Monday, December 6, 2010

And we have a winner....!

Woo-hoo!!! 8 whole people are reading my blog! Ok, well, 8 people read my blog AND wanted to win. :)

I used to generate my winner, and "The Werfs" - my friend Rachael!!! - YOU are the winner!! I'll drop those in the mail for you this week. Happy St. Nicholas Day!

-- Originally posted at:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I mentioned my terrible neglect of this blog already, so I'll try not to beat myself up over that too much. :) However, I do think that anyone still following along must be considered a true friend! In honor of true friends, and just for fun, I decided to do a little giveaway.

It's probably no secret that I go a little crazy with crafty and scrapbooking projects, although most of those projects are posted on my scrap blog rather than here. I make a lot of greeting cards this way, and because many of my projects are creative team assignments, where I get free product in exchange for creating something, I don't always have an immediate use for the finished product.

So, why not share the fun? I'm doing a giveaway for these six cards, including envelopes. The chandelier card is 5"x7" and has a greeting inside: "hanging around with you is so fun!" The other five cards are approximately 4.25"x5.5" and blank inside.

Want to win? Leave a comment on this post by 12:00 pm Pacific time on Saint Nicholas Day (December 6.) You must include an e-mail address so I can contact you for your mailing address. I'll pick a winner that day, and mail the cards by December 10. US and Canada addresses only, please. :) Good luck!

-- Originally posted at:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving (a day late!)

I try to make a habit of being thankful on Thursdays... a habit, that like this blog in general, has been neglected. However, with this post I hope to begin to post somewhat more regularly again.

I originally wrote this as the cover article for our November church newsletter, which was published 10/31. Because so much of it is about what I'm thankful for, and includes what I would wish for anyone this season, I'm posting it here as well.

I hope your Thanksgiving day was blessed!



It is Thanksgiving this month! A good friend of mine calls this her favorite holiday because it is so uniquely American. Even those who are not religious will take time on this holiday to express gratitude for the good things in their lives. Christians may call these “blessings” or “gifts” and direct their gratitude to God in their Thanksgiving celebrations as did those who first celebrated this holiday.

Some of us will begin our celebrations by attending worship, raising our hearts and voices to God. Later, we might each tell of something for which we are thankful before sharing in a feast of turkey, trimmings and pie. I hope that each of us finds joy in expressing our gratitude.

I have never written in this space before, and my filling in as a Connections writer is directly related to something I am grateful for this Thanksgiving: my new role here at Crossroads as Ministry Coordinator. Writing those very words still feels so strange to me because the path of my life that led to this place was neither straight nor well-marked!

So you might be wondering, “What is a Ministry Coordinator, anyway?” Many have asked that question, and there are moments I count myself in that number. Crossroads has never had a Ministry Coordinator before, so I, along with Pastor Mark and our ministry staff and council, am figuring out what it means and how it fits in to what we are trying to do here.

There are two main things (along with some other things!) with which I am tasked:
1. Working with the Crossroads ministry staff to develop and implement ministry plans in line with the mission and vision of Crossroads, and
2. Helping members (that’s you!) identify and develop their own gifts, talents and passions for ministry. In other words if you are already involved in a ministry or would like to be, I am here for you!

As I have taken up this work, I am already finding myself thankful for many things. I feel so fortunate to come to work every day with other people who have a passion for ministry and who joyfully take up their tasks for God’s kingdom. We are all blessed here at Crossroads by their faithful work.

I am so thankful for many of you who have been encouraging as I try to begin answering the questions and determine how exactly I can best complete my task. I thank you for not only asking “What is your job?” but also asking “How is it going?” You are what is making Crossroads into the caring community we strive
for in our vision.

I have already enjoyed meeting some new people because of being in this role. If we haven’t had a chance to talk yet – or recently – I welcome the chance to catch up with you and find out what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving season.

Mostly, I am thankful for being right where I am, even though it was unexpected, because I trust it is God’s perfect plan that led me here. This year I did a lot of waiting to find out what was going to happen next in my life, and in the waiting I found comfort in the words of Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future.

Although I am not waiting anymore, I find, even in this new task, that there is peace in knowing God has a plan…even when I do not know the details. (And I really like knowing the details so it is an extra measure of God’s grace that He is helping me to be patient!)

