Saturday, December 21, 2013

Our Christmas Menu

I know that I usually share our menu for the week, but, this week it will just be our Christmas menu.
With work, more work, wrapping, shopping, visiting, Christmas Eve, Christmas and more work it is going to be a busy week to say the least.  I am really looking forward to the time with family and friends, despite the schedule!

I do an annual appetizers & desserts open house style visiting day on Christmas.  This is the 3rd or 4th year and it works out well.  We start the day with some quiet family time and we have breakfast together and open gifts.  Then, the company arrives and we visit.  If my kids can stay up late enough, I would love to finish the day with a family Christmas movie.  So far they have not made it past 6pm, haha!

This is our menu, balanced between the kid palates and the adult preferences.

For appetizers we are having:
1 - Crockpot ham made into ham sandwiches(we are making)
2 - Sausage Appetizers (we are making)
3 - Crabbie Appetizers (we are making)
4 - Fruit Salad (store bought)
5 - Meatballs and red sauce (store)
6 - Kielbasa & maple (us)
7 - Veggie tray & dip (us)
8 - Cheese & crackers (store)
9 - Toasted Ravioli (store)
10 - Buffalo Chicken Dip & veggies & scoops (store)
11 - Artichoke & Spinach Dip & scoops (store)
12 - Bagel Bites (store)
13 - Spiral Sandwiches (store)
14 - Beverages: Party Punch, coffee, water & soda with juice boxes for kids (us/store)

For desserts:
1. shortbread cookies (store)
2. Tree cakes (store)
3. Cream Puffs (store)
4. Kiss cookies (us)
5. M&M cookies (us)
6. Brownies (us)
7. Fancy Carmel popcorn (coworker)



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

10 Things - New TV Shows - Fall 2013

The Originals

I gave 10 new shows a shot this fall (OK, maybe I tried more than 10 but this is about 10 Things, OK?).  Some were good, some were bad and some are on their way to being cancelled!  My opinions, in no particular order, are below:
  1. Michael J. Fox's Show - OK but I am only keeping it on my Season Pass because my hubby likes it.
  2. Sleepy Hollow - I LOVE this show!  I really like Abby & Icky.  And,  together they are pure TV magic.  They are hunting down clues and working together as a great team.
  3. The Tomorrow People - I like this show and may attempt to pick it up again some day.  But, it had to go for now as I have too many shows.
  4. The Blacklist - Still hanging in there.  But, if my DVR gets too full this is probably the next to go.
  5. Hostages - I currently have 4 or 5 episodes on my DVR.  I like it and I like that it has a finite life span.  But, somehow I haven't got around to watching this show.
  6. Dracula - I had incredibly high hopes for this show because I love me some Jonathan Rhys Meyers and some vampires.  But, so far it just isn't grabbing me.  I don't care too much about any of the characters except the butler.  I don't think that was the network's plan.  I do wish JRM luck with his sobriety.  Maybe he needs the junk to be a convincing mad man.
  7. The Witches of East End - I really like this show!  But, I just don't have enough time for it now.  I noticed that Lifetime makes episodes available online.  I may try to catch up over Winter Break.  But, as I already have a stockpile of shows to watch during winter break, this may have to wait until summer.
  8. The Goldberg's -Critics of this show mentioned that they thought people would like this show and laugh JUST because they were having fun reliving the 80's.  While I agree with this, I also think that the show is just funny!  There is a great cast and I like the writing about the family.  The Grandpa is one of my favorites.
  9. The Crazy Ones -I thought that a show with this cast would be amazing!  However, I do have a really strong aversion to 30 minute comedies that came about from investing in 30 minute comedies that were too quickly cancelled.
  10. The Originals -I watch The Vampire Diaries and decided to give this a go.  I am not a Claus fan.  I really wasn't feeling this show after the first couple of episodes .  But, I kept watching and now it is one of my favorites.  I was sucked in by the baby-hybrid story line and the vast cast.  I really like how we get to know so many other supernatural creatures in this show.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Weekly Dinner Menu - December 16, 2013

Monday -   Kielbasa, Cabbage and Onions in the Crockpot like we made HERE.

Tuesday -   Easy Pasta Dish -  Manicotti and Meatballs
  
Wednesday -  leftovers


Thursday -    Social Engagement so no dinner at home.


Friday - Broiled shrimp & scallops (we have a little leftover of both of these) with oven baked potatoes of some sort and a green veggie.

Saturday -   Tilapia or Cod with a sides that are TBD.
  
Sunday -    TBD - I am considering ending the menus on Saturday because I am still planning for today's meal (Sunday) on the day I prep the menu.  It seems to be a consistent challenge to come up with Sunday's meal so look for a shake-up next week.

