christmas eve shenanigans.

by Janetha on December 25, 2009

in meals,moves

merry christmas!

i hope you are all enjoying your day off and getting some quality time in with those you love.

sooo.. i took yesterday off and you know what that means~lots of photos and catching up!  starting with..

wednesday night.

after publishing this post i ended up dragging myself off the couch and to the gym.  thanks to a few ladies motivating me with their tweets :)

treadmill HIIT


speed MPH


1 3.0 0
2 5.0 0
3 6.0 0
4 6.5 0
5 7.0 0
6 7.5 0.5
7 6.0 0.5
8 6.5 0.5
9 7.0 0.5
10 7.5 0.5
11 6.0 1
12 6.5 1
13 7.0 1
14 7.5 1
15 6.0 1.5
16 6.5 1.5
17 7.0 1.5
18 7.5 1.5
19 8.5 1.5
20 4.0 0


and then i finished the workout off with ten minutes on the stairmill:




1 6 facing forward
2 6 facing right
3 6 facing backward
4 6 facing left
5 8 facing forward
6 8 facing right
7 8 facing backward
8 8 facing left
9 4 facing forward/double step w/ leg raise
10 4 facing forward


i got home and my roommate, drew, made us all some pizza~


boboli crust.. marinara.. mozzarella cheese.. mushrooms soaked in red wine.. sun dried tomatoes.. black olives.. topped off with some freshly grated parmesan and baked for far too long considering how hungry i was ;)


‘twas delish.


i was up bright and early again and had a bowl of cereal before hitting the slopes. should had something with protein but i am all out of groceries these days.

snowboarding was COLD (like 7 degrees plus the wind chill) but really fun.  i was with lots of friends and good times were had.  photo sesh:

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gogry day.

after snowboarding i was famished and had to get something to put in my belly.  i had to make a stop at whole foods.. so salad bar it was!


all sorts of good stuff in there.

i cleaned myself up and headed to btown so i could start the christmas eve cooking!

i had nine appetizers planned for the  menu.  i recruited the help of my family members and managed to get it all done in under two hours.  unreal!

before i show you what we made, i have to share a tradition with you.  each year, my family buys a plethora of groceries for one family in need and drops it on their doorstep real late at night.  after most the appetizers were made, my mom and sisters hit up the grocery store to do the shopping.

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we had a super-stealth mission at midnight and delivered these to the family in need.  i love this family tradition and i will definitely carry it along for as long as i live!

okay, back to the smorgasbord!


on the menu?

grape jelly meatballs.

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for meatballs: 1 lb lean ground beef + 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs + 1 egg.  form into small balls and bake at 400 degrees [f] for 20 minutes.  place meatballs in slow cooker along with 8 oz grape jelly+12 oz chili sauce+2 tb dijon mustard. let cook on low for 5 hours.

susan’s sunflower seed hummus+pita bread.


recipe can be found here.  there was no sunflower seed butter to be found so i subbed 6 oz of sunflower seeds+1 TB tahini.

jessica’s buffalo chicken dip+celery & multigrain baguette.

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recipe can be found here. so dang good and so dang bad for you!

guacamole+tortilla chips.

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made by marshall :)

sausage stuffed mushrooms.


made by marisa & eric~ let me know if you would like the recipe because THESE WERE EPIC!

caramelized onion & apple tarts.


i got this from the real simple website.  recipe can be found here.

pears with bleu cheese & prosciutto.

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another winner from real simple.  these were SO easy, recipe can be found here.

clam dip+potato chips.

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sorta just made this one up! cream cheese, 2 cans of clams, some greek yogurt, mayo and sour cream. added some onion flakes and paprika.. also added salt & pepper. turned out yummy!

shrimp+cocktail sauce.


bought this at market street.

for the main course, my mom made homemade clam chowder.. which is something we have had on christmas eve for as long as i can remember.  my sister made rolls to serve with the soup.


my brother-in-law made some wassail which is a fancy term for hot spiced apple cider. yum!


my plate~


i definitely didnt have room for it all~i ended up going back for a prosciutto wrapped pear.

i have mentioned before that my mom collects salt & pepper shakers, these are the cute ones we used last night:


poor marshall has been sick. he is a trooper to do all this family stuff with me :) killer hairdo, no?


penelope joined me on my lap for awhile. so dang cute.


i took a poll to see what the favorite appetizer was.  i was really surprised that the pears wrapped in prosciutto got several votes but the buffalo chicken dip was probably the biggest hit (thanks jess!) another favorite was the onion & apple tart.  my favorite had to be the stuffed mushrooms!

after dinner my little nieces and nephews decorated cookies for santa~ i colored the frosting. i know, major talent here folks.



my mom had some wassail in this adorable new marshmallow mug!


we all hung out and everyone was basically in a food coma..including the pups (i am pretty sure they got LOTS of table scraps last night! especially since randy has some ridic gas today.. TMI?)

