Category Archives: Holidays

Christmas Music: Last Round

A complete mash up here of stuff that didn’t fit elsewhere or got left out. After honeymooning in Hawaii, I **HAVE** to start with:

Mele Kalikimaka – Bing Crosby

And living down South now, there’s this:

Christmas in Dixie – Alabama

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Pentatonix

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams

Frosty the Snowman – The Beach Boys

There’s enough good Christmas music out there that I could do this all day, BUT we’ve all got food, family and gifts to deal with, so that will have to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Christmas Music: Classics

If we’re doing classics, nobody can touch Bing Crosby’s version of White Christmas:

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of snow, but I love the song. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.

I think Gene Autry did the original version. Trivia: Rudolph was created by a copywriter for Montgomery Wards department store as a promotional gimmick. Some sources report the store chain offered / was trying to sell a toy.

Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song

The old guard does a fabulous job with some songs. Penatonix is a world class group too though:

I could probably do quite a few more here, BUT I try to keep my posts manageable for followers. Ergo, we’ll leave it at that.

Christmas Music: Rocking It

We will pick things up a little to start out our Christmas Day music list. Something to wake you up and get you going so that big dinner is actually ready on time, or you’re out the door to go to that big family dinner on time.

Lincoln Brewster: The Little Drummer Boy

This was, I believe, the 2015 Christmas Eve service at Bayside Church in Granite Bay. On top of Lincoln’s musical career, he’s a music director and pastor there.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve / Sarajevo (Timeless Version)

A piece if music that speaks for itself. I’ve been to 4 or 5 TSO Christmas concerts and they never disappoint.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Carol of the Bells 2018

This was actually the last TSO concert series I attended, back in Sacramento. Fabulous show.

Lincoln Brewster – Hark the Herald Angels Sing:

AND… *IF* you’re feeling brave… I give you Twisted Sister’s version of Oh Come All Ye Faithful. You won’t be hearing things either… “We’re Not Gonna Take It” uses an up tempo melody line from “Come All Ye Faithful”

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Twas The Night Before Christmas…

And all through the house, not a creature was stirring…

…except for the chef trapped in an endless parade of meal prep. ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜€

Remember to show your cooks some appreciation today. ๐Ÿ™‚

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Last post for today. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s already Christmas on the other side of the international date line though, so it seems appropriate to send general well wishes now.

Merry Christmas to all, and wishes for a fabulous time if you celebrate some other holiday. ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday Morning Fun: Christmas Edition

Another blog subject I’ve fallen behind on. I’m bending the rules for it with Christmas falling on a Saturday this year. Today’s edition is the list of shows that are the “must watch” shows for my Christmas to feel complete. Most of them are silly, and truth be known I like most of the old animated Christmas specials. These (again) are the “must watch” ones however.

1 The Original Die Hard

I say it every year; it’s not Christmas till I see Hans Greuber fall off of Nakatomi Plaza. ๐Ÿ˜€

OK, that’s a little grim I know, BUT I love starting the holiday off seeing the bad guy get theirs. ๐Ÿ™‚

2 The Muppet Christmas Carol

OK, let’s be real. There’s several spectacular versions of “A Christmas Carol” out there. The one with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge is one such example. This version is a little lighter and more fun though while still getting the message through.

3 A Charlie Brown Christmas

4 Batman The Animated Series: Christmas with the Joker

Classic Mark Hamill voice acted Joker. I also love seeing Batman going from he’s never watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” because he couldn’t get past the title, to admitting at the end that he liked it, AND that maybe life ain’t so bad after all. ๐Ÿ™‚ Note that’s actually Charles Manson that Joker exchanges salutes with before climbing up the Christmas tree.

5 A Christmas Story

Can it REALLY be Christmas without this? TBS sure doesn’t think so, LOL.

