Sunday, October 17, 2010

Holiday Grand Plan Week 8 - Kitchen Week

It's a big week for the Holiday Grand Plan!  And guess what - if you are just now starting to think that this might not be such a crazy idea after all, the Christmas Countdown is about to begin for those who want a shorter, more focused plan. 

This week was easy and successful.  Like I said, my guest room got a big clean over the summer and we rarely have guests.  All it took was a cleaning to get it ready to go.  I'll put the flannel sheets on in a few weeks when it gets a little colder.

I also got two more meals in the freezer and made some delicious cookies.  The only thing I'm still pretty behind on is my shopping.  I can't quite get myself geared up for it yet.  The good news is that we don't shop for many people anymore.  The bad news is that all of those people are tough to shop for.  (Dad?  FIL?  Husband?)

Kitchen Week is a big focus.  You really need your kitchen to be as efficient as possible during the holiday cooking season.  You also want it to be not just surface clean, but inside the cabinets clean.  Pretty embarrassing when a considerate guest offers to help and opens your drawers or pantry and finds a mess! 

Keep up with the usual freezing, baking, shopping, and wrapping.

Last, this is the checkpoint week.  If a handmade gift is not going well and doesn't look like it's going to get done in time, start thinking about a backup option. 

Buy your pumpkin!

Meal of the Week - Sausage and Peppers

This week's meal isn't a freezer meal since, as I confessed last week, I'm out of ideas!  But this is one that you could make simply on a busy day with just a brief stop in the grocery store.  Or plan for a low-key Sunday in front of the football game. 
  • Mild Italian Sausage - I plan on about 2 per person
  • Bell Peppers - mostly green, but throw in some yellow or red if you want the color.  I plan on about 1 per person.  Core and cut into strips.
  • Sweet Onions - I plan on 1-2 per person.  Peel, cut in half and slice. 
  • Olive oil
You can grill or brown the sausage ahead of time but that is not required.  My family thinks it looks more appetizing with the grill marks, but not browning them first has never stopped them from eating it all.
Toss sausage, peppers, and onion in a roasting pan.  A disposable foil one is not green, but this is one of the times I use them.  Or line your pan with foil for easier cleanup.  Drizzle with olive oil, cover tightly with foil, and bake in the oven on 325 for an hour.  If you didn't pre-brown the sausage, remove the foil and cook another 30 minutes so they get a little brown.  You can also put this on the grill on medium-low for the same amount of time.  

Serve on hoagie rolls in front of the football game!

Has anyone ever tried this in the crock pot?  I think it would be great to come home to on a chilly night after practice or a game.

Holiday Treat of the Week - Pumpkin Scones

Just a link this week.  My walking buddy made these and said they were too good to pass up, and super easy.  They are on my list to try once I can get pumpkin again (stock up when you find it!).


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