I'm Annette!

Life (including travel, recipes, classic tv & movies, and family)


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Easter: Bunnies, Babies, and Patent Leather

April 11, 2014

 

Easter: Bunnies, Babies, and Patent Leather

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With my new grand daughter on April 8, 1014
Isn’t she a doll baby?  (Details in the blog post below.)

 Easter was always the high water mark for spring in my early years in Iowa. Not only did it mean that the frigid snow had melted away with warmer weather ahead, and that the world was in bloom, filled with glorious color, including flowers of my favorite blue-purple (periwinkle) variety, but it was the stuff of my little girl dreams. It meant that deliciously, luscious chocolate would be found in my Sunday morning Easter basket, and that I would be outfitted in a NEW Easter ensemble, complete with shiny, black patent leather (…still a favorite of mine!) purse and matching shoes to wear to church that Easter Sunday.

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My younger sister, Cheryl, and I pose for an Easter photo in 1969.
Check out the shiny patent leather handbags and my groovy matching shoes

 Holidays are memory makers, and Easter is no exception. In addition to cultivating my love of patent leather, another one of my favorite early Easter memories, is my Grandma Westphal’s Easter cupcakes. I always looked forward to the sight of those “Easter basket” frosted cupcakes sprinkled with green tinted coconut, jelly bean “eggs”, a yellow pom pom chick, and topped with an arched pipe cleaner as a basket handle. As we had our own children, we created our own Easter memories, filled with Easter outfits, Easter church services celebrating Christ’s resurrection, Easter Egg hunts, and Easter gifts, including a real white bunny, quickly named Fluffy,  for our son Spencer.

(I would love for you to, please, share in the comments section at the bottom, for everyone to read, your favorite Easter memory!)

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Easter 1996 in Texas with our four children, Spencer is holding Fluffy Bunny

 One favorite video that we played each year at Easter, when my four kiddies were young was the 1974“It’s the Easter Beagle,     Charlie Brown”. The sight of Snoopy cavorting with the local bunnies and delivering Easter eggs made for a smile-inducing 26 minutes.

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Snoopy and his bunny pals in “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown”

 

What is it about hulking grown men decked out in bunny costumes that I find so hysterical? Two particular bunny images come to mind.

The first image that lurks in the Easter archives of my mind  is in the 1970 episode of Bonanza-Caution: Easter Bunny Crossing, and features 300 pound Hoss (Dan Blocker) in a white bunny suit!

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Hoss (Dan Blocker) as a reluctant Easter Bunny on “Bonanza”

To watch this fun episode, click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PO6ypCIBSTc

The second memorable bunny suit image in my mind is of John Wayne, yes THAT John Wayne, dressed in a fluffy pinkish bunny suit. He wore this costume on a 1969 show of that hip show, Sock It To Me, “Laugh-In”! Somehow, Wayne’s tough cowboy image is hard to align, in my head, with the cowboy image shown below. :o)

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John Wayne adorned in bunny gear

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John Wayne in one of my favorite movies, “McLintock”

 Another cowboy, who will always be entrenched in Easter lore, is the actor and singer Gene Autry. The “singing cowboy’s” popular 1950 hit “Here comes Peter Cottontail” is still heard today during the Easter season. (Autry also sang “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”, “Frosty the Snowman”, and “Here Comes Santa Claus” to great success.)

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Autry

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Cowboy Gene Autry sings “Here Comes Peter Cottontail”
To hear this Easter hit, click on the link below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XQLypAGqTc

 Easter is a celebration of new life, at springtime, when all is anew, as green grass begins to show itself, plants bud and begin to bloom, and nature’s creatures prepare for their new offspring. This year, on April 7, this Easter season has brought a new little life into Dale’s and my world, our first grandchild! It goes without saying, that she is gorgeous! Spencer (Penny) Marie came into the world at 9 pounds, 2 ounces and 21 inches long. The proud parents, Spencer (our son) and Cayce, are doing fine.

 

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 Dale and I are extremely proud grandparents!

 In honor of Easter, I would like to share with you four wonderful Easter printables (to put in a frame, magnet to the fridge, or post on a bulletin board), and one craft, that some very talented, fellow, bloggers have so generously allowed me to share with you. Just click on the link below the printable that you wish to print out, or for the craft directions, and it will take you to the blogger’s site.

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http://www.lepapierstudio.com/blog/2011/03/free-printable-tea-time-silhouette.html

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Available in several different colors!

http://tatertotsandjello.com/2014/02/easter-peter-cottontail-free-printable.html

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 I Know That My Redeemer Lives, Available in a few different colors!

http://www.alittletipsy.com/2009/02/contact-me-with-questions-or-comments.html

 

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http://www.hymnsandverses.com/2013/03/easter-chalkboard-printable.html

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Pictured above is the bunny centerpiece that I made a couple of years ago, using Rook 17’s instructions.

http://www.rookno17.com/2011/03/easter-decorating-diy-moss-bunny.html

The “hopping bunnies on a stick” are available this year, again, at Pier 1 for $2.95 each. Item #: 2758029

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Happy Easter!

 

Thanks for reading!  :o)

Annette

 

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly. 
I will talk to you again around April 28.

 

A great BIG thank you to my blog followers!!!

You inspire me to continue this endeavor.

I truly appreciate your loyalty and encouragement!

 

Please, sign up to get “I’m Annette” via email.

