Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Beginning to Look alot like Christmas

It's snowing like crazy here today and my living room is a mess of wrapping paper, boxes, tape, scissors and name tags. Ahh the joys of being "santa".

It's been a crazy week here in the Hays house. We got several small storms last week that kept me shoveling snow most days, we had Grandma Ange & the boys over for dinner and gingerbread house decorating on Thursday and Friday we finally closed on the new house YAY! We're just waiting now to get keys because it doesn't fund until Christmas Eve. A great Christmas gift, yes- but we were hoping to celebrate Christmas in our new home and it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Saturday we had Jason's Schlumberger christmas party. We had a great dinner and they raffled off some really good prizes like a gun safe, touch IPods and a big screen tv... we didn't win any of it.
At the Christmas Party

The new house sans Snow

Saturday morning we decided to take advantage of the great snow and took the kids out to the golf course and the Honda Hills to go sledding. It was cold.. 8 degrees to be exact.. but we had so much fun. We're planning a new tradition to go sledding the weekend before Christmas every year.

Sledding at the "Honda Hills"

Dad & the kids sledding at the Golf Course

Gracie was NOT happy

Jake & Madi getting ready for a run in the big sled

Mom pulling Gracie back up the hill

Jason and I both finished up the last of our Christmas shopping this week and now we're just waiting on those wayward items we ordered online that are supposed to be here by Christmas Eve.

On the menu this last week was this amazing Jamaican Chicken & Rice recipe. It was a little spicy so cut the chipotle if you don't like spice, other than that we loved it. I substituted Chicken Breast for the chicken thighs & added a can of black beans to the rice in addition to the red beans. Quick & Easy dinner:

1 cup sliced onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
4 pounds skinless chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce with 1 teaspoon sauce from can
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, for garnish
Arrange onion, celery and carrots in bottom of slow cooker. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and arrange over vegetables.
In a medium bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, lime juice, chipotle chiles with sauce, and garlic. Pour mixture over chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. Serve half of the thighs with this meal (topped with diced avocado and cilantro and garnished with lime wedges) and reserve remaining thighs for another meal.
Jamaican Rice and Peas:
2 cups instant white rice
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can red beans, drained
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/4 cup chopped scallions
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, water, beans, thyme, and lime zest. Set pan over high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 5 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Fold in scallions and season to taste with salt and pepper.
(Courtesy of

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