Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dogs are better on couches

Last week I finally talked Torsten into allowing Montana on the couch, as long as two conditions are met:
  1. She has to lie on a blanket to protect the couch from dirt, germs, and dog hair
  2. She has to be expressly invited and cannot feel free to just hop on the couch whenever she wishes--she has her dog bed and crate for that.
Torsten gave into this mostly to humor me, but it turns out that he likes it too. I mean, seriously, who wouldn't love this? My two best buddies on the couch with me is pretty much the best thing ever. (Also, Shelly, you can see some of our stockings hanging in the background.)

Also, last night, in preparation for my family's visit, I made peanut butter buckeyes, and they are possibly the best things I've ever tasted. I've been waiting for the family visit for this, because Torsten doesn't like peanut butter (I KNOW), and I didn't want an entire batch to eat myself. Plus, they're so rich that I really can't eat many, which is definitely a blessing in disguise.

Of course, peanut butter buckeyes aren't the only thing on the menu. This is our first time hosting Christmas, not just in this house but ever, and while I am trying to make sure we're prepared, I'm not freaking out about making everything perfect, because a) my family isn't like that--nobody expects perfection and nobody needs to be impressed--and b) my dad will be doing most of the cooking, as usual.

But we have been doing the grocery shopping and so on, and that's actually been kind of fun. Also, we are realizing how unprepared we are to have six guests simultaneously. We have enough bedrooms, and enough beds if you count the air mattress on loan from my parents, and enough sheets. We do not have enough dining room chairs, but we've borrowed some folding chairs from our next-door neighbor, so we're set there.

We've also borrowed a car seat for my younger step-niece from the other next-door neighbor. We've been to Costco and Safeway and we're planning a trip to Whole Foods later this week. We purchased mantle clips and hung the stockings. The presents are all purchased, wrapped, and arranged under the tree. A tree with presents under it is just so SATISFYING.

And, the menu is set. It includes:
  • Rib roast with gravy
  • Yorkshire pudding
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows
  • Creamed onion casserole
  • Peas
  • Frozen mint chocolate pie
  • Trifle
  • Chocolate orange souffle
  • Eggnog milkshakes
Of these, I'm in charge of two of the desserts. And that's it. THAT is the way to host your first Christmas, as far as I'm concerned.


  1. Ummm, just so you know, it's difficult for dogs to differentiate between invitation only and something that is just allowed. So, errr, don't be surprised if, over time, lil Montana helps herself up on your couch. Not that we'd know or anything...

    You tree is lovely. And I'll be over promptly at 5:00 for dinner - it sounds scrumptious! =)

  2. CUTE picture!! My dh would flip if I allowed the dog on the couch, although, she's probably not much messier than the kids. hee

    PB Buckeyes sound YUM!!

  3. My Golden didnt wait to be invited. She saw people sitting on the couch and decided that she would too and that was the end of it.

  4. Your presents are so pretty! And you're right, it's satisfying and complete-looking. (I always think the tree looks so sad after everything's been opened and cleared out from under it. Poor little tree.)

    Have a wonderful holiday! I'm impressed with your hostessing!

  5. 1. It so much easier with a dog. You can teach them to not do things. With the cat, eh, she pretty much goes wherever she feels like going at that time- I can't really stop her besides spraying her with water, and she thinks that's a game.

    2) HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE PEANUT BUTTER?!?!?!?! I could eat a peanut butter sandwich (no jelly) everyday.

    3) I can't wait until I have a house and I host our families over. My best fried is having her and her husband's families over (but that guest list is 16, yikes!) and I'm soooo jealous!

  6. We have a house rule that the cats are allowed to sit where we sit. I do not sit on the counter or coffee table, so they can't either. I do sit on the couch and bed, so those are fine. One of our favorite moments is when Bryan and I are snuggled on the couch next to the fire and both cats hop up to join us. This weekend we had a 3rd foster kitten on the couch with us too. It's our own little family :)

  7. Oh...drool...that all sounds so yummy. Especially the PB buckeyes.

    And I LOVE the expression on Montana's face.

  8. Shorty knows the difference between "invitation only" and just being allowed on the couch. He only comes up when we have his green blanket on our laps, and even then, he waits until we pat the blanket and say, "Come on up."

    I think Montana will associate her blanket with couch time. And I agree, dogs ARE better on couches. :)

  9. I love your tree! I think I'll hitch a ride with Nilsa for dinner! :)

  10. Thanks for posting a link for the buckeye recipe - Someone brought some to work, and I asked for a recipe and never got one. :-)

  11. Creamed Onion Casserole? You must divulge this recipe! Only 3 or 4 people in my family even like creamed onions (including me, obvs) and the rest of the family ribs us about it annually -- but a casserole? My curiosity is totally piqued.

  12. Your tree is so pretty! I am super in love with our tree this year.

    Also - pleeeeease share the recipe for creamed onion casserole! That sound wonderful.

    I am so glad Torsten caved and let Montana on the couch. Now I don't feel like we are the only ones with dogs on the furniture!

  13. Fonzie is TECHNICALLY not allowed on our couches, but over time we began to find him there more and more often. So now the "rule" (snort) is that he's not allowed to once we find him. But he's pretty much made it his life's goal to sneak onto the couches whenever we're not looking, so it's kind of a lost cause. And sometimes he looks SO comfy I don't have the heart to make him get down. He IS allowed on our BED, though (I know, Torsten would die a thousand deaths!) as long as the comforter is pulled up so he's not on the sheets. The comforter is washable, thankfully.
    Yeah, consistency is the name of the game around here...

  14. It's so worth it to have the pets on the couch, regardless of how much hair they shed. It's the greatest feeling ever to snuggle up on the couch with them!

    Remember the Thanksgiving episode of Friends when Rachel makes a traditional English trifle? "A layer of jam, a layer of lady fingers, a layer of beef and peas, another layer of jam..." kills me every time!

    And yorkshire pudding is SO SO SO tasty.

    Merry Christmas to you guys!

  15. Stockings!!

    We've never allowed our dogs on the couch because between the two of them, there would be no room for us. This is my hubby's rule, though, and if were up to me, I'd love to sit and cuddle my guys on the sofa.

  16. As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason for me to have a 90lb Doberman mix except to cuddle with on the furniture. He certainly would be useless as protection, wimpy little mama's boy that he is. ;)

  17. Peanut butter buckeyes are DELICIOUS! I have a friend who is a huge Ohio State fan and she makes them for all the game-watching parties. Yum!

  18. I'm a big fan of not having dogs on couches because Fuzzy Britches is huge and would take up most of the couch. It also keeps hair, water, dirt, etc off the couches.

    And I have to agree with Nilsa, Montana is probably not going to be able to differentiate between invitation only and always.

  19. I've never been good at setting boundaries with pets. I've always let them up on furniture. :-) Those buckeyes? YUM! PB and choco is my fave combo.

  20. Hey Jess,

    I don't know how you feel about crunchy treats but my MIL has a great Buckeye recipe that uses rice krispies w/ the peanut butter mixture so they are a little crunchy and not quite so rich. When you have a quiet moment (in the new year?) you can email me for it if you'd like: