The Countdown

In the wise words of the OC, “the way you spend New Year’s is the way you’re going to spend the rest of the year.”

May your evening be merry and bright. full of laughter and good friends.  Onward to 2011!


Christmas Wishes

My Christmas wishes:

  1. A cure for cancer
  2. For my loved ones to be happy, healthy, and close to me
  3. More travel, good food, and beautiful scenic views in the coming year
  4. To make a positive difference in the world

Steve Martin, however, has other ideas.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

[Hilarious, but not entirely suitable for work.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.]

The icing on the cookie

When life called for icing, I pulled out good old Betty Crocker to get some advice.  The only problem: the recipe was waaay too big for the mini-batches I had planned to make.

So, I used the same ingredients and mixed and matched until I got the perfect consistency for spreading, sticking, and eating.

  1. Warm up 1 tsp or less of button until melted.
  2. Add 1 tsp milk
  3. Add a dash vanilla (1/4 tsp or so)
  4. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
  5. Stir until creamy – then add more powdered sugar, stir, and adjust as needed.

The basic idea is to add a small amount of everything, then add powdered sugar until it ends up the consistency you’re looking for – overshoot a little if you’re not sure.  If you want cake frosting, use less powdered sugar overall.  But this mix, which ended up having about 1.5 cups of unpacked powdered sugar in it total, was perfect for frosting cookies.  It was easy to work with, didn’t harden up too soon, and tastes delicious, even days later.

If you get here in the next ten minutes, you can fight me for the last of this batch!  I’ll even throw in a cuppa tea!

Over the moon

Attention y’all:

Lunar eclipse tomorrow morning!

Tomorrow night is the shortest day/longest night of the year, which means the eclipse will be longer than usual and more easily visible.  Look for it to start around 1:33 AM and last 3.5 hours, with the peak (the totality phase, when the moon is entirely in the earth’s shadow)  occurring at 2:41 AM 12/21.

Bonus: due to recent volcanoes and dust storms, the moon could appear an amber color.

Extra super bonus: This is the first time in 456 years that a lunar eclipse has fallen on the winter solstice.  Oooooo!  Set an alarm, and don’t miss it!

[Photo taken by yours truly using the telescope at Williston Observatory at Mount Holyoke College in 2005.]