Saturday, December 29, 2007

Gratitude Practice

This has been a very tough week for me both physically and emotionally. After a week of crazy travel, quickly followed by the holidays, plus some personal issues, I am ready for a break. We are spending the rest of 2007 in the mountains enjoying the winter activities - skiing, making snowmen, and drinking hot chocolate! Hope you are also enjoying the last weekend of 2007.

This week I am grateful for my little family.

I am unbelievably grateful for my very supportive husband who is always there for me. Sometimes I am amazed at how well he puts up with my frequent crankiness. This week he set aside his own desires to make sure I got what I needed (even before I recognized what I needed!).

I was also reminded this week of how lucky I am to have my two beautiful children. I am so grateful that I was able to bring them into this world with so little effort and that they are healthy, strong, and capable (even if they seem a bit too capable at times!). Sometimes I take it for granted how lucky I am to have them.

I hope you find time this week for your own gratitude practice.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Blog Giveaway: Holiday Gift to Charity!

I got this idea a few weeks ago while reading the blog Country Dawn and pondering her post about Oprah's Favorite Things. I thought it would be fun to do a charity giveaway! I don't think there has been a blog giveaway like this before (at least not that I know of!). For every comment left on this post, I will donate $1 to the charity of the winner's choice*. So leave a comment and tell me which charity you choose. I'll close the comments out Sunday Dec 30th at 10pm, randomly choose the winner, and make the donation! So post a link on your blog and email your friends. Let's see how much we can raise for charity!

*I reserve the right to deem any charity unsuitable for the contest. The charity must be a nonprofit and must be legit (no I also will not donate to any group that I adamantly oppose (I can't actually think of any group that I oppose, but just in case someone finds something like or, I want to be able to refuse to donate). I also reserve the right to limit the donation to $500 - although if for some crazy reason the comments get past 500, I will honestly consider more.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Break

There is lots (lots!) going on in our home this week. I can't tell you about all of it now, but I will soon. After a really rough day of travel, we made it home safely. My children were so well behaved despite the long hours, delays, plan changes and crowds. Actually they were better behaved than many of the adults I saw traveling yesterday! We didn't get home until after 2am EST. Matt has to go back to the airport today to get our bags and our car (which didn't start after a week of sitting in the cold!).

I think I'll continue to take a bit of a blogging break while we celebrate the holidays. BUT be sure to check back sometime this week because I am going to have a blog giveaway like NONE you have ever seen before! Really, it is going to be fun and inspirational. I hope to make it a holiday blog tradition.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Movie Premier - Steep

Tonight we are attending the opening of the documentary film Steep. My sister-in-law works for the film's production company. Matt is a ski movie addict, so he is really excited. I was a little disappointed that we don't get to walk the red carpet, but it is probably better since I have nothing glamorous to wear! *wink*
I am hoping the movie will get us psyched for our ski season to start. Due to a bunch of conflicts (and not a lot of snow at first), neither Matt nor I have been to the slopes yet. We start right after Christmas.
Check the release schedule to see when it is opening near you!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Greenstyle Mom All Around

Real quick while I have an internet connection...

If you live in Colorado and get the Denver Post, I hope you saw my candy cane fudge recipe was published! Also be sure to check out my friend Shannon's yummy recipe. I sure hope she is planning to share some of those cookies with me!

Also check out the Greenstylemom interview at AlaiVani. I was pretty excited when Jen and I connected since we both share a love of India.

PS - It is a gorgeous day in NY today!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Traveling Woes

We made it to NYC despite it being a bit of a rough trip. I continued to be sick and couldn't hold anything in through the wee hours of this morning. I seem to be doing better now. Keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't get worse again.

Our flight was a bit delayed yesterday due to weather on the East Coast. A little over an hour delay doesn't seem bad until you throw in two cranky preschoolers. My kids were amazingly well behaved despite the long day of travel.

