Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thoughts On Christmas Movies

There was a point in my life where I was glued to the TV during the holidays to try to watch every Hallmark Christmas movie I could.  Then, it hit me one day; they're all going to end the same.  The single mom, who although is struggling financially, has impeccable style and a variety of peacoats and scarves, will end up with the handsome, kid-loving neighbor, just in time to have a picture perfect Christmas Eve.  Oh, and it will snow.  It always snows in the end.

There are a few Christmas movies that I do look forward to every year though.  I'm going to travel through these movies Ebeneezer Scrooge style, and show you my favorites from the past, the present, and a few that I think we'll revisit in the future.  

When I think of my favorite movie from the past; the movie I looked forward to every year...I think about Miracle on 34th Street.  But, no, not the classic; the remake.

That movie came out in 1994, so technically I was a teenager and not a kid, but I do remember watching it when I was younger.  I also really looked forward to Christmas specials on TV, which technically aren't movies, BUT I had to watch them when it came on, because we didn't have a DVR, kids.  Also, it meant we didn't have to fire up the ol' VCR.

I really looked forward to A Garfield Christmas every year.

And, I still look forward to A Charlie Brown Christmas.

There are a few movies that we watch every year now, too.  Our very, very favorite movie that we (as a family) set aside a whole night devoted to watching is...drum roll, please...Christmas with the Kranks.  I know it's not a classic or anything, but it cracks me up every time we watch it, and it's definitely one of Kendall's favorites, too.  

I cannot pick a favorite part of this movie; I love it all, but Kendall's favorite part is the frozen cat...

And, my husband's favorite part is the Hickory Honey Ham fiasco...

I guess, if I'm being honest, I love the happy, sappy ending.  I would tell you all about it, but you have to watch the movie to see what happens (that was said in my best Reading Rainbow voice.  Anyone get that reference?).

Polar Express is another movie that gets a whole night, too.  It's a pajama, hot chocolate kind of night that we all look forward to.  In fact, this year, we are actually boarding the Polar Express in Grapevine, Texas in a few weeks.  We haven't told the kids yet, so I can't wait to see what they think of it!

Four Christmases is definitely not family friendly, but always seems to be on when I'm up late wrapping presents, so it's become of favorite of mine and Mark's.  In fact, we quote it quiet often.

I don't know the future, and what new releases we may fall in love with, but I can tell you a few movies that my little kids haven't seen that I can't wait to introduce them to this year.

First up, Home Alone.  I see a little Kevin McAllister in my son, so I may be a tiny bit nervous to introduce him to this character, but hey, I'm not planning on leaving him home alone, so I think we'll be fine.

I also see a little of fancy pants Eloise in my youngest daughter, so I have a feeling she is going to love Eloise at Christmastime for years to come.  

Not to put a thorn in your mistletoe, but just in case you care, my very least favorite movie (and song...because as if it wasn't bad enough, it needed it's own song.  I think there's even a book.  Ugh!) is Christmas Shoes.  

I'm not talking about the acting, or the story-line, or even the setting.  No, I'm just talking about sadness.  I don't want to watch a movie or hear a song about sadness.  I just can't, there's enough sadness int he world, I don't need it for entertainment.  Give me Hickory Honey Hams and children left at home alone, any day.  

Are you interested in reading about more Christmas movies?  I am linking up with my blog pals, Shelly and Katy for Spiel the Beans with the Queens.  Be sure to check out their posts, too!

Tuesday Talk + A Friendly Reminder

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I took an unexpected break last week to soak in every minute of Thanksgiving with my family.  Then, I hoped to post yesterday, and never got around to it.  I knew for sure I would post this morning.  Now, here it is Tuesday afternoon, and I am finally posting.  This may be why I don't have a job.  

We had a great Thanksgiving week!  We played in the sunshine...

Spent time with friends...

Built some gingerbread houses...

Spent some time with Gigi...

Scored some bargains on Black Friday... 

