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Archive | Christmas

Christmas in October + Creatively Christmas book launch

Christmas in October? What! I know, stay tuned, I’ll explain. Just popping in real quick today to share my friends launch of her new Christmas book, Creatively Christmas. Do you know Jen from Jen Rizzo? I met Jen a couple years ago at the Haven conference while filling my face with food! ha. We were sitting next to each other and just hit off. She is so down to earth and super friendly. Some of you may know, she runs a wonderful Christmas home tour every year featuring amazingly talented bloggers from across the blogosphere. I am honored that she invites me each year and cannot wait to share our Christmas home for 2014. Would you believe me if I told you we pulled out 3 Christmas trees yesterday? Indeed we did ;). My grandfather is so confused about why we have trees up right now. I told him we are decorating 6 trees this year and he was speechless. He thinks I am out of my mind. I am kind of agreeing with him at the moment.

Christmas started yesterday + Creatively Christmas book launch

Jen’s book features never before seen Christmas craft tutorials, decorating ideas and loads of gorgeous Christmas inspiration.

Christmas started yesterday + Creatively Christmas book launch

Here is cute Jen! I grabbed this image from Beth’s site (thanks Beth!!) because I couldn’t help but giggle as the power tool is as big as she is! ha

Christmas started yesterday + Creatively Christmas book launch

Jen has a great eye for classic vintage decor and I love how cozy her spaces look. Curling up with a cozy book is what I want to do in this sitting area below.christmas in october plus creatively christmas book launch

Be sure to head on over to amazon where you can order your own copy of Creatively Christmas. You are sure to be inspired!

christmas in october plus creatively christmas book launchAs many of you know, Christmas in our home is insane with loads of trees and multiple mini-parties during Christmas eve and Christmas day. Living with four generations under one roof, we split up the festivities and go from room to room in our home. Like many of you, we travel during the holidays but we stay under one roof while we travel. This year I am trying to be organized with all the decorating and not last minute. My hope is to enjoy the Christmas season and relax so my mom and I are getting a jump start on the decorating. We are part of two Christmas home tours this year and decorating, taking pictures and writing the blog post takes an enormous amount of time so hence the, Christmas in October festivities under our roof ;). Sorry gramps, you will just have to deal with Christmas for three months! haha

 

Our Merry Christmas family picture

We are spending today at home relaxing and enjoying Christmas day with family. Last night we celebrated the Feast of the Seven Fishes here at our home and today is full of left overs :). Merry Christmas Four Generations One Roof

Merry Christmas Four Generations One Roof

We had some fun taking Christmas pictures together, can you tell? :)

Merry Christmas Four Generations One Roof

Next year I will plan sooner and hopefully get my parents and grandparents matching pajama’s for a full multigenerational Christmas photo. Can you see my grandfather in these? hehe

Merry Christmas Four Generations One Roof

We got these pajama’s over the summer in NH while vacationing at Lake Winnipesaukee . I remember when I bought them, my husband said, “are you kidding me?” ha.

Merry Christmas from Four Generations One Roof! We will be taking some time off during the next week so we will be back to blog land soon!

Our Easy Haddock Recipe

Can you believe Christmas will be here in 2 days!? My mom and I spent all day yesterday picking up last minute gifts and way to much time in the grocery store buying food for Christmas Eve. Our Christmas Eve is full of laughter, food and being merry. We celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes while blending in an English traditional celebration from my mom’s side of the family. I cook all the fishes and my mom prepares puddings, ham, turkey and the desserts. Last week I shared our salmon recipe that we will be preparing Christmas Eve and today, I thought I would share our easy haddock recipe. I cook between 7 and 9 fish dishes Christmas eve and the haddock and salmon are the two easy recipes out of the bunch. You can eat haddock year round and we prepare it this way all through the year. You’ll see why in a minute :).

