Cranberry Waldorf Salad

Standard
  1. 2 med. apples, chopped
  2. 2 celery ribs, chopped
  3. 1 reg. sized bag dried cranberries
  4. 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  5. 2 tbsps. sugar
  6. 4 tsps. lemon juice

Combine 1st 3 ingredients in a serving bowl. In a mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients, and pour into the serving bowl w/ the 1st combination.

Pistachio Fudge

Standard
  • ¾ cup white choc. chips
  • 6 tbsps. butter
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 pkg. (4 serving size) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios

Line an 8×8” sq. baking pan w/ nonstick foil, and set aside. Melt 1st 3 ingredients in the microwave for 1 min. Stir, and place back in for another 30 sec. or so if needed to fully melt. Stir in remaining ingredients until combined, and then press mixture into pan. Refrigerate for 2 hrs. or until set. Remove from pan and foil, and cut into squares.

Cranberry Apple Crisp

Standard
  • 6 med. apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ stick butter, rm. temp.

Preheat oven to 375°. Put apples and cranberries in a greased, 8” sq. baking pan. Sprinkle w/ sugar, and toss carefully to coat. Mix next 3 ingredients, and then cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over fruit. Bake for 45 min. or until apples are tender.

Numbers

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Quentin,

Today, January 2, 2015, we celebrate 5 years of marriage.  For 1,826 days, we have worn the rings that join us as husband and wife.  We were together 783 days before then and friends for years before that. 5 years of marriage, plus our 783 days together, brings us to this day: 2,609 days as a couple.  The numbers did not stop with the days that passed, but instead were added to with memories that were tallying with those digits…

On November 12, 2007, we started dating.  Our relationship was more than the 2 of us; you took on Jesse as your own from the start.  All 3 of us moved to address number 1, where we added up countless hours at the barn we worked at.  Jesse celebrated turning 2 years old at that barn, with 1 big present: a cozy coupe car to cruise around in. 85 days later, we learned we were becoming a family of 4!

It only took 1 interview to find the career you had been working so hard in college for, and we moved to address number 2.  Kayden was born on February 10, 2009.  He added a 7 lb. 9 oz. weight to our heart that we knew would complete our family. 31 days later, Jesse turned 3 years old.  We threw his 1st party at home here, attended by a number of relatives plus 1 Mickey Mouse.  Jesse was gifted 1 chinchilla to add to our pets at this time: 1 cat plus 1 turtle.  Our cat passed away from lung cancer about 2 months later, leaving us with 2 household pets.

It only took 1 house viewing to find the home of our dreams, and we enrolled Jesse in his very 1st school: Pre-K.  On July 31, 2009, you turned 25 years old, which was also the date that we closed on our very 1st house.  The hours we have put into home improvements have been too many to add up, with 3 new linoleum floors, 9 new carpets, 1 new roof, 1 living room remodel, 1 new stair railing, 1 new hot water heater, 1 porch remodel, 1 new deck, and 1 swimming pool (just to name a few of our projects).  Jesse started his very 1st swimming lessons, and we decided to reward his efforts with the addition of 1 special black cat with ½ of a tail from an animal shelter.

On January 2, 2010, the day that I turned 23 years old, you and I stood hand in hand in 1 beautiful church.  The ceremony started at 5PM, and I walked toward you with 1 nervous smile.  Our 2 candles joined together to light 1 unity candle that is still showcased in our china cabinet. 2 rings were added to our fingers that would symbolize a love that only our 2 hearts could comprehend.

The 2 of us gave 1 big kiss for our reception crowd as we entered.  We had 1 Bride and Groom dance, with 2 songs: 1 formal and 1 funny.  We made 1 mistake in the silly dance, but not 1 person noticed but us.  Our wedding cake held 48 red roses on its 3 tiers of 3 different layered confections.  With 2 steady hands, we fed it to each other with care.  I drank 1 too many glasses of wine, and you drove us home to open our gifts to 1 dark house that had been hit with a power outage.

We alternated between 2 babysitters so that we could take 1 honeymoon of our dreams.  Disney World was 1,112. 08 miles, and we made the trip in 2 days.  There, we stayed in 1 awesome hotel room and spent time at all 4 theme parks.  I wore 2 buttons: 1 for my birthday, and 1 for our wedding to get a number of free desserts and congratulations.       Jesse went to Pre-K for 2 years before graduating onto school number 2: Elementary school.  Kayden began his birthday celebrations in this house from year 1.  He went on to experience 2 years at the same Pre-K as Jesse, before graduating onto the same school number 2.

In the midst of all of this, our pet equation changed.  We are now minus 1 turtle and 1 chinchilla, as they tragically passed away.  However, we were astonished to find 2 kittens on our porch 1 faithful morning.  Shortly after, you were surprised on Father’s Day number 5 with 1 dog that you had always wanted.  Wouldn’t you know that along came, not 1, but 2 tiny kittens afterwards?!

Family vacation number 1 brought us to Virginia Beach, a drive of 45.93 miles.  But, we knew that our 1 honeymoon to Walt Disney World had amounted to 2 jealous boys.  We had made 1 promise to take those boys to see it too, and we made good on that promise for vacation number 2, in the year 2013.  We left 1 day early to come home, but I took hundreds of photos of our experiences.  Those 2 boys loved Virginia Beach vacation number 1 so much that we made it there for vacation number 2 this year.  In between, the trips have been innumerable.

This year, you turned 30 years old, and I knew that I had to do it up.  I threw you 1 surprise party, after a golf trip that you took with your brother. 30 memories were put into 1 envelope to remind you of the life you have lived to this point, but I know that that number was greatly under exaggerated. 2 little boys and I found joy in surprising you on your actual birthday with 30 random gifts.

Today, I am 28 years old.  So much has changed since that 23 year old walked down the aisle to your then 25 year old self.  Life has thrown us so much more than the rough counted numbers I have included in this letter, and I am often amazed at what we have withstood.  I’m not going to pretend it’s been easy, but there is a reason I chose to share my birthday with our wedding date.  When everything seems hard, and I doubt it all, I need that chosen date to remind me that you are the tie that I always required to hold me together.  You are the rock that I never knew I could find in this world.

Writing this letter brings so much of our life into perspective—how hard we’ve worked, the things we’ve accomplished, the happiness, the struggles, the surprises.  In 5 years of marriage, we have fought through and achieved things that some do not see in a lifetime.  I have hated you and wondered how I could ever exist without you at the same time.  I have been annoyed with you and watched the clock for you to come home simultaneously.  You drive me crazy in a way that I could never put down in words, and I want to thank you for that.  Our first 5 years have been a whirlwind of numbers, and I can’t wait to see what the next 5 will add up to.

I love you so much that I did the math,

Samantha