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‘Twas the week after Christmas…

… and I have been slack in my posts…

Our Christmas was completely lovely, spent with family and friends.

Here’s a recap…

Christmas Eve Tristan and I have our tradition of spending time with just each other, and each opening a gift. In addition to the gift I opened, I received a large cardboard box, with “Things that are NOT presents” written on it in Sharpie. (Clearly, they WERE presents, and T was just trying to get around the rule!).

Christmas a.m. dawned cold and bright – without the predicted snow. We opened our stockings and a few presents each, but then had to get ready to head down to his parents house for their family gathering.

Our tree, on Christmas morning

 They live about 45 minutes away, and we were expected around 10:15 am, so this hadn’t left us with much time for OUR Christmas morning. We drove separately (more on that later) and headed out. I called my parents to wish them a Merry Christmas, and before you know it, we were there. His parents have a pup named Abby, and just about the only photos I have from there are of her…? (They aren’t big photo people, unlike moi, so I try to respect that and don’t always whip out the camera).

And, of course, the famous Hendrix boys wrapping paper… this one courtesy of Gareth.

Brunch was eaten, presents were opened, and I had been busy trying to distract Abby from munching on some of V’s new legos.

Before I knew it, it was 1pm, and I needed to head back home to start cooking Christmas Dinner. Tristan headed out with his parents, brother and nephew to visit his Nana at her retirement center. (This is why we drove separately). I needed to get home, change clothes, let the dog out, apron up and get to cooking. I started on my mashed potatoes (which I then flung into the slow-cooker to stay warm and delicious – best. trick. ever.).  After that I cleaned and halved my Brussels sprouts, hardboiled some eggs (for my warm spinach salad), and started setting out the appetizers. Wine-marinated olives, sesame honey almonds, candied pecans, and baked brie with crackers and gingersnaps (so amazing with the brie!).

Tristan returned home around 3:15pm, and I put him to work doing some last minute dusting and vacuuming, etc. My parents arrived around 4:30, with Bella in tow (the pups are always a part of our celebrations!), and Lilly was trembling with excitement at all the hubbub.

My Mom brought her famous, no-holiday-is-complete-without, Sweet Potato Casserole. It is topped with oodles of butter, brown sugar and pecans – and is an old-school  family favorite. She also brought 2 pies… apple (yum!) and pumpkin. In addition to my mashed potatoes, and roasted Brussels, I had also gotten a Honey Baked Ham (not local, nor ethically sourced – but I couldn’t find any local meat for the holiday besides beef, which I didn’t want), and made a wilted spinach salad with mushrooms, red onion, egg and a bit of bacon. Dee-licous. Lots of wine was consumed… we started with Prosecco with our apps, and moved into Pinot Grigio for dinner.

While we were opening presents (so many presents!), we noticed that it was starting to snow. 

 It seems we were going to have our ‘White Christmas’ after all.

I got a lot of new things for the kitchen (14-cup Cuisinart food processor, and the SodaStream seltzer maker being my faves), and can’t wait to get started on all of my new creations.

Christmas fun…

I am back at work for Tuesday and Wednesday this week, but then have another 4-day weekend for the holiday starting tomorrow. Hooray!

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Cara Craves... #

    Love the slippers!

    December 29, 2010
  2. Belated Merry Christmas, Angela! And Happy New Year!

    I’d love to get my boys (husband and son) one of those soda makers. They love “fizzy water” and I wonder if it would be cheaper to buy a soda maker. Husband thinks it is silly, but I’m seriously considering it.

    December 31, 2010
  3. Happy New Year, Dona!

    I think mine will definitely pay for itself, easily. I drink seltzer all the time… a least a liter a day. I was super-excited to get it, and just made seltzer for the first time last night. Success!

