Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas - More Memories Made!


These are the last of the Christmas cookies! The day before Christmas Eve, I made Hungarian Walnut Cookies, Hot Cocoa Cookie Cups and Alex's favourite Cherry Ice Box Cookies. The walnut cookies were okay, but the dough was too overwhelming. The cocoa cups were yummy and we always love those ice box cookies!


We had our traditional pizza night on Christmas Eve while we watched Home Alone. I wrote a page in my recipe index called Pizza Ideas, and I'll keep adding to it as we try new ones.


I made four mini pizzas: Fig and Prosciutto, BBQ Chicken,


...Buffalo Chicken and Margareta. 


We opened up our stocking stuffers and now have some good hat brushes for all of our hats! 


We had a perfect Christmas morning! There was a blizzard and it snowed all day long, good thing we didn't have to shovel out.


We built a fire and put the presents under the tree, had some fancy coffees while we opened our gifts. The dogs got homemade cookies and the cats got tuna for breakfast. :)


Alex spoiled me rotten this Christmas! :) He got me a Resistol Western hat and an Akubra "Tracker" hat! He also found some real turkey feathers so I can decorate them the way I want! :)


He also got me cookbooks...the Booze Cakes book is full of delicious cakes! I can't wait to make them. The Dom DeLuise books are so darn funny...I love that man and he has so many delicious recipes, I can't wait to try them out too!


My favourite gift is this oracle deck. An oracle deck, simply put is a deck of cards that offer advice and suggestions. I love that Alex picked a Celtic Tree Oracle because I have Celtic roots and I LOVE trees! :)


Alex loved his gifts too! I made him a pair of pj's, got him a few books he wanted...


..I also got him a bottle of extra old brandy and a nice pipe. The theme was comfy and cozy so I figured he could wear the pj's, read a book, smoke his pipe and have a snifter of brandy. :) He loved it! Then the cooking began!


Alex and I made dinner together. We made a Chinese food dinner. It really turned out well!


This part was a surprise though. I shoo'd Alex upstairs while I brought out my take out containers. I found a "Chinese Take Out" font and printed the names of the dishes and drew the little symbols on each one. It made the dinner so much fun, we ate right out of the containers and into the fridge they went for leftovers after.


Beef and Mushrooms and Pineapple Chicken


Spareribs and Chicken Fried Rice


Chicken and Pork Egg Rolls

I forgot to take pictures of the Fried Liver with Tomatoes and the Fortune Cookies. The cookies, frankly, sucked...but I found some fun Charlie Chan proverbs to put in them so we had fun reading them, but they were inedible!!

We don't have anywhere in this area for good take out, more less Chinese take out, so I wanted to make it special. I wrote my recipes here: Chinese Food Dinner.

But...this took just over 8 hours to prepare and cook...eegad and there were two of us, really, that was far too long on Christmas day. Next year there will be a much easier meal I think!


We finished off the night with some of the brandy and fell asleep to a movie. Today is all about resting and playing with our gifts! I hope everyone had a nice day and made lots of wonderful memories!

42 comments:

Stefanie said...

That is some Christmas, Rain. Your cookies I would love to try. I love your gifts to one another. That pipe is awesome. I like the looks of that brandy even though I know nothing about brandy. Glad you had a wonderful holiday.

Birdie said...

It looks like a perfect Christmas! You are obviously a fantastic cook.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

What a wonderful Christmas you guys had! I'm so impressed with your Chinese food takeout containers! A truly "finishing" touch!

Sam I Am...... said...

What a great Christmas and all the awesome gifts and food! You guys really know how to celebrate! I love your hats...they're beautiful! Are Oracle cards similar to Tarot cards? Your painting is gorgeous for sure and the gifts you gave Alex were awesome! Love those pj's...I need to make some for myself! The books all look interesting and the cookbooks are so cool! You guys ROCK and you were so lucky to have a blizzard and the fireplace and the great food and brandy! Also, I loved every one of those pizzas you made for Christmas Eve. I am seriously going to be cooking a lot....soon! Your recipes too! That Chinese dinner looked fabulous especially with your take out boxes. You ARE amazing! I'm so glad you had such a wonderful Christmas....I knew you would...you guys could teach classes on how to live in the moment and make every moment count! Love you guys!

