is the BIG day!
In my family most of the "big" Christmas action actually occurs on Christmas Eve. It hasn't always been this way, but as our family and grown and changed it has become a tradition that fits this current chapter in our lives. So I thought I would share some of the goings on of the day with you... with lots of pictures!
First, a little introduction. Mom and Dad took in a dog named Toby...
This 2 1/2 year old dog that is already house trained and VERY well behaved is now a resident at my parents house. His previous owner has a new baby and decided it was time for the dog to go! He is especially partial to my mom and she to him... Tuffy (their Yorkie, is not so thrilled)!
So Christmas Eve started pretty early this morning as we got ready for Dad's side of the family to join us for our annual Christmas Eve brunch! The spread included quiche, scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, gravy, biscuits, pancakes, hot fruit, cold fruit, doughnuts, and I could keep going... so the cooking started pretty early!
Bentlee got in on the action... she placed all the biscuits on the pan and cracked all the eggs!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
is the BIG day!
Posted by Meagan at 7:16 PM
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I was reading Betsy's blog and she was talking about a Sunday school party she went to. She said they were discussing favorite Christmas traditions and telling Christmas stories. So, I decided to blog about my favorite Christmas tradition from my childhood and "tag" everyone else to write about their favorite Christmas tradition and/or story as well!
Stockings were my favorite Christmas tradition as a child. From the time I can remember until I moved out (and even the first couple of Christmases after that) our stockings were hung on December 1st. Each year mom would fill our stockings with a treat or goodie for each day of December leading up to Christmas. When our stockings were hung on December 1st there were 24 curling ribbons hanging from our stocking and each day we were allowed to draw one ribbon from the stocking... attached to the end of each ribbon was something special just for us. The treats varied from candy and chocolate to ornaments, pens, pencils, and all kinds of little things. One year I got a tiny nativity scene one piece at a time mixed with other treats. One year we each got candy and ornaments and things as well as zip lock bags of puzzle pieces... we would beg each other to draw so we could put our pieces together each night and try to finish our puzzle! In addition to getting a special treat each day it served as an advent calendar of sorts as we could count the ribbons to know how many days were left until Christmas! I thought this was a WONDERFUL tradition and one that I look forward to sharing with my children one day!!
So, what is your single, most favorite Christmas tradition? I can't wait to get some great ideas and some wonderful holiday stories!
Posted by Meagan at 3:15 PM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Another super fast, super easy, and super yummy recipe! This one is GREAT on a cold drizzly day!
Spicy Vegetable Soup
1 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (30 oz) jar chunky, garden-style spaghetti sauce with mushrooms and peppers
1 can beef broth, undiluted
1 can Rotel tomatoes w. chilies
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups water
1 cup sliced celery
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1 (16oz) package of frozen vegetables
Cook the ground beef, garlic, and onion in a large pot over medium heat until meat is browned, stirring to crumble. Darin all fat and return meat mixture to pot. Add spaghetti sauce and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 or 30 min. Makes 12 cups of soup.
This is a recipe I got from my mom and I tried it for the first time about a week ago. It turned out SO great! It's spicy because of the Rotel, but not too spicy... if you make it for kids or someone who doesn't like spicy stuff at all, use "mild" Rotel instead. I served it with cornbread and it was sooooooooo yummy!
Posted by Meagan at 1:00 PM
Saturday, December 13, 2008
... a great way to start a weekend!
So Thursday night as I made my way through snow and ice to meet my cheerleaders at the basketball games that would be cancelled later that evening, the hope began to bloom! By 7:45 Thursday night, the word was out... our first official snow day would be Friday, December 12.
I got home from the games and settled in for a late night of tv and a morning sleeping in! The snow was SO beautiful... big, wet flakes perfect for snowballs! After watching the snow fall and the yard become white I had to go outside and make a snowman... who could resist! Don't be fooled... this is a little snow man on top of my car with chocolate chip eyes and nose and a scarf made for a wine bottle! lol!
Friday proved to be everything that a snow day is cracked up to be! I slept really late - which is just as well, because the roads were a mess! I met some fellow teachers and Moo at Toot's for lunch and then did a little shopping! My reward... I went to a new place in town and go Photo Shop Elements for $10. It was one of those "junk" stores that has everything from industrial fans to screwdrivers to shampoo and toys... items that have been returned, removed from the package, etc. My item had a ripped box! ha! I loaded it on the computer and although I haven't played with it too much, it seems to work great!
