Thursday, December 8, 2016

Blogmas Day Eight: Favorite Family Christmas Recipe

Hello Friends! I'm even later than usual tonight - but I"m still here and posting! Lol My wifi/router deal would not cooperate with my computer all day! Then we were at my son's hockey game all night, but my Hubby finally got things fixed tonight so I'm going to do a very brief post - but I'm here! ;)  



BLOGMAS 2016 PROMPTS

Day 1 - The Christmas Tag 
Day 2 - Christmas Movies on the Must Watch List
Day 3 - Christmas Wishlist
Day 4 - Christmas Playlist
Day 5 - Pictures and Memories of Christmas Past
Day 6 - Pot Simmer Recipes
Day 7 - Cookies to be Baked (can be a recipe you make every year, or some you want to try)
Day 8 - Favorite Family Christmas Recipe
Day 9 - How do you decorate?
Day 10 - Real Tree or Artificial Tree
Day 11 - Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Day 12 - Quiet Christmas or Family Filled Loud Party Christmas?
Day 13 - Christmas Cards (do you send them, show us your favorites this year, or tells your favorite cards to send whether vintage, or bright and colorful)
Day 14 - Advent Calendar
Day 15 - Christmas Party Food Ideas
Day 16 - Winter Tag
Day 17 - Christmas Wishes
Day 18 - Homemade or Store Bought (What are you giving this year)
Day 19 - Recap of Christmas 2015 in pictures
Day 20 -  Christmas Decorations Reveal (show us your tree, your home decor, your mantle, anything you want)
Day 21 - Holiday Family Traditions
Day 22 - Preparing for the big day (show us your wrapping skills, are you making lists, getting the house ready for guests?)
Day 23 - Post whatever you wish
Day 24 - Christmas Eve (Are you opening presents tonight, is this your big celebration, what are you doing)
Day 25 - Christmas Day 



I'm joining in with my Friend Sandra from the blog Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for the Blogmas of Christmas this season. You can check her out here and come play along! Here's day 8:



Day 8- Favorite Family Christmas Recipe

I was trying to think of what I should share for this - as there are several recipes we always have at the holiday meals. But I would say the top one that would have to be shared for Christmas is a recipe that comes from my Hubby's family. It's not something I grew up with but my Hubby's family has had it in their family for many many years!  And it is for calico beans:







This recipe card is in my MIL's handwriting that she had for many years. Than she passed it on to me once Ad and I got married so we could carry on the tradition of bringing it to Christmas (& Thanksgiving) dinner. It goes back, I think, to his great Grandma. She used to always make it back when she would soak certain beans over night and it was quite a process. It was changed through the years to make it more simple and just cook it all in a slow cooker.  I love how loved this recipe card is with all the stains on it. ;) Those are the best ones, aren't they?  xo

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Blogmas Day Seven: Cookies to be Baked

Hello Friends! I often only get time for myself later at night like this to get to blogmas. But I'm going to keep trying to participate whenever I'm able as I find it so fun! I haven't blogged this much in ages!!  Lol 



BLOGMAS 2016 PROMPTS

Day 1 - The Christmas Tag 
Day 2 - Christmas Movies on the Must Watch List
Day 3 - Christmas Wishlist
Day 4 - Christmas Playlist
Day 5 - Pictures and Memories of Christmas Past
Day 6 - Pot Simmer Recipes
Day 7 - Cookies to be Baked (can be a recipe you make every year, or some you want to try)
Day 8 - Favorite Family Christmas Recipe
Day 9 - How do you decorate?
Day 10 - Real Tree or Artificial Tree
Day 11 - Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Day 12 - Quiet Christmas or Family Filled Loud Party Christmas?
Day 13 - Christmas Cards (do you send them, show us your favorites this year, or tells your favorite cards to send whether vintage, or bright and colorful)
Day 14 - Advent Calendar
Day 15 - Christmas Party Food Ideas
Day 16 - Winter Tag
Day 17 - Christmas Wishes
Day 18 - Homemade or Store Bought (What are you giving this year)
Day 19 - Recap of Christmas 2015 in pictures
Day 20 -  Christmas Decorations Reveal (show us your tree, your home decor, your mantle, anything you want)
Day 21 - Holiday Family Traditions
Day 22 - Preparing for the big day (show us your wrapping skills, are you making lists, getting the house ready for guests?)
Day 23 - Post whatever you wish
Day 24 - Christmas Eve (Are you opening presents tonight, is this your big celebration, what are you doing)
Day 25 - Christmas Day 



