Merry Christmas Everyone!

chase_gwDecember 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to all my friends on the CF!

This Christmas has turned out as one on my best yet. Maybe it's because I'm not hosting dinner for the first time in many, many years!

We had a lovely evening at Chris and Amity's last night. Just the five of us. We opened our gifts to one another and enjoyed a traditional Tourtierre. The kids surprised Clive with a flying lesson.....he flipped out!

Tonight Clive, Meredith and I are at the cottage for Christmas Eve. The fire is roaring, Christmas carols are playing, Clive and Meredith are wrapping gifts I'm doing some baking and making appys for tomorrows festivities.

Life is good.

Tomorrow we head out to my brother's for Christmas Day festivities. The whole d@mn family will be there ......should be interesting , for sure fun and most

certainly not quiet!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year filled with blessings, large and small, and most importantly good health and peace to us all.

So how's the Holiday unfolding for you?


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Merry Christmas to all!

And Happy Holidays!

Especially to the guys and gals returning from active duty, thank you.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 3:03PM
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Merry Christmas to you and the family Sharon!

We are having a quiet Christmas Eve day, a few carols, and a little food prep for tomorrow. Otherwise, there will be Standing Rib and Yorkshire Pudding for dinner (and a few other sides).

Tomorrow we decided to host an Open House - we started with about 10-12 and are now expecting somewhere near 50. Should be fun with lots of people of all ages.

I hope everyone has a wondeful celebration and all the best in the New Year!


    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 3:07PM
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Merry Christmas Sharon.

Tonight Clive, Meredith and I are at the cottage for Christmas Eve. The fire is roaring, Christmas carols are playing, Clive and Meredith are wrapping gifts I'm doing some baking and making appys for tomorrows festivities.

You've painted a beautiful picture of the perfect Christmas Eve.

Wishing everyone a Very Happy Holiday.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 3:09PM
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Sharon it sounds like you are going to have a wonderful Christmas. Hope you have some snow to go with the fire.

I looked for a 'Life Is Good' Christmas shirt but didn't find one.

Kim and I just got back from town, had to run a few last minute errands and pick up the prime rib for tomorrows dinner. We have friends coming over tonight for a little Christmas Eve celebration. Tomorrow it will just be Kim and I and of course Roxie. She has special treats waiting under the tree.

I wish everyone on the Cooking Forum a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!


    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 3:18PM
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Ditto Ann_T - sounds lovely. Wish I was in the midst of such a story book setting. Here, house is still a wreck, I'm due at my parents' in an hour, I'm hosting both sides of the family tomorrow, still haven't hooked up the "new" oven (but at least bought parts to do so)... I know I'll be cooking into the wee hours, just debating whether my parents (not to mention God) will forgive me if I forego midnight mass for a second year in a row.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 3:57PM
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Merry Christmas everyone!

DH and I are heading out shortly to a friend's house for Christmas Eve dinner. We'll probably open presents late tonight. Tomorrow morning we'll visit DH's aunt, who lives in an Alzheimer's facility, and take her out for Christmas dinner at a local (but slightly upscale) diner, which is what she always wants to do. Kinda funny, I know, but she's a true Jersey girl!


    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 4:12PM
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Merry Christmas to all my CF friends. I just came inside from seeing Santa on the fire engine. The little kids get so excited. It's fun.

Not much going on this Christmas Eve. A friend stopped by with flowers awhile ago. Now I have two Christmas arrangements. I think I will crack open a bottle of wine -- aahhh.

Tomorrow I'll have a Christmas breakfast with my son and Mom and later we'll have dinner. The rest of the day will be calling or dropping in on friends.

On Monday the rest of the family -- my BIL and his wife, my nieces and their families will be coming and going until Wednesday. Whew.

I do hope you are having a happy holiday.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 6:57PM
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Very quiet here...just Bob and me. We had boiled shrimp and a baked potato and homemade rolls for supper. In the morning we'll have 10 for our traditional Christmas morning breakfast. Later in the day we'll have 12 for the afternoon meal.