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and that photo above is about how i feel now.. and this post is already of novel length.. and i have places to be and people to see!  so i will be back tomorrow with a christmas day recap+flashback friday saturday post!

OH and my reader is up to 278.  and i refuse to mark all as read because i want to see how you are all doing.. so please excuse my absence this week.. it has been a busy one! i am sure you feel the same. i can’t wait to relax tomorrow and read blogs and play with my new christmas gadgets :)

i hope you all have a fabulous evening and i will be back tomorrow.

until then.. happy holidays from my family to yours!



1. what is your favorite appetizer? i love stuffed mushrooms and also have a weakness for spinach artichoke cheese dip.

2. what was the highlight of your christmas day? i will tell you all about my day tomorrow.. but the highlight had to be the fact that my WHOLE family was under one roof.. even my fam that lives out of state. that is rare and it was really special to me :)

love you guys!

xo. janetha b.

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Allie (Live Laugh Eat) December 25, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Merry Christmas, Janetha!

I love the grocery store photo shoot. That Christmas food spread looks out of this world!!

Susan December 25, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Ahh, SO many yummy food to comment on. I’m especially eyeing those meatballs up there… That’s a great idea to get the kids to decorate cookies for Santa too. Although maybe I’ll have to try the pears! Funny, I polled my fam today too. Aaahhh, the burden of being related to a food blogger ;)

1. Tortilla chips and salsa. Boring perhaps, but I can kill a bowl in no time.

2. I got to hang out with with my step-siblings early this morning while everyone else was still sleeping. It was a really fun bonding moment for us :)

Merrrrry Xmas JB!! xoxoxo

inmytummy December 25, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Your family tradition is really nice! That food looks wonderful as well.

My favorite appetizer is probably chips and guacamole. And the highlight of my day was that I got to see my brother and sister and I got a new camera!

Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce December 25, 2009 at 8:02 pm

I absolutely love your family tradition of dropping off groceries for a family in need. I want to get my fam doing that next year! Every time I read your blog I want to hop on the ski slope, so much fun!

Peanut Butter Bliss December 25, 2009 at 8:08 pm

aww it seems like your having so much fun! love all of the different icing colors for santa :)
hope you had a great christmas!

april December 25, 2009 at 8:53 pm

I still think your a brave woman for going sideways and backwards on the stairmaster.. i’m still too scared!

Enjoy the rest of your Christmas!!

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) December 25, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Your photos were like from Gourmet Magazine. Dude.

Love Marshall’s bed-head. He rocked the guac (hey it rhymes- say it out loud- really do it!)

I love the tradition with the needy family. We used to bring food down to the homeless people down at the supermarket. Then they moved. Guess they got a better deal! ;-)

BTW, I can’t believe that you ate lettuce and veggies and thought that was enough to refuel you after snowboarding your face off!!

I’m glad you’re having so much fun with the familia!

Merry Christmas JB!

Lynn at The Actors Diet December 25, 2009 at 9:25 pm

merry x-mas! i am so glad you had a good one, as did my family – probably the highlight was making a video for the blog, which i’ll be sharing soon!

kbwood December 25, 2009 at 9:39 pm

WOW CAN YOUR FOOD LOOK ANY BETTER!? girl- i was DROOLING over this post!! and that fun whole foods trip with the girls! love it!! great spread! and the snowboarding thang-thats awesome. cant wait to hear about your day!

Carbzilla December 25, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Merry Xmas J! My post today was dedicated to you so don’t miss that one (not that the other 277 aren’t fab, I’m sure).

I was gross full yesterday on cheese/bread and homemade cookies. Back on the healthy horse today (with the exception of some Swedish Fish that Chris bought me).