If you do not currently “follow” my blog,

and would like to receive

“I’m Annette” via email, FREE, immediately upon posting,

please, sign up on the right-hand side of this page.

Did I mention that this service is FREE?

 

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“He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny.” “… he looks like a pink nightmare!”

Mr. Parker from “A Christmas Story”


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Delighting in Dubai

March 20, 2014

Delighting in Dubai

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My “selfie” in front of my hotel window. The magnificent Burj al Arab dominates the background.

 Amazing!  That is how I describe the current view from my hotel window.  Dubai’s crowned jewel, the iconic Burj al Arab, is perched upon its man-made island just outside my window from our Jumeirah Beach Hotel.  Surrounded by the inviting aqua blue waters of the beautiful Persian Gulf, and embellished by numerous, towering, swaying palm trees, next to a beach of ecru-colored sand, this is a vacationer’s delight.  March 15, 2014

How did this one-time Iowa girl find herself in such an exotic location?  Marriage.  No, I did not marry into a family of untold monetary wealth. My husband was in Dubai (UAE) for a series of meetings and conferences due to work, while I, somewhat guiltily (Okay, I admit, not all that guiltily.) spent my time in a much more leisurely manner. It was a wonderful week.

In addition to continually gazing out of my hotel window, I enjoyed:

  • Experiencing the Burj al Arab, including an incredible dinner at the top floor’s Al Muntaha Restaurant
  • Dining at the numerous restaurants on the Jumeirah Beach Hotel site
  • Shopping and eating at The Mall of the Emirates
  • Lazing on the beach
  • Trying on a million dollar diamond ring….

As someone once aptly put it, a picture is worth a thousand words, so with that sentiment, why not sit back, relax, and join me on a tour, complete with photos, of the delights of my very enjoyable week in Dubai.

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Early evening in front of our hotel-The Jumeirah Beach Hotel

 Happily gazing at the Burj al Arab daily, often brought to mind the first photo that I ever saw of this architectural masterpiece.  It was on a calendar, and Tiger Woods (in 2004) was swinging his golf club atop the hotel helipad, the Gulf’s water and Dubai’s coastline far beneath him. Being one of the tallest hotels in the world, The Burj al Arab has been the inspiration for several other sporting exhibitions since its 1999 existence. Rory McIlroy, also, took golf shots from this location in 2011, Andre Agassi and Roger Federer played tennis here in 2005, and David Coulthard did donuts in his Formula 1 race car in 2013 atop the infamous helipad. (No, the car DID NOT go up the elevator to get to the top.) I was, personally, lucky enough to witness the landing and take off of a pair of helicopters from this location during my stay, but unfortunately, saw no spectacular sporting feats.

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Tiger Woods golfs over the Gulf (Yes, that was a lame attempt at a pun.)
http://www.marshu.com/collection-architecture-dubai-burj-al-arab-emirates-helipad-tiger-woods-Image

I marveled as this helicopter landed on the helipad of the Burj al Arab.
The structure on the back right-hand side of the building is the Al Muntaha Restaurant and Skyview Bar.

 Check out the YouTube video below of Agassi and Federer on the helipad! Click on the link.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Lxp8gz_QN0&feature=player_embedded

Click on the link below for more photos of the Burj al Arab and of the tennis match.

 http://www.home-designing.com/2008/11/burj-al-arab-interior

 Check out the YouTube video below of David Courtland and his Formula One Racecar doing donuts on the helipad.
Click on the link below.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDCOf0TG2IU

 For more information about the Burj al Arab and helipad stunts, click on the link below.

 http://www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/burj-al-arab/helipad-stunts/

Like Paris’s Eiffel Tower, and London’s Big Ben, the immediately recognizable form of the Burj al Arab symbolically identifies Dubai, with its unique stature, shaped like the sail of a Dhow/Arabian sailing ship upon the gulf. Known for its opulence, the interior of the Burj al Arab is filled with fountains, aquariums, and architectural details at every turn, drenched in 24-karat gold leaf. There are no ordinary rooms to offer its guests here, only suites, the most expensive demanding upwards of $18,000 per night.  Among the perks that guests enjoy, is a 24-karat gold leaf iPad “virtual concierge” in each suite, and a 24-hour per day butler service. Want a nightcap with a view? Skyview Bar patrons may sip on the most expensive cocktail in the world, at $9,000, or drink other offerings from an 18-karat gold souvenir glass.

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The impressive Burj al Arab

 

 To read more about, and view more of, the Burj al Arab hotel, please click on the links below.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burj_al-Arab_Hotel

 https://www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/burj-al-arab/

 http://content.time.com/time/travel/cityguide/article/0,31489,1849667_1849594_1849205,00.html

 http://www.marshu.com/collection-architecture-dubai-burj-al-arab-emirates-inside-hotel.php

 http://www.goexcitetourism.com/pro_excite/frontend/main_tours_info.php?id_trs=27

 http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57585487-1/staying-at-the-burj-al-arab-enjoy-a-24-karat-gold-ipad/

 http://hardyservices.co.uk/news/burj-al-arab-dubai/

 http://www.therichest.com/luxury/the-burj-al-arab-dubais-luxury-hotel/

 

 foodie – a gourmet, or a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food…[1] A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out for convenience or hunger.