Easy Haddock Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 packaged sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce) I prefer the tomato basic and oregano flavor
  • 1.5 lbs haddock (may substitute with cod)

Instructions

  • Instructions below. Serves between 2 and 4 people.
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easy haddock recipe

Add the olive oil, butter and garlic to the saucepan and cook on low for about 5 minutes then add the onions and and saute on low/medium heat for about 10 minutes.

easy haddock recipe

easy stove top haddock recipe

Next add sliced black olives and white wine.

easy stove top haddock recipe

Add diced tomatoes and bring to a boil.

easy stove top haddock recipe

Once the sauce comes to a boil, add the haddock. You can substitute with cod as well.

easy stove top haddock recipe

Sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley. Cover and let boil for 3-5 minutes then simmer for 15 minutes or until fish is cooked. Fish will be done when it breaks off with a fork and is flakey. You will notice the fish start to break apart as it cooks.

easy stove top haddock recipe

That’s it! Serve over rice or angle hair pasta. easy stove top haddock recipe

This haddock recipe is one of our favorite dishes on Christmas eve. It’s very light and tastes delicious. The best part, it’s really easy to cook and it doesn’t take up space in the oven. Many of our dishes are prepared in the oven and then need to be kept in a warmer while the others are prepared. I welcome any stove top fish recipes!

My last minute specialty & gourmet gift ideas

A few weeks ago I shared my favorite gift giving ideas for grandparents over at Better Homes and Gardens and if you are like me, you are running around picking up last minute gifts and scrambling to get things wrapped! You can find my grandparent gift ideas over at BHG as well as a few of my favorite go-to sources for specialty & gourmet gifts below.

last minute christmas gifts

Grandparent gift ideas at BHG

Anything sweet and crunchy, is a sure bet when giving a gift. Harry and David makes a slew of arrangements that would be perfect for anyone, even kids. You can find Harry and David online or in most local malls. I actually saw a table setup in Macy’s yesterday while taking my son to see Santa.

last minute gifts grandparents

last minute specialty and gourmet gifts

Harry & David , Harry & David

Stonewall kitchen also offers a variety of holiday products from gourmet stocking stuffers to full bread making machines. I love Stonewall kitchen!

last minute gifts

Stonewall Kitchen

last minute specialty and gourmet gifts

 Specialty Chocolates

last minute specialty and gourmet gifts

Gourmet candy

This hand picked picture frame from Casa is adorable for any mom.

last minute specialty and gourmet gifts

Specialty frames & gifts at Casa

This site has a beautiful assortment of specialty notepads, gifts and paper items. If you are looking for something  unique and classic, check this site out.

last minute gourmet and specialty gifts

Sugar Paper

Anything last minute usually stresses me out but it’s nice when I have a go-to source or two to grab last minute gifts. Many of these can still be ordered online in time for Christmas which is nice and incredibly helpful! Looking for last minute Christmas dinner ideas? Check out our baked salmon fillet, a Christmas eve favorite here at Four Generations One Roof.

Baked Salmon Fillet “The Feast of the Seven Fishes”

I cannot believe Christmas will be here in just a few short days. Yesterday I shared our Christmas eve, Feast of the Seven Fishes tradition and today I thought I would show you how we make our simple baked salmon fillet. I usually prepare between 7 and 9 fish dishes on Christmas eve and salmon happens to be one of them. This salmon dish isn’t just for Christmas. We eat this year round! It’s actually one of the fishes that we love during the winter months because it doesn’t smell up our kitchen with that awful fish smell.

baked salmon fillet-10

The recipe is below in an easy print format in case you would like to try this for yourself. It is so easy it’s scary! First slice a lemon and chop some fresh parsley.

baked salmon fillet feast of the seven fishes

Line a cookie sheet with foil and cover with butter.

baked salmon fillet-2

I decided to make this dish for my husband’s birthday last week so I purchased 2 lbs of salmon fillet at our local market which was plenty for 7 of us.

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Slice small slits in the salmon large enough to place small pieces of butter inside. You can skip this step or use a butter substitute  if you are trying to eat healthy. Once in while though, we eat “not healthy” around here :).

baked salmon fillet-4

Add capers, lemon slices, pour white wine over fish and drizzle with olive oil. Finish by garnishing with parsley and season with salt & pepper.

baked salmon fillet-5

Wrap loosely with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.

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That’s it! The fish is done when it breaks apart with a fork and flakey.

baked salmon fillet-7

This is one of the main dishes we serve during our Feast of the Seven fishes celebration on Christmas eve.

