Merry Merry Christmas!

Merry Merry Christmas! And Happy Holidays, Hanukkah, and everything that doesn’t get proper attention.

I’ve had an excellent evening all in all, but not without plagued by moments of melancholy about life, people I care about being far away, and such. But I do adore the holidays, and my family visited an old mission that has been turned into a hotel, and decorated grandly for Christmas. Even though it was far away, the drive was pleasant. I was going to write about everything, the good and the bad, the feel of Christmas, all of that, but now it has gotten late and I am tired. So, I think bed is in order instead. And I’ll probably never get back around to some of those things, but that’s just fine.

Nevertheless, I thought it appropriate to commemorate the season.

So, I hope everyone is having an excellent day, and holiday, in general.

Merry Christmas Eve!

I have also attempted to find motivation to finish my wrapping which is really about to become a problem if I don’t make a larger dent in it real soon.

But I feel Christmasy, and that is nice. I’ve been playing my christmas playlist on my ipad and that makes wrapping presents easier, and though this is not the most christmasy christmas of them all, it is nice.

Here’s to everyone– hoping for the best for your holiday season.

Delicious Cannoli Recipe

Cannoli Filling Recipe

  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup crushed pistachio nuts
  • 8 cannoli shells

Beat ricotta and sugar together until smooth. Fold in orange zest. Spready chocolate chips out on a plate. Spread pistachios on a separate plate. Using a pastry bag or a gallon-size plastic storage bag with the bottom tip cut off, fill cannoli shells with ricotta mixture. Dip one end in chocolate chips and the other in pistachio nuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 8 cannoli.

Per cannoli (not including shell): 140 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated), 9 mg cholesterol, 18 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein, 3% Vitamin A, 0% Vitamin C, 8% calcium, 3% iron

Option Fatty and Takes a Long Time But Looks Good:

Deep Fried Cannoli from Paula Deen

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons amaretto or orange liqueur [sub. orange zest or flavoring i think]
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios, chopped, optional, plus 3/4 cup finely chopped, for garnish
  • 12 store-bought cannoli shells
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate, melted
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

In a large bowl, whip the cream with the confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. In a large mixing bowl, stir the orange and cinnamon into the ricotta. Then stir in half the whipped cream to lighten it up. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Fold the pistachios into ricotta cream mixture. Fill a pastry bag with no tip with the mixture to fill the cannoli shells. Pipe the filling into the shells just to the edges of the shell. Freeze the cannoli for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oil to 350 degrees F.

Whisk flour, sugar, egg and milk together in a shallow bowl. Dip the frozen cannoli in the batter, shaking off the excess. Lower into the hot oil. Fry about 3 minutes until lightly golden, moving the cannoli around so it colors evenly. Drain on paper towels.

Dip the 2 ends of the fried cannoli into the melted chocolate, sprinkle the chocolate with chopped pistachios and garnish with confectioner’s sugar.

More cannoli recipes to make your mouth water.

Sick Days

It looks like life has a chance to get interesting again.

I didn’t work full time at the office this last week and it makes me sad. I like working there. I really do. It’s hectic.. but a productive hectic.

At home I am stressing out over this re-inspection of our place for “general uncleanliness” now my house is messy, but a cluttered OMG. It’s not a hordes of rotten food, and garbage piled up in corners kinda messy but I have been

I am stressing so much over this since I hadn’t felt good and I just wanted to cancel any plans I thought of having and hide from the world. *sighs* and THAT is not going to happen any time soon.

Now I am feeling better and that is a plus. Glitter is also doing good and she was an amazing companion to have while I was on the couch.

Facebook And Public Opinions

It is in the news a lot now, Facebook.

Facebook (etc) is an interesting medium. Whenever something very public or big happens (like today’s Supreme Court decisions), I often want to talk about it, but I almost never feel comfortable participating in a social media discussion. It’s difficult to discuss anything nuanced in that kind of public space (and I believe there are important nuances to every one of these hot button topics), so the airwaves get taken up by people who have firm, settled opinions with no gray area. I feel like I should stand up for what I think – I often feel like staying out of the discussion is still a statement, interpreted differently by different people – but most of the time I just can’t bring myself to do it on that sort of forum. For anyone who knows me, I really enjoy the back-and-forth of in-person discussion on important topics. Just not there.

