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Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, good mother, good looking, good tempered, well groomed and unaggressive. ~ Leslie McIntyre

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas...EVERYONE!!

Merry Christmas!
I hope that Santa came by your house last night. He's a pretty cool guy...

Christmas Eve dinner went off without a hitch at the Sparks' house. :) Everyone made it. Everyone enjoyed the food and then everyone went home! Just was fun to have my family over for the holiday. We will celebrate with Jason's family on New Year's Day when they come up here and stay at his aunt's house. That should be interesting because there will be a ton of us!
Anyway, here' Christmas Eve in pictures...

Linsey was so proud of the table that she set and the name tags she made so that everyone would know where they were sitting...:)

Brie en Croute for snacking on before dinner and vegan pumpkin pie to snack on after dinner.

Two versions of Shepard's Pie (1 with beef & 1 vegetarian)
Here is the recipe...
1.75 lb ground beef (substitute veggie crumbles for veg version)
2 lbs russet potatoes (I used sweet potatoes in the veg version)
2 T cream cheese
1 lg egg yolk
1/2 c vegetable broth
salt & pepper to taste
1 T oil
1/2 c frozen peas
1 carrot chopped
1 onion chopped
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 c vegetable stock
2 t worcestershire sauce (veg version)
1 t paprika

In a large pot basically make mashed potatoes with the potatoes, cream cheese, egg yolk and vegetable broth. While that is cooking brown the ground beef and then add carrots, onion and cook for 5 minutes (if making the veg version saute the carrot and onion in the oil and then add frozen veggie crumbles). In a small saucepan melt the butter then add the flour and stir well while cooking for about 2 minutes then whisk in the vegetable stock and worcestershire sauce. Once it is thick add it to the meat or "meat" mixture in skillet. Stir in frozen peas and then transfer to a small, but deep dish and top with the potatoes making sure to spread out evenly. Cook under the broiler until potatoes are evnly browned and then serve.

The girls were ready to eat, but I don't know where everyone else is. Somehow I managed to not get one picture of my parents, my sister OR my nephew while they were here. :(

The Shepard's Pie was sooooo good!! This salad was amazing too (if I do say so myself). I tossed baby spinach and baby mixed greens with 1/4 sliced red onion, a small container of strawberries chopped, 1/2 cup (or so) of chopped walnuts with balsamic vinaigrette and then crumbled this AMAZING cinnamon cranberry goat cheese on top at the last minute. HOLY GOODNESS!!!

Then, after cooking and cleaning ALL DAY, my dinner was finished and this was what remained...
Then we spent the rest of the evening visiting and opening gifts. Once everyone went home we put the girls to bed (after Linsey put Santa through the ringer!!!) Take a look at this...

Poor Santa - not only does he have to stop at EVERY house in the WORLD, but bratty, nonbelieving kids make him jump through hoops to prove he exists...poor guy! :)
But he came a BIG WAY!

Just as I predicted, Linsey was up at about 6:20 this morning. She woke us up in pure excitement because Santa had eaten his cookies, drunk his vanilla soymilk AND signed the letter like a good boy should.  Plus he left this...

It looks like we have the next Martha Stewart or Julia Child on our hands...?

She's a blogger in the making with her new laptop (or old one rebuilt for her!)

Jason felt the urge to show off his new Hugo Boss watch!
Then it was time for me to make breakfast...

TaDa...I managed to make edible and yummy homemade biscuits!! :D

Throw in some scrambled eggs, veggie sausage, homemade gravy and good ole OJ and it was the perfect breakfast for Christmas morning.
PLUS...we got a teeny tiny bit of snow!

After a long morning of playing with all the new goodies the girls and I decided we needed a little 'snack' :)

Apparently Santa DOES bring coal to bad little girls! It comes in the form of chocolate!!
After the girls had a taste I decided it was the best time to rearrange the living room! I know...Christmas IS the best day of the year to move couches and large chairs and area rugs and end tables. But while this furniture moving was going on Jason had a little 'mishap' with our armoire resulting in a pause in the activites so that he could work with tools.

While he was fixing the drawer I was very busy looking cute and eating chocolate!

Lunch was leftovers from last night. The vegetarian Shepard's Pie was just as tasty today as it was last night.
Then we vegged on the couch while Regan took a nap and watched It's A Wonderful Life. Such a great movie...
Regan woke up just as the movie ended and we were already hungry for dinner. Jason really wanted chinese food (apparently ALL our Jewish friends eat chinese and go to the movies on Christmas) so he decided that's what we were having even if it meant he had to brave the frigid temperatures to go and get it.

I had the vegetable fried rice with LOTS of spicy mustard and two spring rolls. Then, after giving the cookie part to Regan, I read my was GREAT!!

So I did just that...

Now it's dark and Christmas night is coming to an end so Jason, the girls and I are continuing a Christmas night tradition. We're curled up on the couch under blankets watching The Polar Express. :)
I hope that everyone who celebrates Christmas has had a wonderful day with the ones they hold close and those who don't celebrate have enjoyed the day off and the traffic free streets!
Good night...


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The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep. ~ Robert Frost