Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Sunday, November 30, 2008

After A Long Day...

... all that is left to decorate is the tree (!) and the Christmas Village.

I am going to bed happy, on the eve of my birthday (!) knowing that we accomplished an incredible amount this weekend (and knowing the the Vikings are in undisputed possession of first place!!)

I wonder what my presents might be.....

Zentmrs Pin It

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Busy Day

We've been working all day on our Christmas decor.

  • lights are up outside mostly
  • bathroom done
  • dishes unpacked
  • nutcracker tree up
  • wreaths on all the doors
So, tomorrow, we finish the outside and hopefully pick up our poinsettias.  Put the lights on the tree and then decorate.  Finish the living room and family room decor.  Put up al the interior lights.  Finish the kitchen and dining room.

And at some point, cook dinner and bake cookies.  I better get up early.  Like now.  ;-)

Zentmrs Pin It

Friday, November 28, 2008

Picking up the tree! Pin It

Taking a Rest...

... before we put up Christmas tomorrow!!

We are still at my brother-in-law's house, but we are heading to a winery this morning (!) and then driving from Paso Robles down to San Diego, about a 6 hour drive.  Then we get to get our tree!!  And start getting our Christmas boxes out!!!

Pin It

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Special thanks to my wonderful brother-in-law for cooking all day so we could enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving Feast!

Pin It

Apparently our kitties like lights!

1 Day Until We Put Up Christmas!

We LOVE lights at Christmas.  The Mr will spend at least 20 hours putting up our exterior lights.  5 hours of interior lights. Think Clark Griswald!

Pin It

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

2 Days Until We Put Up Christmas!

My favorite stocking is the one pictured near the middle, the green and white one.  My great-aunt Marie knit that for me when I was a young girl.  Everyone on that side of the family has one, and when we all (unfortunately infrequently) all get together for Christmas, the sight of all of the matching stockings is something to see.  

Since Aunt Marie left us, we haven't had anyone to knit the new family members' stockings... but my sister is going to figure it out and knit them for The Mr, The Boy, The Girl and the FIL and MIL!  I've said this before - I'm one lucky girl to have such talent in my family!

Zentmrs Pin It

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Over the aquaduct and through LA to grandmother's house we go...

OK, so we are really not at grandmother's house but instead at my brother-in-law's house to spend some quality Turkey Day time with the family.  We did in fact go over the aquaduct and through Los Angeles to get here.   We even got to see some rain.  No lightning though.  Rats.

We're in Paso Robles (the origin of many fine wines, perhaps even one you are drinking as you read this!) until Friday.  Tomorrow we will visit Hearst Castle!  I'll share a few of my (inevitably large virtual stack of) pictures tomorrow evening.

Zentmrs Pin It

I Wonder What New Decorations We Have....

3 Days Until We Put Up Christmas!

I love a good holiday sale, and the best sales are after Christmas. We shop all of the holiday decor sales after Christmas. We have found some of our favorite holiday stuff during these sales! After we buy it, we box it up and store it until the next year.

One of the best parts about decorating is opening up the boxes and remembering what we bought the previous year!. I am hoping we get a chance to get our boxes (and boxes and boxes!) of decorations out of their storage place in our garage before Saturday morning ... and maybe see what we bought last year!

Zentmrs Pin It

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thinking About Breakfast

4 Days Until We Put Up Christmas!

I've always loved Christmas breakfast, in large part because of the delicious almond roll that my mom has always made.  This is a picture of the roll that The Girl made with my mom when we visited my parents 2 Christmases ago.  She was only 9 at the time - didn't she do a wonderful job?  My mom ("Nana") had a great time passing down the tradition to her.

Pin It

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Caffeine

5 Days Until We Put Up Christmas!

One thing I look forward to all year is Starbuck's Gingersnap Latte!   (well, last year it was gingerBREAD not gingerSNAP but the difference is mostly semantics and marketing IMO)

My mom and father-in-law both prefer the eggnog latte, and both love to tell me that my preference is wrong...  do you have a favorite holiday coffee?

Zentmrs Pin It

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Mr and I at the last Aztec home football game of the season. Hopefully we'll have a better season next year! Pin It

Christmas Bells

6 Days Until We Put Up Christmas!

The Mr and I play handbells for our church handbell choir.  We have been playing Christmas music in preparation for our Christmas Extravaganza coming up in 3 weeks.  Nothing better than the sound of "Christmas Bells Are Ringing" to get us in the holiday spirit!

Hope you are enjoying the weekend!

Zentmrs Pin It

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thinking of our Christmas Theme

7 Days Until We Put Up Christmas!

As if Christmas weren't theme enough, we like to celebrate each Christmas with traditions of different parts of the world. We do our research about whichever country, region or even era, choose our Christmas dinner menu based on that... and have t-shirts with logos on them for the crew. My sister is a graphic artist which is an INCREDIBLE help for this endeavor! We have a lot of fun learning about the different ways that people celebrate the holidays throughout the world.

In the past couple of years we've had...

