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Merry Christmas!!

Posted Dec 25 2008 12:00am

Merry Christmas, everyone! :mrgreen: I hope all of you had a holly, jolly Christmas, we sure did!! I’m doing this update VERY a little late, so I’m catching up with a whole bunch of pics all at once. :!: Warning: Lots of (yummy!) food pics ahead !! :!:

On Christmas Eve my family does the “7 fish” Italian dinner. We don’t really do it with traditional fish dishes, we usually have different ones every year. Calamari, shrimp and clams usually always make an appearance, but everything else is varied. On our Christmas Eve dinner menu this year:

  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Linguine with clam, lobster, diced tomato, red onion and garlic sauce
  • Turbot fish with spinach and garlic
  • Squid salad with olive oil, red wine vinegar and parsley
  • Mussels and clams cooked in chicken broth, white wine, garlic and red onion
  • Fresh mozzarella with sun dried tomatoes, green olives stuffed with blue cheese, provolone cheese, and fennel platter
  • Italian breads

The table setting before the food:

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I love candlelight :) We picked up a beautiful floral centerpiece from the florist. Love the pine cones and fresh pine!

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This is my favorite Christmas plate… so cute!!

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Food fills the table!

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Shrimp cocktail…

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Fennel, mozzarella, olive and provolone platter…

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Mussels and clams. I overcooked them :( Oops! I still liked them. I like chewy seafood lol.

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Turbot fish dredged in flour, then cooked in EV olive oil and butter along side fresh spinach sauteed in EV olive oil and garlic…

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Mmmmmm! I LOVE squid salad! I don’t know why I don’t eat it more often, it’s sooo gooood. I like it well-done and chewy, so some people might have an issue with the texture. I can’t get enough of it though. I think I ate 75% of it myself lol.

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The bread plate is always strategically placed beside me ;)

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The star of the show: Linguine with clam, lobster, tomato, onion and garlic sauce. WOW! It was AMAZING!! I made the sauce with a generous coating of EV olive oil in a large skillet, then added in chopped red onion, 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1 can no salt added diced tomatoes, 1 can Cento shelled baby clams with the juice, 1 lobster tail chopped into pieces (at the very end), and fresh parsley, basil and dried oregano. Everybody LOVED it. It’s actually very healthy, despite looking like a calorie bomb. I made 8oz of pasta, but we didn’t even eat 4oz between 3 of us at this dinner because there was more than half leftover when we were done.

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Christmas Eve dinner was perfect. I loved every bit of it, even though we didn’t get home until 6:00PM from last minute shopping and picking up things at the bakery and grocery store. We didn’t make it to Whole Foods like I had planned, time wasn’t on our side at all :( , but everything was just lovely anyway. :)

Dustin and I are the king and queen of last minute rushing around, so we spent most of Christmas Eve shopping, cooking, wrapping gifts, eating and by the end of the night, we were just exhausted! Santa had no problem verifying that we were tucked in bed with visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads LOL. I think I walked for a minimum of 6-8 hours each and every day for the past week, well, except for Christmas day until now lol. Before that though, I was on the go from the minute we woke up until we went to sleep. So, I haven’t done any planned exercise in quite awhile, but I think all the walking I have done has helped a lot.

~Christmas Day~
 
Before we opened presents, hubby and I had Christmas breakfast. My mom isn’t a breakfast person, she’s just into coffee until noon! lol So, hubs and I had French toast made with Panettone bread, fruit salad, and coffee: 

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I heard Giada from Everyday Italian on the Food Network say that Panettone bread makes an excellent French toast, so we gave it a try and she was right! It was FANTASTIC! Very, very rich. So I just drizzled a little bit of fructose maple syrup on it.

Coffee in my nutcracker cup from the Radio City Christmas Spectacular:

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I bought a huge bowl of mixed fruit salad on Christmas Eve, so yummy!

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Panettone bread French toast is the perfect Christmas morning breakfast food. It tasted as festive as it looks. :)

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After breakfast, we opened presents!!! WOO HOO! :mrgreen: It was like my birthday all over again lol. I feel so incredibly fortunate, and SPOILED! :oops: I love everything that I got, but I have a few favorites. hehe :)

This is definitely one of my favorites! A food gift basket from my cousin. Everything in it looks YUUUUMMMMMMY!

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It had a huge piece of pistachio cheddar cheese in it :shock: WOW! It looks awesome! I can’t wait to try it. This basket totally rocked!

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Hubby got me not 1, not 2 but 5 boxes of Godiva chocolates AND 2 bags of Lindt truffles!!! :shock: OMG LOL Good thing he got me all of that exercise equipment I’m going to need it BIG TIME! :lol:

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He added to my fitness collection with a new pedometer, a heart rate monitor with GPS, an iPod dock and an Iron Gym (I actually wanted that when I saw it on TV lol, it looks kinda fun!!)

