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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas. Mine was lovely. Let’s break it down.

I came out to my parents’ on Saturday afternoon. And I immediately got to cooking for brunch with my dad’s family the next day.

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I made Praline French Toast Casserole, Eggnog Chocolate Chip Loaf, and Sausage and Red Pepper Quiche. The French toast casserole was good, except it overflowed the pan and started a fire in my grandparents’ oven, so that made Christmas more exciting. The eggnog chocolate chip loaf was fantastic, I highly recommend that. And everyone really loved the sausage and red pepper quiche (which I made with bacon instead of sausage).

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On Christmas Eve we did our annual trip to the Montauk Lighthouse to see the Christmas lights. I love the bathroom out there. It’s over an hour from my parents’ house and I usually have to go to the bathroom when we get there. The first year I thought I’d have to go in the woods, but then I tried the bathrooms there and realized they were unlocked. They’re dark and kind of creepy (although this year they were heated) since no one else is around, but they’re really well maintained and they serve their purpose.

Montauk Point lighthouse! Merry Christmas everyone!

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Christmas Day was great. We opened presents in the morning.

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I had a little helper.

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My mom got my dad these crazy glasses that are supposed to make it easier to see to drive at night.

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And my father likes writing funny things on the name tags.

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And then it was dinner time! I did lots and lots of cooking.

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Slow-cooker garlic mashed potatoes

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Black pepper and vinegar stuffing

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Roasted chicken

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And obviously my Christmas tree cake. This was the devil food cake from Baked Explorations and vanilla buttercream.

I also made sourdough stuffing with fennel and capers, but I didn’t snap a picture of it.

Overall it was a great Christmas. I spent time with my family and got a bunch of great gifts. Merry (late) Christmas!

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One of my goals for the weekend was to get the pictures that have been sitting on my camera on to my computer. Most of them were of this past Christmas so I thought I’d post some of my favorite here…

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The Montauk lighthouse lit up for the holidays.

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A cake shaped like a tree…

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…gets transformed into a beautifully (if I can say so myself) decorated Christmas tree.

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My mom and Sophie waiting to open gifts.

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A surprised? skeptical? annoyed? brother.

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The first roast chicken I ever made.

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Me and Zach. Not sure how long I had been without showering at that point. Just keeping it real.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, blog land!

My day started out with wrapping my parents’ gifts.

Yes, I wait until the last minute. All the presents were ready under the tree.

Our gifts still say they’re from Santa

I opened my stocking which had candy and some other goodies

And then we passed out gifts

And then we opened gifts!

Whole Foods giftcard from my aunt and uncle

Crunch Perfect Yoga Workout DVD

Spibelt

Chanel No. 5 from my Grandparents. I don’t usually wear perfume, but I do like how this smells.

Maca powder, cacao nibs, and chia seeds

Garmin 🙂

My mom got a Wii

And the Wii fit

After that we played with our gifts and hung out, before dinner!

Yukon Gold mashed potatoes (there were skins in there)

My signature black pepper and vinegar stuffing

Green beans

Peas (eww)

Turkey

And my mom’s signature Christmas tree cake for dessert!

It was a great Christmas. A good time was had by everyone. I hope the same is true for you and yours!

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Christmas Eve

First, I just need to vent. I guess physical therapy isn’t covered by my insurance like I had thought so it now looks like I owe substantial amounts of money. At least $500, probably closer to $1,000, maybe more. And even more if I continue to keep going (which doesn’t look like an option). My parents said they would help, but I feel like I need to take responsibility. Obviously there’s nothing I can do about it now, but I’m still so frustrated. I feel like I’ve finally taken steps to make myself more financially solvent and to be responsible and then this happens. But it’s Christmas and I need to not focus on that.

Christmas Eve in my family is the day we spend with my father’s side of the family. That’s his parents, his 3 sisters, 2 of their husbands (the other isn’t married), and my 4 cousins.

Before we get to those pictures, check out my car

Crazy, right? They got a lot of snow out here. I headed to the grocery store at 6am this morning, but I took my dad’s car.

And now check out their new Greyhound in his winter coat

Isn’t he so handsome?

My parents do a great job of decorating their house for Christmas.

For food my mom does a brunch (they come over at 11 and are here until the later afternoon)

I don’t know how I didn’t get a picture of everything uncovered but there was a French toast casserole, 2 types of quiche, toad in a hole, bagels, scones, and muffins.

Then we opened gifts.

Zach decided to sleep on my head. See how his eyes are closed?

My grandma

My grandpa

Me wearing the running headphones they got me

My parents and brother (and uncle)

Any my mom’s Christmas socks. My mom loves things like Christmas socks. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some in my stocking tomorrow.

I just realized that today is my maternal grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. Can you imagine that? 60 years! They got married in Vegas on Christmas Eve in 1949. And even more amazingly, my paternal grandparents celebrated their 60th anniversary in June of this year!