I normally will place the salmon fillets on a large platter and cut thin slices so everyone can grab an individual piece. We have so much food on Christmas eve that it’s more of a sampling when it comes time for dinner.

baked salmon fillet-11

I don’t normally photograph food, in fact, I would rather photograph a pillow! ha . My dad saw me photographing this prior to us eating and he said, “are you blogging about food!?” haha.

baked salmon fillet-12

There are so many different ways to cook salmon, this happens to be our favorite. I know many use parchment paper to wrap the salmon in but I normally use foil, I never have parchment paper when I need it!

Baked Salmon Fillet

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

45 minutes

Baked Salmon Fillet

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs salmon fillets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 stick butter or margarine
  • capers
  • parsley
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • lemons
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Line a cookie sheet with foil
  • Place salmon fillets on sheet and add small slices with a knife. Cut small slices of butter and insert inside the slices
  • Season with salt & pepper
  • Drizzle olive oil over salmon
  • Pour white wine over salmon
  • Add capers & parsley
  • Cover salmon with sliced lemon
  • Add seasoning
  • Wrap loosely with foil leaving room to breath
  • Cook 375 degrees
  • 35-40 minutes or until flakey
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baked salmon fillet

Baked Salmon fillet is one of the easiest and quickest fish dishes you can make that doesn’t require a lot of prep time. My husband told me I needed to share “food and recipes” more on the blog. I think he likes the idea of me making dinner! ;)

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The Feast of the Seven Fishes, our Christmas Eve tradition

On Christmas eve we celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes which is an Italian Christmas celebration. The feast typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. The celebration commemorates the wait, the Vigilia di Natale, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus. A Sicilian Christmas tradition passed down through my husband’s side of the family. Living with four generations under one roof plus my husband and his family traditions means that most of our holidays are a blend of religion and tradition. My husband is the youngest of 6 children and he grew up with his mom always hosting the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas eve.

The feast of the Seven Fishes our Christmas eve celebration

My husband’s mom & dad

Both of my husband’s parents (shown above) have passed away and since then, many of his brothers and sisters have moved to Florida. I never knew his dad but I did know his mom. His parents came over from Italy with 4 children and one suitcase and arrived by boat in NYC in the 1950’s. Speaking little to no english, they were starting their lives here in America. His mom spoke little english so our conversations were always a little funny :). I remember when I married my husband, he said, it would be nice if we could carry on the Feast of the Seven Fishes for the kids.

The feast of the Seven Fishes our Christmas eve celebration Our Wedding Day

I knew he missed it as well. The holidays are tough when you are missing loved ones. I know the holidays will never be the same for my husband but I was determined to try and carry on the beloved tradition that he grew up with. You see, I grew up protestant and my husband is catholic. I knew little about the tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes and my family knew little as well. Here are my step daughters and my son at 3 months old below.

The feast of the Seven Fishes our Christmas eve celebration

So eight years ago, I researched, gathered recipes and started our own version of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, mixing both religions and traditions. Here is a picture of one of the fish dishes & my mom’s English pudding from last year. Mixing blended traditions can be fun!

The feast of the Seven Fishes our Christmas eve celebration

I grew up with my mom always hosting Christmas eve where she would prepare dinner for our family and extended family. Now, because we all live together, both my mom and I share the holiday. I cook all the fish dishes and she prepares the English traditional dishes from Turkey, Ham and english puddings. From 3pm until about 10pm, we eat, drink and be VERY merry :).

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I remember the first year I hosted the Feast of the Seven Fishes, my family was confused and wasn’t sure what the deal was with so many fish dishes.

feast of the seven fishes our christmas eve celebration

However, the second year they starting asking around Thanksgiving time, “so Jess, are you doing the fishes again?” Eight years later, I am still cooking for days prior to Christmas and the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas eve lives on. My entire family and extended family look forward to this tradition all year long. It’s kind of funny actually :). This week, I will be sharing a couple of our fish recipes with all of you. Who knows, maybe you can start your own blended family Feast of the Seven Fishes tradition!

 

“Holiday Your Way” with Bed Bath & Beyond

This post brought to you by Bed Bath & Beyond. All opinions are 100% mine.

