26 December 2008

Hope everyone had as lovely of a holiday as we did. Just a quick post to share a fun Xmas morning video. The pooches love holiday treats.

Thanks to Grandma Patti and Grandpa Larry for the lovely stuffed bunnies. The kiddos had a blast running all over the house like maniacs with them. Unfortunately, by late evening they were toast -- long story short, Heidi puked up a bunny ear at 5:30 am this morning.

More soon!

xoxo --
The snowflakey Churches

23 December 2008

Have a holly jolly Christmas.

I'm so behind! A wicked cold knocked me out of commission for about a week, and I JUST finished wrapping my last gift less than an hour ago... That is totally not my style. Normally I'm way done with all this stuff by now. Oh well... I'm all ready for Christmas, and that's all that matters, right? Since I last wrote, much holiday cheer has ensued.

On Monday, the day before I got sick--luckily for those who had to eat my wares--I made my three dozen cookies for Lisa Z's cookie exchange. For the life of me I can't remember what they were called, so I can't find the recipe, but basically they were coconut, sugar, eggs, and rice krispies.

Heidi and I eagerly await the finished result.....

These turned out ok. I'm always nervous when I bake, especially something new... I'm not sure how but I ended up with a ton leftover dough, even after I made an extra half dozen cookies. I thought for sure I'd done something horribly wrong. Nevertheless, they turned out ok. They weren't my favorite ever, but they were tasty enough. Wednesday it was off to the cookie party, and, as always, Lisa Z. was the loveliest host.

Saturday we headed over to Fred and Tracy's for some holiday snacks and cocktails and a lovely game of Things that quickly turned dirty. Thanks to the Collinssss for a lovely time. And Brad was especially pleased with himself, as he finally found the Xmas sweater he'd been coveting for years.

This week it's been a mad dash to finish my shopping, get my menus planned... And the doggies are eagerly awaiting their special Xmas morning treats.

The next few days are going to be a little crazeee. I have to get up early tomorrow and get cooking for my Xmas Eve/birthday feast for my mom and co. out in Manchester. I decided to make the baked ziti I made a few weeks and a baked cheesy cauliflower casserole (plus bday cake, of course). Then Thursday it's off to Marc and Melanie's, where I'm on appetizer duty. I decided to whip up a "skinny" seven-layer dip and shrimp salad in mini phylo cups. Wish me luck!

If I'm not back until after the big day, candy canes and kisses to everyone! Xoxoxoxo

17 December 2008

A very disco Xmas.

Jess put this together. I can't stop watching it. Enjoy!

Elf Disco

Tee hee!

15 December 2008


I've been the worst cook lately. Been eating out for lunch a lot... ordering a lot of pizzas and subs for dinner. But Saturday I finally went grocery shopping -- which I love to do, but I've been resisting amidst all the $$$ being spend on Xmas currently. But Saturday afternoon I sat down and planned a menu for the next few days and hit Plum for some provisions. Saturday we just had burgers and pasta salad, and I have to once again give super props to Plum for its so yum prepared burger patties. I got Brad the turkey Mediterranean burger, and I got the salmon Mediterranean burger. Highly recommended!

Anyway, Sunday I decided to try out a new recipe from Better Homes and Gardens: chicken Florentine artichoke bake. Another good Sunday recipe, as it took a while to prep and I had to use four pots! Gasp! :)

I made a few mini changes up front (and used tri-colored bow-ties in honor of Aunt Sandy and Xmas [funny story interjection: When I was little, and Aunt Sandy was young, my mom made some sort of pasta dish with tri-colored noodles {spinach and tomato probably}. Aunt Sandy said "ew! I'm not eating that!" And my mom said "Just eat it! They're just Christmas noodles!" And she did. Foooooled you. He he he.]). I didn't have Monterrey jack so I used my leftover mild cheddar -- I also didn't use the full amount... in fact, I have no idea how much I used. 3/4 cup maybe? And just a few sprinkles of parm. I didn't have Italian seasoning, so I threw in some oregano and parsley, and I didn't have any paprika for the topping -- oh, I didn't put any additional parm in the topping either. Figured this was a calorie blackhole already. HA!