An Italian Christmas

Old Victorian Christmas

Christmas Mexican Style

Aren't I lucky to have this kind of talent in my family??!!

We're still narrowing down this year's theme. I'll keep you posted!

Pin It

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I've been tagged!

Ginette over at Nette's Niche has tagged me! You need to go readher blog - she's a kick!
  1. Were you named after anyone? My mom always liked the name Susan, and my middle name is after my godmother.

  2. Do you still have your tonsils? yes

  3. Would you bungee jump? I am terrified of heights. But, being afraid of heights makes me angry so I won't let it stop me from doing things. So I would bungee jump, though it would be pretty stressful I think.

  4. What is your favorite cereal? I'd like to say something healthy, but the truth really is... Frosted Flakes.

  5. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Yes

  6. What is your favorite ice cream? rocky road... yum!

  7. What is the first thing you notice about other people? I notice how they talk, their vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. I think that says a lot about a person.

  8. Least favorite thing about yourself? I'm fairly stubborn. When I was younger I needed to be right about everything and have (kind of) grown out of that, but I am still stubborn.

  9. What is the last thing you ate? a breakfast bar

  10. What are you listening to right now? a book on MP3, "Ender in Exile" by Orson Scott Card

  11. What is the last movie you watched? "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" (getting in the holiday spirit!)

  12. What did you dream about last night? I can't remember any dreams actually,

  13. Summer or winter? Both, especially the beginning of the season.

  14. Do you have any special talents? I like to think I am a pretty good photographer.

  15. Coke or Pepsi? Coke, specifically TaB

  16. Word you would hate to describe you? Stupid

  17. Do you live in a different state from where you grew up? Yes - grew up in Minnesota, now I live in California.

I am tagging these 3 fabulous bloggers (if you've already done this or just don't want to, don't feel obligated):

Here's what to do... copy, paste, add a question, and tag someone else. Hope you enjoy it!

Zentmrs Pin It

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's The Boy's Birthday!

This is me and The Boy on the day we officially became a family...  

He's grown a lot since then, don't you think?

Happy 8th Birthday!

Pin It

Cats and Cards

9 Days Until We Put Up Christmas!

I've just about finished our holiday letter and am getting ready to order the cards.... after I take the holiday card picture.  We used this cute little elf for our card two years ago.  I'm thinking of trying to get all 4 of our fur-kids for this year's shot.  

Any bright ideas on how to herd cats?  ;-)

Zentmrs Pin It

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Who Doesn't Like Cookies?

10 Days Until We Put Up Christmas!

I've loved baking since I was a very little girl. Christmas cookie baking is at the top of my favorites. I usually bake dozens and dozens of different types of cookies and give most of them out as gifts. One year I baked "The Twelve Days of Christmas" in cookies - lots of work, but oh so cute and tasty!

Some cookies I make every year. I've been making Candy Cane Cookies since I was in junior high school (these are my sister's favorite) and also my mom's favorite Brownie Drops for as long as I can rememeber. One of my favorites is a Chocolate Checkerboard Cookie from Martha Stewart (a bit tedious but delish).

I've been working on perfecting a recipe given to me by one of my mom's friends. She has been giving us Braetzels every Christmas since I can remember. When I moved to California, she gave me the recipe so I could make my own. I haven't been able to recreate hers (anyone out there make braetzels and have any tips?) but I keep trying, and one year I'll do it!

I'm also always looking for new recipes to try. I found a fun source this year - Gourmet Magazine's Favorite Cookies 1941 - 2008! I'm hoping to try at least one from that list this year. Food Network aslo has their 12 Days of Christmas Cookies coming soon. Maybe one of those will catch my eye.

For those of you who want to send cookies this year, here's a great source on how to pack for shipping. And here are some more tips. These will come in handy for me for my upcoming cookie swap!

Anyone have any great recipes to share? I'd love to try something new!


Pin It

Monday, November 17, 2008

Music for My Spirit

11 Days Until We Put Up Christmas!

I've been thinking about holiday baking and I love to listen to Christmas music while I make my special treats.  I love all of the old traditional music, but here are some of my more contemporary favorites:

Amy Grant

Jimmy Buffet

Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Christmas Eve and Other Stories) - Wonderful CD!

The Nutcracker

What is the first CD you listen to when Christmas comes?

Zentmrs Pin It

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Holiday Dishes

8 Days Until We Put Up Christmas!

I love our everyday holiday table. I got this set of Pfaltzgraff Snow Bear dishes before we were married and I love to use them for our everyday dishes during the holdiays. For our "company" dinner we use our china, but for everyday, it is such fun to see these dishes.

I also have a set of these fun "Noel" crystal flutes... Half in green, half in red.

I can't wait to switch my dishes out!

Zentmrs Pin It

Christmas on the Big Screen

12 Days Until We Put Up Christmas!

Nothing gets me in the holiday mood like a good holiday movie.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Santa vs the Snowman

The Family Man

The Ref
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

White Christmas

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Ghost of Christmas Eve

It's a Wonderful Life

Christmas Vacation


What's your favorite holiday movie?

Zentmrs Pin It