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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Chanukah and Happy Belated National Cupcake Day!

I know I said that I would post every day during Chanukah, my holiday, but it didn't work out. However, I am holding a contest and anyone who leaves a comment telling me how they're going to spend their own holiday, be it Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, or any holiday that you celebrate around this time of year, will be eligible for a brand new children's book from my own collection. I am giving away six today, so the first six people who post comments will each win a new book.:) There are only two more days left to Chanukah, so on each of the following days I am giving away one book and for those there will be a drawing. So today is the day to comment. :)

I have some great news!! I have been chosen to be the NY Examiner for Literature at I was very excited to find out this afternoon and I am planning to start writing for them very soon. I learned about it from one of my friends. You will see this is a very reputable site and several of the writers from here have been on TV too.:)

So December 15th was National Cupcake Day and I didn't get a chance to bake cupcakes. So I did it today, though it's a day late and I baked two dozen, half white cake and half chocolate cake. But I frosted all of them with chocolate icing and to tell them apart I sprinkled some powdered sugar on the white cake cupcakes. My daughter adores them even though she is grown, so I wanted to make her happy and I did. She loved the cupcake she ate.:) Please go here to this awesome blog I found that is totally devoted to cupcakes. It makes me drool to see the pictures at Cupcakes Take the Cake. I love the look of this blog too and so glad I found it.:) Hope you like it too. I think there isn't anything that makes people smile more than offering them a cupcake.

But researching the last topic I found an even better day and I celebrated it without even realizing it.:) It's National Chocolate Covered Anything Day. So covering my cupcakes with chocolate icing was perfect for today.:) I even topped them with a chocolate chip and drizzled melted chocolate on them. But think of all the things you can cover in chocolate. Only please don't use yucky things like bugs. I saw one of those Food Network shows where they had to eat insects covered with chocolate. Yummy. I mean yucky!!! But I love chocolate covered strawberries.

That reminds me about walking around the mall around Christmastime when the economy was better and passing Godiva chocolates. They had someone in the window with a big bowl of melted chocolate and a huge bowl of gorgeous, luscious strawberries. The person was dipping the strawberries in the chocolate and I think they were giving away free samples. Ah, Godiva at Christmas with the golden boxes full of delicious goodness. Ah chocolate!! You can never go wrong with a box from Godiva even if it's only a few of their goodies. Of course, you wouldn't want to give them to someone allergic to chocolate, but even then they can give them away to someone else.:) There is nothing better than a piece of Godiva chocolate melting in your mouth! I just love the chocolate and no one is paying me to say this.:)

My husband was working the first part of this week, so we didn't do much together. I lit candles for Chanukah with my two daughters and though I think that my mother if she were alive would probably be horrified, I bought store bought latkes from Stew Leonard's for the first night. After warming them in the oven they got crispy and they were just as delicious as if I had made them at home. I do have latke mix and may make my own tomorrow night. I will never forget two years ago when I had to make latkes with my daughter who was bringing them into her office. They have an International Day once a year and she and I were going to make them together. However, though we prepped the night before and had the mixture all ready, neither of us had taken the amount of time to fry them into account. So I got up early and started frying them. You know that frying latkes means you can't put too many in a pan or they won't brown. So you can only do a few at a time and that's what bogged us down. I had to go to work, because I was actually working then and didn't have a chance to take a shower before I left. When I got to work I smelled like fried latkes and unfortunately my boss had no idea what they were.:) The latkes my daughter brought into work were a big hit, though.

Thank you to any new readers and thank you to the readers who continue to follow me. I hope to be able to give away a lot of books today for the holidays. Also please remember that next Tuesday is my Christmas show on Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages. My guest will be the writers of Milspeak and Sally Drumm, who is the editor of the book by the same name. I am pleased that at least six of them will be participating. They are members or former members of the armed services and they will be talking about how they have celebrated the holidays in the service. They will also be reading from their own writing. I think this is going to be a fantastic holiday show. Until the next time if you celebrate Chanukah, have a happy holiday. For all others, hope you are not too stressed by holiday shopping.


  1. Hi Barbara!
    Congrats on your new gig with the Examiner, that's great! Best of luck with that.

    I hope the rest of your Chanukah is filled with filled with happiness...and hopefully a few cupcakes. :-)

    My family celebrates Christmas, but also Winter Solstice. At sunset on Solstice we light a candle and keep it burning through the longest night of the year until morning.

  2. Hi V.R.!
    Thank you for the congrats on my new position. I can't wait to get started.:

    Thank you for sharing your holiday experience and you have just won a brand new children's book. I will post the titles and you can choose.:) Congratulations!!

