Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Gifts

Christmas was an overall not so very Christmas-y day for me.

It is unfortunate, to say the least, that I was a perfect Grinch or more perfectly accurate Scrooge.

There were many times throughout the day where I just wanted to say "humbug" and go back to sleep and wait until the Christmas Day was over.

I woke up Christmas morning with a huge headache and a very irritable mood. I partially blame my irritable mood based on the irritable mood I was in Christmas Eve. To save hurt feelings among family I will just simply say the way I viewed Christmas Day activities was different than others, and it bothered me deeply.

My hubby and I had a long conversation before bed and I concluded that since Christmas was about love and Family I would forget what bothered me and go to sleep.

Apparently I didn't have any messengers during the night to remind me of the good things I had going for me.

I started dinner in the crock-pot which as you may have guessed I got from Pintrest. It just may become one of Dax's and my first Christmas traditions!


See how this meal is Christmas colors?
2 lbs. boneless beef round steak, cut into 6 serving pieces
1.1-oz pkg.Lipton beefy onion soup mix
3 c. onion, sliced
28-oz. can diced tomatoes
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 c. water

Arrange steak in a crockpot. Sprinkle soup mix over steaks; arrange onion slices all around. Top with tomatoes. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours, or on high setting for 6 hours. Remove steak and vegetables from crock pot; set aside. Mix together flour and water; add to slow cooker and stir until thickened. Spoon gravy over steak to serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
The meal above is from Crokin' Moms: Crock Pot Blog
I used my moms recipe and just applied it to the crock pot method. :) My mom's recipe is below:
2 lbs. boneless beef round steak, cut into 6 serving pieces
 onion, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce

Tenderize steak with the back of a knife and then brown in a skillet on both sides. Season. In an electric skillet  arrange onion slices all around, Top with tomatoes. Cover and cook at 200 degrees for 2 and 1/2 hours.  Remove steak and vegetables from crock pot; set aside. . Spoon gravy over steak to serve. Makes 4 to 6 servin
My mom always served this meal with mashed potatoes and I think it's a perfect complement. To get the green color into this meal I did another recipe from Cassie's blog "Back to her Roots"
ooooo SOOO yummy! 
My husband and I loved these! The apple offsets the slight bitter taste to the Brussels sprouts and the bacon adds a contrast texture to the anything with bacon is it is an automatic "must try".  From Cassie's blog:
Sprouts are a member of the cabbage family, and like most cabbage, contain sulfur. The longer the Brussels cook, the stronger the sulfur smell and taste become. Not good eats for kids (or adults). Avoid the dreaded kid spit out by roasting these babies until they are just tender and brown.
Serves 4-6


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
  • 1 large tart apple, cored and diced
  • 4 slices, thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In a large bowl, combine sprouts, apple and bacon and stir until evenly distributed.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Pour olive oil mixture over sprout mixture and toss to coat.
  5. Pour out the sprout mixture in one layer onto a greased cookie sheet. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, or until sprouts are tender and brown.

 Anyway, back to my Scrooge Holiday...

So I had tenderized my round steak for browning and I coated them in a little flour with salt and pepper and then added them to the hot oil in my frying pan. As they were browning I reached to get my tongs and they weren't there! I looked for a little while and in panic asked my husband where he put it (bad move on my part- never start anything with an accusation!) He said he didn't remember even washing it. 
I didn't believe him because if they weren't  where they usually were he MUST have washed them and did what he usually does: puts items away but where they don't belong. 
I grabbed a spatula and flipped my steak over. 
A light bulb went on in my husbands head. He remembered (unlike me) that we had left our tongs in the salad bowl when we went over to a friends apartment for dinner. He took it out, washed it off, handed it to me, and then went back into out bedroom.
I felt awful. 
After I finished browning I added the steak into the crock pot and went to apologize to my sweet husband who only is ever trying to help and I tried to bite his head off with my accusations. 
Like always he forgave me instantly and I still felt awful since he is so good and I am so...spoiled rotten to have him. :)
I went back to slicing some onions, adding the tomato sauce and dices, rinsing out the cans into  the mixture as well to get every pennies worth of the sauce that clung to the sides of the can. After I set the crock pot on low for 8 hours I went to get ready. 
I was having a bad hair day. 
No matter what I did with it, it turned out horrible. Tried putting it in a pony tail, tried a twisted pony tail, tried curling half of it, and ended up washing out the hair spray angrily and putting on the hat my sister had made for me for Christmas. 
For sure at this moment my husband could tell there was something wrong. 
On the ride to his families house he asked me what was wrong and I said that despite it being Christmas I was just having a bad day. 
He told me not to have a bad day. 
Huffily I said "Well I'm trying not to but nothing seems to be going right today and I already started off in a bad mood because of last night,"
Then we forgot all the presents I made his family.
We turned back to get them and continued on. 
 For the most part, in silence the rest of the way. 
His family only lives a few minutes away from our apartment, so it wasn't much of a drive. 
They had already opened all their presents and most of them were having seconds sleeps. They had breakfast all ready to dive into when we got there and my sleepy mother-in-law on her way to give me a hug scratched my forehead. 
It was actually quite humorous since she was sleepy. She only had one eye open and was swaying like a drunk person. It was probably the first time I smiled that day. 
We ate and then I gave out Dax and my presents to those who were "present". For all the brothers I gave them shirts with animals I had bleached on with a Clorox bleach pen I I forgot to take pictures of them before I gave them!) Which I got the idea also from pintrest
(Go to Dora's blog for more details: click here
They were quick and easy and super fun! 
And then for all the sisters I made them bags! Just like the one I made for myself on a previous blog post
Ronnies Outside

Ronnies Inside

Jades outside 

Jade's Inside

Tess's Outside

Tess's strap! I loved how it turned out!

I loved how all of my bags turned out! I made one for my sister Ruby and my best friend Tylene but these are my favorites by far! By Ronnie's bag I became a pro bag maker ;)

I made my sister a large queen blanket. It's green and has a soft fuzzy lining! 

After giving gifts and receiving a few I had a much more calm attitude but I also gained a headache. 

The problem I saw Christmas Eve ended up working itself out, I got to lay around all Christmas at my second home and then I got to end Christmas with the most wonderful man eating awesome food and watching the "Miracle on 34th Street."

So overall fretting over the little prickly things don't really matter but being apart of the little sweet things do. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy almost 2013! 

Where did the year go?

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