Stealing the Family Christmas Tree

What!? Stealing a Christmas tree??? More on that in a minute…

First, I hope everyone’s Friday is truckin’ along nicely.

Fridays seem to draaaag or fly by for me. Today is a fly by kinda day, though I hesitate to say this because time will now inevitably stop. ūüėČ

How’s your Friday going? Fast or s-l–o-w?

Lunchtime came quick and I was really looking forward to my leftover pasta dish.

Lots O' Parm

I omitted the goat cheese (mainly because I forgot to add it in before I left my apartment), so my noodle bowl included:

  • Carba Nada roasted garlic fettuccine noodles
  • Tomato basil marinara
  • Sauteed spinach
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Parmesan cheese

Isn’t is crazy how a truckload of fresh spinach yields a teeny-weenie amount of cooked spinach? It’s like magic. I even made Ryan watch the spinach cooking process and he was amazed (or did a good job humoring me and pretending to be amazed, which is probably more likely).

This lunch was good! I love eating foods I typically eat for dinner for lunch. It feels so indulgent. I also love breakfast for dinner. I crave sweet stuff in the morning, so salty eggs and buttery toast sound much better later in the day.

Tonight I will be cooking dinner for the whole fam. My mom has an appointment so she will not be home to cook dinner and I jumped at the opportunity to play chef! I’m not sure what’s on the menu but I gave her these ideas and told her to pick one:

Which one would you pick?

Roasted Chicken

I’m leaning toward the chicken, but I’m not sure if time constraints will permit that selection since we may be getting our family Christmas tree tonight! Woop, woop!

Christmas Tree

Stealing Our Christmas Tree

Going out to purchase our family Christmas tree is always a fun event because the entire time we hound my mom, asking if she’s going to steal a tree again this year.

Again you may be thinking… yes, again. A few years ago we went to Publix (a grocery store in the southeast) to pick up a tree. While my dad was talking with the tree guys, my mom, sister and I ran into the store to pick up some things for dinner.

When we came out my dad had the tree all loaded up, so we hopped in the van and headed home. Naturally we assumed my dad paid for the tree. Well apparently you’re supposed to pay inside, so imagine my mom’s surprise when my dad asked her how much the tree was.

“What!?” my mom said.¬† “You didn’t pay for it? I thought you paid for it before you loaded it on the car!”

Every Christmas since then we’ve berated my mom about stealing our family Christmas tree – the symbol of giving, caring, Jesus and generosity that sits in our living room.

(Note: My mom ended up going back to Publix and making a donation to ease her guilty conscious. She’s a good woman..)

Meatloaf Monday

I think we all get random cravings for certain meals sometimes. Yesterday Ryan had a hankerin’ for meatloaf, so that made tonight’s dinner decision an easy one.

I turned to Cooking Light, my favorite recipe resource, for a yummy yet healthy meatloaf recipe.

We started with lean ground beef, bread crumbs, chopped onion, BBQ sauce, spices and egg whites and mixed everything together before placing it in a loaf pan and letting it cook for an hour at 350 degrees.

Raw Meatloaf Mixture

While the meatloaf was cooking, we took Sadie on a¬†quick¬†30 minute walk. She’s loving the cool Florida weather and was quite the energetic puppers.

"Walk Me!"

Helloooo

When we arrived home from our walk the apartment smelled fantastic! The meatloaf was ready for eatin’.

Meatloaf

I fixed myself a plate and included lots of green veggies to make up for the several days I severely neglected their existence.

My Dinner Plate

Tree Time

After dinner it was tree decorating time! Since tomorrow is officially December 1, I needed to have our tree up for the kickoff of Christmas month.

Ryan got the tree out of storage while I set up festive holiday music and did the dishes with Sadie’s help.

Dish Licker

Our tree is pretty teeny since our apartment isn’t too big, so it was up in a flash.

Our Little Tree

Last year Ryan and I were nervous to leave Sadie alone with our sparkly little tree, but she made it through the season without breaking any ornaments (though you may be able to see the blinds she attacked when she was a puppy last year in the above picture… grrrr).

I hope we have a successful repeat of no broken ornaments this year. I may have to bribe her to steer clear of all the holiday decor with some Snausages.

BBQ Meatloaf Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2¬† pounds¬† ground beef, extra lean (raw)
  • 1/2¬† cup¬† dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2¬† cup¬† chopped onion
  • 1/3¬† cup¬† barbecue sauce, divided
  • 1¬† tablespoon¬† prepared mustard
  • 1 1/2¬† teaspoons¬† chili powder
  • 1¬† teaspoon¬† garlic powder
  • 1/2¬† teaspoon¬† salt
  • 1/2¬† teaspoon¬† freshly ground black pepper
  • 2¬† large egg whites
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350¬į.

Combine the beef, breadcrumbs, and onion, 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce, and remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.

Shape meat mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf or a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Spread remaining barbecue sauce over top of meat loaf. Bake at 350¬į for 1 hour or until a thermometer registers 160¬į. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut loaf into 12 slices.

Nutritional Information:

(Recipe yields 12 slices, two slices per serving)

Calories: 203 (24% from fat)
Fat: 5.4g (sat 2.2g,mono 2.2g,poly 0.5g)
Protein: 27.3g
Carbohydrate: 10.5g
Fiber: 1.1g
Cholesterol: 61mg
Iron: 3.2mg
Sodium: 517mg
Calcium: 26mg

Don’t Forget

Tonight is your last chance to enter the Pumpkorn giveaway. The winners will be selected bright and early tomorrow morning. ūüôā