I just want to be where Sharon (Chase) and her family are. Sounds perfect!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!!


    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 7:45PM
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We are in SWMBO's home town in eastern Washington State where my sister in law is hosting dinner tonight 12/24 and tomorrow 12/25.

Tonight is pretty much potluck, with cracked crab, and various contributed sides. All I have to do is an alternate main for my kids who abhor crabs (the spiders of the ocean, daaaad). I'm frying the picky kids up some pork chops. It has been a lazy day, just napping and occasionally visiting SWMBO's friends and relations.

Tomorrow, sister in law is doing a more involved dinner, with a nice prime rib. I was given the job of making the mushroom and port reduction sauce, which I've just finished and have in the refrigerator. I deviated from the recipe, true, but I don't like wading through globs of onions and mushrooms that have been sweated and simmered and reduced to slime. Even if the Bon Appetit cookbook says so, I don't like it. So I pureed the mushrooms and onions into the wine and port and stock, got a smooth purplish sauce. I also browned a second batch of mushrooms to simmer in the sauce before service, if SIL wonders "where are the mushrooms?".

There is no snow here, a big disappointment. On Mobday we head back to Potland where the kids will be surprised to find Santa has delivered some large presents directly into the family room (foosball and pool tables) and basement/exercise area (treadmill).

Our friends arrive from Berkeley the same day for a week long stay. We have a Boxing Day party to go to, and are hosting a New Years Eve party where I just get obliterated (yes, work is stressing me out). Right after New Years, our friends leave, my mother shows up for her take-me-to-the-airport overnight stay, and I fly out for a work trip. Basically it is kind of a hectic holiday period, especially for my poor bride.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 8:36PM
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Merry Christmas everyone. Glad everyone has something good going on.

I've gotten a second job and I'm working both of them on Christmas, but I went to see the redneck family today... I made grape jelly meatballs and lemon bars... they started at noon and I don't get up until 1 (I got in from the overnight security job at 3AM last night and by the time I made lemon bars it was 5).... it's an hour drive, so got there at 3 after everyone had eaten and there was no room at grannies house for the crock pot, so since everyone had eaten and some had left already I just left the meatballs in the car.... 2 pounds of ground beef and 2 hours of work wasted! We had a good time though for the most part, and the food was pretty good.

I got home and went to have leftovers before work tonight and sat them down in front of the recliner to make a drink... I came back to find Jasper (cat) stealing a piece of ham.... when he saw me coming, he ran through the mashed potatoes and baked beans to get away (so I had to throw it all away because his feet also touch the litter box and I don't know where they landed.... certain members of my family would have eaten it anyway, but I'm not so inclined). I could just ring his neck! He knew I was mad because he hid under the bed for 20 minutes.

Anyway, I hope everyone has an excellent time filled with great food (and family and friends if you want them, for me great food is sufficient :o)

Merry Christmas!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 9:01PM
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This past week I baked 8 or ten pecan pies for gifts for Christy's work folk. For some reason this really did a number on me this year and I'm tired and hurting. I mention it because that is why our Christmas Eve dinner was store bought. We bought ravioli from a new place we discovered a couple weeks ago. They were fresh, not frozen and quite delicious. We bought a quart of their marinara but I had to remake that and it turned out good. It's a funny place, they make cheesecake, fresh pasta's and also sell hotdogs and baked potatoes with toppings of choice. It's a family affair and they each have parts. Angelo's Cheesecake [great choc mousse cups too], Augie's Doggies, Angelina's Pasta's, & Margaret's Marinara. Adorable, very sweet people.

So, after our nice dinner tonight we are gathering our presents for the morning. Remember we do that crazy thing of giving things we'd buy for the whole year for each other and the house and give them as presents for each other. Christy is getting everything from pearl earrings to an electric snow thrower, with books, bathroom rugs, ricer and much more thrown in.

