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Meat the Vegetarian

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Category Archives: Holiday

Part of me thinks that Valentines Day is a little silly, because Max and I do nice things for each other every day and say, “I love you” all the time.  This comes from my irrational fear that anything can happen, and I always want people I care about to know how I feel.  But, part of me really loves our Valentines Day tradition.

After working in a couple of restaurants, I have figured out that going out on Valentines Day is a sham.  It is a way for the restaurants to sucker men into paying for an over priced dinner, which will certainly not be as good as it would be on a regular night.  Therefore, I refuse to go out.  Max makes us dinner (because he is a much better chef than I am), we drink wine (BUT this year Max surprised me with YUMMY Champagne), and we spend time together.  In all the craziness of the world, spending time (without phones/internet/computers) is the best Valentines Day present in the world!  (Full disclosure: I also love all the presents Max got me!)

I hope you all had a great Valentines Day!

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We had another great NYE at the Greenwich Tree House!  Thanks go to JGo for organizing everything!!  This year, we seemed to keep it a little more tame…  No one blew up the toilets or vommed on the floor.  These things are always a plus.  We ushered in the New Year in style, aka I drank Bud Lites ALL night.

Eating went as such: We went to a cute little Italian place in the village for dinner – props to anyone that can remember the name or find it again!  It was yummy, and a nice base… JGo got everyone treats at the bar for a midnight snack – I didn’t even get to see what was on the table– I just saw people diving for the pigs in a blanket!! Given the time it took to consume 4 tables worth of food, I am thinking everyone loved the bar food.  After the bar, a couple of us went to Papaya Dog, one of the random ones in the village – I couldn’t eat there, so I really can’t remember.  They do have pizza, but the last time I had it, it tasted like Hot Dogs.  So, I began the New Year right – with two slices and a soda for $2.75 from the best drunk pizza place on our block…. Two Bros!

Happy 2012 Everyone!!  May this year be filled with epic adventures in Food, Travels, and Parties!!

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Oh my Goodness, this past Christmas Day was the best Christmas Day I have had in a very long time.  Previous years, the day had been filled with the stress of a changing family, but this year everything settled down.

Santa came to my mom’s house.  My brother’s girlfriend was a little confused.  She asked when we all had found out the truth about Santa; we all asked her what she was talking about.  Santa is real, he lives in your heart and in the North Pole.  Santa’s magic comes from a place of giving without the expectation of receiving.  Santa is a reminder that good deeds live on forever in the memories of the people touched by kindness.  How could you ever question that reality?

Anyway, I ate and ate and ate.  It was all sugar.  I started the morning with cinnamon rolls and cookies.  My mom makes the best cookies.  My favorite are a more recent recipe given to me by a fellow blogger.  (Check her out!  http://whitneyandjared.com/)  The are chocolate cookies with a pinch of pepper and then they are dipped in white chocolate.  Holy Moly.  Mom just knows how to make them perfectly!  She also makes peanut butter balls, chocolate chip cookies, and layer cookies.  She makes other kinds too, but those are the staples.  This year,  I helped make some.  I am slowly learning the secrets– including how to make the best candied pecans EVER.

After breakfast, we went to my Nanny’s house.  It is also her birthday on Christmas, so we get together as a birthday party for her, too!  Nan’s house was crazy.  There are cousins of all ages.  I mean all ages- from 33 years to 3 months old.  I caught a cold because I was wrestling with a 2 year old and a 4 year old, and drool ended up in my eye.  It is pure, excited, wild chaos.  Santa was at Nan’s, too.  There were presents and toys every where.  Kids never cease to amaze me, out of all the expensive presents, the easy favorite was a grabber!  It grabbed wrapping paper, small boxes, and even some noses.

My Pile of Presents

After presents, we had a feast, which filled everyone’s bellies.  Even if I only ate mashed potatoes, peas, rolls, cranberry sauce, and beets.  Everyone else had smoked turkey, ham, stuffing, and a bunch of casseroles I really don’t like.  I’m sorry, but string bean casserole looks/smells/tastes like vomit.  Sitting in the car with it for a half hour to Nan’s house made me sick to my stomach.   Any way, I had room for dessert, which meant…. MORE COOKIES!!!!  There was birthday cake too, but all I wanted were COOKIES!!!!

Merry Christmas to All! May this year be filled with delicious treats– like cookies!

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This past weekend, we had our annual Ugly Sweater Party.  It was REALLY festive.  Max and I wore sweater vests this year.  Mine had some “beautiful” Christmas Stockings on it, and Max’s had pearl snowflakes.  They were something else.  A couple of other friends decided to go the, um, ridiculously large route.  Meaning, their sweaters could literally fit two grown men inside.

