Sunday, December 18, 2011

My weekend in pictures 12/16/2011-12/18/2011

The Christmas countdown is at 7 days!  Are you ready for the coming week of holiday festivities?!  I know I am.  I really do look forward to this time every year.  I think it is really summed up in 3 very specific occurrences each year that just happen and then all of the sudden you're in the midst of it.  Next week I will outline those 3 things for you, but for this week I do have some pictures I want to share with you.  There are less pictures this weekend for 2 reasons: A) less to read/view means more time for you to wrap presents or drink hot coca with your family and B) I forgot to take a lot of pictures this weekend and really didn't do much that seemed note-worthy.  I can guarantee you though that next weekends post will be chocked full of pictures and stories that capture great moments. 
This is essentially a perfect summary of what I did for the large majority of this weekend.  I sat around like a bump on a log and wasted away on the interwebs.  Everyone has to have those days, right?  It's really not the only thing I did this weekend.  I made a HUGE pot of Chilli Soup (no beans, yuck) and have been eating that all weekend (it's so good) and I also made some Pineapple-upside-down cupcakes that turned out perfectly.  Silly me forgot to take a picture.  I used a silicon muffin pan instead of a traditional muffin/cupcake tin (there is actually a difference between a cupcake pan and a muffin tin, but I digress) because I couldn't use liners for the cupcakes.  Since the whole point is to see the beautiful bottom (which becomes the top) of each cake liners would have defeated the purpose.  I was glad I tested this and it turned out because my Grandma and Aunt Darlene love Pineapple-upside-down cake (with crushed pineapple, not slices) so I now have the ability to make it in cupcake form for family celebrations.  Woo.  (There is no sarcasm there, I am genuinely excited.)
I have another cute little story about those cakes.  When I bake them I melt the butter and brown sugar in the pan and then add the pineapple and cake batter on top, then bake them per the recipe.  Well getting those little suckers unmolded from their silicon prison (kinky) was harder than expected.  I finally came up with a brilliant plan.  After the cakes were done baking and they had sat for about 10 minutes to cool and congeal I placed a piece of parchment paper ontop of the pan and then but a cookie sheet ontop of that.  Next is the daring side of me most of you haven't seen in the kitchen... I literally grab the cookie sheet and the cupcake pan and very quickly invert it.  Over my head.
I don't know why I do it over my head, but I just do.  All of the sudden there I am with a cookie sheet over my head as I hear six little 'plops' of success.  
Each cake slides out of it's silicon prison.  It's one of the most rewarding sounds ever. 
My wonderful mother did have a picture after the original post went to press.  Yum!

 I have also been sorting, organizing and wrapping Christmas presents foe the past few days.  Mom and I finished up (almost all of) the shopping last Wednesday and Thursday (and had a blast!) so now all that is left to do is... everything.  Luckily my Mom taught me to wrap (actually Jarred did, if he remembers or not) but the reality is I think of my Mamaw each time I crease the paper into a perfect triangle.  I love giving gifts, I love wrapping gifts, I love it all.  Except I need a taller table to do it at because I'm a pretty tall guy.  Oh, also, see those presents behind me?  That's just a few.  Most of those are for Lindsey.  

The next few pictures are a departure from what I usually post here.  I love watching Antiques Roadshow (yes you can watch it online at for free) and I was so happy to find out that I could capture the exact moment when the people who brought in their junk from Grandma's attic actually find out it's worth more than their entire life savings.  I love the sequence of these next pictures.  I think it's hilarious.  I hope you do too!

Ugliest Vase Ever
This woman brought in the 2' tall vase.  It is SO ugly in my humble opinion.

 But actually...
 It's worth $25,000.

Picasso Plate
This woman has no idea what a treasure she had.  The story behind it was a good one (I don't really remember details) and the expert there was just setting her up for the big moment.
 Looks like she just saw Picasso's ghost...
 "Oh my heavens."
 "Are you serious?"
 Yes.  That ugly plate with a goat and 4 flowers painted on it is worth $15,000.  Picasso himself didn't even paint it.  

I'm a little teapot
This woman is my favorite so I saved her for last.  She was very knowledgeable about her silver tea and coffee set.  She took the expert to task a few times when he questioned the validity of her history with the pieces. 
 Phase 1.
 Phase 2.
 Phase 3.
 Phase 4.
 Phase 5.
The set is worth $90,000.  For those of you who are curious, the set includes (back, left to right) Teapot, Hot water pot, Coffee pot (front left to right) Covered sugar bowl, cream carafe, and loose leaf tea canister, all sitting on the original tray.  I won't deny the beauty of it.  This woman (when the expert asked her about it's value) assumed it was worth $10,000.  She was shocked (you witnessed it) when she found out it is actually worth 9 times that.  The question I want to leave you all with it this:
If you know that your antique tea set from 1900 is worth $10,000 why would you ever consider leaving the house with it to take it to Antiques Roadshow?  Is security an issue at these events?  (My brain thinks about strange things.)

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My weekend in pictures 12/8/2011-12/11/2011

It was a great weekend!  The biggest thing was the cookie exchange at my Aunt Kellys.  We spent all day Friday baking and most of the day on Saturday at the party.  There was so much that happened... I think it's best just to dive right in to the pictures!

 We were sneaking.
 Baking like a beast!

 Lindsey made these tags for her cookies for Kelly's cookie exchange on my computer.  I turned my back for one minute and she changed the text on my little tags to what you see below.
 "Logans a skankface cookies"
 The original tags she made had a gold trophy on the bottom right hand side.  She may be a little full of herself.
 Mom mom mom.
 I had a lot to teach Lindsey about baking.  Yet she still beat me.  Maybe I shouldn't have helped so much?
 Aren't we adorable?
 Please notice the tape dispenser that Bop has on her wrist.  Haha.
 I am so happy that this year (over the past 3 years) I was actually able to be at my Aunt Kelly's cookie exchange.  I had so much fun! 
 I really don't like making cookies, but I do enjoy making cupcakes.  They look good don't they?

 The foil on this Santa's face was folded over so it looked like he was winking. 
 Robin made this amazing chocolate/coffee/ice cream-ish punch stuff.  So good!
 Cookie tasting plates.  This was a moment of genius on my Moms part.  Everyone puts in a cookie for the regular judging and one for bakers choice.  Apparently normally they pass around a plate and everyone takes a little bite of each cookie... but that seems unsanitary.  So we numbered these plates and put a little piece of each cookie on them.

 Zach, Me, Casey,  Lindsey, Anna, Kassie, Lexie
 Mom and Aleta
 Ruthie, Me, Lindsey

 Robin and Lindsey
 I was the guy who had to push the buttons on all of the cameras so the instant timers would start.  Then I had to run and get into the picture.  Look how well it turned out...

 Lucas helped pass out cookies to everyone.  He's so adorable.

 Lexie treated us all to some excellent piccolo music.

 Lucas held up her sheet music for her.  So cute.
It was a great weekend and we topped it all off with the White House Christmas 2011 HGTV special.  I love it so much.

Have a great week!