The American heritage dictionary of the English language. (4th ed. ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1992.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foodie

 I must admit that I am a foodie. My husband sweetly bowed to my foodie inclinations, and indulged me, by treating me to a very special dinner at the Burj al Arab. Ascending the glass elevator to the 27th floor, we were enveloped in a dining fantasy at the world famous Al Muntaha (Arabic meaning ‘The Ultimate’ or ‘The Top’). The views were breathtaking, the food phenomenal, and the service impeccable. It was a memorable evening. The “icing on the cake”, literally, came in the form of a delicious birthday cake and two-dozen beautiful roses delightfully presented to me by the restaurant wait staff. I was completely taken by surprise, and of course, jubilant! (The concierge had asked upon reserving our dinner time, if we were celebrating any event.  I jokingly replied, “My birthday was last week, does that count?” I guess that it does!!! :o) )

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Looking up, the interior of the Burj al Arab

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 Dining with Dale at the Burj al Arab’s Al Muntaha

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My special Burj al Arab birthday cake that we took with us to eat later. Yummy!

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Upon presenting me with these flowers, the waiter said, “I hope that the color of the roses suit you?”
They do!  Aren’t they beautiful?

 Although, not as extravagant as our meal atop Dubai, we found dining on site at the hotel both delicious, and very enjoyable.  Through that experience, I have become a big fan of British chef, Jamie Oliver, and his restaurant, Jamie’s Italian, eating there several times. I am especially in love with his Epic Brownies, which are just that -EPIC! (I found a recipe for them online, and am anxious to try it.) I also obtained a new recipe (I share it below, with my notes in parentheses.) thanks to another restaurant’s chef, for a delicious avocado bruschetta that we had our first night in Dubai.

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 At Jamie’s Italian with our wonderful waiter, Sammy

 Another dining experience afforded me the pleasure of happily scoring my favorite Avocado Egg Rolls from The Cheesecake Factory at The Mall of the Emirates. What fun to enjoy lunch and to be entertained out the restaurant window by the, mostly youngster, indoor skiers bundled up in their winter gear. After my meal, it was an enjoyable time spent shopping at the mall, methodically checking off the items from the shopping list that I had brought along.

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I had been dreaming about these avocado egg rolls for weeks! Note the blue inner tube in the background, out the window.

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Enjoying the view out my Cheesecake Factory window

 To read more about, and view more about The Mall of the Emirates, please click on the link below.
http://www.malloftheemirates.com

 Most days, while Dale worked, I happily planted myself under a beach umbrella on the sand. The temperature was perfect, the atmosphere, relaxing, and the view amazing.

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Enjoying my time on the beach. Yes, that is my foot.  :o)

 In addition to the restaurants, pools, and beach, the hotel property offers several shops with high-end merchandise. One day, while window-shopping in the hotel, I spied the most beautiful ring. I just had to ask how large the diamond was!  The staff was extremely nice, informing me that the center stone was 14 karats! They asked if I would like to see it. I told them that I would love to, informing them that I was not in any position to purchase the stunning piece.  The salesman took the sparkler out for me to admire and informed me that the price was, gulp, over one million dollars!  (Hey, no one can say that I that I do not have a discerning eye when it comes to jewelry!) They did say that they could reduce it to around $700,000, if I was interested. :o) An emerald-cut diamond of movie star quality, it is similar to Grace Kelly’s engagement ring from Prince Rainier (as seen in the movie “High Society”).

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This is what a 14 karat diamond looks like.

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This is what a nearly flawless, 14 karat diamond with side baguettes costs!

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Another diamond beauty, with natural color, WOW!

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Grace Kelly “graced” by her actual engagement ring in “High Society.”

In the film, Bing Crosby sees the ring and jokes, “Some stone, did you mine it yourself?”

  

To read more about Grace Kelly’s diamond ring, click below.

http://www.ballardgem.com/two-timeless-beauties-recalled-grace-kelly-and-the-diamond-engagement-ring-of-a-princess/

 I loved Dubai, but it was time say good-bye. Happily, I had one more (happy birthday) moment awaiting my return.  My birthday necklace from my hubby was finished being crafted and ready for pick-up. I was/am dazzled by the finished product.  I LOVE it!

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My beautiful royal blue topaz birthday necklace/gift

 To read my earlier post about choosing the stone, click on the link below.

http://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/happy-birthday-to-dr-seuss-texas-and-me-o-2/

 Dubai Bruschetta

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Goat Cheese Bruschetta and Avocado (My notes in parentheses)

 What to  buy and Prep…

 50 Gm (1/4 cup) Goat Cheese (thinly sliced)

1 ea. Mini baguette bread

40 ml (scant 2 +3/4 Tbsp.) extra virgin olive oil

50 Gm/ (¼ cup) avocados

60 Gm (2 oz.) mixed lettuce

20 Gm(1.4 Tbsp.) Sundried tomatoes

20 Gm (1.4 Tbsp) fresh tomatoes

20 Gm (1.4 Tbsp) Gm Red onions

10 Gm (scant ¾ Tbsp) Coriander leaves (cilantro)

40 (2+generous 3/4 Tbsp) Gm Lemons

Salt and ground black pepper to taste.

