i'm not entirely certain how to begin this post except to say: i missed you all so much! BUT i didn't miss blogging. don't get me wrong - i'm happy to be back, but i thoroughly enjoyed my days away from my computer and social media. i was debating writing a recap but frankly, i didn't take enough pictures to write a real recap and there's simply too many days to recap in one post so i'm just going to hit you with some of the highlights and then move on to my regular posts in the coming days. i'll be back linking up for what i ate wednesday next week when i can get my life together in terms of taking pictures again...since i know you're all dying for my stellar iphone photography to be splashed back on the interwebs.
christmas at home was such a delight. i absolutely love my family and i cannot emphasize how wonderful it was to be home with all of them. i went home for a whole week and i spent the vast majority of it eating and drinking with my mom. my brothers and dad were there too but i stuck pretty close to my mom because she's my favorite.
my favorite day of the year is december 26th, which is when my immediate family celebrates christmas. my brothers all made it to my parents' by either the night of the 25th or the morning of the 26th and we spent the vast majority of the morning opening presents and feasting.
i made these two dueling coffee cakes. we always make the sour cream one on the left and i was in charge of making it this year. i accidentally started making what i thought was the right recipe before realizing it wasn't the correct one. instead of scrapping the ingredients i'd already mixed, i decided to make two and we had a taste off. in case you care - the original is far better, but the walnut struedel on the other coffee cake was pretty amazing. moral of the story: cake flour makes a HUGE difference and if a recipe calls for it, use it.
another of our christmas brunch staples is paul prudhomme's seafood gumbo with andouille sausage. i helped my mom make it this year and i am so glad i learned how because tex loves gumbo and i can't wait to make this for him one day. it might make him like me even more than the black bean salsa i make already does. the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right? if that's the case, i'm set.
that about sums up my christmas vacation. after 7 glorious days at home i headed back to dc. i flew in and did some errands before picking tex up at the airport.
luckily, i got to continue my several cookie a day habit thanks to alex and her amazing care package. my sugar addiction/dependency is a little out of control after christmas break and i toyed with the idea of doing some kind of sugar detox but instead i just laughed and ate some more cookies. the holiday season only lasts so long and frankly, i'm not going to be getting boxes full of cookies for much longer so i've got to capitalize while i can.
new years eve was overall low key and spent with almost all of my favorites. in case you were concerned, tex arm pops like a champ. he's learned from the best, after all. and no, he's not serious - he, like all people in my life, mocks me mercilessly.
we have done pretty much the same thing for new years in the three years since i moved to dc and i love it. we went over to jess and ryan's for snacks and champagne before heading to a local bar that meets our one requirement: no cover. i don't like new years that much because i think all the hype ends up being disappointing, so this bar is perfect. no hype, good casual fun, and no more expensive than a typical night out. tex and i left at 12:01 because i'm lame like that and all i wanted to do was go home and go to bed. hey, you can give me some champagne but i'm still a grandma at heart.
tex left me yesterday and i came home and cried my eyes out while assembling dinner. not really, i held it together, but i was cranky about it. long distance means saying goodbye way too much. i didn't do any real meal planning for this week because i am heading to miami on saturday to see notre dame in the national championship and didn't want to have a fridge full of stuff going bad while i was gone. i have a loaf of bread that needs to get eaten in a big way so expect a lot of hummus sandwiches. as an attempt to make my life more exciting, i did buy some sprouts and have been slapping those on all my bread...i know, all this crazy fun is a little overwhelming. i'm really not focusing on any kind of eating plan for "bouncing back" after the holidays but i am excited to get back to a more normal eating routine and i'm trying to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. a girl cannot live on cookies alone, though i did try that for most of the past two weeks.
2012 was a year of HUGE changes for me - i started focusing on eating better, working out more, training for (and running!) a marathon and in general becoming a healthier person. i'd say i met and exceeded a lot of my goals for the last year so my only goal for this year is to find more peace with myself. i went a bit off the deep end in terms of obsessing over food, exercise, calories, etc. this past year and i'm shooting for finding a healthier balance this year. no pressure, just enjoying life. i'll be doing smaller scale goals when best body bootcamp round four kicks off so for now i'm simply going to adhere to a peaceful life plan.
glad to be back, treats. i've missed you greatly.