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I like those hats, they are useful when the weather is bad.
Lots of cookies for Christmas, my wife makes some kind of chocolate cube shaped cookies that she rolls in powdered sugar. She uses me to test things on and put one in my mouth and it was nasty as she had used a box of corn starch instead of powdered sugar, luckily she had only done a couple before the test.
I want Chinese food now!

laurie said...

Rain your enthusiasm for life is contagious,, you truly live life to the max,, making everyday special. You are a refreshing inspiration! The gift are lovely, the hats are beautiful, you making pj's, what a beautiful gift! The special meal,, amazing,, happy holidays Rain, I am so glad I have found your blog, its always a joy to visit!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Everything looks wonderful Rain. Merry Christmas!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Oh my gosh, Rain, what an amazing Christmas you had! From the ambience to the gifts to all the amazing food...everything is so...right. Cookbooks are always fun, aren't they? And I just love those new hats! How adorable. I'm so happy for you. These are wonderful memories of a very special time of year. I'm a little sad that Christmas has WHOOSH come and gone. I can't believe how fast times goes. But I am looking forward to the next few months passing so we can get outside and start working on our garden! There is always something to look forward to. The weather had me a little worried on Christmas day but it didn't get too nasty and my family was able to drive in from Montreal. We had a lovely time. I can't tell you how happy I was that day being able to finally host a holiday gathering with these amazing people. Anyhow, I'm off to sort the leftovers and see what I can freeze for future meals. I wish you a beautiful day!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

what a great xmas! the chinese food containers are so cute! i'm glad you had such a good one. we even got some snow here!

wisps of words said...

I think that you two, must have the most fun Holidays ever! You do so much, and have so much fun, doing it. Your posts are a Joy to read. Hugssssss.....

Happy week between Holidays! "Time, out of time." Cozy time. Read books time. Sit by the fire time. Hunker down and take it easy time.

Mary said...

I too think you had more fun than the rest of us put together, haha!!!!!
The food looks awesome, and all the extras certainly made staying home in the warmth and comfort - that only 'home' can bring -so lovely.
Must have been the best Christmas ever Rain.

Just perfect!
Hugs - Mary

Becki said...

Mmmmm... more delicious food. I'm especially drooling over the mushroom topped pizza. :) My favorite mushroom pizzas are made with mushrooms out of a can, though. It harkens back to my childhood. There was a little pizza parlor across the street from my childhood home and that was my first experience at eating mushroom pizza. The mushrooms were those little squeaky ones that come out of a can. Some would say, "Yuk", but to me it was a little slice of heaven. And the pizza came in a tented paper sleeve. Does anyone use those anymore? Completely impractical (especially if you're ordering more than one pizza), but it's another pleasant memory that I wish I could experience again.

Isn't it funny how one's first pleasant memory becomes the standard by which later experiences are compared - even if there is no comparison between fresh mushrooms and squeaky mushrooms from a can? lol

Christine said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful Christmas, the baking looks fantastic, yum.

Leigh said...

Rain, what a wonderful day for you both. As usual, your meals and treats look fantastic. And snow! Every kid's dream for Christmas. :)

Pam Jackson said...

Sounds like you guys had the most amazing Christmas! Loving your hats! How do you keep from being 400 lbs with all that amazing cooking you do?

baili said...

Wow what lovely and how interestingly Beautiful day for both of you love birds:)

i LOVED the each bit of this detail dear Rain!!!

you planned your christmas day so amazingly and gifts are wonderful from both of you ,either i can't imagine living without trees!

your way of food presentation was fantastically mind blowing ,so much fun i can see .

thank you for sharing your lovely adventures with us ,enjoyed a LOT!!!

have blesses new year and merry christmas my dear Rain!

Marsha said...

What a lovely day you had. I blizzard and a warm fire sound like the perfect Christmas to me. I love snow as long as I don't have to shovel it or drive in it. But to sit and look at it is so comforting to me.