Can you believe there are only 13 days until Christmas!? I was recently contacted to review the “Holiday Your Way site by Bed Bath & Beyond. I am thrilled to share this site with you. I really enjoyed writting this post and reviewing the site. It got me so motivated for our upcoming Christmas eve and day festivities. “Holiday Your Way” is your destination for inspiration, ideas, and solutions throughout the holiday season, featuring delicious and creative recipes, entertaining tips and how-to’s, and a variety of holiday inspiration to create a “Holiday Your Way!” It even has a fun count-down calendar letting you know just how close Christmas is getting.

bed bath and beyond holiday home page

Bed Bath & Beyond has a full section dedicated to holiday party ideas and innovative ways to create a memorable party. Whether you are looking for a making gingerbread houses party, snowflake parties or a singing Christmas carols party, Bed Bath & Beyond has got fabulous ideas. Loads of ideas that I never even thought of. You can see all the ideas below by clicking the holiday party idea link.

Holiday Entertaining

bed bath and beyond holiday your way

Hosting a fun holiday coffee party is such a great idea and if you think about it, very doable. See the details plus more party ideas on their Holiday Entertaining page.

bed bath and beyond

The perfect gifting section from secret santa to a yankee swap, Bed Bath & Beyond has you covered! See the entire gift giving selection below.

Secret Santa Guide

bed bath and beyond secret santa

Looking for delicious festive recipes for an upcoming Christmas party? Check out a slew of ideas from sparkling spritzer to full course dinner entrees. I absolutely love how they have everything planned out for you. They have the full recipe, a how-to section and online videos all there to help you prepare for your holiday dinner or party.

Holiday Recipes

Recipes at Bed Bath and Beyond.jpg

These are just a few of the recipe ideas, be sure to jump over and see for yourself. They have pages of recipe inspiration. We host Christmas eve dinner at our house for about 25 guests and I found some amazing entertaining and recipes and I’m sure you will as well.

My favorite section on the site though is the decorating page. Get “setting the table” and design inspiration for every aspect of your home on their decorating page.

Holiday Decorating tips 

bed bath and beyond holiday your way

Bed Bath & Beyond has created the “Holiday Your Way”  site special for each and every one of you. It’s a perfect tool to keep you on track and remind you of things you may forget. It’s a one stop shop for your entire holiday planning process and the best part, you can even shop right from the site for necessary products for every holiday. Bed Bath & Beyond would love to know what your holiday tips and treats are. Feel free to share in the comments section below. Oh and be sure to click their “visit sponsor” link below and see all the goodies for yourself :).

Disclosure: Thank you to Bed Bath & Beyond for sponsoring todays post. While I was compensated for my time to review this site, all opinions and words are 100% my own.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Shhhhhh……see what’s in our pretty storage trunk!

Shhhhh don’t tell the kids but you have to see what’s in our storage trunk! Finding places to hide Christmas gifts, especially for little sneaky 7 year olds, is not easy. Well, our storage trunk from Wayfair ended up being the perfect solution for a few of our Christmas gifts. I shared our trunk earlier last week in our study makeover and not only is it stylish but it’s also functional. It serves as our coffee table, decorative accent piece and storage. Wayfair provided me with gifts cards towards the purchase of this trunk but I was not told which piece to buy.

storage trunk hiding gifts

storage trunk hiding christmas gifts

The storage trunk has lift top and has a tremendous amount of storage room inside.

storage trunk hiding gifts

We use the trunk as a coffee table and the red tray with glass ornaments sits on top so for the Christmas season, the kids won’t remove the tray to even think to look inside. But if they did, this is what they would find!

storage trunk hiding gifts

The perfect spot for wrapped gifts for Christmas. Of course these are not Santa’s gifts, just in case they were to find them.

storage trunk hiding gifts

Isn’t this the best place for hiding gifts?

storage trunk hiding gifts

Here is our Christmas study, all decked out for the holidays in a fun whimsical theme. You can see more pictures of this room and the rest of our house decorated for Christmas over at our Christmas Home Tour page.

storage trunk hiding gifts

The trunk couldn’t have been more perfect for this space. The colors and metal trim ties in perfectly with the rustic industrial styled media console. When we are not using the trunk for storing gifts, it will house my son’s figurines, legos and smaller toys.

storage trunk hiding giftshome tour 2013

A storage trunk is a creative non-assuming place to hide Christmas gifts. This particular one happens to be right under everyones nose so it makes me giggle when I see my son sitting on the couch watching tv and knowing that the gifts are right under is nose. Oh if he only knew the tricks his momma plays on him :) If you love this storage trunk, head over to Wayfair to check it out!

