Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Christmas

It was a great idea for me to take some time out from the online world. I can't say I got a whole lot done over the weekend because we were traveling a bit, but it was a time to relax. At least yesterday was my relaxing day. I've never been one for being in huge groups too often so Christmas Eve and Christmas Day combined was a bit too much for me. How was your weekend?

I did spend some time making food for Chad and I at home. I did decide this year that I wasn't going to bring anything unless specifically asked. Everyone knows I love to cook and bake, so if they need something, all they have to do is say so. No one did, so the treats I made were just for home.

Chad's favorite is chocolate pudding pie. This time he wanted something different so I suggested a cookie crust instead of the usual pie or graham cracker. Peanut butter was the winner, so I made up this recipe and formed the dough in a pie pan. The pudding is out of the box (next time I will be making it from scratch) and topped with fresh whipped cream. I haven't used Cool Whip or any other premade whipped cream for years. Chad did find the pie a bit too rich, so this won't be the go-to way I make it. It was good though, just in little bites.

Chocolate pie

There was a little dough left over, so I made up these cookies. They are a winner and I will be making them more often.

Peanut butter cookies with kisses

I also made up my favorite gingerbread cookie. I didn't feel like decorating them just for me, so they are plain circles. Sometimes I use this same recipe to make ginger snaps by rolling balls of dough in sugar. They are so good I only make them a few times a year.

Gingerbread cookies

I also made turtles by putting pecan halfs in a muffin tin, melting caramels and chocolate chips, and laying in the tin. It worked well for the assembly, but I did heat the caramel too high so they are a bit hard. They taste good, but they are hard.


Another thing I made was a orzo salad. I made up this recipe at the grocery store, so the amounts are a bit of a guess. I do want to share it with you though because it is really good. I'm linking up to Debbie for her Tuesday at the Table as well. This salad is going to be made frequently in my household for quick meals.

Orzo salad

Orzo Salad

Cook 1 lb of orzo pasta according to package directions. Drain and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup of olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, about a teaspoon or so of grainy mustard, salt and pepper to taste, and other seasonings as desired (I threw in some garlic powder and Italian seasoning) in a small bowl.

Chop up other ingredients to add to the salad. I used a few Roma tomatoes that I diced, two handfuls of spinach that I cut up, an 8 oz package of feta cheese, a small bag of sliced almonds, and a small container of Greek olives from the deli. You can add or subtract what you prefer. I would add shredded carrots to it next time.

Once the pasta is cool, toss all of the above together in a large bowl. This can be served immediately, but the flavors do develop after spending some time in the fridge.

Orzo salad

And who can resist homemade food in a bowl you made yourself?

Now onto my gifts from Christmas. I don't really like receiving gifts and only give when I have a great gift for that person. Instead, I do buy myself something for Christmas (and my birthday too). This goes back to holidays when I was growing up and has become a habit for me. Chad is fine with this and this year he bought a movie for the both of us to enjoy, along with other items for himself.

This year I bought a pair of earrings from Rosy Revolver, which happened to arrive on Christmas Eve. So did the things Chad bought so we did have our little gift opening of things we knew we would love. I do highly recommend her shop on Etsy and will buy more jewelry from her in the future.

Gift to myself

I did end up getting a small gift from Chad's sister, which was made up of thrifted items. In addition to the North Dakota cookbook (the other one in this photo is from Chad's mom), she gave me a pie plate and some kitchen towels.

Christmas gifts

Our new neighbor gave us a gift as well. He is a glass blower, so he gave all of us on the block small ornaments. A part of me feels like I should make something for his family, but we haven't even talked to them yet, so I have no idea what I would make. We decided to send a card in appreciation.

Blown glass ornaments

I do have a finished project to show, but this is a bit long already so that can wait until tomorrow. See you then and I hope your day is going well!


Toni said...

Glad you had a chance to relax a bit! All of your treats look delicious and I am definitely going to try the orzo. I bought a big bag of it at the Mennonite store last time I was in Iowa and rarely remember to use it. Your recipe sounds so good and the photo of it is awesome. Especially cool in your own bowl!

Pam said...

Oh, I wish I enjoyed cooking. The food looks scrumptious!!! I like the idea of buying yourself a Christmas present. We did that for the first time this year.

Debbie said...

Agreed! The orzo looks delish - I think I even have all of those good ingredients on hand! Your sweet treats look tasty too - mmmmm RE: the turtles!!

Diane-crewe said...

you have been busy!! DEFINATLY Look good enough to eat! love THE GLASS..maybe when you get to know them you could make them something to suit thier style, creative people are the BEST xx