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You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: 12/4/11 - 12/11/11

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Squadron Christmas Party -- It's Fun to Play Dress Up

It had been a very long time since Dave and I were able to dress up and go out without the kids.  A couple years, I guess.  Don't get me wrong, we go out occasionally, like to dinner or a movie, but of course we don't always dress up for those.

Last night we went to Dave's squadron's Christmas party and it was a very nice time.  Those who planned the party did a wonderful job.  Everyone seemed to leave having had a great time!

For the past couple tours, our holiday parties have been family events.  That's fine.  Last year's party here was family-friendly, and this year the squadron opted for a more formal event at a local golf club restaurant, complete with a cash bar, prime rib and grilled mahi!

I won't post ALL the pictures (remember, there was a cash bar), but here are a few.  The pictures aren't in the right order because we combined pictures from two cameras and the times are off between the two.

There was a scavenger hunt.  If there was a coupon taped to the bottom of your chair, you participated.  I think they were sorry I was part of it once I clawed at a couple folks to get Dave's Christmas tie.

There was a donation/voting contest where the "winners" dressed in costume and sang a holiday song.  Even though he didn't have to, one of our "winners" opted to remain in costume all evening.

Our MC, Todd VonAlmen.  He did an outstanding job.  Here he's reading the story for the gift exchange.  Every time the participants heard key words, they had to pass the gifts, left, right, forward, etc.  By the end, the folks only wanted the key words, we didn't really care about the story itself.

The scavenger hunt finalists.

Don is trying to pay off Glen to get out of wearing a costume.  There were 5 minutes to pay out before the "winners" were announced.

Dave and Todd are giving the final remarks and are about to give away the big raffle prizes.

I tried to get a couple nice pictures of the whole room.  This was tough -- I think our camera is done.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cranberry Almond Biscotti: From 2008

I made these last evening also.  I didn't have enough almonds, but had plenty of almond extract so these taste SO GOOD this year!


Cranberry Almond Biscotti. This is a recipe I've been making for over 10 years.  This is one sophisticated cookie...cranberries are always so, well, holiday! What's cool is that the only fat in the cookie is in the eggs (well, the almonds, too, I guess)!!!! So that makes them as healthy as my Holiday Surprise Cookies, right???

So here we go...

The dough mixes up pretty straightforward in the stand mixer:
From 2008 11 25 CranberryAlmondBiscotti
From 2008 11 25 CranberryAlmondBiscotti

This dough will be prepared to keep your hands floured for the next part:
From 2008 11 25 CranberryAlmondBiscotti

Now, divide the dough into portions and pat it into logs of 2-3" width onto an ungreased cookie sheet, or, in my case, baking stone.
From 2008 11 25 CranberryAlmondBiscotti

You'll bake these in two shifts. The first shift is at 325, so don't expect the logs to be browned when they're done, just a little puffier.
From 2008 11 25 CranberryAlmondBiscotti

Remove these bars to a cooling rack. I use two spatulas, one on each end of the bar, to move them.
From 2008 11 25 CranberryAlmondBiscotti

After about 15-20 minutes of cooling, you will then cut the bars into 1/2 - 3/4" wide slices.
From 2008 11 25 CranberryAlmondBiscotti

Move the slices back to the baking stone, this is going to bake at a VERY low temperature, so don't be shy: pack 'em in!
From 2008 11 25 CranberryAlmondBiscotti

These will bake at 300F for another 15-20 minutes, until super crispy-firm-dried-out. The way biscotti's supposed to be.
From 2008 11 25 CranberryAlmondBiscotti

Unfortunately, on this batch, there was leftover sugar on the baking stones from the Holiday Surprise cookies, so pardon the green sugar on the bottom.
From 2008 11 25 CranberryAlmondBiscotti

Happy Holiday Baking!

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