Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Traditions-Christmas Through the Years

There is so much I love about this time of year.  What is there not to love.  The smells.  The lights.  The parties.  I could go on and on.  Some of my very favorite things are small traditions that I have started with my immediate family. 
One of the most sentimental traditions started the year Brandon and I got married...
our Christmas Through The Years book, which contains each year's Christmas card picture.
This is a very special book to me because it showcases the years, the memories and all of the changes we have gone through as a family.  I love looking through the book each and every year around the holidays.

 I look even more forward to adding another card to the book each year.  

Christmas 2006
The year Brandon and I married.  Our first Christmas as a married couple.  Our first Christmas in our first home. 

Christmas 2007
We survived year one of marriage!

Christmas 2008
The year Parker was born.  Parker's first Christmas.  Our first Christmas as a family of three.

Christmas 2009
Parker turned 1.  The Christmas that I understood why having a toddler during the Holidays can be such hard work.

Christmas 2010
The three of us with Nolan on the way!

Christmas 2011
Nolan was born.  Our first Christmas as a family of 4.

Christmas 2012
The Christmas with two "in to everything" children.

Christmas 2013
Our house went on the market.  The year we searched and searched for our new home...and didn't buy one until the next year!

Christmas 2014
Coming soon!

Do you have any special family traditions?  I'd love to hear about them!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tis the season...for soup

Soup season is upon us.

How about a yummy chicken noodle soup to warm you up...and maybe lighten you up too after all of your holiday feasting.

2 tablespoons butter
2 table spoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
4 celery stalks, small-diced
4 carrots, peeled and small-diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
2 quarts of chicken stock or broth
3 cups cooked chicken
2 cups egg noodle

The night before you plan to make the soup, boil a whole chicken.  Remove the chicken meat from the bone. Refrigerate meat and broth in two separate containers.  Once the broth from the boiled chicken cools (usually the next day), remove settled fat.
In a large pot over medium heat, heat the butter and oil.  Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and bay leaves.  Saute until the vegetables soften.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir often. 
In a separate pot boil the noodles. (I don't cook the noodles in the broth because I believe it makes it too starchy)
Add the stock/broth to the large pot containing the vegetables (I use the broth I get from boiling my chicken along with a couple large cans of store bought broth) and simmer about 10 minutes.  Add the noodles and serve!