This Thanksgiving, I hope your heart easily turns to gratitude. I hope that if you participate in the tradition of sharing things you are thankful for, your list is long. Above all, I hope you are blessed with peace in knowing that God’s perfect plan includes you, too.

-- Originally posted at:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday | Little Monkey (AKA Charlie) at the Pumpkin Patch

-- Originally posted at:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What I'm scrapping these days

With apologies to those who read my scrapbooking blog, today I'm going to post a couple of recent scrapbook layouts I created. On that blog, however, I try to keep it about the scrapbooking and don't talk a lot about my life, so I thought I'd post here with some more about these pages.

I'm trying to deliberately create some pages that are more autobiographical, basically sort of like journal entries in a way, but creatively presented. The first one is "Note to Self" which is simply a photo of me and a quote I'd been thinking about this week:
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain 
Credits here: All About Me Pages

I also posted this quote on my Facebook page, and several people wondered if my suitcase was packed and where I was going. But this quote this week wasn't about traveling to another city or country. Instead, it was about taking risks, and doing things that aren't easy for me. I spent a day this week with a friend of a friend who was in town, someone I'd never met except over e-mail, showing them around San Diego. Meeting new people makes me nervous, so it took some risk on my part to do this. The quote is right. I would have regretted not taking advantage of this opportunity.

The next page, "Little Pieces of Me," speaks more for itself, but it's the kind of thing I'd want to post here anyway, it just happens to be in picture form. Special thanks to my friend and fellow scrapper Sarah who created the digital paper strips I used in this layout.

Credits here: All About Me Pages

-- Originally posted at:

Friday, August 6, 2010

I can't decide...

If these towels are deliciously adorable... or adorably delicious...

All I know is I have some seriously cute little crafty projects in mind.

And on another note, I'm learning how valuable editing photos can be. Here's the before and after:

 -- Originally posted at:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Book: Eat, Pray, Love

Well, first of all, I started reading this book before I found out it was going to be a movie in about a month, starring none other than Julia Roberts. Really! Although, I can't say I'm surprised, because this book was GREAT! I actually became intrigued by this book when I read a review of Elizabeth Gilbert's next book, Committed, which I just requested from the library, and also because it surfaced once or twice as a possible book group read.

One of the most interesting things about this book is that the author is deeply spiritual, and talks about God, but has a completely different understanding of God than I do, making it clear that her God is more religion than relationship. Kind of. While her understanding of God is very different than mine, I found her devotion and pursuit of spirituality enviable. Although I'm getting ahead of myself here.

This book tells the story of the author spending one full year traveling the world after her entire life and marriage essentially fall apart. She begins in Italy, where she strives to learn Italian simply because she's always wanted to, and to learn the art of enjoying the pleasurable things in life, primarily food and "doing nothing." I for one, am like many Americans, and I really don't know how to relax or enjoy anything without either feeling guilty or getting bored and feeling like I should be doing "something" instead of doing "nothing." Four months in Italy learning how to chill out sounds kind of good.

As her time in Italy comes to a close, she returns to the US for a brief stay before departing to India for a time of meditation and spiritual study in India, living at an ashram. This is where I admire her spiritual devotion. Given, very few people can afford more than a week or two to dedicate to any kind of introspection or travel, and she spends nearly 4 months in India, meditating for hours each day. Through her time, though, she finds peace and understanding of herself and God. After India, she departs for Bali, and strives to understand balance. Her descriptions of the history and culture of Bali are very interesting, and again I found I was inspired by what she learned.

I very rarely mark pages in books, and I have to mention that there are multiple folded-over corners in my copy of this book. I found I could relate this author in some way, and even when I couldn't, I found her so interesting. I think that biographies are becoming one of my favorite genres, simply because I find it so interesting to read about other experiences, other perspectives, and other people's lives. I assume I will never spend a year living in this way, but I enjoyed every minute of reading about someone who did.

Eat, Pray, Love
by Elizabeth Gilbert

-- Originally posted at:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Here's Your Sign (Bunco edition)

Fans of Bill Engvall might recognize the "Here's Your Sign" reference, as he has a trademark bit using this expression. The idea is that those who routinely say silly things should wear a sign so the rest of us have advance warning. Now the disclaimer: the following story is completely true, although the person in this case who said the silly thing... definitely doesn't make a habit of this kind of absentmindedness!

