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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Grilled Chicken Salad

Abbie and My 2010 Holiday Card
This holiday season was one of the best (and busiest!) that I can remember.  I had the opportunity to be with my friends, loved ones, and, most importantly, family.  The kickoff to my holiday season was a Christmas party hosted by two of Andy's good friends, Clay and Michelle Montgomery.  Michelle and Clay's 2nd annual party was definitely a hit- they have a really fun group of friends.  Michelle has a DIY blog that I love love- check it out when you have time.  The party was complete with some of Michelle's custom wine labels, Alfredo Meatballs, Allie's cakeballs, chipotle cream cheese dip, grilled jalapenos, and pink panty droppers!  (Recipe to come later!)  For her party, Michelle had made some really cute wreaths, and I was thinking that I wanted to try to make one, too.  The next morning, there was Martha Stewart on The Today Show making a sparkly wreath, so I took this as a sign that I needed to scoot on over to Hobby Lobby and pick up some supplies.    Hey, if they could do it, I could, too.  This is what it turned out looking like- see below.  The pink feathers sticking out are from my best friend's bachelorette party that was back in April, so it is sentimental as well as sparkly!

The Christmas wreath I made!

Our next Christmas party was a week later at our friends, Natalie and Thomas McDaniels', house.  Andy knows Thomas from Midwestern State University, but I know him from high school in Fort Worth- small world, huh?  They had a White Elephant gift exchange.  I took a giant bag of peanut M&M's, but left with a couple of candles and Febreze to go.  Bank!  Andy took a jumbo pack of black Sharpies from Costco... gag gift, much?

Andy and Me at The McDaniels' Chinese Gift Exchange
The next day, Andy and I went to Henrietta, Texas, for his mom's family Christmas.  Henrietta is a tiny town just south of Wichita Falls, where he and I both have family.  The Coleman family is truly blessed, as they still have both of Andy's grandparents living.  I hadn't spent a Christmas at a grandparents' house in a long time, and it was bittersweet.  I loved being able to meet his grandparents, but it was tough remembering that I no longer have any of my own.  (Oh well, at least their recipes still live on!)  The adults on the Coleman side of his family do a Chinese gift exchange for gift cards... very fun and clever! I brought a Best Buy one that Mr. Jennings ended up with, Andy got a Dillard's one, and I, sneakily, managed to get the Target one that Andy had brought! I think I may do a Chinese exchange next year... hmmm...

Andy and his 7 month old nephew, Greyson
 After Henrietta, we hauled booty back to Fort Worth because it was the night of my 3rd Annual Holiday Cocktail Party! If you read my pots about MaryEllen's Texas Caviar, you've already gotten the history.  If not, click here for a background of my holiday cocktail.  This year had a great turnout!! We didn't stop partying until about 3:00am, so I'm pretty sure everyone had fun! Must've been the beer pong... or was it the prolific amounts of food?

Andy and me at my 3rd Annual Holiday Cocktail Party!

Christmas Decor ready and waiting for the Cocktail Party!

My DG Family- itb! Ashlea (my grandlittle), me, and JZet (my little)

The morning after the cocktail, Andy and I drug our exhausted selves out to Eagle Mountain Lake to meet my parents for the Fort Worth Boat Club's Annual Christmas Luncheon.  This has been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember, and I was happy I got to share it with Andy this year.  I took my obligatory annual picture with Santa, and I even made Andy take one, too! But the holiday celebrations still weren't done!

25th Annual Santa and me picture

Andy and me with Santa at the Boat Club
Round six meant off to Wichita Falls for Andy's dad's Christmas.  I met more family, and ate more food! Andy's dad made some delicious brisket and BBQ ribs- so good that Andy thought they surely had been catered.  We gave his younger cousin a Texas duffle bag (good man, right there, liking the Longhorns already!)  We then spent a few days in Falls Town.  I went to the infamous Casa Manana, P2, and Toby's, and we tried a new place called Denim and Diamonds.  All were fun, and it was good seeing some of our (randomly mutual) old friends!

Andy's Nephew, Greyson, at Jennings Family Christmas

"Hey, do you know Kacie Skipworth?" Just one of our random mutual friends!

Greyson's First Christmas

Christmas Eve, I returned home to Fort Worth for Christmas morning at my parents' house with my parents and brother, Geoff.  After hustling to unwrap our gifts and a few mimosas, it was time to pack up again... and then, yep, back in the car to go BACK to Wichita Falls. This time it was for my mom's family Christmas.  There were so many people and SO much delicious food!!   In attendance were my Aunt Rhonda, Uncle Richard, cousin Ashlea, cousin Kameron, cousin Tiffany, Rhonda's parents, Rhonda's nephew, Rhonda's best friend, Sherry, my parents, my brother and his girlfriend, Kristi, a few of Rhonda & Richard's friends, Andy, and Andy's parents were able to join us, too.  Despite being super nervous about our families meeting, it went off without a hitch!  Afterwards, my parents, Andy, and I bundled up and went to go walk around the Burns Family Festival of Lights at Midwestern State University- a tradition from my younger years, re-instated.

Mom, Geoff, me, and Abbie on Christmas morning at my parents' house

Geoff, Dad, me, and Abbie at my parents' house on Christmas morning

Me and Geoff modeling our new L.L. Bean vests!

Kameron and me ("Aunt Kate") at my Aunt Rhonda & Uncle Richard's house in Wichita Falls, Texas

My cousin, Ashlea, and me in Wichita Falls, Texas on Christmas Day night

Me and Andy trying to catch bubbles from the robot at MSU's Fantasy of Lights

Me and Andy and the Little Engine That Could at MSU's Fantasy of Lights

This was Andy & my favorite when we were little- Santa soaking his feet after a long day!

Me and Kameron after she made a giant cupcake

Christmas Tree at my parents' house- so many presents!
About now, I'm sure you're thinking how you really don't care about my bajillion Christmas parties and want to know what recipe I'm going to share... well, here it is.  I don't think I stopped eating from the start of The Montgomery's Christmas party until the next year.  This extensive list includes, but is not limited to, the following: cakeballs, Oreo truffle balls, white bean queso, bourbon meatballs, turkey, pork, BBQ, ranch dip, cookies, peppermint bark, pumpkin squares, cherry pie, pumpkin pie, cheesey potatoes, Texas Caviar, Chick-Fil-A, wine, beer, mimosas, and, of course, egg nog... oh, sick, I suddenly feel nauseous. 
Andy and I decided that we need a little green in our lives.  So, I got on my "Cook This, Not That," app on my iPhone, and found a recipe for Grilled Chicken Salad.  It's nothing special, but if, like me, you have had too much fat, grease, and sugar- get back on track with this easy salad!

Grilled Chicken Salad
Makes 4 servings- 500 calories/serving
WeightWatchers Points Plus Value: 8
  • 12 cups arugula (or 1 prewashed bag)
  • 1/4 cup Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (light honey mustard is the healthier option)
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or Craisins)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 12 oz cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (or feta)
  1. Combine the chicken, arugula, cranberries, avocado, goat cheese, walnuts, vinaigrette, salt and pepper in a large bowl
  2. Use your hands or 2 forks or salad tongs to toss.
I made this tonight, but forgot the cheese... it was still delish!

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