Tomorrow we'll open stockings and do the present opening. We're having a nice turkey and all our regular sides. I made the stuffing at Thanksgiving and cooled it down fast, and froze it...raw so I'll have inside the bird stuffing. I know, I'm a wild woman. I baked off enough sweets...oops.. sweet potatoes for tomorrow too and froze them whole and peeled so can just candy them. In other words, quite a bit is at least partially done so I'll just cut the wings and tail off the bird and use the neck and such and make broth to add to the turkey drippings for gravy. Make the mashed, candy the sweet potatoes, steam some broccoli, etc. Easy.

Jessie has a 10# bag of cut knuckle bones in the freezer as part of his present. He'll get a frozen one for fifteen minutes at a time to keep him occupied during part of the present opening. He and the cats have stockings and while the cats get mostly stuffed mice, he gets his yearly quota of Nylabone's and a new Kong ball.

Merry Christmas from us and the menagerie.

Just us, but we enjoy ourselves.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 9:38PM
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Merry Xmas to all my forum friends!

We did the traditional Chinese food with my dad and sister & BIL, grin!

John, best typo of the thread, so far: On Monday we head back to Potland....given what I have heard about Reed and Lewis & Clark, that gave me a chuckle.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 9:40PM
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We had our family dinner tonight. Dh brought his aunt home from the nursing home for dinner. She enjoyed it, but was ready to go back before we could get the dishes done.

Dearest daughter, son and 3 grandsons as well as our wonderful neighbor who lost his wife to cancer last October were also here.

I cooked the same things as I cooked for Thanksgiving, even adding a baked ham, but didn't have the feet, leg and back pain I had at Thanksgiving. Thank God!

All of the dishes turned out great!

Just have to take a minute to thank you all for teaching me so much the last couple of years.

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you all!


    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 10:14PM
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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my friends here on the CF!

My family just left, we had 23 here, my sister didn't come with her "tribe" or we'd have had 35. Venison sausage, brisket from the smoker, shrimp cocktail, lots of cookies, fudge, chips, raw vegetables for dipping. I had taken 28 of Mother's old 8MM home movies from the 60s and 70s and had them put on a DVD so we all watched those and laughed, reminisced, the kids teased us about the hair and the glasses and the clothes but they all wanted my brother's 1965 Impala convertible, LOL.

Makayla dazzled us all with magic tricks from her new magic kit, and Madison got "ooh"ed and "aah"ed. Cadence spent the day building "chickawawa"s (chihuahuas) from Legos for Elery so he wouldn't miss Pancho. Bud, Zander and Logan all started a band with the keyboard, bongo drums and a single maraca and sang the chorus of Jingle Bells a "whole bunch of times". As everyone was leaving, we were getting our first snow of the year, we've gotten about an inch of snow, just on time for the sleigh.

Tomrrow we're sleeping in and I have no idea at all What's For Dinner.


Tomorrow it's just Elery and I, then he has to go home tomorrow night to work on Monday.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 11:24PM
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Merry Christmas! We are having a lovely, quiet evening. I went to work for a bit (most libraries here were closed today, but I like to stay open for a few hours on Christmas Eve...people stop in to check email or grab a book or dvd...and we get cookies, hehe). Dinner was bits and pieces of leftovers. A few shrimp, a sliced apple, some Boursin cheese. a little spinach dip and some crackers. And a nice bottle of pinot grigio.

Liana's BF has to work tomorrow afternoon, so she'll come up for dinner. We'll throw in a ham and decide on sides tomorrow.

It snowed just enough to be pretty and I don't have to go anywhere until Tuesday. Life is good...

Good holiday wishes to you all.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 12:16AM
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Merry Christmas back at you and to all the wonderful people on the CF!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 12:25AM
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Kiddos and grands all in bed...just a little quiet time for me. After the Chanuka candles, we had a lovely dinner of beef filet that Stew cooked to perfection with a salad, baked potatoes and a mountain of cookies for dessert. Opened some presents.....and now the stockings are filled, rolls baked and distributed.....and tomorrow we'll have cinnamon rolls for breakfast and a great bunch of hors d'ouvres for lunch and after the gifts, we'll have a turkey dinner with all the fixins, when the rest of the crew arrive.
Nite all.....and a blessed Christmas to you and yours.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 1:19AM
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How nice to read all this !! it all sounds so warm and cozy !!

