Michelle & El's Kitchen

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Best Christmas Ever

on December 27, 2011

What a great holiday weekend!

First off, check out the chocolate fondue fountain that was at Sean’s work on Thursday:

His company is really into the holidays and having neat foods in all week long.Β  Thankfully Sean brought us some brownies home. πŸ˜‰

I scored some great movies from a co-worker too (and popcorn to boot!) They were a bargain πŸ˜€

We started our holiday celebration later that evening with my Dad at Tacos El Norte in Libertyville.

All of the food was great, but that guacamole was the best I’ve ever had (even better than Chipotle’s!) El was insane over it. I knew she loved avocado’s, but wasn’t sure how she’d like guac.

And those tortilla chips weren’t too bad either…

We spent the rest of the evening opening up gifts. El got so many toys/books/stuffed animals. She absolutely loved ripping open her gifts. Her favorite gift was a Wooden Disney Princess Kitchen Set. A coworker sold this and yet again, another great bargain. I could NOT pass this up.

El officially has her own little kitchen! Her godmother got her the groceries to go with. How adorable. These are madeΒ  by Melissa & Doug.

Sean got me some Air Bake cookie sheets (I hear they are the best!) and some cooling racks. Yay! (Really though, it’s kind of a gift for himself if you ask me!)

And my Dad always hooks us up with good booze/snacks πŸ˜€

Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; Heineken Keg (seriously best gift I ever got Sean was the Heineken Beertender last Christmas!); three different kinds of peanuts; our favorite Napolitanke hazelnut cookies; Bajadera Croatian chocolates

That night I made Red Velvet Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese frosting to bring down to my in-laws. Just had to use myΒ  new cupcake caddy! (Dunkin Hines mix, it’s sooo good!)

We then spent a fantastic weekend down in the country side near the Quad Cities. We were greeted with cookies galore! Sean’s Mom made snickerdoodles, Hershey’s kisses peanut butter blossoms, and chocolate covered peanut clusters. She is the best baker, I tell ya. Pics courtesy of google since I forgot to take pics!

Her cooking is pretty great too. We had some wet burritos for dinner. They are so good- basically you take a flour tortilla, spread with re-fried beans, top with seasoned ground beef, shredded cheese, wrap, the cover with enchilada sauce, more shredded cheese, heat in the microwave, and then add all of your favorite toppings (I added black olives, onion, sour cream, salsa, and tomato).

They kind of look like this, only with melted cheese!

We then met up with a group of friends at Blue Cat Brew Pub in Rock Island, IL (so nice to have Grandma and Grandma babysit for us!) This place is turning into our regular spot when meeting up with friends down there. They have some really yummy beer, and we even tried a couple of appetizers (around 1 am πŸ˜‰ )

The beer I tried was Olivia’s Cranberry Ale. Very yeasty, kind of tasted like a pizza dough crust, but I dug it. You just got to sip it slowly. The apps we tried were really very good.

Hot Soft Pretzels

Meant for sharing. Four large plump pretzels served with a side of homemade beer mustard with the Blue Cat secret ingredients.Β  6.25

Beer mustard was sooo good!

Mediterranean MelangeΒ 

Fresh mozzarella, artichokes, garden tomatoes, black and Kalamata olives, cucumber and hummus, surrounded by grilled pita wedges.Β  9.50

OMG this makes me want to make my own homemade hummus (adding it to the bucket list!)

The next morning we at the classic cinnamon rolls (we always eat these when we are down there) and headed over to my brother in-law and sister-in-laws house for a feast of turkey, stuffing, casseroles, mashed potatoes. You name it they had it.

We headed to Church on Christmas day. It was a really nice mass where we got to sing all the Christmas favorites. El was also very well-behaved πŸ˜‰

Well for the first 40 minutes anyway. After that she was ready to explore πŸ˜‰

We then opened presents. Sean got an iPad (so cool) and a few other great things, El got a bunch of great toys, and I got some great new kitchen gadgets (muahahahhaha LOVE)

A panini press!

You can grill all kinds of things on here. I see many Panini’s and quesadillas in our near future…

And I got a Keurig! Wee!

And if that wasn’t enough, a beautiful wine rack!

We then ate a Christmas feast. Honey Ham, candied yams, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and rolls. It was sooo good. El and I went crazy for those yams. Def. getting that recipe. So good!

If all of this food wasn’t enough, Sean’s Mom had pumpkin pies and cherry pie. Not to mention all those yummy cookies!

And talk about a beautiful sunset…

Sean’s parents have the best views living out in the country…

We watched Cowboy’s vs. Aliens. I really liked it, and Olivia Wilde is such a great actress (and OMG gorgeous!) I’ve been a fan since Tron Legacy (best-movie-ever.)

We took off the next morning after being filled with bacon and blueberry pancakes (yet again, so good!) We had a great weekend but boy were we tired. Diet starts today along with a 5 day challenge of workouts ahead. Can’t wait! Love the holidays, but it is time to get back on a good diet/exercise regime. Hope everyone else had a wonderful, happy, and glutinous holiday like we did πŸ™‚

5 responses to “Best Christmas Ever

  1. Awwww πŸ™‚ Napolitankeeee! I love it! Nice to see you blogging πŸ™‚

    La Kat

  2. I awarded you the Kretive Blog award! πŸ™‚ http://wp.me/p1jBAi-yc

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