Friday, December 30, 2011

A Christmas Feast


Before the year ends, I thought I would share our Christmas feast with you. 


We have Christmas Eve dinner at our house with my husband’s family.  The above picture shows the turkey and gravy, rolls, cranberry salad, mashed potatoes, dressing, green beans, ham, Nuts ‘N’ Bolts and Holiday M&Ms. 

AHH! I forgot to take a picture of the cranberry salad.  It’s really pretty.  It’s basically Paula Deen’s recipe with a Nana twist.  Here is Paula’s recipe.  Nana adds a larger can of crushed pineapple.  It’s probably about 15 oz. or so.  I don’t know if doing it this way will work in a mold, but it looks lovely in a crystal dish. 

I couldn’t get a good picture of my turkey, but it looked almost as good as Nigella’s from her book Nigella Christmas.



My husband’s family is more of a ham family, but this turkey went over extremely well.  I used Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Super Juicy and Spiced Turkey.  I don’t think I will ever use another recipe.  Brining the turkey really does make all the difference.  The turkey was sooo moist and flavorful.  It got rave reviews from my Father-In-Law, who doesn’t really like turkey.  So thank you Nigella. 

I also made Nigella’s All Spice Gravy.  I actually boiled a turkey neck.  It looked so disgusting, but smelled heavenly.  The gravy was good, but I think it was barely used because the turkey was so moist, the dressing was so flavorful and the potatoes were so buttery.  Oh, well, there’s always leftovers to drown in gravy.


Pioneer Woman’s Mashed Potatoes were also a hit.  “These mashed potatoes are so creamy.”  So good!      



This recipe for dressing is made in the crock-pot.  I finished mine off in the microwave just to get rid of some of the moisture that was left.  Don’t worry, it was still incredibly moist.  I think I could eat this all year long.  I think I may just do that. 

Crock-Pot Dressing

3-4 cups shredded turkey or chicken (optional)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 quarts corn bread, crumbled
2 tablespoons dried sage
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup melted margarine
3-4 cups turkey or chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients in the bowl of a 6 quart crock-pot.  Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.

We also had a nice display of sweets.  No pictures though, sorry.  It’s really hard to take pictures when everyone, including the photographer/cook is starving.  But here’s what we had: Nigella’s Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake, Banana Pudding, Pumpkin Pie, fruit cake, and Mocha Punch.

Mocha Punch is a Christmas necessity.  It is requested every year.  Bring this out for your next special occasion and you will be praised.  Again, no pictures of it, but imagine a slightly melted milk shake.  You’ll love it!

Thanks to Nigella’s fantastic turkey recipe, I’m taking part in this month’s Forever Nigella, Christmas Presence, hosted this month by Sarah of Maison Cupcake. 


A reminder of the rules:

Forever Nigella #10 ”Christmas Presence”

Challenge: To prepare and blog any Nigella recipe during the Christmas period. Ideally it will be Christmassy but I’m not fussy.
Deadline: December 31st 2011 at midnight wherever you are.
Winner announcement: Within a week, to be added to the
Forever Nigella page.

There are:
No rules about how often you must take part
No rules about stuff being secret until certain dates
No rules that everyone cook exactly the same thing
No rules about not being able to submit to any other blog events – just check it doesn’t contravene the other guys’ rules

But there are 3 rules:
1. Blog your entry by the deadline including:
a) the current Forever Nigella badge
b) a link to the current host (ME)
c) a link to the official Forever Nigella page at Maison Cupcake:

2. So not to breach Nigella’s copyright you must NOT reproduce recipes verbatim as shown in her books. If using an original Nigella recipe, tell us which book it is from and/or where we find it online (see most likely sites below). If you’ve adapted the recipe in some way i.e. changed at least two ingredients or amended the method then it’s ok to publish the a recipe in your post but you MUST write the directions in your own words.

3. Tell us about your post by adding it to the Linky Tool below! I have made this into a Blog Hop so feel free to post the script at the bottom of your post to encourage your readers to visit the other entries. If you can’t see the linky below it’s because I’ve never done one before and I’ve stuffed it up. Nag me and I’ll sort it out.

Don’t forget to tweet your post with the hashtag #forevernigella – I will retweet all those I see!

Enjoy your Nigella Christmas presence!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things


These are so yummy.  But if you like these…


Then you’ll really like this…


If you like this…


You’ll love this…


especially mixed into your hot chocolate.  It will definitely bring you joy!

And finally, this one little candy can put me into the Christmas spirit.


You are welcome.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

One Year Olds ROCK!!



Last Saturday we celebrated my nephew’s first birthday. 


My nephew, Logan, ROCKS!!


I made the cupcakes for the party.  They were so good they made you wanna smash your guitar. 

To make the really cool, almost tie-died icing, just fill your decorator’s bag with two colors of icing, keeping them separated, each color taking up half the bag.  Pipe your swirls as usual.


Decorating for the party was fun.  Among the decorations were microwaved CDs. 

Here’s a random YouTube video that shows how:

When you party like a Rock Star, you usually end up destroying things.


Every Rocker needs some cool shades right?


The cupcakes were a smash…in the face.  “What was that for, Mom?”


Logan had his first real taste of sugar.  He ate almost the whole cupcake. 

Has everyone made these by now?  If not, what’s taking you so long?  These are THE BEST CUPCAKES EVER!!!


I couldn’t leave without showing you my cute little one year old.  Liam is learning to use a spoon and is so proud of himself.