CHOCOLATE CARAMEL BANANA BUCHE DE NOEL

I went super simple on this, but you can get as carried away with decorations as you want. This cake is great, FULL of flavor even without the ganache! I also made half of the recipe for just the 2 of us so it was more of a twig or branch than a log, but didn’t impact the flavor 🙂

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL BANANA BUCHE DE NOEL

CAKE
1 cup cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spray a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with non stick cooking spray; line with parchment paper and spray the top of the parchment paper with non stick cooking spray; set aside.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs for 5 minutes; add 1/2 cup sugar, banana and vanilla.
  • In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  • To the egg whites gradually beat in remaining sugar, a tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form.
  • Add flour mixture to banana mixture; mix gently until combined.
  • Fold in egg white mixture.
  • Spread into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
  • Cool 5 minutes; run a knife around the edges to loosen.
  • Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners sugar.
  • Gently peel off parchment paper.
  • Roll up cake in towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Once the roll is cooled, unroll the cake.
  • Because the cake has cooled in a rolled position it will easily re-roll.

VANILLA BEAN FILLING

2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
⅔ cup (80 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla bean seeds at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Unroll cake and evenly spread the filling.
  • Roll back up.

TOPPING ~ WHIPPED GANACHE FROSTING Makes about 2 cups

4 (4-ounce) bars (460 grams) high-quality dark (60% to 65%) chocolate, chopped
2 cups heavy whipping cream

  • Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, bring cream JUST to a simmer below a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Pour cream over chocolate; cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk together chocolate and cream until smooth.
  • Let stand until ganache reaches room temperature, 45 minutes to 2 hours. (If necessary, refrigerate for 15 minutes.)
  • Transfer ganache to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  • Beat at medium-high speed until a spreadable consistency is reached, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Spread or drizzle on the cake.

TUESDAY 4 TO CLOSE THE YEAR

Happy New Year and welcome to Tuesday 4 where we continue to remember and honor the memory of  Toni Taddeo who began Tuesday 4.

Masses of people began celebrating in Times Square in 1904, but the New Year’s Ball didn’t drop until December 31, 1907. The ball is 12 feet in diameter, weighs 11,875 pounds and is covered with 2,688 Waterford crystals.  
Click here to see the HISTORY OF THE NEW YEAR’S EVE BALL it’s really quite interesting.

  • Despite the weirdness of this past year, was it still a good year for you anyway or not? While it was a strange year with the pandemic, it wasn’t bad per se, just inconvenient.  I thank God that I’m healthy and those I do know of that contracted COVID had relatively mild cases and have recovered.  We ate out less, traveled less, saw fewer people, shopped less, but are healthy.
  • How will you spend New Years Eve? Quietly at home with the love of my life and a good meal. We usually watch the festivities of TV, but not sure what those will be like this year.
  • What do you do on New Year’s Day? Is football part of the agenda? On New Year’s Day I usually make brunch and we de-decorate as we watch the parade and football.
  • It’s a Scottish tradition to kiss at midnight according to the person who wrote this question, but my research from TIME.com lends the origins to German traditions, at least here in the United States.  See The Mysterious Origins of Kissing at Midnight on New Year’s Eve. Do you keep that tradition? Does everyone get a kiss if you do? We do keep the tradition, but hubby is the only one I kiss even before COVID 😀

I pray your new year is a bright and Blessed one, free from the trials and tribulations that 2020 brought us. All the very best to you and your family.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 53/1 of 2020/2021

Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up
with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

A memory popped up on facebook over the weekend and I just had to amend it for 2021 😀

GOOD MORNING Here we are at the end of 2020.  I know that entering 2021 doesn’t magically make all things better, but I have HIGH hopes that 2021 WILL BE a better year that sees an end to the global pandemic with wide sweeping vaccination against COVID 19 and a renewed sense of community as we begin to recover as a society from the most personally, economically and challenging trying times in recent history.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE, WHAT I’M WEARING & HOW I’M FEELING THIS MORNING As you can see today is “supposed” to be sunny, though I’m sure that will only be for an hour after the cold fog burns off 😀  Actually looks like it won’t be too bad for a couple days, but after that it will be quite wet! I always check 2 different sites and average them, but as you can see this week they seem to agree with each other. 😀

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water and a Harry & David pear YUMMY!