We are in Florida for the holidays , DD and DS also, with DIL and our grandson.
DIL and DS are expecting another baby, that was our xmas eve surprise !!

Our grandson just turned 7 and is pretending to still believe in Santa so we decorated cookies and left the carrot, cookies and glass of milk for santa.

We live on a golf resort so we'll be having Xmas dinner at the hotel tonight.

Sharon, you indeed brought up a vision of a Xmas card with your cottage evening and I'm happy you get a break this year with the xmas dinner.
Enjoy your day everyone !!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 6:20AM
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Merry Christmas everyone -

We celebrated our Christmas last night. My family all came over. We started off with Pan Fried Onion Dip (ina garten) with pretzel crisps, manga/peach salsa with Artisan Blackbean and Garlic Chips, a cheese dip with pesto and sun dried tomatoes with crackers.

Our dinner was lasagna, antipasto and bread, AnnT's pork meatballs with fresh garlic and basil with little rolls, Honey baked ham, broccoli salad and fresh pineapple and a veggie tray with buttermilk ranch dressing.

For dessert I made a bunch of spritz cookies, alfajores de dulce de leche, Sol's Chocolate Chip Cookies, some with pecans, some without and I baked that Best Chocolate Cake that someone posted here, sorry I can't remember who, but it started out with a Devil's Food Cake mix - wow that is a delicious cake.

I also made some Irish Cream from a recipe I found here on the GardenWeb, that was a huge hit too.

We had about 15 here - the house is now trashed and I have to make an appetizer to take to my outlaws house for lunch today, then dinner at a friends house and then dessert at a different friends house.

Oh weight watchers, here I come .......... soon.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 9:24AM
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Merry Christmas to everyone!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 9:28AM
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Merry Christmas CF friends! The wassail is on and my house smells wonderful!


2 quarts apple juice/cider
1 quart cranberry juice
*3/4 C sugar
1 tsp.angostura bitters
2-3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. whole allspice
1 orange studded with whole cloves
**1-2 cups of rum

Put all ingredients in covered crock pot on high for 1 hour.
Turn crock pot to low and simmer 2 hours. Enjoy!

* I use 1/4 cup of sugar
** Optional, but not at my house!


    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 9:41AM
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Hope everyone is having a wonderful day with family and friends.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 10:17AM
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Merry Christmas everyone!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 11:22AM
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Merry Christmas!

It has been a wonderful holiday filled with family and friends. Last night we hosted 12 friends at dinner. The rib roast was perfect. We did a baked potato bar, corn pudding, sauteed haricort vert with crispy shallots and a wine au jus for the roast. The friends brought appy's and desserts. The cocktail of the evening was an egg nog martini. Yum!

Today it's just hubby, DD and DS. We had Woodie's Creme Brulee French Toast for brunch and will be headed to the in-laws this evening. DD is behind schedule with her White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake. Her Grandmother requested it but DD over slept. LOL! I think one of the nephews will be announcing his engagement tonight so it should be fun.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 12:42PM
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Merry Christmas everybody!

Hope all have a wonderful day with good company & good eats.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 1:17PM
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Merry Christmas everyone!

We are getting ready to leave for a two hour drive to our family Christmas dinner. It will be late when we get home but at least the roads are all clear after the 14.5 inches of snow that fell on Friday. It's sunny and beautiful here and the forecast high is 45 degrees and sunny for today and the next few days so the remaining snow on the grass will melt quickly.

