Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year! The holidays were crazy for me this year and then I got sick and I’m still fighting off a bit of cold. But I’m still around! I just haven’t been going out to eat as much these days. I’ve been trying to eat more food that I make myself, and sometimes my food is boring and not worthy of sharing. It’s been in part to save money and to improve my diet and eating habits but I hope to do better with sharing recipes and posts this year.
Let’s recap the holidays, shall we?
Let’s start with cookies!
CHRISTMAS COOKIES AND A POTLUCK
For my work’s Christmas Party, I made some cookies! I made these cute little gingerbread trees. I used a technique I saw in some online video somewhere to create a pretty marbled effect with the icing.It worked great for the first one or two batches and then… it didn’t work so great anymore. I guess it wasn’t meant to do large batches of cookies but at least I got a few pretty ones.
My dessert trays featuring my gingerbread cookies, some Thumbprint Jam cookies I made (one row as raspberry, one has mango, and one has homemade guava jam). The brownies are store bought. They were leftover from another Funko potluck so I just reused them for this party!
Some of the food we had at our Christmas Party. I took the photo too early though cause there was more than this!
Honeybaked Ham. Mmmm.
And Honeybaked Turkey! The turkey was really good. That crust came off as one whole piece though, like a sugar hat.
The cute dessert table. We had a Nightmare Before Christmas theme going on leftover from Halloween. I figured it was good for both holidays. Less decorating costs.
UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER
We also had an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest! Here I am wearing my “lovely” handmade sweater.
Here’s the sweater laid out.
And then lit up.
And yes, I won first place with my creation. Muhahaha!
T CAME HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Look who came to visit us for Christmas! It’s T! We took him to one of his favorite pizza places – Rosaria’s Pizza in Mission Beach.
The boys can never get enough pizza. I think I had most of one slice, two chicken wings, and a few breadsticks. Luckily the boys are around to finish that food. I can’t eat as much food these days thanks to my new diet and new drugs!
We also took T to Lolita’s.
He’s really been missing good Mexican food since he’s been stationed on the East Coast. We gladly helped him fulfil the Mexican food craving by getting him a 2-in-1 Burrito. Have you tried those burritos? I think the idea of rolled tacos inside of a burrito is neat, but I don’t like it because the rolled tacos get soggy inside. Ugh.
A QUICK VISIT TO SHAKE SHACK
It was Christmas Eve, just before 11AM, and Jake and I needed some lunch. We were in Mission Valley so… I figured we would try and go to Shake Shack. The location has only been open a few days so I hoped for the best.
We parked right in front and magically…. this was the line. AKA – NO LINE! I was worried there would be a mass of people or something but it worked out for us in the end. Maybe it was because it was Christmas Eve. Maybe it was because people were still doing Christmas things. Maybe people didn’t know this location had opened yet. But whatever the case, I was quite happy to not stand in line to try this food again.
We both got ShackBurgers [$5.69]. When you order a burger, you have to tell them what you want on it since it comes plain. I really really really love their potato buns. And I like that their sauce doesn’t have stupid relish or pickles in it. The crinkle cut fries [$2.99] are also a favorite of mine, though on this day the fries tasted a little underdone. Also I was ridiculous and ordered two fries and I could not even finish my fry. Jake’s been batting clean up for me a lot lately. Next time I’ll order just one fry for us to share.
I also ordered a local menu item – the Pie Oh My [$4.89]. It’s a vanilla concrete with a slice of seasonal pie from Betty’s Pie Whole in Encinitas. It was a slice of smooshed pumpkin pie and it was FABULOUSLY DELICIOUS. The pie was so flavorful and tasted wonderful mixed with the super creamy vanilla concrete. I would order this again in a heartbeat.
CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER
After Shake Shack, we went to my house so I could make my annual Christmas cheesecake and a pan of my homemade macaroni and cheese, as requested by T. My dad smoked up a platter of ribs and made his own delicious BBQ sauce to go on top.
Jake’s mom made some other side dishes – mashed potatoes and stuffing – to go along with our meal.
It was all so delicious!
It was great having T with us for a special Christmas Eve meal.
This year we stayed at Jake’s for Christmas since T was leaving us to go back to New York that evening. We went down to Mission Beach for a lovely Christmas Day walk.
We found this lineup of sand dollars in front of someone’s house. How pretty!
It was such a beautiful day. No White Christmas for us again, but I think we are all okay with that.
Christmas dinner involved refried beans, tamale pie, rolled tacos, and tamales. Yum yum!
Plus my cheesecake, of course.
T went to a local shop and got this cool shirt made for his dad for Christmas. How sweet!
NEW YEAR’S EVE
Jake and I are not partiers or anything. We’re also both getting over colds and coughing up tiny storms so we just chilled at home on New Year’s Eve.
I made up some deviled eggs as an appetizer.
Followed by a dinner of rib eye steaks.
Twice baked potatoes and some carrots + parsnips on the side.
I tried to make it look restaurant-ish like. How’d I do?
For dessert we had meyer lemon pound cake with lemon curd topped with raspberries + blackberries and fresh whipped cream.
I cheated and used a box mix for the lemon pound cake and bough the lemon curd from Trader Joe’s. But I made the whipped cream myself! It was a refreshing and lovely little dessert to end the evening.
Yup, we hung out with doggies for New Year’s eve.
This is as festive as I got.
We still did our annual Year-In-Review sheets and did a video call with T who vocally told us his answers (apparently it did not occur to him to type and email the answers to me so I could save them. sigh).
I hope you all had a lovely holiday break! I’m not ready to go back to work tomorrow! Ahhhhh!