I'm joining in with my Friend Sandra from the blog Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for the Blogmas of Christmas this season. You can check her out here and come play along! Here's day 7:



Day 7 - Cookies to be Baked

There are certain desserts that are tradition for Christmas around here.  Homemade pecan pie, and usually pineapple upside down cake. However, cookies, bars and desserts like that vary from year to year.  


I often make almond bars (like I did back when we did Christmas in July), as they're one of my Mom's very favorite! They're light and kind of cherry tasting with crunchy almond slivers on top. They're hard to describe - but they just smell and taste like Christmas to me. Here's the recipe I've kept for many years out of an old Taste of Home magazine:







I am planning to make my Grandma's recipe for cut out cookies, as I haven't made them in years! They're so linked to my childhood memories of Christmas past. 



My Mom used to make homemade popcorn balls - sometimes making them red and green with jello mix. I don't have a recipe for this....I'll have to ask her about it or do some research. But I remember having those several different years when I was young and they were so fun! I think my kiddos would get a kick out of them.  Even if I don't get to them before Christmas maybe they'd be something fun to make together over Christmas break from school.


Some other cookies I have my eye on making this year:


Pistachio Cherry Meltaway Cookies:

These pistachio cherry meltaway cookies you can find on pinterest here.




Here's how to make gingerbread men cookies-- or any shapes you want! Perfectly spiced, flavorful, soft in the centers, keep their shape!:

Maybe some gingerbread men with my Annie. Here's a recipe for softer ones (the way I like them) on pinterest here.





Hot Chocolate Cookies - These delicious rich, soft chocolate cookies are topped with melted chocolate and a gooey marshmallow. They're perfect paired with a mug of steamy hot chocolate! Or great for a holiday party! (And don't forget to enter to win $500 cash with our holiday giveaway!):

These hot chocolate cookies look SO yummy! On pinterest here.






chocolate cherry cookies


And I really want to make these chocolate cherry cookies with this recipe by my friend Doreen at the blog Fox Den Rd you can find here. I think my kiddos will go bonkers for them!  







Making Gingerbread Cookies at Christmastime:

So what fun goodies are you making at your house?? 





Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Blogmas Day Six: Pot Simmer Recipes

It's late and I'm tired - but I still wanted to play along for today!   I had a busy day followed by going out with my Aunt, my Mom, my Girlfriend and her daughter and my Annie for an early dinner and then the most wonderful Christmas concert! Our local college's music department puts on a beautiful Christmas concert each year in the bigger Cathedral church in our area (which also happens to be the church I belong to). It was a performance by the acapella choir, chamber choir, woodwinds, strings and brass instruments. As well as a guest soprano soloist. To use the acoustics of the beautiful Cathedral and sing songs - like my favorite O Holy Night, it gave me goosebumps and filled my soul completely. There's just something about live music like that....well anyway. Let's just say I'm tired but so happy and filled with Christmas spirit and so I want to share some of it with you tonight dear Friends. So here goes - a quick version:


BLOGMAS 2016 PROMPTS

Day 1 - The Christmas Tag 
Day 2 - Christmas Movies on the Must Watch List
Day 3 - Christmas Wishlist
Day 4 - Christmas Playlist
Day 5 - Pictures and Memories of Christmas Past
Day 6 - Pot Simmer Recipes
Day 7 - Cookies to be Baked (can be a recipe you make every year, or some you want to try)
Day 8 - Favorite Family Christmas Recipe
Day 9 - How do you decorate?
Day 10 - Real Tree or Artificial Tree
Day 11 - Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Day 12 - Quiet Christmas or Family Filled Loud Party Christmas?
Day 13 - Christmas Cards (do you send them, show us your favorites this year, or tells your favorite cards to send whether vintage, or bright and colorful)
Day 14 - Advent Calendar
Day 15 - Christmas Party Food Ideas
Day 16 - Winter Tag
Day 17 - Christmas Wishes
Day 18 - Homemade or Store Bought (What are you giving this year)
Day 19 - Recap of Christmas 2015 in pictures
Day 20 -  Christmas Decorations Reveal (show us your tree, your home decor, your mantle, anything you want)
Day 21 - Holiday Family Traditions
Day 22 - Preparing for the big day (show us your wrapping skills, are you making lists, getting the house ready for guests?)
Day 23 - Post whatever you wish
Day 24 - Christmas Eve (Are you opening presents tonight, is this your big celebration, what are you doing)
Day 25 - Christmas Day 



