Monday, December 20, 2010

Be Jolly By Golly Blogfest!!!!



This sounded too fun to pass up!!! Please stop by Unedited for the list of participants!!

Christmas is probably my favorite holiday. I love getting together with family, and yes, presents are a big deal to me. I'd be lying if I said I didn't like receiving them, but I really truly enjoy buying and giving them. Our budget does not allow us to buy presents for our family members often and birthdays and Christmas are really the only times of the year we buy our kids presents. I love seeing their faces light up when they open something I know they wanted badly!

As much as I love the holiday season, I'm not too into decorating. I have a few things I do- my daughter and I made some paper chains a few years ago with Christmasy-patterned scrapbook paper and I sometimes will take our framed photos off the wall and wrap them in Christmas wrapping paper, add a bow and hang them back up. And our trees are important to me (yes, we have two!). Our bow window is lined with twinkle lights, but they stay up all year. We did it one year for Christmas, and my husband liked the way it illuminated the photos sitting on the ledge, so we left them.

We don't do any decorating outside. Our old house was the last house on a dead end street- no drive by traffic, obviously. So I just never thought it was a great way to spend a few hundred dollars. We moved three years ago and I keep saying I'm going to go the day after Christmas and buy a couple of those light up outdoor trees- the cute ones, not the tacky ones. But I have yet to do it.

Here is a pic of our main tree this year:



It's a little on the small side but with our budget these days, it just seems silly to spend $40, $50, $60+ on a tree. I need to have a real tree, so sacrifices have to be made. We chose a $30 tree and that meant it was shorter, but by the time you put it in the stand and put the angel on, it was about 6 feet tall anyway. And we chose one that was not all that full...but we did that on purpose. When it comes to trees and decorating, I am naturally taken back to my floral design roots and need to create depth in the "arrangement". I like to sink the lights and ornaments deep within the tree and create depth and interest..making people want to look closer and see what's inside! :) If I had a super full tree, I wouldn't be able to do that! So for those listed reasons, this tree is the perfect tree for us!!

And tree #2:



This is my Gone With The Wind tree! I just started doing this last year. Yes, this one is a fake tree. Five years ago we went to Disney the week before Christmas. We left on the 16th and came home on the 22nd. Couldn't see paying the money for a real tree to sit and dry out while we were gone and no way was I running around on the 23rd to find a tree. Reluctantly, we bought a fake, 3 foot, prelit tree at Walmart for $12 I think. It served it's purpose and I figured we'd never use it again, or let the kids decorate it or something. But then last year I had this brilliant idea. I have been an avid collector of Hallmark Gone With The Wind ornaments ever since 1997. I have every single one accept the first from 1996 (I will get my hands on one soon!) Some years they released two ornaments. In total I have 23 including this years. Suffice it to say, they took up a lot of room on our family tree. I got the idea to use the little fake tree and make it my GWTW tree and sit it on the ledge of our bow window. I bought some decent silk magnolias and a feathery boa to pull from Scarlet's iconic burgundy party dress. Love this tree!

I have a recipe to share, but it's really nothing exciting or extravagant! We rarely host Christmas dinner and even when we have, I have kept it simple. Last year my parents and brothers came here for Christmas lunch and will do the same this year. I did stuffed shells and the whole Italian spread last year. This year I bought a spiral ham, but we'll get rolls and probably eat it as sandwiches with the chili and Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden's recipe) that I'm also making. As far as the in law's goes, my MIL and her sisters and mother have been reluctant to let go of any of the food-making reins. That means I am only allowed to bring a dessert or something like rolls or pop or some other non-exciting contribution. But one of my favorite desserts to make is below. It's usually gobbled up! And the best part, it's way tasty, but way low in fat!

Dirt Dessert (AKA Oreo Pie)



1 pkg. fat free cream cheese (8 oz.), softened
1 pkg. regular cream cheese (3 oz.), softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3-1/2 cups cold milk (I use skim)
2 pkgs. sugar-free vanilla pudding mix (1 oz. each)
1 carton reduced-fat whipped topping (12 oz.)
1 pkg. reduced-fat Oreos (18 oz.), crushed (but I do leave some bigger chunks too!)

In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheeses and sugar until smooth. In another bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes 2 minute then let sit for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in cream cheese mix. Fold in whipped topping. Spread 1-1/3 cup Oreo crumbs into bottom of ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Layer half of pudding mix, then half of remaining cookie crumbs. Repeat layers. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Nutrition Facts: 1/2 cup equals 208 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 6 mg cholesterol, 364 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat.

Enjoy!