And this morning when we thought the turbulence was finally over? Jack broke a bone in his foot. Yup. You read that correctly. Jack has his first broken bone. There is (rather, was) a full length mirror with a heavy frame hanging on the hotel room wall. Jack was looking at himself in the mirror while holding the frame when the whole thing slipped off the bracket and fell straight down on his foot. Fortunately I was right there and caught the mirror before it crashed over onto him. His foot immediately turned nasty purple and red colors and swelled up. Jack would not walk or even stand. If I even looked at his foot, he started screaming. I called Matt out of his conference, and we took him in for xrays. There is a slight fracture. Fortunately the orthopedic surgeon recommended NOT casting it. He said the painful injury is the soft-tissue crush, and his recommendation is to let it rest. He said Jack might be walking in a few days... or it might be a few weeks.

While we are in NYC this week, I probably won't be blogging a bunch. If I even feel like getting on the computer, I am going to try to catch up on reading other blogs and do some commenting. Have a great week!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Gratitude Practice

I've been looking forward to posting my Gratitude Practice all week! I was listening to Dr. Laura on the radio earlier in the week (I really don't like her all that much. I think she is pretty rude, but I do like her stand that you need to do the right thing no matter how difficult it is). Dr. Laura was talking about shifting your attitude about life by changing your wording. Instead of saying or thinking that you have to do ______, instead think of it in terms that you get to do _____. I am going to use that thought for my Gratitude Practice today.

  1. I am grateful that I get to pack for our trip. Our family able to enjoy so much travel.
  2. I am grateful that I get to do laundry. Our family can afford nice clothes.
  3. I am grateful that I get to wash dishes. Our family has more than enough food to satisfy.
  4. I am grateful that I get to disagree with my husband. I have a husband who will be with me through anything.
  5. I am grateful that I get to spend all day with my children. I am able to shape their lives (hopefully for the better!).
  6. I am grateful that I get to pay the bills. We have the money to pay them.
  7. I am grateful that I get to clean up toys every evening. My children have everything they need.
  8. I am grateful that I get to address holiday cards. We have many friends.
  9. I am grateful that I get to go to the post office today. I have much to give to friends and family.
  10. I am grateful that I got to have food poisoning the last 36 hours. I lost 5 lbs! (okay, I'm being facetious, I'm not really grateful at all. The last 36 hours have been awful. Can't keep anything inside me. Not even water. I'm a bit better this morning. I've kept down a bite of banana and half a piece of toast for 30 min, and I'm sure I'll gain the 5lbs back as soon as I rehydrate...)

Be sure to head over to Everyday Yogini and participate in the weekly Gratitude Practice!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holiday Sweets

I thought after Halloween I wouldn't have to worry as much about candy and sweets, but then the holiday season arrived. Santa always leaves us something sweet in our stockings, but this year I want to make sure that Santa doesn't leave any sweets with artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners. I sent Santa to the Natural Candy Store to stuff our stockings. They carry a variety of natural treats. They also offer organic candy, vegan candy, gluten-free candy, and allergen-free candy for those with special diet needs.

I was also pretty excited to find Natural Candy Store's selection of decorating sugars and natural food colors. I cleaned out my stock of cookie/cake decorations and thought we were going to have to skip cookie decorating this year. I'm excited to restock my supplies!

Natural Candy Store is offering readers 10% off any purchases through the end of the year using discount code greenmom.

The Boy Doll or The Difference Between Men & Women

We are a bit under the weather today. Being sick stinks because we were supposed to go see some friends, but I like having an excuse to not feel guilty about sticking the kids in front of the TV and surfing the internet. While browsing blogs, I came across The Not Quite Crunchy Parent's post Action Figure - "Boy" for "Doll". I decided I needed to record a family story from last year.

Christmas 2006, Jack is almost 21 months old and has taken an interest in Kate's dolls. He carries them around, gets the wipes and pretends to change diapers, wraps them in blankets and puts them in Kate's doll cradle. I think it is adorable but am concerned that all of Kate's dolls are female (aka lacking boy parts). I decide that what Jack really needs is a "boy doll" for play. A doll that has the same parts that he does. I know that Matt is not going to be pleased with my suggestion, so I plan my arguments which vary from developing a boy's nurturing side to helping him potty train.

