Hello friends! How was your week? We’ve been laying a little low this week and loving it. Our Christmas Tree is up and decorated and we’re feeling pretty festive but also like nesting for the winter.
I am a big fan of OKGo’s music in general, but I’m a mega fan of their music videos. This newest one is no exception. The amount of intricate planning that has to go into them blows my mind more than just a little.
Speaking of watching things, my husband, boys, and I are more than just a little obsessed with the show “Canada’s Worst Drivers”. We watched two full seasons on Netflix in less time than I should admit. The host is fantastic and it’s actually educational along with being entertaining. Have you seen it? What do you think?
It wouldn’t be an Extra+Ordinary Newsletter without an adorable animal video and this week’s video made me squeal. Bertie has my heart!
EASY MEAL PLAN:
The Best Pan Pizza
Easy Sticky Garlic Ginger Glazed Pork
Kielbasa and Pierogies Sheet Pan Meal
6 Minute 6 Ingredient Creamy Tomato Soup from Scratch Recipe
Slow Cooker Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe
Honey Sriracha Glazed Chicken Bites
Easy Cajun Blackened Salmon
Melting Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry Brussels Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
Plie au Chocolat - French Chocolate and Custard Pastries
Maple Chai Apple Pie
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BLOG THIS WEEK:
All I can say about these French Chocolate and Custard Pastries (plie au chocolat) is WOW! We’re talking shatteringly crisp butter pastry filled with vanilla custard and tiny melted chocolate chips. This is one of my all time favourite desserts.
Did you know you can make hot chocolate that’s worlds better than the powdered packet stuff in your blender from just two main ingredients? That’s right, milk and chocolate. Okay, once you do that, get fancy and add some vanilla and cinnamon and other spices for this blender made spiced hot chocolate and you have something amazing!
When I visited Stokoe Farms in Scottsville/Wheatland, NY to get our Christmas tree last week, they were kind enough to share the recipe for Mrs. Stokoe’s Legendary Sugar Cookies with me. For a couple of decades, she made thousands of these cookies a year to pass out to people who came to buy trees. Soft, fluffy, old-fashioned, and a little delicate, they are truly the stuff of Christmas legend.
THINGS I LOVE:
I mentioned before that my husband and sons really like chess, and we’ve gone through quite a few sets over the years with pieces breaking here and there whether wood or glass or ceramic. I picked up these Weighted Chess Pieces for them for Christmas and I’m certain we’ve found one everyone will love. It’s sturdy (being made of metal) and a very satisfying weight. (I think I’m pretty safe in sharing this secret with you. I’m nearly 100% positive none of them get my newsletter.)
This lip balm is my all time favourite. I used to be a Burt’s Bees girl, but my lips always felt chapped when it wasn’t nearby. This balm, however, makes my lips feel healthier, isn’t greasy, and comes in an amazing variety of flavours. Bonus: I can share with my vegan mom and sister because it doesn’t contain any animal products or by-products. I don’t go anywhere without this stuff and have it tucked into purses, glove boxes, coat pockets, suitcases, on my nightstand, etc…
Speaking of suitcases, this is a good time of year to put one on your wish list or grab one for someone you love. This suitcase has traveled the world (literally!) with me and I wouldn’t want to be without it. My friend Mary has one just like it and we laughingly call it “our clown car suitcase” because it fits so much into it that it seems like it just keeps packing it in like clowns in a car! (Not that I want to see that many clowns anywhere, thankyouverymuch.)
I love Amy Johnson from She Wears Many Hats and I love her recipes, too. I’ve never had one of her recipes turn out badly and these Spicy Southern Cheese Straws make me hungry just to look at them. Crispy, simple, and classy, I think these just might be the most perfect addition ever to a holiday party platter.
Are you looking for a quick gift under $10 to give to kids of any age? My children LOVE this game and have played it consistently for almost FIVE YEARS. For $10, I’d call that a steal!
BOOKS ON MY NIGHTSTAND:
I needed a little something to lighten my mood after shopping for health insurance this week, so I turned to one of my favourite pieces of comic fiction ever, The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. If you like British comedies and/or sci-fi, you’ll love this book. It makes me actually laugh out loud every time I read it.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
This week is a two-parter. What is your favourite memory of Christmas ever? And do you prefer homemade/sentimental ornaments or a themed tree? Please click reply and tell me and I’ll respond with mine! I’ll give you a hint on part I: I didn’t know I was wrong about this memory until I was in my 30s! I love happy memories!
P.S. This Christmas, I’d like to make a paper chain of prayers to remember. Do you have a prayer you’d like for me to include on it?