Enjoyed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but ended up with an upper respiratory infection with a hacking cough. I've been taking an antibiotic and cough suppressant. Can't wait to start feeling better.
All the kids and grandkids came for an appetizer - dessert gathering. The little ones are so excited Santa is coming tonight! Before they went home, as tradition has it, they opened one present.
Everyone was back in attendance this morning for breakfast and opening presents. I think everyone enjoyed their gifts and excitement. Later in the day, we had Christmas dinner of ham, potato casserole, PW baked beans, green bean casserole, rolls, and pecan pie.
My husband and I had a lovely evening with Dan and John last night. Our connection is both family and friends - it's a long story, but we all believe our dear Aunt Zita had a hand in bring our families together. Aunt Z would have been 82 on December 29.
We had appetizers, beef brisket, baked beans, baked potatoes, spring mix salad, deviled eggs, rolls, and four-layer dessert. The baked beans came from the Pioneer Woman's website. Everyone agreed they were delicious!
Flower pots aren't just a springtime accessory. Use them in the "off-season" as Christmas candle holders. Place a piece of wet florist foam inside a pot and insert greenery and berries around the outer edge of the foam, leaving space in the middle for the candle. Keep the candle in place with florist's picks. Drill three or four pilot holes into the bottom of a pillar candle and insert florist's picks; poke the picks into the florist's foam.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with foil; lightly coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
Wrap each sausage link with a bacon piece, overlapping the bacon piece at the end. Press the end of the bacon piece to seal or secure it with a wooden toothpick.
Place brown sugar in a large plastic storage bag. Add several bacon-wrapped sausages to the bag and seal. Shake bag gently to coat sausages with brown sugar; place sausages in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining bacon - wrapped sausages and brown sugar.
Bake about 30 minutes or until the bacon is browned. Serve immediately.
Dress up caramel squares by dipping them in sprinkles, crushed nuts, and bits of candy. Add a drizzling of dark or white chocolate to make them even prettier. Check out more fudge, caramel, and homemade candy recipes.
Put a twist on typical holiday table decor with a tree-inspired centerpiece. To create the trunk, wrap a clear glass vase with bark chips. Surround the vase with faux variegated moss and top with nuts, berries, and tiny decorative birds to mimic a forest setting. Bring the "tree" into bloom with a lush floral arrangement of hydrangeas, roses, fresh greenery, and hypericum berries.
Red or green plastic spoons dipped in microwave-melted milk chocolate make easy Christmas crafts for young kids. Before placing on waxed paper and cooling in the fridge, roll in crushed candy canes or Christmas sprinkles for a festive touch. Cover cooled spoons in cellophane and a ribbon for hot chocolate or coffee stirrer giveaways.
A front porch container overflowing with evergreens and winter plants adds a charming country Christmas ambience to your entryway. Fill a vintage wheelbarrow with wintry noble fir branches. Accent the display with Port Orford cedar, dried eucalyptus, and winterberry holly. Park on your front porch for a homespun welcome.
Stir together first 5 ingredients in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, 7 to 8 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 234°.
Remove from heat, and vigorously stir in pecans. Spoon pecan mixture onto wax paper, spreading in an even layer. Let stand 20 minutes or until firm. Break praline-coated pecans apart into pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. Freeze in an airtight container or zip-top plastic freezer bag up to 1 month.
Make these simple Christmas crackers to use as stocking stuffers or holiday party favors. For each cracker, cut a 5-inch length from a wrapping paper or paper-towel tube. Cut a 10x10-inch square from wrapping paper. Center the tube on the paper and wrap the paper around the tube. Tape along the edge of the paper to secure. Tie one end closed with a length of cord tied in a bow. Fill the tube with small gifts or wrapped candies, then tie the opposite end closed in the same manner.
A block of soaked florist's foam holds this arrangement in place. Three glass votive cups were set on top of the florist's foam -- making it easy to change the candles as needed. Curly twigs inserted into the foam hold the glass cups in place. Next, flowers and greens are arranged around the sides of the foam, draping down to the tabletop.
Dress up your exterior for Christmas with winter containers filled with evergreens and natural bursts of color. Make a potted Frasier fir merry with a combination of pretty garden items, such as dried artichokes, pear gourds, dyed eucalyptus, caspia, stilbe seed pods, dried hydrangea blooms, and a pine cone garland.
Fill window boxes with cedar and boxwood boughs, green hypericum berries, and sprigs of baby's breath stuck into a dry block of florist's foam. Protected from direct sun and weather extremes, cut greens can survive throughout the season.
A frozen ring of red-twig dogwood, evergreen cuttings, and cranberries warmly embrace a pillar candle. The tall glass holder lets the candle burn brightly -- and safely -- amid the branches. Use a flexible cake carrier to mold the icy arrangement.
Prepare a merry welcome at the curb -- a pretty swag of pine tied on with wire adds a flourish to your mailbox. Enhance it with red accents and pretty pine cones. The first snow will only enhance the look.
For decorations that smoothly transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas, start with neutral basics. A beveled edge mirror topped with simple white candles creates a classic foundation. For Thanksgiving, add a simple fall garland and mini pumpkins. When Christmas draws near, replace the harvest elements with pine boughs, clementines, and pine cones (as shown). This would work wonderfully on a breakfast room table.
Tiered compotes are easy to dress up for any holiday. Simply arrange an assortment of seasonal elements on the trays for an instant centerpiece. Here, evergreen sprigs, pine cones, winterberries, and miniature ornaments spread Christmas cheer. For Thanksgiving, use apples, nuts, small ears of Indian corn, and other harvest essentials. I like this look too for Thanksgiving.