Happy Holidays!

Hey – did you think I fell off the face of the earth? I kind of feel like I did. It’s been too tiring to decide whether something is “blog-worthy” or not or if I care enough about something to spend time editing photos and then writing about it. Sorry about that. I’m a terrible blogger, what can I say?

[side note: I don’t really like the word “blog” and don’t really like saying I’m a “blogger”. I feel pretentious when someone says it (about me) because I’m really just occasionally posting words on the internet and it seems like just about anyone can do that. Also, I don’t like the word “foodie”. I don’t understand people who are happy with mediocre food and don’t think it makes me a “foodie” to want to eat good food. Not good-for-you-food, mind you, because sometimes you really want a Double Double with animal fries or a chicken biscuit sandwich and sometimes those 2-for-99-cents deep fried fast food tacos. Just because I don’t want to meet you for dinner at Chili’s and want to go to a better restaurant should not make me a foodie. It should make me a reasonable person.]

What have we been doing? Well, there was that trip I took with my mom to Seoul, Narita/Tokyo, and Honolulu. And then Travis and I went to Pennsylvania for his 20-year high school reunion and we someone spent a lot of money even though I swear everyone else was feeding us. We finally got through the refinance process (which is probably the most draining experience ever) which means we get to seriously start looking at a house remodel project (which I anticipate as being draining yet exciting?)

There’s been food making, just not interesting food making. In an attempt to keep our spending down, I’ve been trying to go through our freezer and make meals. You’d think this would be a perfect opportunity to blog about freezer meals and making the most of your pantry. But our freezer is stocked with things like leftover short rib ragu and a container of turkey soup from LAST Thanksgiving and ten bags of shredded cheddar cheese. Most nights I’m happy if we get a protein and (frozen) veggies on the plate.

I did make Ina Garten’s lemon cake the other day and it was fantastic. Definitely better the day after being baked. It’s all dense and cakey, moist with a lemon syrup, then crunchy on the outside from the lemon glaze. As a bonus, it uses 4 lemons (zest + juice) and only 4 eggs. It’s really hard to find a recipe that uses more than 2 lemons.

There was also a cocoa powder brownie recipe than turned out too cakey and turned me off cocoa powder-only brownies. I think the melted chocolate helps give brownies a fudgier texture. Or maybe I’m just spoiled with Baked’s brownie recipe. That same day I made Ina’s corn pudding, which was fantastic. We took it to a potluck and I was wishing I had left some at home to eat later.

There have been no Christmas cookies (yet) although I do have an office cookie exchange to participate in, as well as a gift exchange. And there is a box of graham crackers in the pantry making me wonder if you can make some sort of cracker crunch bar with them successfully.

Our Trader Joe chickies are growing up and three of them have started crowing (actually, I don’t know which ones are crowing but someone is, which means all 3 of them are going). They’re so pretty, I wish we could keep one, but this morning I heard crowing at 2 am, and if this keeps up I’m pretty sure our neighbors are going to hate us.

And, on our last trip to my parents’, I pilfered one of my mom’s crazy dogs and brought him back with us for some Doggy Rehab. Last Christmas, we bought back portly Maya so we could take her on walks and get her to lose some weight (and she lost something like 8 pounds while she was here!) One of my mom’s adopted (fostered) pups is a basket case and won’t let anyone near him. Which is weird since he’s lived in that house since he was born, so it’s not like he’s been abused or mistreated. I am loathe to accept that I am not completely loveable by every dog I encounter, so he came back with us to be my new project. So far, he’s been too scared to really run away and lets us pick him up, carry him, and spoon feed him canned dog food. Our dogs aren’t really fazed by this temporary addition, although the cats seem particularly fascinated by this animal who is more skittish than they are.

That pretty much sums up what we’ve been up to. How about you?


6 responses to “Happy Holidays!

  1. I made a version of those candy crackers with graham crackers this year for Christmas – I made sort of a gingerbread s’more thing and it turned out pretty tasty! Though I would maybe not use marshmallows again, or cook them for less time in the oven… Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and Travis!

    • Mmm… gingerbread graham cracker sounds good. I’ll probably skip the marshmallows (because we don’t have any and I’m tired of grocery shopping) but the spices sound good. I’m impressed with all your variations!

  2. I am so making the corn pudding for tomorrow’s work potluck!

    I want to see photos of puppies. Even shy/overweight dogs.

    Hope you and Travis are having a very Merry Holiday!!

    • Darlene – the corn pudding is so good! I think I added a few dashes of hot sauce to the mix and MAY have added an extra handful of cheese on top. And I broiled it to get the cheese all brown.

      Toby is shy but not pudgy – he’s actually pretty tiny next to all our dogs! I’ll have to take a picture of him. Maybe I’ll get a shot of him looking at me suspiciously.

  3. Yes, let’s see pics of the pup! If you need a behaviorist for dogs,I know an excellent one. But forewarned, he’s not cheap.

    Have a wonderful holiday!

    • Hi Carol – I don’t think we’ll need a dog behaviorist for this one. He’s fine at home with my parents, we just wanted to see if we could coax him out of his shell so he’s not always hiding when other people come over.

      But, I may get your behaviorist’s contact info for our Lexi. She’s a little food crazy (only towards other dogs, not us) and it seems like something we should be able to train out of her.

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