Holiday Season Recap

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When we arrived home last night, after a much needed trip to Point Reyes, the house smelled like pine, and gift bags were thrown about. Despite the mess, which makes me anxious, I relaxed and exhaled. We were home, and all the holidays were behind us.

This year, we hosted a record number of holiday parties. Starting with Thanksgiving, it's been wonderful to cook and see friends we haven't seen, drink festive cocktails, eat delicious food, and spend time with people we love. But, it's also exhausting and messy. The husband has washed more dishes than he'd care for, and we've gotten a little too familiar with BevMo's aisles. It's time to get back to small dinner parties, and soup nights at home. But, before I move on to 2014 and eating dinner in pajamas at the coffee table, below are some highlights from all the hosting.
Thanksgiving cocktail, cider and rum punch via Bon Appetit.
Soup and salad: coconut carrot soup with cilantro cream and kale and brussels sprouts salad. This salad was the talk of the dinner not only on turkey day, but also Christmas, when I made a modified version. I'm not sure where our families have been for the last several years, but it seems kale has not made it's way into their Whittier kitchens. Not until now.
 Serious looking plate, and serious looking dad, slicing the bird.
 At long last, a not-so-blurry Thanksgiving picture together. This has been the first year where EVERYTHING flowed the way it should, and we were relaxed, happy and tipsy.
 We then moved to the husband's week-long birthday festivities, which included tree shopping.
 We had a mini reunion with old coworkers and friends.
We enjoyed potato, leek and corn chowder, and a Cesar's salad for our favorite event of the season, Friends Xmas Eve Eve. And we continued our tradition of hamming it up in front of the Christmas tree. This year's photo shoot proved to be especially excellent (see first photo as evidence).
The husband and I enjoyed a lovely dinner at home on Christmas eve. I stir fried crab and sauteed a giant slab of rib eye, and he gathered greens from his winter garden. And, we both ended up gifting each other steak knives. I think this means more steak for 2014.
And then it was Christmas, where we gathered the families again, and enjoyed lots of food and even more wine.
 I made this delicious gravlax.  And we grilled pork tenderloins wrapped in prosciutto.
And although this photo didn't make it on the Xmas card, it came in a close second.

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