Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas To All! (Be Sure To Check Out My Giveaway Below Before the Deadline!) Recipe for Spinach/Artichoke Dip

How cute is this?

DSCF0818 DSCF0819 DSCF0822

Me Want Cookies!

I told Kevin I want to start collecting cookie jars and here's the first one he picked out for me for Christmas!  How cute and fun!  If he gets me one or two more, I'll need a nice cabinet/hutch to put them in to display!

Back up to Christmas Eve.  We had Bob and Tes and Beka Woolery over for a simple dinner with Honeybaked ham, and lots of finger foods.  I made spinach/artichoke dip (love that stuff).  Made up a recipe for it and it turned out so good.  Here's how I made it:

Spinach/Artichoke Dip

7 oz. (or 8--1 pkg., I just had 7) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature

9 oz. bag fresh spinach

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup light sour cream

1/4 cup light mayo

3 cloves garlic, minced (I use a garlic press)

4 shakes of Tabasco (or to taste)

1 can artichoke hearts

1/4 cup Kraft 2% milk shredded mozzarella cheese and more for top

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated and more for top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Saute two cloves of garlic in the olive oil for about 30 seconds in a large skillet, add the whole bag of spinach and wilt it down for a few minutes.   Add the spinach and can of artichokes to the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse it four times to break up the spinach and artichokes.  Add the cream cheese, sour cream, mayo and one clove of garlic to the food processor and pulse again until ingredients are combined.  Add the mozzarella, parmesan and Tabasco and pulse briefly one or two times.  Add all the creamed mixture to the baking dish and spread evenly.  Sprinkle extra cheese on top.   Bake for 20-30 minutes until top is golden and cheese is bubbly.  Serve with crackers.


I love this stuff!

Anyway, we had dinner and dessert (see that on my next TWD) and cleaned up so we could make our gingerbread trains.  For the last 4 years or so, we have made it a tradition to do gingerbread houses on Christmas Eve.  I usually make the gingerbread (slaving away cutting enough pieces for 4-5 houses, small ones) and then I make about a quadruple batch of royal icing and each adult helps a kid.  Works great, but this year I found gingerbread train kits to assemble and decorate and despite the not-so-greatest icing it came with and a few challenges getting the engines to hold up and such, we had a great time with these and I loved that it was so much less work for me!

Bob and Kevin both helped Taylor with his train, Tes helped Parker and I helped Scott.  Thanks to Beka for keeping Sam entertained also!

Random pictures of the evening--


Somebody was snitching icing and had green teeth to prove it!  ; )





Yes, Taylor has a black eye.  We're not going to talk about his big brother's foot to the eye!





Sam was having a ball dancing with Beka to music on the piano (it's digital and plays lots of music).


Blurry, but SO CUTE and happy!


Taylor's train.


Parker's train.  His train was really having a hard time staying up, but with LOTS of green icing, we got it to stay.  The trains are solid today!


Scott's train.


Choo-choo!  All aboard!


And how was your Christmas?!  Ours has been nice and relaxing and fun.  (If I leave out the part about removing all the toys and games from their boxes where they are twisty wired in so good and tight that we're surprised the kids are playing with anything.)  The boys (Scott and Parker, especially) are so excited about the new Wii and Guitar Hero.  We really didn't want to get them this, they already have Game Cube and it drives me nuts with all the fighting and such, but what are ya supposed to do when that is the only thing on their wish list?  (Besides that, I think Kevin really wanted Guitar Hero!)

We have thought this whole year that Parker (only 7) no longer believes in you-know-who.  Because Scott has spoiled it for him and told the truth, but then out of the blue two days ago Parker was talking like he DOES believe.  I have been telling them when they ask often about the truth that if they don't think "he's" real, then he won't come.  So on the 23rd (two days ago!) Parker wrote this cute letter to Santa.


Out of nowhere.  He's never even really mentioned wanting a dog before.  I explained to him that he cannot ask Santa for something at the last minute like that.  Kevin does not like dogs, at all.  I have tried to explain to him that someday we just might have to get the boys a dog.  Cute, little ones are okay with me, but I know they are a lot of work, and I'd rather wait until Sam is a little older.  So Parker decided to stick with his desire for Wii.

Kevin and I worked hard Christmas Eve, not going to bed until 12:30 a.m. (Gotta stop saving ALL present wrapping until the night before!)  Sam woke up at 5:30 and I could not get back to sleep after that.  Our friends, Bob and Tes, were coming over at 7 a.m. as they always like watching the kids open their presents.  We woke up the boys at 7:00 and had them all wait and take turns entering the "Christmas" room (our dining room with no dining table, but a piano and the tree).  Taylor was SO excited to see a big box with the Playmobil Pirate Ship for him and Scott and Parker nearly fell into the tree running to the Wii and Guitar Hero sitting in front of everything.  It took Sam a minute to figure out what was going on, but he was instantly drawn to the toy workbench he'd gotten (I knew he'd like it, he was with me when he helped pick it out!--love it when they're clueless!)  He ran over to the bench and was all over it.   After all the mass confusion, we passed out all the presents and opened them one by one, youngest to oldest.  Some of the orderliness did not sit well with Sam, but we got through it.  Because the Wii and Guitar Hero cost so much, the boys didn't really get much else.  I'd bought a bunch of board games and such and they each opened about three other gifts.

