Archive for December, 2007

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Happy New Year!!  I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas.  I am so ready to start a new year:  new opportunities, fresh perspective, clear line marking the past and the future!  2008 is going to be a good year!

Monday:  Swiss Cheese Fondue (our annual New Year’s Eve dinner)

Tuesday:    Ham, Black Eyed Peas, Spinach (I simply detest collard greens and turnips so I hope spinach counts as good luck for a green), Corn Bread

Wednesday:  Chili

Thursday:  Apricot Cranberry Chicken, broccoli

Friday:  Breakfast for Dinner:  Grits and Eggs

Saturday:  leftovers

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Turkey Chili

This post has moved to my new url:  http://jenuinejen.com.  Please click the following link to go directly to Turkey Chili.

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Swiss Cheese Fondue

Stainless Steel Electric Fondue (3-qt.) by Rival


  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups White Wine
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups Emmenthaler Swiss Cheese, grated
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups Gruyere Swiss Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg, finely ground
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Kirshwasser
  • Assorted breads (rye, sourdough, ), cut in bite size pieces
  • Apples, cut in bite size pieces
  • Cauliflower, cut in bite size pieces
  • Baby carrots


  • Toss grated cheese in flour until well coated.  The flour keeps the fats in the cheese from separating when the cheese is melted.  It helps create a smooth texture when melting the cheese.
  • In a fondue pot, bring wine to a simmering boil.
  • Stir in garlic.
  • Slowly stir in cheese a little bit at a time, allowing cheese to melt as it is stirred into the wine.
  • After the cheese is melted, stir in nutmeg and lemon juice.
  • Add the kirshwasser by pouring it around the edge of the bowl with the melted cheese.  Allow the alcohol in the kirsh to burn off just a bit before stirring it to incorporate it into the cheese mixture.
  • Dip the bread, fruit, and veggies in the cheese with fondue forks and enjoy!

We have an electric fondue pot that we use.  We prefer this kind because it maintains a constant temperature and it is dishwasher safe.

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This year BusyBoy and GigglyGirl could truly appreciate and anticipate Christmas!  The day after Halloween, they woke up asking “what is next?”  After Thanksgiving, they were ready for Christmas and now they are ready for New Year’s.  Each day they would ask, is it Christmas today?  I would reply “No, it is not Christmas today but it is Christmas time.” 

We did not do as much this year as Mr. Right and I have done in years past.  With Mr. Right looking for a job, our financial instability, and major life changes this year, I decided that it would be in my best interest and therefore the entire family’s best interest if I kept Christmas low key.  We focused on the most important aspect, that of our Savior’s birth, and we we also focused on things that brought our family together and created or enhanced Christmas traditions.

We decided the major Christmas activities with the children would be sititng on Santa’s lap, eating Breakfast with Santa, GigglyGirl’s Christmas ballet recital, and my planning and preparing for the children’s class Christmas party.  Each activity was special and very fun.  Our calendar was not so full that we could not enjoy and savor each moment.  I was calm throughout the holidays (for the most part) and that calm permeated our family.

Since we are in a bit of a financial strain right now, we only allowed the children to ask for 3 items each from Santa Claus.  We emphasized how Jesus Christ received 3 gifts from the Wise Men and that is why they would only ask for 3 items.  

On Christmas Eve night, we went to church at my father’s church.  This was the first time he preached on Christmas Eve in 6 years and I was so thrilled to hear him preach again.  After the service, my brother went out to purchase my family (including parents, sister and her family, and brother) fast food for dinner.  Since my father had to preach again in less than 2 hours, we could not have an elaborate meal.  Also, we did not plan (as we probably should have) to have dinner either catered or cook dinner for the church staff.  After dinner, Mr. Right, the children, and I headed home.

The children did not fall asleep in the car on the way home.  Normally, their bedtime is about 6:30 but on Christmas Eve they did not get to bed until 11:00.  When we got home from church, we had Baked North Pole.  The children unwrapped one of their gifts, which was a set of pajamas for each of them, and got ready for bed. 

