Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

From our crazy, silly, wonderful family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Here's how Mama does Christmas with the family:

This year for Christmas Eve dinner we decided to make snowman pizza! It was a big hit and so much fun to make!
Peanut helped make sure it was perfect.

We also made delicious sugar cookies and molasses cookies for Santa (and carrots for the reindeer, of course!)
Squish even started officially crawling when she saw a chance to upgrade to cookie from carrot!!
Anna tried to stop her, but there's no stopping a girl on a mission in this house!
(I didn't let her eat the whole cookie, but I couldn't help but let her enjoy the sweet taste of victory for a bite or two.)

Merry Christmas, everyone!  May your days be merry and bright :)


Friday, December 12, 2014

Homemade Garlic Parmesan Croutons

This week, my grocery store had a whole bunch of loaves of bread marked down to 25 cents apiece, so I decided to try my hand at making homemade croutons. How hard can it be, right? Not hard at all, my friends. Really simple, and so tasty!  One loaf of regular sliced bread made a whole gallon sized bag of croutons.  The best part was that everything other than the 25 cent loaf of bread, I had on hand already.  From what I've read, it looks like they will keep in a sealed bag out of the fridge for about 2-4 weeks, in the fridge for at least a month, or frozen for up to 3 months (although I haven't tried to freeze them, I'm skeptical that they'd stay as crispy).  I figure between all the holidays coming up, Annalyn snacking on them, and my obsession with salads lately (thanks to this raspberry vinaigrette recipe), we will have no problem finishing them within the month.  Here's how Mama makes it:

Garlic Parmesan Croutons

- 1 loaf of day old bread (or leave the bag open overnight)
- 1/2-2/3 c. olive oil
- 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
- 1 t. salt (more or less, to taste)
- 1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 T. minced garlic
- 1 t. dried rosemary
- 1/2 t. dried oregano
- 1/2 t. dried thyme

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Slice bread into roughly 1/2" cubes.  For me, it was easiest to make half a batch at a time.
2.  In a large bowl, combine half of the remaining ingredients. Add bread cubes and toss to coat.

3.  Place bread in an even layer on foil lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10, until golden brown and crispy. (Mine were done around 25-28 minutes. Times will vary based on oven, type of bread, etc.) Allow to cool, then store in a sealed container until ready to use on your favorite salad or soup.

printable recipe


Monday, December 8, 2014

2014 Christmas Card Letter

Merry Christmas, everyone!

It's that holly jolly time of year again.  If you haven't noticed from the posts, we've had a pretty eventful 12 months, starting with a New Year's celebration with our BFFs. 

I have to say, that was probably the high point of our January.  After that it was just a lot (I mean A LOT) of snow, and a lot of jealous moments when Michael got snow days at home with Annalyn while I had to make the snowy, icy, freeeeezing, white-knuckled treck into work. That's right, even in snow emergencies.

it did make for some fun weekly bump pics, though!

February, though still snow-covered, brought some fun with Annalyn's second birthday.  This was really the point when I realized, wow, she is not a baby.  Like, at all. This picture really made me stop and see how "growed up" she was getting, as she puts it.

Friday, December 5, 2014

How the Grinch Stole...

In our house, we don't have an Elf on the Shelf, but we do have the Grinch the stole Christmas. That ole Grinchy Claus keeps trying to take our Christmas decorations! Some mornings Anna finds him with ornaments from the tree. Other days, he's playing with her blocks to build his sleigh or trying to stuff something up the chimney.  Annalyn gets a big kick out of scolding him, saving the Christmas stuff and returning it to the right place.  This morning, Mr. Grinch was found with Santa's naughty/nice list - this Grinch will stop at nothing to ruin Christmas! Luckily, we got it back and plan to return it to Santa when we send him a letter. Hopefully he still has time to check it twice!

Merry Grinchmas, everyone!