Friday night Bunco was being held at a house where we hadn't played before. Somebody spotted my friend, the last to arrive, get out of her car and walk towards the house. I stepped outside of the front door and we had the following exchange:

Me: "Hey there!"

Her: "Oh, is this the right house?"

Me: "Ummmm no. This is a stranger's house... Bunco is next door."

[ Here's Your Sign ]

For the record... we BOTH had a good laugh over this!

-- Originally posted at:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh, dear

Back in January, I decided not to make any more New Year's resolutions, and instead focus on trying to make good decisions every day especially as it regards my ongoing efforts to be healthier (that's a euphemism for "lose weight and go to the gym, stupid.")

Well, six months into that experiment, it turns out that isn't a very successful strategy for me. Sadly, this became obvious upon careful quick review of my recent vacation photos. Nevermind that there are multiple other reasons this should have been obvious. It was. I just chose to follow the "I can ignore healthy eating and gym today" voice in my head on more days than I chose the "I will eat fruits and vegetables and burn calories today" voice. *Sigh.* I dearly hope that one day I will learn this lesson better and stop making the wrong choice. But goodness knows it's practically impossible to eat carrots and hummus when the alternative is Rum Bread Pudding. Oh, my.

So yesterday I went back to the gym, and it wasn't awful. I got to watch Opr*h, a guilty pleasure, while doing some jog/walk intervals on the treadmill. It doesn't matter that it was a rerun, since I only ever watch Opr*h at the gym, and you've probably already read through the lines and figured out that the odds of me having already seen any particular episode are pretty low.

I'm going to go have some carrots and hummus, because thankfully there is no more leftover bread pudding.

-- Originally posted at:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Garlicky Onion Cheese Spread Recipe

This is for my friend Tami, who really, really loved this dip when I brought it to a church event this week.

Garlicky Onion Cheese Spread

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 green onions, slice the green leafy part into thin rings, but leave out the white bulb end
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed (1-2 tsp crushed garlic)

Soften the cream cheese by allowing it to reach room temperature. Mix in the sour cream, garlic and onion. Refrigerate until ready to serve. I like it best with pretzel chips, and it would also make a good sandwich spread.

The consistency will be thick, but if you prefer it to be more like a dip, add more sour cream.

-- Originally posted at:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Book: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

This was a book club selection, and another interesting title I probably never would have discovered on my own. The story unfolds during the era of Chairman Mao's cultural revolution, and tells of two young men who are banished to a small Chinese village for "re-education." Their only crime was being the sons of doctors, and for this they paid with hard labor and separation from their families with no hope of appeal.

As time passes, they steal a suitcase of contraband books, all by European authors, from another young man whose re-education is complete and will be returning home. The men have become friensd with the daughter of the tailor from a neighboring village and they share what they learn from the forbidden books with her. In the end, their plans do not yield the results they had hoped.

I probably could have gotten more out of this book if I'd read it more carefully and given it more thought. However, I enjoyed it as I enjoy many biographies, for the insight into life in another time and place.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
by Dai Sijie

-- Originally posted at:

Monday, July 5, 2010


I'm reading a book right now called Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, a New York Times bestseller from a while back. I've been surprised at how much I've enjoyed this book so far, and have already marked several passages by folding the corner of the pages. Lest those of you who mourn the premature death of any book due to folded corners, I should disclose that I inadvertently left this particular volume in the back window of the car on two successive days of extreme heat, and the folded over corners are now the least of it's problems. The entire spine has melted, leaving me with a looseleaf book that requires a rubber band if I have any hope of holding the book together. Take my advice: don't leave your book in the back window of the car on a drive through the Utah desert.

I liked this particular passage from the book in which the author is writing about how very different she is from her sister:

Here's another example of the difference in our worldviews. A family in my sister's neighborhood was recently stricken with a double tragedy, when both the young mother and her three-year-old son were diagnosed with cancer. When Catherine told me about this, I could only say, shocked, "Dear God, that family needs grace." She replied firmly, "That family needs casseroles," and then proceeded to organize the entire neighborhood into bringing that family dinner, in shifts, every single night, for an entire year. I do not know if my sister fully recognizes that this is grace.


