It’s just six days away from Christmas but we already celebrated (!) so now I feel like anything else is just bonus time.
First of all, we had a real life actual Christmas miracle in that both kids slept in!!! Here’s how I know my Valley girl is sick: she snuggles. After three wake ups in the middle of the night, I finally brought her into the bed with me and Kyle at 5. Normally this is a pointless action and nobody gets any more sleep, but for once she sucked her thumb and fell back asleep snuggled in between us. And the next thing I know it’s 7:15. OMG! What a gift! P slept in even LONGER, if you can believe that. Normally 6:30 is about as late as we get so I’m taking alllllll the extra zzzs possible.
Kyle and I were able to each go on a run and shower before my sisters and their husbands arrived.
I fed the kids breakfast in advance because I knew there was no way they’d wait until 10-11 to eat brunch with the rest of us, so they happily played around until we were all fed before we busted into the presents.
Once we had unwrapped everything under the tree, I fed the kids lunch and tucked them in for naps…meanwhile…
My crazy dad took advantage of all the extra muscles on hand to get some yard work done.
This insane project took a couple of hours, but (thank goodness) resulted in zero injuries. Minus my sister’s shoes, which were a casualty of saw dust. Turns out suede and chainsaws aren’t the best match.
Seriously though, who climbs an extended ladder resting on a branch (that you are about to cut off) with a chainsaw without a professional around?!? I could barely watch.
Instead, I was inside cozying up to the appetizer tray.
These new TJs finds are quite tasty, but are basically small tortilla chips with different flavors if we are being honest.
Goat brie and fig jam, don’t mind if I do.
Here’s the whole spread.
Hey! Let’s add an almond on top.
I ate soooo many snacks, but that’s what the holidays are about. Gotta live a little.
This garden memory game was a HUGE hit. P wanted to play it the rest of the day.
My salad had greens, roasted butternut squash, pecans, avocado, and a champagne vinaigrette. Yummy. But there were a bunch of other things that rocked too.
These heaps of veggies…and this amaaaazing sweet potato casserole.
This was new to our table and it was my favorite thing of all.
Here’s the recipe with my mom’s notes.
Sweet Potato Casserole
- 4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used enough for a 9”x13” pan – about 6 large sweet potatoes)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened (I used Earth Balance)
- 1/2 cup milk (I used veggie broth)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- several shakes of powdered ginger
Topping (I made 1½ topping amount)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (I used ground oats made into oat flour)
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened (I used Earth Balance)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash. (It’s easier to bake them and scrape out insides)
3. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, salt, butter, broth, vanilla extract & spices. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9”x13” baking dish.
4. Topping: In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.
First salad, then everything else.
I went back for seconds of the sweet potato dish fasho, but stopped before I overdid it because I didn’t want to make the same mistake I did on Thanksgiving. I knew there were a bunch of desserts in my future!
Cheers to the chef!
Lots of reading once dinner was through…and then it was time to get the little ones to bed.
Because the torch was coming out! I told you I’d be getting back to you on the creme brûlée business.
I made that apple cranberry cobbler by the way. It was vegan and gluten free but, believe it or not, I didn’t have any!
The chocolate pecan pie has my whole heart. It’s my number one. My sister made it. With a GLUTEN FREE CRUST! Gah! I’ve never been able to eat the crust so this was a real treat.
But I had to have at least a little taste of the creme brûlée.
HOLY ^%#@ you guys. I’m a chocolate devotee and yet, this was cuh-ray-zee good. I mean it has egg yolks and sugar and coconut cream so duh, but really and truly this was the best thing.
She made it by merging a few different recipes together. You can see the cooking time on the bottom of her sticky note…which added up to 75 minutes!! I’ve got two words for ya: worth. it.
Christmas 2017 in the books 🙂