PS. I am actually over at Wayfair today sharing “how to decorate a flocked Christmas tree” so please come over and say hello!

Disclosure: As I noted in a previous post, Wayfair provided me with gifts cards to put towards the purchase of this trunk. All opinions and words are 100% my own. This trunk is the perfect addition to our study.

 

 

Homemade Christmas Gifts {a few of my favorite people}

Who doesn’t love homemade Christmas gifts. I especially love when my son makes me one and the look and twinkle in his eyes when he gives it to me Christmas morning is the best gift I could ever receive. My grandfather has been working in his workshop all year long, literally, making homemade Christmas gifts for friends and family. Last year, he made over 100 wooden reindeer and this year, wooden snowmen happened to invade his workshop. I will be sharing the cute little snowmen gifts soon!

Today I am sharing a few of my favorite homemade Christmas gifts from around the blogosphere by a few of my favorite people :).

homemade christmas gifts

Hand painted mugs

homemade christmas gifts

Chalkboard Painted Mugs

ChristmasGiftIdeas_thumb

Soy Candles

colorful-stenciled-scarves

Stenciled & dyed scarves

Felted_Soap1

Felted Soap

Garlic & Herb Dipping Oil Hostess Gift Pail (2) (1024x1005)[5]

Garlic Herb Oil

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Paint sticks dominoes

TutorialHowToMakeGoatsMilkSoap_thumb

Goats Milk Soap

scrub

Sugar scrub

cranberry citrus cream

Cranberry Citrus Cream Cheese

homemade christmas gifts

Vanilla extract

Aren’t these girls amazingly talented? I love these chics! I have never made homemade soap but after I finished gathering ideas for todays post, I think I need to add making soap to my list of things to try. My mom bought me goats milk soap last year as a gift from one of their trips they took and oh my it was so soothing to my hands! Homemade Christmas gifts don’t need to be large or lavish, something small and from the heart is my idea of a perfect Christmas gift. Have a wonderful day and don’t forget, Jen Rizzo is having a Christmas “show us your home”  link party today on her blog and we have a major “round robin” giveaway going on over on our facebook page. Homegoods is also giving away two $50 gift cards here and oh, did you see the robot that cleans our floors?!!! Oh my so much to win and see!

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How to make a Christmas JOY sign

We shared our Christmas Home tour earlier this week and the JOY sign above our mantel seemed to be a hit! Can I just tell you that I made this sign in under 10 minutes…….It’s so easy and inexpensive, it’s almost ridiculous :) Today I will show you how to make a Christmas JOY sign that will add a pop of whimsy to your Christmas space.

Christmas Home Tour 2013-1

Items needed for this project:

Foam board (I purchased mine at Michaels Crafts – Elmers foam board)

Exacto knife or equivalent

Paint of your choice (I used Martha Stewart Acrylic bronze)

I drew the letters free hand using my 12″ level. Using a level or ruler will help you keep your lines straight. I didn’t really have any idea how I wanted the letters to look but I knew I wanted them to be fun and chunky looking.

how to make a Christmas JOY sign-2

I then painted the inside of the letters with Martha Stewart bronze craft paint.

how to make a Christmas JOY sign-3

how to make a Christmas JOY sign-4

I used my dad’s stanley knife to cut the foam board. If you can watch this tutorial on how to cut the board if you are unsure. Michaels was running low on white foam board so I ended up purchasing a gold piece of foam board thinking that I would love the gold color for the sign but it wasn’t the look I wanted so I ended up painting with the Martha Stewart bronze color.

How to make a Christmas JOY sign

I purchased the 1/4 ” foam board. Although, I think next time, I would use the 1/2″ foam board.

how to make a Christmas JOY sign-2-2

Once I had my “J” and “Y” painted and cut out, I used 3M Command Stripes to hang the letters. I used the ornament wreath below that I made a couple weeks ago as the “O”.

how to make a christmas JOY sign

I decided to hang the “Y” a little crooked to stay with the fun and whimsical look in the room.

how to make a christmas JOY sign

how to make a chrismtas joy sign

Creating a Christmas JOY sign is an easy way to add Christmas cheer to a room. You can also purchase wooden letters like my friend Kim did and paint them. If you are looking for more Christmas inspiration, be sure to head over to our Christmas home tour, 2013 or 2012.

Linking to Tidy Mom I’m Loving it Party!

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