Different Kind of Merry

How is everyone holding up for the holidays? Has it been rough? Easy? No different than usual holidays?

Our Christmas was ok. Very very low key compared to last year. Last year we hosted a big Christmas in our new house. My parents came down from Seattle and stayed with us for a few days. We hosted Christmas dinner with Michael’s family, too, and I think there were maybe 15 of us? It was crazy and loud and wonderful.

This year? Chill. Lazy.

Christmas Eve some friends dropped off homemade eggnog (it was nuclear LOL) and Michael and I watched Happiest Season after kiddo went to sleep. Then we put all the presents out. 🙂

Christmas morning we got up at 6am (of course!) and opened presents!

Logan was ECSTATIC! He got a bunch of Star Wars, Dinosaur and Baby Yoda themed gifts. We got him a bunch of books, activity books, a spelling puzzle (that he loves).

My parents got him some games, Star Wars sheets. Santa got him a big race track for his cars (which he asked for when he wrote to Santa). My gifts had a theme: self-care. 🙂 Lots of bath stuff, which is amazing. <3

After lunch and a nap for Logan, we went to Michael’s mom’s house to just exchange gifts. Wish we could have stayed and hung out.

By the time we got home and opened the second round of presents, Michael and I did not feel up to doing a big Christmas dinner thing like we’d planned so we decided to do it the next night and instead had grilled cheese sandwiches. 😀 Delicious!

So Saturday night we made the dinner we planned to do for Christmas:

Lamb Chops with Garlic and Herbs

Green Beans with Pickled Shallots and Breadcrumbs

And I made couscous. Everything was delicious, although the couscous was a little bland–even using spices! Next time I will cook it in chicken broth instead of water. And maybe add some nuts and raisins to the couscous, too.

The lamb, however, turned out great. It was the first time we’ve done lamb. I usually just order it if we go to Middle Eastern restaurants. It was melt-in-your mouth tender and I loved the flavor.

The greens beans turned out great, too. I cooked them in the cast iron skillet we used to cook the lamb so it had the extra juices and seasoning in addition to the salt, pepper and butter I used to cook the beans. I loved the pickled shallots on top but Michael thought they were a little strong. I don’t think the green bean recipe needed the breadcrumbs on top at all, so I’d skip that next time.

Saturday I spent the day on and off packing up and organizing Christmas decorations. I usually leave everything up until New Year’s Eve and then take everything down then but I was just kind of over it all. I hope next year we can all be with our families again and have a big celebration!

Sort of Festive

Is anyone else just not feeling it this year? I am trying to get in the mood. I love Christmas Lights. I love that our neighbors have all gone ALL out this year. Yards are full of lights, blow up characters, the whole shebang. It’s very nice and cheery.

Right around Thanksgiving Logan and I did some decorating inside the house, but since it’s just the three of us this year I decided to do minimal decorating. Our mantel is pretty much it.

During our lunch breaks Michael and I went and picked up a tree and then later Logan and I decorated it. We got a little tree this year. I like little trees sometimes and we aren’t entertaining this year like we did last year so it’s nice to just kinda do a little bit.

We put Logan’s angel on top 🙂 –I think he made it at daycare when he was like 2! <3

Kitties were loving the tree. They watched it all afternoon. Hopefully they won’t destroy it while we sleep!

Then I made dinner. I wanted to share this recipe because it’s pretty decent and nice for a cold, rainy night.

Cheddar Ham Soup recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Directions

  • 1. In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes, water, carrot and onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes.
  • 2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add the milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted. Stir into undrained potato mixture. Add ham and peas; heat through.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 331 calories, 20g fat (12g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 772mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 19g protein.

Logan is getting older now so we have to wait to put any presents under the tree. Usually we’d just put them under there! But little bug can read now so…..! 😉