Welcome to the weekend my friends! I hope your week (and your weather) has been fantastic and you’re enjoying the holidays however you choose to celebrate them. We enjoyed a dusting of snow this week and I was in heaven for the short day it lasted in the trees.
I can dream of a white Christmas, but this year it’s just a dream. We’re supposed to hit 60 degrees on Monday (just a few degrees below the forecast for Phoenix) – what kind of nonsense is that? At least I can look forward to an afternoon walk in the warmer weather.
What are we eating: It’s been a very tasty week here without a single new blog post to be seen about it. (And I’m not at all sad about it right now.)
Sean did it Minced Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry the other night and I might be guilty of hiding the last portion for my lunch – zero guilt here, that’s how we roll. I tossed in the leftover beef and broccoli with some left over Noodles with cabbage and the combination was so good that it gave me an idea for another new recipe.
I made a batch of Cinnamon Crinkle Cookies and then proceeded to eat an absurd number of them with my breakfast and lunch and late afternoon coffee. I’m sure when a cookie encourages me to drink more and more coffee, it might not be a good thing, but the cookies are so perfectly chewy with a buttery cinnamon sugar flavor, they’re sighing. I love them.
Lately we’ve been working on breakfast sandwiches, although they’re often made closer to lunch. I was also informed that “Dad’s sandwiches are better than yours, Mom”
I made a version of this cashew chicken salad, but I ended up swapping out so many ingredients both because they sounded good and because I didn’t have everything on hand, it became a whole new recipe. I don’t regret it though, as I made notes so I could do it again. The whole family was eating the chicken salad on crackers, right out of the mixer bowl.
My youngest son helped, actually did most of the work, to make his favorite dinner last night and it was perfection. Bites of buttered steak (with mushrooms) and a big pot of truffle mac and cheese, along with a sweet coleslaw (although I happily cheated and just grabbed the bag of slaw at Costco this week).
I also made another batch of these Loaded Peppermint Cookies. It’s a dream come true for anyone who loves mint + chocolate as much as I do. Paired with a cup of peppermint hot cocoa, I’m in peppermint heaven.
What I WRONG: Speaking of mint, it’s time to make a batch of mint ice cream. I’ve already restocked on candy bars so I can keep making them all year long.
And I will make a batch from my friend Katrina perfect sugar cookies every time and this weekend. If you haven’t tried them yet, they’re a holiday must-do. Amazing taste, perfectly crisp cut edges, zero chilling time required for the dough, what more could I ask for? I have made her recipe and only her recipe for ten years.
MY FAVORITE THING this week is this butter dish. I might be a little obsessed with this thing. I had a Butterbell for years, but the truth is, for our family, it just doesn’t contain enough butter to make it a practical choice. I finally went looking for a solution that met my whimsical requirements: easy to keep clean, looks nice on the counter, holds at least two sticks of butter, and has a lid.
This is everything I needed and more. It’s the most practical butter dish I’ve seen and it works perfectly. With no weird grooves or edges to collect butter, it stays clean and easily holds extra butter.
WHAT I’M WATCHING: all christmas movies! White Christmas it’s my favorite Christmas movie of all time and my youngest son still watches it with me every year. And The polar Express it’s been our Christmas Eve morning tradition every year since my boys were toddlers.
Die Hard 1 & 2, Lethal weaponand Ref is also listed for this weekend. (Side note, I love having older kids who can finally see them with us! It’s so much fun. My youngest is looking forward to many more birthdays before he joins us for these.)
WHAT I’M READING: Dirty Thirty by Janet Evanovich. After all! A twist on one of Stephanie Plum’s books. I’ve raved about the lack of character development after reading the last few books in this series, and honestly, this wasn’t on my to-read list. The books are still fun reads, but this is book 30 in the series and I’m ready for Stephanie to move on.
However, a reader emailed me a few weeks ago, (Hi, Glynda!) and suggested I try this. It has a surprise ending that made me smile and now I can’t wait to read the next book. Here’s hoping the streak keeps going now.
What I HEAR: Christmas forever by David Lanz and Kristin Amarie. This is new to me and I can’t recommend it enough. The music is beautiful in every way. David is a pianist/composer and Kristin is a singer with a breathtaking voice.
I had a hard time picking a favorite song on this album. O Holy Night and Silent Night are long-time favorites and those renditions are flawless, but Forever Christmas is also excellent. In other words, you should probably give it a listen and see if you can pick a favorite.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 ESV
I wish you the happiest of Christmases!