-- Originally posted at:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Colorado Vacation Day 10 | Home Stretch (and one more National Park)

First thing this morning - well, after a yummy hometown breakfast! - we drive through Zion National Park. Again, every turn was just amazing! One of the most interesting things at this park is a very long tunnel through the rock walls of the canyon. This photo was taken at a roadside turnout just below the tunnel. The "window" in the rock is a vent for the tunnel. 

-- Originally posted at:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Colorado Vacation Day 9 | 3 National Parks

I've driven through Southern Utah before, but only on the interstate, and had never seen the National Parks in the area. Today was one of those days when literally every bend in the highway revealed a new panorama of beauty. It was another 100+ picture day, these are just a small sample.

Arches National Park

Capitol Reef National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

We pulled into Bryce Canyon as the sun was setting, and had just a few moments to snap photos before it was too dark. For all the stops, really, I was left wanting to see more of the stunning landscape.

-- Originally posted at:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Colorado Vacation Day 8 | Time to Head Home

The reunion ended this morning, and so began the trip home, which turned out to be an adventure in itself, for all the right reasons. The drive started with another trip through the park over Trail Ridge road, and then south and west heading into Grand Junction, CO. At the top of the ridge, there is one stop where you can hike up on the tundra, and climb on a few rocks, from which there is a 360-degree view of the Rockies that is completely breathtaking. This photo was taken at what felt like the top of the world. At the left of the photo is Trail Ridge Summit, and on the right in the distant background is Long's Peak.

One other car from the family was also headed west, and as it turned out we all stayed in Grand Junction, so we got to enjoy one more evening together. We ate dinner at Famous Dave's and played a round of Ticket to Ride.

-- Originally posted at:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Colorado Vacation Day 7 | Cousin Time

There were 8 of 9 cousins present from my generation at this reunion, and one of them, David, wrote a song for each of his 5 cousins at the reunion (2 others that were present are his siblings.) On the the last night, we cousins surprised him in return with our own tribute to David. I hope to get the lyrics to each of the songs at some point so I can post those, too. Here we are serenading David, from left: Danny, Gene, me, Gene's wife Barb, Jane, Jane's husband Zach with Kai on his shoulders, Ray and Ray's wife Genevieve.

Just after the week's last serenade, all 8 of the cousins in the next generation were lined up on the couch for a photo. From left to right, oldest to youngest, is: Mark (5), Lily (3), Julia (2), Jaelyn (2), Charlie (19 months), Kai (14 months), Cordae (10 months) and Samuel (5 months): 

Also on this day, 12 of us tackled what was probably the most adventurous activity: white-water rafting. No photos of that yet, those were taken on a waterproof film camera, and aren't developed yet!

-- Originally posted at:

Colorado Vacation Day 6 | Family Day

Today was a more mellow day. Nearly everyone spent some time in town shopping, and our family had lunch together at Poppy's, where we enjoyed the exact same gourmet pizza choice. Like many of the mornings, we enjoyed a big breakfast together, today, I cooked almond french toast - one of our family favorites.

-- Originally posted at:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Colorado Vacation Day 5 | Bicycle Beer Tour

Yes, that's exactly what you think it is: ride a bicycle to a local brewery, sample the beer, repeat! It was about 95 degrees in Fort Collins on Tuesday, so that cold beer was REALLY good. We had lunch at our first stop at Coopersmith's, then on to New Belgium, home of Fat Tire beer. Most of the group went on to a third stop, but I'd had enough, and figured I better not drink any more before riding the 5 miles back to my cousin's house. She and her husband borrowed enough bikes for all 13 of us to ride, including two tandem bicycles. that's my cousin Dan at the right of the photo. His shirt says "Made in California" - but he wasn't.

-- Originally posted at:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Colorado Vacation Day 4 | Family Pictures and Rocky Mountain National Park

Today's post requires two photos! All the family present in CO went to Lily Lake for family pictures, all wearing matching t-shirts: 2010 Ligtenberg Family Reunion Colorado. Notice David on the far left is out of uniform - he forgot to pack his khaki shorts. Baby Samuel, the youngest family member, missed out on this photo op as it was naptime.

After Lily Lake, my family took a drive up into Rocky Mountain National Park on Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous road in the U.S. This is just one of the amazing sights, a herd of elk. I took a couple hundred photos today, most of them featuring the gorgeous mountains and perfect blue sky. Swoon.

-- Originally posted at:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Colorado Vacation Day 3 | Stanley Hotel

We took a walk today around the grounds of the Stanley hotel.

