Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Another Christmas Has Passed

I can't believe Christmas is over already! So much preparation every year and Christmas Day is over before I know it. It was tough not being with my family this year, much more so than last year. Even though I was homesick we still managed to have a great Christmas.

I spent most of the 24th in the kitchen preparing my contributions for Christmas Dinner. I made my famous Cranberry Sauce, Pumpkin Pies, Green Bean Casserole, and Sweet Potatoes.

Angela's Famous Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 12-ounce package Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
  1. Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil.
  3. Add orange marmalade and stir until melted and incorporated.
  4. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time.

Pumpkin Pie

From the back of the Libby's Can
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz.) 100% pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  1. MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
  2. POUR into pie shell.
  3. BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.
Green Bean Casserole
From the French's Fried Onion Can
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's® Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 pkgs. (9 oz. each) frozen cut green beans, thawed or 2 cans (14.5 oz.) cut green beans, drained
  • 1 1/3 cups French's® Original French Fried Onions
  1. Combine soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2 qt. baking dish; stir until blended. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup French's French Fried Onions.
  2. Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes or until hot. Stir. Sprinkle with remaining 2/3 cup French Fried Onions. Bake 5 minutes or until onions are golden.
Brown Sugar-Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows
From Bon Appetit November 1994
  • 4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes - peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange potatoes in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour over potatoes; toss to coat.
  2. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake potatoes 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until potatoes are tender and syrup thickens slightly, basting occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  3. Increase oven temperature to 500°F. Top potatoes with marshmallows and nuts. Return to oven; bake until marshmallows begin to melt and nuts begin to brown, about 3 minutes.
On Christmas Eve we went to our friends' A & B's house for a party. We had a great time! Its hard to go wrong with good people, good food, good wine, and laughter.

Les and I spent a quiet Christmas morning together opening presents. We took turns opening our gifts to draw it out as long as possible. Santa was really good to us this year. Les' favorite gifts were his Nintendo DS and a couple of music books for his bass guitar. I got a red pea coat that I absolutely love! We also got a GPS from my parents that I can't wait to use.

Les really loves his Nintendo DS!

At around 3pm in the afternoon we headed to another friends' home for Christmas dinner. It was a small gathering, just four of us, but great company. It was nice to get to know C & A better. A is a great cook and we had an awesome meal! After dinner we broke out Taboo and Cranium and a couple bottles of wine. Before we knew it it was 9pm. We could have stayed later but Les had to work the next day so we headed home.

We ended the day by spending some time on the phone with our families back in California. It was so good to talk to everyone and find out that they loved their gifts! It is always a great feeling when you buy a gift for someone and they absolutely love it, even if it is something small.

Now I move on to plan a birthday party for my hubbie. His birthday is just a few days away so I need to get my butt in gear. Before I know it the new year will be here and I will be starting classes again. I can't wait to see what the next year holds for me!

Merry Christmas! Buon Natale!

Now playing: Evanescence - Snow White Queen
via FoxyTunes

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