Here we are at the year's end. It has gone by quickly, hasn't it? 2009 has been a good year, maybe not a great year, but much better than 2008. I am looking forward to what 2010 will hold! I thought I'd recap the year here on My Blessed Life and share some favorite posts. Crafts: Fun With a Box Fabric Easter Eggs A Fall Batik Banner Christmas Crayons Cooking: Remembering My Grandma's Kitchen A Labor of Love It's a Jam Session Fresh-From-The-Garden Okra Fun: A Trip To The Old Fort Museum Adventures in Junking Makin' Those Family Memories Puddle Jumping...or, More Accurately, The Puddle That Almost Swallowed Me Travel: Our Vacation in Photos Tenam Puente: Mayan Ruins The Niagara of the South Mammoth Cave National Park Yes, 2009 has been a good year. Thank you for sharing it with me!
Here are some of the dishes I made for a couple of our Christmas meals this year. The mushrooms, green beans and peas were brand new dishes for me, but they are new faves now! The Dijon glaze is a very old fave for us and the squash is a not-too-old fave. I hope you will enjoy them as much as we have. Stuffed Mushrooms Florentine 24 large fresh mushrooms 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen leaf spinach 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 cup melted butter 1 small onion, finely chopped 6 oz. cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs 1/8 tsp. pepper 3/4 tsp. dry mustard 1/4 tsp. nutmeg 2-1/2 Tbls. grated Parmesan cheese ***** Rinse the mushrooms. Remove and chop stems; set caps and stems aside. Cook the spinach according to the package, omitting the salt; drain. Place in a blender and process until smooth. Saute the garlic in melted butter over low heat for 1 minute; remove from heat. Dip the mushroom caps in the garlic butter mixture and place them in a 9x13 baking dish. Stir the stems
How was your Christmas? Do you feel like you've gained 10 lbs., like I do? Oh , those rich foods! Oh, the casseroles! They were yummy though. I have a few recipes that I'll be sharing this week with you--some new ones that I tried and some old faves. In planning my menus this week, I am also doing a little inventory of my pantry. Partly because some items are completely depleted after the holidays (eggs, butter...) and partly because I have decided to participate in the Eat From The Pantry Challenge hosted by Money Saving Mom and Life as Mom and I need to know what I'm working with. Since it's really still December and this challenge officially begins in January, I thought I'd do one last "stock-up" on some stuff. Mainly some staples and some meat for the freezer. It's going to be interesting though to see if I can keep my grocery visits during January limited to a few staple perishables and cook from what's already in my kit
...No, I'm not! We are really having a White Christmas in Arkansas!! A very rare occasion. It started on Christmas eve and we ended up with about six inches. It has been a beautiful Christmas day! looking out at the snow first thing in the morning Christmas day on our street The Princess Mr. B Aren't icicles beautiful? We even made snow ice cream! It was so yummy! I hope that your Christmas day has been wonderful, too.
I made salt dough Christmas ornaments for the first time this past weekend. It was so much fun! It was all my hubby's idea, too. Apparently he made these as a child and thought it would be fun for the kids to try. He was so right! They had so much fun cutting out shapes with our cookie cutters. Of course I knew they would, as much as they like to make sugar cookies. After the ornaments had their first round of baking, the kiddos and I painted them with watercolors. Then they went back in for a short second round of baking. Later Vince sprayed them with polyurathane...just in case. Oh, and here's the one that Vince got really creative with....it's this a great Santa?! Just in case you were wondering, we used Susan Branch's recipe from her Christmas book. It worked great! If you're interested in it, let me know and I'll be happy to pass it on.
It's a big week for cooking and menu planning! Have you done all of you grocery shopping yet? I am really hoping that I remembered everything last week when I went, but I won't be surprised if there's a last-minute run to get that one item that I probably forgot:) Before we get to today's menu though, I have to share a recipe from our menu plan last week. I've made it before, but it's probably been several years. It definitely won't be that long again though--I'd forgotten how good and easy it is. AND the whole family liked it!! My daughter said *Mom, you can add this to the ones you make all the time now!!*. Folks, that's all I need to hear:) Chicken Crepes 2 Tbls. butter 1 Tbls. minced onion 2 Tbls. flour 3/4 cup milk 3/4 cup heavy cream 1 cup cooked chicken, diced 1/4 cup sherry or white wine (I used chicken broth this time) 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup sliced almonds, if desired (I didn't) 6-8 crepes (recipe below) ****
We've been making crayons again!! This is one of my all-time fave crafts that the we've done! First of all, we gather up all of our broken crayons--of which there are always many. I always save them now, since our first venture into crayon-making . It's a great way to recycle! We make sure all the paper is peeled off and then we divide them into color groups. Next we used scissors to cute them into small enough pieces and put them in the muffin cups. I found this cute Christmas tree silicone muffin pan in the *dollar* section of Target (I think it was one of the $2.50 items, but still a great bargain!). But before we got around to our project, my son decided to try his hand at making Silly Putty muffins. In case you ever wondered, Silly Putty does NOT come off of silicone. It actually adheres quite well. Just so you know... So we just left that cup empty. :) If you're using a silicone pan (which I highly recommend) place it on a baking sheet
Yesterday was another day spent doing some Christmas baking. This time it was Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread mini loaves. Aren't they cute? And SO delicious! These are all packaged up for my neighbors. I love these little labels from Susan Branch . These were a free download a couple of years ago. She does have some new ones this year to download, too, and you can check them out here. Only 7 more days 'till Christmas! Are you ready?