Soneone asked me today, trying to make polite conversation, if I was ready for Christmas. In a flash my mind went to the unfinished decorating, the piles of unwrapped Christmas presents, the long grocery list of shopping, the days of cooking  awaiting me, and all the scrubbing and cleaning on my schedule this week.

I answered , "Oh, I am ready"... and with a smile and my hand over my heart said, "In here!". A great joy flooded over me.

It is Christmas week. And I am filled with great joy for my lot is more wonderful than I can imagine. And it has nothing to do with a beautifully decorated house or presents under the tree.

I am loved, redeemed, blessed, justified, guided, comforted and at peace.  I know the hope I have is real.

It is a time to worship my King! Albeit politically incorrect and certainly becoming out of vogue, it is true. And I am delightfully unashamed. Come let us adore Him. Everything else pales in comparison! Jesus IS the only real reason for Christmas!

So as I get on with my week of hustle and bustle of more things to do this week than hours and energy, I will go about each and every task and minute of the day in an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness... joy overfowing!

What will get done will be enough. What does not get done won't be missed.  But the beauty and wonder and miracle and blessing of Christmas can! It can be drowned out by the frenzied static of Christmas preparations and all the crazy frustration that goes along with it. I am making a conscientious decision to choose the miracle! How about you?

Let me ask you, dear ones... Are you ready for Christmas?

Have a wonderful and Merry week!

Roasted Chicken
Potatoes, Carrots and Onions Roasted with the Chicken
Arugula, Shaved Parmesan, Toasted Pinenuts In A Lemon Vinaigrette

Salmon On The Grill
Tasty Baked Potatoes
Sauteed Spinach with Garlic Oil (again, yummy!)
Cheddar Biscuits

Recipe: Cheddar Biscuits
These tasty sounding biscuits come from my dear young friend, Rachel at The Atwoods. She and her darling husband Nathan are just the sweetest young couple. Click HERE for the recipe and to be captivated by this Godly young woman!

Wednesday: Soup Day
Matzo Ball Soup

Recipe: Matzo Ball Soup
1 large chicken carcase, plus package of necks and wings OR
1 large chicken cut up
1 large onion quartered
3 ribs celery, rough cut
2 large carrots, rough cut
salt and pepper

For Soup
6 chicken tenders or 2 large boneless, skinless breasts cut into long strips
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
4 celery ribs, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
parsley, chopped

Matzo Balls
Matzo ball mix
chicken broth

Put chicken pieces in a large pot. Cover with water. Add onion, celery and carrots. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and skim off any scum that accumulates on top of the water. Continue to cook and skim occasionally for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off heat and discard everything except the broth. Ingredients have all exhausted their flavor into the broth.

Meanwhile, make Matzo Balls while the broth is simmering. Make according to box directions using chicken broth instead of water. When cooked, set aside on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Turn the heat back the soup to medium and add the chicken tenders, chopped onions and  celery. Cook for 15 minutes. Add carrots and chopped parsley and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove chicken tenders and cut into bite size chunks. Put chicken back into the broth.

Chicken Artichoke With Angel Hair Pasta
Ceaser Salad
Garlic Parmesan Bread

Recipe: Chicken With Artichokes And Angel Hair Pasta
I LOVE artichokes! And I can almost categorically trust Martha Stewart's recipes to be scrumptious. So when I found this recipe for Artichoke and Pasta I just knew I would have a winner! Click HERE for a delicious way to serve artichokes!

Christmas Eve
Individual Beef Wellingtons With Duexelles
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Madeira Beef Gravy
Roasted Asparagus

Christmas Day Brunch
Fresh Fruit
StoneGable Christmas Brunch Casserole
Land Of Nod Pastry Pull Apart
Nut Roll
Coffee Bar

Recipe: StoneGable Christmas Brunch Casserole
I make this EVERY Christmas, no exceptions. My kids look forward to this same menu every year.

Now don't keel over when you see the fattening ingredients, it's Christmas! I make this heavenly casserole 2 times a year, Christmas and Easter Brunch. It is a real treat! Now don't try to make it more healthy or figure friendly... just for today, enjoy the goodness... and it IS good! I don't have a written recipe, I tweaked the original recipe years ago, so these are just good estimates. It is not rocket science, just do it! This makes enough for a crowd.

This recipe is assembled ahead and refrigerated overnight.
6-8 large croissants, cubed and let out to dry out for 1 day
2 TBS butter
1 1/2-2 packages of Bob Evans bulk sage sausage ( Do use Bob Evans~ it makes a big difference!)
10-12 large eggs
4 cups milk, I use what I have on hand~ skim is fine, whole is wonderful!
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 TBS worchestershire sauce
2-3 cups VERY GOOD cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Cook sausage and break apart. Drain all fat and set aside.
Liberally butter a large (at least 3 quart) rectangular baking dish. Add cubed croissants. Evenly distribute sausage over the croissants.

In a large mixing bowl add eggs, milk, mustard, worchestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously until will incorporated and fluffy. Pour over croissants.

Sprinkle cheese over the top of the mixture.  Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate.

Take casserole out of the refrigerator and let it stand for 30-45 minutes to take the chill off of it.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for about an hour until golden brown and cooked through. If the top gets too brown, tent with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Kielbasa
We serve brunch around 10:30 on Christmas morning. This gives me time to get the kielbasa into the slow cooker for just a couple of hours, all it needs. I don't have to fuss over the stove while I am trying to get everything to the table.
1-2 packages of Polish Kielbasa
1-2 tsp vegetable oil

Add oil to a large skillet and heat on medium. Cut kielbasa into 2 inch chunks and brown on all sides. Transfer kielbasa to the slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours.

Recipe: Land Of Nod
See recipe on facebook.

Recipe: Pizzelle's
Look for upcoming post on Thursday evening.

Christmas Day Supper
Because Christmas Brunch is a big event, dinner is low key, comfortable and easy. Everything is made ahead. It just needs to be reheated. We sit around the fire and enjoy family and fellowship.
Holiday Beef Brisket
Twice Baked Potatoes
Green Beans Sauteed In Garlic Oil
Citrus Salad
Bacardi Rum Cake
Christmas Cookies

Recipe:  Slow Cooker Holiday Beef Brisket
My sister-in-law served this the last time I was visiting her lovely home. It was so delicious! And easy! My kind of meal. For this easy make ahead main dish click HERE. It will be a holiday tradition.

Recipe: Citrus Salad
I tried this salad last week to see if it would work for Christmas dinner. Oh my goodness! It is delicious! Company worthy and flavorful. Click HERE for my Christmas Supper Salad!

Sunday: Family Dinner
Individual Chicken Pies
Homemade Pink Applesauce
Baby Field Greens with Dried Cherries, Candied Pecans, Bleu In A Wild Cherry Vinaigrette
Christmas Cookies

Recipe: Individual Chicken Pie
These pies are just beautiful and so yummy. Click HERE for the recipe and how-to's.


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