Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Brunch

Today is great to spend time with family. My in laws are in town and we are always happy they are available to come and visit. I do so much cooking for Thanksgiving that I take it easy for Christmas. Christmas day we start out with a brunch of egg soufflé. The egg soufflé is prepared 24 hours in advance. When Christmas morning rolls around all I have to do is mix two ingredients together and put it in the oven. This is the most delicious egg soufflé.
My laws have a tradition and send all their children a honey baked ham for Christmas. Christmas dinner we have the honey baked ham with creamed spinach and stuffing.

I sautéed the veggies in a small amount of bacon grease.

12 oz. bacon, fried crispy and crumbled.
2 1/2 cups of half & half
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
3 cups croutons
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2/3 cup of half and halt to mix with cream of mushroom soup.
1. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish and add croutons. Set aside.
2. Cook bacon in a large skillet until browned. drain, crumble and set aside.
3. Sauté 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into small chunks. Set aside
4. Sauté 1/2 onion, cut into small chunks. Set aside
5. Sauté 8 mushrooms sliced. Set aside
6. In a medium bowl combine milk, eggs and dry mustard; mix well. Pour over croutons.
7. Add crumbled bacon and spread evenly over the top.
8. Add cheddar cheese on top. Then layer all the remaining vegetables.
9. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
10. Preheat oven to 300°F .
11. In a medium bowl, combine condensed soup and half and half . Spread on top of casserole. Bake, uncovered, for 90 minutes or until casserole is set and lightly browned.

Makes 8 servings

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Christmas Eve!!!! Tonight is just as special as Christmas day. We start our evening with a hearty dinner. Every year I make a different Christmas Eve dinner. This year I decided to make a delicious beef stew with mashed potatoes. After dinner we gather around the fire, look in our stockings and exchange gifts with each other. Tomorrow it’s all about what Santa brings.

Christmas Day we have a very traditional Dinner, Ham, Creamed spinach, Mashed potatoes and stuffing. Now for breakfast!!!!! I have started our own little family tradition. Since we think about nothing except playing with all the toys from very early in the morning to very late in the afternoon I have made an Egg Souffle Casserole that is so delicious and easy. I make it the day before and put it in the fridge over night. On Christmas morning all I have to do is put it in the oven and let it bake for one hour. It starts off with Croutons on the bottom. I then layer a variety of sautéed vegetables, crispy bacon, and then I add scrambled eggs. To top this off with goodness I add cheese. I will post that recipe.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Racing to the finish line.

Having some more fun with friends. We decided to go to the go carts races and drive a few laps with some of our friends. We really love the go carts. The Cisco Kid has an adventurous side to him. He loves fast rides. When he was two years old we took him on a kiddy rollercoaster at Disney. As we were whipping around sharp turns, climbimg up steep slopes dropping down steep slopes and going very fast, I was panicking thinking OH MY GOD!!!! What have I done to my son?!! He is going to be traumatized for the rest of his life. When we got off the rollercoaster I immediately took him in my arms and asked him if he was ok. He turned to me and said. Again Mommy, again!! I let out a huge sye of relief. I knew at that moment I had and adventurer on my hands. I guess he comes by it honestly.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hand Painted Christmas Ornaments

Now that everyone has gotten their hand painted Christmas ornament I can show you what I have been working on every chance I get. Every year I make Christmas tree ornaments and Christmas cookies and give them as gifts to my family and friends. This year I got a flat porcelain ornament from Michaels and hand painted very traditional home scenery. I painted fourteen ornaments in three different style homes. No two ornaments are alike. Here are some of them I painted.


Monday, December 21, 2009

A night out with great friends.

Last night we went out to dinner at The Melting Pot with our dear friends. The Melting pot is a Fondue Restaurant. I happen to love the whole concept of Fondue. We had four courses of this wonderful food. We started out with a cheese fondue. Our friends had Cheddar mixed with beer we had swiss mixed with wine. This is served with cubed bread, a variety of vegetables and green apples. So, so good!!! Our second course was a wonderful salad. I have mixed greens with their raspberry vinaigrette dressing and Kimberly had their Cesar salad that she said was really good. The third Course was the main meal and they bring you the raw meat and fish cut into cubes. They offer several way you can cook it, either broth or oil. When you chose the oil method they give you two different kinds of batters you can dip your meat in and fry it. The both of us chose to batter our food and fry it. I am an old pro at the fondue technique. I ask for several extra fondue forks and get as much in the pot as I can fit. It cooks up in a couple of minutes and on to the next batch I go. With The meal they also serve raw vegetables, but my favorite vegetables are the mushroom caps. They have this wonderful cream cheese and chive mixture that you fill the mushroom cap with and dip it into the batter then fry it. They are soooooo good. The fourth course was the desert. It is off the charts good. We chose the cookies and cream chocolate fondue. It was chocolate and marshmallow that was Flambéed at the table. They topped it with Oreo cookies. Now comes the items in which to dip, cheese cake, strawberries, bananas, brownies, pound cake, rice Krispies treats, chocolate and vanilla marshmallows. Like I said… off the charts good to the last drop!!!! This was such a wonderful night. I just hope our friends enjoyed it as much. Even thought they had to cook their own food at the restaurant.

The whole dinner experience lasted three hours. It certainly fly’s by when you’re with good company. To top off this great evening Kimberly’s mom gave me the cutest ornament dedicated to me and my cookies. I love Christmas ornaments and this one was so perfect.
Thank you so much Sandy I absolutely love it.


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