Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Years Eve 2020 ~A Quiet Celebration for Two, Please ~Stay Home and Stay Safe

 

Cheers to Saying Goodbye to the Year 2020


This photo showed up in my Facebook Memories from 2014.
Our family was visiting us during the holiday week.

Hubby was sharing his Home Brew with our Sons-in-Law.
While he completely loved being the father of girls,
he certainly enjoys having some guys around.

Best wishes to all our Family and our Friends
for a Happy New Year.

Stay Warm, Stay Safe, and Stay Well.

Take care,
~Natalie

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Christmas 2020 ~Here’s my Report ~It was A Different Year, Indeed

Our Celebration was a little different this year.
We did not travel to spend time with family, so we certainly
cherished each and every photo we received via text.
Last week, Santa made a quick stop at
Jack’s Preschool Christmas Party.

The children each had the opportunity to tell
Santa what is on their Wish List.

I might be to blame for last week’s Winter Storm,
as I had made a couple of comments about
having a Brown Christmas this year.

I guess Mother Nature showed me who is in charge...

So I hunkered down with another cup of coffee...

...and finished wrapping the last of our gifts.
I also stayed busy planning our Holiday Menus,
looking up recipes,
and making the Grocery Shopping Lists.

On Christmas Eve we enjoy a simple supper with
Wild Rice Soup in the Crockpot along with our favorite appetizers.
The colors of my Olive Dip look like Christmas
and it is so very tasty!

On Christmas Morning we get ready and go downstairs
to the Family Room to see if Santa stopped by.
Would you believe he still made a visit to our house
and left something for these Empty Nesters?

We must have been a very good Papa and Gigi...

Hubby’s parents have traditionally hosted
the Christmas Day meal in their home.
This year, his sister suggested we make it a Pot Luck Dinner.
After all, she is 91 years old...she has done her share of cooking!

So Great Grandma was responsible
for our family favorite, Cheesy Carrot Dish.
Thank you, Sandy, for sharing that recipe decades ago!

Another tradition...
We bring her a Christmas Centerpiece that she can use on her table
and then enjoy it for the following week.

I had pinned a recipe for Roasting a Ham that I wanted to try...
a little Spicy, a little Sweet.

Have any of you tried making Baked Potatoes in your Crockpot?
Since I was starting my share of the meal here at home,
I tried it...and it works!
When we got to Great Grandma’s we put them
in her oven with the Carrot Dish to crisp up the skins.

Hubby’s Sister prepared Meatballs, a Green Salad,
and a Pumpkin Pie for dessert.

It was a delicious Christmas Dinner.
And we had enough food to have dinner and supper!

Of course we were missing our family on the East Coast.
We enjoyed a FaceTime call and some precious photos.

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and Holiday Weekend,
whether you spent your time together virtually or in person.

Stay Warm, Stay Safe, and Stay Well.

Take care,
~Natalie

Monday, December 21, 2020

It’s Beginning to Taste a Lot Like Christmas ~Family Favorite Cookies ~Family Lefse Tradition ~Pumpkin Bread Streusel Topping Recipe

This is one of my favorite photos from Christmas 2019.
It appears that our Grandson, along with his Uncle Jake,
share my love of this little Christmas Cookie.
It was a year ago today,
that they arrived to spend the Holidays with us.

Whether you call them Russian Tea Cakes,
or Mexican Wedding Cakes, or Snowballs,
they are simply delicious.

Another family favorite is Lefse.
We like to make it when the whole family is home.
Everyone takes their turn at rolling and turning
those delicate, soft, potato flatbreads.


And they are best eaten while fresh with
sweet cream butter and a sprinkle of sugar.

How about this sweet treat?
Pumpkin Bread

This year, I found a new recipe for a Streusel Topping.

Quick Breads are so easy to make.
I’m sure you have your go-to recipe.
Start with the dry ingredients...
My recipe uses cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.

In a separate bowl, stir together the eggs,
oil, and pumpkin purée.

Whisk it all together until blended.
And bake according to your recipe directions.

But I really want to share the recipe for this Streusel Topping.

3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 tbsp melter butter
Sprinkle this evenly over batter in the pans
before it goes in the oven.

It is just so festive for the holidays.

Stay tuned for more about my Pumpkin Purée.

Take care,
~Natalie

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas ~Just a Few Decorations Bring Plenty of Holiday Cheer

 
This is will be a different Christmas Season, indeed.
Friends and Family will not be visiting, and
we will not be hosting any Office Staff Holiday Parties.

Yet we can all agree that a few decorations and
the twinkling of Christmas Lights will brighten our spirits.

And Chocolate helps too... yes, nestled in that bowl,
wrapped in pretty red and gold foils
are some Dove Dark Chocolates.

While I have tubs and tubs of Christmas decorations,
this year I brought in only a few of my favorites...
like this Jingle Bell Wreath.

In the family room, I set up just one tree.
When family is coming home,
I decorate two or three.

Instead of unwrapping all of our keepsake ornaments,
I just used the colored lights. Notice the tree skirt.
I made that when I was pregnant with our first born.
It was Labor Intensive since each little section was stitched
and stuffed separately before sewing it all together.

