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Friday, December 9, 2011

I'm Having a Hard Time Getting My Jingle On

Despite being surrounded by Christmas d├ęcor since October and the constant holiday songs playing on the radio for the last week – I’m having a hard time getting my Jingle on this year.

We’ve done all the same things as usual.  The house is decorated, the tree is up and trimmed, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and the front yard twinkles each night.  I feel like I’m putting on a good show this season.  I’m doing all the right things, but that festive spirit has not filled me like in years past. 

It’s not our schedule; it’s lighter right now than before Thanksgiving.  It’s not spiritual; we attend church, enjoy Advent preparation, and spend time reflecting on why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.

My husband and I both have birthdays in the days leading up to Christmas, as well.  It’s usually so festive and exciting and filled with much anticipation. This year, I honestly feel like we’ve just clicked and shipped the holidays to our home.

While I’m not sure what’s missing or if I just need an attitude adjustment, I do plan to bask in the wonder my children exude.  As they open each window on their Advent calendar and hang each Nativity ornament, I will pause.  I hope in that moment, the expectation of the season will catch fire for me.

In the meantime, there are only 14 days until the big day.  Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Last of the Leftovers ... finally!

Okay - I admit to making way too much food on Thanksgiving.  Our family enjoys leftover turkey sandwiches with stuffing and gravy.  But, that was two weeks ago - and enough is enough.  Except, I still had a hefty turkey breast mocking me from the fridge.  Today is the day I transform the rest of the Turkey and Stuffing into a meal for the family.

Poppy Seed Casserole (this is a perfect casserole for leftover poultry)

Combine cream of chicken soup with 16 oz sour cream.  Spread half on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  Cube turkey breast (about 3 cups).  Spread remainder of wet mixture over the top of the turkey.  Sprinkle poppy seeds generously over the top.  Crush a sleeve of butter rounds (Ritz Crackers) over the top.  I deviated on this, today, I used leftover corn souffle, and crumbled the dried mixture over the top.
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Serve over rice with a green vegetable.

A shout out to a good friend who turned me onto this basic chicken casserole.  It's so delicious the kids stood over the pan scooping out bites.  Seriously.

Stuffing Casserole

Combine leftover stuffing (about 4 cups) with cream of celery and cream of mushroom soups. Leftover gravy would be a great addition to this.  Spread into the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish.  Mixture will be heavy.  The juices from the chicken will mix in nicely with the stuffing to rejuvenate it.
Coat 8-10 skinless, boneless chicken thighs with Lawry's Seasoning Salt and nestle them into the stuffing mixture.
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Serve with a green vegetable.

I will post pictures of these once they are baked off this week.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fun Finds Online

While this is posted for Thanksgiving Leftovers, 
I can see this as a useful way to package up leftovers on a regular basis.  

Just one of twenty-five gifts that cost less than $5 to make.  

I'm big on Advent in our home.  
Love this cute reusable, customizable craft at serenitynow.