Advent, NC, & Kartoffelpuffer

Advent thoughts from Following the Star:
The promises of God are outrageous in what they offer to us. Salvation for all? The end of pain and sorrow? God living right here with us?
Who could believe it?
People of faith believe. And in this most outrageous season of hope and anticipation, we wait believing. Take time now to hear the promises of God. And believe.

Loving God, I know there is no greater love than what you demonstrated for us through the coming of the Lord. May I be the tangible expression of that love in the lives of those around me who desperately seek comfort, belonging, and hope. Amen.


Last week wrapped up beautifully: I felt so blessed that it was 75°F & our windows were open. [After the last 6 hellish winters up north, I will NEVER take this gloriousness for granted. I am ALL ABOUT *this* being Christmas weather!!! ] I got to plan & host Will's 2nd grade class party, and apparently it was a big hit. [Yay for Christmas bingo, a relay race where the kids wore mittens & had to unwrap Hershey kisses, decorating cookies, making reindeer food & paper reindeer out of their foot- & handprints! :-)] Annelise was already out of school & got to Zumba with me Friday. ♥ [PS - potential Zumba news on the horizon! Stay tuned!!! ;-)] I got to help my BFF Laura out with a few Christmas presents using my Silhouette, and she brought me a few meringue cookies, (my 1ST Christmas cookies this year! :-O) And I just couldn't get over how magical the sunbeams looked in the Spanish moss in our tress each afternoon...

We're settled in NC now for the holidays. :-) (And NC better get its weather act together, b/c I left 70°+ for this!!!) Gas was $2.87 in Augusta, GA, AND it's the only exit on our ENTIRE trip home w/ a Sbux = I will *always* stop there! :-D The kids both read books in the backseat for a good portion of the 6.5 hour trip = fantastic! I car-Zumba-ed [pretty much just me shaking my derrière & squeezing my abs a little in my seat while waving my arms around like a nut :-P] for at least 45 minutes. Hmmm... How many Christmas candy calories might that have been worth?

Randomly delicious:
JB & I made impromptu Kartoffelpuffer (German potato pancakes) Friday night...after we'd already had dinner...and when I *should* have been packing. ;-) (Hey, anything to procrastinate! I HATE packing & unpacking, even if I love where I'm going.) We saw them being made on TV and couldn't help ourselves with craving! :-D My (über-German) dad used to make them for us for dinner every once in a while...and bless him, they weren't good. :-P But THESE?! These redeemed every blah potato pancake experience I've ever had in my life!

 * 4 peeled potatoes; keep them submerged in a bowl of cold water to stop oxidation (we love Yukon gold)
 * In a mixing bowl, combine:
 1 egg, beaten
 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
 1 teaspoon (white whole wheat) flour
 1 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon, freshly ground black pepper
 * Using the large holes on a box grater, grate a medium yellow onion and add it to the egg mixture. (Or - b/c we were out of onions, use some onion powder)
 * Grate the potatoes onto a clean kitchen towel, wring as much water out of them as you can, and add them to the egg mixture.
 * Toss so that the potato, onion, & egg mixture are evenly combined.
 * Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat with oil or butter.
 * Shape ~4" pancakes & sauté until each side is golden brown.
 * Drain on paper towels and eat right away, with applesauce, if you wish. :-)
 [I'm excited next time to try cooking them in the WAFFLE MAKER instead of frying!!! I *HATE* frying stuff!!!]