The end tables were pine from my parent's houses - Jessica white-washed them and they look incredible!
This year I taught right up until the 23rd, so it was a hectic week of last-minute shopping, cleaning, cooking, and organizing! Somehow Matt and I got it all done and were able to host dinner for his family on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve was our first big hosting duties - I got to use the wedding china and lots of serving pieces for the first time, and it was nice to have people over to see all the work we've done in the past months. For appetizers, I coated some goat cheese in pecans and thyme, and I baked a brie with cherry shiraz jelly on top, both served with crackers. I also found a great recipe from the Barefoot Contessa for rosemary and chipotle roasted mixed nuts - it was such an easy recipe and they had a great kick to go with the sweetness. For dinner we made lamb, similar to the one we had about a month ago. It was cooked in root vegetables and red wine, and slow-cooked in a dutch oven for almost 7 hours. From there the juice was reduced to gravy, more red wine was added, and the entire house smelled delicious. With that we served fingerling potatoes, steamed baby squash, all on a bed of kale. We got fresh bread from Cobs to serve with dinner as well, and to sop up any excess delicious gravy. Matt's mom made a pomegranate salad (seeded by Jamie), and some cookies and treats for dessert. For dessert we did creme brulee, which turned out really well! I wish I had taken pictures of all the food!
Christmas morning we have a tradition of making a great breakfast, relaxing with coffee and tea, and opening gifts, just the two of us. I know a lot of our friends stay at their parents' houses on Christmas Eve, but I really enjoy this time to create our own Christmas traditions. For breakfast, we made Rosti, had some bacon, and lots of fresh berries. We always have a bit of ice wine as well, usually purchased on a wine tour in the previous months. We actually got this bottle duty free before our cruise!
We spent Christmas with my family at my parents' house. My brother and Jessica and cousins came over in the early afternoon, but it was only my parents, us, my grandpa and uncle for dinner - a quiet year compared to some! We had the traditional turkey with great mashed potatoes and vegetables, and a yummy Pandoro cake for dessert - I want to try and make this myself - it is nice and light and delicious with berries and whipped cream. My contribution was a brie with cranberries, apples, and cinnamon.
Boxing Day we spend with my dad's giant side of the family in Bowmanville. I made some Christmas cookies and brownies for the occasion, and caught up with everyone I hadn't seen in a while, since we didn't do our traditional Thanksgiving at the farm this year. Even my cousin Mischa was there, who has been in Australia and New Zealand for over two years! After all the family gatherings, it was time to relax, which is exactly what we have done for the past few days. We have gone to the gym as well, but the rest of the time is this: