valarltd: (aisha)
The end of the Christmas music



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valarltd: (mummer)


Pics are not work safe after the first one:

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valarltd: (mummer)
Double Sounds of the Season:

For my Jewish friends:





For my Christian friends:





For the rest of us:





Norad's Santa Tracker http://www.noradsanta.org/

Google Santa Tracker (he's in Barbados. Happy Christmas, Captain Collins, and Master Goodman of Breakfront) https://santatracker.google.com/tracker.html

Pics of the Day:


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From all of us at Chez Mudd to all of you, where-ever you are, Greet the Light!
valarltd: (yule)
Hail the Returning Light!





Pics of the day:


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valarltd: (yule)
I'm having a rough year and not doing this as thoroughly as I should. The flu laid me low all weekend.





The evergreen is a midwinter hope symbol used in most countries which get snow. Here's our take on it


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valarltd: (kitchenwitch)
Sounds of the Season:



Gingerbread recipes:

Easy gingerbread
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2/3 cup cold water
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream

Directions
Combine egg, sugar, molasses, butter and water; mix well. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, ginger and salt; add molasses mixture. Beat until well mixed. Pour into a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until cake tests done. Serve warm with whipped cream. Yield: 9 servings.

Cake gingerbread with candied ginger:

1/4 cup dark rum or water
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup unsulphured molasses
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup minced dried crystallized ginger (not in syrup)
1 cup confectioners' sugar, optional
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 by 8-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
Place the rum and raisins in a small pan, cover and heat until the rum boils. Turn off the heat and set aside. Place the butter and molasses in another small pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cool for 5 minutes, then mix in the sour cream and orange zest.
Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together in a small bowl. Mix with your hands until combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture and mix only until smooth. Drain the raisins and add them and crystallized ginger to the mixture with a spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.
When the cake has cooled, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and orange juice and pour it onto the gingerbread, allowing it to drip down the sides. Allow the glaze to set. Cut the gingerbread into 9 squares.

Gingerbread Cookies
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup shortening, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup molasses
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, until they are completely absorbed. Divide dough into 3 pieces, pat down to 1 1/2 inch thickness, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When the cookies are done, they will look dry, but still be soft to the touch. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on wire racks. When cool, the cookies can be frosted with the icing of your choice.

Pepper Cookies.
We made these and cut them out with eye-glass shaped cookie cutters, calling them Potter's Pepper Glasses, because pepper cookies seem such a wizarding thing.

1 c. sugar
1 c. dark corn syrup
1 c. butter
1 tbsp. vinegar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
5 c. sifted flour
Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter and vinegar in small pan and bring almost to a boil. Cool to room temperature, then stir in eggs. Sift together remaining ingredients and stir into butter mixture blending well. Chill overnight. Divide dough into 8 or 9 portions and roll each out very thin on floured board. Cut into diamond (or any other) shapes and bake on greased baking sheet in 350 degree oven for 7 or 8 minutes. Makes about 225 - 3 inch cookies. Store in loosely covered jar in dry place so cookies will remain crisp. They will keep for a long time.

Pics of the Day:

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valarltd: (mummer)
Been a long day.

Because I've watched too much season 2-3 Buffy
Sounds of the Season


Pics of the Day, Ugly Sweater Edition


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valarltd: (mummer)
Sounds of the Season:


Things to make, ornament edition:



Soak cinamon sticks in very hot water until flexible enough to form, secure with superglue. This has a medicine bag, fir, holly berried, mini pine cones and star anise added..



Get the dollar store applesauce and powdered cinnamon. 3/4 c. applesauce and about 4 oz of cinnamon, Mix until they form a smooth dough. Roll it out 1/4 inch thick, between plastic wrap layers. ut with cookie cutters and punch with a straw for the stringing holes. Bake at 300, 2.5 hours


This is done with crayon shavings melted in a clear ornament with a hair dryer.


