Prepping for Christmas!

LOCATION:  In our tiny house in Mission, Texas
WEATHER:  Nippy in the AM.  Warmer – 60 in PM

STEPS:  8502
CLASSES:  None offered; too cold to swim

I almost didn’t do my morning walk as the wind from the Northwest was fierce, but I decided to go for it..  My last leg was directly into the wind and I was almost bent over.  Interesting – I saw one neighbor out in a T-shirt, shorts, and barefoot.  Another neighbor had a heavy-duty furry parka on with mittens and heavy snow pants.  I guess it depends on where you come from?

Back home, with a nice hot coffee, I planned my day.  It would be a day of cooking/prepping for Christmas Day brunch and dinner.  

I spent the afternoon making an egg bake for tomorrow’s brunch.  A really good and easy recipe.  These are so nice as you can make ahead and then bake the next morning.  (Recipe below).

I also made the filling for stuffed mushrooms caps.  I will finish them up tomorrow before we go to our friends’ house for dinner.

Copying my friend Tony Scott, who experimented with a new recipe, I did a trial run of the gyosa (Japanese wontons) today.  I made a filling with ground pork and lots of finely diced veg.  The recipe calls for deep-frying them, but I experimented (George is a great guinea pig) with baking them instead.  They turned out nicely.  I will assemble them tomorrow before the get-together.  Oops – just one left!

We saw the Christmas star a few nights ago, and people are still out watching for it every night.  A neighbor got a good photo of it…

We had a nice telephone conversation with our daughter, and many, many Facebook Christmas messages.  So nice! 

DINNER:  After cooking all day, I wasn’t in the mood to make anything complicated for dinner.  We started with salads and steamed asparagus.  Main course was thin spaghetti in a cream sauce with smoked salmon and capers.  Very nice and light. 

EGG BAKE RECIPE

Recipe says it serves 4 people, but I would say it is enough for 8!

1# pork sausage
6 eggs
1/3 cup milk
4 green onions
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
20 oz frozen hash browns, thawed
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves minced

Cook sausage..  Remove and drain to large bowl.  Reserve about 1 T grease.  To the grease, add the onion and peppers, and saute about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute 2 more minutes.  Pour veg mix in with sausage.  Add hash browns and 1.5 cup cheese. 

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Add to hash brown mix.  Pour into a greased pan.  Top with remaining cheese.  Cover with foil.  Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook – take out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours ahead of time.  Bake 30 minutes at 375.  Remove foil and cook 15 more minutes.  Sprinkle with green onions. 

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