I am still working on a Christmas post but did want to recap Christmas dinner. The crock pot duck was a HUGE success. Anyone out there hesitating on whether or not to try it, go for it. It was massively easy. I did not skin it and Jeff said it was really good. Not 'under the broiler' crisp, but crisp considering that it was in the crock pot. Also, (he says) between sitting up on a rack and being in the crock pot it wasn't fatty and was moist and tender. Couldn't have been better. I meant to take a picture of the 'after dinner' duck as .... he ate almost 3/4 of the duck (!!) but forgot. Granted it was a small one, but I'd say that was a success, any way you slice it (haha). Oh, and no, I wasn't brave enough to try it but my steak was perfect!

I made the Stuffed French Toast for Christmas morning and this is another very easy recipe that is so doable, even by non-cooks. Jeff and I loved it but Emi ... adored it! She couldn't get enough and ate two Emi-sized squares (without maple syrup). It's been requested again for this week and seeing as how Jeff is off all week, I don't see why not. It takes about 15 minutes the night before you want to serve it, and most of that is just cutting up the bread in cubes. Secrets to success: (1) Make sure you get bread that will hold up to cubing and soaking all night in the egg mixture, that white Wonderbread isn't going to cut it! I use an oatmeal/grain but a wheat combo also would work, just not soft white bread. And (2) make sure your cream cheese is COLD (oh, and I use the 1/3 less fat stuff ... you know, the one that no one can pronounce). Right before I am going to cube the cream cheese I pop it into the freezer for about 5-7 minutes - and set the timer, if you forget to take it out give up on slicing it. Just saying.

Both of the crock pot chicken recipes rocked. I was so happy I finally got to make the brown sugar one - and it's so easy there was no excuse for it being on my menu plan for weeks! It was a huge hit, even Emi (the no meat gal) gobbled it up! I did make the pork loin but it was only so-so, I think I should have marinated it longer than an hour (I forgot to start it the night before, which is how I usually marinade - big mistake!).

P.S. Don't forget to head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie for more MPM!

Our menu for the week is going to be pretty loose. With Jeff home, we just want to hang out and not worry about anything - but we still have to eat! I am also going to try and whittle down our freezer, fridge and pantry. In no particular order, here is a general plan for the week:

  • Leftovers (!!) - and we have lots!
  • A big pot of Barbara's chili
  • A big pot of soup
  • Spaghetti
  • And, if I can find any, catfish for New Year's Eve for Jeff ... we don't go out and this year we are planning on watching a movie together that night
  • Last, but not least, it was requested that an apple pie get put onto this week's menu. So, I made it this afternoon. Oh my goodness, does the house smell divine! I wonder if we can just have pie for dinner tonight?

Oh, and because what's a menu plan without a picture of a little cutie cooking?
Come back in a day or so for more cute Emi pic's from Christmas!

Original Post: Menu Plan (Dec 28 - Jan 3)

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