Pics of the Day, Elf on the Shelf edition:


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valarltd: (yule)
Sounds of the Season:

Nil se'n la: Never mind the day
Never mind the rising light
There's no sign of day or dawning
In my heart it's still the night
And we'll stay here till the morning



Solstice Carol



Pics of the Day:



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valarltd: (mummer)
Sounds of the Season:

As the days grow ever shorter and Mother Night holds sway


Tasty Thursday:


The dough has to be VERY cold to accomplish this

And my favorite Chocolate Pie recipe

1 c. sugar
2 tbsp. flour
4 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 c. milk
2 whole eggs
3 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
Dump all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat well. Pour into an unbaked pastry shell. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool before slicing.


Pics of the Day:

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valarltd: (mummer)
Sounds of the Season:


and it won't embed, Tom Smith doing 12 Days of Star Wars and O Holey Knight is worth the click
https://youtu.be/lIp8OVMd8DU

Shopping recs:

There may or may not be wookiee appropriate gifts.
The Carpenter's Wyfe is my own shop. It's what happens when you let Witches play with herbs and soap.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheCarpentersWyfe

Wizard at Work also has lovely bath stuff
https://www.etsy.com/shop/WizardAtWork

And there's a new Elizabeth Donald collection! You can pre-order Moonlight Sonata here:
http://elizabethdonald.com/Elizabeth_Donald/Moonlight_Sonata.html

Pics of the Day:

In keeping with the music...

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valarltd: (Nick)
Today is the Feast day of Nicholas, Bishop of Myra.
He is the patron saint of the Varangian Guard, sailors, merchants, archers, thieves, children, pawnbrokers and students. He is also the patron of the cities of Aberdeen (where the Kirk of St. Nichols dates to 1157), Amsterdam, Barranquilla, Bari, Burgas, Beit Jala, Fribourg, Huguenots, Kozani, Liverpool, Paternopoli, Sassari, Siggiewi, and Lorraine.

(And my name saint for my true name)


Sounds of the season.

Because boy soprano.


And though I couldn't find a clip from The Miracle Job, let's steal some Christmas Cheer


Tasty Tuesday:
Baking season is upon us, and that means scads of cookies.
To make things easier, start with Mother Dough. This basic cookie dough will let you make six different kinds of cookies.

Mother Dough Recipe
Ingredients:

• 2 cups flour
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp salt
• pinch ground nutmeg
• 1 cup butter
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Combine first four ingredients in a bowl. Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix in half the dry ingredients, then add what is remaining. Divide dough in half and wrap with plastic wrap until ready to use. This recipe makes enough for two batches of cookies, so we suggest that you always divide the dough in half and wrap each separately in plastic. Keep the other half refrigerated until you need it (it will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days).
recipes under the cut )

Pics of the Day:

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valarltd: (mummer)
Sounds of the Season:





Make it Monday:

Decorations and gift ideas. Some require more skill thank others but all seem relatively easy.




These make great stocking stuffers, especially if you have a lot of broken crayons around the house. Melt the broken bits gently in a shaped pan, let cool, put in the freezer for a few minutes to release.

These are nice gifts for a party host. Tghey require more skill with a woodburner than I have

Pics of the Day

Gruss vom Krampus!

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valarltd: (yule)
Sounds of the Season:

One of the oldest carols in the English language, dating to 1400. I've heard several versions, but this is my favorite.


Pics of the Day:
Cute Animal Sunday


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valarltd: (yule)
Saturdays are going to be a laid-back affair this year.
Pagan music and pics only

Sounds of the Season:


Pics of the Day:

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valarltd: (yule)
On Fridays, I ask you, the reader, to join me in putting out your favorite holiday pictures, songs and recipes, or your favorite small businesses.

So let's start with a couple of Cthulhu carols, which are one of my favorite things.

Sounds of the Season:




Sexy Yuletide Excerpt:

From "Miskatonic Mistletoe" available in Riding the Nightmare

Dan turned on his own computer. Anything they knew, they could use in the battle. He learned of the Great Old Ones, the Star Spawn and the Old Ones. He read of how the Great Old Ones were almost beyond the scope of the human mind, but the Old Ones could be killed by beheading.
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Pics of the day:

Today's pics may not be work safe...


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