Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tree's, Decorations and Sloppy Joes

Hello Friends!

Well, Sunday and Monday was a very productive day for Mr. Christmas (aka. Dave).  We woke up way too early for my husband ... and was on the road by 7:45am with My Awesome Niece (aka Julia) and friends of ours to go cut down our Christmas tree! 

We drive out to Lewin Farms in the Wading River/Calverton area to hop on the tractor and haul us out to the massive fields of endless Christmas Trees ... Dave gets positively giddy once in that field!  This is a tradition we started 4 or 5 years ago - and we really do enjoy it...so it makes getting up at the crack of dawn much easier! 

I didn't take much pictures...only one, actually of my Jul next to the tree she picked out for her family (who was at the Bud Man's hockey game)...  They required something Julia's height - and not too big, as space is a bit limited while they clean up after hurricane damage.   This is what Julia got:

Quite perfect I think...It was nicely layered that Julia commented on how it looked like a tiered cake (girl after my own heart to relate a tree to food!)...but her funniest comment was "it won't be as easy to hide the pickle".... a family tradition started years ago with a gift to Elena at her bridal shower...Now the whole family does it (wikipedia describes it here Christmas Pickle)!

I wish I had taken more pictures, as it was comical to see Dave loading up and securing three Christmas Trees on top of the truck...(ours, our friends and one for their family)... and then stuff Julia's tree in the car beside her! Funnier still would have been pictures of me - completely freaking out as apparently Julia's tree housed a few spiders that wanted to crawl across the ceiling of the truck and a Lady Bug or two... Now I don't mind a Lady Bug, but anything with more than four legs completely freaks me out.  I spent most of the ride home hunched down to avoid the attack of the thousand spiders that I was sure that was going to happen. Dave worries about the zombie apocalypse - I worry about the spider one.

Once Home - Dave rigged up the lights while we watched the Jets game...Finally a win, after they pull Sanchez - it was a happy day in the Taylor house!  But exhausted we were, so the decorating waited for Monday.

After a full day of work for me - and Dave moving furniture and preparing the ornaments for the tree - I was evil and made him wait to decorate the tree until after dinner.

Dave found a recipe for Turkey Sloppy Joe's...I added a bit to it and away we went!  I didn't take pictures - but will post my version of the recipe for you... it was delicious (though we both thought...once it sat and came to room temperature - the flavors did meld really well and it was even better!).  

So - here we go:

In a heavy large pot (over medium heat) put in 3 tablespoons of oil to heat up.

Then add:
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste (and I usually add a bit more pepper than most)
*Note: while I didn't this time - next time I will add one small jalepeneo, minced... Up to you if you want to keep the ribs and seed in or not!

Sauté until turkey is no longer pink, breaking up meat - about 10-15 minutes.

Then add 3 tablespoons chili powder and 1 tablespoon of cumin.  Mix in for about 1-2 minutes and then add:

1 1/4 cups ale or beer
3/4 cup bottled chili sauce (or ketchup if you don't have chili sauce)
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture thickens, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add in 1 cup of finely chopped green onions and mix...taste at this point to see if you need more salt or pepper.

We served it on potato sandwich rolls...Dave had it sandwich style and I did it open face...and of course, I had to add some shredded sharp cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a few slices of avocado to mine.  Really delicious - I'm having it for Lunch today...and Dave even thought about having it for breakfast with some eggs....That is how good it was!!

Then Tree Time... put up most of our old ornaments - and all of our new ones.  We just left off a few of the balls as we were running out of room - and a few of the "family" ornaments my mom has given us through the years - as I have a special plan for them!

And this year - Dave won the "star" vs. "angle" battle - but only because I found a star that I absolutely LOVED!  I've always had a angel on the tree...and the one we've used for the last six years was so pretty...but we were in The Christmas Tree Store in Elmira New York this summer and found a gorgeous star...so here is the TAYLOR TREE for 2012!

Now its time to start thinking about what I'm going to be making for the Christmas celebrations! 

I'll do a bit of my biscotti (as that's about the only cookie I bake)... and have to plan the Dec 22 dinner I'm planning for my family as my sister and brother in law will be up from NC to collect their daughter who's slummin with us Dulik's/Taylor's for a few weeks... and there are a few recipe appetizers that I want to share (old and new)...so December will be a Post filled month! 

OH, and dinner with some good friends at a Favorite place that I have yet to review...so look for that about the 17th or so!

Until Next Time...