We just had a simple brunch here - pannetone, scrambled eggs and latte - dinner will be a huge feast in the Italian tradition of our dear daughter in laws family. It's always a wonderful time with them. We are taking green beans to cook there, two pounds with almonds and two pounds with an interesting, and I hope good, seasoning of balsamic, Dijon and a touch of brown sugar. We're also taking 12 ounce jars of homemade Dulce de Leche, that Max and I made last night, one for each family to take home.

I love reading about everyone's celebrations.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 1:23PM
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Merry Christmas, everyone! I've enjoyed reading about everyone's Christmas Eve and Christmas days filled with good food, family and friends. Bobby, your story cracked me up, even if it did frustrate you. You really should try your hand at writing.

My "kids" spent Christmas Eve at DIL's parents house, so DH and I had and very nice Christmas Eve and Christmas morning to ourselves. We broke with our tradition, which is usually tacos for Christmas Eve dinner (my family's tradition - don't ask, I don't remember how that got started) and had mushroom risotto, roasted brussels sprouts, and cauliflower soup for dinner. Today, I'm making a pumpkin lasagna that Nigella Lawson talked about on NPR, and is in her Christmas cookbook. DH thought it sounded good, so we'll give it a try. DH is making pork loin. We'll have a spinach salad, Crostini, and for dessert were planing poached pears with cardamom and saffron - another recipe DH saw and hankered for.

The kids will be coming home this afternoon and we'll all enjoy our gift exchange and watch our grandson get hyper and play with his new toys. I miss my other two kids up in Portland, but we'll at least be able to talk on the phone. Not the same, that's the way it is sometimes.

Enjoy your day!


    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 2:11PM
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Merry Christmas!

We had our family celebration last night too. All four of our adult kids, son in law, one boyfriend, sister/brother/mom in law, DH an I. Eleven total for a later afternoon meal.

I cooked a ham and a turkey breast, mashed potatoes, rolls, broccoli salad, waldorf salad, the usual pickles, olives, deviled eggs. Blueberry pie with vanilla bean whipped cream and an assortment of cookies, fudge, candies for dessert.

We no longer buy gifts for each other, but do a Yankee swap type exchange which is always fun.

DD#1 and son in law spent the night, so I got up and made a quick, crustless quiche with veggies and some of the leftover ham, we had that with fresh fruit and mini cinnamon rolls for breakfast. They headed out about 9:30 for his mom's and we scurried around and went to church.

We have a tiny congregation anyway, but several were missing and we had just 13 people there and a non-traditional service as our pastor is traveling. I took a pan of mini cinnamon rolls and we had a nice fellowship time afterward.

Came home and took a nap. Aaaaahhhh...

Next weekend my side of the family will be here. Smaller crowd by just a bit, but I'm doing a New York roast, baked potatoes, roasted veggies and homemade sourdough bread. Keeping it simple.

I agree with Jessy regarding John's typo....only it was even better than she posted!
It actually says:
On Mobday we head back to Potland.... POTland....

There's an image for ya! Grin.

John, did ANY of the port actually end up in the sauce?!?



    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 10:33PM
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Merry Christmas all! Mostly recuperating today from our Christmas Eve Seafood Feast. King crab legs, mussels & clams, salmon in puff pastry, crab stuffed mushrooms and potatoes, boiled shrimp, clam dip, ahi poke, and a token spinach, pear & gorgonzola salad.

This afternooon, ham and turkey at a friends house. Tonight, board games. I miss our extended family, part were celebrating in Michigan, part in Louisiana and part in Colorado, but we did get lots of phone calls. Life is good.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 11:50PM
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We had a lovely day spent with friends and family. Close family friends hosted their annual Christmas/Hanukkah open house and brunch. My contribution was a mediocre broccoli slaw with apples. She had a host of different dishes, the most interesting was a gluten free lasagna made with polenta and chicken. I'll have to get that recipe to share.

Then we were off to DD & DSIL's home with my mom and DS to open gifts and a bountiful meal. DD made a turkey and bought a "partially cooked" roast beef from Von's. I was dubious to say the least and my skepticism was justified. It was tender, but oh so SALTY! The leftovers were tossed. DD bought an expensive veggie casserole from a local caterer & made those wonderful mashed potatoes with bacon, leeks and cream cheese. She could have fed an army, but it was just the 8 of us!

