Monday, October 31, 2011

More holiday fun

(Two posts in one day--unheard of, right?)

Anyway, now that Halloween is basically over (it feels like it's been Halloween for weeks around here, with all the candy and goodies and pumpkin patches and costumes and such)...I figured it was time to start thinking about the other fall/winter holidays quickly approaching!

We're not sure what we're doing for Thanksgiving this year, but there is a good chance I'll be roasting a turkey, at the very least. However, we just solidified Christmas plans, and it looks like Aaron's family will be coming to our house, and we'll have Zoey's first Christmas at home! Like any good southerner, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of hosting a holiday is FOOD! I came up with some preliminary menus, and I thought I'd share them here for anyone who needs a little holiday meal-planning inspiration...

Christmas Eve Night (appetizers/snacks)
Ro-Tel Queso Dip, Chips, and Salsa
Shrimp cocktail
Sausage balls
Buffalo chicken rolls
Veggie tree (super cute!)

Christmas Day Dinner
Beef pot roast in the crock pot (I don't use a recipe, but I buy a pre-seasoned roast from one of our local grocery stores, cover it in beef broth, green bell peppers, and onions, and cook on low all day long.)
My mother-in-law's famous mashed potatoes (similar to this recipe)
Confetti corn casserole
Italian-style green beans cooked in beef broth
Buttery garlic knots
Flourless chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream

Also, it's tradition in Aaron's family to have a huge tray of Christmas cookies for everyone to munch on the entire visit. Even though this seems like a lot, it's nothing compared to what my MIL normally does! She has over a dozen recipes that she makes in triple and quadruple-sized batches! I'll just be making one small batch of each, which will still give me plenty to give away as gifts or take to work for a treat. I'll probably start making these a week in advance and freezing them until our guests arrive. Here's the planned cookies, as of now:

Strawberry Angel Cookies
Sweet-n-Salty Ritz Cracker Treats
Sugar & Spice Truffles
Chocolate Sundae Cookies
Lemon Snow Bites
Nut Goodie Bars
Citrus Butter Cookies
Soft Ginger Cookies
Homemade Samoas
Decorated Sugar Cookies

Happy Halloween!

I can't believe it's October already, and time for Zoey's first Halloween! We're not actually doing anything special this evening, other than passing out candy to trick-or-treaters, but here are a few pics to share of Zoey in her spider costume, and from our visit to the pumpkin patch.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Adventures in Eating

As a side note, I know blogs are reallllly boring with no pictures, but you can blame the husband for that one! I think it's called "photographer's child syndrome"...sort of like the cobbler's child has no shoes, if you catch my drift. ;-)

Anyway, Zoey has been busy growing and learning and exploring! We have a semi-crawler...she will crawl 2 or 3 little "scoots" before falling over and giving up, but I just know she will be a mobile girl on the move before much longer! I found out that at daycare, she's eating bits and pieces of "people food" with her lunch, so I figured it was high time to start sitting down together as a family and eating our dinner together each night. You see, Aaron and I had gotten in the terrible habit of eating in front of the TV after Zoey goes to bed every night.

Last night, I proclaimed things were changing, and we moved our dinnertime a little earlier, and I parked Zoey's high chair next to the table, and we all sat down to dinner. Zoey started with a stick of string cheese--she loved gumming on it, but once she turned into a wolverine and started ripping off big hunks of it, I had to take it away and tear it into bite-size bits she couldn't choke on. She's a fan of cheese. Aaron and I had hamburger patties and green beans last night (boring, I know), so Zoey had the same. I chopped them into teeny pieces for her, and she really enjoyed being able to "explore" and taste her new food. She ended up gagging on it a few times, but all my mommy friends reassure me that's a completely normal reaction, and one that may continue for some time--but eventually she will get used to all the tastes and textures. It was fun, if not a bit messy! She didn't actually eat all that much, so I also gave her a jar of pureed carrots, but all in all, our first family meal was successful.

Tonight we are having meatballs made from beef and Italian sausage (from our local meat market--yum!), with marinara sauce and whole wheat pasta. Zoey will get to try all of those, and I'm really curious to see how she does. Her doctor was fairly adamant that we shouldn't make special meals for her, as she starts eating more and more table food. I'm totally on board with that--I'd really like to avoid having a picky child who only eats chicken nuggets and cheese! The thought is, that by offering her what we have each night (within reason--I won't be giving her shellfish, nuts, or honey for awhile!), she'll learn that this is dinner, take it or leave it kind of thing. Of course, she'll still also get baby food purees for awhile, especially until she gets teeth, but I'm just really having fun watching her grow and turn into a little person of her own!