(Pretty sure Kendall was DONE with shopping at this point.  Note: Check out the store shelves behind us. Ugh!)

And, worked on our Christmas decorations...

This kids love that little nativity!  I thought about leaving it out all year, but figured after a year we would probably be down to one king, and Mary would have marker all over her, so we packed it away and looked forward to setting it up again.  

Thanksgiving is over, and we are anxiously anticipating Christmas!  If you're like us, you will be invited to approximately 6,392 Christmas parties and get togethers over the next month where you will be expected to bring something.  Today, I am sharing a recipe that is super simple, but has amazing flavor, and is the perfect party food that pairs well with most any main course.  Or...you could just whip it up after the kids go to bed and scarf it down with your sweetie on the couch while snuggled up next to the fireplace.  No judgment here.

In fact, this is so easy, I don't even know that I should call it a recipe.  Let's just call it a reminder.  Anyone can make this, so it's just a friendly reminder that you should make it.

Get out of town, right?  I should mention that this is not low carb...or low fat.  Sorry, THM friends.  We're going to file this recipe under the category "Let's Worry About This In January."

This is all you need:  A Wheel of Brie, a tube of crescent rolls, a jelly of your choice (I like something with a spicy kick to it), and an egg.  

Spread your crescent rolls out and pinch the seams together.  If you live in a town with a fancy grocery store (unlike me), just go ahead and buy the crescent sheet.  It'll save you valuable pinching time.  

Place your wheel o' brie in the center of your crescent sheet.  

Spread some jelly over your brie liberally.  

I like to use a jelly with some pizzaz to it, to cut through the richness of the brie and buttery cresent rolls.  My husband picked me up this Sangria Jalapeno Wine Jelly from Wildhorse Canyon Farms while visiting a Farmer's Market on a work trip to Oklahoma City.  Why, you ask, was my husband visiting a Farmer's Market while on a work trip?  I have no idea, but I got wine infused jelly out of it, so I am not questioning him.

Next, swaddle up that brie cheese, making sure the seams are pressed together firmly.  

Lightly beat one egg.  I actually have my own personal sous-chef that takes care of all of my egg cracking needs.

You guessed it.  I actually don't have to brush on my own egg wash either.  

Bake the cheese according to the instructions on the back of your crescent tube, or until it is the perfect color.  The egg wash helps the crescent rolls to turn a beautiful, golden color.  Yum!

Dinner is served!  Or, atleast the first course.

Thanks for stopping by!  Make sure you stop by next Tuesday.  I have a very special guest blogger that I can't wait to introduce you to!  In fact, I may not be introducing you to them...you may recognize them from Food Network.  Oops, did I just let that slip?  You won't want to miss it!  

Today, I am linking up with some of my favorite bloggers for Tuesday Talk.

You can also find me here this week...

Tuesdays: Savvy Southern StyleDucks 'n a RowA Savory FeastMy Girlish Whims,
Mondays: Pint Sized Baker

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thankfulness & Randomness

Can you believe Thanksgiving is a week from today?  I can't especially because it was almost 90 degrees here yesterday!  I have so much to be thankful for, but today I am taking a different approach to my thankfulness.  I could tell you how thankful I am for my family.  For my parents that are always there for me showering me with unconditional love.  I could brag about how thankful I am for a husband that just "gets" me, and who I hope to spend another 84 years with.  I could go on and on about how thankful I am for Kendall's gentle spirit and love for Christ.  I could spend hours sharing how thankful I am for Jess and his wittiness and intelligence.  I could spend days expressing my thankfulness for Jentry's sweetness and compassion that always brings a smile to my face.  But...today, I'm stepping outside of the box and sharing a few lighthearted (material) things I am thankful for using the acronym THANKFUL...

