Five on Friday; Here Comes Santa Claus!


Happy Friday before Christmas lovies!!! I'm linking up this Friday again with DarciNatashaChristina, and April. I'm so excited for all the things leading up to next Wednesday...

The first reason is my new haircut.  As you saw on last weeks Wednesday Wishlist I was contemplating cutting my hair (for the first time in over 3 years) and I DID IT!  Check it out below; I cut off over 4 inches! What do you think!?

The second reason is that Sunday will be the 6th annual E/T Christmas Dinner.  Since getting married we have had a tradition of doing a Christmas dinner with some great friends of ours; Chris & Amanda.  They have since moved away, but we still keep the tradition alive, switching houses every year. I'm really excited to see them and cook a delish meal. I'm going to make beef tenderloin with a truffle salt rub, gnocchi mac n' cheese, and kale & pomegranate salad. One of my favorite side dishes of all time is this gnocchi mac n' I'm sharing it with you below!! 

Gnocchi Mac n' Cheese
From Cuisine at Home
* 1 lb purchased or homemade gnocchi
* 2 T butter
* 2 t garlic, finely chopped
* 1 T all-purpose flour
* 3/4 C milk
* 1 t Dijon mustard
* 1/4 C shredded Gruyere cheese
* 1/4 C shredded fontina cheese
* Salt and white pepper to taste
* 1/3 C shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
* Basil leaves for garnish, optional 

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and place gnocchi in a single-layer in a 1-1/2 quart shallow baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in flour until it thickens and bubbles, then whisk in milk and Dijon. Continue to whisk mixture and cook until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. 
Combine Gruyere and fontina, then add by the handful to milk mixture, stirring until melted before adding the next handful. Once all cheese is melted, season sauce with salt and pepper.

Pour sauce over gnocchi and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano over top. Bake gnocchi until they puff and the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Let gnocchi rest for 5 minutes before serving. 

The third reason is the manicure I'm going to get! Does it make me super Fab OR super lame that this excites me!? (#MommyProblems) Anyways, I know y'all have heard of , or even tried, gel manicures; OPI gelish, Shellac, etc...  Well back in late September/early October Essie launched their own professional LED gel line.  THANK YOU GOD!!! For whatever reason, I have found that I like the Essie colors more than OPI, AND my Essie manicures last longer.  So, I'm going on Monday to get my very first Essie gel manicure.  YEE-HAW!!! Merry Christmas!

Woo I'm gonna feel so sassy with my new hair and nails... "They see me rollin', they hatin'.."

The fourth reason is because I'm in charge of breakfast for the fam on Christmas morning...PIECE OF CAKE SOUFLE! This is such a sacred family recipe; like Bush's Baked Beans secret family recipe! My dog's about to come running out and yell at me in a human voice for sharing this with you. BUT, I've had a few wines tonight and, after all, it is the season of giving... ;-)  I usually serve this with a sweet side (cinnamon roll, coffee cake, etc...), a big bowl of fresh fruit, and some mimosas!! 

Cheese Souffle
11 slices white bread
1 jar old English cheese (5oz)
1/4 lb. Margarine
4 eggs
2 C milk
Jimmy Dean Sausage

Cook sausage and drain grease.  Beat cheese and butter together. Remove crust from bread and spread both sides of slices with cheese mixture. Cut each slice of bread in 4 squares and put pieces in soufflĂ© dish (stacked on top of the other). Layer sausage between pieces of bread.  Beat eggs and milk together and pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate at least over night. Bake the next day for one hour at 350 degrees.

And last, but certainly not least...I will be up in D-town with my "mitten" family in less than a week! YAH!!!! This will be Wakeland's first time flying so I am going to make these baggies for all the passengers around us...

My SIL found this idea on Pinterest and did it when traveling with my niece for the first time. She said the people around her were so grateful and it made the whole trip a lot less stressful.

Anyways, I love going to Michigan to visit over the Holidays, especially if it's snowing, and I'm really excited for everyone to meet Wake, and vice versa! So take this as fair warning...I might blog next Monday & Tuesday but will be out of commission until after the New Year.  However, saddle up for my return because you know this diarrhea mouth will have a lot to catch you up on! 

~ Have a great weekend Lovies ~

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