All prepared for a battle, I approach Matt one evening and say, "I think we should get Jack a boy doll for Christmas." Before presenting my case and to my utter surprise and amazement, Matt quickly agrees that it is a great idea. I couldn't believe what a sensitive, modern man I had married! The next day I go to a small, local toy store and buy the boy doll that I have been eyeing. (Note that the doll's name on his shirt is Paul which also happens to be our neighbor's name) I bring the boy doll home and put him in our spare bedroom with the ever-growing collection of presents.

Later that day, I am out running more errands when I receive a call from Matt. He gives me no greeting and simply and flatly says, "I saw Paul." Confused and thinking of our neighbor, I ask, "What is Paul up to?" Matt continues, "Paul in our guest room." Still confused and concerned about the mess my guest room is, I say, "What in the world is Paul doing in our guest room?!?" Matt, still in a quite flat voice, responds, "No, I saw Paul the boy doll in the guest room." Finally realizing what we are talking about, I exclaim, "Isn't Paul great? I think Jack is really going to like him." Matt says, incredulously, "Does Paul have a penis?" and without missing a beat he continues, "When you said a 'boy doll,' I thought you meant a GI Joe..."

We had a good laugh, Jack got his "boy doll" for Christmas and loved it (almost as much as his Tonka truck), and Paul is still a close part of our family spending each night in bed with Jack. You can often find Jack in Kate's play high heels and Paul in a pink dress enjoying each other's company. It makes Matt cringe, but it makes me smile.

Holiday Priorities

Kate just asked me this morning, "Mom, when is it going to be Easter again?" I explained first is Christmas, then Kate's birthday, then Jack's birthday, THEN Easter. "I can't wait for Easter," she lamented. Huh?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Book Promotion

I was wrapping some holiday presents this evening and thought I'd do a little book promotion. I am giving several copies of The American Factionary as gifts this year. It was written by Sy Testa who happens to be one of Kate's godfathers (she has two because in the Catholic church at least one of the godparents has to be a practicing Catholic and our friends we chose are not Catholic. I should also add that I wouldn't qualify as a godparent since I'm not exactly a practicing Catholic), and my dad is mentioned as one of the contributors. It is as fun little reference book and is a great vocabulary builder. I've enjoyed reading it as I feel my vocabulary has suffered since leaving college and then was completely obliterated by mommy brain. Sy took all the words in an unabridged dictionary, threw out the everyday words like "house" and "cat" as well as words related to specific disciplines like medicine and physics. He also took out obscure words that you don't need everyday. What is left are words that you can use to improve your communication on a daily basis. Matt and I have discussed consciously trying to improve our everyday vocabulary to lay the groundwork for the kids as they grow and expand their speech. I should call Sy and see if he'll donate a book for a giveaway... maybe it will even be autographed!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Perfect Day for Baking!

Today was snowy and cold, so the kids and I stayed home and made some holiday cookies. Yum!
The first batch was my newly invented fudge recipe - Candy Cane Fudge! (I can't imagine I am the first one to think of this idea, but I've never seen it before). I took the fudge recipe I grew up using, switched the vanilla for peppermint extract, and added crushed candy canes to the middle and the top. Crushing the candy canes was a great distraction for the kids while I fixed the fudge (although I wouldn't recommend trying to crush them with a rubber mallet in the thin wrap... it might get a little messy... try putting them in a bag or something!) The fudge turned out really yummy! I can't wait to share some with friends and neighbors.

Candy Cane Fudge
¾ cup butter
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
12 oz chocolate chips
7 oz marshmallow cream
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2-3/4 cup crushed candy cane plus some for top

Melt butter, sugar, milk
Boil for 5 min on med heat stirring constantly
Stir in chips until melted
Add marshmallow cream then peppermint then crushed candy cane
Pour into greased 13x9 pan
Sprinkle with remaining crushed candy cane
Cool at room temp, cut, and store in fridge or freezer
We also made Marshmallow Wreath Treats. I love these. This was also something that we made with my mom while growing up. Just like Rice Krispie treats only with corn flakes (I sometimes use a multigrain flake cereal if I can find one that isn't overly sweet). I'm not sharing these. They are ALL for me!