Your food looks so yummy. Too bad it took so long to cook, but then it looks like you will get at least 2 if not 3 meals from it. How clever of you to get the oriental food containers too.

RO said...

Rain, I have one question? Why in the world are you not on The Food Network or PBS?(lol) Why hasn't Martha Stewart called you? I mean seriously, you are the best at so many things, and I'm so glad I've met you. You are definitely kind and talented, but one day you're going to be really rich and famous! Those cookies look like they tasted so yummy, and what a great idea to spotlight such creative pizzas. Pajamas, yes! Home Alone, yes! It's so wonderful to look at your White Christmas which should be on a postcard. Hope your day is as fabulous as you are! Hugs...RO

Rain said...

Thanks Stefanie :) In keeping with our love for food, we also love alcohol, the history of it, the flavour and even the bottles and labels! :) That brandy was lovely. We kind of go though phases, last year it was more about bourbon, then Canadian whisky, now we're brandy nuts lol...

Rain said...

Thanks Birdie :) I do try to make all my food with all of my heart :)

Rain said...

Thanks Debra :) Aren't those take out containers cute??? I got them on Amazon for $5 all white. I added the touches to them to try to make it more fun! :)

Rain said...

Thank you Sam :) Oracle cards and Tarot cards are very similar, and if you ask me, CAN be interchangeable...but not to the die-hard Tarot lovers. They both give advice, suggestions, have meanings and symbols to be interpreted. Tarot is more structured and has a set number of suits and cards; where Oracle decks can have any number of cards. I really don't think there is too much difference in that I interpret them more on my own and how I feel about each card rather than using the "set in stone" meaning. I hope that made sense!!

Oh gosh...the blizzard was the finishing touch on our Christmas!!! How could we have planned that any better, gotta love Mother Nature!!! :) You're so sweet, thank you Sam...Alex and I have only each other and the pets so we absolutely try to live in the moment! :) There is a lot of gratitude and love in our home. I hope you try the pizzas, let me know! The BBQ Chicken one is TO DIE FOR...can't get enough of that pizza!! :)

Rain said...

Hi Gill :) Oh gosh...what a surprise when you expected sugar and got cornstarch lol...I did that on Thanksgiving, my first batch of cranberry sauce. I read "Apple Cider Vinegar" instead of "Apple Cider". I cup of vinegar made our mouths dry up lol...I quickly re-read the recipe and made a new batch!

Rain said...

Thanks Laurie :) The pj's were easy to make! I used to sew a long time ago and lost all of my patterns back in the late 1990's when my pugs were teething...you can imagine. I really want to try to make a homemade wardrobe from now on though. We basically live in pj's so now that I have the patterns, I can easily afford new ones, in all fabrics! I have some for me too! :)

Rain said...

Thanks TB! We did have a lovely time! :)

Rain said...

Hi Martha :) The whole Christmas weekend was just so much fun! But oh my gosh...8 hours of Chinese food cooking was too much! I thought I had everything all organized...figured it might take about 4 hours or so...but I was wrong lol...I need two ovens lol! At least Alex was there to help out a lot, or we'd have been eating at 2 in the morning. The cookbooks are AWESOME...I'm such a Dom Deluise fan, he was hilarious and his cookbooks are filled with comforting Italian dishes and lots of anecdotes about his life as a celebrity.

I know...Christmas is over, it almost feels like a letdown doesn't it??? But our New Year's weekend will be fabulous! What are you guys up to? I'm so happy you had a nice family Christmas!!! Is your house still spotless? Lol...Oh the gardening....I'm so looking forward to that!!!

Rain said...

Hi Joyce :)) Oh, you got snow! Wonderful!!! I'm so happy you all had a nice Christmas too! :)

Rain said...

Hi Wisps of Words :) The week between holidays, that's a nice way to put it! We are trying to just relax and do as little as possible! :) It's been a lot of fun. I love holidays! We do have fun! Alex and I have no family to speak of and we don't really have any close friends, so we love to celebrate all holidays together - especially with good food! :)

Rain said...

