2015 Christmas Eve and Day

Happy New Year from the Collett House!!!

Wow what a year obviously too much time dedicated to working on the house, raising the babies and working full time and no time to blog or share moments as I would like to.   I am exhausted!   But with the blessings of my job (though it like any job can be very stressful) Jay and I both get 4 bonus holiday days off.  So for the price of 3 vacation days and the holiday time off we basically get off for 2 weeks.  This is awesome and most people save it for sunny warm days later on down the road but I love being able to be home at Christmas, wrap up last minute gifts and Santa duties, sleep in until 8 instead of 6, snuggle with my babies and get away from the day care crud.

So Lexington the week before Christmas was an unseasonable 70 degrees!!!   So on Christmas even we were out playing, no jackets with the windows wide open allowing the sunshine and fresh air to flow through the house.

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Air quality and house smell is incredibly important to me.  Some people have there pet peeves and this is mine.  So much that Jay found this whole house natural scent distributor called AIRQ that connects to your central heating and air unit and it is wonderful (click here for details I LOVE THIS THING….unless the air and heat and fan are off (like on our Christmas Eve 70 degree day.  So i whipped up some Stove Top Potpourri.

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Stove Top Potpourri (Christmas Style)

2- Oranges (I used elderly fruit when I have it)

1-2 Clementines

1-2 lemons

palm full of cloves

3-4 Cinnamon sticks

1-2 Star Anise (Whole)

Bring to a boil in a stock pot full of water, simmer all day.  Keep adding water and enjoy an all natural way to make your whole house smell like Christmas.

I love this because it literally smells the whole house, my son was like it smells like Christmas mama…LOVE IT!

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There are lots of combinations out there that I am going to try as the seasons progress.  You can find some more recipes here or here

So the windows were open, we were playing outside the house smelled like Christmas and we commenced to our 3rd year Christmas Tradition.   We stay home make tons of finger foods that are both healthy and not so healthy and much all evening while watching a non Christmas movie and then Polar Express or other Christmas movies.  I imagine as the kiddos get a big older we will include games into this tradition but I just love it.

 

This years menu included: A veggie tray with low fat ranch dip, crescent wrapped lil smokies, chips, artisan cheese , salami, baby corn and roasted tomato platter, sausage balls, grilled hot wings  (for daddy) and spiced tea for the adults and hot cocoa for kiddos…this year with the warm weather I think we all did ice water.

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After the kids are sufficiently full of junk and we have set out milk and cookies for Santa.   We bring out the presents that are from us, and snuggle in for some quiet before the 6 AM excited wake up call to see if Santa came.   Christmas morning has historically been in the form of a Christmas casserole but my hubby had a special request this year of Monkey Bread which went over like gang busters at my house!

I was a virgin Monkey Bread maker so I turned to some of my trusted bloggers and food network stars to seek out the easiest and best recipe.    I decided to go with Ree Drummond one this…because hello butter and Christmas morning what could be better.

Pastor Ryan’s Monkey Bread (Courtesy of Ree Drummond)

PREP TIME:
20 Minutes

DIFFICULTY:
Easy

COOK TIME:
40 Minutes

SERVINGS:
8 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cans Buttermilk Biscuits (the Non-flaky Ones)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (to 3 Teaspoons) Cinnamon
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Open up all three cans of biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters.

Next, combine the white sugar with 2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon. (3 teaspoons of cinnamon gives it a fairly strong cinnamon flavor. If you’re not so hot on cinnamon, cut it back to 2 teaspoons.) Dump these into a 1 gallon zip bag and shake to mix evenly.

Drop all of the biscuit quarters into the cinnamon-sugar mix. Once all the biscuit quarters are in the bag seal it and give it a vigorous shake. This will get all those pieces unstuck from one another and nicely coated with cinnamon-sugar. Spread these nuggets out evenly in the bundt pan.

At this point, you’re going to want to melt the two sticks of butter together with ½ cup of brown sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. This can be light or dark brown sugar. Cook butter/sugar mixture, stirring for a few minutes until the two become one. Once the brown sugar butter has become one color, you can pour it over the biscuits.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the crust is a deep dark brown on top. When its finished cooking, remove it from the oven. If you have the willpower, allow it to cook for about 15-30 minutes before turning it over onto a plate.

I paired this with bacon and fruit and it was truly DIVINE….
So there you have a couple of amazing Christmas recipes and a little taste (& smell) of how we do Christmas.  Ill end this post with the best Christmas picture ever and my FB post about it.
Went to visit Santa on Saturday morning…some people (Eva Ellis) insist this is a Christmas requirement though I can’t find a single picture of me and Santa from my childhood and I’m also pretty sure a jingle package of non existing pictures didnt set my mom back 40.00 …but even so it was fun to watch Ana look up a Kris Kringle and scream her head off while Gabe proceeded to tell Santa all the things he wanted non of which “Santa” and amazon prime purchased…good grief…yet the most memorable was walking out of the ridiculous mall and seeing my mom pale and yell…where are the pictures ???? Lol luckily we found them on the counter of the pretzle place…phew!!!! That is a memory I won’t soon forget with Eva Ellis…
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Love,
Natalie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Published on: January 4, 2016

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