Friday, November 30, 2018

Come back tomorrow for December Daily in my Christmas kitchen!

Yes, starting tomorrow I am planning to be here in the Christmas kitchen every day through the month of December.  This has become a fun tradition for me personally, and I hope that others enjoy it as well.

If you have never visited here in December previous to this, I encourage you to take some time to look through the December archives.  There should be plenty of Christmas inspiration to get you into the spirit.

Again this year, I will be sharing recipes, craft ideas for both gifts and decorations, poems, memories, and much more.  Stop by every day, if you can, to see what's new.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Crunch time for Christmas crafting

Yes, indeed!  Many will remember my hubby's common-sense directive that all handcrafted Christmas gifts need to be finished by December 1.  For that reason I have made very few handmade gifts the past couple of years.

This year I really felt differently.  It was on my heart to make a few simple gifts for the Nevada grands, so far away.  I also wanted to make a couple of very simple items for my two daughters.  And then, wouldn't you know, I signed up to take part in an ornament exchange!

I'm not worried about that.  I have a handmade ornament or two on hand,  and plenty of things I can easily embellish if I choose to make something new.

But it's crunch time on the handmade gifts.  Out of 8 simple things that I wanted to make, I have one completed (and a second one started).  And eleven days before December 1!  I'm really going to have to work diligently to get those completed in the allotted time.

To that end, I'm rethinking my meals for this week and next.  I think the crockpot is going to be coming into play a LOT between now and December 1, and our meals (other than Thanksgiving) are going to be extremely simple.

Here's what we're having tonight:


4 cups chicken broth
2 cans chicken with rice soup
1 small boneless skinless chicken breast (frozen is fine)
1 cup salsa or picante sauce
1 can red enchilada sauce
Flour tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese OR cubes of velveeta-type cheese

In crock pot combine the broth, soup, chicken breast, salsa, and enchilada sauce. Cook on low for about 4 hours. Remove chicken breast from soup; shred it or cut in small pieces. Return to soup.

When ready to eat, cut flour tortillas into strips (scissors work best for this).

Put tortilla strips in each bowl and ladle the hot soup on top. Top with shredded cheddar or cubed velveeta.

About 6 servings.

How about you?  Are your handmade gifts completed?  Do you have any helpful tips for time management and/or easy meals during this crunch time?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tentative baking list for 2018

So we woke up to several inches of wet snow on the ground this morning.  Usually on the day of the first significant snowfall, I will bake my first batch of Christmas cookies for the freezer.  Today, I just couldn't bring myself to do that.  November 13 seems just a bit early.

However, I did give a nod to Christmas baking in that I made my tentative Christmas baking list for 2018.

You see it below:

As you can see, I have nine different varieties of cookies on this list, and I will be making multiple batches of most of them. 

On the reverse side of this paper, I have two more lists: one for kitchen gifts and one for candy that I hope to make.

As the season goes on, these tentative lists get tweaked.  Sometimes I change my mind; for example, on last year's list I had both gingerbread men and cutout cookies, but ended up not baking either one.  Or sometimes I end up adding a cookie or candy that I hadn't planned on making.  The point of a tentative list is just to have something specific to aim at.

So how about you?  Have you given any thought yet to your Christmas baking?

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Brushing away the cobwebs from the kitchen door

Oh my, is this ever sad!  Two whole months have elapsed and I have not set foot in my Christmas kitchen!  I do apologize to any who may have still been checking in here.  Even our Christmas Club hasn't been happening, or I would have blogged about it.  I'm thinking (and hoping) we'll probably meet in November, though.

Things have been happening on the Christmas planning front, though.  For the first time in a couple of years, I'm thinking I can make a few small handmade gifts.  Crocheted scarves for the three youngest in Nevada, aprons for the three older ones (who have outgrown theirs) and maybe a couple of little things for my daughters.  And of course, a few food gifts.

Of course, I still have Mr. T's "December 1st deadline" to keep in mind, and I think it's a good one.  It really helps me enjoy December and also frees me up to post here each day that month, which is something I truly enjoy and wouldn't want to miss.

Look for me to be back soon with my tentative Christmas baking list for 2018!