Christmas was a whirlwind of eating, going (see eating), entertaining (see eating again) and present giving followed by a little more eating (New Years resolution related to not eating so much and such indulgent foods to follow).
We got together with my in-laws the week before Christmas to exchange gifts and have a traditional Christmas dinner (homemade hot rolls, scalloped potatoes, ham, green beans and pecan bars).
Christmas with the in-laws!
Lion House rolls - the best rolls I've ever made from scratch!
Pecan Bars - better than pecan pie, oh yeah.
It was loads of fun and we enjoyed opening and giving lots of gifts.
The Wednesday before Christmas my parents and sister came to town as did several members of my dad's side of the family for a Christmas party. We had hors d'oeuvres (think mini crab cakes, bites of filet with paremesan cheese and horseradish sauce, cocktail shrimp, homemade mini quiches, homemade jalapeno poppers, meatballs, spinach artichoke dip, more pecan bars, etc).
Deer Ol' Grandpa Frank (ha ha ha!)
Natalie sporting her "Jesse" hat (from Toy Story)
Aunt Kathi and Grandpa Frank
Dad with Aunt Kathi and Uncle Wendell
My Deer Ol' Husband (I know, but I cant help myself!) and Uncle Dave
Me and Uncle Dave (who, btw, is a chef - love of food runs in the family!)
Aunt Jennifer, Cousins Kate and Justin and Grandpa Frank
It was so great to see the family. Its been 5 years since we've all gotten together on that side and we all agreed it had been WAY too long.
The next day my mom, sister, dad and Kevin and I hit the bus for a day trip to New York City to do a food tour in the Central Village/Soho neighborhood. My WORD, it was a good time! We went to 6 restaurants on the tour and then hit up 2 more afterward. We saw Bob Dylans old house and had a sighting of James Gandolfini (i.e. Tony Soprano)! Such a neat way to tour a place you're unfamiliar with and an interesting view into the culture there. The Duck Confit macaroni at MacBar (a place we visited after the tour) was among one of the favorites of the day!
Christmas day was fun - as it usually is. I knew what all my gifts were this year as we all made lists. I'd even bought a few things for myself and wrapped them up under the tree. Hey...when you're an adult you get to do things like that. We ate breakfast casserole in the morning and then had rosemary bread, baked potato soup and salad for dinner (followed by pumpkin spice muffins with cream cheese frosting - for Jesus' birthday and all).
Mom got a Kindle!
Liam just LOVES play-doh!
Homemade Pear Honey in the stockings
I stood outside at 3:30am sick as a dog for this Toy Story dvd. Ahh what we won't do for our kids and a good sale!
It was a princess Christmas this year!
In case you can't tell this is Kevins "oooh... so COOL" face.
My sister rounded their visit with a pork cassoulet, thyme roasted carrots, green beans and salad with homemade vinaigrette and rosemary bread followed by peanut butter ice cream with homemade peanut butter sauce.
Um, I know we had homemade pizza in there one night too.
So, /urp..., all in all it was a super Christmas with all the different members of the family. I actually got my Christmas cards out on time AND had time to crochet a few Christmas presents ahead of time AND do some Christmas baking (see here and here).
Dad and Lib
Papa and Natalie
Nana and Natalie looking at old photos of me with buck teeth
Me (looking tired from all that eating!), Mom, Lib
I *will* be going on a diet after this weekend to atone for all of my gross indulgences in culinary delights, but OH what fun I've had doing so. Stay tuned for my grumpy, hungry, self to return to blog land with tales of chicken, brown rice and vegetables. All right, I'll find something more interesting to talk about. Liam and his pink purse perhaps.