Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween – it’s the only night of the year when you are allowed to wear a costume without being in a play:

I’ll be rocking this “Maleficent” costume tonight…

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Tuesday Tunes – “If I Needed You”

Something pretty for an October day:
This beautiful arrangement of Towles van Zandt’s original is from Lyle Lovett’s “Step Inside This House” album (available in CD or MP3 format).

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Sunday Funnies – Happy Mother-In-Law Day!

Yes, Virginia, there IS a “Mother-In-Law Day” – who knew?

It seems that since 1934, the fourth Sunday in October has been designated as the day when we honor the women who have been the target of a lot of good-natured ribbing through the years.

Paul and I are both lucky – we have great mothers-in-law, and we love them very, very much.

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Foodie Friday – Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn 1
With Halloween only a week away, I thought it would be fun to post a recipe for Caramel Corn.  I got this recipe from an old booklet that’s been in my kitchen for over 30 years – it’s so old, in fact, that it pre-dates microwave popcorn….

This recipe reminds me of Cracker Jack – but there’s a lot more to go around :P

Midway Caramel Corn

(For a pictoral walk-through, Joe Pastry has a fantastic tutorial at his site – his method is slightly different from this recipe, but it’s a great reference!)

5 qt. popped corn
1 c. butter (2 sticks)
2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. toasted nuts (optional) – salted Spanish peanuts work well

Preheat oven to 250F.
Combine butter, sugar, syrup, and salt in 2-qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Stir until sugar dissolves, then continue to boil/stir to firm ball stage (248F).
Remove from heat and stir in soda (mixture will foam up).
Pour hot syrup over popped corn and nuts, stirring to combine well.
Pour out onto baking sheets; bake in oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes.
Cool thoroughly and store in airtight containers in cool place.

Makes about 5 quarts.

Caramel Corn 9.

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Happy Birthday, Rachel!

It was 28 years ago today that our lives changed in the space of an instant. One second we were a couple, and the next we were a family. It still never ceases to amaze me how seamlessly that transition occurred, and how it felt like things had always been that way.

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Tuesday Tunes – “Claire de Lune”

Claire de Lune 2.

If you ever have a stressful day, this tune is a wonderful tonic…

This is a lovely arrangement of Claude Debussy’s hauntingly beautiful “Claire de Lune” performed on a 10-string guitar – I heard a version of this on the “Falling Skies” episode titled “Young Bloods”. I don’t know if this is the one that was used in the show***, but it’s close enough.

I have only ever heard this done as a piano solo or in a symphonic setting, so this was quite a treat:

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Sunday Funnies – A Light-Hearted Tribute to Chick-Fil-A

My friend Bob passed these along a while back (go pee first….):

Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays :-( , so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get yourself some of that yummy goodness (it’s worth the wait…).

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