I'm joining in with my Friend Sandra from the blog Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for the Blogmas of Christmas this season. You can check her out here and come play along! Here's day 6:



Day 6 - Pot Simmer Recipes


Pot simmer recipes makes me think of slow cooker recipes so a few holiday time favorites for me are yummy hot beverages:


This also happens to be a recipe by the Aunt I was out with tonight. ;) Another way I sometimes do wassail is simmer it in a slow cooker with apple cider, a little orange juice, a little bit of brown sugar, and then I stud some orange and lemon slices with cloves and float them on top. You could add a little brandy and you have one nice hot toddy!









I cannot tell you enough how incredibly yummy this is - extremely decadent, but delicious!! Perfect for after an afternoon of skiing or sledding (however, minus the mint Bailey's irish cream for the kids of course).  





And then of course just some yummy wintery dishes like:


Slow Cooker Ham and Scalloped Potatoes


You can find the full recipe and way I make it here.   This is comfort food at its best. So perfect when it's cold outside.


And I also love any simmering pot of soup this time of year!  Here's an easy one that's always a yummy favorite:



CHICKEN AND RICE SOUP


You can find the full recipe for this soup at the end of the post found here.  Enjoy the cozy Friends! xo



Monday, December 5, 2016

Blogmas DayFive: Pictures & Memories of Christmas Past

BLOGMAS 2016 PROMPTS

Day 1 - The Christmas Tag 
Day 2 - Christmas Movies on the Must Watch List
Day 3 - Christmas Wishlist
Day 4 - Christmas Playlist
Day 5 - Pictures and Memories of Christmas Past
Day 6 - Pot Simmer Recipes
Day 7 - Cookies to be Baked (can be a recipe you make every year, or some you want to try)
Day 8 - Favorite Family Christmas Recipe
Day 9 - How do you decorate?
Day 10 - Real Tree or Artificial Tree
Day 11 - Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Day 12 - Quiet Christmas or Family Filled Loud Party Christmas?
Day 13 - Christmas Cards (do you send them, show us your favorites this year, or tells your favorite cards to send whether vintage, or bright and colorful)
Day 14 - Advent Calendar
Day 15 - Christmas Party Food Ideas
Day 16 - Winter Tag
Day 17 - Christmas Wishes
Day 18 - Homemade or Store Bought (What are you giving this year)
Day 19 - Recap of Christmas 2015 in pictures
Day 20 -  Christmas Decorations Reveal (show us your tree, your home decor, your mantle, anything you want)
Day 21 - Holiday Family Traditions
Day 22 - Preparing for the big day (show us your wrapping skills, are you making lists, getting the house ready for guests?)
Day 23 - Post whatever you wish
Day 24 - Christmas Eve (Are you opening presents tonight, is this your big celebration, what are you doing)
Day 25 - Christmas Day 



I'm joining in with my Friend Sandra from the blog Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for the Blogmas of Christmas this season. You can check her out here and come play along! Here's day 5:



Day 5 - Pictures & Memories of Christmas Past

Since I am getting to this so late - I thought I'd keep it brief.  I won't get into the memories details part now...but I will share the links where you can see when I posted about Blogmas before and shared some Christmas past info: here and here. 


And here are a few photos from last year:

Beautiful light filled park in our area every Christmas. Fills the whole park with Christmas lights, scenes, you can see Santa and Mrs. Claus and the reindeer. There's free cookies, cocoa, coffee, popcorn, and fire roasting stations with marshmallows. It's magical.



A peek at cookies from one of our baking sessions.







We like goofy gifts if you can't tell. ;) 



Some of the grandkids lined up on the stairway at my MIL and FIL's beautiful historical home. They were checking what was in their stockings. 



