A Very Merry Christmas!

It’s hard to believe it’s over already!  Since first starting to see Christmas decorations right after Halloween, I can’t believe we’ll ring in 2013 just next week.

Since my Mom was going to my brother’s house for Christmas (check out his last blog post!), we celebrated with my side of the family on the 23rd.  My Mom makes a mean lasagna, and I brought a salad and bread and my sister brought dessert.

While I love snowmen, my Mom loves angels!  She didn’t decorate her house nearly as much as she would have since she wasn’t going to be home, but it was very festive!

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I realized that I was in a lot of the pictures I downloaded, and I didn’t take a picture of everyone – gah!  My Mom is only 4 feet 9 inches tall, so while I stand at only 5 feet 3 inches tall, I kind of tower over her.  In one picture I ducked down so she would be taller – we were laughing so hard. 

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My sister won’t get any points for plating, but my Mom’s lasagna is really good – I had two pieces!

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I specifically told my family that I didn’t want anything for Christmas.  My only gifts were granola and homemade Chicago Mix popcorn.  So imagine my surprise when I was given LOTS of stuff – it was embarrassing!  Snowmen, cookie sheets, a pretty blue pitcher, a 5 quart sauté pan with lid, a big bench scraper, coffee, mustards, homemade treats – it was too much!   So my tip to you is next year tell people you don’t have any money and they will buy you lots of stuff!  So thank you family! Open-mouthed smile

Christmas Eve it was just me and Tony.  We watched It’s a Wonderful Life which is my favorite Christmas movie.  True story.  I was in college (oops, not quite 21 yet!) and my roommate invited a couple guys over and we started doing shots of root beer schnapps.   It was before Christmas break and one of the guys had never heard of It’s a Wonderful Life, let alone seen it.

In my slightly drunken state, I proceeded to tell the movie, from when Harry falls into the ice on the shovel, to when Clarence says that he can’t fly because he hasn’t earned his wings yet, to one of my favorite lines in the whole movie:

Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?

Every year when I hear that, I wonder if I’ve done enough in the past year to touch the lives around me.  And usually the answer is “not as much as I could.”  I hope to volunteer in 2013 – it’s good for the soul!

We ate the steak we would have had on our Anniversary, with a baked potato and garlic bread.  We each only ate half – we easily could have split this plate.

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I made no knead Artisan bread for our Christmas Day dinner.  Just like how I gushed about the lasagna soup I got from Suzie, even if you are afraid of using yeast, this is the easiest recipe!

  • 6 1/2 cups regular flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 1.5 tablespoons yeast
  • 1.5 tablespoons salt

That’s it.  MIx the flour, yeast and salt well in a large bowl.  Add water and mix, making sure the flour at the bottom gets incorporated.  It will be a sticky dough, no worries.

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Now the original recipe says to let rise for two hours, divide the dough into four balls, let those rise another 40 minutes while you preheat your dutch oven in the stove at 450 degrees.  I think four loaves are two small, so I always make 2 loaves out of this recipe.  Yesterday I made one loaf sesame seed and one loaf rosemary and sea salt.

Once your dutch oven gets to temperature, bake the bread covered for the first 30 minutes, then take the lid off for 15 minutes more.  Comes out perfect every time!

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And speaking of lasagna soup, I made that our first course.  I posted the picture of the soup and bread on Facebook, and my Aunt Martha immediately asked for the recipe.  I said I followed Suzie’s recipe to the T, except that I left out the onions.  To which Veronica and Suzie said:

Veronica Miller Biz is crazy, don’t leave them out! 😉

Suzie Shaw Don’t fear the onion! 😉

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My second course:  wedge salad with blue cheese dressing and bacon bits.  Turns out only a few of us like blue cheese!

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I made oven roasted sesame carrots, which were really good, if a bit overcooked.  I made them earlier in the morning and they were perfect, but when I heated them up they got a tad dry.  No worries, a little butter helped!

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I used the baking method from this blog, and also “borrowed” their picture because I didn’t get a good one when they were first done.  I also just used olive oil, salt, and pepper, and 10 minutes before they were done cooking, I sprinkled with sesame seeds.

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And the star of the show?  Tony’s grilled ham!

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My plate:  sauteed apples, baked potatoes my SIL brought, sesame carrots, ham, mustard that Hannah got me – simple and delicious!  And no, that is not butter on my baked potato – its mustard! Open-mouthed smile

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It was a nice, relaxing day.  It just looked like a full restaurant was cooking in my kitchen, it may have been just a bit of a disaster!  Tony and Hannah are clean as you go cooks.  Me?  Not so much.  I think I used every plate, salad plate, bowl, fork, knife and spoon I own. Embarrassed smile

I am grateful for another day off from work today.  I have two projects.  One is to finish the laundry, and the second is to sort through my clothes and donate them – I figure if I haven’t worn it in the last six months, it’s never going to happen.  I also plan on going to the gym!

