Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Bear started Christmas with the flew (so sad!) but recovered in time for Christmas Eve. Even though we had to take it easy, our weekend was still lovely and magical and filled with fun and family. Joel, Bear, and I had plans to spend the remainder of the week going on fun family outings but, alas, colds and chilly temps have kept us housebound (and stir crazy). Here’s to praying for a healthier 2018. Happy Ney Year!

The Menu


Mustard Stewed Acorn Squash with Chicken (recipe from Todd Porter & Diane Cu @ Food & Wine)

This recipe had excellent flavor but, as I expected, a 15 minute simmer wasn’t long enough to soften the rind on the acorn squash. We had to spit the rind out between forkfuls. Joel made me promise never to make this recipe again. I didn’t think it was that bad, although I would certainly slice the acorn squash thinner next time. I also might try roasting the squash before adding it to the chicken and serving the whole lot over rice.

Sides: Toasted naan with butter + Sautéed Swiss chard finished with 2 tbsp butter, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a pour of red wine vinegar


Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Yoghurt (recipe from Twinks @

This is one of the strangest macaroni and cheese recipes I have come across and it is also our favorite. The sauce, a mixture of plain yogurt; grated onion; mustard; and cheddar cheese, comes together quickly. This recipe is tangy, cheesy, and addicting without tasting at all like yogurt. Since the onion is only briefly cooked, you will need to grate your onion on the fine side of a box grater. Otherwise, you might risk crunchy onion in your macaroni and cheese. No one wants that. Also, I like to top my macaroni and cheese with torn sandwich bread that I have tossed with a bit of melted butter, before sliding it into the hot oven. What emerges is a pan of gooey pasta with a crunchy crouton topping.

A quick note on ingredients. I always achieve my best results using Stonyfield Farm Organic Plain Cream Top Yogurt, Organic Valley Sharp Cheddar Cheese, and regular yellow mustard.

Sides: Steamed broccoli + Raw red pepper strips


Mexican Steak Fajitas (recipe from Shirley Hilger @ Taste of Home)

By far my favorite fajita recipe. The steak is quickly marinated in a mixture of orange juice, white vinegar, garlic, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Sometimes I like to dump all of the marinade into the pan for extra saucy fajitas.

Sides: Shredded red cabbage pan sautéed and finished with 2 tbsp butter, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a pour of red wine vinegar + Best Guacamole & tortilla chips


Roasted Yams & Chickpeas with Yogurt (recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

Ooh, you know I love a salted yogurt sauce. I also love chickpeas and roasted yams. Therefore, I thought this recipe was DELICIOUS! Joel even liked it. The only thing is, this is a light dinner. Something I’m not that accustomed to. If you, like me, prefer a little more sustenance at dinner make this recipe for lunch and eat it happily all week long.

Sides: Steamed green beans with butter


Dinner out at Alma Café. 5:00 p.m. is an excellent time to dine with a two-and-a half-year-old.


Crispy Skillet Turkey BurgersAdapted (recipe from Cook’s Country magazine (December/January 2017)

Another repeat recipe. We eat our turkey burgers sans bun and with a large dollop of Dijon mustard.


1 lb ground turkey
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup) – note: Cook’s Country calls for Monterey Jack Cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Salt &  1/2 teaspoon Pepper – note: Cook’s Country does not specify quantities
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Hamburger buns


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine turkey, panko, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and salt & pepper in a bowl and mix together with your hands.
  3. Form the turkey into four 3/4-inch-thick- patties.
  4. Heat oil in a large 10-in oven-proof skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
  5. Add patties and cook two minutes per side.
  6. Slide the skillet into the oven and bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F (about 8-10 minutes).

Sides: Sautéed collard greens with butter and sea salt + Black Rice tossed with vinaigrette, scallions, and mint (I followed the directions for the farro in this recipe)



Home with a sick Bear eating chicken broth with rice while Joel began the festivities at his parent’s annual Christmas Eve Squared party 🙁

(Dec 17th, 2017 – Dec 23rd, 2017)

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