Ooh, I’m in such a hurry! We’re headed out for a day trip as vacation week wraps up. I’ll just have to talk about food and skip the jokes, to save time.
We decorate the tree on Christmas eve, and then we went to “midnight Mass” at 10 PM. Part of me was sad and a little irritated that the parish wasn’t giving us our rare and special twice-a-year midnight liturgy this year; but the other part was like, HOME BEFORE MIDNIGHT, WOOOOO! Because we did manage to get all forty presents wrapped, but there were still ten stockings to fill . . .
Christmas brunch; Pupu Platter for 15
Our traditional Christmas morning brunch is cinnamon rolls, bacon, grapes, orange juice, and egg nog.
Tip: The way to keep kids from drinking egg nog until they throw up is . . . buy tiny cups. Cheers!
I made Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon roll dough the day before, and rolled out the rolls in the morning.
I made a double recipe, which was insane. I make this same mistake every year. We ended up throwing out both unused dough and uneaten cinnamon buns, and we brought a pan to my mother-in-law’s house, too.
We ordered Chinese from the restaurant down the road. We used to do the whole “Thanksgiving recreation” meal, or sometimes a glazed ham with cherries and pineapple rings, until we realized nobody wanted a huge, formal meal, and also it was kind of crappy that everyone else gets to relax and have fun on Christmas, but I was spending all day cooking. So, Pupu platter!
Leftover chinese food, leftover chicken burgers
Plus some extra frozen pork rolls my husband picked up because he is crazy. I also threw in some sad peppers and avocados I found in the fridge, because it felt like we hadn’t eaten vegetables in six years. Somehow the vegetables are always the first to drop out.
Finished making caramel chocolate-covered almonds from Smitten Kitchen today. This project had been lagging on and on for weeks. We eked out a few batches in time to give to teachers, and finally finished the rest on Monday.
If anyone’s interested, I have a series of photos showing exactly what the caramel should look like while it’s cooking. It goes through an alarming series of transformations, all of which are normal. Just say the word and I will share the pics.
I made the first few batches right, but then I got lazy and didn’t separate the caramelized almonds properly. So I just broke it up into clusters, rather than individual almonds and dipped those into chocolate, which was way easier and faster and just as good. I thought the gold sugar was especially pretty.
This recipe could be used for any time of year — just change the colors of sugar and sprinkles you use.
Husband ran out to the store for meat while we all lazed around eating chocolate and playing video games.
We also made stained glass cookies, on the principle that it is better to make Christmas cookies late and slightly crabby then not to make Christmas cookies at all. We used this foolproof sugar cookie recipe for the dough. Then we sorted out some Jolly Ranchers by color, bagged them, and smashed them.
Then we cut them out and used smaller cookie cutters or knives to make cut-outs inside the cookie shapes. You’re supposed to bake the cookies part of the way, then fill them with candy bits, and then finish baking, but I forgot, and filled them before baking.
They turned out great! Note the parchment paper.
Look, I even made a corny pro-life cookie.
That baby head-to-pelvis ratio is pretty accurate for Corrie, as I remember it.
Irene, of course, made a skull with glowing red eyes:
Murry Christmas, weirdo. The key to the success of this recipe is, and I cannot stress this enough, USE PARCHMENT PAPER. Not wax paper, and not (brrr, your poor molars) tin foil. Parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, do not make these cookies!
Bacon, Brussels sprouts, and eggs; french fries
How I love this one-pan dish from Damn Delicious. It would make a wonderful brunch, but I think it’s super for supper, too. Bacon needs balsamic honey, eggs need hot pepper, and everyone plays well with Brussels sprouts, what do you know about that?
I had microwaved leftovers for breakfast the next day, and had a banner day for productivity. I owe it all to protein, and Brussels sprouts. Even kinda congealed, it was so very good.
Spaghetti and meatballs, salad
I stuck with Fannie Farmer’s recipe for meatballs, which is basically one egg and half a cup of breadcrumbs for every pound of meat, plus whatever spices and herbs. I used about 6.5 pounds of beef and a little ground turkey, and made 85 wonderful meatballs. Rather than frying them, I put them on a broiler pan and cook them in a medium-hot oven. They keep their shape and don’t get all greasy, and it’s so much easier.
Yum yum. We were pretty much snowed in all day, so I was happy to have a very hearty meal.
Speaking of snowed in, here is my recipe for completely delicious hot chocolate: Put into a pot one heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder and two heaping tablespoons of sugar for every mug of hot chocolate you want. Add enough water to make a thick syrup, and mix over low heat until the sugar is all melted. Then add the milk and a glug of vanilla. Stir and heat until it’s hot.
Benny insisted on drinking out of her doll tea set. As I mentioned before, the key to success and happiness in life is and always will be TINY CUPS.
I think pizza.
And now my poor family is waiting for me in the car! Happy trails. Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas and using parchment paper like I said. I’m not kidding.