And finally, THE classic. No Christmas is complete without:

Honorable Mention: How The Grinch Stole Christmas

The original, not that live action nonsense

Christmas Music: The Fun Stuff

I’m putting Friday Night 80s on a brief hold for some Christmas music. I’d intended to do a longer series of these posts like some other blogs have, but the whole spider drama kept me sidetracked. I’ll make a handful of these posts today and tomorrow in between all the cooking / prep and cleaning I have to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

So we’re going to start with the silly and fun stuff first. We’ll get to classics and religious Christmas songs a little later.

We start with one that only the SoCal beach hot rodder culture could have come up with:

This secret now revealed; I’m a huge Beach Boys fan ๐Ÿ™‚

And no list of this type would be complete without the infamous Mr Grinch song:

Nobody does it better than the original

Next stop; The Muppet Christmas Carol. There are several good songs to choose here. I was tempted to pick the Scrooge song from the beginning, but I want to keep things positive and upbeat, so…

And last for this post, we’re going to pay Snoopy a visit. This is another one you Millennial kids probably never have heard. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanksgiving Feast Reveal!

Yes, it was a few days ago, but I needed time to recover, LOL. As usual, I spent WAY too much time cooking. The results and everybody’s enjoyment make it worth while however. ๐Ÿ™‚

I once again cooked the turkey on out Recteq (Formerly Rec Tec; they changed the spelling) pellet smoker. I also had my cousin-in-law (is that a thing? ๐Ÿ˜€ ) drop off a ham since his kids are not turkey fans. Plenty of room in the smoker for both.

200 degrees (93degrees C) for 7 hours…

Since cooking low and slow will turn any poultry skin rubbery, I peeled the skin off the turkey before smoking it. At the point this picture was taken, it was looking better than it did going onto the grill. The ham was pre-cooked and spiral cut, so it went on for a shorter time to simply warm it up and add some smoke flavor to it. We’ve had that brand of ham before and it’s overly sweet out of the wrapper.

I had actually started with the desserts, as they’re the most time consuming. Up at 2:30am start also. There were 2 dutch crust apple pies and a Ghirardelli double layer cheesecake.

Before the dutch crumble topping was added and after it was done baking.

One of those pies went to the next door neighbor, who was kind enough to bring us over a store bought pumpkin pie. The cheesecake (link to recipe at Ghirardelli) was major work. I didn’t remember to get a picture until after we’d cut into it also, lol.

It looked prettier new.

What you have there is a chocolate graham cracker crust, then a layer of regular “vanilla” cheesecake topped by a layer of chocolate espresso cheesecake, then covered with Ghiradelli chocolate ganash, fresh raspberries and mint leaves as garnish.

Since the layers are both liquid when added to the springform pan, they come out with a marbled look instead of even layers. There are some things I’d change with that recipe, having made it now. That will be a separate post in the near future though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Overall it was a hit, and almost as rich as my goo-goo cluster cheesecake. Something I just realized I’ve never posted here… O_O

Once the desserts were out of the way, I was able to focus on the actual dinner.

One very easy side dish I did was a giant butternut squash:

I know, kind of small. At least it didn’t have a phallic appearance though, lol.

All I did here was skin it, dice it into cubes, throw it in a casserole dish with melted butter, and top it with brown sugar and cinnamon, then bake.

It’s an easy, old school recipe for a veggie dish that even most kids will devour.

There was also some homemade dressing, not stuffing. The difference there is that stuffing goes IN the turkey for cooking. Dressing goes in the oven in a baking dish. Unfortunately, I forgot to get pictures of those two items.

Family also brought over some green bean casserole, fresh baked bread and store bought pecan pie. Yes there was as much dessert as there was food.

From bottom to top: Bread, Turkey, Cranberry Jelly, Dressing, Gravy, Green Bean Casserole, Ham, and WAY at the back off to the side, the Butternut Squash.

Note I wasn’t able to get the skin off the drumsticks or wings, as the picture shows.

How did THAT experiment work out? Reasonably well. I won’t call it a huge success because the turkey was just slightly dry. That had more to do with my thermometer breaking on me though. That, in turn, led to the turkey staying on the smoker a little longer than it should have.

And that’s my Thanksgiving dinner recap. With that, I’ll leave you with this important Thanksgiving thought:

๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€