Friday, January 23, 2009


I promised to post the recipe if anyone wanted it, and someone does, so here goes.

Puffs: boil 1 cup water, add 1/2 cup butter, stir until melted. Add 1 cup sifted flour and 1/2 tsp salt all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and resembles mashed potatoes. Remove from heat, let cool 1 minute, then add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth.

Drop heaping tablespoons 2" apart on a greased cookie sheet. (I use brown paper instead of greasing the cookie sheet.) Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees F/ reduce heat to 400 degrees F and bake 15-20 minutes more. Cool the puffs.

Take one envelope of whipped topping (I use Dream Whip) and whip it up using 1/2 cup milk, following the packaged directions.

Using two 3&3/4 oz boxes of instant vanilla pudding, make the pudding using 2 cups of milk (half the amount normally used to make the pudding). Fold the whipped topping into the vanilla pudding and refrigerate.

Cut little tops in the puffs and insert filling. Cover with your choice of chocolate. I make a chocolate drizzle using melted semi-sweet chocolate squares and sugar, but other people buy instant chocolate icing and slather it on top of the puff.

These take no time at all to make. Keep them refrigerated until ready to serve. The puffs can be frozen and used when you're ready to add the filling.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Big Day Tomorrow

I imagine most of the nation, excluding the brave souls on the Mall who will be freezing in the cold in Washington, D.C., will be watching the inauguration on television tomorrow. I know I will be. What an exciting moment, the orderly transition of power. At moments like this, I'm profoundly grateful to be an American.

After a week in the Florida sun, long walks on the beach, and making a solid dent in my to-be-read pile, I'm back in the cold and trying to get myself into the groove. It's been hard. Gazing wistfully from my office window, I stare at the bare oaks and forlorn maples, wishing for green and fun in my garden. It'll get here, but not soon enough for me.

Finally read NATURAL BORN CHARMER by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - and laughed out loud. It's actually a pretty sad story about adults who grew up without parents, for reasons the parents could have controlled, but didn't. The parents made choices that essentially left their kids abandoned, and as adults, those kids have the classic 'issues.' Mostly, it's a funny book, but it also says a ton about responsibilities and obligations we owe our kids. The repartee is wonderful.

My cat won't leave my lap. I think he didn't really missed me - he just has cold paws.

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Year, New Ideas

I love the freedom of January 1. As all moms know, September is the real new year, especially the day school starts. But January 1 is my personal day to give myself permission to shake things up. Doing everything the same way at the same time (have you ever driven home on remote control and wondered how you got there as you pulled into the garage?) is a soul-killer. So I'm shaking it up. Joining writing organizations I've admired from afar. Planning on a conference I've never attended in the past. Trying new things. Painting the downstairs hallway Petal Pink. (My poor, patient husband. . .) Putting up new pictures. I'll do my usual desk shovel-out, weed through the books piling up everywhere (sigh), and put away the last of the Christmas candy, but I'm going to live more adventurously this year. Heck, at my age, I'm allowed to get wild and crazy. (Did I mention my poor, patient husband?) If not now, then when? Updates to follow. Right now, I'm thinking of getting together a team for the Baja 500 this year. An FJ Cruiser sounds about right. . .

My NASCAR life is in turmoil, however. Elliott Sadler is, from online reports, out at Gillett Evernham, and Evernham has cleaned out his office. Kasey Kahne so needs Rick Hendrick to tuck him under his wing, now that Ray has shaken the dust of NASCAR off his shoes. The Petty dynasty is no more - allegedly the famed 43 car will go to Gillette for Reed Sorensen to drive (Sheesh. Enuf said), and Kyle will be racing rally cars somewhere else. What in the name of tarnation is going on when the Wood Brothers will get the 21 car on the track for the 1.5 milers ONLY? I despair. I'm even wondering if Daytona will be worth it this year, so you know how seriously worried I am about the state of my favorite sport.

Otherwise, it's onward and upward. Bring it on, is my new mantra. Time to rock and roll.