  Texting (I despise talking on the phone)
  Hand Sanitizer (I’m a bit of a germaphobe)
  Alarm Clocks (My internal alarm clock, does not work)
  Netflix Binge Watching Weekends (Enough Said)
  Kohl’s Cash (Because why pay full price?)
  Flat Irons (You should see me without one, yikes!)
qUeso (Who doesn’t love Cheese Dip?)
    Lipgloss (I never leave the house without it)

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we're thankful for.  The big things, the little things, all things.  Thank you for stopping by my blog and reading what I have to say.  Whether it's a day I'm going deep and sharing my heart, passing on a family favorite recipe, or a day like today, where I hope to have brought a smile to your face (or possibly an eye roll from my quirkiness), I am thankful for my loyal readers and the friendships I have made through blogging.  I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with the people that you love.  

Today I am linking up with a couple of fellow bloggers that I am thankful for, Shelly and Katy for Spiel the Beans with the Queens.  Be sure to check out what they have to say, too!

Have a Terrific Thursday!


Monday, November 14, 2016

Chew On This: Spatchcock Chicken

It's Tasty Tuesday and I am excited to share this recipe with you today.  A few weeks ago I mentioned that I love to watch The Chew this time of year.  In fact I record it everyday.  If I'm being completely honest, I did not mean to record it everyday, but somehow my timer is set that way, and I can't figure out how to stop it.  Caillou is also recorded daily and I can assure you that I did NOT mean to do that!  Someone make it stop!  Anyway, back to The Chew...they have such fun seasonal recipes for the fall and winter that always peak my interest.  Last weekend we hosted our monthly Supper Club at our house, and I could not decide what to make.  I was really leaning towards soup and cornbread (because...hello, I have soup recipes for days, right), but then I saw this episode of The Chew and it screamed Supper Club to me.  Once I showed my husband this recipe he agreed that we needed to make it ASAP!

I don't really live on the edge much.  I'm not a gambler, I don't have any tattoos, BUT let me tell you trying a new recipe on company is walking on the wild side for me.  I was a bit nervous about it, but it was delicious!  In fact, let's stop talking about it and whip it up...

Here's what you need for the chicken (I doubled it for eight adults, but this recipe will serve 4-5 people):  4 pound whole chicken, 1/2 cup of carrots, 1/2 cup of parsnips. 1 onion, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 bunch of fresh thyme, salt & pepper.  

And here's what you need for the to die for sauce: 1 cup of pumpkin seeds (toasted), 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves, 1/2 cup of fresh parsley. 1 1/2 cup of olive oil, 2 lemons (zested & juiced).

Michael Simon said to season the chicken inside and out with salt and place in the refrigerator uncovered overnight.  Whatever Michael Simon says, I do.  

Here's the grossest part.  So, you guessed it, those are not my hands, they're my husband's, using your kitchen shears gently cut out the back bone.  

Sorry for the graphic picture...

Next, place your peeled and sliced carrots, parsnips and quartered onions on your cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle the heck out of them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Arrange some fresh thyme sprigs on top of the root vegetables.  

Place the chicken on top, skin side up, and drizzle with more olive oil.  Place in the oven at 400 degrees and roast until the chicken is golden brown and the vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven to rest for 10-15 minutes prior to cutting into 4 pieces. Discard the thyme

While it's cooking, let's make the sauce.  This sauce is similar to a pesto, but with different herbs.  I love how the earthy taste balance out the richness of the chicken and vegetables.  In your food processor, add the pumpkin seeds, sage leaves, parsley leaves, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and pulse until slightly coarse. Season with salt and pepper.  I'm literally craving this sauce again while typing this.  So good!!

Right out of the oven...

Ready to be presented, with a drizzle of the roasted pumpkin seed herb sauce...

This recipe is the definition of comfort food.  Thank you to The Chew for passing it along to us!

Today, I am linking up with some of my favorite bloggers for Tuesday Talk...

And tomorrow I am linking up with my pals Johannah and Heather for their monthly recipe club.  Be sure to check it out!

You can also find me here this week...

Tuesdays: Savvy Southern StyleDucks 'n a RowA Savory FeastMy Girlish Whims,
Mondays: Pint Sized Baker

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