Hi Mary :) Ha ha ha...we do have a lot of fun! :) I never bothered with little touches before, but I've got to a point where I can't serve a Chinese dish without a decorated takeout container lol...maybe it's an obsession ha ha. Thank you for your sweet comment! :)

Rain said...

Hi Becki :) That mushroom topped pizza is the BBQ Chicken pizza and I have to say...drool-worthy. Oh you've just given me an idea about the tented paper sleeve! :) I know what you mean about memories coming back like that. I remember cheese pizzas when I was a kid...just some kind of tomato sauce and the Kraft Parmesan cheese all over it. I LOVED that stuff, even though I can't stomach the Kraft stuff now, when I make pizza, there is always a little cheese one for me. I make Margareta, which is basically that with Mozza instead of Parm, but it feeds that memory!

Rain said...

Thanks Christine :) We had a wonderful holiday this year!

Rain said...

Thanks Leigh :) It was a wonderful Christmas! This is the first year in many that we've had such a big amount of snow, which really does make things cozy and magical around Christmas time!

Rain said...

Lol Pam...my secret? I eat only one meal a day! It's true. Alex too. We just have a snack in the early afternoon then gorge for dinner. So far we haven't grown too much!! :) And I do 30 minutes of cardio each morning, otherwise I'd gain really fast with my wonky metabolism.

Rain said...

Hi Baili :) Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the post! I'm sure it's much different on our side of the "pond"! :) I have much more food planned for this weekend too! Alex really spoiled me with the gifts this year! I have a hat on all the time! :) That Celtic Tree Oracle deck is really special to me. I love trees...tree fanatic. :)

Rain said...

Hi Marsha :) I'm with you...I love snow, if only it were above zero and it shoveled itself! :) Some people have dreams of sugarplums dancing in their heads, my dreams are of a snowblower dancing on the driveway lol! But we think of shoveling as good exercise (cough cough)! So far it's been arctic out there so no snow has fallen much since Christmas. Alex gave me another gift by shoveling the driveway one night while I slept...wonderful! :)

We had leftovers until yesterday with the Chinese food. The takeout containers were such a fun touch! We were watching a movie last month where the actors were eating out of those containers, and Alex said he missed having that kind of takeout up north. That's where I got the idea. :)

Rain said...

Thank you RO :) You give me too much credit (blush)! :) I'm so glad that we met too! :) Honestly, I think that my zest for life comes from missing out on a lot when I was younger and in my early adult life. Right now, our lives consist of being home, the pets and a great dinner. So I put all of my efforts into that. It really makes me feel good. Thank you for such a sweet comment! Hugs to you too! xx

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

What fun!!! Lots and lots of good things right there! Well, you know how my Christmas Eve dinner went so maybe next year I can convince my family to do pizza. We shall see!

Those Chinese food containers are fantastic!!! If I only knew how to use chopsticks! Not too coordinated with those....

Rain said...

Hi Dianna :)) It might be fun to have everyone make their own mini pizza next year. For us, it's become a yearly tradition! And thanks! I had fun doing the containers. Alex is a whiz at the chopsticks, my food kept falling out lol...

Nicole Thomas said...

Ohhhh wow !!! Wonderful presents. I smelled my dad's pipe while reading your blog. I loved it when he smoked his pipe. I love everything you got for each other. The pizza look so good and the fire and the tree so cozy :)

Rain said...

Hi Nik :) The smell of the tobacco that I got for Alex smells like a fruit salad! :) He smoked it out on the veranda, we don't want that in the house, but I smelled it when I went out and it also reminded me of my grandfather! It's a nice memory. :)

Michael said...

All your ideas here are fabulous here, esp the chinese take out strikes me as super novel. Love it! A yearly pizza night on that night of all nights is another wonderful idea. So happy you had such a good xmas.

Rain said...

Thanks Michael :) Christmas was a nice time. One thing my Alex loves is Chinese take out, so I thought it would be so nice to try to recreate that at home! Lots of work though with one wok lol!