Saturday, December 25, 2010

They Still Keep Watch

Yes, the shepherds still keep watch over their flocks in Bethlehem. 
Even today. . .  well at least last February.  I took this photo from the tour bus as we entered Bethlehem last February.

May the story of Christ and his birth bring joy to your soul today and all of 2011.  Merry Christmas from the Rev and Sunbob.

And it is our prayer this Christmas season that for even the briefest moments.  .  . You may find PEACE.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Children's Christmas Pageant at Walnut Hills

Yesterday was the big day.  The day of the Christmas pageant at Walnut Hills.  Erin Crawford from the Des Moines Register did a wonderful job of bringing you the story.  I will let her tell the tale.

The snow has finally found Des Moines.  Now it really feels like winter.  The Rev and I hope this Advent season you be able to some  .   .   .


Friday, December 03, 2010

We had a great Christmas Staff Party

Okay, I have to admit it.  I love to entertain.  I love to have people over and cook dinner for them.  We had the Rev's staff over tonight and I served dinner for 15 people.  It was great.

I must admit the dinner wasn't too extravagant but I would like to think it was substantial.  I did a roasted pork loin that I had cured over night with a Chinese 5 Spice rub.  I also did a beef rib roast.  This was a good cut of Amana boneless prime rib roast so I didn't do anything more than brown it and roast it correctly.  It is amazing how good, good beef can taste if you don't over due the preparation.

Then I did roasted sweet potatoes with a pecan and whiskey sauce compliments of the Foodnetwork.  This was a total success.  We did this for Thanksgiving and it was such a success I had to do it again.  I even did a double batch so I could take it into the store tomorrow for the potluck.  I will say one thing about the recipe.  It says to lightly roast the pecans at one point and both times I have prepared it I have totally destroyed the pecans.  Just skip the toasting and go right into making the sauce and it turns out great.

I love putting out appetizers before a meal.  It is one of my favorite things to do.  This time I had an olive selection that included pickled mushrooms.  This is the third time I have done that and the third time that I was the only one eating it.  I think I need to learn to leave that out of my offering.  I also put in the humus with flat bread and again that was a hit.  I have this reputation with the Rev's staff for making this great humus.  It is very simple.  I buy the classic Mediterranean style humus.  Then I drizzle on a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle it with some paprika.  This is how I had it when we were in Jerusalem and I really like it that way.  Several people tonight complimented me on the humus.  I served three kinds of cheese with crackers.  The Widmer cheddar was the real hit.  I had a good Gorgonzola which was okay and a Crescenza-Stracchino that wasn't as popular.  I thought it was amazing but the guests didn't choose it as much.  I guess that shows that this group prefers the cheeses they are familiar with.

The wine that was a real hit with me was the Vouvray 2008 from Monmousseau.  This was a blanc de blanc that the guy at the wine shop was very excited about and I would agree with him.  It was a very affordable wine (about $10 per bottle) and very pleasing.  My guests enjoyed it. I also had Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Savignon.  All pleasing wines but he Vouvray was the hit.

I must say it was a great night.  All of the guests had a great meal and a great time.  The Rev and I agree that we needed to bring them all over some night for games and do it again.  Maybe not the whole meal but another night together.  We had a great time.

The Rev and I had a great night with friends.  I hope this holiday season you are able to say the same.