Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Milkshakes and White Chicken Chili

So, as an update to my "why? why? whine" - the holiday went great. Wed night we went as a group to Riverbanks Zoo for the Lights before Christmas. It is always so much fun but at 39 degrees, it was a little nippy and we were feeling kinda idiotic! But the kids had a great time and we had fun getting to know our new neighbor and her two boys (that my boys love playing with).

Addison really did not want anything to do with this Santa character. He is the same Santa that has been there every year since we moved here and is just so sweet. I really think he may be the real thing. Santa talks to each child as long as they want, is patient with parents who take about 15 shots of their wiggly kiddo, and is just the cutest man ever. I had convinced her to get within spitting distance of him to tell him that she wanted a Barbie for Christmas. I misspoke and said "you have to tell him you want a Barbie and he will give you one for Christmas." Didn't think of adding, "on Christmas a month from now." So she lets me sit on the arm of his chair for the picture and then holds out her little hand as if to say "alright dude, hand over the Barbie". Then we get a little 3-year old tantrum as we walk away with her screaming "Barbie, my Barrrrrrbie". Little misunderstood, sweet child.

Thursday we had the best dinner at our new friends Chuck and Lauren's. Awesome food and even better, they asked us to play NERTZ!!!!!!! T and I lit up like the Christmas lights! To those outside of our old small group, Nertz is just by far the best and most fun card game EVER!! It is also a game that everyone in SC either doesn't know how to play, plays at my grandma's speed, or hates! So this was our first challenging Nertz game in about 5 years. (We were sorely out of practice and got our butts beat but didn't care at all.) No T tantrums that night! The icing on the cake of that evening is that Chuck and Lauren also have 3 children which played so nicely with our 3. It was nice to have someone else who completely shrugs off the child who peed in their kitchen, the playdough and popcorn in the carpet, and a trashed bonus room. Real bonding!!

Fri. I woke at 6:30, was at Wal-Mart at 6:45, Charlotte by 8:00 a.m. and returned home after the hour and a half drive and loads of caffeine consumed all day at an early 11:15.....P.M. It was great to have our yearly shopping trip bonding with my mom, sister, aunt, and cousin. We had a blast. Love those yearly Steak-N-Shake milkshakes!!

Sat. we hosted a cook-out with a friend of T's and met his wife and girls. We had planned to watch the Gamecocks game but gave up on them at halftime. Good thing we don't really care!! It was fun but after Wed-Fri., I was running on empty. No matter how much caffeine I drank. Then we had a birthday party to go to last night. T had invited other friends over this evening, Sunday. But as I lay paralyzed on the couch, I told him, "you have got to cancel tomorrow night." I realized that with 4 days off, I had barely seen my children face to face and really missed them. That and all day they had been asking, "when can we put the tree up? Why is it that everyone else has decorations up and we don't? When can we make the gingerbread house?" I felt like a heel. A tired, cracked, crusty, old woman's heel. Yuck.

So today we put up the trees (one for us, one for them, and an itty-bitty one for Addison). See, I'm smart like that - they decorate theirs so mommy can have her perfectly placed balls and absolute balance of cranberry strands and OCD spaced ornaments. Theirs is absolutely hilarious. I think if they added just one more ornament to the front, it would probably topple over. We may just find it face down tomorrow morning...

We ended the evening with White Chicken Chili (yum,yum) and the Tinkerbell movie on Disney. And I am going to bed a happy woman. Thankful, happy, and utterly exhausted. So I decided to write this blog at 11:00. Makes sense doesn't it???

As an early Christmas present, here is the Chili recipe:

2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 cups finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground coriander
2 (4.5 oz) cans chopped green chilies, undrained
1 cup water
2 (15.5 oz) cans cannellini or white beans (rinsed and drained if needed)
1 (14 oz) can fat-free chicken broth
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 cup (or more to taste) Monterey Jack shredded cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (we had to use the dried and it was still great)

** Heat a skillet over med-high heat. Coat with spray or olive oil and brown chicken until done but still moist.
** In large soup pot or Dutch oven, brown onion in oil or spray over med-high heat. Add garlic and saute 2 min. more before adding all spices. Stir in chiles, reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 min. Add chicken, water, broth, beans, and bring to simmer. Cook an additional 10 min. Add hot sauce to pot immediately before serving. Serve with around 2 T cheese over each bowl and tad of cilantro. Great with corn muffins.

** only 5.9 grams of fat per 1 cup serving. How's that for an early Christmas present?? Just trying to balance out the milkshake, folks.


nertzfan said...

Hi, I found your blog post through a search for “Nertz”. It is cool to see others that know about the game. I hope you don’t mind but I wanted to let you know about, the site for the National Nertz Association. There is a bunch of interesting Nertz information there and you can also find out how to play Nertz online there. I hope you will check it out. Feel free to join and also let your friends and family know. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I am glad you are totally worn out and Christmas isn't even here yet. Can you say 30 somethin'?
FYI: I had a great time on the women only shopping trip. I love that tradition and am so glad you came up to meet us :)
Funny that I too have started the tradition of giving Calista her own little "baby tree" just like mommy's. This tree is so tiny that she can walk around and carry it under her arm. Thank goodness for that, because my OCD (which I must have gotten from you) keeps me from wanting ANY help decorating my perfectly placed ornaments.
About the "nerds", I mean "nertz", whatever!! I am glad I didn't inherit the "nerd" gene!! Happy Holidays sis!!

Tracy said...

Chrissy read my blog!! OMG - I may just faint from the sheer thought of it!! And in regards to Nertz, I couldn't give you all my good traits or you wouldn't have anything to strive for :)