About half an hour later, Mr. Right and I thought we heard Santa in our garage and went to see if we could help him out.  Little did we know, BusyBoy was still awake.  He slipped downstairs and startled us in the kitchen.  He was so excited about Santa coming into our house while he was asleep that he could not fall asleep.  We took him back to bed, told Santa to come back later, and watched a little more television.  Then within 5 more minutes, BusyBoy was up again.  I decided to go help him fall asleep by sitting in the rocking chair in his room until he fell asleep.  When I went up to his room, he was not in there.  I could not find him upstairs.  As it turned out he was hiding in the kitchen.  I took him to bed, read 1 last story to him, and then sat in his room for another 25 minutes until he was asleep.

Santa made a stop by our house shortly thereafter.  Mr. Right and I went to bed around 2:00. 

In the morning, Mr. Right woke up first and then the children did.  They were so excited they could hardly wait to get downstairs to see what Santa brought.  We took pictures of them before they went downstairs and then again as they walked into the family room to see what Santa brought.  There was so much joy and excitement.  Mr. Right and I loved watching them.

GigglyGirl received a baby doll, a Groovy Girl doll and unicorn, and a jewelry making kit.  BusyBoy received 2 dinosaurs, a Cars Racetrack, and a Little People Pirate Ship.  (He is probably getting a bit old for Little People but he still plays with one and this is what he wanted.)  They also received a few other little things like small stuffed animals, fruit, and stocking stuffers.  Santa and the Spirit of Santa was truly generous to our family this year.  We will never forget this generosity!

After they played with their toys a bit, Mr. Right and I cooked homemade doughnuts for breakfast.  At one point, BusyBoy and GigglyGirl ran to their Advent Calendars to change the date to the last day!  They were so excited because they knew which one to change it to without asking for help.

Throughout the day on Christmas we each were able to take a nap.  The only person who did not take a nap, was BusyBoy.  We wore our jammies all day long.  Around 4:00, it was time to go to my parents’ house for Christmas Dinner and to open gifts from under their tree.  The only one who actually changed out of jammies was Mr. Right.

At my parents’ home, we had our traditional Steak and Shrimp Christmas Dinner.  YUM!! It was so good.  Then we had to do about 200 different poses in front of the tree for Christmas pictures.  After that we opened the gifts and headed back home. 

While we had two very late nights and very little money this year, it was one of the best Christmases Mr. Right and I have had in a long, long time!  The children were so excited about Christmas!  They loved every minute!  We loved watching it and living it through their eyes!

Now, they are looking forward to New Year’s and then the second most important holiday:  Mr. Right’s birthday!

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  1. Christmas Eve Services at my father’s church, hearing him preach again on Christmas Eve for the first time in 6 years (he was at a managerial type appointment the previous 6 years and did not have his own church to preach at)
  2. Mr. Right and I getting a gift from Santa in early December that helped with our Christmas purchases this year
  3. Watching the children change the date each day on their Advent Calendars
  4. Watching our children get more excited with each passing day as Christmas approached
  5. Spending Sunday afternoons celebrating Christmas with my in-laws, Mr. Right, and the children
  6. Spending Christmas evening at my parents’ house eating Steak and Shrimp and opening gifts from under the tree
  7. Eating homemade doughnuts on Christmas morning after seeing what Santa brought the children
  8. Watching the children see what Santa brought them on Christmas morning
  9. Decorating the Christmas Tree with Mr. Right and the children
  10. Planning and preparing the Christmas Party for GigglyGirl and BusyBoy’s class party

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Monday:  Baked Potato Soup, Salad
Tuesday:  Apricot-Cranberry Chicken, Green Beans (I never did make this last week)
Wednesday:  Roast, carrots, potatoes
Thursday:  Chili, Beer Bread
Friday:  Spaghetti
Saturday:  Leftovers

If you like these you might also like my list of Gingerbread Cakes and Cookies recipes, Our Traditional Christmas Eve DessertSweet Potato recipes, list of Pumpkin Bread recipes, and my other Menu Plan Mondays

Also, be sure to check out the official Menu Plan Monday site at OrgJunkie’s blog for awesome menu planning inspiration!

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This page has moved to JenuineJen’s new domain:  jenuinejen.com.  Please check out the new site for information on the Reynolds Handi Vac, Freezer Friendly Recipes, and more.

Thank you!

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