Monday, December 27, 2010

Days 24 & 25: I kinda fell off the band-wagon...

Goodness... the last few days have been a whirlwind of activity! My apologies for not getting any recipes for Day 24 & Day 25! I had high hopes, but life got in the way.

Let's rewind a bit...

The day before Christmas Eve (Christmas Eve Eve?) my Business Man and I exchanged stockings with each other. We decided to just do stockings because they are the most fun! And then we could put some extra money in our "House Fund."

I had to blur out my Business Man's on his stocking! Can't let out the secret! Haha...
On Christmas Eve, my Business Man and I traveled home to go to my Grandma's for Christmas Eve dinner. Unfortunately, we hit a pretty bad snow storm about 100 miles to go, so the drive was extended an hour or two.

But, we made it safely and enjoyed some ham & cheesy potatoes with my fam. And got to watch my little cousin Ayden open his packages. He was adopted from Guatemala a few years ago, and is a very special member of the family! He is the youngest, so he brings a lot of excitement to the whole group. (The next youngest is 22!)

My Grandma's pretty purple tree in her purple front room.

My Business Man and Ayden playing cars after dinner.
He got his own trike! He didn't think it was really for him... he kept telling me to get on it. I was a little too big!

Peeking outside the window looking for Santa. (My cousin Charlie was ringing a bell in the corner of the room, and Ayden couldn't figure out where the noise was coming from. So of course, we told him it was Santa outside! And of course, he believed us...)

Of course, once we got back to my parents' that night, I had to have some QT cuddling with my mom's sweet lil' Maggie.

Christmas morning, we woke up pretty early, and I headed out for a run before we drove up to Chicago-area to spend Christmas with my Business Man's grandparents. It was actually pretty neat... a few miles into my run, I stumbled across a group of people getting ready to go for a run, all dressed in holiday attire. They invited me to join them, so I did! It was super-fun to run with people for the first time in like 2 months! Oh, how I miss running with my team... 

Anyways, after I got back and cleaned up, my we headed up to Chicago-land. We were a little afraid that the roads would be bad because they were so awful the previous night, but they were fine. The drive was actually really pretty.

We had a really good with my Business Man's extended family... we hadn't seen most of them since the wedding almost 6 months ago. Of course, we enjoyed some delicious food, including the most awesome twice-baked potatoes I have ever eaten. Of course, I forgot my camera, so I couldn't capture any of the excitement of gift-opening or family-visiting.

When we got back to my parents' that night, we visited a bit with my mom's friend and her family who had come over for dinner. Then, around 10pm we had another gift exchange, with my parents! (It was a long, but very enjoyable day.)

My Business Man and Maggie got comfy on the couch. Don't they just look like two peas in a pod? Hehe...

Somebody's snooping!
Very excited about the best vanilla extract ever! I got some from my parents and my Business Man's brothers. It will last me all year! Wheeee!
The next morning, we hosted brunch at my parents' place for my dad's side of the family. (Yes, we had dinner with them on Christmas Eve, but not everyone was able to make it. So we had brunch so we could all be together and do our gift exchange.)

I set out on a project for said brunch, and attempted The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls.

Oh goodness... these were delicious. Very buttery, very sugary, very delicious. The dough is unique; it uses yeast, baking soda, and baking powder. And you don't have to knead it at all. The frosting of the regular cinnamon rolls includes maple extract and coffee, which I thought was a nice touch. Even though these would be great without frosting even.

Beware... it makes 6 pans of rolls. I ended up making half of them into Orange-Marmalade Rolls. With an orange-frosting. These were my favorite. We ended up taking two pans over to my Business Man's family's house later that night.

Anyways, after brunching it up with my family, we headed to my Business Man's parents' to have Christmas. (His little sister had been patiently waiting to open gifts until Dec. 26! And the evening at that!)

After reading the Christmas Story and exchanging gifts, we took part in the usual family tradition... go through the Festival of Lights and then dinner at Steak'n'Shake

Let me just say... it has been a looooong time since I've had a greasy bacon-burger and fries. And it totally hit the spot. And of course I stole a few sips of my Business Man's chocolate milkshake.

And that's it! We've had five Christmas celebrations in the last three days, and we've got one more to go this afternoon! Gotta love it!

Look later this week for a few appetizer recipes! Yum yum! 


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