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Monday, January 18, 2010

Christmas Comes to an End

We had our final hurrah for the Christmas season this weekend.  I know, its late, but its tradition.  The Christmas decorations around here stay up until Martin Luther King Day.  (We both have the day off and can do the work of un-decorating the house and get it all done and cleaned up at once.)
So -- MLK weekend is traditionally the last holiday party at our house.  Always with the same friends -- and its always wonderful.  There was snow on the ground, a fire in the fireplace, and laughter throughout the house.  We rocked the Christmas CD collection one last time.  And we ate and talked and ate some more.
I wasn't feeling all that energetic (been fighting off some kind of respiratory thing) -- so I wanted a menu that was festive, simple, and that I could make in stages throughout the day.  Thank you Pioneer Woman!!  Seriously -- this lady ROCKS.
I used her Pork Loin menu here --- I even made the homemade cranberry sauce (I may never eat canned again!!)  This was the most amazing cranberry sauce I have ever tasted (and I made it myself!!).  The second part of the recipe -- where you take the cranberry sauce and jazz it up more --- I could have skipped.  I didn't skip it -- I made it..... but truly the cranberry sauce itself was so amazing, that the jazzed up version just paled.
So -- here was my lazy cooking plan (with a couple of menu adjustments from Pioneer Woman's menu)
Saturday --- make an Apple Pie --- these are seriously easy --- I got the apples from the orchard down the road (yep, they still had apples --- Got to love them -- I sent my husband to the shop.  He tells them "My wife is making an apple pie".  They pack a bag for him with a mix of apples perfect for pie.  All I do is peel and assemble the pie --- Easy, peasy)
Sunday after church --- make the mashed potatoes --- I used Pioneer Woman's recipe to the T.  Then I piled them all into my crockpot, set it to warm and left it sitting on the counter until dinner time.  I made the Cranberry Sauce at the same time.  Let it sit in a glass dish -- with the measure pulled out that I needed for the jazzed up sauce.
Took a nap (I told you I didn't feel like myself)
Around 2:00 Threw some greens and other veggies in the salad bowl and set it in the fridge.  Salad -- done.
Around 4:00 --- cranked up the Christmas music --- started the Pork Loin.  Mixed up a batch of popover batter (another tradition for this party) and let it sit on the counter.  Pork Loin and Popovers went into the oven together --- my pork loin took a lot longer than Pioneer Woman's --- that was good, because it worked out perfectly with the popovers.  Yay.
Around 4:30 (by now all of the guests are in the door and the wine is flowing)  Zapped some spinach in the microwave while we ate a salad.  Dinner is served.
Mine didn't look as pretty as Pioneer Woman's ---- but it tasted pretty darn good.