Hey ya'll...well, here I am: ready to recap our Christmas week right as another holiday is upon usJ This week flew by in a flurry of tinsel, lots of 'family lounging in PJ's days', 2 ravioli dinners, one sick little Katie (boo!) and a partridge in a pear tree. I wish December lasted at least 6 monthsJ (minus the sick Katie parts...obv!)
Here's how our week went down:
So one of my strongest Christmas Eve memories as a kid was going to the children's mass before running home to boil water for our pasta dinner...which we tried to do FASTER than any other day of the entire year. Church always just left us famished and ready to kick off our Christmas celebrations in a HURRYJ Well, this year we continued the tradition, as I literally walked in the door, filled the pot & put the gas on. I can't even vouch if I took my coat off before all of that happenedJ In a blink (or an eternity...depending on how you looked at itJ) 'macaroni & peanuts' were served...
We have absolutely no idea how my great Grandmother's Christmas Eve tradition of linguine tossed with garlic & oil sauteed mixed nuts came to be, since Italians traditionally serve the grand '7 fish meal' meal on Christmas Eve. We always had ONE fish (fried shrimp), but macaroni & peanuts was always our main staple.
And this year, it was officially "Katie approved"J
We also served up a traditional dinner from Scott's side, of a chicken dinner with all the fixins. We put our own little twists on it with sides including my sister-in-law's awesome pineapple casserole and my roasted broccoli casserole...
...and one of Scott's favorites: twice baked potatoes.
All of these dishes were delish, but I think the one we all came away talking about was my sis-in-law's DIVINE jalapeno popper dip! I didn't even get a pic since we were too busy inhaling it into our facesJ. It was so good that we're considering having a whole dinner soon of JUST dips. It got SERIOUS up in hereJ
After our carb-induced comas, we all rose to meet Christmas morning head on, filled with all its sweet charms...
And of course, sweet eats starting with our traditional breakfast of cinnamon roll monkey bread...
...capped off with some eggnog rum cake & eggnog gelato. (and probably about 40 cookies & chocolate covered pretzels snacked on throughout the dayJ)
We were SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO over 'eating bad!!!!!' Usually Christmas week is JAMMED wall-to-wall with lunch trips, cookies abound and every other decadence I consider 'forbidden' throughout the year and by New Years Eve, my pants, the scale & I are no longer on speaking terms. But this year, since I've allowed myself a lot of LITTLE indulgences throughout the year, I didn't feel the need to eat just because it was the end of the year. Sure, I had an ENTIRE day of dip & pepperoni (let's not kid ourselves too much!), but I was able to realize I didn't really WANT any more days of overindulgence, so I just...didn't. I know this doesn't sound like much, but it was a CRAZY big accomplishment for me! I figured there WILL be another Saturday night/Sunday morning where I'll WANT to indulge, so why not wait until then, when it's something I REALLLLLLLLY want???
I know. Not rocket science...but it's all part of my journeyJ
So the rest of the week, we focused on more balanced meals including my attempt at Italian chili served with charred bread...
It wasn't as good as Molto Bene's, but I'll keep trying to work it out!
- 3/4 pound ground turkey
- 4 minced cloves of garlic
- 1 diced onion
- 2 diced carrots
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 can drained white beans
- 1 teaspoon fennel (tried to give it the taste of sausage since I used leaner turkey)
- 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons chili powder (or more to your taste)
- salt & pepper
Heat the garlic & onion for a few minutes in a drizzle of olive oil. Brown the turkey before adding the rest of ingredients. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for an hour.
And the charred bread was soooo easy! I just drizzled the (Christmas!) bread with olive oil & sea salt and placed it over medium heat until it began to brown and smoke (which took about 10-15 SECONDS! HAVE THOSE TONGS READY!). Flip and repeat.
Super warm & cozy, and I LOVED the char on the bread. It was WAY more delicious than using just the spoonJ
And this doesn't even include the night after 'pepproni & chips day' where I was SOSICKOFEATING (and starting to feel like GARBAGE because of it!) that my dinner was 1/2 a tuna fish sandwich and a side of shredded carrots. No jokeJ
I also kept my workouts going, despite all of the calls from the PJ-clad couchJ (although every other minute in between was spent right there with Scott & KatieJ) I headed for double classes on Friday & Saturday morning, and after my Tuesday-Thursday Christmas hiatus, I was BEYOND ready to get back to business. Friday morning I felt like it took me those 2 classes JUST to get GOING. Thankfully, Saturday & Monday night went a bit smootherJ
Well, I wrote a pretty 'balanced' post, all with the knowledge that the scales are about to tip back in the other direction, with some pretty decadent delights on the menu for tonightJ And I plan on enjoying EVERY ONE! Hope you guys had a WONDERFUL holiday and a safe, happy & healthy NEW YEARS! I'll talk to ya in 2014!J