My little niece helping my MIL last year.




Elves handing out all the gifts that were under their 10 foot tree.




The goofy door prize game later in the day at our house.




Christmas Eve night. My Heart in a photo. 



My Hubby being a goof ball and offering me a "close up".  ;)



The mess after opening gifts Christmas Eve after mass.







Getting the tables all set up for the next day for Christmas dinner at our house. 








Happy Homemaker Monday


Happy Monday Friends! 


I hope it's a warm and cozy one and that you're ready for this week ahead! We had a nice productive weekend around here. We ran lots of errands. We got the majority of the rest of our Christmas shopping done. We just have some small fun "filler" kinds of things to pick up yet. I mailed out fun packages at the post office. We worked as an assembly team and got our Christmas wrapping done on all the gifts we had around here.(well at least my Hubby, Annie, and I did...Aaron had hockey or else he's MIA now that he has his license - Lol!)  There are still more that I've ordered online that are being shipped to us yet. Plus, we accomplished a lot of home chores around here - including putting out some Christmas things outside. Yay for being productive! Now onto the week... 




THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS:


We had such a pretty little snow yesterday (only about an inch or so). Today is more mild and in the mid to upper 30's and is melting most of it already. The week ahead looks much cooler, though, with most days in the 20's and a chance of a little more snow.









ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE THIS MORNING:


Annie & I baked some eggnog muffins with streusel topping this weekend. After all that work I had to have one this AM with my coffee, right? Especially since calories don't matter this time of year. ;) 










RIGHT NOW I AM:


I'll give ya one guess what I'm listening to. Lol! If you said Christmas music you're right!! Today it's the Amy Grant Holiday Pandora station. I'm finishing my grocery list I need to accomplish this week. We have some relatives coming over for a game night this weekend! Yay for game night! I'm also writing in my calendar for the week the appointments coming up, errands I need to run, things around here that need finishing for the holidays etc. Such a busy time of year - but a fun busy!








AS I LOOK OUTSIDE MY WINDOW:

I see puddles in the driveway. And the last bits of snow over the grass are melting. The clouds have broken up quite a bit and the sun is even coming out right now! 




AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE:



Pretty tidy overall. A little kitchen clean-up needed and laundry (of course!) 










ON TODAY'S TO DO LIST:

A few things around the house. I'm going to finish the last of my Christmas cards (last batch to go). I also need to start the calendars I make on Shutterfly each year for my my Mom and my Aunt. They love them personalized with family photos and I put in all the family birthdays etc.


 I used to make one for my MIL too. It was helpful for her for many years to keep track of birthdays and other things. The boxes were nice and big for her to write appointments in. When my FIL cleaned out a lot of their closets a year or 2 ago he gave me some of her old scrapbooking things and many of those calendars were in there because she loved the photos in them and had kept them. (cue eyes welling up) I miss her so much - especially this time of year. She loved the holidays so much too. Sorry for the sidetrack.

 









CURRENTLY READING:


I've tried starting several new books, but get sidetracked too easy this time of year!





ON THE TV TODAY:


I did watch the Holiday baking championship last night. And I love that the Great American Bake Off started last week! I have some Christmas movies taped too. We're still catching up on several shows too. Shark Tank, Blindspot, and The Profit. 












ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:


MONDAY: waffles, sausage, hashbrown patties, fruit






TUESDAY: meatloaf (& bring some to my FIL), cheesy potatoes, veggies, whole wheat dinner rolls






WEDNESDAY:  Salad bar night. I'll put out a big bowl of leafy greens with veggies in it and spread out different toppings next to it and dressings. Everyone builds their own. I'll have hot rolls on the side.




THURSDAY: Chicken & veggie stir fry with cashews, rice




FRIDAY: family over for game night:  

ME - slow cooker hot beef sandwiches with BBQ sauce, pan of mac and cheese, fruit salad, kid friendly dessert (probably rice krispies bars with Xmas sprinkles), cold drinks and Tom & Jerry hot toddys. 