Great quote of the day, by Parker while they were right in the excitement of seeing that Santa had brought them Wii and Guitar Hero,  "So Scott, do you believe in Santa now?!!"

I'm just going to post more random pictures now.


Didn't get a very good picture of the tree as the only lights on before everyone got up were the tree lights.  Love the ornament bareness at the bottom of the tree, of course, Sam wouldn't leave stuff alone over these last few weeks and would often bring me a broken ornament!  I also usually put red bows on the tree, but didn't this year.




I literally woke Sam up, carried him out and he was quite groggy, but he instantly saw his toy and got over to it as fast as he could.

I didn't get a good picture of the boys rejoicing over the Wii.


Santa brought Sam a work bench and a power saw with lots of tools, he seems to love them.  Bob and Tes also got him a cool kid's measuring tape.



Bob and Tes gave Parker this really cool ATM machine bank that is programmed so only Parker can get in it and has a credit card for it and can really put his money in it to save money.  (May be safer than a real bank!)



A cool Jayhawk clock for Kevin's office from Bob and Tes.  Thanks B & T for all the gifts!



Love this next one!  Taylor was opening it.


Got it!




Sam got tired of going one by one and waiting his turn and just started opening his new Sit and Spin.




Taylor loves this kind of imaginative play type of stuff.  It's a pet carrying case with a little dog in it and all kinds of vet doctor tools. 


Kevin loves the game RISK, this kind of game bores me to tears, but Scott also likes this kind of game.  They already played one game of it today, it took about two hours......zzzzz................


Let's not get too close up on this one!  Thanks for the great frog cookie jar, Kev!  (And for the new laptop you bought me a few weeks ago for my early Christmas present!)




Measuring things.




T & T sticker bookin' it.


Putting together the @&%$#% Playmobil pirate ship.  It says on the box that assembly should take about 1 1/2 hours, I think it took about 3!  I didn't take a picture of it all put together, but it IS pretty cool.  Taylor loves it.


I'll have to try to get some pictures of Scott and Parker playing Guitar Hero and Wii.  I never made it downstairs with the camera to do so.  Kevin said later today that the Guitar Hero is really hard and that even Parker is really good and keeps doing better than him.  Not sure he'll stand for that for too long! ; )

Fat and sassy and happy.  Christmas was here and now it's gone.  Just need to remember to take a moment or two to reflect its true meaning, the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  On Christmas eve, we often "reinact" the nativity, but this year we watched a short video presentation of it.  Happy Birthday, Jesus and Thank You for all you did for us, we try to live by Your example!

Merry Christmas, All, and if you didn't see my last post, you have until Friday, Dec. 26, midnight to leave me a comment on my last post to enter to win my giveaway prizes, an awesome digital kitchen scale and some chopping mats!


Anonymous said...

What great photos! The kids looked so happy...i love your tradition of Christmas Eve trains, that's a great idea.

Glad it all went well.

Sonya said...

oooh I sm so envious of your frog cookie jar! I am a frog nut and have never seen a frog cookie jar before! I also collect cookie jars and cant wait to see the ones you purchase along the way!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your Christmas and excitement with us! Makes me misty-eyed as I think back to Christmas past when all you kids were growing up.

The trains were adorable! And your new collection is so cute (how fun that it was a frog for the first one!)

We love you...keep up the good work....MOM and DAD

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the chuckle about your boys and the Wii! My 3 boys got one too this year and are fighting over it right now, just like they did with their GameCube. It's a gift from their grandparents, so I'm blaming them! ;-P

alexandra's kitchen said...

so much fun! Looks like a great Christmas. I'm impressed by your gingerbread-from-scratch making!

Pamela said...

Great post, Katrina. Thanks for sharing your Christmas with us. I love all the pictures, but I really like the ones with Sam in his little pj's with the smiley face butt! So cute. Playmobil is great, but there are always so many tiny pieces! Ugh! long as it keeps them occupied, right?

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Christmas with so many kids in the house has to be so much fun! They look so happy with all the presents! Loved the cute trains and the cookie jar!

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

ABSOLUTELY A-DOR-A-BLE! Completely loved your pics and post. Thanks for sharing!

Amy Franklin said...

We did the Wii this year, too! I think it is going to be great, especially in the winter when the kids can't get outside. They have already spent a lot of time playing. Looks like you guys had a great Christmas--your boys are such cuties...I'm telling you--I've got 3 cute girls over here--they can meet up at BYU in a decade or so! :)

test it comm said...

Spinach and artichoke dips is one of my favorites and that looks good! It looks like a lot of family fun gong on in those photos.

Anonymous said...

Oh how lovely...all these photos, all this fun...what a great MOM you are! Thanks for sharing...loved it all.

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