Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Best Of"

What about a "Best Of" recipes post? I need to get my butt in gear and start coming up with new and exciting things for dinner. In the mean time, here are a few of the "Best Of" selections that are made over and over again and somewhat east to do.

Pizza Bites-- Remember these? A few ingredients you may already have laying around and in less than 30 minutes you have hand-held pizza bites to munch on, take for lunch, or a great appetizer!

Baked Zucchini Sticks-- Ok so maybe not a meal, but another great snack. Better if made & eaten fresh, as they may get soggy as leftovers. Very few ingredients. 

Broccoli Chicken Bake-- One of the most requested recipes. Simple, vegetable, pasta, chicken. Dinner in a dish & bake. 

Easy Enchiladas-- I realize these are just cheese enchiladas, so adding ground beef would be extra better. EASY!

Potstickers or Dumplings-- I need to make these again! So easy, finger food and can be customized to whatever you want to fill them with!

Now I feel like I need to go make a bunch of food!

What are some of your favorite, easy, go-to meals? What would you like to see me make?

Monday, December 24, 2012

No Mas

This time of year really gets me thinking. Especially since we are a distance apart from our families. Growing up, both Josh and I valued all the time spent with our families. Sometimes you take for granted what you had, and don't realize it until you don't have it anymore.
A quick trip over to your mom's house. 
Watching a movie with your brother/sister on Friday night. 
Meeting up with cousins or nieces and nephews.

These are things that are tough to do when you live 900+ miles apart. It becomes even harder during the Holidays to not be together with friends and family.
Visiting Christmas Lights in Greeley, CO

A few years ago, I came up with a tradition or a saying that I wanted to catch on. During a difficult time during the Holidays, my Grandma became sick and had to go to the hospital. It's times like these that bring a family close together, though not a great situation to be getting together. This was just before Christmas. At one point, there was a question as to whether we would even have Christmas that year. So I said, "Let's just have Christ-no-Mas". Meaning, we didn't need to have all the gifts and wrapping paper and "stuff" to get together with everyone. We were all there, we scrambled together to get some food for a meal or two, since we were all there. Why not celebrate us being together as a family? We didn't need the "Mas" or extra stuff. We only need each other, and Christ.

There are a few different meanings of Christmas, depending on what you believe and think, but the bottom line is BELIEVING. 

Christmas Lights in Greeley, CO.
Another great display you must see is the Greeley Grizwalds

Whether a young child knows or understands what Christmas is all about, he or she believes that Santa may come to their house while they are sleeping, eat a cookie, drink some milk, leave footprints with soot, and drop off some new toys that they will find when they wake up super early the next day. The magic of having something to believe in is what we should all remember. Whether you get one gift, or ten, the thought of believing someone somewhere thought of you is enough.

So I venture to exercise Christ-no-Mas every year. As our families grow and gain more people and as we also lose some people and loved ones, I strive to believe in the time we have together is enough. 

Having a meal with family.
Inviting a friend over to sit and chat over coffee.
Visiting a family you haven't seen for a while.
The once-a-year-get-together should be enjoyed.

We never know when it may be our last day, or holiday, or season together. Gifts are a bonus. But we don't need all that extra "stuff" or Mas to celebrate the holidays. 

I hope you all have a very wonderful Holiday Season. Hug your loved ones. Enjoy the atmosphere. Give to others. Make a difference in someone else's life. For whatever you believe in or celebrate, Merry Christmas to you!