Thursday, December 22, 2011

Great things to do in Long Beach at Christmas time!

Wednesday nights are reserved for our fitness walks. A few of us have committed to walking every Wednesday and trying to get at least two more walks in on our own during the week. This week I wanted to try and do something a little less strenuous as my niece is nine months pregnant. We want to keep her walking, but we don't want to induce labor! It has been a few years since I have been down to Naples Island at Christmas time, and thought that this would be a great time.

We met at 6pm and parked the car on 2nd st. Walked over to the island and it was beautiful. Every home was decorated with a different motif. They even had a Griswold's home! The gondolas were out gliding down the canals, the electric boats had people waving, and my favorite was the bicycle boats. A dozen of the bike boats were out on the water all decked out in Christmas lights. I defiantly would like to do this for my Birthday ...

Several organizations had the children singing carols, and a band was playing holiday music. Some homes had coffee set up and were giving the donations to charity. It was a great night, free, and about a three mile walk with some stairs. I think if you are in Long Beach you should not miss this!
Check out some of the pictures I took as we strolled along the canals.

Pictures are not that great, taken with my phone. Next year I will be taking my good camera.

English Toffee

It's that time of the year again for cookies and English Toffee. Last week we had the cookie bake off, this week it has been English Toffee. I made two different varieties, we had almonds with the milk chocolate and dark chocolate. It is a very easy recipe.
Two cups of real butter
Two cups of sugar-I like using the bakers sugar as it's a finer sugar and melts better.
a tad of real vanilla (maybe 1/4 teaspoon) too much and your toffee will be too soft
Do not add salt if you do not want to, I add about 1/4 teaspoon of smoked sea salt.
Cook to a rapid boil constantly stirring. The candy thermometer should read 325. Carefully watch the colour of your toffee. You are looking for a light brown. Pour over sliced almonds and your chocolate drops, add sliced almonds and chocolate drops to top. Put it in the refrigerator to cool and use an ice pick to break it. Use parchment paper in your pan and it will come right out.
Have a great Holiday and Happy New Year!