What to cook for Christmas Dinner?

Well it’s about time to start getting the ingredients and preparing for Christmas dinner with the family. This Christmas we are having dinner at our house with my husband’s parents. I have been enjoying cooking lately, so I am actually very excited. Having the kids home and my husband’s family come for dinner is going to make for a wonderful Christmas.

christmas-balls
I wanted to share what I am planning on making for Christmas Eve dinner. Most of these are new recipes or old ones that I put a little Nancy spice into. 🙂 It is going to be so delicious.
For a salad, Mixed Green Salad with Oranges-
Dressing Ingredients
• 2 tbsp. finely chopped shallot
• 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
• 2 tbsp. orange juice
• 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
• ½ tsp. sugar
• 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Salt and Peper
Salad Ingredients
• 1 head of romaine lettuce, in small pieces
• 1 head of red-leaf lettuce, in small pieces
• 1 bag of baby spinach
• 3 small oranges peeled
• 4 ounces soft goat cheese crumbled
Instructions-
1. Dressing: Combine shallot, vinegar, juice, mustard, and sugar in a bowl, slowly mix in the oil while whisking. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Salad: Mix the romaine, red-leaf lettuce, and spinach in a bowl and add orange slices. Toss with dressing, sprinkle goat cheese on top
mixed-green-salad-with-oranges
For the main course, Beef Roast with Red Wine Gravy-
Roast Ingredients
• 5lbs. boneless sirloin roast
• 4 large cloves of garlic, sliced
• 2 tbsp. chopped thyme
• 2 tsp. dry mustard
• 2 tsp. onion powder
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. pepper
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 large onion, peeled and cut into wedges
• 4 large springs of thyme
Gravy Ingredients-
• 3 tbsp. olive oil
• 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ cups red wine
• 1 ½ cups low sodium beef broth
• Salt and pepper

beef-roast-with-red-wine-gravy
Roast Instructions-
1. Make small slits all over the roast and stuff garlic into each slit. In a bowl combine chopped thyme, mustard, onion powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Rub this mixture all over on pate and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F, scatter onion wedges and thyme springs over the bottom of a large roasting pan. Roast meat for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 325 degrees F and roast until meat thermometer is at least 125 degree F.
3. After the beef is cooked thoroughly, remove and put the meat on a platter and cover loosely with foil and allow to rest.
Gravy Instructions-
1. From the juices on the bottom of the beef pan, add 3 tbsp. oil and place pan over burners and heat on medium. Stir in flour and cook until brown (2-3 min). Pour in wine and broth and bring to a boil while mixing from the bottom. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 mins. Strain to get beef chunks out, season with salt and pepper and serve with sliced beef roast.

And for desert, Hot Chocolate Meringue Cake
Ingredients-
• 6 egg whites
• 1 tbsp. cream of tartar
• 1 ¼ cup sugar
• 3 tbsp. sifted cocoa
• 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
• 4 cups of whipped cream
Instructions-
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Slowly add sugar and continue to beat on high speed. Sprinkle in cocoa and cayenne paper and continue beating.
3. Spread the meringue in about 9 inch circles on the lined baking pans. Bake for 3 hours, and let sit cooling for 1 hour.
4. Fill the layer with whipped cream and serve.

hot-chocolate-meringue-cake
Besides these great recipes I’m making the classics; mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn and mixed veggies, etc., and you can’t have Christmas without cutout sugar cookies! The kids still prepare Christmas cookies to surprise their grandparents. 🙂
It is going to be one delicious Christmas!
Merry almost Christmas! What are you planning friends? 🙂
Nancy

A Full House Again

We have a house is full again! 🙂 Bobby got home last weekend and Clara came home this morning. Since they got home, they haven’t stopped sharing new experiences with me, I love it. Although, I think Bobby was excited about me doing his laundry and cooking dinner for him more than anything else.

i-will-be-home-for-christmas

It feels so great having the whole family together and hearing about how everyone is doing in person; Facetime and Skype are just not the same. Bobby had a great first semester at college. He is loving his classes and has made so many friends. I can tell he is truly happy with his choice about colleges. Clara is doing great as well, she is finishing up a post graduate internship and is on the job hunt now. I am so proud of my children and so happy I get to have them both for Christmas.
While they are home I am going to try really hard not to be the annoying mom that always wants to be with them. I want to do fun little things with them around town looking at Christmas lights and stuff like that but I have to remember they want to see their friends here too. It is going to be really hard. I know they have their own lives now and aren’t used to living with their parents, so I need to show them how happy I have been and continue through the holiday season. I am just so happy they are home and want to hang out with me, at least for now. 🙂
I found a funny blog post about the 10 things a college student wants to hear when they arrive home for Christmas break

