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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And party we did.....

The party was really fun! The food turned out great. My friend Joia came over the night before and helped me prep/make a few things, which was so helpful. The day of was busy but all good busy. We delivered gifts in the morning for Angel Tree as planned, the Christmas at the Ranch was beautiful. Really inspiring and even made me cry! It was dance, our 250 person choir, some individual musicians, muti-media, and drama. It is the type of thing I always wished the church would put together - using our best talents for God.


Here are some pictures of the food.(Blogger will only let me put 5 pictures per post.) The last picture is of Rob and Joia leading the Christmas Carols. Rob and Joia both have beautiful voices, and it was wonderful to have them leading the songs. Joia's husband is a juggler and he also did an awesome impromptu juggling act for us! I wish I had a good picture of it, but I was too busy enjoying the show.


Isaac helping blanche the Honey-Spiced Almonds.

























The finished almonds and the menu on the table.






















Blue Cheese with Rosemary-infused honey on crackers















Chicken Kebabs with Lemon Pepper Yogurt Dipping Sauce




















Rob and Joia sitting by the fireplace.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Party Party Party


This has been quite the week of parties. What a fun and tiring week all at the same time! (the picture is of Isaac helping me make Sugar Cookies for our MOPS cookie exchange) Currently we are getting ready for the 2nd Annual Colwill Christmas party, and I can't wait! It will be Saturday night, no kiddos - just adults, and it looks like there will be 7-8 couples joining us. Rob has been planning carols and tuning his guitar, we've got logs for the fire, and I finished getting groceries tonight. After I help out with the Food Bank at church in the AM, I plan to spend the rest of the day and evening getting ready. I'll need to get most the food done this year the day before, because we have a busy Saturday. We're delivering gifts in the AM for Angel Tree, and then we're going to the Christmas at the Ranch "Love Has Come" performance at our church at 2pm.


My only disappointment is that I won't be making any of the desserts this year. Last year I made all the appetizers and all the desserts. BUT last year I had nothing going on that week, and this week I've had seriously 2-3 things going on every single day! So I have to be realistic.


SO yes, I finally have a menu planned for Saturday! I am so behind this year. I think I have everything bought tonight except one thing, which I can pick up tomorrow. Of course, there's tons of stuff, of course I am over budget, but hey - it's once a year! My new fabulous friend Joia is coming over tomorrow night and we're going to open a bottle of wine and finish anything I didn't get done during the day. Yeah for Christmas! Yeah for new friends! :)


appetizers

Greek Olives


Creamy Smoked Trout with Apple and Horseradish on Crisp Rye Bread (repeat of last year, but so good, we had to do it again)



Brie en Croute (a friend is bringing)

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with Pita Chips, pea pods, carrots, and celery (a friend is bringing)


desserts

Assorted truffles and chocolates

Coconut Blackberry Tarts

Chocolate Coconut tarts

Turtle Brownies

Shortbread


drinks

Wine (A friend Christine generously offered to bring the wine...both red and white!)

Pear Brandy Cocktails (they were a hit last year, easy to make - don't need a shaker or anything)

Izze sodas (also being brought by same generous friend!)

Assorted Beers

Coffee Bar

Water


I'm sure the next 24 hours will be a busy happy blur. I hope your weekend is wonderful!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

No To The World!!!