We are seldom downstairs, but the simplicity
of the tree and glow of the lights keep me going
when I go down to walk on the treadmill.


And my Vintage Dress Form...
is now adorned with a Made in Germany, 100% Wool Scarf,
in keeping with the Holiday Spirit.

If you are traveling for the holidays and
in need of a Face Mask to spread some Holiday Cheer,

Let me know, as I made this Christmas Collection
of Masks and still have a few left.

Remember a couple of years ago when Vintage Pickup Trucks
were trending for the Holidays?
I climbed up to the attic and found one of Hubby’s Toy Trucks...
Vintage, for sure!

I brought out a couple of my favorite Santa Creations...

There’s still a little time to browse my Etsy Shop to purchase one
for your favorite Santa Collector.

Shipping deadlines are only a couple of days away,
And local friends, you can stop by any time up until December 24th.

A Holiday Garland is an easy way to
spruce up your table.

It doesn’t take many decorations
to help boost your Holiday Spirits...

The glow of Christmas lights
will warm your heart and bring
some Holiday Cheer to your Season.

Take care,
~Natalie

Friday, November 27, 2020

Thanksgiving Memories ~A Decade of Photos ~ Thanksgiving 2020, Celebrated during a Pandemic

Thanksgiving 2009
I cherish the memories of holidays spent with family and friends.
Our after dinner routine is usually the Geffre Girls
washing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen...

...while the older generation relaxes with
pumpkin pie and a second cup of coffee.
This is the last Thanksgiving that my mother
traveled to spend the holiday in our home.

Thanksgiving 2010
Another tradition, with our Daughters home from college,
we’d get up early and head out for Black Friday Shopping.

Our guys would enjoy a couple extra hours of sleep...

And then meet us out for lunch and beverages.

Thanksgiving 2011
We celebrated the holiday with Emily in her apartment.
She worked in Fargo at the Sanford Cardiac Rehab Center
and was on the schedule for Friday.
We helped her make her first Turkey and all the sides.

Amy was working as a PA at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN
and made the long drive to join us for the weekend.
She was in charge of bringing the wine!

Thanksgiving 2012
Nellie, our foreign exchange daughter from Denmark was living with us,
and enjoyed her first American Thanksgiving experience...
Complete with helping with the meal preparation.
She was in charge of cooking the cranberry sauce.

Hubby’s mother lives in town and is always at our table,
along with her sister Aunt Olivia.

Thanksgiving 2013
I do have a favorite Thanksgiving tablecloth and it appears
I have a favorite green sweater to wear for the holiday.

We often wait until after dishes to have our pie,
as we are too full after the main meal.

Thanksgiving 2014
Notice the same tablecloth and
I am wearing my Thanksgiving Green Sweater.

Thanksgiving 2015
This year we enjoyed these special guests at our table.
Scott’s cousin Warren and Aunt Darlene traveled to join us.
She had been battling cancer, but felt pretty good
when she woke up that morning, so they made the trip.
She was Scott and Amy’s Godmother, and such wonderful lady.

Thanksgiving 2016
Students remember it was a tradition to prepare a Turkey Dinner,
including all the sides, in my Foods classes.
The last year, I had three sections of that class every day...
yes, that means that we made 6 huge turkeys,
and enough mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, cranberries,
and desserts for about 90 students.
Some students brought their own box of
stuffing for their lab group.

Carving the Turkey is a position of honor and is usually granted
to the oldest gentleman in the family.
This year, that honor went to our
Head Debate Coach Konda, School Resource Officer Carlson,

Social Studies Teacher Hansen, and Head Principal Uttermark.

Students set their tables and when it was time to serve,
we would listen to a message about the importance of the holiday
and stepping up to carry on their family’s traditions.

It was always a lot of work, but one of my favorite days.

Thanksgiving 2017
My first year of retirement...and I was so lucky to
travel to the East Coast and spend the Holiday
with our daughter and son in law in their home.
They did all the meal preparations, and it was simply fabulous.

Thanksgiving 2018
This must have been an uneventful year, as I could not find any photos,
except for this one that I took the next morning.
Looks like the same tablecloth and I probably wore the same sweater?!

Thanksgiving 2019
Another special day. Along with our family,
we have often hosted friends that have had to
change their plans due to inclement weather.
Last year, a winter storm prevented our good friends
to travel to be with their families.
We certainly enjoyed having them at our table.

Thanksgiving 2020
We paid close attention to Health Care Experts and CDC Guidelines...
all of us celebrating in our own homes.

Hubby picked up his mother so she wasn’t alone for the holiday.

Amy and her Hubby prepared this lovely meal
for their little family.

Emily and her Hubby prepared this tasty meal
for the two of them.

A highlight of my day was
to be able to chat with them on FaceTime.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday,
as it is spent with Family and Friends,
Filled with Gratitude,
and Enjoying lots of Good Food.

Stay Warm, Safe and Well, Everyone.

Take care,
~Natalie

This is How You Party When You Turn 95

Great Grandma celebrated all weekend. Her Assisted Living Facility hosted a lovely party for her. Hubby and his sister are there by her side...