Sunday, November 04, 2012

'Twas the Month Before Christmas

The Christmas spirit galloped full pelt into my head on Saturday. I have no idea where it came from. I have 5273 ideas running round in my head (all of which require significant effort on my part) and it's time to start pulling my finger out and getting some of them started. Because this year Christmas is here. At my house. All day. 

We're doing an "open house/roll up when you like" deal so I sort of have to keep the food flowing all day and into the evening. Oh who am I kidding? My sister is coming, so by 4.00pm the cocktails will be flowing like the Murray River and I won't care what people are eating.  Maccas is open Christmas day isn't it? Maybe I can just get a load of Happy Meals and blitz them in the microwave when people look hungry. Regardless of my brilliant Maccas plan I've been collecting ideas for Plan B over the past few weeks for yummy (easy) eats I can serve that wont entail me being chained in servitude to the kitchen all day. I think I finally have that part nailed, at least in theory. My "all day food" menu is written up and includes things I haven't cooked before so I've been using Mr. P as a guinea pig to try them out. He has a cast iron stomach thankfully.


Spinach and Persian Feta Tartlets . These looked and sounded better than they tasted. If I'm going to make these I need to find a way to zing them up a little. Personally I prefer to eat the feta right out of the can , guiltily standing in front of the fridge forking it into my mouth while hoping Mr. P doesn't walk in and bust me but my inner spidey sense tells me that's probably not the way to go with guests. 


Ham, Cheese and egg cups. A great breakfast idea to feed a lot of people but I really should have covered them with alfoil after 10 minutes of cooking like the recipe said so the rolls didn't get as hard as rocks. And I would have done that if I had any alfoil but we've been alfoil-less here now for a month.


Ginger Molasses Cookies. They taste like Christmas in every bite. Seriously. I'm thinking maybe I could dip one side in chocolate to make them even more delicious but they are the bomb. Definitely making these for Christmas day.

Last week I was in Spotlight (the Australian version of Joann or Hobby Lobby )  and I saw some Christmas napkin rings.  Since I have never owned napkin rings before because I have never owned actual napkins, I decided to get some for my Christmas table. I grabbed 4 packs and sauntered up to the counter to ask the price where I was duly informed that they were $17.00. Per pack ! I'm one wild and crazy girl but even I'm not insane enough to pay $68.00 bucks for 16 metal Made in China napkin rings that probably cost them 2 bucks to make. So I set out to make my own and saw an idea on Pinterest using old spoons and forks which I thought was quirky enough and cute enough for my Christmas table.


Take that Spotlight! It cost me $3.36 to buy the cutlery and an hour of my father in laws time and muscle to bend them into napkin ring shapes. I love that they're all slightly different and think they're going to look fabulous on my food laden table.


Speaking of my Christmas table, I'm planning to have a new one by then. The dogs like to take tap dancing lessons on our current outdoor table when we aren't at home, so I've been plotting how to foil their dance -fests. 



This table is about 14 years old. It's moved from my parents house to my house and has seen many meals and crafts and quilts being basted on it. Consequently  it's looking pretty trashed. My inspired idea for a replacement involves a bar height table with a twist that I am going to make myself. Stay tuned. Whenever I touch power tools (or knives) it's odds on that someone is going to get hurt.

It's nice to be starting Christmas projects. Let's see if I'm still saying that 6 weeks from now !

I'm off to see what you've all been up to since I haven't been anywhere this week except the Bloggers Quilt Festival posts.  




24 comments:

Marg said...

Is there an Alfoil shortage in SA?
Loving your Uri Geller inspired napkin rings.

Shontelle said...

I love that napkin ring idea Shay! They look wicked! I had to laugh at the image of you surreptitiously scoffing the fetta - my brother and I used to do that with cans of condensed milk - standing by the fridge sucking it straight out of the can and taking turns to look out for Mum and Dad. As you know Mum well, you know that if she'd caught us she'd probably have joined us for a swig!

Good luck with the Christmas fare!

Karen said...

Your cutlery napkin rings are also the bomb! I am hosting an event for 14 as Thanksgiving and need a new table too...doubt I would jump in and make it though. Can't wait to see :)

Shocking Hocking said...

love the napkin rings - i've got christmas at my house too - similar protocol as yours so i might nick that idea!!! btw - do a baked ham - in the oven for 1/2hr and when you add a bit of tinfoil (you must buy some soon!) on the skinny leg side and add some fake holly leaves and berries, it looks super festive and tastes fabulous - perfick for all day grazing

Susan Standen said...

Loving the napkin rings, and the phenomenal savings. For easy Christmas nibbles I make fake veggie samosas (fake because I use filo pastry), sausage rolls using ready rolled puff pastry and good quality sausages I squish out of their skins onto the pastry and smoked salmon dip which involves not a lot of smoked salmon, some cream cheese, cream, a squeeze of lemon and a grinding of black pepper. Whack it in a food processor and whiz it until smooth. The samosas and sausage rolls can be made in advance and stuck in the freezer. Cook right from frozen until golden brown and you are sorted.

Oh, and I have a block of feta for tonight's dinner but it is going in a Greek salad to be served with slow roasted lamb and lemon garlic potatoes. Yum!

Kate said...

Love the napkin rings, very innovative and creative.