THIS WEEK’S TO DO LIST, PROJECTS & APPOINTMENTS
  • LAUNDRY & CLEANING Later this week I will be taking down the Christmas tree and beginning the arduous task of sorting through ornaments and downsizing decorations as I pack them away.
  • GROCERIES & ERRANDS I will make a QUICK trip to the market for dairy and produce mid-week, but will literally go nowhere until 2021 after that!
  • PAPERWORK & PHONE CALLS Most of what I have to do in this category will wait until 2021.
  • RECIPE RESEARCH & MENU PLANNING With the COLD weather I’m spending some serious time in this category this week. January is done and I’m working on February in an effort to use things that are already in the freezer and pantry to start the year off FRESH.
WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV   I’m going to reevaluate our subscriptions this week and sign up for Disney+
  • REDBOX/NETFLIX – We watched a seriously satirical Christmas movie with Mel Gibson and Walter Goggins called FATMAN that was pretty good. We also saw George Clooney’s Midnight Sky that while it was good was pretty depressing. The War on Grandpa was fun with Robert Dinero.
  • HULU – We’re just about finished with Melissa and Joey and will be looking for a late night comedy.
  • CABLE – A few shows will come back later this week and I am officially done with ALL the Christmas movies

I’M READING

  • I should finish South of the Buttonwood Tree by Heather Webber later today and will begin Marie Force’s Let It Be, a novella to her Vermont series.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA We did get to spend a little time with the munchkins for a few socially distanced minutes on Christmas Day and saw them open their gifts. I REALLY miss my munchkin hugs, but it was so good to see their sweet smiles!

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP My next house WILL have these!

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
CITRUS HERB ROAST TURKEY
BLACK EYED PEA CHILI & MIKE’S BREAD
C.O.R.N.  clean out refrigerator night
BLOODY MARY SHRIMP COCKTAILS & BROILED LOBSTER
ITALIAN FRITTATAS
SPICY HONEY RIBS & PAN SEARED ARTICHOKES
C.O.R.N.
DESSERT
Nothing new as we need to clean out the holiday collection 😀 of goodies

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • BLOODY SHRIMP COCKTAIL
  • CHOCOLATE CARAMEL BANANA BUCHE DE NOEL

OVERNIGHT BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

Our family has been making some version of this casserole, each their OWN way, and each called Overnight Breakfast Casserole, for as long as I can remember. Each and every one of those casseroles was excellent on their own merit, but the real plus is that it’s a MAKE AHEAD (anywhere from 3 hours to overnight) casserole and take the stress off of the holiday morning. Just pop it in the oven while you’re watching the kids open their stockings and gifts or if you have guests you don’t have to spend time in the kitchen and away from your togetherness time. Be sure and take the casserole out of the refrigerator at least a half an hour before you put it in the oven so it can come to room temperature.

The other beauty of this recipe is that the innards are up to you – either what you prefer or what you have on hand. It is just a basic strata with eggs, bread chunks and add ins of a protein, veggies and cheese. It is also a GREAT way to use up stale bread. You can use whatever bread you prefer, but we love sourdough ourselves. Some people also prefer to cut the crust off, but we are definitely crust on people.

We also tend to always use the same add-ins where as my niece changes it up EVERY time she makes it, but they always have a protein, veggies and cheese(s). Seasonings are another area that can change this up, but we tend to stay pretty traditional with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper. Occasionally I’ll use tri-color pepper for a hint more heat.

My normal proteins are diced ham and crumbled bacon, but I have been known to use rotisserie chicken also. My traditional veggies are diced red peppers, sliced green onions and thinly sliced mushrooms. Sharp cheddar is our cheese of choice, but we also like shredded Gruyere and/or pepper Jack.

Oh and did I mention that it makes a wonderful leftover dish for a quick lunch over a holiday weekend.

OVERNIGHT BREAKFAST CASSEROLE serves 10-12
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
BAKE TIME: 50-60 minutes

12 slices sandwich size bread, flavor of choice, cubed
3/4 cup diced ham steak
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 green onions, THINLY sliced
1/2 red pepper, FINELY diced
4 cups grated cheese, flavor of choice
6 LARGE eggs
3 cups WHOLE milk
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Coleman’s mustard (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 300°.
  • Cube bread and place on a baking sheet.
  • Add baking sheet to oven for 15 minutes, just long enough to dry out the bread cubes, but not toast them.
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk and seasonings.
  • Spray 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Layer the bread cubes evenly into the bottom.
  • Even top the bread cubes with half of the proteins, veggies and cheese.
  • Layer again ending with cheese.
  • Pour the egg mixture over top.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.

