Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Show us your favorite Christmas traditions, Go to Kelly's Korners and see Christmas traditions and how everyone celebrates their own.

We have many Christmas traditions. The first tradition is on Christmas Eve morning. As soon as we flip our advent colander over the 24th we fill up our stocking with gifts and exchange them with each other on Christmas Eve. We have found that it created a special evening among ourselves. On Christmas day it is all about what Santa brought the Cisco Kid.

Another tradition is our anual visit to see Santa. The Cisco Kid must have a picture with santa. We have seen the same Santa since day one.

My cutie pie 10 months old. 2003
My not so happy cutie pie. 1 year 10 months old. 2004 Santa looks a little stressed.
My totally hating Santas lap cutie pie. 2 years 10 monts old. 2005My loving Santa cutie pie. 3 years 10 months old. 2006
My Happy cutie pie. 4 years 10 months old. 2007 The Cisco Kid giving Santa the goods list, cutie pie. 5 years 10 months old. 2008

Another Christmas traditions is.... every year I make 12 different kinds of Christmas cookies totaling about 500 cookies. I give a basket of Christmas cookies with an home made Christmas ornament to our family and friends.

The Christmas cookie collection. Biscottis Connoli, Strufalas, Almond Crescents, no cook S’mores, Almond cups , Coconut Macaroons, Crisp sugar cookies, Chocolate Dipped Lady Fingers, and Oat Rageous Chocolate Chip Peanut butter, Neapolitan Cookies and Almond Rugalas Cookies.

I have started this year’s Christmas ornament but I am going to keep it a secret until the end of December.
Ornaments from the past. 2006

2007 2008 Another tradition is leaving cookies and milk for Santa with a letter thanking him for making his long journey to bring presents.

We also love our electric trains. Every Christmas we set up our electric train city.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Day

This is going to be a quick post. I will do several updated throughout the day.

The festivities I have been looking forward to, is here. As soon as I am done with this post I will turn the Thanksgiving parade on and get in the kitchen with the Cisco Kid and start cooking.
The Braciole was in the process of cooking on my last post. Now that it is done here are some pictures.
I updated this post at 9:00 a.m. this morning.

I have put the turkey in a nice big pot last night and let it soak with some salt and spices.
This morning I rinsed the turkey off and stuff it with onions, celery, carrots, parsley, basil & garlic. Stuffing the turkey with spices and vegetables makes the gravy delicious. take about four pads of butter and place it under the breast skin. I put a light coating of olive oil on the big bird and rub Mrs Dash tomato basil all over it. I love cooking my turkey in the baking bags. The turkey always comes out juicy. Big bird looking good. I updated this post at 12:30 p.m. This is our Thanksgiving Brunch.

Enjoy your day and Happy Thanksgiving.

This is posted Friday morning.

Everyone around the fire pit relaxing after stuffing themselves. The kids are always ready for something sweet. They have been looking forward to roasting marshmallows all day.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The love of traditions

Tomorrow is the big feast.

I am ready to enjoy the company of our family and friends. Thanksgiving has been one of my favorite holidays. I am thankful to have this holiday in my home. It has been a cherished tradition every year. I love when my house is full of family and friends, I love the smell of food through out the house, I love the family time we get hanging out in the kitchen cooking Thanksgiving day, I love the thanksgiving parade, I love going out doors and playing games with the kids, I love at the end of the day just sitting around the table and talking. I love that the Thanksgiving celebration starts at 11:00 a.m. and ends around 10:00 p.m. I love the way all the food brings people together.

That brings me to tell you about my menu. I have all my food prepared as much as I could. The rest will be done on Thursday morning.

Yesterday I made the Braciole and prepped the stuffing for the calzones. Today I will cook the Braciole in my homemade tomato sauce that I have in the freezer. I will post the recipe of the Braciole when it is done cooking in the tomato sauce.

Calzone....I will post the recipe for the Calzone next week.
Pineapple & Cherries make for a great after dinner fresh taste.

This is some of the Crystal I washed that I will be using for Thanksgiving.

