Christmas 2012

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!


This being my mom’s and mine second Christmas in Florida we’re still getting adjusted to new traditions. It’s a little hard not to wake up in a chilly CT house and spend the day in robes drinking hot chocolate and opening presents. But luckily we have Jon’s family that is always very welcoming on Christmas!

On Christmas Eve I made my mom’s vegetarian quiche. My mom was never much of a cook. She’s vegetarian and my dad was diabetic and pretty much only ate chicken or fish. With everyone having different diets it never made sense to cook big meals. But there was one thing that my mom made: her vegetarian quiche. I’m not sure where it originally came from (I have a photo copy), but it’s actually a crabmeat quiche that she adapted. She would make it every now and then for dinner, but it was our standard holiday meal on Christmas.

I failed to take a photo, but it turned out very yummy! I actually had a mini freak out when I realized I put 1/2 cup of flour in instead of 2 teaspoons. Ya, big difference right? Turns out it didn’t hurt it at all…it just held together really well! Two teaspoons does seem like not much at all…next time I’d probably try 1/4 cup of flour.

Our tradition is to serve one slice with corn and a side salad. We also had some delicious yeast rolls from Fresh Market and a glass of Pinot Gris.


After dinner we opened our presents to each other and then watched Magic Mike. How’s that for a Christmas movie? 🙂 It’s kind of what I expected. No real plot, but still somewhat entertaining. Channing Tatum sure has some MOVES!

Christmas Day we drove down to Cape Coral for the day. It was a great day of presents and spending time with the family.


And of course Christmas dinner!


Prime rib, potatoes au gratin, roasted asparagus and yorkshire pudding. Delicious!

Jon’s sister-in-law also made red velvet cupcakes, which were amazing…she makes the BEST cupcakes.

And it was this little girl’s first Christmas! (With us at least.) How cute is she in her reindeer antlers?


What’s your favorite present you received?

Holiday Giving

My sickness has returned 😦

Luckily, it’s not as bad as it was the first time around. But boy is it hard to get up after you take NyQuil the night before! I feel like a zombie until about 9 a.m.

I wasn’t about to miss our holiday work party though!

Some people roll their eyes at work parties, Secret Santa, silly Xmas office games…but I love it! I love team bonding and being able to have fun with co-workers in a non-work atmosphere.


We had a casino game night, which has been a hit in years past. I learned how to play Blackjack! Thank goodness we weren’t playing for money though 😉

There was a fun photo booth that my friend Ashley and I partook in. And LOTS of food. They usually do a lot of hors d’oeuvre type of stuff, but they had more meal type food this time and I loved it. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and vegetables filled my plate. There were also many yummy looking desserts, but I ended up having a few glasses of wine and forgetting about dessert. Actually still kind of kicking myself over that one, ha!


Example of my “cloudy sick head” in action. I saw yesterday’s CrossFit workout and figured I was well enough to give it a go.

Back Squats


Each of the those numbers is reps.

Unfortunately, the warm up included two 400 meter runs, one with a weighted ball. I almost died.

Then during the workout I was supposed to add a total of 35# onto my bar…instead I put 35# on EACH side. I tell one of the coaches, “I don’t understand…this weight is well below my one rep max yet it feels SO heavy!” He just looks at me and says “You have 115# on there.” (I was going for 80#) Oops. Needless to say I had my first PR last night in CrossFit! 115# back squat…up 5# from my last! Might not sound like much but an additional 5# feels like a lot when lifting.

Crazy to think that Christmas is just a few days away! I really need to get some wrapping done…

In the midst of holiday craziness I’ve noticed that this time of year is when there’s a big push for charities asking for donations. Salvation Army bell ringers, Toys for Tots bins, various Facebook posts from various charities asking to help better the holiday’s for kids and families.

This time of year, it’s important to step back from your Christmas shopping list and remember what this season is all about. Family, togetherness, love and kindness. Not all families will be having a Merry Christmas. But there are ways that we can help. What better Christmas gift to give than knowing you helped make someone elses Christmas better?

It’s as simple as volunteering for a toy drive or a soup kitchen, donating money to a cause (every $1 counts!) or donating goods. I dropped off two toys in my local Publix’s Toys for Tots bin last weekend and was overjoyed to see it brimming at the top. Any bit helps.

Are you giving this year? What charities do you like to give to?

Christmas 2011

It’s been awhile…

December was CRA-zy.

I love being busy, but it’s nice to finally come home and have absolutely. nothing. to. do.

Let’s start with a recap of Christmas shall we?

This Christmas was…different and wonderful at the same time. This was mine and my mom’s first Christmas in Florida. And mine and Jon’s first Christmas together.

It was very strange to pull on shorts and a t-shirt as my merry apparel. And strange to crank up the air conditioner in the car on the way to Cape Coral.

It was overwhelming and wonderful to walk into a house with 11 loved ones and 6 dogs (also loved ones) hugging, kissing (and jumping on) you. And to see Jon’s parent’s house fully decked out in it’s Christmas gear. And the presents. Oh the presents. It was like Santa’s workshop!

It was wonderful to see the platters of cookies and to smell Christmas dinner cooking. Wonderful to place our presents next to others. To see the joy on everyone’s faces when they opened them. To actually be there to open up our gifts as well.

It was strange to be spending this big holiday not around our modest kitchen table in CT. Not having snow on the ground outside and not being bundled up in thick socks and a robe. It was strange to once again not be spending a Christmas with my Dad.

Despite any strangeness though, the wonderful sure was wonderful.

Before Christmas Day, there’s Christmas Eve. Jon had already left for home so it was just me and my mom. I made us our standard Christmas dinner that she has always made. It’s a vegetarian quiche made with swiss cheese and Morningstar meatless crumbles. I love it. It’s also the only true home cooked meal my mom would make growing up so it has a special place in my heart.

I also spent the day making my chocolate hazelnut tart. I didn’t create the recipe, but it’s quickly becoming my “signature” dish. This is the third (maybe fourth?) time I’ve made it and is just as delicious each and every time.

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Christmas Day dinner included prime rib, brussell sprouts with bacon, scalloped potatoes and yorkshire pudding. All made by The Chef. All delicious.

He even made a special dish my vegetarian mom 🙂

And no dinner is complete without begging pugs.

The loot:


I love that The Chef’s sister, brother and sister-in-law are all such avid travelers…it means fun, unique gifts 🙂

How was your Christmas?