the temperature at which sweets happen

Month: December 2008

Parting Gifts

Parting Gifts

For the past three years, I have taught Primary in my ward. I was first called as the Sunbeam teacher in 2006, and my class consisted of four little 3 year olds: Elijah, Brigham, Iverson and Maria. They had been attending primary for several months […]

Cat’s B-day Cake

Cat’s B-day Cake

Hello Peeps. This is Cat’s Husband Gabriel. I am not nearly the baker Catherine is. Though, I am able to cook a pretty mean breakfast, which I attribute to the years I spent toiling away at a breakfast restaurant in Provo Utah. Anyways. I made […]

Guiding Light

Guiding Light

A Christmas Tree just isn’t right without a star adorning the top stem. For me, a star symbolizes everything that constitutes what Christmas is. When Christ was born it signified His birth, the very birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ; it led the shepherds and the wise men to Him; and it is today representative of His guiding light and wisdom. The first year Gabriel and I were married, we didn’t have money for ornaments or decorations, much less a star to light the top of our tree. Instead I stitched together a little homemade star, and sewed a small loop on the back out of yarn. 6 years later, this is what happened to our star…:


In this photo, Scooby Doo is representing Tipsy our 1 year old Lhasa Poo who should be aptly named for the untold amounts of mischief she conducts… or so I thought, until this morning when I found our star hiding below a smattering of ribbon rolls. I was elated! I hope that this star will last as long as we can perch it atop our tree. It is representative of our marriage, a shining beacon of what celestial glory we can attain as we place the Lord at the helm of our lives.

I love Christmas! In our home, decorating the Christmas tree lasts as long as the season itself. Of course we have one big trimming party to kick start the festivities, but like much of the rest of the season I just can’t get enough of it. Plus of course, as the season progresses items are placed on sale, especially whole cranberries, and nothing is better than red strung cranberries on a green Christmas tree.

Starting with our first Christmas together we have retained, not only our tradition of keeping our scratch made star, but our tradition of scratch and earth made ornaments for our tree. The smell of fruit and pine couldn’t appease my senses more delightfully. In addition to strung cranberries we slice lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges sprinkled with a little bit of sugar. We leave them to sit overnight, and hang them to dry on the tree throughout the season. The tree lights shine through them and cast a beautiful glow upon the room. You can see a bit of a grapefruit ornament behind Scooby.

For fun, I kept a few limes whole and whipped up a lime tart, but then I ate it just as quickly so I don’t have any photos!

Tart: Lime
Topping: Whipped Cream

(Crust courtesy of Ginny Johnson)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 cup butter

Cut ingredients together until they resemble small pebbles and then press into tart pan.

Whip together:
4 eggs until they turn light yellow
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice (2)
Grated limes (2)

Pour into crust. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Remove and cool.

This year, I don’t know how I came up with it, I brilliantly thought of wrapping tee balls in my own fabric. I tried for many hours, and then commissioned my husband, and then bought a new hot glue gun to wrap the balls tight with fabric-like store bought ornaments. I now believe that is impossible, so I settled for wrapping them up and tying them with ribbon; I’m thrilled with the results.


Fortunately, I also had on hand a delightful assortment of ribbon including Christmas ribbon. Some of the ribbon is polka dotted as you can see, the striped ball has cute little chickens on it, below the yellow ball has gorgeous cupcakes on the ribbon, but most of the ribbon says, “Ho Ho Ho”, “Merry Christmas”, “I’ve been good”, or Santa is Coming”. No glue, tape or staples are involved, so if you like you can unwrap and reuse for alternate purposes.

Warm Buns

Warm Buns

My favorite memories are of any day, any event, any occasion as long as Bammieroo’s Orange Rolls were involved, (Bammieroo being my adored Grandmother on my Mom’s side as featured in Turkey Lurkey) even funerals. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of […]

Frightful Weather

Frightful Weather

I remember one snow day in high school, not one snow day in particular, but one snow day in totality. That wasn’t because we had to trudge to school in the snow no matter what, but because it doesn’t snow in Portland. I took pictures […]

Compulsory Addictions

Compulsory Addictions

We have been known to throw a couple of pretty sensational parties in our day – all with the same theme: J.J. Abrams.

Lost is easily and profoundly, not only the most intelligent television show to air to date, but it is disturbingly entertaining. I possess a compulsory addiction to Lost. I have expelled my theories regarding the island, the wheel, the foot statue, the plane crash, intermediary relations, the conspiracies, philosophical connections, Dharma, and/plus the stations, etc. upon… well if you know me, you.

Every Christmas, Gabriel and I write an adorable little diddy for Christmas entitled: “The Go Ahead.” It’s our version of a family newsletter. A year back, we wrote a story about my missing gray sweat pants… where did we find them? On Sawyer, in episode 26 “Man of Science, Man of Faith”.

And, one such party is anticipating an arrival date of January 21, 2009. We are all prepared to take work off January 22, because yes, it is going to be that epic.

Well, J.J. Abrams has done alright so far with Fringe. Yet, that’s all I’m willing to give him until he starts expanding the underlying storyline. However, every week we host a little Fringe party. Recently I graced the attending geeks with pumpkin cake, honoring the season, the occasion, and J.J. Abram’s genius.

Cake: Pumpkin
Topping: Cream Cheese Frosting

4 eggs
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil
Beat until creamy

Add:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Mix until just incorporated

Stir in 16 oz. pumpkin

You can make these in bars, cake rounds, or cupcakes – I don’t play by the rules, so neither should you.
Bake at 350°
Top with frosting


(camera phone picture)

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday Mom

I never need an excuse to make German Chocolate Cake, but every once in a while an excuse does present itself, such as my mother’s birthday a few days ago on November 17. German Chocolate Cake has long been the Johnson cake of choice dating […]

My First

My First

Today, I am pretty excited about the fact that I was invited to a cookie exchange. I decided to make what my cookie book called: Chocolate Peppermint Refrigerator Cookies, but I am calling them Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies. The reasons are two fold: 1) I simply […]