I think one of the big issues is one of audience. As anyone who is trying to be an effective communicator should do, I tailor my approach to any discussion based on who I’m talking to. When I’m addressing every single one of my very different Facebook friends at the same time, there’s no way to do that. I have a very, very divided Facebook feed – my friends list is full of people who are suuuper conservative and also people who are suuuuper liberal. I like all of them and there are things I agree with from all of them – just not the same things. I know who I can trust to discuss sensitive subjects in sensitive ways, and who I can’t (and some of them, it depends on the topic). My friends are all great, but hold many different beliefs. It’s impossible to address them all at once and have a positive outcome, at least when it comes to taking sides on a big issue.

Another is the issue of permanence. I’m not ashamed of my opinions, but sometimes they change! Especially when it’s a big issue. I don’t love having them preserved forever as they are TODAY, except for myself and maybe a few trusted people (who can understand my own nuances). I think it’s good to preserve them, but for a select audience. I reserve the right to change my mind, and immortalizing today’s opinions that may not be settled yet just doesn’t fit into that.

I wish more people could be more apt to love first and judge later. That’s another issue; in the public, social media space, people forget to put people first. They would often rather drive an agenda or hit a point home than consider that they’re talking to a human person. So only the people who don’t mind coming out fists-first get to talk. I wish that would change.

It’s Awesome And It Was Only $6

I got a big coffee table book about ocean animals for $6 at Borders today 🙂 I really wanted a couple of books like that for the extra big shelves on my bookshelf, and it’s a nice addition. My other one so far is a Norman Rockwell book, so we’ll see how it goes as I get the thing finished and set up. There was one for only $10 on natural disasters, but it came to my mid-thigh in length, so I don’t think it would have fit even on the big shelves.

I am more worried about fitting my small books so they don’t look weird, but I just had a genius idea involving wall hanging hardware and string that I may test out later …

A Bath?

When you’re pregnant and the topic of baths comes up, people tend to advise not to have too hot a bath. I like my baths reasonably hot – they relieve my back and leg pains – and my belly protrudes far enough in front of me that it’s rarely covered by the water.

Now, my first question: how hot is too hot?

My flu-induced cough has brought on a whole new world of pain in the way of pretty severe round ligament pains. I’ve been trying to read as much as I can about it and have found that it says the same just about everywhere: “If the pain is severe and happening frequently, consult your practitioner.”

My second and third questions: how severe do they have to be? And would frequency of a cough count as frequent?

I’ve said I’ll be back at work tomorrow and I really don’t know how I’m going to stop myself from curling up in a weeping ball every time this dreadful cough takes me by surprise.

Sick Today

I’m currently wrapped in a blanket on the couch wishing for a hefty dose of Benadryl or the sweet embrace of death.

On top of being sick and miserable, I attempted to load the dishwasher, so what did NOT compute was that one of the guys had left dish soap in the crock pot… Can you see where this is going?

Yes – poor sick Cat was a victim of kitchen floor bubble attack.

So now that I’ve soaked up most of it with 8 large bath towels, I’m going to make the guys clean the actual dishwasher when they get home.

And now for another round of chicken soup, meds, and drooling on my controller… And getting some TLC from my kitty

Regarding Baby Shower Invites

I’ve seen requests for certain gifts on invites before and sometimes I find them tacky, sometimes not. What do you guys think of this?

For instance, my SIL and I both saw this idea online to ask people to bring a book instead of a card. She and my MIL put a sticker with a poem on the back of the baby girl shower invitations for her celebration. The gist of it was ‘please bring a book to start baby’s library’. I thought this was okay. Might do something like it myself with our next, but can’t quite get past the asking for something specific.

Another example I just got a baby shower invitation asking everyone to bring a baby clothing item for the ‘baby clothesline‘. I’ve never see this done, but get the idea. For some reason I’m finding this incredibly tacky. On the one hand I think it’s kinda a cute idea and an easy way to get the mom a good stock of clothing. On the other hand, most people give clothing as gifts anyway and clothing can be expensive so they might feel they need to bring two gifts. I guess you could just bring a cheap onesie.. I dunno.. It wasn’t even asked in a fun way, just scribbled on part of the invitation.

Tacky to asks for gifts at all other than including registry info? Not tacky since the mother isn’t throwing her own party? Tacky unless tastefully worded? Are baby showers just destined to be somewhat tacky?