Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Christmas Dinner

This should be the last of the people pictures for awhile - for those of you who are annoyed that this blog is turning into a family album.

The Dad's brother lives in town.  He's married and they have twin boys who are the same age as The Kid.  We get together for dinner every year, some time during the week before Christmas, to celebrate the holiday.  Our SIL always hosts.  Damn decent of her, I'd say.

Here's this year's get together in photos:

Dinner was delicious.
She made a turkey, gravy, secret family recipe rice, and sauteed green beans with pecans and dried cranberries.

Here's dinner on my plate:

Dessert was another secret family recipe.
Pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting.

The kids opened gifts and the rest was just hang out time.

Another Christmas gathering success.
Thank you Auntie Amy for a yummy dinner!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Caramel Chex Bars

Who's ready for a sweet treat recipe?  So this was one of the goodies I made for Christmas this year and it won Best In Show.  It may even be better than last year's Best In Show.  If you've been around for more than five minutes, you know I love me some cereal treats.  But other family members deemed these the best too, so it's not just my bias opinion.

The recipe came from one of my regular blog reads.  You can get it here.  The only thing I did different was omitting the whole peanuts.  Didn't have any is the only reason.  They certainly weren't missed.
I completely blew it and didn't take pictures of them cut up.  I think you can use your imagination.

Here they are coming together at my house:

Definitely worth the Best In Show title.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom + 4 New Things

My mom's birthday was on the 27th and this year's dinner was hosted by yours truly.  She requested enchiladas, so enchiladas it was.  With Mexican-style rice and a mixed green salad.  I decided that since she was Queen Babysitter for all our holiday and birthday functions this month, the least I could do was set the table for a sit-down dinner.

Four of my Christmas presents were used in the making of this post.  
Anyone up for a game of I Spy?

First up, the table:

The tablecloth and four matching napkins came from a free pile after a garage sale extravaganza in my sister's old neighborhood.

The chargers were .50 each on clearance at Walgreen's several years ago.

My MIL gave me the wine glasses shortly after we got married.
Those suckers are heavy!

The snowflake napkin rings were another Walgreen's clearance find years ago.

I bought the ornament placecard holders at Joann's on clearance for less than $3 bucks.  
There's 12 of them total.
I just cut up a bough and stuck it down in.
The name is printed on card stock with a birdie sticker.

The blue napkins were a gift from my mom this Christmas.

As well as this sweet little birdie.

I couldn't help throwing in pictures of my table setting helper.

The appetizer was a last minute, what can I round up and throw on a plate, deal.
Salami, pepperjack-stuffed olives and delicious, spicy, pickled carrots that my sister had canned and given us.

And some wasabi almonds.

We did salad first, mainly because my table isn't big enough to serve six people an entree AND a salad plate at the same time.  :o)

Did ya notice the third new thing yet?
Also from my mom.
I love them.
I had seen them at the Dollar Store in my Christmas travels and just mentioned them to her in passing.
And now they're mine.
Did I mention I love them?

Up next, the main course.
Chicken Enchiladas.
I made refried black beans in the crockpot the day before.
Have you done that yet?
So good.
I use this method, with a 1-pound bag of beans.
Minus the food processor.
I just mash them up with a potato masher or the back of a big spoon.
I like 'em still chunky.
I didn't even soak them overnight this time.
Super easy.

The rice was out of a box.
Two of them to be exact.
Shhh, don't tell anyone.

Onto the present opening and birthday cake.

My sister made a chocolate pudding cake that was insanely good.
And she left it here.
And I had a piece for lunch yesterday.
And another piece last night.
And I just might be partaking in another piece for breakfast when I get up from here. 

Anyone notice the fourth new thing?
Here's another hint:

A fancy one.
So long, point and shoot.
You've treated me well, but it's time to move on.
I'm seriously still in shock.
Every time I pick it up, I still can't believe it's mine.
I put it on my wish list, but I also put a new kitchen on my wish list.
I didn't think there was a chance in hell I'd actually GET one!
I'm so excited I could pee.
The Dad gets a HUGE shout out for that one.
Bonus points for sure.
I don't make New Year's resolutions, but I'm resolving to learn how to use it.
No getting stuck in an Auto Shoot rut for this gal.
I will learn how to use all the fancy buttons and I will know what the heck aperture and ISO mean.

So now that I've turned my mom's birthday post into a post all about me, (typical daughter), I will end this post with a....... 
Hopefully being stuck in a house with five screaming kids didn't top the list of worst birthdays ever.

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