Monday, November 30, 2015

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 49 - 2015

To say that this year has gotten away from me is an understatement. I don't know where the time goes. It seems like the older I get, the faster time goes. 

I thought I would try to get back to my regular blogging routine, maybe it will help me remember what we have done in the past, and stay on schedule. I did get our holiday cards out this year, the day before Thanksgiving, that was a huge accomplishment!

We had a really nice long Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving was spent at my sisters with her family and my mom and dad. The first time in years that it was just us, and it was really nice. I made Patti LaBelle's Over the Rainbow Mac and Cheese which was so good but so decadent. I also made Ruths Chris Sweet Potato dish, which was a big hit and of course, our favorite Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip recipe. I have been making this for the past four years and we all just love it.
My niece Gracie always spends Thanksgiving night with me and we go and do lunch Friday, sometimes some shopping and always take in at least one movie, but usually we try to do two. This year we saw Mockingjay Part 2 (we saw Part 1 last year on Black Friday) and The Good Dinosaur. We loved both of them and neither of us could decide which one we liked best. The only Black Friday grocery shopping we did was at Byerly's, our local grocery store who had some good deals. Later that afternoon, we had a few people over before the Alison Scott Holiday show at Wayzata Community Church. Ali is married to Scott's cousin and we always enjoy her shows, but this one is really special. Two of Scott's aunts and uncles came over and it was really good to see them and spend some time with them. 

Saturday we spent the day getting the house decorated, organized and cleaned up in preparation for a birthday brunch on Sunday to celebrate my dad's 70th birthday. I hadn't put out any Christmas decorations yet, so we started but didn't finish. Just did what we could. We went over to neighbors across the pond, who had a bunch of people over to watch the Gopher/Madison football game. They have an awesome pub at their house and it was packed and a ton of fun, I am glad we went, it was a good stress reliever. 

Sunday my mom and sister showed up early to help with everything. My mom made her French Toast Bake which is one of our favorites with apples and craisins (we have this every Christmas morning at my parents), my sister made her cheesy potatoes and I made two egg bakes, one Italian and one Mediterranean as well as a ham. We had lots of sweets as well, muffins, breads and rolls. It was a wonderful day celebrating my dad. His sisters and my parents close friends were all here, it was really nice and everything went off without a hitch. 

This week is hopefully going to be low key leading up to our biggest party of the year. We have a lot of get togethers, celebrations on the deck, but our annual holiday party is always at least 50 people, a ton of food, lots to drink, our closest friends and too much fun! Last year we had our party for the first time on Friday, I decided to do it again this year on a Friday. It worked out really well last year. I take the day off and get everything ready, I usually have at least one friend willing to come and help me early and we have hired help that serves food, keeps making appetizers and cleans up. There are so many parties that people are obligated to in the weekends leading up to Christmas, this is a chance for everyone to let their hair down before things get crazy (or maybe this is when everyone lets their hair down!). We have a really fun gift exchange that gets really competitive, I actually still have to get my gift for Friday!

Plans - Laundry, home, first big snow storm of the season
Breakfast and Lunch - Leftovers - French Toast Bake, Mac and Cheese
Dinner - Steaks, leftover hashbrowns and sweet potatoes

Plans - It is supposed to keep snowing, we are both working from home, so I am thinking the tree will go up, more decorations out and hopefully an appetizer or two prepped for Friday. 
Breakfast and Lunch - More leftovers!
Dinner - We have three meals coming from Hello Fresh this week and next week. And then we have three meals coming from Home Chef the following two weeks. I figured with everything going on during the holidays, that this would be a good idea to do to make our lives easy. Scott loves making these meals and he does a great job. This week we have Smoky Chicken Fajitas, Seared Steak and Crispy Potato Salad and Walnut Crusted Salmon with Broccoli and Cous Cous. We will probably do the fajitas. 

Plans - We have friends that are leaving Friday until December 28th, so not only will we miss them dearly but Grace's birthday is today so there is some celebrating that needs to take place. 
Breakfast and Lunch - More leftovers.
Dinner - Redstone, out with friends to celebrate!

Plans - Final prep for Friday. Make any appetizers that I can in advance, make sure the tables are ready, candles are ready to go, get my spruce top planters done. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Egg and Bacon, salad from Costco for lunch. 
Dinner - one of the Hello Fresh Meals

Plans - All day prep for the party. I am having my hair done at noon and our cleaning woman is coming at 1:00, so it is going to be a hectic day. I decided to have my hair braided for the party, something festive. I have my 28th Stitch Fix box coming, I am hoping it comes early in the day, I haven't planned an outfit for the party yet, which is really unlike me!
Meals - will be on the go until the party, and then I need to remember to eat!

Plans - Ahhhh, clean up, a nap and relaxing! We might hit a movie in the evening. 

Plans - My mom, sister, niece Grace and I go to see a musical every Christmas. This year we are seeing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I can't wait. We always have lunch first, should be a great day! 

For more recipes and links to other menus, check out the orgjunkie.

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