A merry merry christmas

Hello everyone! Hope you had a fantastic Christmas (if ya celebrate). Matt and I celebrated Santa’s arrival by heading up to Petaluma, a little town north of San Francisco where both sets of parents live.

We woke up bright and early at 8 AM at Matt’s parents to open gifts. Santa generously gifted us with a beautiful Cuisinart juicer… which we’ve already used to make fresh orange juice, and my favorite, apple pear juice. This will be making frequent guest appearances on the blog in the next couple of weeks! Matt’s dad surprised Shirley, my mother in law, with a month long cruise to Tahiti and Fiji to kick off their retirement next year! Here she is after she opened up her gift – a mini cruise ship!

So cute!

After gifts at the Currans, we headed over to the Lofgrens to celebrate Christmas there, too. My dad made bacon egg cups – bacon cooked in a muffin pan, filled with a whole egg and baked with cheese on top. It was a protein-packed, heart attack of a breakfast – and an enjoyable one, at that. Here’s the recipe!

 After breakfast we opened gifts from the Lofgrens, and we scored all sorts of great things like a pair of calf-high boots, an adorable olive oil and vinegar cruet, underwear and cute sweaters. Everybody spoiled us – as they do every year – and despite the mountain of new stuff we got, I was reminded all day about the generosity and love that’s so abundant on both sides of our families. We are truly, truly lucky!

PRESENTS!

After gift opening was complete, we (the kids) saw the Muppets at the $3 theatre (WOCKA WOCKA!) and then we headed back to the Currans’ house for an amazing dinner of prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, creamed spinach, creamed corn and potato wedges. I made a pecan pie for dessert, and we also had some of my mom’s homemade fudge and kolacky, a Czech jam cookie. Matt’s dad is also quite the cook and I consider it a huge bonus that I married into such a food-loving family – now I’m surrounded by foodies on either side!

After dinner we headed back to the Lofgrens’ house where we had to play the annual game of Monopoly. The game started off slow for me, and I was bored within five minutes, assuming I’d be monopoly-less and broke after my second turn around the board. However… I scored $1200 from the free parking kitty, and before I knew it, I was rollin’ high – and claimed the official title of REIGNING MONOPOLY CHAMPION.

I woke up the next day with a raging stomach ache thanks to my celebratory feasting, and then it was back on the road to return to Los Angeles. I had a vacation day from work today but tomorrow it’s back to the grind. This was a wonderful Christmas holiday with both of our families, and now, with a few days left of work until the new year, I’m beginning to reflect on 2011 and think about small changes I can make in 2012. I hope you had a wonderful holiday, too – what was your favorite memory?

 

 

 

Giving Thanks

Hey Bloggies! I’m back after an awesome long weekend in Petaluma with my family. Matt and I are blessed to have amazing parents, two sweet siblings, and wonderful close friends. I have a lot to be thankful for! It was so nice to have a few days off and actually spend extended periods of time with them – and in true Thanksgiving tradition, much of our quality time spent together revolved around food!

Thanksgiving Feast #1

On Thursday, my in-laws came over to my parent’s house to have dinner with my parents and my sister and brother. Matt and I are so lucky that our parents all get along – in fact, they often have dinner together and hang out with out us being around! We’ve even been on vacation together. It’s really cool. My dad smoked a turkey, and we had mashed potatoes, cranberries, crescent rolls, wild rice, green bean casserole, yams and stuffing to go with it. I think I got a little bit of everything on this plate…

Feast #2

On Saturday, we had Thanksgiving feast #2 at the in-law’s house. Matt’s dad barbequed a turkey, and we had two types of stuffing (but they call it dressing – do you call it stuffing or dressing? Just curious!). There was a cornbread jalapeno stuffing that was kind of sweet, and a more savory spinach stuffing with sausage and olives. Tasty, tasty. The star of the night in my opinion were Matt’s dad’s prosciutto green beans. He sauteed the green beans with prosciutto, olive oil and marsala wine. They were incredibly delicious… and I had seconds. I’ll definitely be trying to make them!

Prosciutto green beans

We’re going to be having Thanksgiving feast #3 soon, because I’m a glutton. No, really it’s because we got a free turkey at work, and I’m not one to turn down free food! I picked up all the fixings and we’ll be hopefully preparing our own feast this week. Then, I can survive on leftovers for my last two weeks of grad school for the year of 2011.

This long Thanksgiving weekend was the perfect thing to get me in the Christmas spirit, and today I decorated the house with shimmering evergreen garlands and our mini tree. The house smells nicely of cinnamon and holly – and we’re feeling very jolly. Below is a sneak peek of our holiday card image… courtesy of Lynnette Joy photography. Aren’t we just the classiest couple on earth? 😉

How was your Thanksgiving weekend? What was the best thing you ate?