to make a choice when you have so many pig parts lying about...

Party Gator

2006 SEC Champs!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Breakfast of Champions

Time for the SEC Championship,
6:00 PM Eastern Time, Saturday.
Should be a Rolicking Good Time!


This is what Florida GATORS will be eating for Breakfast on Sunday Morning.

What's considered a seven course, world class meal in Little Rock?

A possum and a six-pack.

'Nother Question:
Why does the Arkansan Razorback football team and their coaches go to the movie theater in groups of 18 or more?

Because 17 and under are not admitted.

Looking forward to the showdown!