    I would stock up at the store when the name-brand stuff was on sale (bogo), but when I ran out, the store-brand was 80cents/bottle, regular price. So, the cost was a factor, definitely.
    However, the main factor for me, was the environmental aspect… I, of course, recycled my empty bottles. But still, I went through a LOT of bottles every month. I like that I am able to reuse the bottles and not create any waste. Plus, I like knowing that the water ‘going in’ to my seltzer has been through my water filter, etc.

    I’ll let you know how it goes… but so far, so good!

    Tristan may try to make soda today (I don’t drink soda, but it came with some soda syrups as well).

    ~

    January 1, 2011
  4. Thanks for the reply, Angela.

    How does the seltzer taste — do you use filtered water or water from the tap? Our water from the tap tastes awful and I just read that it contains a high level of a nasty chemical so we’d have to filter it first.

    How did Tristan’s soda turn out? My husband and son go through Fresca nearly as quickly as they go through seltzer. I wonder if they have a Fresca tasting soda mix.

    We used to have a soda siphon — but either gave it away when the cartridges were hard to find, or it is somewhere in our attic.

    January 6, 2011
  5. Well, Tristan actually hasn’t made soda yet (his favorite is Root Beer – and he is well-stocked currently), but I have. However, I made the “Diet Cola” flavor over the weekend when I was *desperate* for some caffeine while in the midst of a cleaning spree. I love Diet Coke, but have cut it out of my life – but desperate times and all that…

    It was just okay. It says “compare to Diet Coke” (as opposed to Diet Pepsi, I suppose), but it didn’t really taste similar to me. It tasted like a store-brand diet cola. However, it grew on me. And, a bonus (to me) was that it was made with Splenda. I don’t try to use ANY fake sugars, but I especially stay away from aspartame, and all of SodaStreams diet mixes are aspartame free. All of the regular soda mixes use real sugar, as opposed to high fructose corn syrup, as well.

    Making seltzer, or soda, really couldn’t be easier and only takes about a minute, tops.

    As for the seltzer, I LOVE it. The taste is great. I use my filtered tap water. We have a PUR filter hooked onto our kitchen sink, and I use that water for making the seltzer. The kit also came with some all natural, zero calorie, unsweetened concentrated flavor bottles for the water. I have tried the lemon-lime flavor in my seltzer, and it was okay. It smelled great, but didn’t have much flavor. It tells to you only use 1/2 tsp, or more to taste. I’m sure I’ll try it again, using a little bit more to see what kind of flavor I can get from it. But honestly, I’ve been so enjoying the plain seltzer, that I’m not that bothered about the flavors.

    If you have yucky tap water, you would definitely want to filter it prior to making seltzer. There is not a filter or anything on the SodaStream. It’s very bare-bones, but I love that about it. I guess I didn’t really stop to think about it, but had just assumed it was going to ‘plug in’. It doesn’t. It’s completely free-standing and once you put the carbonating cartridge in, you’re good to go for 60 liters or so. I love that I didn’t have to find another plug on my kitchen counter for it! It will be interesting to see how long the cartridge really lasts me, and how the costs for the replacement carbonators add up. Tristan bought my kit online, but I just discovered that my local Bed Bath & Beyond carries the brand, as well as the cartridges and flavor mixes. The cartridges are $29.99/each, but I am thinking that I might be able to use the ubiquitous 20% off BBBeyond coupons on them.

    They DO have a Fresca-type soda mix. If you are seriously thinking about getting it, and want to know what the Fresca tastes like for your guys, I say try it beforehand. I have no plans for the “Diet Pink Grapefruit” (“compare to Fresca” it says) soda mixer that came with my kit. I’d be more than happy to mail it to you, if you want. I could ship it up to you in a bubble envelope, no problem. It only makes 1 liter, but you could easily add it to store bought seltzer (as you add the flavorings after carbonation, and just tilt to mix), and see what they think of it. I believe to purchase the soda mixes online or at BBBeyond, you must purchase a bottle of the soda mix that makes 12 liters. My kit came with a one-time use pouch of every flavor.

    ~

    January 6, 2011

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