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Month: December 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all!  I consider myself an organized person and people who know me would agree.  However, this time a year as organized as I plan to be, I send cards late and scramble to get the last minute gifts.  I finally get to take a breather today!  I am off from work and plan to make a cheesecake for tomorrow and help my mom get “organized” for Christmas Eve dinner as well as Christmas.  This holiday is somewhat low key for us, but she does have something on both days.  This year she is making Hot Antipasti (she has not done this since we lived in Brooklyn) and Cream Puffs!  Most of all, I’m really looking forward to spending time with my family.

The recipe I posted this week is for a Breakfast Strata – I make it with sausage and mushrooms with Gruyere cheese.  You can come up with your own combination of meat, vegetable and cheese.  I like this because you can prepare it the night before and bake before you want to serve it.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday filled with health and happiness!

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Christmas Cookie Exchange

Christmas Cookie Exchange

Hope everyone is doing well.  I missed my post last week because I was in St. Thomas with my parents.  This has become somewhat of a tradition for us as we have been going for a few years now.  This year, the weather wasn’t so nice, but we made the best of it and had a good time.  Talks, walks, eating and laughter!

Speaking of traditions… I belong to a Christmas Cookie Exchange.  My friend Denise has been doing this for a long time with her friends and when she invited me I of course said yes!  We have been making and eating cookies for over 10 years now and appreciate them all welcoming me to the group.  The way it works is that we make a dozen and a half of the same kind of cookies for each person.  We have about 7 people that participate, so each of us make about 10 dozen of the same cookies and then meet the weekend before Christmas to exchange.  Someone hosts a brunch and its lots of fun.  We end up with 10 dozen cookies, but now 7 different kinds.  Its a lot of fun and helps get into the Christmas spirit.

I have been making the same cookies since I started the exchange. Easy to make and they are delicious.

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Very ThankFULL!

Very ThankFULL!

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!  This week was a busy one.  I left to see my parents on Wednesday to help cook and prepare for our BIG Thanksgiving dinner.  I know people who live in the suburbs see wild turkeys in the road, but in Hoboken, our turkeys are a little different.  As I was leaving Hoboken on Wednesday, there was a bit of traffic getting out of town.  Yup, there were about 7 turkeys in the road – except, these were frozen and just fell out of a truck!

Wednesday was all about desserts, food prep and timeline.  I am not a big dessert person, so it was a chore to do them and I will be honest to say, they were also a little blah…  perhaps because I don’t care to make a lot of desserts and because my mother was standing over me making sure we cut sugar from the recipes!!  For Christmas, I will make the cake and cookies at home 🙂

The timeline is so important for us because we lay out everything – what time to turn the oven on, take things from the fridge, cook etc.  We work back from the time we want to eat and list everything out.  I put some buffer time to the timeline in case of certain mishaps – they ALWAYS occur.  It may seem crazy and overboard, but it does help take the stress away and we enjoy the cooking so much more.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (the other is Easter).  I love the change of season and the food this time of year.  Most of all, spending time with my family without the stress of gift giving, shopping, cards and because of all of that, this holiday is special to me.  We have an elaborate menu and it doesn’t change too much year to year.  My sisters all help and because everyone contributes to the meal, we all want to taste each others food.  Needless to say, I am still full!  I will share some of the recipes in the coming weeks but here is the menu:

Appetizers
Stuffed Olives
Melon with Prosciutto
Prosciutto and fresh mozzarella bruschetta
Meat and Cheese platter

Dinner
Stuffed Mushrooms
Lasagna
Turkey
Stuffed Filet Mignon

Sides
Stuffing
String Beans
Brussel Sprouts
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Pie
Fresh Cranberry Conserve

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