Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

We been having a nice Christmas Eve!

Emerson volunteered to help us with our cheese fondue.

I got an incredible pile of foam on my cocoa! (Thanks, Gordon!)

Bernie the farmer came to disk the ice on our driveway so it wasn't as slick. We are having a little "heatwave" with freezing rain and rain on top of the snow. What a mess!

Emerson helped me in the kitchen today...

He supervised from the top of two boxes of honey. I sold a lot of jars today and yesterday! People wanted them for Christmas gifts.

Then we took a family portrait. Emerson figured that the only cat who mattered was already there!

I got the stuffing ready for tomorrow...

I won my beautiful apron in a blog giveaway. It was made by my friend Susan over at My Mother's Apron Strings.

Caramelized onion and apple stuffing. I realized halfway through that I had no dried sage, so I went outside and dug through the snow until I found my sage plant. Success!

We were incredibly late decorating the tree this year...

...but this afternoon, we got it done.

It's always fun going through the ornament collection.

This one dates from my childhood in the 60s!

This one... more recent. Exhibitionist Santa!

I also made my coconut chocolate almond tarts, like every year...

I've already eatne three. Oops.

And as per tradition, we had It's a Wonderful Life on while we did the tree.

Have a wonderful evening!


Here's the tart recipe:

Chocolate-coconut tarts

  1 cup all-purpose flour
  1/3 cup sugar
  1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  1/2 cup butter
  3 to 4 tablespoons water
  1/2 of an 8-oz package of cream cheese, softened
  1/3 cup sugar
  1 teaspoon vanilla
  1-1/4 cups coconut
  24 whole almonds
  1/3 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  1 teaspoon shortening (or butter)

  FOR CRUST: Stir together flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and cocoa powder. Cut in
  butter until pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle with water, 1
  tablespoon at a time, tossing gently until moistened. Form dough into a
  ball. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Divide dough into 24 balls. Place
  each ball in an ungreased 1-3/4 inch muffin cup. Press dough evenly
  against bottom and sides of cup.

  FOR FILLING: Beat cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, and vanilla with an
  electric mixer for 30 seconds. Stir in coconut.

  Fill each muffin cup with about 1 rounded teaspoon of filling. Top each
  with a whole almond. Bake in a 375 F oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until
  filling is set. Cool for 30 minutes in pans. Remove from pans; cool on
  wire racks.

  MELT chocolate pieces and shortening in a small heavy saucepan over low
  heat, stirring frequently. Drizzle over tarts. Makes 24.


  1. Looks like a fun Christmas eve. I'm just now back from dog-sitting for a friend who is overseas. Now, I'm heading downstairs for an eggnog. :) Pies are done, house smells great, cats are asleep. Think I'll head to bed before Santa arrives. Have a fun Christmas, Natalie. My love to Gordon and all the kitties (Tristan, too). Hugs, Deb

  2. You dug out sage from the frozen earth for a recipe? You're hard-core!

    Merry Christmas, Knatolee.

  3. It looks like you're having a fun Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to you and Gordon.

  4. Love your photos. Thanks for recipe...I will make this!
    Merry Christmas!

  5. I'm envying you that cheese fondue - haven't had it in ages. And aren't you nice to give us the recipe instead of just waving those beautiful chocolate tarts in front of us.
    Merry Christmas to the both of you! (And the other members of the household)

  6. It all looks perfect, especially Wonderful Life. Have a lovely time. Cro xx

  7. Ha ha! I recognise that 60s decoration (oh dear..)
    Happy Christmas both of you. x

  8. Fröhliche Weihnachten. We celebrated Christmas eve , too in style with wine, champagne and lots of food. Oh, stop, or was that lots of wine? All our love to you.

  9. Absolutely splendid Christmas Eve! Your tree is beautiful! Oh, the scent of fresh cut pine/fur. There is something very special and exciting about putting up the tree on Christmas Eve. Makes it all the more wonderful.
    I want one of your heavenly looking tarts now! don't think I could restrain myself to just three.
    Hope the barn kitties day is merry and bright. Love to all creatures great and small.

  10. Merry Christmas Natalie and Gordon (and 80+ lucky animals)!

  11. and you know you couldn't have got all that done without the expert cat supervision!
    Merry Christmas to you and your zoo!

  12. Emerson... Wow! Such beauty should really not be allowed.

    Ahem... Of course yourself and Gordon have beauty too, I quickly add.

    But Emerson... Wow!

    Season's Greetings to you all.

  13. Wish you a Merry Merry Christmas !

  14. what lovely photos and you all look like you are soooooooo much fun! Drooling over the tarts but am pretending that I don't see the recipe! Merry Christmas!

  15. Have a Merry Christmas! Wonderful photos! Enjoy!

  16. Merry Christmas! Thanks for sharing the recipe and photos.

  17. Hope you had a joyous and Merry Christmas! Loved the Santa ornament.

  18. Happy holidays, Knatolee. It all looked so festive. I also enjoyed those cam shots of the deer and coyote...:)

  19. This all made me smile. I, too, love the memories the ornaments bring back. I once had an exhibitionist Santa, but he didn't have a hat covering his privates. Many people didn't approve and I finally gave him away...

    I miss him.

  20. Anonymous11:57 am

    Mmmm. Those tarts look good! I've printed off the recipe to give them a try.

    Our Christmas movie tradition is Alastair Sim's Christmas Carol. We can all recite
    most of the dialogue as a result of many years of annual viewings. Sheri


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!