I'm off to a start, a slow one, but a start nonetheless. You know what's a good wake up. . .a blood draw. Nothing like being stuck with a needle first thing in the morning, before coffee, to get you moving. Fun stuff. Stupid insurance.
I came home to survey the list of things to-do. I should actually make a list, but all that needs doing is pretty much in front of me. I did a little with the tree last night and have determined to do 15-30 minutes at a time today in the hopes that it's finished before St. Nick arrives tonight. I've got linens rolling around in the washer. I've sort of wrangled the Christmas things I don't want up here into a heap to take back downstairs later. Before the first freeze a couple months ago, I hung up a bunch of herbs to dry and took those down and stored them away.
Left to do: wrap the Giving Tree stuff, clear the kitchen desk, deal with the jumble of shoes that seem to multiply in the hallway. Find a good place to store the hall rug for the holidays. Fold a basket of miscellaneous laundry. In prep for the Christmas Eve gathering, I need to take down the toy basket and dog kennel from the dining room. I've got dinner to deal with and I'm looking to make a Kuchen for dessert. Maybe.
Speaking of food, I was oddly unmotivated to cook this week, but I managed to make this really good Cheesy Ham Chicken and Rice Casserole. Gooey. Cheesy. That crunch of wild rice. Yum. I should have used fresh grated Parmesan, it would have melted much better. I didn't use Cream of Whatever soup, opting to go with my usual substitute. I also opted not to buy the Uncle Ben's or Rice A Roni Wild Rice, but instead found this Boxed Wild Rice Substitute. A couple notes on the Wild Rice sub: 1) I didn't add any parboiled white rice - it was strictly wild rice. It took longer to cook; for me it was almost double. 2) Because of the cook time, I might add the seasoning halfway through, instead of at the beginning. It was pretty cooked out. The recipe makes a bulk amount of the seasoning - I quartered it for this time around.
I made these Mexican Stuff Peppers on In-Law Dinner night. They were okay. The recipe had the option of pre-cooking the rice or adding it in the filling dry. I debated, and went with the dry choice, but I knew once the filling was together there was no way the rice was going to cook. And it didn't; there wasn't any liquid in the filling. They had decent flavor, but the filling was a bit too dry for me. I decided to delete the Pin. If you want to give them a shot, I'd recommend using salsa (maybe a 1/2 to 1 cup) instead of just diced tomatoes in the filling, and definitely pre-cook the rice. I'd also put the salsa in the pan instead of marinara sauce.
I have made these Sausage Sliders with Cran-Apple Slaw before. The kids like them, which is always a plus. I used Colby Jack cheese and left off the lettuce since it has the slaw. Instea of store-bought, I made these 40-minute Hamburger Buns to go with them. It's a quick recipe, that for me, takes about a cup or more of flour than the recipe states.
The High School Hockey season kicked off earlier this week. They are the two-time defending State Champs and won their first game. Their second is tonight, so I guess we know where the 17 y.o. will be. I've got one more for dinner tonight - hubby's brother. The weekend, however, is fairly empty so there's the hope that I can conquer . . . well something. Conquer something.