Good morning all. It is pre 7 am (my favorite time) and I am drinking coffee by the Christmas tree and am suddenly impelled to do a little photo sharing of what I have been up to. This has been quite a month. I have been truly immersed in my work and the task at hand in a way that has been exciting and all consuming. Once again, even though I feel like time has just been flying by, when I look back at photos I am reminded of the slower moments that were special, cozy, delicious and fun.
Here are some photos from the last couple of months.
An indiscriminate farmer’s market bounty.
One of the things we did for Eric’s birthday weekend this year was to go to farmer’s market and have him pick out whatever he wanted without regards to sensibility or meal planning. Meats, Mediterranean spreads, coffee beans, specialty cheeses, farm fresh eggs and lard. Yeah baby. Eric has been asking me to buy lard for ages. I’ve been cooking with it a bit and have to say it’s delicious. Obviously.
Finally picking a new day to day sushi place.
It pains me to say this because you know how much I love Mobo but it turned out we needed a place closer to home and the winner is…. Geisha! I have been going there for girls dinners for years but now Eric and I have been going there for casual dates and really loving it. Marissa, next time you’re down…
I’m sorry, no two ways about it, top ten movies of all time. “That was way harsh Ty.”
Eric’s classic chocolate birthday cake.
As much as I love experimenting there is something about a classic chocolate, homemade looking birthday cake. Every year I make the same cake for Eric. I use this chocolate cake recipe, which I firmly believe is the best homemade chocolate cake I have ever had. It has buttermilk and hot coffee in it and it is moist and flavorful and perfect. I top it with the chocolate cream cheese frosting in this recipe and think it is a fabulous combination. We ate the entire thing over the course of four days. Seriously.
Birthday Monte Cristos.
A birthday absolute. A yearly tradition. Year after year these deep fried sandwiches are better than I remember them. I use this recipe except that I sub Manchego cheese. This year I used gruyere but Manchego really is the best. Be careful because some recipes are not battered and deep fried. I repeat are NOT battered and deep fried. Huge problem. Huge.
This delicious dinner.
Nigella’s lamb meatballs with cucumbers, olive oil, hummus and avocado. Delicious.
Marissa and I met up for perfect conversation and mediocre appetizers, sipping champagne and seeing Catching Fire. A fabulous date.
A no reason present.
Look at the cutest present ever Marissa gave me! It was the prettiest Jonathon Adler butter dish that we both pinned ages ago and one of the decorations from her wedding. I loved the wrapping so so much.
Kitty’s new toy.
Can’t forget about the kitty! We got her this catnip sock and she loves it. Also, public service announcement. February is National Pet Dental month and a lot of places run winter specials on teeth cleaning for animals. We have been meaning to get the kitty’s teeth cleaned for a while and were able to get $109 off! Who’s got such clean teeth?
Turkey Trot 2013
My cousin Max and I have been wanting to do a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot for ages and this year was the year. A really fun and special thing to do together. What an added bonus that we were able to coordinate with Devon to do it also!! I signed up for the 10k distance to push myself and keep myself running. I finished in 1:07:58 with an average mile pace of 10:58. Devon and I finished together and we all had so much fun. I am glad that even though I am feeling a bit out of shape I can still bang out 6.2 miles (and by bang out I mean trudge… or slog… or old lady shuffle).
In related news a HUGE congratulations to Devon and her fiancé Tom who I just got word got engaged on a Venice getaway. Congratulations I can’t wait to hear all the details!!!
My parents getting the turkey ready.
Is that image as heart warming for you as it is for me? My parents do Thanksgiving dinner up right. No two ways about it.
A festive cocktail.
I experimented a bit with rum and cider and a thyme simple syrup. It was only ok so I won’t share the recipe, but isn’t it festive looking?
Having some extras at Thanksgiving this year.
This year, in addition to many of our usual suspects we had a few very exciting additions. Eric’s side of the family and my baby friend Alanna and her sweet husband Dan. Per usual I missed those that weren’t there (especially my little brother who I get to see TODAY) but it was a really fun and festive day and very special to have these new faces join us.
Enough said. Delicious.
Heroes. True heroes.
I love my cousins for many reasons, but each year, my cousin Max insists on posting at the sink and doing the Thanksgiving dishes. We all help some, especially his brother but the amount he accomplishes is truly incredible. And how cute are they, right? Gems. Ladies if you give me $200 I will consider giving out phone numbers.
A wee bit of Black Friday shopping with my buddy.
We are not talking door busting at 4am camp out for a $4 TV shopping here. Just some lady like midday sale browsing. I got a couple nice finds at good deals.
A departure from the norm.
Marissa and I took a break from our normal chi chi raw fish routine and embarked on some serious deep fried goodness at the Cheesecake Factory. Fried mac n cheese, fried chicken sliders and buffalo chicken blasts. Come to papa. So good.
My favorite breakfast before leaving home.
Whenever I am at my parent’s home this is my favorite. A Barton’s baget, with tomato, onion and capers. Smoked salmon on the side. Nothing better people, nothing better.
Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good.
We got a mini pumpkin in our CSA box and this Martha Stewart recipe caught my eye. I changed it a bit because of the size what I had on hand but it was delicious.
These cutest stuffed veggie ornaments from my mother-and-sister-in-law.
Seriously, how cute are those? Love. Pardon my super gross looking hand background. I swear in real life I have normal non gross hands.
A throw together flatbread.
This was a store bought flat bread topped with ricotta cheese, rosemary, parmigianno reggiano, roasted butternut squash and drizzled with honey and olive oil. People it was seriously so so delicious. I love it when experiments are that good.
Taking myself to lunch.
I often do a gym straight to grocery shopping routine but hate waiting that long to eat after working out. Occasionally I will take myself to a casual lunch and eat while I make my meal plan and poke through recipes. Always feels indulgent and lady like. This was a delicious sandwich from The Buttery with turkey, brie and cranberry sauce. Yeah baby.
Lunch and a movie with my best guy.
Eric and I went to see the movie Nebraska and both LOVED it. So so good. We rounded it off with a beach stroll and lunch at Britannia Arms where I dove face first into a corned beef sandwich.
BAKING CHRISTMAS COOKIES!
I spent like an entire day baking cookies. I made a huge batch of my favorite shortbread dough and did half in Christmas shapes with a lemon glaze and sprinkles and made the other half into little balls topped with pecans and a totally outstanding homemade caramel sauce (from this recipe- seriously delicious. Going in the repertoire.). Also a batch of classic Sea Salt Fudge to make a nice well rounded treat trio.
A ‘Sundate’ at Stockton Bridge Grill.
Sunday is one of my favorite nights to go out to dinner. I like getting the kitchen all clean and then not messing it up again before starting the week. I love Capitola Village but it can be such a pain to park. We’ve learned that not only is it not so crowded during the winter but they do free parking during the holiday season. Duly noted.
Again, I am not sure when I will be back but it was fun to catch up a bit! While I have been quite busy and not able to be as Christmas-y as I like to this year I am still enjoying the warm fuzzies of the season and very much looking forward to the holiday.
Happy Holidays to you and your families!