I have to say that our Christmas project this morning was a huge success. We put a smile on 213 kids faces. We had a blast. I did the second grade class and they were so grateful for everything they got. I am so glad that I got to be a part of it. I can’t wait for next year so that we can do this again. I have posted pictures below from various classrooms in the school. Thank you so much to everyone that helped. I wish yall could have been there. Enjoy!
I can’t believe it is almost Christmas again. It has really snuck up on me. It has been hard to get in the Christmas spirit this year. Maybe one reason is because the weather has been so unpredictable. You never know how cold or hot it will be. Tomorrow morning should really bring the mood to me. My office along with several other businesses has adopted a less fortunate elementary school and we have bought every child in the school a Christmas present. I am so excited that I get to go tomorrow. My dad’s department at work took one of the second grade classes and I got to help buy all their gifts. My mom and I had a really good time shopping for them. My boss let my department at work draw names to see who was going. My name wasn’t drawn but Monday one of the ladies came to me and told me that she would like me to go in her place since my family was going. It really made my day. I was so upset when my name wasn’t drawn, but I knew that I would get to go next year so I was happy when I found out I could go. The kids at this school have no idea we are coming. Well, except maybe the 5th graders. Last year, Southern Cross bought gifts for the 5th grade class. Everyone who went said it was a wonderful event so we decided to buy for the whole school. Word got around the school that when you get in the 5th grade you get a Christmas party. They should all be really surprised to know that this year every grade gets a party. We are going to sneak all the gifts in while they are at a choir program. When they get back, they will be so excited to see what is going on in their classroom. I will be sure and take lots of pictures of the class I am in. I can’t wait to see the smiles on these kids’ faces. It may even bring tears to several faces.
We all went to Canton Sunday night to see all the lights. The kids had a good time riding the train, fire truck, and carrousel. All the lights were really pretty. It neat what they have set up there. We all ate at Cock of the Walk afterwards. Below are pictures from Canton.
2 teaspoons butter or margarine 16 medium green onions, sliced (1 cup) 1 med. Yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped (1 cup) 3 cups hot water 1 cup half-and-half or whole milk ¼ cup butter or margarine 1 package roasted garlic mashed potatoes (2 pouches) 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 oz)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 quart casserole with cooking spray. In 10 inch non-stick skillet, melt 2 teaspoons butter over medium – high heat. Cook onions and bell pepper in butter 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside. In 2 quart saucepan, heat water, half-and-half, and ¼ cup butter to boiling; remove from heat. Stir in both pouches of potatoes (and seasoning) just until moistened. Let stand about 1 minute or until liquid is absorbed. Beat with fork until smooth. Spoon 1 1/3 cups of potatoes into casserole; top with half of the onion mixture and ¾ cup of the cheese. Spoon another 1 1/3 cups potato over cheese; carefully spread to cover. Sprinkle evenly with remaining onion mixture. Top with remaining potatoes; carefully spread to cover. Sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup of cheese. Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until hot.
Dennis and I had a great time in New Orleans this weekend. We got there around 2:00 and checked in the hotel. We walked around the French Quarter for a while and then got ready to go eat. I loved The Red Fish Grill last time so we went there to eat again. The oysters are WONDERFUL. Afterwards, we went to the piano bar at Pat O’s. It was fun as well. We saw a girl that had her wedding dress on. Yes, in the bar at Pat O’s. I had never heard of a reception at a bar in the middle of everyone, but then again I am from Mississippi not Louisiana. The girl was so drunk. She was dancing with everyone and I even saw her kiss a few people. Hopefully she knew them. Her dress was so nasty at the bottom. Her train was tucked into the back of her dress but at some point it had fallen and was dragging the ground. I was in the bathroom and I saw a girl from the wedding party so I asked her if this was indeed a reception. She said “Oh no, this is just the party after the reception.” She told me that the reception was from 2:00 until 6:00 and the people weren’t ready to end it yet so that brought it to Pat O’s. What a crazy night those people must have had.
Later on about 5 guys dressed up like Santa Clause came in the bar. I have no idea what they were doing. One of the ladies that was playing the piano and singing said that the malls must have closed and they were off duty. It was pretty funny. Like people always say, you never know what you are going to see in New Orleans.
Dennis is finally coming back from Las Vegas today. He has only been gone 4 days but it seems like forever. I am picking him up at the airport at 5:00. By the way he’s been talking, he had a really good time. He saw several celebrities and even met a few. I think his favorite was the lead singer from The Killers. He loves that band so I was glad he got to meet him. He is pretty warn out. If you’ve never been to Vegas, you do A LOT of walking. I went shopping while he was gone. My mom took me to the Boardwalk in Shreveport, LA on Monday so that I could get my Christmas presents from her and my dad. It was a really nice place. It was SO cold though. It was an outdoor mall so we had to go outside to get in each store. I was so ready to turn the heater on in the car. I got a lot of cute things for Christmas. I can’t wait until I get them.