Friday night I was off to La's for our annual galz Christmas gathering! This year was a pajama party with breakfast food! We had yummy fruit salad, breakfast casserole, sausage balls, and my caramel pecan Cinnamon rolls - YUMMY!!!
Posted by Meagan at 7:03 PM
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Posted by Meagan at 3:40 PM
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Here's one that's quick and easy and GREAT for a night when you don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen!
No Peek Chicken
4 Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Rice
1 Can Cream of mushroom
2 Cups Water or Chicken Broth
1 Package of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Preheat to 350 degrees. Butter or Pam a casserole dish. Put uncooked rice in the bottom of the dish in an even layer. Lay chicken breasts on top of the rice. In a bowl, whisk water or broth with cream of mushroom soup. Pour soup mixture over chicken and rice. Sprinkle top with Onion Soup Mix. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Don't peek!
This recipe turns out perfect every time and it's so easy that ANYONE could do it! No skill involved and a hearty meal at the end? Who can beat that! Serve up with some salad or broccoli for something green and you have a complete meal with practically no work involved!
Posted by Meagan at 1:05 PM
Monday, December 8, 2008
This was on Amanda's blog a while back and I have been meaning to do it!
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper (only gift bags for the awkward gifts that won't fit a box!)
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, it's just easier!
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving
4. When do you take the tree down? Day after New Years
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, but only in small doses and it depends who makes it
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I remember Pam Jilly (Cabbage Patch Kid) who I called Plum Jelly because I couldn't say her name! lol.
7. Hardest person to buy for? Usually my Dad.... what do you get the Man who has everything?8. Easiest person to buy for? Mom and my girlz
9. Do you have a nativity scene? yes! I have a regular size, really pretty one and then I have a tiny and I mean **tiny** one that I put in my kitchen windowsill! I would like a Willowtree one eventually!
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I have to confess... I don't send out Christmas Cards! Every year I say I will and it never gets done!
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Can't think of a bad one!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Christmas Vacation
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually early September... I try to be done or close to done by Thanksgiving! It makes December a lot less stressful and financially straining!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I confess... I have regifted... but only for a dirty Santa type thing!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cornbread Dressing! Mmmm!
16. Lights on the tree? Of course!, clear ones
17. Favorite Christmas song? Grown Up Christmas List, Santa Baby, and Let it Snow!
18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? A little of both!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixon, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? This year a bow for the first time... last year it was a star and as a child it was an angel
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Christmas Eve with Dad's side of the Family, Christmas day with my immediate family, later Christmas day with Mom's side of the Family.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Crowds! Everywhere you go!
23. What theme or color are you using? Red, Green, and Gold
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Dad's side of the family family does breakfast/brunch on Christmas Eve morning... I think that's fun!
25.What do you want for Christmas this year? There are a few little things that I think would be fun, but mostly I just want to spend time with the ones I love!
Posted by Meagan at 1:16 PM
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The Panini Press! My mom is the Panini champion! She does the best combos.... turkey and olive tappinade, Ham and caramelized onion, tomato-basil-mozzarella! SOOOO good! I have been keeping my eyes peeled for a good and affordable one!!! Any suggestions?
Posted by Meagan at 3:03 PM
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Well it all started with a jar of capers! I had a jar of capers in the pantry that I needed to use so I decided to search for a recipe that would use them up!
I landed on a recipe for Grilled Tilapia with Lemon Butter, Capers, and Orzo! Mmmm. Tonight was the night I finally tried it and I was very excited about how it turned out! It was wonderful. I thought, "With a meal like this at home, who needs to go out?"
1 lemon, zested
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 shallot, diced
1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
3 Tbs olive oil
4 (8 oz) tilapia fillets
1/2 pound orzo (cooked according to package directions)
1/4 cup drained capers
First you combine the lemon zest and juice, wine, and shallot in a small saucepan over high heat and cook until it reduces by half...
Remove from the heat and combine with the butter - whisk - and add capers. Set aside. (This can be made a day ahead, but must come to room temp before serving)
Heat the grill to high. Meanwhile, start cooking the Orzo...
Throw the tilapia on and grill about 3 or 4 minutes on each side until lightly golden brown and slightly charred.
Drain the orzo and toss with some of the butter mixture. Transfer the orzo to a platter or individual plates. Remove the fish from the grill and place it on top of the orzo. Top with the butter mixture and freesh parsley if you have it.
Posted by Meagan at 4:07 PM