Friday, December 14, 2012

♪ 'Tis the Season to be Busy... ♪

I've been chompin' at the bit to get back on here, so with today's half-day, I can! I'm super stoked this Christmas (and every Christmas, really), and not just because I like to shop! (I know that's what you were thinking) Christmas is spiritual, and festive, and cooler, and joyful, and just plain wonderful! I love: Christmas Mass, days off of work, being with my little family, singing carols, hot chocolate, decorating the house, spiked egg nog, Christmas concerts, movies and plays. I DO NOT like: the air conditioning on or rain on Christmas Day, but that's pretty much it.
So, to recapitulate (isn't that a great word?! An elderly gentleman I spoke to last week used it, and I'm going to use it every chance I get. I AM using it correctly, right?!) the last two weeks, here we go:
Our first year with a second tree. Of course my photography is totally lacking since the white is all washed out, but its theme is silver and red.

I continued the silver and red, along with white and black, on the big tree. We walked into the tree tent on the lot at church, and took the second tree Jack pulled out. Easy peasy! It's beautiful ♥
Last Saturday we did something new, and got tickets to watch the Christmas parade from the front porch of the historic Pritchard House. It has been painstakingly restored, and is stunning inside!

An AHS choir sang carols, which we later joined in on. I'm not gonna lie; I sounded pretty darn good! (I'm sure those fabulous kids had nothing to do with it ; )

House tours weren't given that night, but we did get to look around the parlor. They said we were only allowed to take a picture of the Christmas tree, so I just captured a bit "extra" (I would've loved to take hundreds all over the house, but I behaved myself!) We were served delicious sandwiches and finger foods, sweet treats, wine, and champagne punch. Fabulous! All that, plus a front-seat view for the parade! We're already signed up for next year ☺
I was dying to see the whole house, so I headed back with some of the work buds yesterday on our lunch. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and gave us a fantastic tour, as she had been in on all of the renovations from the start. We're going back for a Women's Vintage Clothing Exhibit in February!
On a different note, I'm still trying new recipes weekly; this week's gem was Crispy Oven Toasted Ravioli, YUMMO!
Crunchy Oven-Fried Cheese Ravioli
From How Sweet It Is (for original recipe, click here)
serves 2
1- 9 oz package fresh, 4 cheese (or whatever you prefer) ravioli (the brand I used has 12 large ravioli in the pack)
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/8 cup flour
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated romano or parmesan cheese (or more, if you like! I do!)
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
marinara or chunky spaghetti sauce for dipping

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray. Add egg whites to one bowl, and in a larger bowl mix flour, bread crumbs, panko, romano, salt and pepper.
Bring water to a boil and cook ravioli for half of the recommended time. I let mine boil for a little over 2 minutes, then drained them and quickly spray through them with nonstick spray to help them not stick together. Once cool to the touch, dip each ravioli in egg whites then coat thoroughly with the breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere. Place on the wire rack and repeat until finished. Spray each with a quick hit of nonstick spray. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until crispy and golden.
Serve hot with marinara for dipping.

So, that's what I've been doing, and I'm sure you're doing much of the same. I've also shopped (a lot!) and wrapped what feels like 4,362 gifts! (but that's OK!) Time to sign off, and start on Sara's Famous Christmas Chex mix, along with some raisin and nut candies.
It IS the most wonderful time of the year!
Oh...and recapitulate! (just throwin' it in there) 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Let the Season Begin!

Friday, November 30: the house is decorated inside (for the most part), Jack surprised me by putting up the outside lights (which I failed to notice, shame on me!), and it's already time for Christmas party #1! Let's get this party started!

My favorite guys, at Jack's precinct party at the FOP in Melbourne. He couldn't ask for a better partner and bosses ☺
Brenda, the "Precinct Mom & Work Wife", keeps them in line and puts together one fine party every year. What a blast! Don't even ask about the Gangnam Style...
Then Saturday arrived with more fun in store...Food Truck Wars!!!
The trucks officially "opened" at 4, but we got there a little early to look around, and ran into Becky and Jeff. There were about 40 trucks of every variety (including one with gourmet pet food!) in little downtown Titusville; we didn't have to go out of town to do something different for a change! It was a good thing I took these pics early, because by 5:00 the street was packed!

Cupcake Truck!
This looked interesting! Jeff was eyeing this bad boy up for a lobster roll.

TJ's Seafood Shack had me at "shrimp and grits". The cute kid in the blue shirt promised it was as good as any I'd find in Charleston, and he was right!

Creamy grits, red-eye ham gravy with some 'heat', cheese, scallions and lightly fried (which was different) shrimp. Fantastic!
Jack got pulled pork at the Gator Country truck (which specialized in...gator, of course!).

Dessert for me was a rich tiramisu gelato, while Jack enjoyed a decadent chocolate one. Heaven!

The judges look like they're struggling already, and they had just begun. Move over, I'll do it! I think the guy on the left is trying the gelato!

We sat and enjoyed the cool breeze, listening to Tony Wynn play some smoooooth jazz!
Please do this all again, Titusville.
Sunday's entertainment was a fabulous holiday concert, courtesy of the 70 piece Community Band of Brevard...

with these three lovely ladies as my dates! Aunt Rose and her gal pals stay way busier than I do, and know of all the best events in the area. And no going straight home either; we grabbed burgers and shakes afterward!
Lookout December, we've got a lot more to do!

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