Normally my maternal grandparents come over for Christmas Day, but they moved to Oregon this summer. I’m going to miss them a lot tomorrow, but we’ll have new traditions.

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Christmas Cookies #3

Previous Christmas Cookie Posts:

Christmas Cookies # 1
Christmas Cookies # 2

Here is my final Christmas cookie recipe for the year. These are what I’ve always called
snowballs. The recipe can be found here.

I wanted to give them a little twist so I decided to make them with Candy Cane Hershey Kisses

I ground my own almonds in the blender

And I did one of my favorite cookie tricks which is using salted butter no matter what the recipe calls for

Here’s the butter sugar and vanilla

And here it is half-way through my extensive creaming regimen

And when finished. Notice the difference?

Here’s the dough all mixed together after it’s been chilled

I’ve found that the best way to put the kiss inside is to make a flat disk of dough (I like mine really small)

And then put the kiss in the middle

And then roll it up into a ball

The only annoying part is unwrapping all the kisses

For some reason I don’t really like the candy cane kisses by themselves so none were sneaking in my mouth as I went along

I rolled half the balls in 2 different shades of green sprinkles so they’re ornaments rather than snowballs.

Here’s the other half. As you can see I rolled them in the traditional powdered sugar.

They’re delicious cookies. I would definitely recommend them!

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Christmas Cookies #2

Today I made my second set of Christmas cookies. This time it was was this recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies that I modified to be peppermint bark cookies.

I subbed one cup of semisweet chocolate chips and one cup of white chocolate chips for the chocolate chips and nuts. And then I added eight crushed up candy canes.

I also sifted the flour, baking soda, and salt to make the cookies a little lighter and beat the hell out of the butter and sugar.

And here’s the finished product

Overall I think they’re really good. They’re unlike any other oatmeal cookie I’ve ever had. They’re super soft, but also thin. The candy cane got a little messy, but looks don’t matter!

Did I do anything else today you ask? Why yes, I did.

I went to the gym this morning. I was just not in the mood to be there. I did 40 minutes on the elliptical and then I was done.

After that I went to pick up a bagel and look at red nailpolish (didn’t find anything).

I cleaned the bathroom and then made the cookies.

After the cookies were finally done I made dinner. I decided to use Caitlin’s recipe for savory oats and they were amazing!

Since I don’t like carrots I subbed cauliflower for them and I also added onions for a little more flavor.

I loved this, totally on my new list of favorite recipes.

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Christmas Cookies #1

Sorrythat I’ve been away again. What have I been up to?

Wednesday I had another PT appointment. This one was more productive. She really massaged my ankles and used the sonogram on them. And then she wrapped my right ankle which felt great. The extra support made a big different, I wish I could have it wrapped all the time!

Thursday I took a field trip for work to visit a bunch of stores on Long Island. Did you know that Spencer’s gifts sell sex toys? In the middle of malls. I’m hardly prude, but I was a little shocked!

Friday night my friend Josy came over and we got wine, burgers from Five Guys, and made Christmas cookies. I don’t have pictures, but I’m going to make more of that recipe since I have extra ingredients so I’ll post about it then.

Today I slept in late, I woke up around 11. My friend didn’t leave until 12:30 last night and I was seriously in need to sleep any way. It felt good, but lazy.

I finally managed to get myself out of my apartment, into the freezing cold, around 2 and I headed to the gym. I did 50 very productive minutes on the elliptical and then ran some errands.

I decided I’m going to start saving change and then deposit it once a month or so into savings. I thought that would be an easy way to save money.

I have this piggy bank I painted my senior year of college (don’t know why) and it already had some change in it. It’s a little freaked because the eyes seem to have fallen off.

I need to get out the Sharpie.

So as of now I have just over $10 of change in there. We’ll see how much I manage to save the rest of the month.

On to the cookies! I had a real desire to bake cookies this weekend so I’m making three different kinds. Today I made Peanut Butter Cup Cookies and they are delicious!

For me the key to really great cookies is beating the sugar and butter together for a long time. Unfortunately I don’t have a standing mixer so I have to use the hand mixer. It’s a good arm workout though!

I love this fancy Nielsen-Massey vanilla from Williams-Sonoma, it makes everything taste better.

Here’s the dough all combined. It’s nice and light and fluffy since I beat the butter and sugar together for so long.

The cookies were supposed to be baked in mini muffin tins but I didn’t have one of those so I made them on a regular cookie sheet.

I used TJ’s peanut butter cups for the centers of the cookies.

I also discovered that I hate Jif. I guess I’ve just completely lost my taste for overly sweet, processed peanut butter? If that’s the case, yay!

Here I am licking the beater. Notice my Rafa hat and giant pimple. Sexy!

Here’s the finish thing.

And here’s lots of finished cookies and a bit of a mess!

More cookie adventures to come in the next few days. I’ll be bringing most of the cookies into work for my co-workers to enjoy.

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