    How did your family start celebrating the Winter Solstice? I believe that started with the Druids.:)

    Happy Holidays!!!

  3. Congrats Barb on your new job. How exciting. Maybe I can join you sometime soon.
    I donate a few hours every holiday to the senior center. I bring cookies, and cards and give to those that don't have anyone. My reward is the smiles on their faces. I really enjoy it.


  4. Hi Barbara,

    I noticed your post on the Muse Conference board and thought I would take a look. I like your blog (I didn't know about National Cupcake Day!) - and congratulations on the new position with the NY Examiner.

    My Christmas will be filled with visiting our 80 year-old parents. Fortunately, my mother-in-law is just two blocks away and my dad and stepmother are only 20 minutes away.

    Sometimes I wish I were Jewish so I could have latkes!:)

    Happy Chanukah!


  5. Hi Sharon,

    Thank you for the kind words.:) You should definitely see about writing for them. You can apply right on the website.

    What a wonderful thing to do on Christmas. It embodies the true spirit of Christmas and I'm sure it brings a smile to the faces of all that you give to. Thank you for sharing your selfless experience.

    You are the second winner of a brand new children's book.:) Congratulations.

  6. Hi Julie (interviews and books),

    Thank you so much for visiting and for your congratulations on my new position. I love that you can post something on that board and so many people come and support you.:)

    I hope you have a great holiday! Thank you for sharing your experience and this makes you the third winner of a brand new children's book!

  7. Yay! Thanks, Barbara! I agree about the Muse Conference board. I have been very impressed with how supportive and kind the people of that community have been.

    Happy Holidays to you, too.

  8. Hi Barbara! Oh wonderful!! My daughter will be thrilled! We love books obviously.

    We started celebrating Solstice, back with the druids...ok, I'm not that old, just feel like it some days. Actually, my husband and I have always been drawn to nature so when our daughter was born we decided to start a new little tradition with her to mark the passing of the seasons, and that's where our little candle lighting ceremony started.

    Last year she even made a special candle holder for our candle. Ah, to be six again. :-)

  9. Hi Barbara, It's good to see a posting about a holiday other than Christmas. My family is a mixed group. I grew up Catholic and my husband grew up Jewish. Our children got to celebrate both holidays as they grew up so they are more aware of the diversity of different cultures. We also have friends who celebrate the Solstice, so we've been fortunate enough to experience that as well. Happy holiday season to you and yours.

  10. Hi Penny!
    It's so nice to see you here again!

    Thank you for posting about your own holiday experiences. I think it brings people together when you can celebrate more than one holiday tradition. When I was a little girl I had a friend who had a tree and I'd go over and feel the magic in that little room filled with Christmas.:)

    Happy Holidays to you too and you have also won a free book from my collection. I'm posting the titles right now.:)

  11. Happy Hanukkah, Barbara! This is my first year of learning about & celebrating Hannukah & I have sooooo enjoyed it.
    A few minutes ago, FedEx delivered my hannukkiah. I am excited that it got here, as we have a dinner tonight & we will all bring our 'menorahs' to light at the same time. A Feast of Lights!!!Wow! God is good.
    Once a week I make soup for 10-12 folks who live here in my senior apt complex. Last week we had matzo ball soup, latkes, kugel-a big hit! I taught the history of Hannukah.
    Next week, I'll do a special Christmas soup night with 3 Sisters Soup & apple pecan bread pudding. Come on over! (Oregon)
    Blessings, Connie (from Muse)

  12. Hi Constance,
    Thank you for visiting and sharing your holiday experiences.

    What a special way to celebrate the holidays! I love matzoh ball soup and latkes. But even though I'm Jewish I have never made kugel.:)

    Congratulations you have also won a children's book. As I said before, I am posting these very soon. Real life has interfered so the list will be posted tonight.

  13. This has been fun. I have enjoyed reading what others will be doing to celebrate. Thanks, Barbara, for providing this opportunity.

  14. Sharon,
    I'm glad you enjoyed this sharing, because I did too. Unfortunately, I couldn't post the books because my daughter had a car accident and everything in my life got moved up three hours. A tow truck went into her when she was stopped and the back of the car is pretty bad. It even dented the trunk. She hit her head on the backrest. She is fine, though, but we did go to the hospital just to check. She has a bit of a strained neck or as we used to call it whiplash. But she isn't wearing a collar of anything. Still, I had to come home and make dinner and then real life got in the way of getting to the computer. We all needed comfort.:)

    I'm posting it now.:)


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