I love that your family delivers a meal for the holidays. That’s too sweet.


glidingcalm December 25, 2009 at 10:29 pm

what a spreaaaaaaaaaad! that looks so amazing!!! im kinda jealous over here, not guna lie.

love your family tradition of delivering a meal!! that is really awesome. we always give to the food banks!

have a great night lovaaaaaaaaaaah

Whole Body Love December 26, 2009 at 12:47 am

What an awesome array of apps!! Marshall is an effing trooper and your mama is gorgeous.

BroccoliHut December 26, 2009 at 1:17 am

Haha, love the pics in the grocery store!
Merry Christmas, Janetha!

Tay December 26, 2009 at 1:33 am

K those meatballs are EXACTLY like my grandma’s “special” meatballs – soooooo good!! We had them the other night at our party as well!

And thanks for your Xmas card lady!! Made me smile so big :-D It’s currently up on our cabinet of Christmas photo card display.

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) December 26, 2009 at 4:16 am

Favorite appetizer- tie: deviled eggs and stuffed mushrooms.

Hilight of Christmas day was probably getting my juicer. Or making my first carrot-apple juice =)

Glad you had a wonderful day, can’t wait to hear about it!


Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) December 26, 2009 at 5:22 am

the fact that you buy a plethora of groceries and drop it off…boy I love that! We used to do that for my Grandmas when we were kids around Thanksgiving b/c they both had a hard time getting out and we’d get them things they would never buy themselves and the food lasted them thru the holiday season. Such a nice memory. Thanks for sharing the memory, and the food with others, you’re amamzing!

The xmas cookie decorating looks so fun!

The pics of your mom and sis and you = beautiful. And the one of your mom sipping coffee is priceless, i hope when Skylar is raised and home for the holidays, I can rest on my laurels knowing I have helped to raise an amazing daughter as your mother has done with you :)

LOve you honey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fave app? Used to be crab or artichoke dip b/c now have a shellfish AND a dairy alllergy so those are out but the food you all made looks like my hubs would divorce me and move in with you if he saw it it looks so good :)

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 26, 2009 at 6:35 am

Glad you liked the chicken dip girl!! :) My fave app is probably spinach dip, but my own recipe. I can’t really find one in a restaurant anymore I like. What a wonderful holiday for you!! :)

ellie December 26, 2009 at 7:31 am

LOVE your tradition of taking groceries to a family in need…that is so incredibly thoughtful. Do the family know or do you surprise them? Either way, uber cool. Everything looks delish! Can’t wait for the Christmas Day recap!

1. what is your favorite appetizer? tough call… I love stuffed mushrooms, breaded mushrooms and devilled eggs. Oh, and mini egg rolls and samosas!

2. what was the highlight of your christmas day? Having lunch with my mom at my place was good but dinner with her and my brother was also great. We keep it all pretty low-key, but still a lot of fun.

julie December 26, 2009 at 8:22 am

you’re such an angel girl :) you and your mama and sisters! what an awesome tradition!!

1. i’m excited you posted about that buf chicken dip bc deej is having a psu party next weekend and my younger brother is requesting a buffalo chicken dip so how perfect haha

2. we made your sweet potato gallette from turkey day. YUUUUUUUUUM

Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) December 26, 2009 at 9:48 am

Merry Christmas Janetha! I love that tradition – just amazing.

1. what is your favorite appetizer? anything with brie cheese

2. what was the highlight of your christmas day? My husband surprising me with a Garmin

Katie December 26, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Kickass food shopping trip!

And great workout.

I might try the body for life eating plan this 2010 to mix up with my Beach Body/ Insanity/P90X workouts.

Is it “easy” to follow?

What’s the hardest part?

Happy Saturday,


jenngirl December 26, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Sorry you felt you had to drag yourself to the gym, I think with all of the outdoors activities you’ve been up to you’d have been fine either way ;)

That is so awesome of you and your family to take food to a family in need! It’s people like y’all that keep the holiday spirit alive.

What a great spread of food! It all looks amazing.

1. I love cheese balls, but also simple veggies and hummus are a must for me.

2. Playing Scrabble with my mom! :)

Sarah December 26, 2009 at 12:21 pm

i love that your family helps one less fortunate! what a wonderful tradition!

all your appetizers look sooooo delicious, i am pretty much drooling all over my keyboard (cute image, right?)….

hope the rest of christmas was amazingly happy and great!

