Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekend Recap + Favorite Holiday Recipes

This weekend started on a somber note, with the news of my parents' long-time neighbors passing away.  One had dementia and had been sick for some time, while the other had a heart attack and passed away during the surgery.  My parents have been in their current home since I was one, so I grew up with these neighbors basically my whole life.  They had this massive yard, where they let me practice my gymnastics routines, and basically just run around as a kid.  I remember sitting on their porch, snapping peas, and occasionally playing with their granddaughters, who were my age.  Both huge Cubs fans, the trim on their house was painted Cub blue, with a flag always proudly flying.  It's so sad to see them go, but at least now they can be together as they once were.  My hope is that a sweet family will move into the house, and my parents can in turn be the neighbors to them, that this couple was to us.

There is no real "good" transition from that, so I am just going to go right into to the weekend.

Friday night was movie night - we went to see Office Christmas Party.  A comedy was just what was needed.  I didn't really have any expectations going forward, but it was really good!  Some parts were a little too much, like they didn't really need to go that far, but overall it was good.

I had brunch plans Saturday morning, which was super fun.  We headed to The Shack, which is a place I had been to a few times before and doesn't disappoint.  It was a blast - the food was good and the company was even better.  The original plan was to meet up and make sure we kind of got on the same page, since we are the co-chairs for Provident's Young Professionals Board.  I think we maybe squeezed in a minute or two of "business" during our brunch, which ended up being a lot more of just good conversation.  To make things even more fun, there were a bunch of ladies handing out free fresh flowers throughout the restaurant!  I headed to the library afterwards, where I stocked up on some more Christmas books.  The rest of the day was spent making a dent in them, while enjoying the glow of the Christmas lights and Hallmark on in the background.




Sunday was a bit of a lazy day, with more reading and gingerbread house building!  

  
Moving onto the "Most Wonderful Time of Year" link up.  The topic today is Favorite Holiday Recipes.  My family has a few special recipes that are specific to the holidays.  My very favorite has to be monkey bread for breakfast on Christmas morning.  It's pretty much the only time we have monkey bread, which makes it even sweeter.  We eat breakfast at home, then head to my grandma's for Christmas dinner.



At my grandma's we usually open presents, then have some snacks while dinner is cooking.  One of my favorites, is my mom's cheese ball.  I realized while putting together this post that I haven't shared the recipe for that, so definitely be on the look out for it later this month.  

Our Christmas dinner is very similar to our Thanksgiving meal with broccoli, cheese and rice casserole, and another staple, dumplings.  My family is Bohemian, so dumplings (and sauerkraut) always are on the menu.  



Dessert always means cookies on Christmas.  My aunt makes a ridiculous assortment of cookies each year, and everything is just delicious.  My favorites vary between snowball surprise cookies and then the traditional spritz cookies, trees and candy canes, with green and red sprinkles, although they are all amazing.  To make things even better, she sends a plate of cookies home with us to enjoy after Christmas is over.



My dad's family is huge, so the day varies when we can get together, but one thing that always remains the same, is my aunt's fudge.  My grandpa taught her how to make it, and it is a favorite of everyone in the family!

Now I am looking forward to Christmas even more - I can't wait for all the yummy goodies and family time!  

Linking up with Biana, Sarah and Victoria.

23 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear about your neighbors! On a lighter note, that monkey bread looks delicious and I love your gingerbread house!

    By Lauren M

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  2. I am so sorry about your neighbors! I can't believe you lost both of them the same weekend. I know your parents will miss them! Other than that sounds like a fun weekend. I've been watching hallmark whenever I get a minute. My husband hates it hahaa. I love making monkey bread for Christmas too. One year I forgot to leave room for it to rise and stuffed the pan with too man of the frozen rolls and in the morning it had exploded! We all got a big tickle out of it!

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  3. I love that you got flowers given to you...so sweet and unexpected! And your picture of monkey bread has me thinking I need to try making some. My family has never had it and I remember the first time I ever ate it....at a Christmas party in high school...and I thought it was the best thing in the entire world haha!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

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  4. I'm so sorry for the loss of your neighbors.
    All the food you had this weekend looked amazing, especially from brunch!! I've never heard of snowball surprise cookies but they look delicious! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  5. Hey girl! That casserole looks amazing and I'm going to need to put that on our dinner menu asap! I think it is so sweet that your Aunt makes cookie trays for all you, I would love to do that for my family too!

