Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Home for the Holidays

This is one of the most amazing feelings I can think of...I just got back to my home in Boston after visiting my family for a week for Christmas. I'm lying in bed in my fuzzy microfleece sheets, heater going, listening to the rain, and about to tell you all about my 'southern' Christmas :) Let the pictures do the talking!

I'm still really excited about being able to make poached eggs...

Tried something new last week - spaghetti squash! Great alternative to pasta - similar consistency/texture and way healthier. Just buy a squash, stick the whole thing in the oven at 425 for an hour, then slice in half and use a fork to scrape out the 'noodles'

Looks like pasta, doesn't it?

I had it with my Dad's famous spaghetti sauce (sooooooooooo gooooooood)

Mid-afternoon snack of toaster-oven s'mores :)

Office Christmas party at Julep Bar

Me and V - love this girl :)

DUN DUN DUN - I'm HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOME!!!!!!!! First stop is Bojangles, OF COURSE (Boberry Biscuits are the best)

Finally *home* home! My baby brother is getting so big!

Showing me his kata that he learned in karate

Hipster bro (trying on my glasses)

We're goofballs :)

Cheesiest pizza I've ever seen

Look carefully...think he might have a favorite? ;-)

He's so angelic when he's asleep

Christmas ornament I made - Mom had this neat idea to paint little gourds as ornaments. Turned out pretty well, right?

His Karate kick

Never thought I'd see this - something that's more expensive in Nowheresville, NC, than it is in Boston! I've been getting Clementines on sale for $4 or $5 a box.

Christmas present from me to my family - homemade Beef Wellington! This was my first time 'flying solo' while making it, and it turned out pretty spectacularly (if I may say so myself)

Finished product - use this [recipe]!

TA-DA (wellington accompanied by red wine reduction ([recipe] here), rosemary potatoes, and fresh garden salad)

Cooked to perfection

It was absolutely delicious - everyone requested that this become a new holiday tradition (I can get on board with that!)

95% of the time you could find him camped out in front of the fire playing with his toys

So excited for Christmas! (Dad, Benjamin, me)

Let me introduce you to some southern you see my mom's famous biscuits and sausage gravy, eggs, grits, and bacon

One of Dad's specialties - pinto beans, fried potatoes, collard greens, and Mom's special cornbread (it doesn't get much better than that folks)

One of *my* specialties - French Breakfast Muffins (super easy and always a hit)

I got to see Lacey before she headed to Georgia - look how cute her baby bump is! I can't wait to meet him :)

All in...

Christmas jammies!

Throwback - one of Mom's (many) photo frames

Santa came!

Benjamin was SOOOOOOOOOO excited - he woke up around 6 am Christmas morning but he was under strict instructions not to wake anyone up until 7...he was literally counting down the minutes



Worn out from all that unwrapping

Look what Madeline got me! She knows me so well...

I was so pumped to get so many new cooking supplies - I can't wait to start making things!

Olivia got me this beautiful necklace - it'll go great with a black dress that I have

Mom's amazing homemade gift (she even made the paper!)

It's a book...

Open me!

Into THIS - a collage of pictures, things to try, gift cards, and other goodies - how cool is that?!

She even did origami butterflies

(2nd variation)

Dad knows me so well - my first set of 'grown up' knives and an immersion blender! I can't wait to make butternut squash soup...

Benjamin playing his new Angry Birds game


Southern meal #23406: Step 1 - start with biscuits

Step 2 - crumble biscuits and add small pats of butter

Step 3 - smother in cocoa gravy and devour

(Dad's presentation)

Benjamin specifically requested I put this picture on my blog - I think he's proud of his chocolaty mouth

Nom nom nom

Christmas Ham!

Dad makes it every year :)


I gained about 5 pounds while I was at better make that 10....but it was worth it! My home-cooked favorites were delicious, I got to spend so much time with my awesome family, and had an absolutely spectacular Christmas! I am so blessed!

Up next.....a very special New Year post ;-)
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  1. My Dear One, YOU are the one who is awesome! Your blog is fantastic, and not because it is about our Southern cooking--it is about you, and how you see things, what you love, and I am so happy to be included in that! Merry Christmas, Darlin', again and again,


    P.S. The rest of your Christmas should arrive on Monday or Tuesday--be on the lookout for your big box!

  2. Wow! Proud for you guys. Glad you enjoy your time together. Emily, I can't say that I can poach an egg, have never tried spaghetti squash, but it is on my to-do list. I might have to tackle that Beef Wellington when my confidence level is high, but the guests will have to be major VIPs. Thankful that you guys love each other and have such rich family traditions.