Tag Archives: holiday

A Merry Christmas Basket and Meal Plan!

This year’s Christmas basket included Granny Smith Apples, Sweet Potatoes and Yukon Golds, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Oranges, Green Beans, Pomegranate, Butternut Squash, and Sweet Onions.

And here’s this week’s Meal Plan (using PepperPlate once again):

The first recipe that came to my mind when I walked in the house yesterday and saw these beautiful Granny Smith Apples from my Milk and Honey Organics weekly produce basket was the Marcia Adams’ Granny Smith Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce! It’s a family favorite around the holidays and a quick dump cake that is delicious every time! The last time I made it, I used buttered ramekins, so each person got their very own apple cake and could put as much or as little caramel sauce atop as they liked. This cake would also make a beautiful homemade gift for neighbors or friends. If it doesn’t turn out exactly as beautiful as you would like, just drizzle some caramel sauce on top and pipe some whipped cream on it! (Yes, I confess, I have done that before.)

Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of The Chew episodes. It’s a fairly new morning talk show on ABC featuring four chefs and a fashion stylist. It’s pretty funny, most of the time, and has a lot of good recipes. Here are a few that I saw over the last few weeks that would be great to feature this week’s basket in:

(Other Recipes from the Meal Plan can be found in past Weekly Meal Plan posts).

What will likely happen in my house (and perhaps yours), is that you’ll plan your Christmas Dinner as your main meal for the week and then snack and attend parties and family gatherings for the rest of the week.

Leftovers will likely be a part of this week’s menu for all of us, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be every bit as delicious as the feast itself. Enjoy plenty of  beautiful, organic produce this week! Keep it light and healthful and enjoy the time with family and friends even more than you enjoy the food! I hope you have a blessed and peaceful holiday season, full of family, food, and festivities!

Merry Christmas from My Journey to Lean!

I Corinthians 13 Applied To Christmas

A beautiful application of the love of Christ and the distractions, preoccupations, and false philosophies we often struggle with during the holidays. May this season of Christmas be focused on its original purpose: the celebration of Christ.

“I Corinthians 13 – Christmas Version”

“If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love, I’m just another decorator.

“If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love, I’m just another cook.

“If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love, it profits me nothing.

“If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

“Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.

“Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

“Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

“Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

“Love never fails.

“Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.”

~Author Unknown

Holiday Pizza Pizzazz

Tonight’s pizza was an interesting combination of ingredients that turned out to be fabulous! It reminded me of Ina Garten’s Sausage Cranberry Stuffing for her Roasted Turkey Roulade.

I started with our homemade white wheat sourdough crust and prebaked that for 5 minutes at 425F. Then I drizzled the crust with some black raspberry vinaigrette (2 parts organic black raspberry jam, 1 part blueberry red wine vinegar, 1 part organic olive oil – whisk together over low heat until evenly combined).

For the toppings, I used cooked, crumbled sausage along with goat cheese,  caramelized onions, thinly sliced granny smith apples, chopped fresh mushrooms, chopped pecans, dried cranberries and fresh cilantro. Then I baked it for another 8-10 minutes at the same temperature, until the crust was golden and the cheese was just beginning to brown. Wow! I will definitely make this again! It was delicious! The crust was thin and crisp, the vinaigrette, cranberries and apples added a nice, sweet tang that paired beautifully with the creamy goat cheese and fresh nuttiness of the pecans. I think I’m craving another piece just writing this post!

What crazy toppings have you put on your pizza that gave it some pizzazz?!

Sweet Paul’s Thanksgiving…And His New Winter Magazine!

If you love beautiful photographs of delicious food, fun crafts and home decorating ideas that will make you smile, then check out Sweet Paul! They also have recipes to go along with the beautiful food pics and some DIY gift wrap inspiration! Enjoy!

Recently he’s been putting out digital magazines of his collections. Last year, he put out a Holiday edition that featured ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas! So, if it’s your turn to host this year’s Thanksgiving feast for your family, and you still don’t know what you’ll be serving, check out some of Sweet Paul’s ideas here. Here’s a glimpse:

And for the latest Winter edition of Sweet Paul's Magazine, check this out!

Doesn't French Toast Stars sound like a fabulous Christmas Morning breakfast?!

Check out the adorable tartan Scottie ornaments!

Don't forget to check out back issues of the magazine on the left nav bar when you're viewing any of the editions.

My favorite edition to date is the Special Kids edition from this past spring! This article is full of recipes for homemade organic baby food! So great! And the rest of the magazine has adorable crafts and kid-friendly recipes and party ideas!

I always look forward to the next edition of Sweet Paul Magazine! I hope you will too! Enjoy!