Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Dinner Beauties

My plan was to make some new traditions for Christmas Dinner and I found some great challenges, I mean, ideas. Here is what I found: 

I was shopping the Publix ad for sales (I love me some Publix) and found the Crown Roast to be beautiful AND on sale.

Here is a video on the Publix website:

Here is my beauty:
From The Start of Preparation

Essential Ingredients For The Rub ~ P.S. The Bacon is for later.

I like the the Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is what the hubs is doing while I am prepping....
Here are the pretty Crowns I added after about 20 Mins.

Here is a Close-up upon exit of the oven.

Here is Their Recipe:

Pork Roast With Sweet Balsamic Glaze

aluminum foil
5 tablespoons dry mustard, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pork loin or crown roast (4–5 lb)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons apple cider
  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Line roasting pan with foil.
  1. Combine 3 tablespoons dry mustard, salt, pepper, and oil; rub mixture evenly over pork. Place pork in roasting pan (wash hands); roast 20 minutes to brown.
  2. Reduce heat to 400°F; roast 55 minutes.
  3. While pork cooks, prepare glaze. Combine in small saucepan on low: remaining 2 tablespoons dry mustard, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, and cloves; simmer 7–8 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
  4. Brush pork with 1/3 cup of sauce; roast 20–25 more minutes or until pork is 145°F. Use a meat thermometer to accurately ensure doneness. Transfer roast to cutting board; let stand 10–15 minutes before slicing.
  5. Stir cider into remaining 2/3 cup of sauce. Slice pork and serve with sauce.
CALORIES (per 1/8 recipe) 390kcal; FAT 15g; CHOL 65mg; SODIUM 630mg; CARB 32g; FIBER 1g; PROTEIN 28g; VIT A 0%; VIT C 0%; CALC 6%; IRON 20%

Pressed Potatoes

3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
1 (3-lb) bag baby red potatoes
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Chop thyme and chives.
  1. Place one-half of the potatoes in a microwave-safe dish and cover; microwave on HIGH 10–12 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
  2. Coat two baking sheets with 2 tablespoons oil; place potatoes on baking sheet (3 inches apart); press lightly with potato masher (leaving somewhat intact).
  3. Drizzle remaining 4 tablespoons oil over potatoes; season with salt, pepper, and herbs. Bake 15–20 minutes or until edges are browned and crispy. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
CALORIES (per 1/8 recipe) 230kcal; FAT 12g; CHOL 5mg; SODIUM 250mg; CARB 28g; FIBER 3g; PROTEIN 5g; VIT A 2%; VIT C 30%; CALC 8%; IRON 8%

And For The Bacon Wrapped Shrimp:

Here is Their Recipe:

20 Large Shrimp
10 Slices of Bacon


  1. Preheat grill for medium heat.
  2. Wrap shrimp in bacon, and secure with toothpicks.
  3. Lightly oil grate, and arrange shrimp on grill. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, turning once. The shrimp will be done when the bacon is fully cooked.
Here is What I Did:

4 lbs Shrimp
2 lbs Bacon

All I did was partially cook my bacon until it was pliable, about 10 minutes @ 325 convection or 350 regular oven. (I always cook mine in the oven.) Wrap the shrimp and place back in the oven until all the shrimp are nice and darker pink.

Pretty and YUM

My Husband Wanted Sweet Potato Pie:
This recipe was all the rave! Just follow the link below for the pie recipe.

Found This At BinomialBaker
But I liked This Pie Crust Tutorial:
perfect pie crust tutorial

Step 1:  Combine shortening, butter, flour and pinch of salt in a deep bowl.
Perfect Pie Crust Step 2: Using your hands, (Yes, your hands!) combine the ingredients until little pebbles form. Use both hands! Perfect Pie Crust
 Perfect Pie Crust Step 3:  Your water needs to be cold.  I put some water in a cup and then fill it with ice cubes.  You don’t need much water and I really don’t know the amount because it will vary according to the day, the weather, etc.  I just splash a small amount into the bowl and then use a fork to start “fluffing” the dough until it starts to hold together.  Do not pour a bunch of water into the bowl.  Add it teaspoon by teaspoon just until the dough holds together. Use your hands to form it into a ball.

 Perfect Pie Crust
Dough should be soft and moist but not wet.

