The Holidays Have Begun

As my friend Lora mentioned in a recent post, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas in Florida. I’ve always loved the warm weather, and I think most Floridians do, but come December you’re bound to hear lots of grumbling if the temps don’t dip below 75.

My first few years here I loved it. And there was something so funny about seeing Christmas lights on palm trees and Santas on the beach. But now? I’m really yearning for some cords, a sweater, a scarf and some hot cocoa. As much as I complain when it’s cold it’s nice to feel the need to bundle up in December. Cold weather just goes hand in hand with Christmas ya know?

Anywho, with December comes holiday parties. My favorite part of the holiday as an adult! I love getting gussied up, spending time with friends, silver and gold decorations…and yes, I am the one who LOVES corny Christmas games and present exchanges (Secret Santa, White Elephant, etc.)

I have six holiday parties on the calendar, and the first was this past Wednesday for Junior League. Our Junior League Holly Jolly Holiday Party was held at the Vinoy downtown. Always a great place for an event…even though the food was less than desirable and drinks overpriced. (Being in the hospitality industry, I was unfortunately not surprised.)

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I just love my man in a suit. 🙂

After catching up with friends and my feet starting screaming at me, Jon and I headed to Engine No. 9 for dinner. Last time we were there they had a limited menu. They have a full menu now, but focus a lot on burgers. And boy are they de-licious! I had the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger with sweet potato fries. Hit. the. spot.

Jon has been cooking up some delicious dishes lately. Like his butternut squash lasagna.

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Which I think is now in my Top 5 Favorite Dishes That Jon Makes.

I’ve been in the cooking mood lately though, and was finally able to get into the kitchen last night.

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Melt in Your Mouth Chicken and Mushroom Asparagus Quinoa.

You know how we always say “what did we ever do without cell phones”? Well, last night I was saying, “what did we ever do without Pinterest and Foodgawker?”

The original chicken recipe is made with mayo (ick!) but I substituted greek yogurt and it was pretty awesome. Lots of flavor for so little ingredients.

Did you know Publix does not carry quinoa? It’s very frustrating. Two times now I’ve searched the store top to bottom and end up cursing to myself in the rice aisle. I had to settle for a brown rice quinoa premade pack, which was actually not made. It also made for a quick side dish. I just wish they’d put more quinoa in these kinds of mixes!

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I also used portabella mushrooms because they’re my fav. I omitted the pumpkin seeds because I didn’t want to find/buy them. The recipe says to serve topped with goat cheese, and while it’s good you can certainly do without it as well.

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Does it feel like Christmas where you live?

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