Bekah December 26, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Susan’s sunflower seed hummus? Must make. Gotta put that on the list…. :)’

Yummmy food and appetizers!

Jenna December 26, 2009 at 1:52 pm

wow!! all those apps look soo good!

Lauren December 26, 2009 at 3:14 pm

What a fantastic Christmas! Everything looks so inviting and merry. I just love your tradition of buying groceries for a family in need. What could be better then spreading the Holiday Cheer on one of the most loving nights on earth. :)

Merry Christmas darling. I truly hope it was magical.

Naomi(onefitfoodie) December 26, 2009 at 5:12 pm

MAJOR food porn in here, thanks for teh notice!! now I am SUPER hungry!! (its ok though I loved every bit of it!!)

your family is so beautiful and you look SO Much like your mom!

all the food and app’s look so great! I think my two favorite app’s (when at parties) would have to be spinach artichoke dip and also a greek platter with hummus, feta, tabouli, pita. at a restaurant i LOVE creative salads like mozz and tomato or goat cheese with pears and candied pecans MMMM

oh and LOVE your mama’s marshmellow mug!! she looks so great!!

devan December 26, 2009 at 6:15 pm

your family is stunning!!

I LOVE stuffed mushrooms!

louisianagrown December 26, 2009 at 6:53 pm

I would have to say that your Christmas eve meal is the best looking one I have seen in the blogosphere!

eatmovelove December 26, 2009 at 7:49 pm

love love love the pizza!
any girl and blog that shows pizza – and not just uber duber organic veggie “perfect” food gets my vote…i mean pizza is technically the healthiest you can get right?! and the crust – the best part …sorry I’m sick of reading about “just put the sauce over veggies” or “low-carb crust”…ugh when did we become sooo afraid to eat already?!!

Paige (Running Around Normal) December 26, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Merry Christmas, sweetie! Looks like you had an amazingly good one:)
Those salt and pepper shakers are too cute.

Holly (The Healthy Everythingtarian) December 26, 2009 at 9:52 pm

janetha bean…i just got your xmas card, loved it and its on my fridge, no lie!


i think i told you this, but your nieces are the cutest. and your family’s food is epic. i wanted each and every thing you ate.

lots of love to the benson family! mwah – chat soon :)

fave app…bruschetta or anything atop bread. delish.

highlight of xmas day…just hanging with the family and playing a bajillion games of bananagrams!

hayleycepeda December 27, 2009 at 8:22 am

I love your family Janetha….you guys are so beautiful inside and out. What an amazingly selfless tradition – I love it and should start doing the same thing.

The scenery in your boarding pics is beautiful!! Looks like you guys found some good slopes. :)

Smorgasborg indeed! What yummy looking eats…

Merry Belated Christmas Janetha! I’m sorry this is late…

lowandbhold December 28, 2009 at 10:01 am

Looks like a blast! Poor Marshal though :(

1. Fried cheese sticks. If I ever need to put on weight for a movie role, I will eat them all day every day ;)
2. Ummm… getting drunk? I was snowed in and didn’t get to see my family. Hung out with some friends that night though.

anutritionisteats December 28, 2009 at 2:57 pm

I can’t believe you had clam dip – I have never heard of anyone else eating it! It is a family tradition of mine – my Grandma used to make it and we usually have it for Christmas! Soooo yummy! (But kind of wierd sounding!)

snackface December 29, 2009 at 1:23 pm

I’m a little disappointed with that salad bar salad. Why is it not overflowing the box like mine always do?

Cannot handle the cuteness that is you+sisters+mumsy grocery shopping! What an amazing tradition. Not the shopping, but what you do with it. Felt I should clarify.

That looks like dope pita bread. LOVE. And I don’t think I’ve ever used the word dope.

Real Simple rocks my world. What a fabulous publication.

MamaJ’s allergic to clams, so I don’t think I’ll be trying that dip. Ever.

Marshall. That hair. Adorable.

PENELOPE!! I’m stealing her. Ok, I won’t. But when I get a baby of my own, I’m getting a Penelope. She’s flashing her goods in the last photo. That’s how I know we belong together.

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