Canasta, Roulette, and Blackjack.

I love games. I love playing board games and card games.

I can remember growing up, my mom and dad would invite family and friends over for games. My favorite game that they taught me was Canasta.

Another wonderful memory I have is of playing canasta with my grandpa present. One time, he and I switched our hands under the table. He winked at me and I thought it was the funniest thing in the world.

I taught and re-taught Sam and his family to play Canasta. His parents and I spent countless nights poring over cleans and dirties, hands and feet, wilds and discards. The coffee pot would bubble and grumble in the background and we’d talk about any thing that came to our minds.

Since we have been home, we’ve been able to play canasta a few times. Last night,  Sam, his parents, grandpa, and I played canasta. I really enjoyed it! I was grandpa’s partner and Sam was pa’s partner. Ma and I switched seats halfway through.




I also made peanut brittle!  I used my homemade vanilla bean extract. I cooled it on the porch. I was happy to be baking again. Recipe is at the end of this post!




My darling Daphne, lookin’ all regal and shtuff.



The view out my window on the way back from the casino!



Canasta isn’t the only game I love. When Sam and I went to Vegas in 2009, we learned how to play Roulette. I absolutely loved it back then and I still love it to this day.

My dad, Sam, and I traveled to Wichita this morning to the Casino. Casinos have so many bright lights and blinking machines, I can’t help but love them.

We made our way to the roulette table and we played a few rounds. I hate to say it, but we didn’t win our money back that we had invested. I chock it up to Sam’s horrible and terrible luck. I have always had great luck…that is until I married him.

Dad played slots for a little while and Sam and I tried to learn Craps. I vaguely understood it but decided to make my way over to the blackjack table.

Dad spectated while I invested my $20 bucks. I played for about an hour and walked away with $75. Not too shabby. I would have liked to play for a little while longer but knew we needed to travel back for Daphne. My mom had been babysitting her.

We didn’t even make it to the casino without me calling. I was thinking about Daphne and how much I missed her.

I found myself thinking about how much I love holding her and talking to her, singing to her and playing with her. I love her so much. I really can’t imagine Sam and my life without her in it. This was the perfect time for us to have her and she is most welcome and loved so much.

We still have a week here in Kansas. We are enjoying being home! Hope you have a great Christmas!


Peanut Brittle!

(Thanks to Epicurious for the recipe–wished I had my cookbook with mom’s original recipe!)

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped salted roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Butter 2 heavy large baking sheets. Stir first 4 ingredients in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until candy thermometer registers 260°F., about 40 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Mix in peanuts and butter and cook until thermometer registers 295°F., stirring constantly, about 15 minutes. Add baking soda and vanilla and stir briskly (mixture will foam up). Immediately pour out onto prepared baking sheets, dividing evenly. Spread out brittle as thinly as possible. Let stand until cold and hard.

Break brittle into pieces. Store in airtight containers at room temperature. (Can be prepared 1 month ahead.)



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