Marshmallow Wreath Treats
1/2 cup butter
1 16oz bag marshmallows
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp (or more!) green food coloring
6 cups corn flakes
red hots

Melt butter and marshmallows over low heat, add vanilla and enough food coloring to get the shade of green desired. Mix in corn flakes until cereal is well coated with marshmallow mixture. Drop by spoonful on wax paper. Shape mixture in to wreath circles (keeping fingers wet will prevent too much sticking to your fingers) Decorate with red hots. Keep in the fridge or freezer until serving day. Let warm to room temp before serving. Eat and enjoy!
I am entering both recipes in the Mile High Mamas Holiday Recipe Contest. If you have a favorite holiday recipe, I'd like to see it. But don't bother entering it in the contest because there is no way it would beat my recipes! *wink*

Hope For Women Giveaway

I want to share a very favorite product of mine - handcrafted notecards from Hope for Women. These notecards are probably my favorite gift to give, and I keep my gift closet stocked with extras. Not only are they exquisitely beautiful, but the cards are handmade by women in India who may not otherwise have a way to help support their families. (I met many women in similar circumstances during my time in India to study nursing. You didn't know I was in India? I'll blog about it soon) Of coure, I like that the flowers used to make the notecards are grown in organic gardens, and Hope for Women is also a member of the Fair Trade Federation. Read more on the Hope for Women Blog.
Hope for Women is giving one reader a set of 4 notecards. To enter, visit the Hope for Women website and then leave a comment on this post telling me which collection of notecards is your favorite. Entries will be accepted until Friday, Dec 21st. I'll randomly pick and announce the winner that weekend.

If you can't wait to win the giveaway or want to use the notecards as a stocking stuffer, you can find Hope for Women notecards on their website or find them in a store near you.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Menu Plan

Keeping it easy this week as we prepare for our trip to NYC next week. Don't want to have any leftovers.
Monday - Leftover Chili Blanco (I didn't make it until last night since Matt brought home Indian takeout on Friday)
Tuesday - Southwestern Risotto (I'll post the recipe later)
Wednesday - Baked Chicken, steamed broccoli, butternut squash (I want to do something new and different with it, but I haven't decided what... any ideas?)
Thursday - Kids' Meal - English muffin pizzas
Friday - Rosemary Garlic Spinach Cakes (recipe below) served with whole wheat spaghetti and Rao's Marinara

Rosemary and Garlic Spinach Cakes
(from the Cascadian Farms spinach box)
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup onions, chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
10 oz thawed spinach, drained
2/3 cup instant potato flakes
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup grated parmesan
2 tsp fresh rosemary ( ½ tsp dry)
½ cup bread crumbs
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
marinara sauce

Heat olive oil over med heat. Add onion, garlic and spinach. Sauté for 3 min. Add remaining ingredients and combine well. Scoop and flatten into patties. Saute both sides of cakes until golden brown. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 10 min. Serve with marinara sauce.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas Tree

Today was the day we were going to go cut down a Christmas Tree from the National Forest, but a big snowstorm changed our plans. Our second option was the Christmas Tree farm we went to last year, but because of the weather and other activities, we ended up here
But that's okay, because we still had lots of fun playing in the trees and snow
Tonight we'll eat a soup dinner, then decorate the tree while drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies and listening to Christmas music. Gotta go make those cookies!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Gratitude Practice

I've been meaning to join my friend Nona in her Saturday Gratitude Practice for a few weeks now. I've been struggling with a few issues, and I needed to take a few minutes to focus on how lucky I really am in my life. Here is just the beginning of what I am thankful for...
  1. My absolutely wonderful husband. I sometimes wonder how (and why!) he puts up with me.
  2. My two beautiful children. There really is nothing more wonderful than watching them be alive and explore the world.
  3. The really relatively stress-free life that I live. I know I just said that I've been struggling with some issues, but when I look at the struggles of others, I really don't feel like I have any right to complain.
  4. Our family's ability and love of travel. We are gearing up for a trip to NYC, and instead of stressing over all that I need to get done, I am going to try to focus on how lucky we are to be able to travel.
  5. Babysitters! I'm so thankful to have good babysitters that I trust and the kids enjoy. Allowing me to take time for myself and allowing Matt and I enjoy time for just us.