Step 4: Divide dough into two balls. While working with one keep the other covered so it doesn’t dry out or you can also freeze it if you’d like for use later. I like to place my ball of dough between two layers of wax paper and flatten it.

 _dsc0049 Step 5: Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a circle. If you are using a 9 inch pie plate make circle your circle is bigger than 9 inches. Pie Crust Step 6: Remove the top layer of wax paper and turn the pastry over into your pie pan and then remove the underside of wax paper.
 Press pastry into pie tin. Pie Crust Step 7: Using your fingers, flute the edge of the crust.

  Pie Crust
Step 8:  Cover the pie with foil or plastic wrap and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes to allow the pastry to firm up a bit. Pie Crust

Here is Their Recipe:

Perfect Pie Crust

Yield: 2 9\\\" pie crusts
  • 2 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1/2 C shortening
  • pinch of salt
  • ice cold water, add teaspoon by teaspoon until right consistency has formed
  • Place flour, salt, butter and shortening in bowl.
  • Use your hands to combine ingredients until small pebbles form
  • Add cold water a teaspoon at a time until the dough begins to hold together and form a ball.
  • Do not over handle the dough. Dough should be soft, moist but not wet.
  • Divide dough in half.
  • Place ball of dough onto wax paper and flatten. Place another piece of wax paper over the top and roll out the pastry into a circle. If your pie pan is 9 inch make sure your circle is bigger than 9 inches so you have enough for the edging..
  • Remove the top layer of wax paper and place pastry into pie tin. Remove other piece of wax paper and press pastry into pan. Use your fingers to crimp the edge of the crust.
  • Freeze for 30 minutes to firm up the pastry. This helps prevent pastry from shrinking during baking.
  • Prick the bottom of crust to prevent bubbling during baking.
  • If pie calls for a baked crust bake at 400 degrees. For the first 10-12 minutes keep the edges of pie covered with foil and then remove for the last 15 minutes. Bake until golden brown.

 Our Christmas Dinner was a lot of work but oh, so worth it. I think next year I will prep the day before ~ I love Christmas.

I hope this gives you some ideas for some new traditions.
P.S. We had Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans too.

Blessings To You and Yours,

Friday, December 21, 2012

Time For Another

Log on the fire here in sunny but cold North Florida!

Only He Knows

If you read His Word it says nobody knows the day and time but the Father.

I found this picture of The Mount of Olives and it just makes me think about how amazing His plan is.

Homemade Wins Again

Tonight we made Calzones with leftover homemade sauce and homemade meatballs. A quick & easy dough and we had a hearty warm meal!

P.S. We made a Pepperoni Calzone for Ray (his favorite) and he ended up having both. I guess we did good (big cheesy smile).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Husband Has Done It Again

Ray won a trip for two to the Fiesta Bowl with free air fare, rental car, beautiful hotel accommodations, tickets to the pre-game party and $750 in cash.

He is taking Gabe this go round and Gabe is so excited! Although Meg & I aren't going on this trip we are almost as excited as they are!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Her First

Tonight we were getting ready for the Christmas in Narnia Ballet (her first ballet) and I must say that my girl is the fairest of them all!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What Can We Do With a Rock?

I found this idea on Pinterest and I am adding it to our week 13 lesson plan for Science. In week 13 of  Classical Conversations the children are learning to memorize some parts of the earth:

What’s Below the Earth’s Surface? lesson plan 

I think this project will be fun (Meggie loves rocks) and aid us in remembering some of the earth parts.

More here:


Magnets! Oh, MY!

I know I already did a recent post on Geography but I have to share this fun magnet of and idea! It has been stuck in my head for days...
(te-he, get it? Stuck-magnet) 

 you take a world map puzzle, state map puzzle or even a city map puzzle (if they even exist) and put magnets on the back to create an interactive way to memorize!

 Some Double Sided Sticky Tape

 And Have Fun

This cool (do people still say cool?) mom made this for her son's room.

More over at:


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In The Beginning

At the beginning of the school year Meghan was so excited to learn Geography. Here is one of her first world map drawings :

We added this project to aid in the awareness of where she lives in this great big world and it has been a great help. So, is so worth the time.

Step 1:
Collect recycled containers

Step 2:
Glue (or tape~Meg Pie is in love with tape) the world, continent,country,state and city map onto graduating containers to create a nesting can of geography fun!

And Voila!
All we need now is a tini-tiny can for our town!