 How to Make It…

  • Cut the breads into half
  • Preheat the oven to 180C (350F [actually 356])
  • Brush the olive oil on both sides of bread pieces,
  • then toast for 5 minutes (in oven)
  • Cut tomato, sundried tomato, red onion into small dices (pieces)
  • Add chop (chopped) coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • Combine all the ingredients together, season with salt, pepper, oil and lemon juice
  • Cut the avocado and goat cheese into slices
  • Top baguette slices with tomato salsa (4th step), avocado and goat cheese
  • Heat up under salamander (this is a professional broiler oven, use regular oven to broil)
  • Arrange the bruschetta in (on) the plate (pan)
  • (watch closely and remove when browned)
  • Toss well-mixed lettuce with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Serve the bruschetta with above mixed salad

(Bon Appetit!)

 I used Diana’s Desserts Conversion Calculator to convert the measurements of the original recipe, above.
http://dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/tools.measures/Measures.cfm

Thanks for reading!  :o)

 Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly. 
Due to a bit of traveling, I will be taking a short break, and will talk to you again around April 14.

 A great BIG thank you to my blog followers! You inspire me to continue this endeavor.
I appreciate your loyalty and encouragement!

 If you do not currently “follow” my blog, I would love for you to join us! To receive 
“I’m Annette” via email, FREE, immediately upon posting, I invite you to sign up on the right-hand side of this page. Did I mention that this service is FREE?

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Dale and me enjoying a sunset stroll on the beach

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Dale snapped this, of me, while I was blissfully (unaware) strolling down the beach.
The (only) bridge leading to the Burj al Arab is in front of me.


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The Frustrations of an Attempted Blogger, 
an addendum to yesterday’s blog post

March 5, 2014

The Frustrations of an Attempted Blogger, 
an addendum to yesterday’s blog post

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It began on March 6, 2013.  “Ya’ Gotta Start Somewhere!”, my first blog post, was a mere two sentences. With this inauspicious beginning, my entrance into the world of blogdom had begun. Since that day, I have learned about many aspects of the blogging world; revising a few things on my own blog along the way, and having gained a small, loyal readership, for which I am extremely thankful.  Unfortunately, I am still in blogging “kindergarten” with much to learn, and if I did not know this already, I found it out yesterday.

Generally, after posting a blog, I find a minor typo, or two, but after posting yesterday, I realized that a key photo was missing! Without going into all of the ins and outs of blogging, yesterday I had hit a glitch, technical difficulty, a boo boo, when trying to publish. In the frustrating process of working out the issue, a photo that I had intended to add, was overlooked.

So, to rectify this oversight, I present you with an addendum to yesterday’s blog entry.

Click on these links to read yesterday’s post, as well as my very first blog post.

http://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/happy-birthday-to-dr-seuss-texas-and-me-o-2/

 http://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/ya-gotta-start-somewhere/

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 Dale, my wonderful hubby, preparing baking pans for my birthday cake

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Spreading the butter cream frosting on the birthday cake

Wishing for you a day void of frustration!

Thanks for reading!  :o)

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly. 
Talk to you again around March 25.

I would love for you to join my blog “following” to receive 
“I’m Annette” via email, FREE, immediately upon posting, please sign up on the right-hand side of this page. Did I mention that this is FREE?

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My delicious birthday cake, 2014

This recipe can be found on my previous post
http://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/happy-birthday-to-dr-seuss-texas-and-me-o-2/


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Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss, Texas, and Me! :o)

March 3, 2014

Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss, Texas, and Me! :o)

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Celebrating my March 2, 2014 birthday with my special cake made by my hubby

 March 2nd is my birthday.  I am in good company, sharing my big day with a big state, Texas, and a big name in the world of children’s books, Dr. Seuss.  The Lone Star State, where I once lived for 16 years (All four of our children were born there.), turned 178 years old this year with the 1836 signing of the Declaration of Independence, making Texas an independent republic. Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, and author of such children’s classics as Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, would have turned 110 this year.  I am happy to declare that I am younger than both of these “celebrities” who share my birthdate! :o)

My birthday this year was a good one, filled with the things that I love: classic movies, Disney, jewelry, food/cooking, and more importantly my family and friends. :o)

Image2003 Dr. Seuss Postage Stamp

 To read more about Dr. Seuss, please click on this link.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Seuss

ImageThe State Flag of Texas

To read more about Texas Independence Day, please click on this link.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Independence_Day

I once read that the perpetually 39-year-old actor, Jack Benny, said “Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” I hold to this philosophy and really do not mind if people know my actual age. How old am I? I just turned 39, having been 29 last year. How does one gain ten years with just one birthday, you ask? My eldest, Trevor, turned 30 last month. Upon wishing him a Happy Birthday, I remarked that “We are a miracle of nature, with you turning 30, and your mother, me, just 29!” So with this birthday I decided that it is necessary to add another 10 years to my (fictitious) age, so I am now 39. (Big guffaw, hee hee, ho, ho…)  (Okay, so actually, I graduated from high school at the age of 18 in 1976, if you care to do the math, and are a fan of word problems.) The addition of ten years this birthday, not withstanding, I love birthdays! Birthdays are always a good reason/excuse to celebrate.  Here is how my wonderful 2014 birthday unfolded.

 

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Jack Benny in a cameo from one of my movie favorites,
“It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”

 

In my quest for a healthier self, I have been trying to be diligent about beginning my day with exercise; in the form of a semi-brisk walk, and a birthday was no excuse to “beg off”. My Australian friend, Jenny, joined me, this morning, on my birthday walk, making exercise feel like fun, as we chatted the steps away.  :o) A wonderful beginning to my day.