We served a TON of food, which not very many people ate.  They were more focused on the booze, including the Dirty Girl Scouts (peppermint schnapps and hot chocolate).  If people wanted to eat, there were pigs in a blanket, assorted cheeses, variety of chips, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies with Hersey Kisses, ginger snaps, and brownies with icing and strawberries on top, that were supposed to look like Santa Hats.

 

There was a lot of booze and a lot of sweaters.  Merry Christmas!!!

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With another weekend of parties approaching, I thought I would reflect on last week’s parties.

Just a Few of My Mom's Santas

1) My mom’s Christmas Party.  Inspired by the depression era Christmas “parties”, my mom put together a themed Christmas Party.  I dressed as a hobo, and graciously accepted the donations to the soup/can drive.  My mom asked for donations for the local food shelters instead of hostess gifts.  She also made a ton of food (not all ’30’s themed, but still delicious) and served them on our antique platters.  She made a Ham and my brother made Eggnog Martini’s.  They had eggnog and rum in them, and the rims of the oversized martini glasses were dipped in molasses and gram cracker crumbs.  I stuck to the Rude Elf I brought back “for Max” from Bethlehem.

The Christmas Ham

2)  Fetivus for the Rest of Us.  After my mom’s party, being that it was in the suburbs and for a  more “mature” guess list, Max and I took the 9 pm train back to the City for Cass and Jordan’s Festivus Par-tay.  The details of this party are a little hazy for me… due to the 5 pm start to my drinking.  I know I had a blast, and I blitzed up the Wall of Grievances- I am sure with misspelled words and illegible phrases.  I then switched to “water” aka Coors Light.

Here is to another weekend of Making Merry.  As a teaser – my ugly sweater this year is an ugly sweater vest.  That’s right.

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If you can’t tell, I happen to love Christmas.  This comes from a family tradition of loving Christmas so much, people think we are crazy.  My mom is Christmas Crazy, her mom is Christmas Crazy, and I am pretty sure her mom was, as well.  Max thought I was nuts, at first.  He thought I was nuts for at least the first 5 years.  But, I think I am wearing him down, because this year, he totally enabled my crazy with… a 12 ft Christmas Tree!!

The Tree is so large, we had to cut some of the top off to fit the star on!  (Apparently, this is a family tradition, too…)  We decorated the tree, listened to Christmas music, and I crossed my fingers we had enough ornaments! 

I think Max secretly likes it.  Since he didn’t complain when we had to carry the tree 5 blocks and an avenue!!  We had to dodge the NYC pedestrians, who all stopped to marvel at our lunacy for buying such a big tree.  Christmas Joy is Contagious!

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This weekend, I went to Christkindlmartkt in Bethlehem, PA.  I have gone to this market for years, but this year they moved to a different location within Bethlehem, called The Stacks.  The Stacks are part of the revitalization project of Bethlehem Steel, and I have to say, I was incredibly pleased with the progress of that the Sands and ArtsQuest have made.

The Christmas Market was more spread out this year, which was great.  We were able to see all of the vendors, both old and new favorites, without running into the other meandering patrons.  The cost for 3 people to get into the Market came to $24, but my grandmother had a coupon for $1 off per person.  I think it was worth it.  They had all sorts of artists and artisans with original work for sale, which make really great Christmas presents!  New to the market this year, and perhaps my favorite vendor of all, a woman was making hand rolled, homemade, hot, delicious pretzels.  I have never tasted anything like this!!  The pretzel was so good, I could barely take a picture before it was gone!

After an exhausting morning of shopping, my mom, grandmother, and I all plopped down at Brew Works, on the North Side.  Nan and Mom each got a burger, and I tried their new veggie burger.  Not bad for a veggie burger- it was mostly lentils.  Still, Brew Works is a great choice for a vegetarian in PA, as you are usually limited to Mozzarella Sticks (or “Fried Cheese, as some places call it) and French Fries.  But, the best part about Brew Works is the Beer.  Mom had a pumpkin ale, which was pretty awesome.  I had the Rude Elf, their Holiday Brew.  It is a really STRONG ale with nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove flavors.  I got a growler on the way out… Along with the Beer and Cheese soup for Max- it’s his favorite.

I highly recommend a day in Christmas City!!

http://www.artsquest.org/christkindlmarkt/
http://www.christmascity.org/
http://www.thebrewworks.com/bethlehem-brew-works/
http://www.thebrewworks.com/brews/seasonal-beers/rude-elfs-reserve/

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