Last Sunday we didn't make anything in the Crockpot but on Monday, my husband made sweet Italian sausage, peppers, onions and potatoes and they came out great.  We wanted to buy a second Crockpot.  We ended up getting the Ninja and this was our first experience using the Ninja as a slow cooker.

Sickness came to our house in a big way last week (strep x2) so the menu is completely out of sync.  Tonight we are having company so I am making the veggie spiral and the Coca Cola Chicken.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Weekly TV Update - December 11, 2013

Shannon's current TV lineup:

  1. Sleepy Hollow (Monday)
  2. 2 Broke Girls (Monday)
  3. The Blacklist (Monday)
  4. Revenge (Sunday)
  5. The Goldberg's (Monday)
  6. Revolution (Wednesday)
  7. Nashville (Wednesday)
  8. The Michael J. Fox Show (Thursday)
  9. The Vampire Diaries (Thursday)
  10. The Originals (Tuesdays)
  11. Hart of Dixie (Monday)
  12. Arrow (Wednesday)
  13. Mike & Molly (Monday)
  14. Dracula (Friday)
  15. The Carrie Diaries (Friday)
  16. Grimm (Friday)
 Other Info:

Entering the last year of the series - How I Met Your Mother (ends May/June 2014).
The Walking Dead will be back for the second half of Season 4 on February 9, 2014.
Coming soon:
The Following - Due back in January 19 & 20, 2014 - a 2 night premiere!  This has actually changed to 1/19/14 and then the second episode will air the following week (instead of the next night).  That it to make room for the Season 1 finale of Sleepy Hollow.
  
And finally, my comments: 
  • Bones & How I Met Your Mother and Hostages - I have decided to let these episodes pile up on my DVR.  During last year's winter hiatus I watched them all and that was a fun treat.
  • The Originals -  
  • Vampire Diaries -  
  • Nashville
  • The Goldberg's -
  • Revolution -  I didn't have a new episode.
  • Arrow
  • Michael J. Fox - I didn't get a new episode of this, either.
  • Dracula -  
  • The Carrie Diaries
  • Grimm -  What a spooky little demon kid!  Gadzooks!  It's nice that Juliette
     is able to help Nick with his crime solving now.
  • Revenge
  • 2 Broke Girls
  • The Blacklist -  
  • Hart of Dixie
  • Mike & Molly -

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Great Slipper Hunt

Flower Clog Slippers
I need a good pair of slippers!

I actually had this problem last year.  I took a Facebook survey and decided to take the plunge and buy some expensive (to me, anyway) slippers.  I think I bought them during the 50% off sale so they were $24.50.

I bought the Land's End Purple Clog Slippers.  They fit well.  They are warm & fuzzy.  I don't slip when wearing them.  The problem is that there is almost too much padding on the bottom and my feet seem to slip off of the padding onto either side of the slipper.  This is WEIRD.  I know it.  But, it makes me not love my slippers.

Here is the link if you want to see them:
http://www.landsend.com/products/womens-flower-clog-slippers/id_244209?sku_0=::I7D

Can anyone make a recommendation of some awesome slippers?  Bonus points if you recommend a brand with a deal going on now!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Oven Roasted Sausage, Potatoes and Vegetables

1 lb. Kielbasa
Mmmmmmmmm, I think that I have a new favorite!  I found a Pin for this dinner and finally made it!  It was originally Pinned by Lila's Apron here.   While the blogger is not a prolific writer, she has a great personality and some even better recipes!
Bell Pepper, Onion, Idaho Potatoes


All you need is:
  • 1 lb of sausage (I used Kielbasa because that is what we had on hand)
  • 4-5 potatoes (I used Idaho because that is what we had)
  • 1 sliced bell pepper (any color)
  • 1-2 large sliced onions
  • 1 small jar of banana peppers (I used mild)
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Creole seasoning (I used Old Bay)


Banana Peppers, Olive Oil & Seasonings
Instructions:
  • Preheat over to 400 degrees F
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
  • Use a large bowl and add diced sausage, potatoes, onions and peppers with the olive oil.  Stir to coat.  Add banana peppers and stir some more.
  • Spread mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it out to the same thickness.
  • Sprinkle salt, pepper and other seasonings.
  • Bake for 35 minutes or so until potatoes are tender.
Notes:
  • The type of potatoes will really effect the cooking time and you don't want to serve this until the potatoes are done.  I cooked it for a full 40 minutes or so.
  • Use the middle rack of your oven so that the Kielbasa doesn't over cook.
  • I added some Italian Seasoning.
  • Before Cooking
  • My husband thinks that this would be great with the addition of Italian sausage and I think that he is right!
In the Bowl


After Cooking