Thursday, January 7, 2010


Yesterday I am on the phone with Julia listening to her talk about her cute new babies and making Sophie some lunch before preschool. After I finish Sophie's lunch, I pull some spaghetti from the fridge and arrange it on a plate to heat up for my lunch.

I start to become aware that Sophie is quietly calling my name, "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy? Mommy. Mommy."

My imploring hand gestures requesting her silence are futile and after the 20th "Mommy", I impatiently ask, "WHAT?!!"

Sophie: "Are you having spaghetti for lunch?"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

German Farmer's Breakfast

Christmas Eve left me with an abundance of ham, so we've been trying out lots of ways to make use of it. This was delicious. I made a few changes, but it's pretty much the same. I just thought the recipe needed less potatoes and more eggs. Don't try and substitute for bacon grease. You'll be missing out.

German Farmer's Breakfast

adapted from Simply Recipes


2 large potatoes, skinned and quartered lengthwise

3 Tbsp bacon fat or olive oil
1 cups roughly chopped green and white onions (include the greens from the green onions)
1 cups roughly chopped bell peppers
Salt to taste
1-2 cups chopped ham
1/4 cup chopped parsley
7-8 eggs, whisked


1 Boil the potatoes in a saucepan of lightly salted water for 10-15 minutes until just cooked (test for doneness). Drain, rinse with cold water to cool. Cut into 1-inch squares. Set aside.

2 Heat 2 Tbsp bacon fat (or olive oil) in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions and chopped bell peppers. Increase the heat to high. Brown the onions and bell peppers, stirring frequently, about 2-3 minutes.

3 Push the vegetables to the side of the pan, add the potatoes and another Tbsp of bacon fat (or olive oil) to the pan. Brown the potatoes for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle on salt to taste as you cook. Add the ham to the potatoes and cook, stirring frequently until the ham is heated through, 1-2 minutes.

4 Mix all of the vegetables, potato and ham together and mix in the parsley. Add the eggs, stirring to distribute the eggs among the vegetables and ham. As soon as eggs begin to firm up, remove from heat.

Serve immediately. Great with ketchup on top.

Serves 4.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas Eve 2009

I really enjoyed Christmas Eve, although it went by really fast! I got up early and made macarons. I wanted to include them with some of the Christmas treats we delivered to friends that day. I figured they would take about an hour. WRONG! Three hours later I was putting the finishing touches on two very lackluster batches of green and red macarons. BOO. But the day just got better from there. The girls got up and played with Bobby while I worked on his Christmas quilt. I took my time getting read for the day and we headed out to deliver goodies. Everyone was pretty hungry for lunch by then so we thought we'd treat the girls to lunch at McDonald's, a special treat for the girls and a major sacrifice on our part. We hate McDonald's, but of course, they're kids- they love it. After that we stopped at the Yost's to deliver treats and visited for a while. We are big fans of theirs as well as their daughter Ivy. After we left, I looked at the clock and my jaw dropped- 3:00 PM! Three in the afternoon and I hadn't made any preparations for our Christmas Eve dinner. I hadn't started the rolls or decided on a glaze for the ham. We still had about ten treats to deliver. We stopped at all the houses we could on the way home and then Bobby dropped the girls and I at home so he could go back out and I could get to work on our Christmas Eve dinner.

I will always remember 2009 as the year Franny started to take an interest in my cooking and our food traditions. It has been such a treat for me. It's very sweet. At dinner she says things like, "This is very yummy, Mom." I asked her what she thought we should have for Christmas Eve dinner and she thought hard and came up with some good ideas. She asked for a Christmas drink (my Mom's Christmas punch), chips and salsa (our appetizer), orange rolls, and sauce for the mashed potatoes (gravy, but I didn't get around to it. That one was really cute, because she doesn't like gravy.) Her only objections were the ham and the green beans, but I told her I wasn't willing to budge on either of those. Clearly, family food traditions are really important to me. I mean, if I'm feeling homesick, a big batch of rice pudding does just the trick. So Franny's excitement over my cooking and our family traditions is pretty much the coolest thing ever.

One more thing that happened was my father-in-law called pretending he was Santa Claus to ask the girls what they want for Christmas. I love that he does this! Franny was just beside herself to be getting a call from Santa. She told him she wanted an iCarly microphone (and he did not disappoint) and then she said, "well thank you, Santa." Sophie told him Dora stuff and he made good on that, too.

Before dinner, Bobby took the girls out to sprinkle "reindeer food" that Franny made at school so they would have something to munch on while Santa was here.

We're ready to eat!
Orange Rolls and plain rolls. Orange rolls per Franny's request.
"I'd like a nice slice of Christmas Pam." - The Office
This was a new ham recipe. It was tasty, but not hugely impressive, so I'll probably try something else next year. Ham just tastes good. I'm pretty sure if you sprayed it with Febreze it would taste fine. (I certainly am not recommending this.)

It tasted so delicious. I just have to have my Dad's green beans on Christmas Eve. And my mother's orange rolls.

After dinner we had dessert, some Peppermint cheesecake, and then we put milk and cookies out for Santa. Last year her got sour cream cookies decorated with frosting and sprinkles. This year he got Oreos. Sorry Santa.

An all-girl nativity scene. I'm a girl who likes her traditions. So much that I insist on Bobby as the head of our household reading from Luke 2 and the children posing for the nativity. That's how it was always done in my family. I heard my Great Uncle George read from Luke 2 until I was 19 or 20 years old when he died. After that it was Great Uncle Merlin, then it was my grandfather, then my mom's cousin Rick, etc. The patriarch of the family. Since our family has not been blessed with sons yet, our two older girls will have to take turns playing Joseph and Mary. Next year of course Claire will play baby Jesus, so the Christmas story cross-dressing will perpetuate. Hey, I guess there's one of our own Christmas traditions.

We opened pajamas and also our Christmas Eve presents, since if we were in California we would have been at Gayle's participating in the Sant family gift exchange.

This was the first year we really needed to stay up late making magic for our kids. We assembled the Barbie dream house Santa delivered and then I stayed up late late late sewing Bobby's quilt. The next morning the girls woke up at 7 AM sharp and ran in to tell us that Santa really came! And that he brought more presents! And that he filled their stockings! When we went upstairs I pointed out the cookie crumbs on the plate and the nearly finished glass of milk, as well as a thank you note from Santa. They were thrilled!
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