Thursday morning I will rise with the roosters and put my 20 lb. turkey in the oven.
I will have the following completed by 11:00 a.m. when our Thanksgiving brunch starts. I will make the calzones, complete the deviled eggs, put the ham in the oven, cook the glazed carrots, and Put together the Tomato, basil and mozzarella salad. Everything else for the brunch is completed.
This is what I am doing for the dinner.
Today I am going to peal and cube all the potatoes for the mashed potatoes. Then I will put them in a large freezer bag with some water. Freeze them until it is time to make the mashed potatoes. I will put the frozen potatoes in a large pot and boil them. I am going to make the Macaroni and cheese and put it in the fridge until it is ready to bake tomorrow. I am going to put the corn in a corning pot with all the seasonings and put it back in the freezer.
One hour before dinner on Thursday all I will have to do is put the stuffing together, cook and mash the potatoes, put the corn on the stove, bake the rolls, put the macaroni and cheese in the oven, make the turkey gravy and carve the bird.

Have happy Thanksgiving everyone.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day two of the Thanksgiving Traditions.

Over the next few weeks I will not be posting on "What would your children say?" Wednesday. I have so much to post about for the Holidays. I will be doing lots of cooking and making my annual Christmas ornaments. Save all those great moments and we will start back up in January.

I’m continuing with the Thanksgiving tradition post. Only two more days left to cook. You will see my Thanksgiving dinner step by step, from beginning to end.

Today I am posting about how I prepare for Thanksgiving without standing in front of the stove all day. The trick is to prepare the food in steps. For example, Thanksgiving Day I can get my vegetable stuffing done in the time it takes to boil water. A couple of days before Thanksgiving I sauté onions, mushrooms and celery, with all the seasonings. Now I can put it in a container with two tablespoons of butter and save it for Thanksgiving Day. When it is time to make the stuffing all I will have to do is take 2 cups of Turkey broth from the turkey, add it to the pre sautéed vegetables and Pepperidge farm stuffing mix. That easy!!!

To see full detail and step by step instructions go to Family Heritage Cookbook

Here are some of the foods I prepared in advance yesterday.

Follow the links to all the Recipies.

Chocolate dipped Pumpkin Cookies, Roasted Red pepper cheese cake and my Antapasta salad.

Williams Sonoma cute fall cookie presses
The Chocolate dipped Pumpkin Cookies are a very simple sugar cookie, spiced up with pumpkin and spices. They are good plain or with a great chocolate center.

Roasted red pepper cheese cake.

Antapasta salad

Looking forward to tomorrow.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Wow!!!! Thanksgiving is in three days.

We have a big thanksgiving planned. I have 30 Items on the menu. There is going to be lots of prior cooking and preparation. I like to enjoy Thanksgiving Day as much as I like to cook. I enjoy the holiday so much when I am not slaving over the stove every minute. It makes everything so much easier when I use my restaurant skills. I have owned a restaurant many years ago and for the food to come out fast, fresh, hot and delicious certain items must be prepared in advance. This is how I am able to get it done and still enjoy my holiday with Family and Friends.

Yesterday I made the Pumpkin bread, I boiled the eggs for deviled eggs, Cranberry sauce, Govatelli and put them in the freezer, spiced nuts and Apricots dipped in chocolate.

Over the next two days I have more to prepare ahead of time. I will be posting our entire Thanksgiving meal from start to finish.

Pumpkin Bread

Cranberry Sauce

Chocolate Dipped Apricots
Spiced Nuts

You can see the recipe for the Pumpkin bread, Cranberry sauce, Govatelli, Spiced nuts, and Apricots dipped in chocolate.

We start the food flowing at 11:00 a.m. and ending the day around 10:00 p.m.

Our Thanksgiving menu.

There are four courses.

1st course
Antapasta salad
Deviled eggs
Roasted red pepper cheese cake with crustini’s
Stuffed mushrooms
Tomato, mozzarella and basil
Small spinach calzones
Ham with glazed carrots

2nd course
Govatelli with Braciole

3rd course
Turkey gravy
Mashed potatoes
Fresh baked rolls
Cranberry sauce,
Macaroni and cheese

4th course
Apple pie
Coconut cream pie
Pecan pie
Pumpkin bread
Pumpkin cookies
Spiced nuts
Fresh fruit
Dried apricots dipped in chocolate.
Cherries and Pineapple

Tomorrow I will have the list of items that I have semi prepared in advance.


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