-- Originally posted at:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Colorado Vacation Day 2 | Arriving in Estes Park

Started the day with doughnuts at Lamar's in Fort Collins, then headed up into the mountains, arriving at Estes Park which will be home base for the next week. We had lunch in town and did a little shopping before checking in. This is the view arriving into Estes Park, and the first of many, many photos I took of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

-- Originally posted at:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Colorado Vacation Day 1 | Charlie's first plane ride

Here begins a series of photo-a-day posts of my recent vacation to Colorado. Day 1 was travel to Denver by plane with my brother, sister-in-law and my nephew Charlie. It was his first flight, and he liked the takeoff! About 5-10 minutes after this, he fell asleep for about half the flight.

My parents picked me up at Denver, and we headed to Costco to stock up on food for the week, then to Fort Collins where we met my cousins for an ice cream dessert.

-- Originally posted at:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Book: Still Alice

Alice, a successful professor at Harvard, seeks medical advice when she notices she is becoming more forgetful and occasionally confused, to find she has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. Written in first person from Alice's perspective, the book is an amazing insight into what it might be like to vary between periods of complete clarity and other times of total confusion and disorientation.

As the book unfolds, the reader sees how her diagnoses and decline affect her relationships with her family and her husband, how the genetic nature of the disease begins to affect her children's decisions, and how her family copes with caring for her as she loses the ability to function. It reads like a biography, and although the subject matter was a bit terrifying, the writing is good and I enjoyed reading it.

Still Alice
by Lisa Genova

-- Originally posted at:

Hooded Towel Tutorial

By request! I make these hooded towels as baby gifts for pretty much every new baby at my church, and have made them for lots of other friends and many of my cousins, too. So, here's a step by step guide to how I make these towels, with lots and lots of photos.

- 1 regular size bath towel, which should be washed and tumble-dried before you begin.
- 1 regular size hand towel, washed and dried
- I usually remove any labels from the towels.
- thread to match your towels, 1-3 colors depending the towels you pick
- a denim needle for your sewing machine

- You may need bobbins of each color as well, depending on your towel colors.
- All the stitching is straight stitching.
- For every place that I stitch, I start with 5-6 straight stitches, then go backwards 5-6 stitches, then resume to lock the thread. My mom taught me to always do this, it helps to hold the stitching so it doesn't fall out later.

1. First, pick out your towels. I usually make them after I know if it's a boy or girl, but I've done some really cute gender-neutral ones, too. (Shopping tips at the end of this post.)

2. Most of the work is in making the hood for the towel. Start with the hand towel, and fold it in half to get to smaller rectangles, then cut the towel in half along the fold line.

You'll only use one-half of the hand towel for this project so save the other half for another hooded towel.

3. Next, fold your half hand towel in half, right sides together, so the cut edge is folded together. Starting at the finished edge of the towel, sew along the cut edge, leaving a 3/4" seam allowance, and stop about 1/2 inch before you reach the folded edge of the towel.

When you get finished, this is what your towel will look like:

4A. Now, I like to make a corner fold on those unfinished edges and pin it like this:
(Look for the differences between the photos above and below to see which corner I'm talking about.)

4B. Now, starting again at the finished edge of the towel, the point near where the pins are, sew along each cut edge to tack it down. This gets a little tricky because you are sewing into a corner, but you don't need to sew all the way to the end, within 1/2" or 1" is fine.

Once you're done with this part, your towel will look like this (outside first, then the inside shown below that):

5. For the next step, you'll want your towel arranged like the photo on the right, so the top forms a triangle, and the edges are parallel. Next you'll sew across the top of the triangle, about 2-3" from the point, like this:

When, finished, it will look like this, you can just see the stitch line running vertically in this photo:

6. Now, fold the triangle over, so it overlaps, like this, and pin it into place:

There is one thing you can't see in this photo, because it's hidden. Remember in step 4B, when you were sewing the cut edges of the towel down, you didn't sew all the way into the corner? When you first fold over this triangle, there will be a little piece of that cut edge visible. Before I took the above photo, I tucked that edge underneath before pinning it in place.