Anyway, it was deeeeelish. I love a good casserole and/or bake.

Time to dig in..... Plop!

Few notes for next time (or for recommendations -- because I say make it and eat it. Yum!). I probably would cut the inside cheese out altogether. I didn't taste it, so it was kind of a bunch of empty fat (although I'm sure it's crazy delicious with the full cheese included). I think I'd just sprinkle some parm on top with the topping. I'd also up the veggie content to make it even more filling and go even farther (we got 6+ servings out of it). That's it, though. I enjoyed my lunch leftovers and can't wait to have it again for dinner, too. Num num num.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, as I've gotta get my bake on tonight. Three dozen cookies. Eeeep! Don't burn! Don't burn!

09 December 2008

Time to bust out the Bing.

What the heck happens this time of year? One second I'm nappin off the turkey (that's theoretical... I was actually up until 3 am post-turkey. wtf?), the next thing I know it's already mid-December and it's time to put up the tree. But I love the Christmas season, maybe even more than I love the Halloween season (let's not go nuts, though... Halloween itself is still tops in my book). I love finding the perfect Christmas cards, tracking down my holiday wrapping paper for the year, watching all the old-school holiday cartoons on TV, and snuggling on the couch by the light of the xmas tree. But since it's been a while since my last post, I thought I'd just give a quick rundown of some of the fun stuff I've been up to. So, my friends, I bring you...

My Top Ten Things Thanksgiving and After

1. Thanksgiving with my dad. While my life has changed a lot these past few months with him in Ann Arbor, I try to remember every day how lucky I am that he is still here with us. This was also the first Thanksgiving we've spent together in at least 20 years.

2. Rolls. And not just a few rolls, we're talking a tower of rolls. Brad ate seven.

3. Pie. Mmm. Who doesn't love pie, right? And this year I didn't even mess the pies up. I decided to go with canned pumpkin (and I followed the recipe from the can. class!) and premade crust, but I didn't figure my dad and Brad would mind. Most importantly, as far as Brad is concerned, I remembered the whipped cream this year, too. Ha-whipped cream, that is.

4. Sleepy pooches. Calm, sleeping pooches are always a treat. BUT it's even cuter when it's from turkey coma. We gave the kids a little bowl of Thanksgiving goodies, and they passed out on the couch immediately afterward, just like a true Thanksgiving veteran.

5. Brad's beard. I cannot get enough of it. What a cutie.

6. Smooshing puppies. My friend Angelique bred her German Shepherd, Rounder (who is a total sweetie!), and the puppies are almost old enough to go to their new homes. I was able to go visit everyone this past weekend, and the little puppies are just so sweet. I swear, if I didn't already have two....

7. Eggs. After visiting Angelique and the puppies, I zipped around the corner to surprise Aunt Sandy and Uncle Danny. Which is always one of my favorite thing to do. But this time I got extra special lucky and Danny made me breakfast. Eggs, sunny-side up, which he'd never even made before. That Uncle Danny.

8. Ambiguously gay froggie. His little paw just fell like that. I swear. It gave me a giggle.

9. Champagne. We finally put up our tree, and we decided it was the perfect occasion to pop open my bottle of Fizz. We did. And it was.

10. Christmas ornaments. I have loved Christmas ornaments as long as I can remember. As a kid, I would beg my mom to puh-lease bring the ornaments out so I could play with them before they went on the tree. Sometimes she'd give in. And luckily I was able to snag most of my favorites when I moved out. Our tree is a random smorgasbord, especially since we have a lot of Brad's childhood ornaments, too. Some of my favorites are the handmade Somerville Family 1980 ornament my mom made, my German pickle (yes, Patrik, I know I know), huge talking Stewie, my grandma Choppy's childhood elves, and, of course, my McDonald's Grimace and Hamburgler ornaments.