Friday, December 30, 2011

Post Christmas wrapup

Christmas has come and gone, overall it was good. It was quite a few crazy days trying to buy all the gifts once my husband's advance check cleared, but I managed to get it done. I didn't go very crazy, total cost for Christmas was a few hundred (I had used a gift budget app, but unfortunately my phone reset so I lost all the info). Cool app though, I'll have to find it again next year, it let's you list all the people you are buying gifts for, enter each gift and price and add it all up to keep you on budget. Also helped me track how many gifts I had for each kid. I realized quickly I had more for my son than my daughters, rather than buying more for them I just put some of his away until his birthday.

The kids were happy with their gifts and excited about their surprises from Santa. We kept it pretty low key and my husband and I didn't exchange gifts. I made the French Toast Casserole for breakfast with spiked syrup, always well received. Lunch was processed meats and cheeses (aka Hickory Farms) for everyone but me.

For dinner I made Honey Baked Ham, scalloped potatoes and Green Beans in a Bacon vinaigrette, followed by Swedish Apple Pie.

The next day I made split pea soup with the left over ham bone. I just used the recipe on the back of the split peas, as it is easy and good. Even though split pea is usually served with pumpernickel (which I did have) my husband asked me to make garlic bread. It was really easy and very good.

The next day my parents arrived. It gets pretty crowded and mine had to sleep on our pullout in the basement as my in-laws were in the guest room. For dinner, my husband grilled chicken breasts and I made rice pilaf and asparagus.

In the past we've gone out for dinner on our one night with all the parents in, but this year we weren't in a position to do it. Instead, I finally made something I've been wanting to make for a while, but was too nervous - beef tenderloin. Buying a $40 cut of meat was a bit of pressure, but my Mom convinced me it wasn't that hard, and she helped and together we made the beef and a mushroom red wine sauce, asparagus and another round of potatoes au gratin. It turned out really well. Admittedly the kids didn't really like it, but the rest of us thought it was tender and tasted great. Restaurant quality as my husband likes to say.

After dinner, my daughter put on her Brownie vest, and sold cookies to her grandparents. My parents ordered some to be sent to the troops as they don't actually like the cookies (I don't blame them), my in-laws bought a couple of boxes and we ordered a couple of boxes for us and a few others to send to the troops.

This morning my in laws I took my in-laws to the airport around 830. My parents got settled into the guest room and I started to getting the house back together, doing laundry etc.

As usual my parents have a shopping list of things they want to get. Some things online that we ordered so they can arrive before they leave. Tomorrow we head to LLBean to check on a jacket my Mom wants to get. I'm going to look for gloves for me, and exchange the shirt I got for Christmas from my in-laws. I feel bad, but the past few years they've gotten me sweaters in colors I don't have, and make a point of saying that that's why they pick them, but the reason I don't have the colors they pick is they aren't good colors for me - pinks and light greens mostly. This year they gave me gift receipts for the first time, so the return should be easier. It's mostly my fault though, since I usually have trouble coming up with a wishlist.

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