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Jenny, my talented friend from Australia, and me

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A post-walk selfie on my way home from my morning walk

 After a half day of work, Dale came home.  It was a treat to spend the day with my hubby, and the first in several years that we had been on the same continent  (due to his work commitments) on March 2nd, making this time together even more special.  My wonderful husband baked my special birthday cake, Raspberry Continental, (making it with strawberries since we could not find raspberries) (see recipe below), downloaded a movie for me to watch and one that I love (1966’s “Batman), and took me to the jewelry area of town, to the jewelry man who sells gems and makes jewelry to order. My friend Jenny calls this shop Aladdin’s Cave!! And indeed it was! It was so much fun looking at his inventory of loose rubies, sapphires, aquamarines, and a virtual rainbow of topazes. Yes, it has to be said; I WAS like a kid in a candy store! I felt like Marilyn Monroe’s character in “How to Marry a Millionaire”, when she dreams that jewels are being presented to her by the armload! (Yep, Marilyn and me.) Dale surprised me by instructing me to choose a stone to have made into a piece of jewelry.  I chose a stunning, emerald-shaped, royal blue topaz from Sri Lanka to be made into a pendant. Happy Birthday to Me!!! :o)

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“Aladdin’s Cave” of gems

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Happy with my Birthday Pick!

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Marilyn Monroe/Pola Debevoise dreams, sweet dreams, of being in Arabia and given an armful of jewelry to make her feel welcome “according to an old Eastern custom” in the movie “How to Marry a Millionaire”.

Back from my unique shopping experience, ravioli awaited me.  (Happily, a few days earlier, we had discovered Buitoni ravioli at the local grocery store-a rare occurrence.) Seven minutes of cooking the pasta, a little butter, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and voilà, dinner was served with my wonderful birthday cake for dessert. Delicious!

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A happy find at the grocery store! Just add butter and freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For the remainder of evening I enjoyed watching “Batman” and Disney’s 1962 “Sammy the Way Out Seal” (a great gift from my daughter and son-in-law via iTunes), while in-between, talking to my four kiddies who all called to wish me a happy day, and reading the slew of email and Facebook wishes from all of my terrific friends and family.  What a perfect way to end a perfect birthday!

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Batman and Robin climb up a wall with their batarang in the movie “Batman” (1966) (PG)

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Originally on “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color”, “Sammy the Way Out Seal” (1962)
explores what life would be like if one had a seal for a pet

 

 Raspberry Continental
(Annette’s birthday cake of choice)

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Ingredients:

 

1 pkg. yellow cake mix prepared according to box (with eggs, oil, water)

 

¼ cup butter, softened

¾ cup powdered sugar

 

 ¼ cup granulated sugar

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 small pkg. frozen raspberries that are prepared with sugar-partially thawed (Strawberries may be used, instead)

 

(If using unsugared raspberries, increase sugar amount until sweet enough. This may take up to ¼ cup more, or so.)

 

1 cup whipping cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

 

 Preheat oven at 350 degrees

Directions:

Cake

Prepare cake per pkg. directions.

Divide evenly into two 8 in. greased and floured round pans.

Bake according to directions on box.

Cool completely.

Place one cooled layer on plate.

Spread with butter filling,

then with cooled (not chilled) raspberry filling.

Top with other layer of cake

(At this point it is advisable to lightly cover and put into the refrigerator for a couple hours, or overnight.)

Then frost cake cooled, assembled cake with cooled whipped cream

Chill until serving.

Keep this cake in the refrigerator.

 Butter filling

In small mixing bowl, beat softened butter.

Gradually add powdered sugar.

Cream well.

 Raspberry filling

In small saucepan, combine granulated sugar and cornstarch.  Add raspberries and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes thick and clear. (Be patient, as this takes awhile.)

Cool completely.

 Whipped cream topping

Whip whipping cream using clean, chilled bowl and chilled beaters.

When whipping cream is almost whipped,

gradually add ¼ cup powdered sugar.

Chill.

Enjoy, and Happy Birthday to you, whenever that may be!

 

Thanks for reading!  :o)

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly.
Talk to you again around March 25.

I would love for you to join my blog “following” to receive
“I’m Annette” via email, FREE, immediately upon posting, please sign up on the right-hand side of this page

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Adam West as Batman, one of my first childhood crushes! :o)


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Top of the Mornin’ to Ya!

February 23, 2014

 

Top of the Mornin’ to Ya!

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Enjoying the Irish countryside on our visit to “Quiet Man” country” in September 2013

 PINCH!
That was the penalty administered by fellow students, when I was a child at Abby B. Sawyer Elementary School, if one forgot to wear green on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day…because on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone was/is Irish! Teachers hurriedly safety pinned hastily cut-out construction paper shamrocks upon those green deficient children, as they entered the classroom, to ward off the annual pinchfest .  Years later, when I myself, taught elementary school, things had progressed, shimmery Hallmark shamrock stickers replacing the construction paper variety, yet still dispensed posthaste to those students neglectful of the wearin’ o’ the green each St. Patrick’s Day.

