Unfortunately, the whole time she was here I was working overnights, so I didn't really get to help out very much. But, Sam got to have some great fun with her, helping her put up our pictures, decorations, etc. We got these really cool stars as a wedding gift from my friend Ashley Heagie, and my mom made some really cool decorations for our stairs that matched our tree. This is a sign that Nicki got for us for Christmas! It's hanging over the doorway next to the stars. It just wasn't put up until after Christmas, which is why it is not in the previous picture.
Here are some of the other decorations she got us. We got new candles, the cute deer, and actual pictures in our entertainment center! The pictures are from when I was in high school, so hopefully I will get a chance to change them out before she comes to visit us again!
We got this really cute pot holder for our kitchen. It is very cute! The only problem is I didn't realize how low our kitchen ceiling is, so only the little pots can hang from it. Those our my Paula Deen pans that I got from my bridal shower, which I absolutely love!
The weekend before Christmas, the Shontz Families came down to have "Christmas" with us. Here are some of the pictures.
1 (3-rib) prime rib beef roast, about 6 pounds
5 garlic cloves, smashed, plus 2 heads garlic, halved
1/2 cup grated fresh or prepared horseradish
1/2 cup sea salt
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red onion, halved
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, shiitake, chanterelle, or white, trimmed and sliced
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup reserved beef broth (drippings from roast) or low-sodium canned broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lay the beef in a large roasting pan with the bone side down. (The ribs act as a natural roasting rack.) In a small bowl mash together the garlic, horseradish, salt, pepper, and olive oil to make a paste. Massage the paste generously over the entire roast. Scatter the vegetables and halved garlic around the meat and drizzle them with a 2-count of oil. Put the pan in the oven and roast the beef for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours for medium-rare (or approximately 20 minutes per pound). Check the internal temperature of the roast in several places with an instant-read thermometer; it should register 125 degrees F. for medium-rare. Remove the beef to a carving board and let it rest for 20 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise by about 10 degrees. Remove the vegetables and set aside. Pour the pan juices into a fat separator or small bowl and set aside to allow the fat and beef juices to separate. Pour off and discard the fat. You will use the tasty beef juices for the mushrooms.
Place a clean skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and a 2-count drizzle of oil. When the butter starts to foam. add the mushrooms and thyme; and season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together for a few minutes. Add the red wine, stirring to scrape up any stuck bits; then cook and stir to evaporate the alcohol. When the wine is almost all gone, add the reserved beef juices. Let the liquid cook down and then take it off the heat. Stir in the cream and chives, and season with salt and pepper.
My mom who cooked, and my aunt Marion who did the dishes! My mom is so beautiful, I hope I look like here when I am older!
My Uncle LeRoy and Mom.
My Aunt Marion and Uncle LeRoy. This is a picture frame they got for Christmas from my mom. It has pictures of when they were in Alabama in it.
Grandpa Walt and Grandma Libby.
Yeah, I know this picture is bad, but it's the only one of the 3 of us!