eat your holidays away

Whoa, the month of December really got away from me.

I’m back… with a lot to share!

Some new things:
-I lost my car to the powers of old age. Seriously though, why was I driving a Saturn from 1993? I don’t even like purple.
-New tattoo!!! I thought very long and very hard about what I wanted to get next for the party we held at the house mid-December. It wasn’t until the morning of the party when I got out of bed to find a pencil and paper and drew up a candy skull. I still love it.
-I am now an expert in baklava (not really but pretty much)
-we’re getting a puppy tomorrow! Probably. I mean, that’s the plan. We just have to pick one out that totally loves us. I hope one of them loves us!
-and obviously a bunch of new things because… presents. (Christmas presents)

Holidays. Bleh. If it’s an opportunity to cook a bunch of delicious foods for people, then I’m all about it.
Here are some foods:
THANKSGIVING
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SALAD. Romaine, red cabbage, pomegranate seeds, persimmons, apples, pears, mint with a homemade apple cider vingarette. For friends-Thanksgiving.

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APPLE BOURBON BUNDT CAKE. With a sweet bourbon glaze. For friends-Thanksgiving.

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STUFFING. Traditional. For friends-Thanksgiving.

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TURKEY. He wasn’t actually wearing those 3D glasses. That was a sticker thing. We brined the turkey and smoked it for 6-7 hours.

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…and this is what my cupboard doors look like when I am cooking for 8 people. (Though with the amount of food it could have fed 25.) Also, the ones on an 8.5 x 11″ sheet of paper were only written out for any help that I may have received. These are basic recipes that I do regularly…but I am very picky when it comes to a sous chef’s ways.

CHRISTMAS
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CHAPATI. Somali bread. Oh ok, so for Bob’s side of the family there was a Christmas exchange. We were each assigned one other person as well as a country. The gift had to be a perishable/alcohol item pertaining to the theme of the assigned country. I drew his Aunt Ginny and Somalia. So… Somali bread.

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GIFT BASKET. This was the basket I hooked Ginny up with. I included seven pieces of Chapati, each individually wrapped in wax paper and sealed with a sticker of a pressed flower; three bananas; a package of Somali shortbread cookies (made from scratch by myself); and a jar of Xawaash, a very important seasoning for Somali food. I used this spice to make a delicious Somali rice dish for the potluck. I rule at gift exchanges.

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BAKLAVA. Bob drew his cousin with Greece. I bake… so I made baklava for him to bring to the potluck. This was the first time I had ever made baklava and I’m not sure how often I will ever make it again. It is insanely time consuming! Just the layering of the phyllo sheets, melted butter and nut mixture took an hour.
When it was finished, the individual diamond-cut pieces went into large muffin cups. They were a huge hit!!!

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BEN’S CHRISTMAS TREE VEGETABLE PLATE. I didn’t make this. Ben made this. He brought it to work and I thought it was mighty clever. Except I would enjoy more bell pepper…

BETH’S BIRTHDAY
In lieu of a cake I made cupcakes instead!
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Chocolate cupcakes filled with mixed berry jam topped with cream cheese frosting and chocolate decos.
I made the chocolate decorations to read “BETH ROCKS” because she rocks. There are also stars and hearts and junk. I should do this more often.

TATTOO PARTY
Yeah, tattoo party is not a holiday but it was still a major event in the homestead.
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BEER. Why do I always think that I should stock up on drinks before we host a party? Everyone always brings their own and/or some to share! which is fantastic. There were even some homebrews in that fridge.

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COOKIES. This photo was taken the morning after. Evidently the cookies were popular but too large for someone to finish (the odds that that person was me are pretty good). These are ordinary chocolate chip cookies sandwiched with homemade ganache. (By the way, I LOVE GANACHE!!!) Also, since I was unaware that I had zero chocolate chips in the house I whipped out my chocolate bar collection and began chopping. The cookies were then comprised of:
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Oh, and my tattoo:
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Good gosh I love this one.

I’ll come back later with Christmas gifts galore! Meaning, amazing things I received, crafty gifts I made, and my superb green gift wrapping jobs.

Before I go, I have a new Produce Freak of Nature!
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Do you even know what these things are?! They are BOTH pomegranates. Ok, the fruit on the right is pretty obvious since its butt is sticking out but otherwise it looked much more like an apple. The pom on the left looks like a Red D’Anjou pear!

Closing with music.
Bombay Bicycle Club – How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep
The video is claymation. Just a warning, I know some people feel weird about that sort of thing. It’s good though! And the song is sort of lovely in that epic, chorus-repetition sort of way. The video! It’s all a dream. A glorious, glorious dream…

Alt-J – Breezeblocks
I am so in love with Alt-J right now. The whole album is terrific. The voice kinda rubs me the wrong way sometimes but the melodies and the crescendos are hard-hitting in a great way. This video is very suspenseful! Oh my.

Blur – Good Song
Recently I discovered several albums in my iTunes library that I didnt know were there. Blur’s Think Tank was one of them. Nobody listens to Blur anymore. Blur is awesome. This song and this video… wild metaphors about relationships, life. Whoa.

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