I hope you’re all enjoying your week so far! It’s hard to believe Christmas was a couple days ago. This year we spent Christmas day with a few friends, and it was just perfect! Since we didn’t travel farther than 10 minutes from home, it was awesome being able to sleep in our own bed.
Before we headed over to hang out with the Christmas crew, we cooked a turkey at home. We’ve had this turkey sitting in our freezer for a while so we decided to go ahead and cook it up. We froze a bunch of it so that we can have it for later. Joel made turkey broth from the carcass, bones, and neck. We felt pretty accomplished!
While the turkey was in the oven, we made Christmas brunch of pancakes, bacon, and eggs (the eggs didn’t make it onto my plate lol). We don’t usually do a big brunch on Christmas day if the main meal is in the afternoon, but since this time our Christmas meal wasn’t until the evening, we decided to go for it! It was delicious! Our favorite pancake mix is THIS kind!
It snowed in the morning but was all done by the time we wrapped up brunch. I don’t think I’ve ever had a white Christmas before! It was lovely seeing the beautiful snow come down. We got 2-3 inches of the fluffy stuff. It was super pretty! Joel was able to shovel the driveway very easily since it was so light and powdery. :)
After all the shoveling was done, we watched some of the Disney Christmas parade on TV. I couldn’t resist a few of these Japanese rice crackers. We picked these up last weekend in NYC when we were in China Town. I have probably said this a million times, but I have a SERIOUS love for China Town! And these little crackers were absolutely delicious! I will definitely have to pick up more of these the next time we’re in the city (or order them online lol). They have JUST the right amount of sweet and salty in every crunchy bite.
Our neighbors brought over this tin of cookies as a Christmas gift. It was so nice of them! I used to have these as a kid, but I haven’t had them in a long time! I don’t remember them having such a strong vanilla taste, so that was a surprise, but they are still yummy. One of my highschool friends used to dunk these in milk. I have never tried that but I’m sure it’s tasty. My favorites are the ones shaped like pretzels (but I’m pretty sure they all have the same taste lol)!
We headed over to our friend’s house at around 5pm. She lives 10 minutes away from us so it was a super easy drive. Several other friends made an appearance too, it was a fun little group! Joel put his fire-making skills to good use. There’s nothing like a warm, crackling fire to make things nice and toasty!
There were a bunch of these little beetles hiding in a bag of newspaper kindling. When Joel was putting the newspaper into the fire, he noticed these little buggers all over the place. At first we all thought they were stink-bugs, but after some googling, our friend Jeff decided that they must be some type of Japanese beetle. These beetles must have made a nest in the bag and couldn’t have been too thrilled that we were disrupting their peace!
The cheese and cracker board was a big hit. I especially enjoyed the spicy pepperjack cheese with the butterfly shaped crackers. The butterfly shaped crackers were unreal! Every time I have them, I am reminded how good they are! My friend Charlene was all about the cheeseball. Whenever I see a cheeseball, it reminds me of junior high. Our dorm-mom at boarding school would make these incredible homemade cheeseballs for all of us girls. Great memories!
Dinner was pretty SPECTACULAR! Beef roast, green beans, and shredded potatoes topped with cheese! This was my first time eating potatoes prepared like this, and I very much enjoyed the experience! The cheesy layer on top was pretty stellar too! :)
Dessert was this unbelievably YUMMY gingerbread creation by Amy. I could have gone back for seconds and thirds of this. She also made the most amazing hot chocolate to go with it, which took the whole thing to the next level! I will be needing more hot chocolate in my life, for sure!
Amy has 4 beautiful labs (2 are hers, and she’s fostering 2 for a year while the owner is deployed). The dogs were super well behaved and came out to join the party after dinner. Hanging with these pups made us all want to adopt a rescue right away!
Joel and Blitz bonded over the course of the evening. Blitz is such a gentle dog and loved to just hang out near Joel. What a lovely way to spend Christmas!!
The day after Christmas was nice and low key. We relaxed at home in the morning, ate some leftovers, and caught up on episodes of Rectify. In the afternoon we went out to Home Depot to pick up supplies for our painting project. We got the first coat of paint on the baseboards, window frame, and window-muntins!
Nothing tasted better after painting than honeycrisp apples. It was exactly what I needed! Back in college I used to love Fuji apples, but when I moved to Texas I discovered honeycrisp and have never looked back!
The rest of the day will probably be pretty relaxed around here. We are enjoying our time off work! It’s pretty chilly outside so we’re definitely opting to stay warm indoors. We might check out the new Star Wars movie at some point if we decide to venture beyond the house :) Probably the biggest decision to make now is when to take down the tree…
I hope you’re enjoying your week!
How long do you leave your tree up? Have you ever had shredded potatoes? Are you a dog person? What’s your favorite type of apple?
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