The only thing I’ve been good about being off from work is getting my water intake in, other than that, my exercise came to a screeching halt.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  Make it a great day!

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31 thoughts on “A Very Merry Christmas!

  1. Sounds like a great Christmas!! Merry Christmas!

  2. Yeah! I am glad to hear you had a good Christmas.
    It is funny (to me anyway) that you posted about your bread recipe. I talk about it all the time telling my husband how wonderful it looks. He is a bread junkie. He bought me a dutch oven for Christmas so I could attempt the bread. I am terrified… I don’t think I have used yeast in anything except maybe a science project. Wish me luck.

    • You can do it Kym! One word of advice though – put your bread dough on parchment paper – it’s much easier to transport the dough to the hot dutch oven. Let me know how it turns out!

      • The New Boyfriend badge is now avaialble and it only goes to my higseht tipper, if they can maintain there boyfriend status for a period of time (see boyfriend page)Also now available is the Christmas Badge tip 600 tokens and get yourself a special prezzie from your princess! Happy Holidays!

  3. Delicious eats!!! Awesome that you got so many presents-especially things you love.

  4. Sounds like everything was wonderful! I think the best way to approach the gift issue is, if you can’t afford to give gifts and it makes you feel better you just folks – BUT let them do whatever they want in terms of gifting you. It’s not supposed to be 100% reciprocal anyway. I get so much more pleasure out of giving and I could give a hoot if the person I’m giving to is matching me!

    I know you think of me as an exercise queen so this may suprise you: my exercise generally comes to a screeching halt between Christmas and New Years. Our dojo closes so the Sensei’s can have a much deserved break which eliminates night-time exercise. Also, when Little Helen is home and family gatherings are going on I stay up much too late to get up at 4 to get a run in. I used to make myself crazy about it but now, I try to just go with the flow. Life is too short to worry about that when my loved ones are so much more important!

  5. That ham looks so freaking good! Tom and I have been sick so no exercising here either, I need to get back on it. I am glad you guys had a great Christmas!!

  6. It looks like a healthy and delicious Christmas! Good job!

  7. Glad you had a wonderful Christmas and the food looks absolutely delicious!!! I was just thinking about your bread recipe and wanting to make it and “wala” there it is on your blog….shall try it today or tomorrow.

    Oh yes, I like watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” also…..has become a tridition every year.

    We had steak and shrimp with mushrooms and red peppers embossing the plate along with a salad and rye toast Christmas eve, took some pictures of our meal……mmmmm all so good. Maybe I should post our Christmas “eatings” the past couple of days……nope, not getting on the scale today 😦

    • Opps…forgot to add, with our Christmas eve dinner “crispy mashed potatoes” AND I found out I might be alergic to shrimp…..boooooo (sigh).

      • Oh no! My Aunt grew up eating shrimp and seafood – until she got older and then all of a sudden is allergic to it – so crazy! Let me know how the bread turns out for you!

  8. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas!!
    You know I have never seen, it’s a wonderful life. It needs to go on my christmas to do for next year!!
    The food looks amazing!!!! Yum!

  9. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas – with great food I might add! I love, love, love making the no knead artisan bread, everyone always loves it.

  10. Hope you had a great holiday! We kept it simple with ham, potatoes with swiss cheese, and broccoli. Just us and the boys. The baby is sick, so I get another day “off” from work. 😦

  11. What a lovely holiday! I like the family picture collage–fun times! We’ve been cooking up a storm with lots of fancy meals the past couple of days….I’ve never washed so many dishes! 🙂

  12. That looks like a great Christmas! I love the photo with all the big smiles 😀

  13. Looks like a beautiful & delicious Merry Christmas!

  14. Looks like a very merry Christmas indeed! I got a new Dutch oven for Christmas, can’t wait to try this bread out, it always looks delicious when you make it.

  15. I definitely need to try that dutch oven bread. I got a dutch oven a few years back for Hanukkah. Glad you had a great Christmas!

  16. I can definitely make a mess when in the kitchen. I am like a tornado! I’ll try to capture it 4 u sometime. that bred looks soooo good!

  17. Glad you had such a great Christmas! I am a clean as you go cook – and if I ever get to visit you, I’ll just follow behind you as you cook and clean…that will be my contribution in order to get a Biz-meal, ok? 🙂

  18. What a wonderful Christmas you’ve had. The food looks so delicious.

  19. Why I’d say in the whole vast scheme of things, you’re nothing but a scurvy little spider. And that goes for you too!

  20. Sounds like you had a great Christmas Biz with lots of good food and family 🙂 Love that you made the lasagna soup for Christmas!! Seriously, I think I will do that next year, I didn’t have to cook this year only bring an appetizer 🙂 I giggled when I seen me and V’s comments on here..tee hee!

  21. I just got a proper cast iron dutch oven form Christmas, so I think your bread recipe will have to be what I christen it with!

  22. […] homemade baked beans for sure. But I also want to try making bread – perhaps one of the recipes here or […]

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