At the Casa, it is still Christmas. While the Roman Rite church has returned to the green vestments of ordinary time following the Baptism of the Lord, the McCormicks are determined to eek out every last bit of Christmas joy by sticking to the old calendar, where Christmas ended at the Presentation of the Lord. We're rebels like that. Who doesn't like the sparkle of the Christmas lights in the wee hours of the night and morning, anyway?
Li'l G fully embraces this extended Christmas spirit by continuing to ask everyone what they would like for Christmas. (If we are honest, her liturgical sensibilities are not quite yet developed, since she also is holding tight to Advent by insisting we sing O Come, O Come Emmanuel at family prayer.) I keep telling her that we aren't going to get Christmas presents for quite some time yet, but she persists in her interrogation of any and all who cross her path. "Let me ask you a question...what do you want for Christmas?!?!"
While I enjoyed all the many gifts I received at Christmas, we all know a gal has her favorites. Before I begin to ponder the inquiries of Li'l G, here's a look back at my faves from this year's festivities, in no particular order.
1) There's No Place Like Home: That was the gist of the note my mom included with the ruby slippers. I think I might have mentioned them on the blog before since it was an unusual gesture from my mom. I do love the sparkle, though I'm now starting to find sequins around the house.
2) Mother & Child Cameo Ring: While it is a lot bigger than the rings I normally wear, I heart this. It doesn't make me feel a bit like Liberace! Someone also commented that they thought it kind of looked like a cameo of the Blessed Mother and Child Jesus. Now I love it even more.
3) Espresso Maker: This was actually a gift the Hubs received, but what he receiveth, I receiveth by way of espresso. We registered for and received an espresso maker for our wedding and have been using that. Lately it had started giving the Hubs some 'tude, so he started looking at replacements. Our new gem of the kitchen dispenses little drops of heaven in a cup. Even the plastic farm animals cannot stay away.
4) Mother's Ring: I had gotten two rings last Christmas for both the kids, but a stone fell out of each one within a few months - boo hoo! Luckily I had not chosen fine jewelry pieces so we weren't out our firstborn's college education. I saw this one while I was perusing stacking rings and loved the unique and understated design and mistakenly put it on my Christmas Wish List instead of my private "things that make me go oooooh" one. Rubies for my boy, opal for my girl. And if you want to go down the Divine Mercy route, you can do that too.
5) Calphalon Dutch Oven: My old pot had seen better days. When I finally couldn't get the crust off the bottom of the "non-stick" surface, I knew it was time to say goodbye. Enter new dutch oven. It is also bigger than my last one since we now have three more mouths to feed since the days of yore when I purchased the other pot. The recipe pictured simmering in said pot was a big hit too, though if you have an aversion to canned goods, it's not the recipe for you...
The Lazy Cook's Sausage, Kale & Bean Stew
Roughly 1 pound of Sweet Italian Sausage (I used mild, you can spice it up if you like)
2 - 14 oz cans of diced Italian seasoned tomatoes
1 - can of northern beans
1 - can of cannellini beans
1/2 bunch of kale, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a Dutch oven or other deep pot, brown the sausage. When sausage is 3/4 done, add cans of diced tomatoes and simmer on medium for 5 min. Add kale and beans and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until kale is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bread. (Fancy artisan bread if you have it or made it...or crescent rolls if that's what you've got. No judgment here!)
That's it for this edition of my Five Faves link up with Moxie Wife. Go on over to Hallie's to ooh and aah over all the favorite things!