MY MOM -  buns for the sandwiches 

MY AUNT & UNCLE - green salad/veggies, adult dessert









WHAT I AM CREATING AT THE MOMENT:

Some fun holiday cards, gifts and baking plans for gifts too!  I'm having such fun with my friend Sandra's blogmas of Christmas (of the blog Diary of a SAHM) - I hope to join in and post for day 5 later today! 





NEW RECIPE I WANT TO TRY THIS WEEK:

I might bake something new this week - not sure yet.







TIP OF THE WEEK:


Oh my doesn't that sound delightful??








FROM THE CAMERA:



Some Ruby love! From her pretty haircut and Christmas ribbons....to frolicking in the snow yesterday.









One of my favorites parts of this time of year are cozy nights. Loving my new candlesticks I got this year to put in my front windows. 




PRAYER, INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE OR DEVOTIONAL:
Image result for holiday inspirational quotes

I'm linking with Sandra of Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Blogmas Day Four: Christmas Playlist

BLOGMAS 2016 PROMPTS

Day 1 - The Christmas Tag 
Day 2 - Christmas Movies on the Must Watch List
Day 3 - Christmas Wishlist
Day 4 - Christmas Playlist
Day 5 - Pictures and Memories of Christmas Past
Day 6 - Pot Simmer Recipes
Day 7 - Cookies to be Baked (can be a recipe you make every year, or some you want to try)
Day 8 - Favorite Family Christmas Recipe
Day 9 - How do you decorate?
Day 10 - Real Tree or Artificial Tree
Day 11 - Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Day 12 - Quiet Christmas or Family Filled Loud Party Christmas?
Day 13 - Christmas Cards (do you send them, show us your favorites this year, or tells your favorite cards to send whether vintage, or bright and colorful)
Day 14 - Advent Calendar
Day 15 - Christmas Party Food Ideas
Day 16 - Winter Tag
Day 17 - Christmas Wishes
Day 18 - Homemade or Store Bought (What are you giving this year)
Day 19 - Recap of Christmas 2015 in pictures
Day 20 -  Christmas Decorations Reveal (show us your tree, your home decor, your mantle, anything you want)
Day 21 - Holiday Family Traditions
Day 22 - Preparing for the big day (show us your wrapping skills, are you making lists, getting the house ready for guests?)
Day 23 - Post whatever you wish
Day 24 - Christmas Eve (Are you opening presents tonight, is this your big celebration, what are you doing)
Day 25 - Christmas Day 



I'm joining in with my Friend Sandra from the blog Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for the Blogmas of Christmas this season. You can check her out here and come play along! Here's day 4:



Day 4 - Christmas Playlist

I ADORE Christmas music! It just fills my soul!  I start listening right after Halloween as the season of Christmas music goes by too fast for me otherwise... there's just not enough time if you wait until after Thanksgiving!! So by November 1st I'm all in. And I love all kinds - almost every kind. I love that a local Christian radio station in my area starts playing all Christmas music by mid November. So I'm surrounded my it at almost all times. In my house cleaning or working on things, in my car, running errands, and right this very minute as I type. Love love love love!  


It's difficult for me to break it down. Some of my favorite Pandora Christmas stations are Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Michael Buble, Celtic, Enya, Garrison Keillor (Prairie Home Companion Holiday station), Harry Connick Jr, and Josh Groban....I could go on and on (see what a problem I have!) But if I had to name some very top favorites they would be:  


TO GIVE ME GOOSEBUMPS AND TOUCH MY HEART:

* Oh Holy Night 

*Mary's Boy Child (Harry Belafante version)

* A Cradle in Bethlehem (Nat King Cole)

* Breath of Heaven (Amy Grant)

*Ave Maria (Josh Groban)

*Do You Hear What I Hear

*Mary, Did You Know (Pentatonix version)






TO JUST FEEL COZY AND WARM:

* The Christmas Song (Nat King Cole)

* The Little Drummer Boy (with David Bowie and Bing Crosby)

* White Christmas (Bing Crosby)

*Silver Bells

* Any of Enya's Christmas songs

*Any of Pentatonix Christmas Songs







JUST FOR FUN:

*I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas

*Jingle Bells

*Christmas Cannon (Mannheim Steamroller)

*Feliz Navidad (makes me want to dance around) ;) 

*It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

*Frosty the Snowman

*Santa Baby

What would be on your top list??