I am so sad. My favorite Mexican restaurant in Jackson closed. I was excited when they opened about 6 months ago because there has been one in every town I’ve lived in and now the one in Jackson has closed. I went last night to get something to go and there was a sign on the door. Oh well, there is still one by the Dogwood Mall that I can eat at. I am getting hungry just thinking about it. Yummy!!!!
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 15 oz. box), softened as directed on box 4 eggs 1 cup half-and-half or milk 1 can (12.5 oz) chunk chicken breast in water, drained (1 ½ cups) 1 ½ cups broken tortilla chips 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 1 cup salsa 1 can (4.5 oz) green chiles ½ teaspoon salt Pepper to taste Sour cream, if desired
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place pie crust in 9 inch glass deep-dish pie pan as directed on box for One-Crust filled pie. In medium bowl, beat eggs with wire whisk until blended. Beat in half-and-half. Stir in chicken, chips, both cheeses, 1 cup salsa, green chiles, and salt. Pour into crust-lined pan. Sprinkle pepper over top of filing. Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until crust is light golden brown and knife inserted into center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into wedges. Serve with sour cream and/or salsa.
1 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 whole head of garlic 1 (11oz) log goat cheese 1 lemon, juiced ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 3510 degrees. Brush the cut side of the squash halves with some of the olive oil, and place them oiled side down on a baking sheet. Cut the top off the head of garlic, and drizzle the remaining oil over it. Wrap in aluminum foil, and place on baking sheet with the squash. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the squash can easily be pierced with a fork. Scoop the squash out of its skin, and place in a serving bowl. Squeeze the cloves of garlic out of their skins, and into the bowl with the squash. Mash until smooth. Stir in the goat cheese and lemon juice until well blended. Sprinkle walnuts over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Today is Dennis's 27th birthday. He is in Las Vegas so I didn't get to celebrate it with him. We are going to New Orleans this weekend so this will be are birthday time. He will be back from Vegas Thursday night and I can't wait to see him.
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained) 1 (8oz) package cream cheese 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese ½ cup mayonnaise 1 clove garlic, peeled ¾ teaspoon dried dill weed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the artichoke hearts on a food processor and process until smooth. Process the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, and dill with the artichoke hearts until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Transfer to a 9 inch pie pan. Bake in the preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened 1 (12 oz) jar bacon bits 1 pinch ground black pepper, or to taste ¼ cup diced onion 2 (8oz) packages refrigerated crescent roll dough
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, bacon bits, pepper, and onion. On a lightly floured surface, unroll the crescent rolls lengthwise and form into a long rectangle. Thinly spread the cream cheese mixture on the dough. Starting with the long edge of the rectangle, roll the dough into a long, thin, roll. Slice the roll into ¼ inch think pieces. Place rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, to until brown.
2 tablespoons butter 1 leek, diced 2 (6.5 oz) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped 1 (7oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute diced leek until tender. Stir in the artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, Parmesan cheese, and mayonnaise. Transfer to an 8x8 inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly and lightly browned.
1 onion, chopped 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 (14.5 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles, drained 1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained 10 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened 1 cup half-and-half cream 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sauté onion in skillet over medium heat in oil until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and chiles, let cook 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in spinach, cheese, cream cheese, half-and-half, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture into shallow baking dish like a 9 inch quiche dish or pie plate. Bake ion the preheated oven until the dip is bubbly and the top is light brown, about 35 minutes.
The Thanksgiving holiday was very busy this year. Dennis and I were on the go the entire time. Thursday morning we got up and went to my grandparent’s house and ate lunch at my aunts. It was really nice catching up with family. My mom and I got up Friday morning at 4:15 and went to Wal-Mart to get a few things they had on sale. We were back in the bed asleep by 6:00. We got up and went to Starkville and stayed at my sister’s apartment. I was exhausted by that night. We all got up and went to the Egg Bowl (MSU vs. Ole Miss) on Saturday. Ole Miss won but State played them a good game. We had a good time. I was ready to be home that night. Dennis got his kids early on Sunday and we went to his grandmothers. She had him a little birthday party at lunch. He will be out of town next Sunday so she had it yesterday. It felt good to get in bed last night but I didn’t want to get up this morning and come to work. It was nice having a few days off. I sure could get use to that.