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This is just AWESOME!

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He went too far with these; a Burberry purse and matching scarf!! :o LOVE THEM!!! heart.gif

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He also got me a sauna suit that I can REALLY use! As much water as I retain, I could definitely use a sauna experience to my advantage. He also gave me another AeroGarden (small, white one), a Hello Kitty digital camera, and the Calvin Klein perfume set is from my mom. Calvin Klein perfumes are my favorites!

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I can’t wait to sweat out a few pounds in the sauna suit. I’m SO PUFFY! Aaah! lol My skin is so dry right now too, maybe I will naturally lubricate my itchy skin in the process. I actually woke up in the middle of the night scratching last night. Ugh!

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From hubby: Lancome makeup kit, hair dryer and Twilight Zone series on DVD (I loooooove black and white classic TV!!!) and from mommy: an engraved jewelry box…

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It even plays music! SO COOL! Love it :mrgreen: !!

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I also got a diamond ring, heart locket, gold bracelet, Reebok step board and a Krups espresso machine from hubby and a robe, soaps, and assorted liquors from other family members, but I didn’t bring them upstairs for pics. lol Once again, I made out like a bandit!! :shock: And we’re not even done yet! We’re still in the process of meeting with everyone and exchanging gifts lol. OMG, it REALLY is the 12 days of Christmas. At this rate it will be the 12 months of Christmas. lol I love all of my presents and I’m happy that we got to buy things for everyone else, too. I think giving gifts makes me even more excited than opening my own. I couldn’t wait for hubby to open the things I got him!! He needs a blog to show his loot, too! haha I got him a mini laptop, a cash counter, a bunch of Invader Zim stuff, home security stuff, a gun (we like guns :P ), Calvin Klein cologne, engraved beer mugs, a name plate for his desk, computer games, coin counter, a mini fridge for the bar, oh and a vacation home. Well, it’s not really a house or anything that extravagant; it’s a small apartment in the Poconos!! We’re so close by and have been talking about getting away on weekends and whenever we feel like getting away from it all, sooo I got us a cute little place that was REALLY hard to keep a secret for the past month LOL. He loves it! I was plotting so hard with my mother for the past month, lol. I am so happy that my secret is revealed LOL. Phew, that was tough to keep quiet. So, you guys might see me making posts from our little “get-away retreat” once in awhile. We can’t wait to go there and spend some time away from the office and phones. There’s no phone there, just our cell phones. YAY!!!!!! :mrgreen: I did have cable TV and internet installed though. Gotta stay online, I have lots of blogging to do! ;)

We skipped lunch on Christmas Day and went straight to our dinner. It was much simpler than the Christmas Eve feast, but still fabulous. Prime rib, mashed potatoes, string beans drowning in butter, French rolls and white wine:

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Admittedly, I don’t know very much about wine and have recently discovered that I adore white wine, but in small quantities. Thankfully, because it’s so calorie dense! I don’t even know if this was a good one, we picked it up in the liquor store on Xmas Eve. It was $27.99, is that good? I don’t know if that’s considered a cheapy wine or what lol. Hubby and I plan to visit some local wineries and learn about different wines and hopefully learn how to enjoy them the way they are meant to be enjoyed without going into it blindly lol.

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A very casual tablescape…

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The prime rib looks well done but it was actually very rare. I couldn’t stop nibbling on it as I was slicing it. OMG, so, so, SO GOOOOD!

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I think this meal was 75% fat lol. The meat was extremely fatty (delicious!!) and the mashed potatoes and string beans were oozing with butter. Mmmm, total decadence!

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Then much later in the evening we had “lunch” of leftovers and sandwiches, followed by dessert! :o

Lunch was Italian deli meats on Italian bread with provolone cheese melted under the broiler with roasted red pepper and squid salad, shrimp and linguine with clam, lobster and tomato sauce:

A little pecorino romano sprinkled on the linguine. Most of the lobster and clams were gone by this point…

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Oh yeah!!!! Salt city! :P lol

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The bread alone had 280mg sodium, per slice!! :o ! :shock: Is it any wonder why I am sooo puffy?! lol I went easy on the deli meat; just 3 very thin slices.