My daughter Analise, is so precious. She and I have a very special relationship, and I could never imagine life without her. She has been my sidekick these past 3 years (or more, if you count womb time:) and just a sweetheart in every way.
I have come to believe however, that some other little toddler whispered something to her at a park, or she overheard some adult conversation regarding the infamous "terrible two's". THEN apparently all this talk lately of her turning 3 on December 31 has put her into a panic. HOW is she suppose to cram a years worth of terrible two's into ONE MONTH! We'll apparently, she is leaving the second year of her life with a bang. Barely letting me finish a sentence before she says "no", and pointing her little finger at me and saying "That's enough, mama." in her sternest voice when she thinks I've gone too far. Ha!!
This was driving me crazy the other day at Whole Foods when I was trying to get groceries with her, and she was so contrary it was actually quite amusing. So, as we do in the Colwill house, I began to sign about it, and it made us both laugh the rest of the way through the store, and out to the car. I wish I could remember all the words, but basically I was making up new lyrics to the "Joy To The World" song.
NO to the world!!!
I don't want that!
No wait! I want that back!!!!
No No No No No Noooooo
No No No No No Noooooo
No No No No Nooo No
No No No No Nooo No
Nooooo No Noooo No
No No No NO!
and it went on to have other verses. :)
Have a great weekend!
We're off to Rob's company Christmas party tonight.....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tortellini Tuscan Stew


Okay Okay, I SAID we were just eating regular every day stuff this week. But what is that in this house anyway? :) It seems that not a week goes by where I don't get the itch to try something new. Today we had Tortellini Tuscan Stew. I was looking for something to put in the Slow Cooker because we wanted to try to go get a Christmas Tree before the kids bedtime tonight, and wanted it to be quick and done early. This only took 3 hours on high in the Slow Cooker (plus about 15-20 minutes at the end to add the last ingredients) We had it with a Whole Wheat Bagette with some Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar to dip the bread in.


This is not a 4 star awesome slow cooker recipe, but it was simple, and the kids liked it. I actually omitted the Butternut Squash because they were out of it at the store (I was questioning it's inclusion in the ingredient list anyway) This was a bit bland for my taste, so I might try to jazz up the leftovers a bit. Everyone else loved it though.


Also, over the next few days, I'll be adding pictures to the Thanksgiving posts. Keep an eye out! :)


Serves 6
Ingredients
1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large zucchini, cut in 1-inch chunks
1 large yellow summer squash, cut in 1-inch chunks
1 large onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch dice
4 ounce(s) thin green beans, trimmed and cut in 2-inch lengths
1 can(s) (28-ounce ) crushed tomatoes
1 can(s) (14 1/2-ounce) chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoon(s) fresh oregano, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) chopped garlic
3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1 package(s) (9-ounce) fresh cheese tortellini
1 bag(s) (5-ounce) baby spinach
3 tablespoon(s) grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
1. Combine all ingredients, except tortellini, spinach, and Parmesan cheese, in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 3 hours or low 6 hours.
2. Uncover; turn slow cooker to high and stir in tortellini. Cover: continue to cook 15 minutes, or until pasta is almost tender.
3. Uncover; gently stir in spinach and Parmesan. Cover; cook 5 minutes until spinach is cooked down and tortellini is tender.



Monday, December 1, 2008

Just checking in...

We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving. The last of our company left this morning, and we were sad to see them go! I felt like every day was so much fun. We had so much wonderful food, both at home and out, and did a great mix of sightseeing and relaxing. We made it to the Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs, Boulder and the Dushanbe Tea House, Denver and the Cru Wine Bar, and so many other places in between. We also ended up with a good mix of babysitting and trips with the kiddos. They were awesome on all the car rides, and with helping with food. It makes such a difference to have them a couple of years older.

So the previously posted Thanksgiving meal was wonderful. I have no idea how I actually got it on the table ready AT 5:30pm like I planned. Must have been all that wonderful help I had, mixed together with trying to make as much of it ahead as possible. There were leftovers for two more meals - except pie, so of course I made two more pies! :)

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

We aren't doing anything that new in the kitchen this week. I roasted brussel sprouts today instead of my usual blanching/sauteeing and they were delicious. But mostly we're doing some just every day cooking. I'm hosting a cookie exchange here at my house Monday AM for my MOPS table. Saturday night we have a babysitter, and we are going to the Microsoft Christmas Party in Denver. (thanks to Liz for helping me pull together my outfit!xo)

Have a wonderful week! I'm planning to finish up my Christmas shopping and get those Christmas cards in the mail!