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St. Patrick’s Day “Armor”, Protecting against St. Patrick’s Day Pinches

 So, just where did this tradition of non-green wearing persons being subjected to the dreaded St Patrick’s Day pinch come from?  According to blogger Deborah in her fun post “Erin go Braugh!”, March 17, 2013 …

 The pinching on St. Patty’s Day was started in America sometime in the 1700′s. The myth said that leprechauns could not see a person dressed in green, and anyone they did see (anyone not wearing green) the leprechauns would pinch. So, be sure to wear green today otherwise the leprechauns (and random Irish-lovin’ strangers) will pinch you.

 For more from Deborah’s blog posting and wonderful 1940’s movie star St. Patrick’s Day photos, including this Maureen O’Hara one, please click on the link below the photo.

 

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Maureen O’Hara, star of “The Quiet Man”
in a St. Patrick’s Day publicity shot

 http://hellcat-vintage.com/tag/maureen-ohara/ 

 

The Quiet Man:
A Film for St. Patrick’s Day,
and Vacation Inspiration, too.

 On that one day of the year when “everyone is Irish” and thoughts turn to the land of St. Patrick’s Ireland, one film comes to mind for me, The Quiet Man!  One of my very most favorite movies ever, and just chosen in December 2013 by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry, this 1952 John Wayne/Maureen O’Hara film is indeed a classic.  In fact, it was “The Quiet Man” that was the impetus that led to a brief trip to Ireland for my husband and myself last fall. It was three days wonderfully spent!  :o)



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Standing next to the”Quiet Man Bridge”

 IMG_0633“The Quiet Man Bridge” in the movie

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At “The Quiet Man” Museum in Cong, next to replicas of wardrobe from the film

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Ruins in Cong (Ireland)

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Enjoying  the serine landscape of County Mayo, Ireland

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County Mayo Sunset, September 2013

 Please, read my four blog postings on our Ireland trip.
Click on the links below.

 http://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/the-quiet-mans-ireland-day-1/

 http://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/the-quiet-mans-ireland-day-2-or-a-day-fit-for-a-quiet-man-crazy/

 http://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/irish-gold-part-1-3/

 http://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/irish-gold-part-2/

 Watching “The Quiet Man” is a tradition each St. Patrick’s Day at our house. (My four children were raised on the classics! :o)) I have owned this movie in several forms over the years, but many were disappointing in quality.  However, I highly recommend the new Blu-ray version!  The picture quality is phenomenal!

Turner Classic Movies next showing of “The Quiet Man” will not be until APRIL 23rd, 2014.

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“The Quiet Man” now out on Blu-ray!

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Dale and me with the stream from “The Quiet Man” fight scene behind us

 To read more facts about The Quiet Man, please click on the post below.Note, the fight scene was not shot at Ashford Castle as described,but at a stream in the town of Cong.  (See photo above)

 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045061/trivia

 

Two Bonus St. Patrick’s Day Movies

 Song of the Islands (1942) –I stumbled upon this delightfully light-hearted film on Fox Movie Channel one day. A musical comedy starring Betty Grable, this Hawaiian/Irish film, culminates with the tune “O’Brien Has Gone Hawaiian”performed at their St. Patrick’s Day celebration on the (fictitious) Hawaiian Island of Ahmi-oni Isle.


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Betty Grable performs “O’Brien has Gone Hawaiian” in the movie “Song of the Islands”

 To view the lyrics for “O’Brien has Gone Hawaiian”,
please click on the link below.

 http://www.squareone.org/Hapa/o9.html

 For more information on “Song of the Islands”,
please click on the links below.

 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035361/

 http://dawn-bettygrable.blogspot.com/2010/05/song-of-islands-1942.html

 

Luck of the Irish (2001) This fun Disney film, with Irish flavor, has always been a favorite of my family.  It follows Ryan Merriman as a boy with very Irish roots on his mother’s side (Spoiler Alert, kind of-His mother is a leprechaun!), and Cleveland (Ohio) roots on his father’s side.  :o)

 220px-Disney_-_The_Luck_of_the_Irish

This is scheduled to be shown on Disney XD on February 24 @ 5 pm EST. Check listings for more possible March showings.

 To read more about “The Luck of the Irish”,
please click on the link below.

 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274636/

 

St. Patrick’s Day Fun: A Craft and Recipes
 The Craft: LUCK in Green Glitter

2013-02-20 16.48.34 

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As a fan and frequent persuer of Pinterest *,
I incorporated several ideas that found on this site, and combined them into my LUCK in green glitter project,
Green Glitter Letters.

Having done this project last year, or was it the year before?, I do not quite remember the sequence of my steps, but I think what follows is pretty close.

 Gather materials-

Letters L, U, C, K (Michaels, or Hobby Lobby)

Emerald Green acrylic paint(not sure of actual name)

Sponge brush (1 or 2)

Glue Gun and Glue gun sticks

Newspaper for painting and to catch excess glitter

          Green, finer grade, glitter (I think that I used Martha Stewart brand)

          Mod Podge

 Paint letters green.  It may take two coats. Let dry.

Hot Glue together letter in configuration desired. (If it needs more stability, staple gun back of letters, or

Refer to these great directions at http://www.lifesweetlifeblog.com/2010/12/diy-pottery-barn-knock-off-noel-sign.html.)

 Cover front of letters with Mod Podge.

 On newspaper sprinkle glitter over wet Mod Podge generously,

allowing extra glitter to spill onto the newspaper.

 Allow letters to dry.

 Pour spilled glitter from newspaper back into bottle.