NEXT MORNING:

  • Remove baking dish from refrigerator to bring to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Remove plastic wrap and cover with foil.
  • Bake 50-60 minutes or until center is set when you test with a knife and it comes out clean. If you’re using a deep baking dish or baking multiple pans, you will need to increase the baking time by another 15 minutes.
  • Return to oven for 5 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

BEAR CLAWS OR PAWS ~ See’s Candy COPY CAT

BEAR CLAWS OR PAWS ~ See’s Candy COPY CAT – 12 servings

30 KRAFT caramels (238 grams) or 1 (11 ounce) bag KRAFT Caramel Bits
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup peanuts, salted roasted or honey roasted
12 ounces vanilla almond bark for polar or milk chocolate for regular
COARSE sea salt (optional)
holiday sprinkles (optional)

  • Line a large cookie sheet with Silpat mats or parchment paper and grease it with butter or spray with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.

  • Melt caramels with butter and cream in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring, and repeating until completely smooth.

  • Fold in vanilla, salt and peanuts. Let it sit in the bowl to cool for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

  • Spoon onto the mats with a small cookie scoop into mounds. Chill in refrigerator for an hour or until set.

  • Place almond bark in a bowl and melt in the microwave on low in 30 second increments and stir until melted and smooth.
  • Dip each caramel cluster in the chocolate to coat.
  • Holding it over the bowl, tap on the edge to let any excess chocolate drip back down.
  • Place cluster back on the parchment lined pan and repeat with remaining clusters.

  • Put the pan back in the refrigerator for an hour or until chocolate is set.
  • Remove from parchment.
  • Store in a cool place.


BLOGMAS 2020 ~ DAY 25 ~ MERRY CHRISTMAS

Just a little trivia: From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote the 12 days of Christmas carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.

It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.  Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

  • The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
  • Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
  • Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
  • The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
  • The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
  • The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
  • Seven swans a-swimming represented the seven fold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
  • The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
  • Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
  • The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
  • The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
  • The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

Merry (Twelve Days of) Christmas Everyone – and, remember, the Twelve Days of Christmas are the 12 days following December 25th. The Christmas Season runs until Epiphany, January 6.

BLOGMAS 2020 ~ DAY 24 ~CHRISTMAS EVE

THE HOLIDAY SEASON & CHRISTMAS EVE…
Usually the holiday season is an endless list of tasks and errands.  Christmas Eve is usually at our house and then Christmas Day many times too.  The last several years though the holiday season has been quiet, many times too quiet.  This year will also be quiet because of the pandemic, but Santa will still be making his rounds for the little ones.

It’s Christmas Eve and Santa Claus is coming to town tonight. If you have kids, or are just a big kid at heart, you can track Santa’s progress as he travels around the world on NORAD.

Merry Christmas everyone!

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP serves 6

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 can (10 oz) mild enchilada sauce
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
4 cups chicken broth
1 can white shopper corn
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped FRESH cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups diced rotisserie chicken
4 soft corn tortillas (5 to 6 inch), cut into 1-inch strips
chopped onions for garnish
sour cream dollop for garnish
drizzle of hot sauce for garnish
chopped cilantro for garnish

  • Add everything except chicken to a large sauté pan or soup kettle.
  • Cover, cooking over medium heat and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Lower heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.
  • Add chicken, stirring to blend.
  • Serve immediately with toppings.

BLOGMAS 2020 ~ DAY 22 ~ INSPIRATIONS, FAVORITE STORIES & THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS

INSPIRATIONS

FAVORITE STORIES

This is such a beautiful story that makes you understand that things truly do happen for a reason. Don’t forget to grab the tissue box.

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc… and on December 18th they were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19th a terrible tempest – a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc… to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet.. ‘Pastor,’ she asked, ‘where did you get that tablecloth?’ The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth, but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a house cleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving.

The man asked him where he got the Tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike.

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

This true Story was submitted by Pastor Rob Reid.

Or this story I found years ago over at Heather’s blog Family Forever, now a closed blog, but I kept it to remind me to remember this for the future.  I think next year that many of my gifts will be given in the same manner as my family really doesn’t ‘need’ anything, but so many others do. Don’t forget your tissue box as you read this story.
The Simple White Envelope
It’s just a small white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas –oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it — the overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma — the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties, and so forth.. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.. Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended.

Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church.

These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.

Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn’t acknowledge defeat.

Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, ‘I wish just one of them could have won,’ he said. ‘They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.’ Mike loved kids — all kids — and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball, and lacrosse.

That’s when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition –one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on. The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning, and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn’t end there. You see, we lost Mike last year due to cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknown to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope. Mike’s giving spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.

