It's been a week since my last blog entry and I have just one word to explain my absence: Christmas. I have spent the week hunting down presents for everyone on my list (and Santa's list), as well as for three December birthdays. When I wasn't shopping, I was wrapping presents, decorating trees and doing laundry. Needless to say, this house desperately needs a deep cleaning, but that's just going to have to wait until Monday because there's also a major construction project going on in what was previously called the office.
My husband is tearing down shelves and building a media center on one wall, complete with tons of storage for toys. For the last four years, our family room has been overrun with toys, but as soon as our youngest stops shoving everything in her mouth, all toys will be banished to the new playroom and my husband and I will get our family room back -- with many changes, including the addition of a coffee table.
Oh how I greatly digressed from the nightmare of a dirty house to the daydream of a family room with a table and no gates. The good news, though, is that I finally finished shopping, so I can get moving on all of the other holiday projects planned, most importantly the holiday cards!
I also spent the week putting up both Christmas trees. One of the trees is prelit which, by the way, is one of the best inventions to date, but sadly the other tree we own, which also happens to be the two-story tree is not prelit, so I spent a good many days detangling non-working lights, and restringing new working lights. I've employed a highly sophisticated tape system to help avoid this problem next year. If there's no tape on the end, throw out the string of lights and get new ones. Like I said, highly sophisticated.
Before I could do anything, Christmas music was a must.
Then the decorating began!
The tree just could not be complete without Hello Kitty!
After I had finished "my tree," I had to turn my attention to the other tree in the family room. Thank heavens, this tree is prelit and that in and of itself, made it a breeze (and complete joy) to put up.
This tree is totally traditional complete with homemade decorations, candy canes and bubble lights (I love those things!).
And Mickey Mouse is simply a requirement on this tree.
Phew! Now I just need to finish wrapping presents, so I can truly cross this off the list.
Since this week was so busy, I used the slow cooker a lot. Turkey drumsticks were on sale for $1.99 a pound, so I decided to make an old time favorite around this house -- Turkey Drumsticks, Veggies and Rice with Creamy Gravy.
Drumsticks are huge, so this makes a pretty big batch that fed us comfortably for two nights. The first night I topped it with the gravy made from the liquid left in the slow cooker, but since I didn't have any gravy for the second night, I just reheated it with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. This is really an amazing meal that skimps on money, but definitely not on taste.
Turkey Drumsticks, Veggies and Rice with Creamy Gravy
4 medium yukon gold potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks
4 medium to large carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 medium onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 turkey drumsticks
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons lite coconut milk
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch or corn starch
Place all of the veggies and garlic in the slow cooker. Season with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Add the broth. When I make chicken stock, I freeze some in ice cube trays and then store it in a freezer bags for instances where I don't need a full cup or 2.
Place the turkey legs on top and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and dried parsley.
Cover and cook on low for 5 1/2 hours. Remove from the slow cooker, shred the meat from the drumsticks and place in a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.
Meanwhile, strain the sauce into a small pan and bring to boil over medium heat. Add the arrowroot or corn starch, while whisking constantly until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the coconut milk for a little creaminess. Taste and salt appropriately.
Place some of the rice on a plate, top with veggies and some turkey and drizzle a bit of sauce over the entire dish.
Mmmm, mmmmm, seriously good! I honestly wish there was some left right now for lunch.
If you're wrapped up with holiday errands today, good luck! It's 10 degrees here, so we're just staying in, wrapping presents and cranking some holiday music!
Nutrition Information Per 1/4 Serving (Including Rice): Calories 483; Total Fat 12g; Total Carb 61g; Fiber 8g; Sugars 11g; Protein 37g
*Nutrition information has been calculated using an online recipe calculator tool.
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