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Showing posts from December, 2014

So long 2014.... in pictures!

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Good lord, 2014. You were a crazy year.

Let's see, what were the highlights? In the life of my family, 2014 was a rollercoaster. Babies and weddings, weddings and babies, with a bonus college round for Jim.

• I celebrated my last birthday, folks. I turned 39 in March, and from now on I will be 39 plus tax, thankyouverymuch. If we gather in Memphis next March for cake and ice cream, there will be no number beginning with a 4 involved. Harrumph.

• My stepdaughter, Mallory, had an exciting year as well! First she became a wife...


... and then a mom. Which makes me a grandmother.


• Speaking of babies, my sister went and had herself one! Although little Olivia's timing meant that Melanie sadly had to miss our wedding, the world is a better place for more headstrong Donald women running amok in it. Here, meet my new little niece!


I'm thinking of writing a YA adventure of Olivia and Isabella. They're smart, brave and kickass. Olivia is the fighter and Isabella is the bookworm…

Hmmm.

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Look, I'm not saying that Jimmy is really Jeffrey Dean Morgan hiding in suburbia. Definitely not.


His Royal Fredness

Goddammit. Just when I thought we were going to get out of this year without losing anyone else, Fred Grimm has a stroke, and isn't expected to make it to New Year's.

So how is that allowed, since Fred is eternal?

Fred and Stephania Grimm have been friends for years. I don't always end up friends with the folks who run the cons; cons are business, and I try to be a professional. But once you meet Fred and Steph, you're not just friends; you're family. That's one reason why Hypericon has been such a blast each year: it's like a big, rowdy family reunion with costumes.

I introduced Jim to the Grimms when we did Hypericon earlier this year. We were talking about Fred stories, and Jim said, "But I only met him that once." I said, "And that's all it takes. You experienced Fred."

And that's really how I think of him. His personality fills the room. The eternal smartass - God, what a smartass! He loved reading and collected authors, enj…

Happy Hanukwanyulemas!

And with that, folks, I'm stepping away for the holiday. Jim and I are celebrating our first Christmas as a married couple, which means we're going to watch a ridiculous amount of movies, eat way too much stuff that isn't on our diets, go to church tonight to sing "Silent Night" amid the candles and incense, and possibly drink some of that rum we brought back from Jamaica. I bet it mixes well with egg nog.

What we aren't going to do is spend the whole holiday online. I'm thinking of confiscating the cell phones. We'll unplug for a day or two, and enjoy our Christmas alone together.

Whether you celebrate any or none of the winter holidays, I hope you have a little span of peace and grace. I hope you hug your loved ones, and if you cannot, send them your good wishes and a little love. Blessings and joy be on all of us and all of you, and let us each leave the world a little brighter for our presence.

See you on the flip side.

Noon Foodiness: Lasagna

According to the Man, tonight's lasagna was a roaring success. And as promised, the recipe will follow.

(What do you mean "tonight"? I do these things in advance, goofy. If I actually posted blogs at the time I wrote them, they'd all post at 11 p.m. and nobody would read them.)

Before I get to the details, though... many thanks to my dear friend Stephen Reksten, whose lasagna pan was the first wedding gift we opened. Finally I got to use it for its actual purpose! Om nom nom.

For the record, this recipe was compiled from three different recipes I found on Pinterest. If you have suggestions, please share them in the comments! The only downside: It made a GIANT lasagna and Boy is with his father for Christmas this year, so we will be eating lasagna for days.

Notes: I was out of ground beef, so I used all sausage. Man did not mind. Also, I only used one container of ricotta cheese, but that wasn't quite enough for three layers, so in the future I will use two.

LASAG…

Recipes for Writers

Because this was requested multiple times, here are the famous wontons that I served at the Eville Writers Hanukwanyulemas party. It is not my creation; it is shamelessly stolen from my awesome stepsister Kim. Below is the pie recipe, if you missed it on the group; also not mine. :)

KIM'S WONTONS

1 pkg. wonton wrappers (small, not the egg roll size)
1 roll ground pork sausage
shredded cheddar cheese
ranch dressing
buttermilk
red bell pepper (opt.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, line the wells of a standard-size muffin tin with wontons. Make sure they don't fold over, but form little cups. Bake them alone for 5 mins.

(I generally find this recipe makes about two muffin sheets' worth of wontons; if you plan to make more, double the filling.)

In skillet, brown sausage and drain excess fat. Mix in cheese, optional red pepper (I usually leave it out) and enough buttermilk and ranch dressing to coat the sausage. Don't overdo the liquid or it'll soak the wontons. …