We trust the PW. Always. And so, we made her baked lemon pasta, as a prep to our cooking all the recipes in her lovely cookbook.

But, of course, we decided to add mushrooms.

Mushrooms to put in some wine.

We cut up some garlic, as well as zested a lemon.

Our lemons.

Lemon zest. Mmm mmm good.

Zest, mmmm!

Now, some buttah. Always adding love, aka buttah.

I may have burned myself. With uncooked pasta, that I burned. No worries. Onwards.

Delicious pasta. mmmm.

Garlic added to the buttah.

Who loves garlic more than me? Or Corelyn?

Sour cream to the garlic.

Delicious. We decided to finish the tomatoes and add all my mushrooms, pour some wine over it all, and simmer awhile.

Corelyn’s beautiful chargers.

Sorry we’ve been gone for a while. We’ve been a bit busy. Between traveling through January, a busy work schedule, a husband starting a new semester and a boyfriend working a lot of small jobs, we’ve failed to update.

Some things you miss? A new chair and ottoman in Corelyn’s house, another ottoman-turned tray, and a new sport. Yes, that’s right. We’ve taken up tennis.

We’ve played 4 times (3 for Cor) in the last week, and as we now all own rackets, and a bunch of balls, we intend on keeping it up. So far, we’re not that good at tennis, but after some backboard practice, I think we’re getting better each time.

Meanwhile, we’ve made some food, per usual.

We’ve also been spending some time with friends…


Posted on by Jennie


Because I am in the darkness that is MI, I have been without a consistent Internet for days. As a result, I have not received all my text messages, etc. I am going to take this to mean I have missed conversation pieces from the Allens, rather than there have not been any. Needless to say, I miss them.

To Corelyn, I think you need to know: I got Pioneer Woman’s cookbook. It’s signed. By PW, and Marlboro Man. This surely is a Christmas Miracle! I also got Volumes 1 and 2 of the Glee soundtrack, season 1.

Anyways, I thought you should know. I will send a photo of the cookbook soon.


your neighbor at Camp Waterloo.

Enjoy this guest post from Poppy… The secret to a good almond candy is roasting the almonds ’til they’re burnt. Bitter almonds + bittersweet chocolate seems to be a good combination. Cool the almonds before adding to the tempered chocolate! Bittersweet chocolate + white chocolate candies in a 3:1 ratio. DON’T go over 89 degrees!! Otherwise the chocolate loses its temper (hehe..) At the last stage, only pop it in the microwave for 2 to 3 seconds at a time. After you mix the bitter almonds into the tempered chocolate, work FAST to drop a spoonful into each candy cup before the mixture cools. MMMMM! Here are lots of different barks with our almond candy all spread out to cool. A close up of our Christmas bark. One layer of chocolate and one layer of white with peppermint candies added. Here we’re starting the truffles by measuring our portions of amaretto ganache. Use your favorite firm ganache recipe and your favorite liqueur. It usually takes a day in the fridge to reach a reasonable consistency. Roll out rough tablespoon portions, you can round them out later. Rolling out the ganache! Gloves keep you from getting really messy, and keep your kitchen (relatively) clean. Get them as rounded as possible. To hand dip the truffles, choose a good quality swiss-style milk chocolate. Always be careful not to overheat the chocolate. Milk chocolate is more delicate than bittersweet; it can overheat quickly. I generally start out with twenty minutes at a 10% power setting. But start watching it with 5 minutes left to go. As it starts melting, don’t let the chocolate go over 89 degrees. Similar to before with the bittersweet chocolate, you only want to pop it in the microwave for 1, 2, or 3 second increments toward the end of the heating process. Milk chocolate will overheat more quickly than the bittersweet. Set up your station, and have one clean hand and one chocolate hand. Start by using your clean hand to drop a ganache ball into a small pile of melted chocolate. Completely en-robe the ganache in the melted milk chocolate. Gently use your fingers to roll the ball until the ganache is completely covered. Then drop the hand-dipped truffle onto a tray lined with wax paper. A view of the whole process… MMMMM!!!

While those mushrooms were going, there were potatoes in the oven, rolls rising, green beans boiling, and most importantly, steaks to prepare.

These need some salt, pepper, oregano, and maybe a little A1 sauce.


That’s better…

Grill just a few minutes each side for a nice medium temperature.

Meanwhile, the rest of our meal is waiting for those steaks to cook.

I could hardly wait to take this picture before digging in…

And of course birthday cake!

And peach pie, just because! It’s good to be home!

Stay tuned for candy-making!