Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wrapping it all Up!

I finally sat down and wrapped the last gifts last night.  It felt good to get that done.  At this point I'm pretty much out of time to shop or do anything more since I'm working my last pre-Christmas shift at the mall tonight.

This past Saturday, I made my family traditional cut-out cookies and decorated them, along with my favorite cookie, which some of you might know as a snowball, and per Little Helen's request, some fudge. Years ago I made about 10 different types of things but that's' more than enough for us now.

Based on last Sunday's shift I expect I'll be straight out until the mall closes and I walk back out to my car.  I sort of dislike being that busy as I feel I don't even make eye contact my with customers, but rather just stare into a computer screen processing gift cards and collecting money.  Oh well, that will be wrapped up after tonight as well, then I get four whole days off from both jobs.

We're having our luncheon at work today and then tomorrow we work only 4 hours during which mostly nothing gets done.  I was tempted to just take it off but since the other 4 hours are a 'gift' it's worth it to come in and not have to use vacation time, as I plan on using vacation time for January 2nd to have another long weekend.

I've got my menus together and a game plan to execute them - thankfully I can do quite a bit of prep during my free Christmas Eve afternoon.  Biz, I know it will make you happy to read what I'm doing!

Christmas Eve we will have my famous to my family Chicken Parmigiana with Angel Hair Pasta, Marinara, Salad, and Italian Bread. Christmas morning, I am going to make homemade cinnamon rolls that I prepare the day before and just bake off.  I'm using my own recipe, but Alton Brown's method, which you can see here.  We always open our gifts leisurely so I generally plan to have an appetizer style lunch - just a few nibbles to get us through to our main meal.  This year we are having shrimp cocktail, an olive display, proscuitto and mozzarella roll, and Ina Garten's Parmesan and Thyme Crackers.  I started making these crackers a few years ago and now they are a must for us!  I generally serve my signature Champagne Cocktail with the appetizers.

Rudolph's Nose
(makes 1 drink)
1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce triple sec
1 ounce cranberry juice
1 ounce cherry juice
2 or 3 frozen raspberries
Brut Champagne

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and cherry juice. Shake, then strain into a champagne flute. Drop the raspberries into the glass, then top with sparkling wine.

For our main meal, we are having a Tenderloin Roast with Gorgonzola Sauce, a brown sugar cured Spiral Ham, Two Potato Gratin, Green Bean Casserole, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and homemade rolls.  Dessert will be Christmas cookies.

That will be too much food but rest assured after Christmas Day I am not cooking so everyone will appreciate the leftovers.

There will be some extended family gatherings as well after Christmas so it will be a busy and fun time.  Now, we just wait the arrival of Little Helen and Fiance for the festivities to begin!

To all my blogging friends near and far, whatever the holidays you are celebrating, I hope they are filled with the people and things you love!


  1. Your meals are going to be so delicious - your family is lucky that you love to cook (and are so good at it)! Glad you are getting some time off and I hope you just get to relax and enjoy both the holiday and your family. Merry Merry Christmas!!

  2. That menu does make me happy! I am so excited to try the Gorgonzola butter too! Glad you'll get a break from both jobs - you know I've been there, done that. I am just happy I don't have to work New Years Eve this year!

    Hugs and Love!

  3. Merry Christmas, Helen! Your menu is making me feel like a lazy slob! I am going super simple this year.

  4. Wow! Looks yummy. Merry Christmas to you and all the Helens!

  5. Your meals sound so yummy!

    Have a merry Christmas Helen. I hope it brings you all the joy :D

  6. OMGoodness, Helen--Your culinary skills are impeccable!! Yeah-- I wouldn't say I cooked or planned very well---I kind of threw together some basics... Your planning and pairing skills are envied, my friend!