First of all, I want to thank my husband’s brother and his wife for giving us a great present when we got married.

They contacted our family and friends and collected up recipes into a binder and gave us a family cookbook to start our years of marital bliss with. What a wonderful idea, right?  If only they could have given me some cooking skills also….

Among those recipes is one that I would like to share today.  It is for Scandinavian Kringler.

My great-grandparents were from Sweden, so I like to think that maybe they made this before.  It was probably just something that my mom got from a cookbook somewhere though.  I suppose that I should ask her!  Anyway, she would make it sometimes for the holidays and it’s delicious.  I’ve made it a couple of times for Christmas and I have to say that it’s much easier than it looks.  The instructions make it seem difficult, but it’s really pretty simple .  Trust me, if I can make it, then anyone can!!

I hesitate to show this picture at all. It’s awful.  It was taken a couple of years ago in our Alaskan cave – well that’s what our home felt like in the middle of winter!  The lighting was bad and it doesn’t look all that appetizing, but it really tastes good – (if you like almond flavor).  You can tell, because half of it has already been devoured!

And here is the recipe:

Ok, this is embarrassing.  I can’t find the recipe – presumably since I pulled it out of the plastic cover to make the above batch of Kringler.

I am posting a version of it instead which I found on I will have to dig through my cabinet to see if my copy of it fell out or else get the recipe from my mom again before Christmas rolls around, because I plan on making it this year!

So, here is the version of the recipe:
1 c. flour
1/2 c. butter, chilled
2 tablespoons icewater

Puff Topping:
1 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1 c. flour
3 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract

1 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbs butter, softened
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2-3 Tbs milk
sliced almonds, if desired

1. Measure 1 cup of flour into mixing bowl
2. Using a pastry blender, cut 1/2 cup butter into flour until particles are size of small peas.
3. Sprinkle with water. 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with a fork until the flour mixture is moistened and soft dough forms.
4. Divide dough in half.
5. On ungreased cookie sheet, press each half into a 12X3 inch strip.
6. In medium saucepan, heat water and 1/2 cup water to boiling.
7. Remove from heat; immediately stir in 1 cup flour until smooth.
8. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.
9. Stir in 1/2 tsp. almond extract
10. Spoon over crust, spreading to 3/4 inch from edges.
11. Bake 50-60 minutes until golden brown and puffy. Cool.
12. Blend powdered sugar, butter, almond extract, and milk until smooth.
13. Frost, sprinkle with nuts.
14. Slice and serve. 🙂

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I feel like Charlie, who just won a ticket to the Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory.  I want to sing “I’ve got the golden ticket!”

And no, I didn’t win anything.  I’m not usually that lucky.  I had to pay for my ticket.

The NGS Conference tickets are now on sale and I bought mine!!

That means that I’ll be in Charleston for four blissful days this coming May.  I am so excited!

I was absolutely drooling over the conference brochure.  It’s going to be very hard deciding which sessions to attend when there are so many great ones to choose from.  I even signed 2 of my kids up for the Saturday morning “Kids Kamp!”

Are any of you planning on attending?  I’d love to meet up with some fellow bloggers while I’m there. 🙂

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I grew up in the woods, on a small island in Puget Sound. The nearest town dubbed itself “The Christmas Tree Capital of the World”.  I don’t know how true that was, but I do know that Christmas Trees and wreaths were big business.

The bridge to the island I grew up on

So, after having said that, do you think that we used a fake tree?  I would have felt a traitor. 🙂

We always had a real tree.  Always.  Sure, they can be a little messy with the needles falling off and such, but nothing beats the smell of a real tree.  It fills the house.

In my entire life, I have only done a fake tree one year – while Andy was deployed in Iraq.  The thought of getting the tree home and into a stand when it was negative 20 degrees out (with 5 little kids in tow) didn’t appeal to me.  I cheated and bought a cheap tree-in-a-box.  I regretted it.  It just didn’t feel very Christmasy without it – or without him. It was a fake Christmas.

When I was growing up, sometimes we would just go out back and get a tree and other times we’d go to a Christmas Tree farm down the road.  We normally didn’t get our tree until about 2 weeks before Christmas – usually just after my sister’s birthday.

I broke from tradition this year though.  We put our tree up this past weekend.  Here is my youngest daughter, who got the honors of putting the star on this year. 🙂

Unfortunately, I don’t have any stories of my ancestors’ Christmas Tree traditions.  I wish that I did!

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I tend to gravitate towards cemeteries, as most genealogists do.  I don’t have any roots in the Savannah area, but that doesn’t stop me from haunting the local cemeteries.  I visited Bonaventure a couple of times.  It has quite the mysterious mood to it.  The spanish moss draped across the live oaks.  The old stones and fenced in family plots.  It’s a neat place to drive around (I didn’t walk, because I had kids in the car.)

As much as I liked Bonaventure Cemetery, I think that I enjoyed my stroll through Colonial Park even more.  The cemetery is dotted with historical markers along with the gravestones.

I wonder how old this one is!

I just love the old stones.

The scenery throughout the area is beautiful too.

I think that this is the part of the cemetery that I love the most.  The back wall is covered with broken stones.

Too bad I don’t have any ancestors buried here!!  Do YOU?

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I know that my grandfather, Donald Sanchez, served in the Coast Guard on the Cutter Fir, off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.  He also later served in the Merchant Marines.

This was amongst his pictures and I’m having a hard time trying to figure out what is going on – or if there just isn’t really a point to the pictures.  Are those Coast Guard uniforms?  Is that ice on the deck for goodness sakes?  Brrrr!

And here is another, similar picture.

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