I strongly encourage you to participate in the Everyday Yogini's Gratitude Practice. I can already tell that participating will help me keep a positive outlook throughout the week!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Few Thoughts on Friendship

A long time ago I read a great article about friendship. I don't remember where I read the article or really many of the details of the article, but what stuck with me about the article over the years was the description of our need for "refrigerator friends." It described refrigerator friends as being friends that you know well enough to let dig around in your fridge. Really see what is behind the door. See the moldy leftovers, see the juice spills that haven't been cleaned up. Help themselves to something to eat. Of course this is just an analogy to life. The need in our society for real, deep, meaningful relationships not just superficial, casual relationships. These relationships aren't easy to develop in our modern society, and I think we are missing out on the emotional and social support. I know I crave relationships like this.

I have spent almost half of my life in another state from my parents and family, so I like to think that I know the importance of refrigerator friends. For me those friends become more than just friends, they really are like family. Only you get to choose them, and, honestly, isn't that better? I have found that once a refrigerator friend, always a refrigerator friend. You can disagree or even fight, but you always know that person is still there for you. I've also learned that it takes a long time to develop that closeness. For me it is part time, part energy, part experiences together, part a indescribable connection, and mostly the common need and want for the relationship. I find many potential friends not open or able to get to the next level of friendship. I'm just as guilty of not always being open to allowing a friendship to advance to the next level. Mostly because of fear of rejection or maybe from an experience where I lose trust and pull back. Although I am probably more guilty of trying to rush to the refrigerator stage. I know it takes time. Something that is often difficult to find with little ones.
I hope my refrigerator friends and refrigerator friends-in-progress who are reading this know who they are.
The internet is an amazing thing. After writing this I thought I would quickly Google "Refrigerator Friends" and was amazed at what I found so easily! The article I read years ago popped up pretty fast (although you have to pay to access it!), plus the book Refrigerator Rights that the article was based on, AND a Refrigerator Rights Blog by the author. I'm going to find a copy of the book and add it to my ever-growing reading pile.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


I'm feeling really overwhelmed. I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it is the holidays, maybe it is that I just got home last week and am leaving again in less than 2 weeks. Maybe it is my minor health issue that has me a bit worried. Maybe it is a household problem I am having. Maybe it is just motherhood. Maybe it is a combo of all of it. But I apologize if I'm not responding to emails, commenting on blogs, or returning phone calls. One of these days I'll get back in the swing of things.

I did re-learn (my mom has taught me several times) to knit last night which was lots of fun!


The winner of the paper baking pans is commenter #11 Erin!

If you didn't win this time, come back on Friday. I'll have another giveaway then!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sustainable Reading

Since I am probably going to be blogging about a lot of books I am reading, I thought I'd tell everyone about a site I've been using. Eco-Libris is a way you can "balance" out the books that you buy. You purchase book credits for $1 each. For every book credit, Eco-Libris plants a tree and sends you a sticker (made from recycled paper!) for your book. I have been adding the stickers to books I purchase (new or used) including the many books that I am giving for Christmas gifts this year.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Last week's plan fell apart... I'll give it another go this week...

Monday - EV's Veggies

Tuesday - Lentil and Brown Rice Soup (recipe below)

Wednesday - Baked Chicken, Walnut-Apple-Blue Cheese Salad (recipe below), steamed asparagus

Thursday - Kids' Meal - Tofu Fishy Sticks, Baked Sweet Potato, Steamed Broccoli

Friday - Chili Blanco (recipe below - we'll eat the leftovers all weekend & I'll probably freeze some also)

Lentil and Brown Rice Soup
12 cups broth
1 ½ cups lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 lbs canned tomatoes, drained and chopped, juice reserved
3 carrots, sliced (or more!)
1 onion, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
3 minced garlic cloves
½ tsp basil
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
½ cup minced fresh parsley
2 T cider vinegar, or to taste

In large pot, combine the broth, lentils, rice, tomatoes including juice, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 40-45 min, or until lentils and rice are tender
Stir in the parsley, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaf. The soup will be think and will thicken as it stands. This the soup, if desired, with additional hot broth or water.

