December 27, 2012

Holiday Cheer - Holiday Gifts

Win a NOOK HD - Just leave a comment

By Anna Kathryn Lanier

Talyis, my guest for day was running late with her blog post, so I decided to fill in for a while. Merry Christmas!

I buy the gifts for my family, this year that included two daughters, a son-in-law and three grandchildren.  The grandchildren are a boy almost 8, and two girls both 5.  The boy and the oldest of the two girls are siblings.  They were pretty easy to buy for, all of them. The big gift for them this year was Galaxy Tablets.  They were very excited about getting them. The girls are into Barbie’s and baby dolls and the boy, well, he’s all boy. Honestly, as his mom said, if he just got a box of wood scraps, a hammer, saw and nails, he’d be happy.  He did get a magic trick set. I’m curious to see him learn the magic tricks!

My oldest daughter got a computer. She really hasn’t had one for a while, so she was happy to get a new laptop. My youngest daughter got a camera from her husband and from her parents a Coach purse and a Barnes and Noble card for her nook.

My husband is one of those people that are hard to buy for. He’s a workaholic and doesn’t really have any hobbies, but I think I did well this year. He got a cordless drill, pants and a basket hoop (so he can play with the grandchildren). The kids got him a TV for the garage, which is where he hangs out while he smokes his pipe. Though he did say he goes out to the garage to get away from the TV, lol.

Now, while my husband is hard to buy for, he is also one of those men who does his own shopping (for me) and he always gets me great gifts.  In the past, I’ve gotten computers, cameras (including videos) and DVDs.  This year he got me what I wanted, an external disc drive and something I didn’t know I wanted, DRAGON, the ‘turn talk into text’ program.  I’ve installed it, but haven’t used it yet.  This will be different, talking out my stories instead of….wait, I do talk out my stories. Maybe this program won’t be as difficult to do as I think!  I also received a grandmother’s necklace and a wine refrigerator.  Now I asked for a wine rack, because I finally found some wine I like and am drinking it more often.  Instead of a plain old wine rack, though, the girls got me refrigerated one that holds 8 bottles….it’s nice. 

We had a very nice Christmas and I hope everyone else did too.  What was your favorite gift, either to give or to receive?

Since we still have New Year’s Eve/Day coming, with parties and football gatherings, I’m sharing a couple of recipes to enjoy with family and friends.
Layered Taco Dip


1 can (16-oz) refried beans
1 pkg. dry taco seasoning
1 (6-oz) carton avocado dip
1 (8-oz) carton sour cream
1 (4 ½-oz) can chopped ripe olives
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (16-oz) jar picante sauce


Combine beans and dry seasoning mix. Spread bean mixture evenly in a 12X8X2-inch dish. Layer remaining ingredients in order listed. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving. Serve with chips.

Barbequed Shrimp


2 Sticks Butter, melted
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
Dash of Oregano
Hot Sauce, to taste
1 tbsp Chili Sauce
1 cup White Wine
1 Sliced Lemon
Salt and Pepper
1 lb Shrimp, in shells, headless, medium size

Mix all ingredients in large, oven-safe pan (9x13). Marinate shrimp for 1-2 hours in sauce, or overnight, though the butter will solidify again.

Bake 300° oven, basting often about 30 minutes. Serve with French bread for dipping into sauce, cole slaw and rice, if you want.

Herb Veggie Dip Mix


1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp thyme
1 ½ tsp dried tarragon
1 ½ tsp minced onion
¾ tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups sour cream
2 tsp lemon juice


Combine all ingredients and mix until well blended. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables.
Mexican Pinwheels:


8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz sour cream
8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
1 small can chopped black olives
1 small can chopped green chilies
Garlic and seasoned salt to taste
1 pkg large flour tortillas
Picante sauce


Combine all ingredients, except tortillas and picante sauce. Spread evenly on tortillas and roll up. Place in refrigerator, covered, overnight. When ready to serve, slice into 1-inch sections and served with picante sauce.
Anna Kathryn


Amy S. said...

I gave my older nieces and nephew money to pick their gifts out. I got my mom and dad clothes. My youngest nephew, I got him toys. The gifts I got were clothes and bath and body products. The recipes sound good. I can't make the shrimp one though. I'm allergic to seafood.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi, Amy. Sounds like you had a nice holiday. I've gotten someone, can't say who, because we haven't exchanged gifts yet, lol, a gift card that I think they'll really enjoy. My sister and I were supposed to meet up last week to do the gift exchange (and save money on postage), but something came up and we couldn't we will have another gift opening soon!

Liz DeJesus said...

Hi Amy! Those are some nice gifts you recieved. I was thinking about getting Dragon for myself so let me know how well it works for you. :) I got gift cards to B & N (books are the way into my heart afterall). And I gave my son cars from his favorite movie Cars 1 and Cars 2 (the Pixar movies) and I love the look on his face when he opened his gifts. It was a really nice Christmas. :)

Mary Preston said...

I did get some 'delicious' bath products. Always appreciated. Books are a given, as is chocolate.