After two Christmases of living in tiny (and I do mean tiny) apartments, Jordan and I found ourselves with a wee bit of elbow room this year. We thought we’d better take advantage of it while we have it (you never know what the future holds, right?) by doing some holiday decorating and a bit of entertaining. I have found that I seriously enjoy baking and cooking for others. I like entertaining. And while I could pretend that I simply do it for others, I know that I probably reap the benefits of the event more than anyone else. I mean, really, I do enjoy planning, shopping for, and preparing meals for just the two of us, but the joy is increased tenfold when I invite ten people over.
For me the recipe research is nearly as fun as the actual preparation. It allows me to make lists of what will be eaten. And then more lists of what needs to be purchased.
We kicked off the holidays by inviting over a group of Jordan’s colleagues and a couple of my pals, too. We went with an ever-so-slight Midwest Holidays theme for the event (Okay, when I say “we” here, you can assume that it was me nudging and Jordan acquiescing). Yes, we steered clear of Jell-O salads and “hot dishes” (Wait, what?! Can this even be a Midwest theme??!!!). But there were holiday cheese balls, Chex mix, and puppy chow. Would you believe that the only guest who knew what it was and had actually tried it is originally from Michigan? This is when I knew we had succeeded (in being Midwestern, that is…).
- Bleu Cheese and Walnut Cheeseball
- Cheddar and Cranberry Cheeseball
- Norwich Sourdough Loaves from Wild Yeast
- Black Bread from Smitten Kitchen
- Chex Mix from the Pioneer Woman
- Classic Sugar Cookies (help from the Mister with the frosting)
- Classic Gingerbread Men (again help with frosting)
- Chocolate Espresso Snow-Caps
- Green Tea Shortbread Cookies
- Puppy Chow!
- Brigadeiro (pictured above)
- Mulled Wine (Vin Chaud)
- And whatever people shared with us
I prepared enough food to feed a small, heavy-on-the-sweet-tooth army, so we spent the next five days enjoying little to no cooking. I’m not saying our diets (apart from maybe our breakfasts, which succumbed a bit less than they other meals) were healthy…
Since then, we’ve attended two other holiday events, and I’ve officially decided that the red velvet buches de Noel are the best ones. With my teaching sessions ending this Friday and Jordan’s lab winding down a bit for a holiday break, we’re looking forward to a bit of down time (read: yoga, tea, and reading!).