Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve 2008
















So we enjoyed a quiet day at home as the snow fell like mad! We got another 8 inches here today so yep! Looks like it is going to be another Winter from Hell!

Zack went to Brentwood so Daddy took his girls to the Common Man for a New Year's Eve Dinner. We got a big help from a wonderful gift card that we received from Lisa and Michael! It was such a special treat and we really had a nice night!!!

Happy New Year Everyone! I have a great feeling about 2009- may it bring you all the wonderful things you are looking for...

Christmas 2008
















Although Diana was sick...terrible cough and cold and her first fever....we made the most of it! She is a tough little baby and fought her way through a VERY busy Christmas Eve (stops at the mechanic, mall church and finally Auntie Peggy's for our dinner party) We enjoyed the Feast of the 7 Fishes at Auntie Peggy's- no one does Christmas Eve like her.....had so much fun!

That night however? Her worst night yet since she was born- she was up every hour!! Ugh....

Anyway..although she had a fever on Christmas Day...she watched us open her gifts and was still as pleasant as can be.

Mimi knows how tired I am this year and she made our entire Italian Christmas Dinner- Raviollis from Bella Raviolli and her homeade gravy and meat.

The pictures here are from Christmas Eve :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

I know now I have officially lost it

copy and paste this link into your browser and see why- ha ha!!

http://mistletoemakeover.com/?adbf114c33ab49d1282a7eeb3541ecfb

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowy Sunday









So yep! In the midst of another storm here! We are supposed to get another foot- Oh My GOD!!!! Trying to laugh here- trying to laugh!

Well...since we are stuck in and Daddy is busy snow blowing and vaccuming and getting ready for Christmas...Diana and I decided to make him a wonderful and hot Sunday dinner. (Enjoy the pix)

On the menu? Roasted Citrus Turkey Breast with Sage and Rosemary, Apple Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing and Green Beans with Shallots and Bacon. For dessert, Daddy also lucked out because mummy made her special Christmas cookies for Bill's party and saved him some!!!!

I have decided to post my recipes in case you too, get inspired. My house smells like heaven right now....like turkey and apples and Christmas tree and Yankee Candles...and I am listening to the coo of Baby Diana. She has been a huge help!

Recipes

Roasted Turkey Breast
Follow the directions on the package
Our turkey breast is 7.5 lbs so it will take 2-3 hours to roast
I stuffed the turkey with an orange, some rosemary sprigs, thyme leaves and fresh sage
I baste it once every 45 mins with a combination of butter, orange juice and cranberry juice- delish!


Apple Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing
What you will need:
1 stick of unsalted butter
2 medium onions
3 cups of celery chopped
6 cups of leeks chopped
4 apples peeled and cored
1 pound of italian sausage- sweet or spicy (with casings removed)
6 teaspoons of poultry seasoning (I use Bell seasoning)
2 teaspoons/about 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons of chopped fresh sage leaves (about 6 leaves)
2 teaspoons of fresh parsley
2 cups of dried cranberries
1 box of stuffing mix (not cornbread)
2 cups of vegetable stock
Salt and Pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350
Melt the butter in large skillet
Saute onion, celery, leaks, apples and sausage (breaking up the sausage as you cook)
After about 10 minutes, add the poultry seasoning, fresh herbs, and dried cranberries. Add the dried stuffing mix and moisten with the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Put in a buttered casserole dish and bake for 45 mins

Green Beans with Shallots and Bacon
What you will need:
2 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
8 bacon slices, thinly sliced crosswise
3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup finely chopped shallots (about 4 large)


Directions:
Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Drain well. Pat dry with paper towels. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Wrap in paper towels; enclose in resealable plastic bag and refrigerate.)

Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels and drain. Discard all but 3 tablespoons bacon fat in skillet. Add butter to skillet and melt over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until tender and golden, about 4 minutes. Add beans and sauté until heated through, about 6 minutes. Add bacon to skillet and toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Holly's Christmas Cookies
What you will need:
Cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
6 mini candy canes chopped up

Glaze:
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 drops mint extract, or more to taste
3 1/2 teaspoons water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
Set aside. In a mixer beat together the butter with the sugars until fluffy,
about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until smooth after each
addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add in the
vanilla. On a low speed beat in the flour mixture a little at a time. Gently
mix in chocolate chips and candy canes.

On an ungreased cookie sheet, drop teaspoons of the batter about 2 inches
apart. Bake until just cracked on top, about 8 to10 minutes, rotating the
pan halfway through the cooking time. Cool completely.

