I spent a little time this morning reflecting on how I spent 2011. From the looks of this blog, the answer seems to be eating, more specifically, eating brunch. I also found time to re-embrace New York and all of its seasons, I made my first souffle, ate a lot of donuts, played bridesmaid in two beautiful weddings, got a dulcimer, visited Maine, Seattle, Houston, Portland, Savannah, the Hudson Valley and D.C., threw a bridal shower and a blogger party, faced an earthquake, approaching hurricane and a Halloween snowstorm, and went back in time for a day at the Jazz Age Lawn Party. 2011 was really a beautiful, joyful year filled with all the little things that make life so fun, just like French toast and mimosas.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
I'd forgotten how gray and wet Seattle winters can be, which makes the time by the fire, twinkling lights, yummy food and warm laughter of family all the more important. I hope your holidays were just as merry and bright.
Friday, December 23, 2011
I'm heading to Seattle tomorrow to spend Christmas and all of next week with Jonah's family! I'll be making myself scarce but am hoping to squeeze in a couple posts before 2012. I hope you all have wonderful holidays, and that peace, joy, love and hope surround you and overflow into the new year.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
This mulled wine may just be my new favorite holiday drink. It's flavorful, comforting and so easy to make. Plus, it's your one chance to drink wine out of a mug and still be considered classy.
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten and the Food Network
4 cups apple cider
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zested and juiced
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
4 oranges, peeled, for garnish
Bundle the spices together in a cheesecloth sachet before adding or you can strain the finished wine with a sieve before pouring into mugs. Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large pot, and simmer over low heat for at least 20 minutes. Add an orange peel or cinnamon stick to each mug and enjoy.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
If I were celebrating a 70-degree Christmas in Savannah, I think one of these ugly sweater tees from Vardagen would be just right. But this year, I'll be in Seattle where actual sweaters are necessary.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
I love New York during the holidays. The sidewalks are more crowded than usual, and people always seem to be in my way, but it's easy to understand why. There's so much to look at, Christmas trees, store windows, more twinkling lights than usual. I've been snapping pictures with my phone pretty much every time I step outside, and likely, getting in someone's way while I do it. Just don't tell anyone I'm not a tourist.
Monday, December 19, 2011
The highlight of the weekend was a little holiday gathering Jonah and I hosted at our apartment. I've done the shopping and the decorating and the baking, but it doesn't really feel like Christmas until I'm eating and drinking with people I love.
I kept it pretty low-key with snacky foods, nothing that had to be kept warm, perfect for grazing all night, mini roast beef sandwiches with horseradish sauce, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, cheese and crackers, hummus, and for dessert, sugared pecan cookies, chocolate bark and peppermint brownies. We had the Christmas music going, mulled wine on the stove, the yule log burning on the TV, my friend Liz wore an awesomely bad sweater, and we ended the night listening to a classic Christmas tale from David Sedaris. It was a pretty perfect evening.
Friday, December 16, 2011
I've never possessed the patience or engineering skills for building gingerbread houses, but if I were to pay someone to make me a gingerbread house, I would want it to look like this. Amazing.
[courtesy of: not without salt]
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Last year, I fell for felt ball garlands while making this multicolored one for the windowsill. This year, I decided to go for the whole tree. All you need is some heavy thread, a large needle, a thimble and lots of felt balls, which I purchased here. You can tie a knot on both sides of each ball to ensure they stay in place, but if the thread is thick enough, they'll pretty much stay put on their own. I spaced them an inch or so apart, and it took about 160 felt balls to make it down and around a six-foot tree.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
This should be enough gold, silver and sparkle to carry you through New Year's. I like to twinkle like a Christmas tree this time of year.
[pumps; dress; cardigan; bracelet; necklace; skirt; flats; belt; earrings; scarf; dress; top]