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  6. I am so sorry to hear about your neighbors! Did they pass around the same time? So so sad, especially around this time of year.

    Aside from that, your weekend sounds really nice - we have building a gingerbread house on our things to do this week, my kids can't wait! And that pic of the rice dish has me drooling at 7am, still want to make that. And those snowball surprise cookies are my fave!!

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  7. So sorry to hear about your families neighbors. My mom still lives in the house we moved to when I was 5 and all the neighbors are still the same so I can definitely relate. All your food looks so yummy. I laugh about you being "bohemian" because down here we are often asked if we are but instead my husband's family is actually Czech...and evidently there must be some little rivalry between the two cultures because they are a bit touchy if referred to as bohemian. Haha When I was growing up my daddy always referred to us as little honyocks which is a bohemian reference.

    Shelly|The Queen in Between

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  8. I'm so sorry about your parent's neighbors. It's always sad when someone who has been a constant in our life isn't there anymore.

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  9. I totally clicked this most in the my BlogLovin feed immediately after seeing that burrito!! haha I'm such a foodie. ;) ;) Your monkey bread looks much prettier than mine usually does. At least one piece always likes to stick to my bundt pan. Also - definitely a bummer about your neighbors. I can imagine the heartache that you might feel after growing up next to them your whole life.

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  10. So sorry to hear about your neighbors! I hope that whoever moves into the house is as wonderful as they were. On a happier note, your brunch and that monkey bread look amazing! And your Sunday sounds perfect! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  11. my heart goes out to you and your parents in losing their sweet neighbors. Brunch and monkey bread; well that just makes me smile!!

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  12. Oh girl, I'm so sorry to hear about your parents' neighbors. That's how it is in my parents' neighborhood too--all families that I grew up with. Hoping you and the family find peace.
    All of these food pics have me drooling!! Our neighbor made us those snowball cookies (I've also seem them called Butterball cookies too I think) and they were SO. Damn. Good!! Yum to all of this and monkey bread too!

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  13. I'm sorry to hear about your neighbors but it sounds like you were still able to have an enjoyable weekend. Your brunch sounds like it was a great time. I've never attempted making monkey bread but now I'm thinking I might need to try it. Have a great day, girl! <3 Beautifully Candid

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  14. So sorry to hear of your old neighbors' passing. It's great to have those great memories to cling to! I'm really in the mood for that broccoli casserole now!

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  15. Your brunch looks DELISH and how pretty are those flowers! I'm so sorry to hear about your parents neighbors, sending lots of hugs and prayers your way <3
    Green Fashionista

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  16. I'm so sorry to hear about your neighbors, Emily. They sounded like wonderful people.

    I'm glad to hear that Office Christmas Party was funny. My brother told me the same thing! I'm hoping that Brian and I can sneak away to see it sometime in the next couple of weeks!

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  17. I'm so sorry to hear about your parent's neighbors. My parents have lived in their house my whole life, so I know what you mean that you really do grow up with their neighbors. It sounds like you still managed to enjoy your weekend though, and of course, nothing beats good food, good conversation and brunch!

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  18. Sorry to hear about the loss. I know you will keep in memories of all the great time
    Chelsea @ http://thewilliamsjourney1.blogspot.com

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  19. I am so sorry about your parents neighbors. That is very sad. But I do love those cookies you posted at the end and I LOVE monkey bread. I have wanted to see Office Christmas Party but was worried it was too raunchy, so I am glad I can go watch it now.

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  20. I'm so sorry to hear about your parent's neighbors. Such a tough time I'm sure with the holidays around the corner.

    On a lighter note, that monkey bread looks delicious!

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  21. So sorry for your loss girl, that's sweet that they are now together and hopefully your parents take on their role when another family moves in. I want to see Office Christmas Party, but am hearing mixed reviews...looks funny though! Also all that food, gimme gimme...plate of cookies and fudge, yes please!

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  22. I'm so sorry to hear about your parents neighbors-- it sounds like you have so many wonderful memories with them <3 The tulips are so pretty, and it's my dream to make a gingerbread house one year- though I fear I would eat all of the candy, haha. And now I'm majorly craving monkeybread!

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  23. I'm so sorry about your parent's neighbors! Like you said though, they can be together now, restored. I know neighbors can sometimes be closer than family.
    That monkey bread looks fantastic, and so does that broccoli rice casserole. It's December...everything looks good! Carbs don't count until January, right? :)

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