1. Welcome home!
2. Of course I’ll fill your gas tank!gift
3. Here, let me do your laundry.
4. Look at (family pet’s name), they missed you.
5. Two words…Gift Cards
6. We just bought snacks
7. We made your favorite homemade meal, and it is ready
8. I am proud of you.
9. If I could line up all the students in the world and choose just one to spend Christmas with, I’d choose you.
10. We paid your school bill.
I think this is so funny and for the most part very true for my kids. But, I don’t mind it at all, I get to have their company for a while so it is worth it. I love being a mother.

christmas tree

It is going to be a great couple of weeks with the kids for Christmas, and then….off to NYC with my hubby. I am so lucky to have such wonderful family and friends in my life.
Happy Holiday’s!
Until next time,
Nancy

NYC Trip Planning

Winter in New York…I have been imaging this for years and finally it is coming true in a few weeks. I am beyond excited to go to New York with my husband for the first time! It’s even better because it is winter and I love snow but never get to see it. There are so many things I want to do and see while I am there from the Rockefeller Center to the window displays at Macys, Barneys. And Bloomingdales. I am not a fashionista like you know, but those window displays and know across the country. I also have gone shopping so I can look New York Chic while I am there. 🙂

New York City
I have begun to make a list of things I want to do in NYC…our trip is coming up so fast. I don’t want to have a set schedule the whole time, I just want to focus on relaxing and spending quality time with my husband.
Here is my list of things I want to do so far-
• I heard the Columbus Circle Holiday Market at 59th and Broadway is incredible. Even if we don’t buy anything I just want to go, see it, and walk around.
• I am a terrible ice skater…I can’t even remember the last time I went, but when in NYC I feel like I have to go Ice Skating at the Rockefeller Rink or the Wollman Rink in Central Park. I know even with my falling, I will feel like I am in a movie.

• Obviously I want to walk across the Brooklyn Bride. It is such an iconic landmark in New York you can’t pass up.
• I want to go on a walking tour of the city. There are so many different types of walking tours in NYC like neighborhoods, pizza lovers, chocoholics, foodies, music, art, architecture, and the list goes on. We will have to decide what we are feeling, if we end up going.
• I am scared of heights but yet again, when in NYC one must, go to the lookout deck at The Rockefeller Plaza. The pictures from the top are incredible. I am going to have to face my fear.
• We HAVE to go see Grand Central Station. I feel like I wouldn’t be in NYC if I didn’t.
• I’m not sure if we will be able to fit in any shows during our trip but I really want to see Radio City and maybe even the Rockettes.
new york city
I seriously cannot wait to experience the big apple! The countdown has begun T-30 days!

Until next time,
Nancy

Early Christmas Shopping

I am not the most organized or timely person but for some reason I got the urge to finish my Christmas shopping this week. It was weird…I have no idea was possessed me to do it! I usually don’t do much shopping for our extended family, I usually just stick to my kids, my husband and our parents.

shopping-card-red

This year has been an incredible year for me. Even though my both of children moved out of the house and I am going through menopause, I look them as positive learning experiences. I can’t keep my children living in my house forever, and after a few months of them gone I am learning to like it. And menopause is a natural process that I have learned to take with stride. I think my newfound confidence and lifestyle made me change my ways and want to get Christmas gifts for everyone.

Before I went shopping I made a list of people I wanted to buy gifts for and an idea of what I wanted to get them. I set my budget to make sure I wouldn’t go crazy…it is so easy to spend more than you want when buying for other people…tis the season I guess!

I decided to go big and head to the mall for my little shopping spree. Walking in was so magical; the entire place was decorated with lights, big snowflakes, candy canes, Christmas decorations everywhere and Christmas music playing from the speakers in every store. I forgot what it was like to shop in the mall during the Christmas season. I have become the gift card lady to the nieces and nephews over the past couple years and haven’t ventured to the mall.

mall-at-christmas

I ended up getting everyone their gifts; the first time that has happened in many years. I really want to share what I got for everyone because it is all so great, but I can’t risk my family and friends seeing this post before Christmas! 🙂

You all will just have to wait!

I am so happy I decided to go shopping in the mall for everyone’s gifts. It really got me in the Christmas spirit. It is a wonderful time of the year!

Until next time,

Nancy