Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Thought I'd sneak in a quick post while everyone is off napping, showering or playing their new video games.

We've always been amazed that our kids have never really been early risers on Christmas Day and this year was no exception. While DH likes to sleep in until someone forces him to get out of bed, I don't like to miss any of the Christmas action, so I tend to wake up frequently, listening to see if the boys are up. As usual, I was waking up every hour or so and even though I hadn't heard a peep, I finally got up around 7 only to find that I was the first one up! The boys must have heard me, because they soon followed.

As per our tradition, they are allowed to open their stockings first - whether or not anyone else is up - but after that, they have to wait for everyone else to come down before opening any presents. After DH - always the last one up - finally made his appearance (with a lot of help and encouragement from an impatient DS#2), the boys were allowed to start on their pile of presents under the tree. Next, grownups tackled their stocking and then presents.

After the gifts were open, it was on to brunch. We had:

Mimosas - a Christmas day tradition!

Hash Brown Quiche and Fruit Salad

Cranberry Upside-Down Coffee Cake

The "quiche" was good, but I discovered that I definitely prefer the shredded potatoes over the diced potatoes, but diced was all they had at the store.

And of course the mimosas were lovely - I like mine very light on the orange juice - it's really just a filler - something added to justify drinking alcohol so early in the day. One of these days I'll get around to trying something more fun, like a cranberry-orange mimosa, or maybe something with pomegranate juice.......

As for the Cranberry Upside-Down Cake - mine was more like a Cranberry Upside-Down and Inside-Out Cake. The topping stuck to the bottom of the pan, so I had to scrape it out and try to put it back on top. By the time I was done trying to salvage it, I was too mad at it to try to ice it, so I skipped the icing. Perhaps that was a mistake - the icing probably would have helped hide what a mess it was! I knew we had plenty of food, so that part didn't upset me, but this coffee cake was pretty time consuming, so it was frustrating to have spent that much time on something that didn't turn out very well. In any case, it was still pretty tasty, but I think I would have preferred it without the dates. I don't have the recipe posted yet, but I did link to it on the Cooking Light site.

Tonight I was planning to have the Italian Sausage Soup, only I forgot the spinach! I do have some arugula though, so I might try throwing that in and see if it works or I might try something different. We're all so stuffed right now, that I'm sure it doesn't really matter............

One more thing.........we've been stashing all of the cookies we've been baking in the freezer and DS volunteered to plate them for last night's dessert. He asked me to take a picture and share it here on the blog:

One thing we discovered was that although the powdered sugar survived quite well on the Chocolate Crackles, it did not survive with the Russian Tea Cakes or the Pfeffernusse. In the future, I'd wait to roll them in powdered sugar AFTER they come out of the freezer. They still tasted wonderful, they just didn't have that festive, snowy coating.

I lied - I still have one more thing. Dinner last night was beef and chicken fondue with Dijon Dressing, Curry Mayo, Finger-Licking Peanut Sauce and horseradish sauce (which I hope to post one of these days). We served it with the Onion and Fontina Beer Batter Bread, whole grain rice and a salad.

Whew, well I think that gets us all caught up on what's been going on in the kitchen so far. Tomorrow I'll be back with some of the kitchen-themed goodies we got for Christmas and a few wine gadgets too.

Wishing everyone Peace and Joy this holiday season!

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