It sounds like most had a satisfying day and/or eve filled with family, food and fellowship! Life is good! Happy Holidays to all!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 9:35AM
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Merry Christmas to all of my friends here at the CF. We had a nice Christmas. Christmas Eve, we were all together with DH's siblings and their families.
Christmas Day, we ate a turkey dinner here and then coffee and cake at the in-laws.
Today was just a relaxed day (the 26th is a holiday here).
I wasn't at all in the spirit of Christmas this year without my Mom, but it was fun to see everyone and to see how much fun the kids still have at Christmas.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 11:42AM
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I hope all our CF friends and family had a blessed Christmas; I sure did in spite of the 81 degree temperature. While I thought it was terrible, our guests from Michigan thought the weather was heavenly. The kids and dads also enjoyed the weather playing football in the front yard.

Annual Christmas Eve Family Party was fabulous. 45+ guest with amazing food and decorations.

Brunch at my house so the little ones could open gifts.

Christmas Dinner at DD's new house. She did an amazing job of remodeling, moving in, decorating, Christmas decorating, Christmas shopping, working 40 hour week, taking care of 2 little kids and DH, all in 4 weeks. Then she made her very first turkey (18 pounds), stuffing, and gravy. She asked for help--instructional help NO hands on help. She wanted it to be all hers. She did a great job too.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 12:30PM
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I didn't read Cooking at all yesterday, and only one or two threads the day before, so I'm late. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

We had the morning to ourselves (empty nest'ers and my parents chose not to come over from AZ this year), then the afternoon with one daughter and her hubby. We had turkey and the trimmings for dinner and there are PLENTY of leftovers. We also talked to the family out of state, in Missouri and Arizona.

Under my tree, the one cooking item was an Aroma rice cooker/food steamer. My old one tended to spit rice juice all over the counter top, which was a pain-in-the-neck to clean up!

Both daughters got a new slow cooker cookbook, with recipes tagged already. (I bought myself the same cookbook back in September, and have tried some of the recipes in it.) It's one of those 5-ingredients-or-less cookbooks, which is REALLY nice for the working gal to throw something in the pot before leaving for work.



    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 12:56PM
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Sounds like everyone had a great Christmas. A late Merry Christmas for me to all y'all. I'm just now coming up for air! Oy, it's been a crazy/busy last week.

Justin and his wife surprised us last week by arriving a few days earlier than they had told us. Brats! He was here to celebrate his Birthday on the 20th with family and a ton of his friends who still live here or are home from college.

Other family started arriving Thurday and Friday of last week. Was good to have them here as many couldn't make it for Thanksgiving. Man all these kids sure are growing up fast!

We spent the weekend out here at my place. Christmas Eve was family and friends during the afternoon then just the family and some present opening. I/we made a ton of appetizers that we munched on all day and evening. Plus way to many cookies, bars, and candy.

Christmas morning we watched the kids enjoy Santa presents and had various sweet rolls, cereals, breakfast casseroles, or whatever you wanted. Bloody Mary's and Mimosa were popular wiht a few of us. : )

Dinner was prime rib. I wanted to try the method that Helene linked to earlier this month but went with recipe that I've used for a long time. Too scared to try something new with a 15 pound PR. After seeing the other thread and Nancy pics I'll be using for the next one I make for sure.

Today a lot of people got and went shopping, not me, I slept til noon. Just put out a spread of leftovers for people to munch on and we are going to watch a a couple of movies that people got as gifts. Family from up north leave by car or plane in the morning and I'm back to work for the rest of the week. Thankfully Justin and Brittney will be here for another week before they head back to Hawaii.

Hard to believe it's already over with...kinda of sad when I think about the holidays.

Hope all y'all had a wonderful time with family and friends.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 7:42PM
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