 GOOD LUCK! :O)

 http://www.pinterest.com

You can follow my pins on Pinterest- In the search box type
“I’m Annette” blog-annettehoffman.wordpress.com


Other Items in my photo above:

 The Irish Blessing

Came from this fun blog below.
Click on it to visit her site.

 file://localhost/Printable http/::myblessedlife-lora.blogspot.com:2008:03:happy-st-patricks-day.html%3Fpfstyle=wp

 

The Bless This House Sampler

This was a collaborative effort between
my daughter in law and myself.
After buying the supplies  (the frame, material , felt, embroidery thread, tag, stamping letters, and stamp pad), I cutout the shamrocks. Cayce stitched the saying, and sewed on the shamrocks.
I put it the frame, and added the stamped tag “All Who Enter Here”.

Other Items 

God Bless Shamrock was purchased at Hobby Lobby last year, or year before.

Shamrock lights were purchased at Target, I think, a year, or two ago.

 Candlesticks were a gift.  They were brass and I painted them white.

 

The Recipes
Two Easy and Delicious Treats for March 17,
or any day!

Easy Artichoke dip

Easy Artichoke dip

Easy Artichoke Dip

 Ingredients

1 can, or jar artichoke hearts, drained

1 cup of light mayonnaise ( I use light Hellman’s)

1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

 Crackers ie. Ritz, Club, Triscuits, or crudités (sliced, fresh veggies)

 Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine all ingredients, chopping up artichokes, if needed
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees.  (The microwave can be used, too, if in a hurry.)

Serve with crackers or crudités.

 

 Irish Gold

tumblr_inline_mjnvi9c25A1qz4rgp 

Repinned from my earlier blog, Irish Gold 2
http://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/irish-gold-part-2/

 This photo courtesy of http://blog.saymmm.com/page/3
Check out her blog filled with recipes by clicking on the link above.

Ingredients 

 Miniature Ritz Peanut Butter Sandwich crackers,
(or 2 plain Ritz Crackers with peanut butter spread in the middle,
or just plain Ritz Crackers, if desired)

 
1 (12oz.) bag Butterscotch chips

 Directions

▪   Melt chips in in a microwave safe bowl.

▪   Carefully dip the crackers into the melted chips.

Set on wire rack, or waxed paper, and let butterscotch harden

Enjoy!

 Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 Thanks for reading!  :o)

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly. Talk to you again around March 18.

I would love for you to join my blog “following” to receive “I’m Annette” via email, FREE, immediately upon posting, please sign up on the right-hand side of this page.

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Vintage Phone Booth in Cong (Ireland) where much of
“The Quiet Man” was filmed


4 Comments

If I Only had a Heart!

February 10, 2014

If I Only had a Heart!

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 Hearts!  When I see that sweet geometric shape, my heart (the anatomical variety) does a happy little leap.  Hearts have always held a fascination with me, stemming from (I think…) the Tin Man and the gift bestowed upon him by the Wizard from that classic film “The Wizard of Oz”.  I remember loving that scene as a youngster, watching the Tin Man (Jack Haley), with his sweet, gentle demeanor, accepting the Wizard’s gift of a heart. Hey, I even wanted that glorious clock heart “necklace”!

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The Wizard presents the Tin Man with a heart in “The Wizard of Oz”

 Samantha, of the classic TV show “Bewitched”, also had an item that piqued my heart interest as a child.  (Okay, it still does.) That stunning diamond heart necklace of hers captivated me! Elizabeth Montgomery wore it weekly, making me want to reach into my family’s 1960’s television screen and snatch it for myself.

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Elizabeth Montgomery wears a gift from her then real-life husband, a diamond necklace, on “Bewitched”

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To read more about the necklace, and “Bewitched”, please click on the link below.
http://bewitchvic.tripod.com/faq.html

 In addition to my early (heart) jewelry obsession (I still have it.), hearts were the central theme for the annual Valentine’s parties that I loved at the local Abby B. Sawyer Elementary School. Hearts surrounded us everywhere: on the walls, on the bulletin boards, on our purple smeared mimeographed worksheets, on our party treats, on our homemade Valentine boxes, and most importantly, on the Valentines that we were instructed to give to each classmate. Such heart-filled, fun memories! :o)

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 While looking at 1960’s Valentines online, I came across these.
I think that I may have given these out one year for Valentine’s Day!

 To see more vintage Valentines, click on the link below.
http://organizedclutterqueen.blogspot.com/2013/02/sweet-valentines-from-my-childhood.html

 Having always had a “heart” for hearts. (Yes, you may now laugh hysterically, that was a pun.) It was only natural that I chose, with Dale, a heart-shaped engagement ring 35+ years ago. Trendy, the heart cut was brand new at that time, and exclusive to Zale’s. Of course, I still love it, and the guy who goes along with it.  :o)

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Movies with Heart

 There are a gazillion movies made in the past eighty years that deal with the affairs of the heart, but these four are my personal picks for Valentine’s Day.

 Sleepless in Seattle(PG) (1993)

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The Empire State Building all lit up for Valentine’s Day on “Sleepless in Seattle”

 Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan star, along with Ross Malinger, in this fun romantic comedy, that even guys do not seem to mind. :o) Many references are made throughout this movie to the 1957 Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr film An Affair to Remember. (You may wish to include this on your to Valentine watch list, too.) Meg Ryan’s character in “Sleepless in Seattle” even suggests that she and Hanks meet on top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day, just as Grant and Kerr were planning to do in their film.

