Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Holiday Highlights

Nearly two weeks into the new year, and I'm finally feeling ready for anything. The last few traces of Christmas have been packed up, the remaining cookies sent to Danny's co-workers, and we've hit a comfortable grove.

Now a menu plan is in place, the fridge has been overhauled (good-bye triple cream brie, hello kale), and Noah is back in school. That alone forces a routine into our daily goings and comings, and the rest falls into place.

I've been cooking and freezing food for Danny and the boys to eat while I'm gone to Blissdom, (uh-huh, leaving in two weeks for a little blogging conference in the States), brainstorming like crazy for blogging in 2011 and getting out with the boys everyday for walks and sledding.

Since this winter feels like it's flying by, I thought I better do a holiday recap before Easter is upon us. At first I didn't think I had anything to recount, as we took our two weeks very slow and laid-back. For once I didn't invite guests over for practically ever day, and declined to many events with regrets (sort of).

It was lovely. And memories were made, great food enjoyed,

Skimming through iphoto showed that we did do enough to warrant a recap, so here are some of the best holiday moments, in no particular order (because they uploaded all wonky).

The Christmas morning table at my in-laws, bracing for the load of blueberry pancakes, bacon, sausages, fruit salad, bagels & lox, and some 19 guests.

The boy cousins on my husband's side, sporting handmade vests from Grandma D. My two there on the left.

Homemade gingerbread ornaments that kept the house smelling like Christmas. No scented candles here.

Good times playing with food and cameras with these kind folk on New Year's Eve. I'm all for simple entertaining on New Year's.

Our pot-luck menu for eight:

  • Homemade tourtiere (Quebec pork pie)
  • Salad of fennel, pecans, pomegranate, and feta.
  • Potato & parsnip gratin
  • Butternut squash & ancetta risotto
  • Asparagus with lemon-dill compound butter

One of our many NYE desserts, Berries & Cream Pavlova. The perfect finish to 2010.

Midnight came while we were still sipping the last of our coffees and we toasted with champagne, kissed, set off fireworks, and celebrated my double win in the Canadian Weblog Awards. Incredibly, Simple Bites took home Best New Weblog and third place in Best Food Weblog. !

New Year's Day. 3am. Good times with A and A.

Christmas Dinner at home. (I told you these photos were all mixed up!)
Relaxed and fun. More or less this menu. Should have done away with the hideous candles, though. Cook, I can, dress a table? Not so much.

Admission: we fed the kids, then put them to bed before sitting down to dinner. Aahhhhhhh. Peace, quiet, adult conversation, and the chance to savor hot food.
Best Christmas present ever.

A Christmas day game of Memory, of course.

Christmas Day dessert: Black Forest Trifle with home canned cherries, which seemed like a better idea than it was; I didn't love it. I think Black Forest is best left in cake form, and one should not mess too much with a perfect, classic trifle.

We also savored the mincemeat tart pictured at the top of the post. Served warm with whipped cream, I could have eaten half of it. Maybe I did.

Sisters. And gifts. The best gift was escorting each other to this spa a few days later, though.

My homemade gifts this year consisted of:
And each child had their own gingerbread man with their initial. Simple and handmade.

Horrible wrapping paper, but it brought such smiles. The gingerbread didn't last long at all.

Between Christmas & New Years, I took time to make a vibrant batch of pink grapefruit & pomegranate marmalade.

And this outing to Montreal landmark, Wilensky's, was memorable and fun. Loved all the feedback I got over the Wordless Wednesday post!

So there you have it!


bellini valli said...

Congratulations on all your success Aimee and continued blessings in the New Year!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

How wonderful to have that many people over the holidays. I love tortiere; and I had to have that recipe for Chai granola. Now I have 3 different recipes of granola to make this weekend!

Happy New Year. Contrats on the award too!

Tiffany Rieder said...

Very nice post...love those red candles you mentionned they are just the wrong side of red that can only be revealed in a pic.

Denise said...

I loved looking at your recap of the holidays...so much FUN and family time. We took it easy this year too, but at the same time it seemed to me that we achieved quality over quantity. It was memorable and focused and lovely.

Thanks for sharing yours. Happy New Year from South Florida to our Canadian neighbors!

Denise @ Creative Kitchen

Maranda said...

Great holiday recap, loved the photos. I thought the trifle looked delicious, made me hungry looking at it.

And no shame in feeding the kids first; often everyone is happier that way. A more formal meal can be long for them and the food is often "strange". And it's so nice to enjoy your meal when so much work has been put into it.

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