Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 15 of 15 Days of Christmas - Jessica Aspen Shares!

Today’s guest is Jessica Aspen, a prolific blogger, new author (her first book releases in February, and one nice lady (do you notice a pattern here…I know lots of nice people), who is sharing the fun of a family tradition.

Jessica also has a Little Red Riding Wolf T-shirt for the giveaway to one lucky winner!  So be sure to comment to get your name in the drawing!!  And to get on the Brit Trinket list for a prize from England…yet to be bought since the trip is next week!

Thanks Lizzie for sliding me into your blog! I’m excited to be here and share some holiday cheer!
It’s almost here. The night before Christmas approaches. I love Christmas Eve, even more than Christmas day because we go to my folks house for the evening and it is a rollicking good time. We not only have a fabulous feast full of fun foods, but we have Yule log for desert and a white elephant gift exchange. You haven’t experienced the true hilarity of Christmas till you’ve experienced an Aspen white elephant.
First of all everyone must bring two presents, not one, two. Why? Because the first year we had so much fun we wanted it to last longer. This also increases your chances of opening something really stellar and makes the stealing so much more complicated. Stealing? Did I say stealing?
Why yes I did.
For the un-initiated you have the choice of unwrapping a brand new gift or stealing from a friend or family member. We love to steal. And it gets complicated. You see many of us have partners so we manipulate the stealing, knowing that certain gifts are more popular than others you can steal something from your partner, so he’ll steal something you want, then someone will steal from you and you can steal something brand new. I did mention it gets complicated.
That’s why we have the rule that a present can only be stolen three times in an evening. But with so many presents to steal, someone needs to keep track. That person is my sister, Queen of the White Elephant. She sets the rules and keeps track, makes sure we all behave. And she is the worst thief of all. Watch out if you have something desirable like Godiva chocolates, or good wine. She’ll enlist her whole family in a complicated stealing back and forth that will have you spinning.
Whatever we come home with, we have a blast. It’s a fun way to work off the Yule log. From movie tickets to the very desirable Sham-Wow, you never know what will show up. Some years I make out like a bandit. And some years I end up with the reindeer that poops chocolate raisins.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I’ll leave you with the recipe for the Meringue Mushrooms to decorate theYule log. It’s not Christmas Eve without the Yule log!

Meringue Mushrooms

·         2  egg whites
·         1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         6 tbl white sugar
·         1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
·         1/3 cup chocolate chips


1.      Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line  cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

2.      In a large glass or metal bowl, use an electric mixer to whip egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and vanilla. Continue whipping until the whites hold soft peaks. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar so that it does not sink to the bottom, and continue whipping until the mixture holds stiff shiny peaks.

3.      Place a round tip into a pastry bag, and fill the bag half way with the meringue. To pipe the mushroom caps, squeeze out round mounds of meringue onto one of the prepared cookie sheets. Pull the bag off to the side to avoid making peaks on the top. For the stems, press out a tiny bit of meringue onto the other sheet, then pull the bag straight up. They should resemble candy kisses. Do not worry about making all of the pieces exactly the same. The mushrooms will look more natural if the pieces are different sizes. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the caps are dry enough to easily remove from the cookie sheets. Set aside to cool completely. Melt chocolate chips in a metal bowl over simmering water, or in a glass bowl in the microwave, stirring occasionally until smooth.

4.      Poke a small hole in the bottom of a mushroom cap. Spread chocolate over the bottom of the cap. Dip the tip of a stem in chocolate, and press lightly into the hole. When the chocolate sets, they will hold together. Repeat with remaining pieces. Dust caps with cocoa using a small strainer. Store at room temperature in a dry place or tin. 

Come into the woods with Little Red Riding Wolf, a spicy paranormal romance novella due out February 18, 2012 from Passion in Print Press. What if Little Red Riding Hood was a werewolf, and a sexy forest ranger wandered into her woods?  

Fraternizing with humans is taboo, but when feisty werewolf Red runs into hunky new forest ranger Evan Brewster, she jumps on the opportunity to let loose her desires. Evan is stoked when he meets the petite red haired hottie, and combined with his new discovery of wolves in Colorado, thinks his career and life are made. Then Red pushes him away, her hostile brother threatens his life, and things begin to spiral out of control. Caught between her sexy lover and her pack can Red trust Evan with her secrets, or must she sacrifice her human lover and her heart?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for having me here, Lizzie! Glad the pictures came through. :)

Jennifer Mathis said...

That sounds like a great game lots of laughter and cursing Im sure :)

Viola Estrella said...

Jessica! Wow, great cover! Ooh. This is the first I've seen of it. How cool! Can't wait to read it!!!

The White Elephant sounds like a blast. How funny about your sister.

Anonymous said...

It's a great game Jennifer, and we like it much better now than individual presents. The kids all look forward to turning 15 and finally getting to play with the adults!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Viola! The cover is pretty exciting and I'm looking forward to the book finally being out. ;)

Shadow said...

That games sounds great! lol I can imangine my family trying to play.. not a pretty sight! lol Your books...Love the sound of it! Definitely one im gonna have to add to my wishlist. ;) Thanks for sharing! Happy holidays!

Lizzie said...

Shadow Kohler you're the winner. Jessica will be connecting with you. And don't forget to email me your address to send the Brit trinket prize to.