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Such a lovely little sandwich, just too much sodium. :( I wish I could eat things like this more often, but they taste even better on special occasions. :)

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Then we finally had dessert!! Italian pastries and assorted Christmas cookies from the bakery with coffee made with several teaspoons of sugar and eggnog! :o I used about 1/4 cup eggnog, which is incredibly calorie-dense; 200 calories per 1/2 cup!! :shock: That’s 400 calories per cup, geeeeeez! But again, it’s a once-a-year thing, so why not? :)

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We actually had 2 cookie trays like this from the local bakery. I must have eaten at least 30 cookies over the past few days. :oops: They are delicious. So buttery, so sugary! YUM! We didn’t have time to make any of our own, but these were excellent stand-ins. We love going to the local Italian bakery, the aroma as you walk in is heavenly. *sniffs in memory*

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We have been home all day since Christmas Eve and it feels GREAT! The day after Christmas we munched on leftovers and I came up with this quick and easy sandwich for dinner: Shrimp salad on ciabatta with a thin layer of Jarlsberg part-skim swiss cheese on both sides of the bread that I melted under the broiled for 1 or 2 minutes, plus avocado and tomato. I made the shrimp salad with 5 shrimp, Hellmann’s olive oil mayo, a splash of white wine, a drop of yellow mustard and black pepper.

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I accidentally picked up raspberry seltzer in Shop Rite the other night thinking it was plain and it’s surprisingly very good! It tastes sweet, not bitter like I expected but it’s calorie and sweetener free. I like it a lot, so I’ll definitely buy it again.

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Isn’t it gorgeous? :) The colors are very Christmas-y, too. It tasted like egg salad, I’m not sure why, but I LOVED it!! It was a little messy, so I probably should have used a wee bit less mayo, but other than that, the swiss cheese with subtle white wine flavor was superb. And the avocado just added another layer of creamy goodness. YUMMY!!

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My grandmother and cousin came over this afternoon. We had a bonus Christmas pizza and sub party that was a lot of fun!! We ordered a meat-za pizza, a white pizza, a chicken parm pizza, Italian combo subs, roast beef sub, and an eggplant parm sub, plus onion rings and fries.

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My plate: 1 slice white pizza (it was a 10″ pie), 1/4 piece of roast beef sub, a few onion rings and fries, and a diet soda…

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The roast beef from our local pizza place is awesome! It’s home cooked, not like the overly processed plastic-like stuff you get at the deli counter. DEEELISH!!!

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My cousin is moving back home from the city next week after she graduates college, so her and I decided to start working out together starting on January 2nd (how cliche LOL). She’s going to come over a few times a week to be my workout buddy and she’ll have breakfast, lunch or dinner with us depending on what time we workout that day. She wants me to help her with all of it being I’m an “expert” now lol. :roll: She’s going to a wedding in Florida January 11th and wants me to help her with her arms ASAP because she’s wearing a sleeveless dress. *SIGH* I gave her the ole you can’t do anything that fast speech and you can’t spot reduce, etc., but she’s like, please just humor me and make me feel better lol. I’m like, “Sure, ok, whatever lol.” She’s 21, so I suppose at her age I was in the same mindset. Heck, I was in that mindset until just a year and a half ago, so I definitely know where she’s coming from. Once I show her the better way, she’ll catch on quickly, I’m sure. :)

Well, the holidays and celebrations aren’t quite over here. We still have New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, more visits to make, and other dates and things to attend in between. We’re past the biggest parts, but there’s still a ways to go. Things have definitely calmed down a lot though! I guess Christmas was like the summit of holiday mountain LOL.

The bad news: I’m still up 10 lbs from my NYC trip :(

The good news: I maintained the new weight through Christmas :? Better than adding on more, I guess! lol

Ok, I’m off to play with something. I’m not sure what yet. We’re addicted to playing Monopoly on Nintendo Wii. It’s so much fun (when I win)! lol ;) I can’t wait to make the new workout plan for my cousin and me!! This is going to be awesome having an accountability partner and all the new fitness toys we have to play with. *excited*

I’ll have more updates before the year is over, too! I’m not done eating in 2008 yet LOL. :D Time to go relax, this blog post took me about 3 hours! :o So many pictures to sort through and I haven’t gotten to them all yet. I have a bunch of pics of hubby and me to post. I’m sure everyone is disappointed they aren’t in this update!! *sarcasm* Don’t fret, they are on their way in the next one. *giggles*

Speaking of disappointment, both my mother and I ordered things online that were guaranteed to be delivered by Christmas and they weren’t :evil: GRRRR! She got me a Calphalon cookware set (she told me what it was being it wasn’t delivered on time LOL) and I got something for hubby that was supposed to be sent 2 day air and arrive on Dec 23rd, but they sent it ground delivery instead, even though they advertised free 2nd day air. Thankfully that wasn’t the only present I got him or I would have felt so bad if it didn’t show up!

Anyway, I’m off for the night. What are you guys doing for New Year’s Eve? What are you drinking? Let me know! I’d like some ideas. :)


Note: I apologize if the font and/or layout of this post looks funky. WordPress has given me so many problems tonight! :cry: I have been writing in HTML for a decade, but what WordPress has done to my simple tags tonight is beyond ridiculous. :evil: It’s such a mess that I can’t even be bothered to fix it. It mutilated everything that I did and this update ended up taking twice as long as it should have because of REALLY CRAPPY coding on their behalf. :mad: lol Sighhhhhhh


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