I may have to do the baking this year as My Guy will be out of town until the day before Thanksgiving, not sure about Christmas yet. That's been a scary thought for all. Your holiday trials are looking great!

Terri said...

Everything sounds yummy!
Hugs

Rachaeldaisy said...

Christmas is scaring me.. Great to see you getting organised with those yummy treats. I wouldn't mind some of those feta tarts right now! I love the napkin rings!! They are so fun, better than anything at spotlight!
Looking forward to seeing your new table, when you decide to spruce up an area you always do an amazing job!!

Amanda said...

Those cookies look beautiful, you can send the recipe my way if you like. EEEEK I'm trying not to think about xmas yet.

Sue SA said...

Love love love the napkin rings...I have always wanted some but could only find either mega expensive or cheap and tacky versions!
My MIL makes the best mini quiche and they taste great cold too. So perhaps you could just add bacon seeing as how you love the feta OR if you want to keep vegie could add sundried tomato?
The ham n egg cups look awesome, very impressed. Going to try the cookies as I really like ginger.
Hmm dogs off the table..what a dilemma perhaps you could make bucks out of them with spy cam n you tube!? What dont they like...a rubber snake...nope thats birds...hmm citronella? Sorry no help, perhaps you could just lay it on its side when not in use?
Please be careful with sharp tools remember you need all your fingers for quilting!

Dianne Neale said...

Love the napkin rings. But we'd have to start using napkins!

Michelle Ridgway said...

Love the napkin rings...great upcycling. Your festive foodie treats sound great. I am sure you will make it a wonderful day.

Quiltn Mama said...

Yes, yes, yes dip the cookies in chocolate (and pardon my Meg Ryan When Harry Met Sally imitation)! Love the napkin rings, too.

Kristie said...

I am headlong into Christmas preparation mode as well, the crafty end anyhow. I host Christmas Eve every year and admit I don't even think about the menu until the 23rd. But in November I imagine I am going to give everyone a handmade something, and it is only around mid-December that I give up and buy gift cards. Am hoping this year I will conquer, though ;)

thea said...

Sounds like a lot of cooking and tasting will be going on at your house. yum. How many people are your expecting for the day? those cookies look amazing, can you share either the recipe or where you got the recipe? of course, I don't really need to eat any cookies.

I usually do a breakfast casserole on Christmas morning. That way we get something yummy to eat but I don't have to spend time in the kitchen.

Way to go with the napkin rings. They are really nice.

Cynthia L. said...

Let me start by saying that all of your food looks wonderful. I think I must have the recipe for the cookies. I have been looking at your curry recipe and trying to decided if I really am nervy enough to try it. I can still remember the vegemite tasting. I think I have post traumatic stress disorder from it!

I love the napkin rings! Where did you find the silverware? I think you should share the pin with us!

I am going to have a liquid diet this Chrismtas!

Brenda said...

Wow! I bought a couple of Christmas gifts this year, but that's it. I guess I'm still coat-tailing it on my MIL, she does lots of parties/holiday type family get togethers and I am basically really really lazy...

AnnieO said...

Feta comes in a can? Here it is in plastic bins or wrappers. The egg things look yum. Guessing alfoil is aluminum foil...the cookies are scrumptious appearing and my fave kind--truly irresistible in my house! Hope the power tool dance does not endanger any toes, furry or otherwise! No Christmas ideas here, still trying to figure out how many we're having for Thanksgiving dinner in a few weeks :)

nanci said...

I may find cutlery at goodwill and take it back to Canada for gifts, a great idea from the all time favourite idea site, Pinterest.
Here, with the election day of the US almost over, thank god, no more stupid commericals, it is balmy skies, warm seas, to the point that I actually went into the gulf up to my knees.
Christmas here is not as big as the Thanksgiving feast around the corners of America. It is their biggest holiday.
My mother said to never serve a new recipe to company...good that Mr P has a big stomach...your cookie recipe sounds like a winner. You don't have Costco do you...it has some amazing frozen appetizers, but I do usually make my own...

Katy Cameron said...

Just catching up now I'm home - the cookies sound great, but life is too short for me right now, especially for the 12 hour rest ones (WTF?!) Love the napkin rings though, WTG FIL!

Cindy said...

Look at you!! I am so impressed that you are getting things ready so far in advance. When I grow up, I want to me like you. :) You are seriously getting me movtivated to move my fanny. I bow to you!!

Kirsten's Cooking said...

I would have picked the persian feta tartlets as a winner! that's a total bummer.

Can't wait to see what happens with your table!

Everyone is going to be so impressed with those napkin holders - you kinda love pinterest, don't you?

Someone said they saw a picture on pinterest that said pinterest is only a ploy by some husbands to trick their wives into cooking, cleaning and organizing. funny, right? :)

Elizabeth said...

Too bad about the tartlets. They look really good. If you want, I have a recipe for a tartlet with ham and Swiss cheese that is really tasty.

Those napkin rings are awesome! What a great idea. I've seen garden markers out of old silverware; the name of the herb or plant or whatever is stamped (letter by letter, I imagine, with a hammer and marking tool) into the handle of the spoon/knife/fork and stuck in the dirt. The clever things people come up with.

And I can't wait to see your new table, although, the old one doesn't look too bad.

xo -E

Jindi's Cottage said...

$17! Get real Spotty!! Yours are way better, fabulous idea...