Mickey’s Christmas Carol

christmascP12049760I’m just going to update a few seasonal posts that were late. Sorry about the delay, hopefully you can still make use of the ideas. For our final Christmas movie night we did Mickey’s Christmas Carol. I looked everywhere for a goose but I couldn’t find anything under $50. Since my husband wasn’t keen on trying it for our actual Christmas dinner, I decided to do the “before” version of the Cratchit’s dinner. More our style anyway. So I went out and got a cornish game hen and we did it with a glorious new stuffing recipe based on one found here. I’ve put the recipe with the changes I made below (I removed the walnuts and olives changed the raisins to cranberries and made it vegetarian). I guess that turkeys in the store are getting larger and larger and portion sizes are increasing all the time but because I am a vegetarian, the hen only had to serve 3 people and it was the perfect size! I will buy them more often after this, just for a surprisingly easy dinner. We had plum pudding with sauce for dessert (it was a favourite of my mum’s) and I was thrilled that the kids actually liked it! I used a store bought pudding and found the recipe for the sauce here but I’ve posted it below with the changes I made (we just removed the brandy for the kids).

IMG_8604_smStuffing
Ingredients:

1 loaf of day old French bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10-12 cups)
5000 mL each, chopped onion and celery
90 mL butter
1  apple, peeled, cored, chopped
180 mL dried cranberries
250 mL vegetable soup base stock
5 mL poultry seasoning
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Method:
1. Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Melt 45 mL butter in the pan, add the bread cubes, and stir to coat the bread pieces with the melted butter. Then let them toast; only turn them when they have become a little browned on a side. Note, if you aren’t working with somewhat dried-out day-old bread, lay the cubes of bread in a baking pan and put them in a hot oven for 10 minutes to dry them out first, before toasting them in butter on the stove top. The bread should be a little dry to begin with, or you’ll end up with mushy stuffing.
2. Sauté chopped onions and celery on medium  with the remaining 45 mL butter until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Add the bread. Add chopped apple, cranberries, and parsley. Add 250 mL of soup veggie soup base stock (enough to keep the stuffing moist while you are cooking it). Add poultry seasoning, and salt & pepper to taste.
3. Cover. Turn heat to low. Cook for an hour or until the apples are cooked through. Check every ten minutes or so and add water or stock as needed while cooking to keep the stuffing moist and keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Yield: Serves 8-10 (lots of yummy leftovers).

IMG_8650_smPlum Pudding Sauce
Ingredients:
250 mL Sugar
15 mL Flour
45 mL Butter
5 mL Nutmeg
2.5 mL Salt
5 mL Vanilla
500 mL cold water
Method:
1. Combine ingredients and cook, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.

For the craft, I told the kids that we would take the money that we usually spent on the craft and put it towards the charity of their choice. We talked about all the different sorts of things they could donate their money to. My daughter decided quickly, and gave money towards a well in Africa with World Vision. My son had more trouble. He thought and thought but he couldn’t decide. And here is where it gets funny. He had been asking about Grand-Santa from Arthur Christmas and how he spits out his teeth when he eats his mince tart. He was horrified that he could actually do that and I told him a lot of older people have dentures they can remove. So out of the blue, all of a sudden, he says, “I want to give my money to people with no teeth!” So we did.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday with a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year! God Bless Us, Everyone.

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Arthur Christmas

Arthur+Chirstmas+Wallpaper+00221692706_700x700min_2Okay, I know that Arthur Christmas is not Disney but we did a movie night anyway because it is so great. It zipped under our radar last Christmas because we were so excited to see The Muppets when they came out at the same time and we didn’t notice it.
List of favourite Christmas movies
A Christmas Carol (with Alastair Sim)
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Mickey’s Christmas Carol,
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated, 1966)
White Christmas
The Bishop’s Wife
Elf
Arthur Christmas

IMG_8483_smFor the treat we had mince tarts.
GrandSanta: “I can’t eat that. It gets in me teeth.”
This was the recipe we used, I even added one more apple and it was lovely. Also, instead of putting it in a single pie, we used the filling and made tarts.

Apple Mince Tarts
Ingredients:
5 apples – peeled, cored and chopped
30 mL butter
10 mL lemon juice
125 mL white sugar
3 mL ground cinnamon
1 mLground nutmeg
7 mL vanilla extract
500 mL prepared mincemeat
1 package of pie crust
1 egg yolk
15 mL water

Method:
1. Preheat an oven to 230˚C.
2. Place apples, butter, and lemon juice into a saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the mincemeat until thoroughly combined, and set the pie filling aside.
3. Cut the pastry rounds out with a large teacup, then fit into muffin tins; pour the filling into the crust. With a brush dipped in water, moisten the edge of the bottom crust. Top the tarts with a second crust and pinch together to seal. Cut slits into the top crust for steam vents. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk with water, and brush the yolk mixture over the top crusts.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 175˚C. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 15 to 30 more minutes.

