Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I finally feel human again after fighting this bug for weeks.  Managed to get everything done for Christmas, even a little extra project for my SIL.  Tomorrow, we're off to Ventura County for the long holiday weekend.  Thankfully, our wild Southern California weather has returned to normal after six extremely wet days.  I can't remember ever having rain this intense for such a long period.

We'll have our traditional spaghetti dinner Christmas Eve at our daughter's house with most of the family.  I imagine the two oldest grandchildren will be beside themselves with anticipation and excitement!

Christmas morning, we'll again be at DD's house to exchange gifts and enjoy Flo's Serbian Eggs.  My favorite boss, Sylvia, shared this recipe with me years ago and it has become a family favorite.  We usually serve it with sausage, croissants, and fresh fruit.  For Christmas, there will also be mimosas!

6 eggs -- beaten
1 pound Jack cheese -- shredded
1 pound cottage cheese
1 cup Biscuit mix
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine -- melted
1 teaspoon dried onions
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix together.  Pour into a buttered 9 x 13 pyrex dish.  Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
My sister is hosting Christmas dinner - roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans - yummy!  There will, of course, be cookies everywhere we go!

Does it sound as though Christmas in our family is all about the food?  Well, food plays a big role but it is really about being together and celebrating this most festive time of year.

My very best wishes to all of you for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How to tell that you're really behind on Christmas tasks ....

  • It's ten days before Christmas and you're still finishing up the fall placemats you hoped to use in November!  (See great tutorial on easy placemats over at I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts.  Yes, they are easy; but you still have to plan enough hours in the day to finish them!)
  • You have the full-blown flu including a low-grade temperature, aches and pains.  Therefore, your mental and physical speed is about 15 mph instead of 95 mph.
  • The gifts are wrapped - whoo hoo!  None of them, however, have bows or gift labels (unless you consider green post-it notes labels).
  • The most important thing on today's "to-do" list is to convince DH that we can skip the holiday letter this year.
  • Thoughts of making any last-minute homemade gifts flew out the window about 2 a.m. this morning when the latest coughing spell took over.
  • DD called to ask what cookies I would be making so we don't have duplicates.  Cookies?  I'm supposed to make cookies?
  • Today's weather is cloudy, damp, and gloomy - a perfect reflection of my holiday spirit.
I'll feel better tomorrow - promise.  Please, Santa!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Someone brought the flu bug to Thanksgiving dinner!  DH and I have been sick on and off since Turkey Day.  Our son, Matt, also caught the bug as did all five members of our daughter's family.  Now, several in the family have either had relapses or succumbed to another bug.  Fortunately, everyone is muddling through and getting on with Christmas preparations.

Little Helper - Jackson

I had a blast the week before Thanksgiving looking for appropriate designs to put on aprons for the kidlets.  The pictures aren't the greatest, but you can get an idea how they turned out.  Unfortunately, only Talia was interested in donning her apron and actually helping in the kitchen!

Tasha still naps in the afternoon, so a full day of family and festivities without a nap just about did her in.  So much fun, however, watching her explore the house and play with the toys that we keep here - all new to her!  Jackson rushes into the house and immediately heads to the toy box and demands that we empty the entire box so he can dig right in.  Tasha's apron says "More sprinkles, please!"  Couldn't resist this design since our daughter loves to bake, and she often sends me phone pics of the kidlets mixing the dough at the kitchen counter.

More sprinkles, please!

Sugar & Spice - Talia

Thanksgiving is all about traditions, of course, and one of ours is that the kidlets go on a walk with Grandpa collecting colorful fall leaves to adorn the table.  We started this tradition at Talia's first Thanksgiving.  She was all of 9 months old!  Miss T., the elder, is now closing in on 5 and has graduated to working with Grandma to decorate Oma's Thanksgiving table.  Note how seriously she takes her decorating!
Miss T.., the elder, aka Martha Jr.
I'm just about ready to take the turkey carcass out of the freezer and make soup.  Although it's unseasonably warm in Southern California today (supposed to hit 80 degrees), the weather will turn cool and rainy towards the end of the week.  Soup weather .... here's a very good recipe for Turkey Rice Soup.  Enjoy!


1 turkey carcass
2 stalks celery with leaves -- coarsely chopped
2 carrots -- coarsely chopped
1 onion -- peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
8 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups chopped leftover turkey
1 cup frozen or leftover corn
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, combine carcass, celery, carrots, onion, bay leaf and water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2 to 3 hours over medium low heat.  Strain and discard vegetables and bones.  Reserve turkey stock.  In a large pot, melt butter and cook onions until tender. Stir in celery and thyme. Stir in carrots and rice and toss to coat. Stir in turkey stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until vegetables and rice are tender, approximately 30 minutes.  Stir in turkey, corn, and parsley. Return to simmer and season to taste.