I read that quote on Southern Living Magazine’s instagram & I don’t think it could be more true. Going into hosting an event can be stressful and time consuming, but having the confidence just to do it shows a lot about you. And even if your meal is a total disaster staying calm and confident in yourself is truly telling of a hostess. As you prepare for your holiday events..remember that quote. It can still a great party even if it’s not perfect.
I also wanted to share a recipe with you that I’m dying to make.. Oysters Casino. I’m not quite sure why, but I am so drawn to oysters lately! I wanted to put them on our Christmas menu, but Danny reminded me that over half the people coming probably wouldn’t like or even try oysters.. what kind of hostess would I be if I served that?! So I’m thinking if we lay low for New Year’s Eve, I’ll make them for Danny and myself. And mom says oysters are considered in season during any month ending in -ER, so there’s no better time than now! (thanks, mom!) I know that just trying to whip something up without a recipe would lead to a huge let down for me, so I found this recipe on marthastewart.com.
I’m drooling just looking at them now.
Since living on our own, Danny and I have had a few different ways to “meal plan”.. In college, we’d grocery shop for a few weeks at a time and try to make it last. We’d buy LOTS of frozen stuff. Since then, I’ve come up with a pretty good system that seems to be working not only for our checkbook (will our kids even know what those are?!) but also to maintain a healthier diet.
Recently we tried the 21 day fix which I think really opened our eyes to healthy alternatives and portion control (which was the biggest problem I would say). So on Sundays, we decide what we want, I make the list & shop on Monday for the entire week. I think this has the benefit of less waste, more variety, and also a focused mindset. Even so, most weeks we leave one or two days blank for a night of leftovers or if we feel like going out. Here’s an example of what we plan to do this week:
Monday: Sweet Potato Burritos
Tuesday: Enchiladas + Beans
Wednesday: Pomegranate & Pear Salad (add chicken!)
Thursday: Chicken Fried Rice + Soup
Sunday: Meatloaf + Broccoli
Mondays I try to go meatless, Tuesdays we call “taco Tuesday” which really means we have some type of Mexican dish (Mexican food is our favorite!), & usually we leave the blank day for the weekend. Also, I have been trying to limit starchy pastas, since we both can go a little overboard in that department & any time I can have a healthier substitute I try to do that– like whole wheat bread/pasta or brown rice! And many of these recipes I follow loosely.. so if it has an ingredient we don’t like I’ll either substitute or remove it, or too much (cheese for example) I’ll half what the recipe calls for & garnish just to be pretty usually gets the boot too. How we decide if it’s good enough to add to our rotation I ask Danny if he’d “order it again”. Which can sometimes yield a more meaningful response than a yes or no if he likes it, haha.
Rhett and I are off to go do the shopping.. Speaking of our little guy, he cut his first tooth this weekend !!
I’ve made my grandma ce-ce’s Christmas sugar cookies many times before, but never have I tried to frost them with royal icing. Have you heard of that before? It’s the kind that hardens and you can actually make look pretty. Fun, right?! So I had to go to our local bakery store to get all the supplies for these cookies–the mixture to make the frosting, tips, couplers, bags etc. & $40 later I was on my way home. In all honesty, I was hesitant to start. I hadn’t ever done it before and I was really only going off a picture and the few directions the lady at the store gave me. But last weekend, this activity came up on Rhett’s advent calendar so it was time to take the plunge. He sat for a little while on his chair to watch, but little grabby hands weren’t going to make it any easier when it came to do the icing..so away with dad he went.
My first attempt (see above).. Oh shit. What have I gotten myself into? Gooood thing there were another dozen to practice on.. so I kept at it for the next hour. They aren’t all exactly perfect, but I could definitely see an improvement. A few tips from this newbie?
- Make sure you do the outline all in one continuous line. If you stop, it’ll leave a mark and potential for the fill to seep out later
- Leave a little space between the tip & the cookie so you can see it lay down and where you’re going
- The fill should be runny, but not too much. You should have to move it around a little to frost the whole cookie
- Those tiny bubbles are inevitable..use a toothpick to pop them before the icing hardens
- Leave the cookies out overnight (uncovered) to give the icing time to harden
- Wait until the next day to do the fun details *I didn’t because I was impatient, but should have*
- Store in an air-tight container once they are complete!
I’ll definitely be making a second attempt on these, but hey! they were good enough to eat so I’m pleased.
If you’re looking for a Christmas Sugar Cookie recipe, try mine! I specify Christmas because there’s a lot of nutmeg in them so they definitely taste festive :)
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 T milk
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
3/4 t. nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375
Cream together shortening & sugar until fluffy
Beat milk & eggs together, add to sugar/shortening mix
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt & nutmeg
Mix all ingredients well, mound & cool in refrigerator for at least 1 hr
Powder sugar the board & roll out to 1/4″ thick
Cut out using cookie cutters
Place on greased sheet in oven for 8 minutes