Christmas 2008

by Cate on December 26, 2008

WreathI cannot believe that Christmas was only yesterday.  For some reason, it seems like so long ago.  It’s like planning a wedding … so much work and build-up, and it’s over in the blink of an eye.

On Christmas Eve, we did our usual Italian Feast of Seven Fishes.  I don’t know if it’s because I was sick last week (and suspect that’s why), but I was really unmotivated planning this year’s menu.  So much so that I actually didn’t plan it until the night before.  I think the Christmas Flu just really zapped my energy and for a brief period, I actually considered calling the local Chinese restaurant to see if they could come up with seven different fishes for a take-out dinner (and still don’t think that’s such a bad idea to keep in mind for future years).

I stuck entirely with tried-and-trues this year…

Shrimp Cocktail
Smoked Salmon Dip
Spumo di Tonno
Scallop Casserole
Linguini with a Steamers and Mussels Marinara Sauce

There is a local Italian restaurant that The Husband and I went to recently.  We ordered their Steamers appetizer that came with this amazing Marinara sauce.  I was trying to duplicate it (seriously, it was lick-the-bowl good), and this was my first attempt at it, but definitely didn’t come close.  I asked about it at the restaurant, and he said that it’s a basic Marinara sauce, but thinks that the juice from the clams going into the sauce is what makes it so good.  He said all the customers rave about it, and after having it, I could totally see why.  Anyone happen to have a good recipe for something like that?

This was Madeline’s first Christmas, and it was fun to see her figure out what to make of the whole event.  Nicholas picked out an Elmo Telephone Activity Center that she loved, and his favorite gift here was this awesome globe that I got from LeapFrog (if you’re thinking about getting this for someone, keep an eye out for sales.  Now it’s nearly $80, but I paid under $50 for it on Amazon last week).  He had asked for a globe for Christmas, and when I saw this one, it was an easy decision.  You can point to two different spots on the globe and it will tell you the distance between the countries. If you point to a single country, it will tell you the currency, the language and even play some of their native music.  There are even games on it.  His favorite gift from my parents house was a giant beanbag, something he has been wanting for a good two years now.  Besides serving as just your average chair, it has also provides a soft landing as Nicholas takes repeated running flying leaps into it.

Madeline has now had what my mom calls her “defining moment” at her house … we all watched as she licked their dog’s nose in slow motion.  Seems only natural since her brother‘s “defining moment” was licking my parents’ living room walls.  Now for Sophie to pick hers…

Madeline enjoying one of her favorite toys … a gift from her brother.  I didn’t go with him on this shopping trip, but The Husband said it took him forever to decide on what to get her.  Seems it was worth every minute.

Madeline's Favorite Present

Madeline is fascinated by my parents dog, Beauregard. At home, whenever she gets anywhere near Eli, he gets up and walks away. Beau, on the other hand, doesn’t move, and lets her get close enough to actually touch him. Either he doesn’t care or doesn’t know any better. Knowing Beau and his personality, he doesn’t care and is just too lazy to move.
Madeline and Beau


This picture just cracks me up because it is a perfect representation of my kids. What? You don’t see Nicholas? See that blur on the right side? That’s him darting back and forth handing out presents on Christmas morning. Little speed demon.
Nicholas' Blur

Hope your holidays were wonderful!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Nate December 27, 2008 at 3:43 am

I think a good marinara sauce requires good tomatoes. Hard to find fresh tomatoes here in the Northern Hemisphere this time of year, but canned Roma tomatoes from Italy are pretty good.

Nates last blog post..Merry Christmas from House of Annie


Sara December 27, 2008 at 11:48 am

Very cute pics – glad you had a merry xmas!

Saras last blog post..Sugared cranberries


Mrs Ergül December 27, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Nicholas is so lovely, as always ! Happy holidays to you and your family, Cate!

Mrs Ergüls last blog post..Napa Cabbage with Dried Shrimps


Patsy Kreitman December 27, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Looks like a wonderful holiday! Now, enjoy some down-time!

Patsy Kreitmans last blog post..Peppermint Bark


claire December 28, 2008 at 1:34 am

What a fun time you had! Glad you got to feeling better, even if it did delay your planning! Maybe nicholas should go out for track!


Suzi December 28, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Happy Holidays.

In ONE word…MUIR GLEN organic tomaots..whole w/ basil.

Saute a minced shallot or two till soft..add a few minced cloves garlic..a can of Muir Glen that you have quickly proccessed till pepper flakes..1/4 cup of white wine…simmer 10 min..either add clams.or 1/2 cup clam juiceand can clams..warm..done!oh..fresh parsley at end is a must! Pass the bread please!


The Newlywed Neighbor December 28, 2008 at 6:25 pm

So, I’m finally sitting down – for the first time since December 23rd – and I thought I would lurk over to Sweetnicks and see how your Christmas was! Looks like you guys had a fantastic one. Can you tell me the name of the local restaurant with the awesome marinara? S and I are always looking for good, local places to order in from (or even sit at on the rare occasion!).

See you on the 4th!!!


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