Hope everyone has a fantastic holiday season! Can't wait to read all the other posts for the blogfest!

41 comments:

  1. The two trees are very beautiful. I did the head tilt when I looked at the pudding. It looks one way but I'm sure it tastes its polar opposite ;)
    Merry Christmas :)

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  2. A GWTW tree? I'm so jealous. I adore GWTW!!

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  3. mmm oreo pie! Jen alwasy has the best blogfests!!!

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  4. Oreo pie?! Yummy.

    I love both your trees, but especially the Gone With The Wind one!

    Have a merry Christmas!

    Be Jolly By Golly

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  5. The trees are beautiful, and the Oreo pie looks scrumptious. Hope you have the happiest holiday season.

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  6. I love your trees they are so pretty!

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  7. Wow, what a great dessert that's not that bad for you. I love your Gone With the Wind tree! Have a great Christmas!

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  8. Looks like a yummy dessert, and love your trees! Merry Christmas!

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  9. I MUST try that oreo dessert!!! I wrap my wall photo boards with pretty wrapping paper and a bow! It's a lovely decoration that catches many people by surprise. :) Have a very merry Christmas!!!

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  10. That Oreo Pie looks so yummy!

    Happy Holidays.

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  11. Oh, that oreo dessert looks fantastic!!! Thanks for the recipe.

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  12. ahaha! Wrapping the pictures and hanging them back up. That is so cute!! I like it. Awesome trees too! Good luck getting that one danged ornament to complete it!!

    Merry Christmas!

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  13. Disney World is so magical at Christmas. My family did that one year, too, and it was totally worth being gone for a good portion of the season. Can't remember if we had a tree that year . . . I love that you have a GWTW tree. So special! Merry Christmas!

    ~ Bess

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  14. I love your Gone With The Wind tree. Are those magnolias? Your full sized tree is beautiful. Have a wonderful Christmas.

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  15. Beautiful trees! Our tree is about six feet tall, but when we moved (it's artificial), our new family room has a vaulted ceiling and it looks so tiny, so we put it up on a big box and it looks huge. :) Our little trick.

    Anything with oreos has to be good, right?

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  16. Love the Dirt dessert recipe! ;) And paper decorations sounds great, I should have done that too, my little son would love it. Next year I will! Thanks for sharing! ;) Merry Christmas!

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  17. Dirt Dessert (cool name) I love the sound of that!

    Wishing you a very merry Christmas,
    Lyn
    W.I.P. It: A Writer's Journey

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  18. Stopping by for the blogfest...

    I think your tree looks fantastic! =) And the dirt dessert? Wow...looks so great!

    Happy Holidays!

    -Shannon

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  19. You have lovely tree's. Thank you for letting us peek inside your holiday! :)

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :)

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  20. I think you've got the most important elements, family. Love the Gone with the wind tree.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

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  21. Both trees are so cute! and if i wasn't at school i would get up and make that pie right now! Happy Holidays!
    ~Kelley

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  22. Beautiful trees. That dessert looks and sounds yummy! Another one I want to try.
    : )

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  23. I think your main tree is the PERFECT size! And that dirt dessert looks super yummy. Have a very Merry Christmas, Stephanie!

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  24. Your tree's are amazing and that dessert is delicious!!! Yum! I love all the photos, now it's 7 am and I want goodies not a healthy breakfast!

    Sorry I'm late... my internet wasn't working at home AND I had a ton of cookies to bake. Needless to say the blogging gods were not on my side.

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  25. I loooove cream cheese, so I'll probably go nuts over that oreo recipe :-)

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  26. Have a very merry Christmas, Stephanie. Good luck with your books.

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  27. I am a GWTW freak! Love that tree and your dessert looks yummy. Thanks for sharing!

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  28. Thanks everyone!! I am late to the game here....so now I will go check out all your posts!!

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  29. Oreo pie sounds yummy! We love ice cream type desserts so I will have to keep this in mind!!!

    Be Jolly by Golly!

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  30. It's great to have two trees, even if one is smaller than the other, they are both wonderful.

    Happy holidays to you and your family...

    Michael

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  31. Oreo pie? Seriously! That is absolutely awesome. I need to try that!

    Two trees. That's so cool.

    Thank you so much for participating in our blog fest!

    Merry Christmas!

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  32. Sounds like you are set for a wonderful Christmas. I'm embarrassed to admit, I just saw Gone with the Wind for the first time a few months ago. When my husband and I rented I groaned at how long it was. But, holy smokes, once it gets going it doesn't feel like it's long. That was great movie.

    Merry Christmas!

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