7. Again starting your stitching at the point of the triangle, sew each side of the triangle like this:

Congratulations! When you are finished with this step, the hood is complete, and will look like this (outside):

8. Now you're ready to attach the hood to the bath towel. Find the center of the hood, and the center of the long edge of the bath towel. I mark each with a pin so it's easy to line them up. With both the bath towel and the hood wrong side up, pin the hood on to the hand towel. I usually overlap them about 1" or so, covering the finished edge of the hood with the bath towel. In the first photo below, you can see the center pins, and the amount of overlap. In the second photo, the pieces have been pinned together every 2-3" along the edge.

10. Now you're ready to sew the hood to the towel!
Important: Don't forget to change your thread color and bobbin if needed!
With the same side up as pictured above, I start at the left top of the overlap, and sew the hood on:

If you have a setting on your machine to leave the needle down when you stop sewing, it will be very useful here. I sew about 1/8" from the edge of the fabric, and when I get to the corner, I stop with the needle down. I lift the foot, turn the fabric 90 degrees (clockwise in the above example), then lower the foot and continue stitching.

When you get done with this step, it will look like this on the front of the towel:

11. Last step! Finish attaching the hood by sewing the side along the edge of the bath towel (the red towel in my photo.) Don't forget to change your thread color and bobbin if needed!

That's it! You're finished!!

MISC (Shopping and other tips!)

- I love to look for cute towels at stores like M*rshalls/TJ M*xx or R*ss, because their prices are very good for cute towels like this, and I can usually find fun embroidered designs for boys and girls. Gender-neutral towels are harder to find, but I've sometimes found yellow duckies.

- You can use a plain towel and embellish it yourself with ricrac or eyelet lace. If you do this, sew the ricrac on to the hood before attaching the hood to the bath towel.

- You can use a washcloth instead of half a hand towel for the hood, the size is a bit different, but it still works great.

- I often will try to use every piece, so on the day I purchased this set, I also was able to find another towel that coordinated with the blue hood. The other half of blue hand towel is plain, but it will go perfectly with the second bath towel, since that is embellished:

- Sometimes I have an embellished hand towel and bath towel, and I've used the remaining hand towel to make two pocket wash cloths, by cutting it in half again, and sewing up the cut edges.

-- Originally posted at:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rum Bread Pudding

I made this last night for "Big Easy Bunco," and it turned out so well. It was literally melt-in-your-mouth good! I always try to plan Bunco food around a theme, so I tried to find recipes from or inspired by New Orleans. This sounded so good, I had to try it! I started with a recipe from the Experience New Orleans website, and made a few changes.


- 8 slices Hawaiian bread, cut or broken into small pieces (I used Van De Kamp's Sweet Hawaiian Bread)
- 4 oz butter (1 stick), melted
- 8 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 5-oz can evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla (I never measure vanilla, so approximately)
- cinnamon and sugar mixture

Mix butter, eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the bread, and fold the mixture until the bread is all coated. Pour in a 9x13 pan and sprinkle the top generously with the cinnamon and sugar mixture (I'm guessing I used maybe 1/3 to 1/2 cup.) Place the pudding pan in a larger pan of water, and bake at 350 for about one hour.
** The instruction about baking in a pan of water is in pretty much every bread pudding recipe I've seen, so it's important. If you don't have a pan larger than a 9x13, it's probably better to make a smaller recipe to fit the pans you have, than to bake it without the second pan. I'm speculating

1 lb. box powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla (approximately)
4-6 ounces of rum (approximately; I just added rum until the consistency was right)
6 oz butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted
** Variation: use 1-2 tsp rum flavoring and thin the sauce with milk instead, the amount may vary.

Slowly heat the butter, rum and vanilla on low. Add powdered sugar, about a third at a time, stirring until blended. Pour over hot bread pudding. (I drizzled a bit over the pudding, and served the sauce on the side. This recipe makes a LOT of sauce, and because I didn't exactly measure the rum, I knew some of my guests might want to have less.)

-- Originally posted at:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Book (I didn't read): Jayber Crow

I tried. I failed. I didn't finish it before the book group discussed it. I thought I'd finish it afterwards, but 5 renewals later I gave up. The others said it was interesting, although quite dry... which was my excuse.

Jayber Crow
by Wendell Berry

-- Originally posted at:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

17:52 Spring Rain

The view is always the most beautiful right after the rain.

-- Originally posted at:

Friday, April 16, 2010

16:52 Shout House

Bunco goes wild....

-- Originally posted at: