Christmas 2013: To Peace on Earth, Quality Time with Loved Ones, and Delicious Fare

Alas, my goal to blog daily until the end of the year fell short. NEWS FLASH: I am not perfect. But, I’m picking up the typing wand again this morning to share the joys of the Christmas season here in Durham via time with family (even through Google Hangout), delicious recipes, and tasty libations.

IMAG1144Nothing like kicking off Christmas morning at 3:30am, Milo. For that, you must wear the sticker.

Growing up, we actually opened presents on Christmas Eve after church. I have found this piece of family history to stun people, especially those from the South. On Christmas Day, we opened our stockings (or socks) and then I would open presents from Santa (insert only child spoiled reference). As I got older and had to navigate the multiple Christmas celebrations, opening presents on Christmas Day became more common place. Aaron’s family tradition was also Christmas Day, so we’ve made that part of ours moving forward.

Some fun things Santa brought to me under the tree:

  • University of Arizona t-shirt, car magnets, towel (Bear Down!)
  • Dehydrator (Eager to try!)
  • Socks (lots of awesome athletic socks, including neon colors)
  • Crate and Barrel Six Pack Plates
  • Vegan cookbook
  • New clothes from cAbi
  • Mango slicer
  • Ice scraper (!!)
  • Collapsible measuring cups
  • Tickets to see Brett Dennen at the Carolina Theatre

and other super generous items from family, friends, and Santa.

Post-wrapping paper explosion, it was time to eat into grub. Because we had so much of this incredible vegetarian chili leftover, I opted to delay making the Glazed Apple Walnut Loaf for a few days.

Super delicious and heaty Quinoa Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Roasted brussel sprouts = can one go wrong with this dish EVER?IMAG1145

Mashed sweet ‘tatersIMAG1146

Holiday Salad with Apple Cider Cinnamon Vinaigrette via Eat Spin Run = AMAZING (this is on meal repeat)


Christmas Plate 2013


Wow – isn’t that just a beautiful sight!

Other treats for the holidays including opening our 2012 Fruitcake from Fullsteam Brewery. Wow: it was smooth, still quite a lot of bourbon-flavor but not so overwhelming as it had been on draft.


I couldn’t open the 2013 Christmas Ale from Anchor Brewing until the actual date either:


It wasn’t quite as good, in my opinion, as previous years. Not enough spice and body for me, but still enjoyable.

After food and taking a midday walk, another family tradition of mine has always been to see a movie on Christmas Day. Aaron has helped maintain the tradition for our two North Carolina Christmas celebrations, as we ventured to see American Hustle. I highly recommend it – between fantastic writing, stellar acting performances from Christian Bale/Jennifer Lawrence/Bradley Cooper/Amy Adams/Jeremy Renner/Louis C.K., thoughtful cinematography, and delectable fashion, it’s a winner. Great plot twists as well: I found myself vacillating on how I felt about each character, and where I finished is not where I expected. Enjoy!


  1. Aww thanks so much for mentioning my salad! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Your feast looks absolutely delicious! And don’t worry about falling short of your daily blogging goal. I’ve been blogging for nearly 4 years and sometimes it’s important to remember that hanging out with people face-to-face should take priority! 🙂 Happy Sunday!


  2. Your Christmas feast looks amazing! I’m eager to hear about the dehydrator and your cookbook, too. Almost saw Anchorman 2 this weekend, but as it started playing my cousin suggested Secret Life of Walter Mitty instead, and we are so glad we saw that instead.


    1. Thanks Laura! I will keep you posted. What did Santa bring you this year?

      So glad you enjoyed Walter Mitty. It is definitely on my “must see” list. We just saw “Saving Mr. Banks” yesterday, and I HIGHLY recommend it!


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