Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas 2012

We spent this Christmas in Quincy at Mark's parents house.  Brad flew in from Hawaii and we were able to be together for over a week.  Santa came to visit us on Christmas Eve and give the kids their pajamas.

We enjoyed a white Christmas for the first time in many years.  It was beautiful but too cold to stay outside for too long.  The kids did build snowmen the following day and they were still standing when we left.

One Christmas tradition that our family has is that we choose a new menu for each Christmas dinner.  We make things that we have never made before - everyone helps choose the items and helps in the kitchen to prepare the meal.  This year we chose to have an Italian dinner.  None of us have ever been to Italy so I don't know how authentic these are but we found most of the recipes online.  For reference we fed 6 adults, 3 teens, and 2 little kids.
Here are the links to the online recipes and a few notes from us: 
  • We started with Herbed Meatball Soup - I was worried that this would be tastless (based on the picture - it looked pretty plain), but the meatballs were very flavorful. Everyone liked it and it would be great with salad & bread on a cold winter evening.  I will make this again. 
  • The main dish was Rack of Lamb with Warm Apple and Lentil Salad - We tripled the recipe for the lentil salad and cooked 6 racks of the lamb.  We cooked a few racks on the grill so they would all be done cooking at the same time.  This recipe was delicious and everyone enjoyed eating it.  The apple and lentil salad was fantastic and we ate leftovers with some barbecued beef the following night. We had 2 racks left over (there was more meat on the bones that it looked like) which was actually good warmed over for lunch the next day.  We will make this again - maybe for Easter or another special dinner.
  • Marinated Vegetable and Olive Salad - No body's favorite dish.  The olives were the best part.  We probably won't ever make this again.  It was a cold salad and not full of flavor.
  • Garlic Broccoli Rabe - this was good but we will add more garlic next time.
  • Rustic Italian Bread - super easy recipe.  We doubled it to make two loaves and used the Bosch mixer instead of a bread machine. 
  • Mostaccioli - these are a cake-like cookie.  They were easy to make and stayed fresh for several days.  I will make these again - great flavor!
  • The girls found this pie recipe in a dessert book we have so we tried it as well.  I was happy because lemon is my FAVORITE!  We made this again yesterday and doubled the recipe for the filling so we had more of the yellow layer.  But I didn't double the vanilla chips or cream cheese.  It was better that way.
Lemon Truffle Pie
Baked 9 inch pie shell
1/2 cup water
2 T. sugar
1 egg
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 t. butter
1 cup vanilla chips
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup whipped cream, sweetened
1 T. toasted almonds
Put water and 2 T. sugar in saucepan and bring to a boil.  In large bowl, mix egg, cornstarch, 1 T. sugar, and lemon juice.  Slowly add hot water to egg mixture in bowl then pour entire mixture back into pan.  Heat until thickened, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add zest of lemon and butter.  Stir until mixed and cool.
Pour 2/3 of filling in bowl.  Add vanilla chips to the filling remaining in pan.  Stir until chips are melted.  Place cream cheese in bowl.  Add filling with vanilla chips to cream cheese and beat together until smooth.  Spread this mixture in bottom of pie shell.  Spread remaining 2/3 of lemon filling on top.  Chill for two hours.
Top with whipped cream and garnish with toasted almonds or sprinkle toasted almonds over whipped cream and serve on side.

 No visit from Brad would be complete with out a trip to the bowling alley.  Everyone had fun, except for poor Kehli, who watched from the side with ice on her knee.  We finished our Christmas vacation early so we could come home and take Kehli to the doctor.  She and Evan were running and tripped over each other.  Kehli fell hard on the sidewalk and ended up breaking her knee cap.  Her tibia hit the back of her knee cap and fractured it from behind.  It stayed super swollen for several days from all of the blood filling up the knee cavity.  She goes to the Orthopedic doctor tomorrow for a new brace and the official course of treatment.


Life with Anderson Kids said...

Absolutely love your Christmas Eve dinner tradition! So sorry that Kehli has a hurt knee. Wish her well from us. Love reading your blog & catching up with your family. Miss you guys!
With love,
Amy Anderson & kids

hdknowles said...

I'm going to try to make the bread, and maybe the dessert. So, what happened at the orthopedist?