At times it does seem odd to have all the windows open while looking at the Christmas tree and listening to Christmas music. Coming from northern parts, it took a while for me to get used to celebrating without snow! I miss family and friends up north but we have friends here and they become our family for this season. I celebrate Christmas in July with my children and grandchildren up north!
I am ready this year more than any other year that I can remember. We started decorating the house right after Thanksgiving which created a calming effect for me. I enjoyed writing my cards in front of the tree. I baked with music playing in the background. Most of my gifts are homemade or vintage pieces that I am re-gifting so that there was not last minute panic which saved me and my pocketbook! As I wrapped each one, I took my time. The packages look pretty good for someone who is ribbon-challenged. I think the teddy bears I made years ago helped the process along.
There are some wonderful cooks out there in Blogland and this year two recipes were on my menu. Pam of Pam's Midwest Corner shared a recipe this summer for Italian Sausages Roasted with Grapes. We decided to have this for Christmas Eve and we were not disappointed. I served the sausages with creamy polenta but they are wonderful with mashed potatoes. You can print the recipe here. Thank you Pam. You can visit her here.
We started the meal with an Antipasto. I like to try different meats and cheeses. The composition is fun and a light drizzle of good olive oil and the vinegar of your choice complete the presentation. I usually use red wine vinegar but Balsamic is also a good choice.
Then dessert! I have been intrigued by this since Thanksgiving. Another wonderful cooking blog that I follow is Schnitzel and the Trout. Susan shared this recipe for Orange Ice Cream with Dried Cherries and Toasted Pecans. You can see it here. You can visit her blog here. Thank you Susan.