Great Christmas Recipes

by Jenni in

Every year for Christmas evening we go to my cousin's house. My cousin inherited Christmas from my Grandma a few years ago and it has been going great! Instead of everyone getting a gift for everyone else (which gets rather pricey with 20 people and handfuls of children) we do a round robin gift exchange. Everyone also brings a side or two to help with the cooking.

This year I will be making three dishes that range in appeal from the adults to the tiniest ones we will have there. I am super excited to make a new dish and really excited to be making a few staples in the hubs and my diet for everyone this year! Oh, and by the way, the Thanksgiving Brussels sprouts were a major hit! They were also so easy to prep the day before Thanksgiving and pop in the oven 15-minutes before we ate.

Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad

This is probably the easiest thing to make out of the lot. Add salad to bowl, add shaved Parmesan cheese, grill or pan cook shrimp, mix together with dressing before eating. Really, I think this side salad is up there with eggs on the list of easy things to cook. And no, it is not the healthiest option for a salad, but you can do a few things to keep it light.

My first recommendation would be to skip croutons- they are unneeded fat and calories and most people just push them to the side anyway. Second, go for a light Caesar vinaigrette instead of the usual, heavier option. This will make the salad a little less filling and also keep the flavors a bit less overpowering. Of course, you can always skip all those preservatives and make your own dressing instead!

Truffle Oil Mac n' Cheese

This idea came to me when I was super craving lobster mac n' cheese but no restaurant I wanted to go to had it on the menu. Seriously, I could live on lobster mac n' cheese, unfortunately, that would lead to massive joint pain from my new-found 400-pound frame, a massive reduction in friends because who wants to smell mac n' cheese all day, and constant pawing from cats for my lobster. It is my lobster cats, get use to it.

I digress. Lobster mac n' cheese is good, but pricey. Truffle oil mac n' cheese is slightly less pricey and oh-so good!!

Garlic Roasted Kale

This is my favorite way to make kale ever. It is so easy and so yummy, you just might want it every night as well! My best recommendation for this is to add the kale in intervals so you have different textures of leafy green. I also like to continue adding small amounts of seasoning, olive oil, and vinegar each time I add more kale. The fish also helps add some fats and flavor, but if you would prefer, chicken or nothing at all works just as well!

If you really want to mix it up (which I always like doing) add some spinach in as well! Just be sure to add the spinach towards the end since it cooks much faster than kale.

Christmas Brunch Pastry Ideas

by Jenni in

Do you make food for brunch on Christmas? It has become a bit of a tradition for me to make a Christmas brunch. Nothing fancy or big, just mimosas (maybe) and a yummy dish for the hubs and I. A sit-down-together breakfast never happens in our house, so why not have Christmas be the time when we are able to enjoy each others company and relax before family and friends start coming around!

This year's Christmas brunch is going to have similar themes to last year's, but add some sweets in as well. The hubs loves salmon and capers for breakfast, so I am thinking I will do some type of smoked salmon dish and something more sweet for me as well. Here are a few ideas I have found for great Christmas breakfast pastries!

Lemon Raspberry Tart

This is just too pretty to not be in the running for a Christmas brunch. Although, someone will need to help me figure out what crystallized ginger is.

Stuffed Caprese Bites

Ok, so these guys may not exactly be a pastry, but there is no reason all bready ooey gooey things need to be sweet. Some people even like salt over sugar. Besides, they just look so yummy!

Pumpkin Sweet Rolls

I bet that go your attention, right?! These look incredible and are, most likely, what sweet treat we will be eating come Christmas morning. The recipe is from Elle Penner, so a bit healthier than the usual.

Homemade Raspberry Danish

We may just be making this one this year because. Every year for Thanksgiving my Grandma gets a raspberry danish. I have not continued that tradition on Thanksgiving morning, but I am the only one who eats it! Eating this entire danish is surely much healthier than the grocery equivalent.

Yoga for the Holidays

by Jenni in

Hello friends! I am sorry for the confusion yesterday and the lack of an actual post. This weekend we were at my uncle's wedding in Miami and I came home on Sunday with a terrible bug. Thankfully, the hubs came home from his film shoot Monday night and promptly took me to the doctor Tuesday morning- you know, since being ill means I am automatically turned into a baby who is capable of doing nothing for herself. Now, I have been on antibiotics for for a day and already feeling better! But, that does mean yesterday was a haze of not caring about anything other than sleep, water, tissues, and food.

Today though, we have two fantastic yoga sequences that I did last week and absolutely loved. The first was completed after a short run and the second was done before bed after the wedding Saturday night. I absolutely loved the sequence before bed. It was the perfect way to finish off the day. After the wedding, my cousin, grandma, and I went back to the hotel and found ourselves tired but not tired enough to fall asleep. To help this, Alicia and I did the evening yoga sequence that was only about 20-minutes long but did the trick. Afterwards we were refreshed and ready for bed. Neither of us remember falling asleep, but we do not remember being awake for long. It was a very good night's rest.

Yoga for Core 30-Minutes

Yoga for Core 20-Minutes

The next morning neither of us wanted to get out of bed, so Alicia asked if there was a good online yoga sequence we could do while still in bed. I found this one by Tara Stiles. It is 4-minutes long and tricks you so good at the end. I would suggest not watching it ahead and doing it tomorrow morning. Tell me what you think of her trickiness!