Excited For Christmas Dinner

I’m a sucker for Christmas. It’s not in my religious upbringing to celebrate Christmas. But when you live away from your birth country all your life, a bit of your own traditions merge with a bit of the traditions of the country you live in. How can you not celebrate, when everyone around you is celebrating?

For me, I love hosting parties and dinners. I love people coming over to our place and sharing in our happiness and joys. I’d rather be the hostess than the guest. So, every year around this time, I try to get a few of the people who are nearest and dearest to us to come together and share a meal, lots of laughs and happiness with us. This year, we’re doing it on Christmas day. Yay!

I’ve been working on a menu for the big day for some time and I think I’ve just about nailed it. Hopefully, everyone enjoys it just as much as I enjoy making it. Here’s my menu (recipes and pictures pending):

Appetizers/Welcome Drinks:

  • Mimosa (Orange juice and champagne)
  • Garlic shrimp bites

Main Course:

  • Cesar salad
  • Sweet corn kernels and steamed veggies
  • Baked chicken (I’m still debating between stuffed spinach/feta chicken or honey-glazed chicken)
  • Scalloped potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Cheesy, pull-apart bread
  • garlic and herb roasted potatoes

Dessert:

  • Double chocolate cake stuffed with dulce de leche, served with vanilla ice cream
  • Apple crumble with vanilla ice cream

I’ll post pictures and recipes as soon as I can. Stay tuned and have yourself a very Merry Christmas.

Dollar Store Holiday Decorating Ideas

The dollar stores these days can help you decorate all of your home and that too, on a small budget. I’ll admit, I’m a dollar store junkie. I love the dollar store and have spent lots of money there. I wouldn’t necessary buy some groceries there or even electronic stuff other than a charger or headphones, but the dollar store is great for candles, picture frames, everyday dishware and home organization bins and tools.

But the one thing I absolutely love the dollar store for are the decorations they bring out. For a mere $30 you can buy a mini Christmas tree, decorations, wrapping paper, kitchen towels and other decorating accessories. And that’s exactly what I did this year. I budgeted my holiday decorating to $30 and think I did a pretty amazing job with some of the ideas I came up with.

Our mini Christmas tree cost me $3 for the tree, 2 sets of 50x lights for $3 a box and 3 sets of blue and silver ornaments at $1.25 a box. Total cost = $12.75

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This beautiful center piece set me back $4.50 but doesn’t it look fantastic? The tray and glass candle holders I had. But the ornaments ($1.50 a box), pine cones (free from the pine tree behind my building) and reindeer ($3) are all from the dollar store. And if you must know, the tray was a small gift from my neighbor; which cost her $10  at Kitchen Stuff Plus. image3

I wish I had taken a better picture of this. This is a canvas board wrapped with shiny wrapping paper and a Christmas tree ornament hung with blue ribbon. This cost about $1 for the wrapping paper and $3 for the canvases.

I’ll post my Christmas dinner photos after, to show you some of the frugal items I picked up to set my table and centerpiece. Until then, stay tuned and have yourself a very Merry Christmas.

Delayed Holiday Posts

snowflakeEvery year around this time of  year, I write a bunch of Holiday related posts. But this year, I’m quite delayed. By now, I would’ve added a budget friendly decorating how-to guide, my holiday cookie recipes and lots of other recipes and messages. It’s been a tough couple of months with my illness, I just haven’t had the energy to write or the mindset. Plus, it’s hard to spread holiday cheer when you’re miserable in your personal life.

But all of that is going to change. This is my most favorite time of year and I’m not going to let daily disturbances and sickness take away from my holiday happiness. Stay tuned over the next couple of days as I taking Ziddi Tamana into the holidays and share all my ideas and joy of this festive season.

~Tamana

Recipe Of The Week: Another Spicy Chicken Recipe

There are so many things you can do with chicken. I especially love baking it. Here’s another trial and error recipe I came up with.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • green onions
  • chilly flakes
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • mozzarella cheese (grated)
  • green peppers

Preparation:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat the bottom of an oven-safe tray or pan with olive oil. Because we are not going to season the chicken and leave it overnight to absorb all the flavors, add some mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper, chilli flakes to the bottom of the pan and throw in some chopped green onions.

Make sure your chicken breasts are washed and fat has been cut off. Slice the middle of the chicken breast so that it now has a pocket opening. Brush olive oil into the center of the chicken and add all the same seasoning you added to the bottom of the pan. Fold the flap back over and do the same on the top. Throw some chopped green onions and chopped green bell peppers and top with mozzarella cheese.

Place in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. Cook until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve with mashed potatoes and dinner rolls.

Back to Work

Yesterday was my first official day back to work and I won’t lie, it was hard being here all day after so many days. I know it’s only been 3 months, but a lot can happen in 3 months. Colleagues have quit, friends are retiring, someone got fired, products are closing down, new ones are launching, new people have been hired, the list just goes on.

But the one thing that truly surprised me yesterday was my bosses attitude and reaction to seeing me back in the office. He’s a hard person to impress. He stresses me out and even intimidates me somewhat. He’s caused me to breakdown and cry in front of him and has once even made me feel incompetent. He’s one tough cookie and it’s extremely difficult getting on his good side. But God bless the Lords above, because something changed with this man and me yesterday. He welcomed me back, asked if I was feeling better and actually showed some sort of empathy towards me. I walked out of his office yesterday a little stumbled at how well my meeting had gone with him.

It’s weird coming back after so long, seeing so many changes and then suddenly being greeted by someone you report to, who normally wouldn’t give you a second thought even if your life depended on it.

Anyway, yesterday was an overall good day. Pain-wise it was very difficult. But mood-wise and work-wise, it went by smoothly.

By-the-way, the update with the doctors is that I have bursitis in my right hip; which has caused all my misery. I started 2 weekly sessions of physiotherapy and massages last week. I haven’t felt much relief yet from either session. Actually, I was in more pain than I was prior to the sessions. But they say that the first couple of days are hard as your body adjusts to the pressure and stretching.

I’ll wait and see how this week’s sessions go and update all of you with my results. Happy Tuesday, lovelies. Thanks for sticking by me through my rough times and always coming back to check up on me.

Love Is Such A Funny, Stupid Thing

You meet someone for the first time and sometimes that first glance is all it takes to sweep you off your feet. You imagine yourself with that person and everything in the world seems beautiful. You spend time with that person and there is no time left for anything else. That person becomes your everything and you are lost in that everything. And if you get lucky, you marry that everything and hope to live happily ever after; like all the fairy tales engraved in your mind since childhood.

Then one day, reality hits you flat on the face and you stumble back through the days, weeks, months and years you were in your delusional fairytale. You realize that everything you thought that was perfect infact actually had so many tiny cracks in it that you failed to see how imperfect it all really was. At this point you are too attached and mentally stuck that there is no getting out of it. The fairytale failed long ago and turned into you settling for what you’ve gotten yourself into. There is no turning back. The only way you can go is forward.

You find yourself wrapped up in all the imperfections your life has turned into and you try to unravel yourself from the knot you’ve so strongly tied. But it’s pointless. The knot is tighter than you could ever undo. So, what do you do? Do you let yourself live like this forever? Do you settle for the decisions you have made and try to live by them? Or do you break free of it all and wound everyone and everything in your path? How do you fix what isn’t broken on your side?