Monday, January 20, 2014

Sunshine Meeting and a Hollywood Christmas

One night in November...yes, still only in November on these posts of mine, I had my dear Sunshine girls over for dinner and spirits so we could start making plans for our upcoming staff Christmas luncheon.
We LOVE any reason to be together...aren't my sunshine girls beautiful?!?!?
We had to talk theme, caterers and many other details. All very serious and we had to do it in proper form with food and drinks.  Since this is our first year on Sunshine, we have never been planned for this event, let alone such a big one. But now that I write this post almost two months after the fact, I can happily say that our Christmas Luncheon seemed to be a fun time and merry success!

We had a fun theme of "Hollywood Christmas" and each grade team decorated their table in the theme of their favorite Christmas movie. It was amazing! We have so many creative teachers that these tables were DECKED OUT. We had teams in costumes,a table serving hot cocoa (Polar Express) and so much more! So many movies were represented and not ONE repeated! Each person voted on their favorite table and Charlie Brown Christmas (represented by our awesome support staff) won! We played Christmas movie trivia and "Name That Line" with quotes from various Christmas movies and we had so many laughs. I was so impressed and our staff made it so easy for this special event to be a success. Here is my Kindergarten team dressed for our table decorated like the movie, "Elf".
So my Sunshine girls and I really take it serious when we plan. And of course it was a time for me to break out new recipes. My sweet sunshine girls always let me play hostess so I can get Collins in bed and then I cook for them. I made a dish that rocked my world. Barbecue Chicken Potpie. It was amazing! Wait until you find out the secret ingredient;))) To accompany this, I made a salad. We finished off our meal with Pumpkin Spiced Gingersnap Truffles. Oh sweet Maria. It was all delicious and so good. And any time with these precious friends calls for a celebration. Here we are being silly for school pictures. When you husband is the photographer, you get to pull a few stunts like this:) Or rather he pulled a few stunts on our gorgeous pictures.
 I just love our above "prom picture" pose:)
If only Lauren will give the rest of us some of her height! Darn her and her tallness!
 Barbecued Chicken Potpie
1 Tablespoon butter
1 bag seasoning blend (about 1/2 cup of bell peppers, onions and celery each)
1 can green chilies
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 (14oz) can chicken broth
1 (12oz) bottle chili sauce
3 Tablespoons brown sugar 
1 oz. chocolate, grated!!!
1 can refrigerator cornbread twists
Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the seasoning blend, garlic and green chilies. Saute for 5 minutes and stir in the cumin. Cook for 2 minutes and stir in the vinegar, stirring. Add the chicken, broth, chili sauce, brown sugar and chocolate and mix well.
Cook for 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Spoon the chicken mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Separate the corn bread twists and arrange lattice fashion over the top of the prepared layer. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minute. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. 
Adapted from a favorite cookbook of mine, Mardi Gras to Mistletoe
Pumpkin Spiced Gingersnap Truffles
1 1/4 cups semisweet  chocolate pieces
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup chopped gingersnaps (about 10 cookies)
Roll in:
1/3 cup finely crushed gingersnaps (about 7 cookies) 
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

In medium bowl, combine chocolate pieces, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla
Place cream in a saucepan and bring just to boiling. Pour cream over chocolate mixture. Let stand 5 minutes Whisk until smooth. Stir in chopped gingersnaps. Cover refrigerate 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until firm enough but soft enough to form into balls.
Place crushed gingersnaps and/or cocoa powder in small bowls. Using a small spoon, scoop 1 tablespoon portions of truffle mixture and shape into balls. Roll in crushed gingersnaps or cocoa powder to coat. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store, covered, in refrigerator, up to 3 days. 
Take from a Better Home and Gardens Magazine many moons ago. No name listed to thank for this deliciousness:(

Momou, always thinking of you...the lovely hostess and cook:)

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