IMG_8503_smFor the craft I’d suggest letters to Santa. The kids had already sent theirs long ago so my son made one for the baby. He drew the S-1 sleigh from the movie. Inside the card he asked Santa for all sorts of crazy things like a toy squirrel and a onsie with a Canadian flag on it.

Lady and the Tramp

ladyjMV5BMjAwNzA3NTk0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzkyNDEzMQ@@._V1._SY317_CR8,0,214,317_Lady and the Tramp is a sentimental choice of mine because it was my mum’s favourite movie and she and my dad remind our family of the two of them. My mum was definitely a lady and the characters even look like the two of them together. So I wanted this movie night to be in her honour.

IMG_8477_smFor the craft we made a special ornament. I used a small lady and the tramp ornament (the Disney store had them on sale) but you could use any figurine. The dollar store and Michael’s craft stores have clear plastic ornaments that you can fill but I needed a larger one so I got it at Loomis. We filled 1/4 of the ornament with fake snow which you can find at the dollar store), then added the ornament. After sealing it, we hot glued a ribbon around the ornament’s join to make it look more like a whole piece of glass.

IMG_8338_smWe had the obvious spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. We just did plain pasta with a bit of sauce stirred in for taste. Then a very simple and easy meatball.

Meatballs
Ingredients:
900 g ground beef
375 mL fresh bread crumbs
65 mL chopped onion
125 mL milk
7 mL salt
2 eggs

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 190˚C.
2. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients. Shape into little meatballs, about 1 inch in size. Place the meatballs into a rectangular baking dish.
3. Bake at 190˚C for 60 minutes.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

LionWitchWardrobeWallpaper8001199778826I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last post. Having a newborn slows you down more than I thought! I’ve been keeping up with the movie nights and photo documenting them but I haven’t had time to write out the details. It was a choice between blogging and laundry and I chose clean socks for the kids. Things are starting to get a little better though and the baby is starting to sleep more so I thought I would do some today. We have done a Christmas movie a week for the month of December and I thought I would write about them all today in case anyone wanted some ideas for the holidays ahead!

IMG_8434_smThe first weekend of December was Narnia. We only watched The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe because my son has not read the other two books yet. And oh, how I wish they would do the other movies in the series! These books were my favourites as a child along with Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. I read them all hundreds of times.
For the snack we made hot chocolate and turkish delight (of course). The hot chocolate was just 15mL of cocoa, 30 mL of sugar and 500 mL of milk. Combine the cocoa, sugar and 15mL of the milk in a mug and blend. Heat the rest of the milk and add the paste when the milk has reached the desired temperature. The turkish delight now, that was another matter. Having tried it once in my childhood I always believed that it was a food based on a dare.
“Mum, may I have some dessert?”
“Well love, all we have is icing sugar…”
Actually, it wasn’t bad homemade and the kids loved it. That being said, the recipe we followed made a ridiculous amount. One piece is enough for even the most sweet toothed child. I had a serving the size of a postage stamp. I found the recipe here but it comes with a handy serving size calculators so If you do make this, cut the recipe into 2 instead of 12 (oh, I also skipped the pistachio nuts so it would be nut free). I’ve included the directions below. Also, make it a day in advance to give it lots of time to set.

Turkish Delight
Ingredients:
65 mL water
125 mL granulated sugar
7 mL light corn syrup
20 mL orange juice
7 mL orange zest
1/2 envelope (.25 ounce) unflavored gelatin
30 mL cornstarch
20 mL cold water
2 mL vanilla extract
confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Method:
1. Bring 65 mL water, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F (115 degrees C) on a candy thermometer. Set aside and keep hot.
2. Stir together orange juice and orange zest, sprinkle with gelatin, and set aside. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 20 mL cold water, then stir into hot syrup. Place over medium-low heat, and simmer, stirring gently, until very thick.
3. Remove syrup from heat, stir in orange juice mixture, and vanilla. Sprinkle small pan or bowl generously with confectioners’ sugar. Pour the Turkish delight into the pan, and let cool in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) until set, 3 to 12 hours.
When cool, sprinkle the top with another thick layer of powdered sugar. Cut into 1-inch squares, and dredge each well with confectioners’ sugar. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

IMG_8501_smFor the craft we made a lantern night light. I found the idea here. I got the lantern at the dollar store (score!) and I used a larger vintage preserving jar from the goodwill so we took an old spool of thread and covered it with glue and fake snow (which you can find at the dollar store) to prop it up a bit higher. We added more fake snow to the jar, glued the lantern to the lid and volia!  The idea backfired slightly because I’ve come into my son’s room countless times since then to find him asleep over a book by the light of this tiny lantern. He’s going to ruin his eyes, but I have not got the heart to take it away yet, I’m just so happy that he loves reading so much and I remember doing the same thing as a child.