‘Tis the Season to Indulge

It’s no secret that I love food.

All things food.

I love it so much that while cresting the hill of 25 and preparing to face the inevitable metabolic slow down that was about the rear its ugly head, I began working out religiously just so I could maintain my eating habits – for the most part. Of course I’m wiser with what types of foods I injest for my overall health’s sake, I’ve just managed to make sure when I do indulge it is at least a little less guilt free.

As all good food lover’s know, the best foods seem to be more delectable, more delicious and more sinful around the holidays – especially at Christmas time. I am pretty sure the increased enjoyment stems from being surrounded with people that you love (for the most part), the indulgent tendancies of the season of the adult juice type variety and the magic of the lights dancing off the tree.

There are even some foods that just don’t seem right to be caught enjoying at any other season or time throughout the year and some that just don’t taste the same when not reserved for the holidays. Some of my favourite foods, flavours and treats include:

1. Gingerbread: this goes for men, houses, stars, snowmen and the flavour in general – especially whilst being enjoyed in a hot beverage. Gingerbread is exclusively a Christmas taste and is not transferable to any other season or combinable with any other offers.

Source: Deviant Art

Source: Deviant Art

2. Coquilles Saint-Jacques: this is a dish that we traditionally eat during our Christmas dinner with Michael’s family and if you have not had it, I suggest you find a way to experience it soon. Michael’s mom makes the best version I’ve ever had and as with the majority of her dishes, has ruined it for me everywhere else, ensuring I only eat hers. It’s SO good. Mashed potatoes? Yum. Scallops? Yum. Lobster? Yum. Shrimp? Yum. (Sorry, JQ). It’s is literally my favourite things baked together in a decorative shell. Don’t believe me? Here’s a recipe that is closer to Pina’s then I have traditionally seen.

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3. Eggnog: Seriously, only good at Christmas. It doesn’t matter who you are, you cannot drink the stuff after December leaves us. I’m pretty sure there is a clause somewhere that changes the taste of all eggnog served outside of the last month of the year.

Yum.

Yum.

4. Chestnuts: I know, I know – a Portuguese that loves roasting chestnuts, how original. However, chestnuts, especially roasted are only enjoyable near Christmas. I am sure some crazy person once decided to roast chestnuts in July, but I’m also pretty sure the reason you’ve never heard a song about them in the summer is because they’re not nearly as enjoyable or even required at any other occasion.

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Delicious

5. Candy cane: small, medium or large, cane, stick or crumbled, traditional candy cane flavour or flavour shot of peppermint in your hot coacoa – candy canes are not a year round item. They are a short lived item on the store shelf, which is good news for people like me that get headaches when they injest too much of the candy cane’s sugar.

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Pretty

Whatever your favourite foods, tastes and treats are this Christmas, I hope you enjoy every delightful bite you may take, drink you may sip and embrace you may steal. Merry Christmas, everyone!

~Toni

Third annual trimming of ye ol’ Christmas tree

On Saturday we celebrated Julia with some of her close friends. While we were sitting at the table, telling stories of the past, I observed Julia’s right ring finger. Placed there was a ring that our grandmother had passed down to her on her 30th birthday. This is a tradition she had with every grandchild – when they were born, she purchased a ring with their birthstone. It’s these traditions that make me want to make my own, our family’s own, as the years go on.

Since Cody and I have had our own house, the first weekend of December is always our time to get our tree. And for three years, my family has graciously, loudly and boisterously agreed to start a new tradition of trimming my tree, a tradition that will be continued throughout the years!

As my house started to fill with people, babies, and the delicious smell of breakfast, our chosen meal, it started to feel more and more like Christmas.

The first event of the day was the building of gingerbread houses! Two were purchased: one Frozen themed and the other just no-name. Julia and I set in for some intense construction; however,  what we found was a little disheartening.

We began to build Anna and Elsa’s castle and it was…how do I say this delicately…well, you are literally paying for ONLY the tiny cardboard cut out of the Frozen characters. Serves us right. The Our Compliments house was larger, with more candy AND the icing was superior…Julia even had to rebuild some of their Frozen castle with the Our Compliments icing to make sure that Santa’s sleigh didn’t fall apart. Seriously Disney…things have gone down hill since Walt was around!

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Sneaky mister WALKING around 🙂

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If you ask me, I think they look pretty amazing don’t you? I especially like the red snow on the rooftops, which Lillian put on herself…after getting it all over the table.  As you can see, the larger more traditional looking one is the Our Compliments, where as the two dimensional church is the Frozen one. Either way, the girls LOVED it! A success for Uncle Cody who purchased the houses!

Earlier in the day I had run some errands, as I wanted to add a little country to our tree. What better to do so than BURLAP ribbon? While I was out, I also found this great wrapping paper, so when all the presents are under the tree, our country Christmas will be complete!

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Can you see the mooses… the meeses?

After a quick walk around the pond (literally, we went for a little walk to get some of the sugar worked off that the girls snuck during our the building process), it was time to decorate the tree. Sophie was quick to gravitate to everything sparkly, whereas Lillian simply focused on creating clusters of balls on one side of the tree. Since they are still horizontally challenged, the rest of us had to fill in the top area. My tree is still a little lopsided, but that’s the fun of it!

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After all the lovely decorating, and trimming of the tree, we worked up quite an appetite, thus off to to the kitchen to make a fine feast! Julia made a delicious French toast casserole, I made home fries, Toni brought the bacon, the orange juice and the champagne, and mom brought the sausage!  YUM YUM YUM!

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The third annual trimming of the Christmas Tree was a success! Although we were missing an integral part of our  sisterhood, Andreah, due to a tire mishap the kick-off to the Christmas Season has begun!

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From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

~ Jacqui