Note:  Some scenes were filmed in Baltimore’s Fell’s Point and nearby locations. :o)

To read more about “Sleepless in Seattle” location shots, click link below.
http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/s/Sleepless_In_Seattle.html – .UvoGSHlbT0s

Rocky(PG) (1976)

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 A “memorable” scene from “Rocky”  A really memorable scene! :o)

“Rocky” is my sentimental pick for Valentine’s Day.  My hubby and I went to see “Rocky” on our first date in June 1977, and then went out for pizza. If we do not get around to watching this for Valentine’s Day, then we are sure to view it for our May anniversary.

This is the film that made Sylvester Stallone a star. It is the story of a sweet underdog, heavyweight boxer who romances an ugly duckling (Adrian) while training for the national bout.

To read more about “Rocky”, click link below.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky

 Pillow Talk(NR) (1959)

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Doris Day and Rock Hudson star in “Pillow Talk”
Notice Day’s stunner necklace, above!

 Doris Day and Rock Hudson star in this quintessential romantic comedy, that almost wasn’t.  Rock Hudson turned down this part three times before finally accepting, deeming this role too risqué.  Eye candy abounds in this film, from Doris Day’s fashionable wardrobe and fabulous jewels to the stunning sets and shiny automobiles. The smart script, clever repartee, and chemistry between the protagonists make this movie a must for Valentine Day, or anytime.

For more information on Pillow Talk, please click on the links below.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053172/trivia

 http://www.glamamor.com/2011/10/cinema-style-file-doris-day-makes.html

 The Wizard of Oz(PG) (1939)

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“Oh, oh, it ticks!”

 “The Wizard of Oz” is about love and friendship.( …not to mention that wonderful clock heart “necklace”) making it a perfect Valentine’s Day movie, or one to watch on any day. Dorothy (Judy Garland) and Toto’s journey with the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion is chronicled in this heart warming tale.  It is only through the group’s cohesiveness and sacrifice for one another, that they succeed.  When the group must part ways, it is the sensitive Tin Man who tearfully proclaims, “Now I know I have a heart, because it’s breaking”.

Note:  Shirley Temple, who was considered for the role of Dorothy, sadly passed away today at age 85.

For more information on the movie “The Wizard of Oz”, please click on the link below.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wizard_of_Oz_(1939_film)

 Sweets to the Sweet, a Recipe for Valentine’s Day

 For Valentine’s Day, I am sharing my hubby’s favorite dessert.  His mother gave me this recipe when we were first married.  It is a must for his birthday, and also has shown up on our family table at Easter, Thanksgiving, and various meals throughout the year.  I always double the recipe (shown in parentheses’) because when we had four kids around, this one disappeared in a hurry. Warning! Guard the refrigerator when this pie is cooling inside, or you may find random scoops of filling stealthily stolen before dessert time.

Chocolate Angel Pie
(Dad’s/Dale’s birthday cake of choice)

 Image

Dale’s Birthday 2011
Spencer and Chandler wait impatiently for Dale to blow out the candles

 (I double this recipe for our family.)

 INGREDIENTS:

(4) 2 egg whites

(1/4)1/8 tea. salt

(1/4 )1/8 tea. cream of tarter

 (1) (1/2) cup granulated sugar

(1 or less) ½ cup chopped pecans

(1) ½ tea. real vanilla

(2) 1 bar German baking chocolate

(6) 3 Tbsp. hot water

(2) 1 tsp. vanilla

(2) 1 cup/1/2 pint whipping cream

(4) 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Preheat oven at 300 degrees.

Directions:

Crust

Beat egg whites in mixer until foamy.

Add salt and cream of tarter.

Beat until stands in soft peaks.

Add (1)1/2 cup granulated sugar, gradually.

Beat until very stiff. (Must be stiff to keep its shape.)

Fold in pecans.

Pour egg white mixture in 8 inch (9-9.5 inch) inch greased pie pan/dish and shape into bird’s nest.

Bake for 45-55 minutes until very lightly brown.

When done, remove pie shell from oven and completely cool.

 Filling

Melt bar(s) of German baking chocolate with the hot water. * (I do this very carefully in the microwave.  30 seconds, stir, 30 more seconds, stir, etc.  Do not over-do, as chocolate will become grainy!)

Allow to cool.

In the meantime, whip up the whipping cream, adding the powdered sugar slowly until blended in.

Add (2)1 tsp. vanilla to cooled chocolate, and gently fold in whipping cream.

Place mixture into cooled meringue pie shell. (If crust is not cooled, will melt filling.)

Garnish with chocolate chips, curls, etc., if desired.*

Refrigerate.

*What if your recipe calls for melting chocolate along with water or some other type of liquid? That’s fine, as long as the liquid is mixed with the chocolate from the beginning of the melting process, it won’t get grainy on you, (but adding even a drop in mid-melting will cause this problem).

Enjoy!

 Thanks for reading!  :o)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly. Talk to you again around February 24.

Please, join my blog “following”, and receive “I’m Annette” via email, FREE, immediately upon posting, please sign up on the right-hand side of this page.

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Cupid-Young Shirley Temple (with Jimmy Dunn), 1935
To read more about Shirley Temple, click on the links below.
http://mothgirlwings.tumblr.com/post/3285420767/jimmy-dunn-and-shirley-temple-1935
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Temple

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