Serves 16-18

Walnut-Apple-Blue Cheese Salad
Bag of mixed greens
1 cup or so of toasted walnuts
1-2 Fugi apples, cut into bite sized pieces
Crumbled blue cheese
3T olive oil
2T balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Make dressing with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic and s/p. Toss dressing and greens. Stir in walnuts, apples, blue cheese.

Chili Blanco
(I've made a vegetarian version of this soup by omitting the chicken and adding additional beans)
2 cups Great Northern White Beans, sorted, soaked overnight, drained
10 cups broth
2 minced garlic cloves
2 chopped onions
1 T oil
2 4-oz cans green chiles, sliced
3 cups canned tomato quarters & juice
2 tsp ground comino
1 ½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups diced cooked chicken
salt/pepper to taste
garnish: Monterrey Jack cheese, chopped green onions, diced avocado, sour cream

Combine beans, broth, garlic, and onions in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the beans are very soft (about 2 hrs)

Add remaining ingredients (except garnish). Continue to simmer one hour.

Garnish as desired.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Weird Things Meme

Last week Kinda Crunchy Mama tagged me for this meme. I'm so normal that it has taken a long time to come up with 7 weird things. Just kidding. I'm actually leaving out all the really weird things about me.
  1. I have to have the TV volume on an even number or on an integer of 5. So 20, 22, 24, 25 are all okay levels, but 21 and 23 are NOT okay. It drives Matt crazy, but it drives me even crazier to have it on an odd number.
  2. I can't stand liquid coffee, but my favorite flavor of ice cream is coffee.
  3. I can play the piano, flute and euphonium (baritone) but not very well. I actually don't consider myself to be very musical.
  4. Speaking of music, background music is annoying to me. I can't carry a conversation in the car with the radio on, and I don't like music just playing in the house.
  5. I always feel a strange urge to coordinate my underwear with my outfit.
  6. I have always wanted pet chickens.
  7. I can't eat spaghetti without cutting it up into bite sized pieces. Fortunately Matt does the same thing.

I could go on and on, but I won't! I'm not tagging anyone since everyone else in the blogosphere seems to already have been tagged.

Fresh Pecans!

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Texas was the Texas pecans. Matt's Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Evva have several native pecan trees on their property. Native pecans are smaller than traditional ones, more difficult to shell, but oh so golden and delicious!

Picking Up Pecans

Jack Stuffing His Pockets With Pecans

Uncle Jimmy Cracking Pecans with the Kids

It was so enjoyable to sit and shell pecans while enjoying a nice conversation. I hardly noticed that 3 hours had gone by. I should have taken a photo of my little bowl of pecan. After all that work, I had a about 3 cups to show. Pecans should be worth their weight in gold! I told Uncle Jimmy that I was going to go home to Colorado and plant me a pecan tree. He laughed and told me, "That's a great idea... I'm guessing you'll be getting your first pecan off that tree in about 40 years!"
We took the pecans to my mom's house and made this delicious pecan-cranberry cake that I took from a Wild Oats magazine and adjusted a bit. I think the hard-won fresh pecans made it just that much better!
(This would also be a great recipe for the star pans in my giveway that continues through Tuesday! If you haven't entered, head over and enter now!)

Cranberry Pecan Cake
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
3 large eggs (or equivalent egg sub)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup finely chopped pecans
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375. Grease 9 inch square cake pan. Beat sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla with electric mixer for 5 minutes or until thick and fluffy. Fold in flour. Stir in cranberries and pecans. Spread in prepared pan. Bake 45 min or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Serve hot or cold.