May we all remember Christ, who is the reason for the season, and the true Christmas spirit this year and always.

THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS

Christmas is the most important holiday to me and not because Santa comes, though that is pretty important to the kiddos, but more importantly, it’s a caring spirit, a sharing feeling, an attitude that I try to practice all year long.  I truly feel good about giving – whether it’s the Angel trees I select gifts for or the smile from the Salvation Army bell ringer as you put your money in their red bucket and wish them Merry Christmas. 

For 10 years I chaired an Angel Tree Program for FISH and I loved doing it! I prepared for it every year and I truly believe each year got better and better.  The night before we distributed the gifts I would go shopping for the teenage girls.  We were ALWAYS lacking in gifts for the teen girls no matter what we tried to boost things up for them.  So now when I choose the angels from the trees in the community I seek out the teenage girls specifically.

Christmas means lots and lots of memories of family, some no longer with us, but ALWAYS in my heart when I hang an ornament that reminds me of that person or a recipe that they always prepared like my dad’s, Oatnut Sourdough Herb Dressing or Gram’s Christmas box full of goodies picked out just for each one of us or…

One of the things I try to practice is to make at least one homemade gift each year – nothing extravagant, but just something that says “I MADE THIS with LOVE JUST FOR YOU“.

The years that I host Christmas include a lot of family recipes.  But,  most importantly, Christmas is the spirit of Love and Giving and it must be felt and shared. Christmas is a gift from above and each year as I grow older I realize more and more that Christmas is about Love, Peace, Sharing, Caring and just being together.

I can only answer for myself, but I assume for those that are not religious, the meaning of Christmas is still a celebration, but one of celebrating friendships and family by gathering to eat together, share their time and share tokens of appreciation in the form of gifts.


May we ALL carry the spirit of Christmas in our hearts all throughout the year by remembering the REAL reason for the season.

 

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 52 of 2020

GOOD MORNING and guess what? I found it! I found that missing Christmas spirit. What is it they say, Better Late Than Never? I finished the ornament hangers and with hubby’s prodding and I agreed to decorate and am glad I did.  I’m making Christmas Cookies AND polar bear claws today also. I’ll include a picture of those next week or in the Blogmas posts somewhere.

Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up
with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE, WHAT I’M WEARING & HOW I’M FEELING THIS MORNING  It has been a typical Pacific North West winter weekend with lots of gray cold rain. It does look like we might see the sun Tuesday and Wednesday, unfortunately not in time to see the Christmas Star tonight 🙁 Temperatures will be in the high 40’s during the day and 30’s at night, except for Tuesday and Wednesday when it is supposed to drop into the 20’s at night.  I’m wearing Levis, a long sleeve polo shirt, slipper socks ‘cuz I’m going nowhere today as I bake away and watch Christmas movies.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water and mixed berry yogurt

THIS WEEK’S TO DO LIST, PROJECTS & APPOINTMENTS
  • LAUNDRY & CLEANING I did quite a bit of deep cleaning as we decorated and only have a load of laundry to finish
  • GROCERIES & ERRANDS YAY I have no where to go and nothing to get until 2021!
  • PAPERWORK & PHONE CALLS just a couple things
  • RECIPE RESEARCH & MENU PLANNING I have a few new cookbooks I want to read through as I plan a January 2021 menu
WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV
  • NETFLIX – There are a few new things supposed to be released this week because they can’t be in the theatres
  • PRIME – ??
  • HULU – still finishing Melissa and Joey as we go to bed each evening
  • CABLE -most regular shows have taken this week off so I’m trying to finish the Christmas movies and 

I’M READING

  • I’m still reading South of the Buttonwood Tree by Heather Webber

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA I bet some of you wondered if you would see a tree this year at all, but like I said hubby is pretty persuasive. He finally convinced me that I would regret it if we didn’t decorate just a little since Christmas is my favorite holiday. He did a minimal decoration outside also.

I also got the Christmas cacti all separated and replanted – they are so happy now! 🙂

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
SASSED UP CHICKEN & PEPPERS
KUNG PAO CHICKEN
BUFFALO CHICKEN WING SOUP
PULLED PORK PARFAITS
GLAZED HAM, TWICE BAKED POTATOES, GLAZED CARROTS & CARAMEL BANANA BUCHE DE NOEL
C.O.R.N. CHRISTMAS LEFTOVERS
C.O.R.N. CHRISTMAS LEFTOVERS
DESSERT
CHRISTMAS COOKIES

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • SASSED UP CHICKEN & PEPPERS