For the glaze:
In a small bowl mix together the sugar; mint extract and water until smooth.
Transfer mixture to a medium resealable plastic bag and snip off the corner.
Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies. (I also chop up some more candy canes and press them into the glaze for a more festive look)

Let cookies stand until set, about 10 minutes.

Merry Christmas

The Beginning of Winter and Bill's Annual Family Christmas Party







So we had a snow storm on Friday...pretty much started right when we got our power back- ha ha!! You have to laugh because if you didn't, you would go crazy. Anyway, Mother Nature dumped a foot of snow on us...Thank God for Papa again...he came and plowed us out!

His reward after was a hot cup of Joe out of the Keurig (and we recruited Keurig's newest fan) and some cookies. We talked about how much fun we had under the circumstances with no power. We are very lucky to have such a great family.

Anyway, we were able to get to Bill's house in York Maine yesterday for a few hours. Diana got to see one of her best friends, Baby Ava.

Had a great time with some of our work friends- Steve and Mary, Fois and Shannon, Kim, Dave and Tammy and Dee and Rich. All the kiddos were present too. I am thankful for my second family :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

We've Got The Power

After 8 days, our power returned and we are so grateful. I am hoping we do not lose it again tomorrow during the impending blizzard- eek!

It is so nice to sleep in our bed and clean our bathrooms and get all of the XMAS gifts ready and cards out....geesh! so much to do and I feel like we lost so much time.

Thanks to everyone for their generous support and offers. A big thank you to Grammy and Papa for taking us in :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/view/25X60cmDMljeQuTc

Check out this link while it lasts and "Elf Yourself"

Diana's Picture With Santa


This was a few weeks back but life has been at a stand still for me. Power? NOT YET- it is a week tonight. Very tough time for this to be happening but grateful for our safety and quality family time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Okay Jenny Wren- This One's For You- Hey All- Complete This Fun Questionnaire and Email it to Me- Enterain Me Please :)

JUST 2 THINGS
If you opened this, you have to do it and send it back to the person who
sent it to you and the rest of your friends.

Two names you go by:
1. Holly
2. El Presidente Coco

Two things you're wearing now:
1. pink and brown argyle socks
2. spit up!

What are your 2 favorite things to do?
1. spend fun times with family and friends
2. blogging....facebooking

Two things you want very badly at the moment:
1. To get power back by the weekend! It will be a week tomorrow :(
2. To have a very happy Christmas

Two people who will fill this out
1. Donna
2. Jen- already did

Two things you did yesterday?
1. worked 10 hours
2. watched Charlie Brown's Christmas with the fam

Two things you ate yesterday:
1. a kashi almond, honey, flax bar
2. grammy's "cherryaki" chicken- delish!

Two people you last talked to
1. My Robby
2. Baby Diana! (doesn't count that she can't talk back)

Two things you are doing tomorrow:
1. Working
2. PTA Meeting

Two favorite holidays:
1. Christmas Eve
2. 4th of July

Two favorite beverages:
1. Wine
2. coffee
(AMEN JEN!!!) the coffee from my Keurig is my new FAVE!

People no longer alive that you would like to talk to:
1. My Nanis who I prayed to throughout my pregnancy-they helped to keep us healthy
2. My Papas- one I never got to meet and would have loved to

Ice Storm



Well I hate the Winter and I only stay here because my family and friends are here but honestly it is getting more and more painful. This ice storm takes the cake.

I need to preface everything by saying that I am grateful that we are all safe and warm and that there is no damage to our home.

I am also grateful for our generous families who have taken us in and I appreciate the wonderful offers from endless friends to do the same.

We had an ice storm and lost power as of 1am on Friday. We are still without power now although most folks in our town have it now. The first two nights we stayed in a motel (Rob was worried because we lost some trees in our yard and we have a wooded lot so it was risky to stay) and then it got cold-real cold. We then stayed at my parents on Saturday night and we have been with his parents since.

It is inconvenient and crazy and exhausting. Diana is so disoriented. We are fighting through it though and actually enjoying being together as a family and sharing some quality time with Grammy and Papa on the other side of Windham.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you struggling right now.

See Who Made Santa's Nice List

http://family.go.com/santas-list/video/56318-holly191range/


just copy and paste the above link into your browser

Monday, December 8, 2008

Baseball XMAS Party








It was the first holiday party of the baseball/softball league and we had a pig roast at Scott's house. It was an absolute ball :)

The pig? A little disturbing but interesting...great night to catch up with board friends and their wives!
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