Christmas 2013

Well, I hope everyone who celebrated this week is recovering nicely from the festivities, and avoiding that post-holiday drag. If you’re still feeling down, why don’t you head on back to yesterday’s post and enter my NadaMoo! giveaway. Coconut milk ice cream cures all sadness.

I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the Christmas with family as we do every year, and have a nice night full of cooking, eating, wine drinking and terrible pool playing. I decided not to partake in the wine drinking, although if I have it likely would have made my participation in the terrible pool playing that much more hilarious. Here’s what my holiday looked like.


I had Christmas Eve dinner at a restaurant called Three, I will do a restaurant review on Monday. It was nice to go out though, I have gone out to eat on Christmas Eve since I can remember, and then stayed in for a cozy home cooked meal on Christmas.


I headed to my parent’s house on Christmas morning to open presents, and then we headed to my grandpa’s house later in the day for dinner.


My last-minute wrapping meant keeping it super simple. I made homemade white and dark chocolate to include with the gifts, and of course saved a few for myself.


There were cuddles all around for Loki. Poor old guy doesn’t even have he energy for slobbery kisses all over my face anymore.


In between we all managed to fit in a little pre-feast exercise. My dad took the dog out, my mom went for a walk, I hit the gym (and took locker room selfies) for a quick weights session, and my little brother exerted an impressive amount of energy sitting on his behind playing computer games with his fancy new keyboard. That kid doesn’t even need a pre-workout to get pumped up. When everyone was cleaned up (minus the bro, who went the smart route and stayed in his pjs), we were on our way. A short drive later we arrived to this:


I always loved my grandparent’s tree growing up. I would try to convince my parents to go with white lights on our tree, but alas, the rainbow lights remained year after year.

Along with the gorgeous tree, there were plenty of shenanigans to keep the day interesting.


Well, for teenage boys shenanigans at Christmas typically consist of watching sports and playing with your new knife present. But I managed a few pictures. I think we may get the most attractive siblings award.


After I prepped food and set a few things in the oven, the previously mentioned laughably bad pool playing commenced, and then it was time for dinner.


I made Brussels sprouts with pomegranate (inspired by Deliciously Ella), honey roasted rainbow carrots with cloves (because I ran out of maple syrup for the planned maple roasted carrots) and a salad with apple, avocado, and pepitas to contribute to our Christmas dinner. A majority of the produce was from the farmers market and was super fresh and delicious. We also had turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, the usuals. Oh, and yams. I about died over them. I think I have a love affair with yams/sweet potatoes. You couldn’t even tell that they had white sweet potatoes mixed in with them that my smart self accidentally brought back from the market along with their orange hued friends. It was also my mom’s first time brining and cooking a turkey all by herself so we were all quite proud of her. Thank you, Alton Brown.


Just in case anyone wanted to see what a half-hacked up turkey looks like.


I stuck to the veg options this year, and kept it classy with water in my wine glass. The food is really just a side note to the wonderful company and conversation, though, for which I was incredibly grateful.


For dessert my uncle made homemade pumpkin pie, my mom made pumpkin cream cheese bars (recipe here), and I made chocolate mousse from The Whole Pantry App. Somehow it all went unpictured except for the mousse, which I devoured. That bowl was scraped clean once I got back to my place later that night. Along with the leftover Brussels, carrots, salad, and yams. Christmas dinner round two makes the best late night snack.

After midnight Brussels and mousse eating and snuggling up with a movie back at my place, I finally fell into bed and slept until the sun had long arose and was shining through my windows. Another successful holiday in the books, I’d say.

Tell me how you spent your Christmas, or any holiday you celebrated this season!

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26 Thoughts on “Christmas 2013

  1. MMM what delicious and healthy holiday food! I also love white lights on a Christmas tree–just something about them makes the tree sparkle. I’m glad to hear you had a nice holiday :)

  2. Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! Love all the pictures, looks like a lot of fun, and of course good food! My mum and I made a yule log, and I could not stop eating it! So good! Thanks for sharing your christmas day!

  3. Happy to hear that you had a nice holiday! As for your brother staying in his PJs…wish I thought of that Christmas Day ;-)
    And that chocolate mousse looks delicious!

  4. it all looks delicious. I actually love the wrapping you did, looks so classy

  5. I can always count on my bro for a good pic too, lol. Your holiday looks wonderful! And of course there were berries involved, it wouldn’t be a Gina-fied meal without them!

  6. Mmmm…. sounds like yummy gifts you made and a very yummy dinner! The carrots especially look delicious! Love roasted carrots!

  7. Sounds like a wonderful christmas! Sweet Potatoes are the best.
    The dessert looks amazing too!!

  8. Everything looks fab! Especially those brussels. Also you look 10x better than I ever will in a gym selfie. Werk it girl!

  9. That food all looks so amazing! We had 3 desserts for Christmas dinner this year too-that is something I will never complain about!

  10. I want to swan dive into that bowl of mousse… I wish I could have some fresh berries to go along with it, but that’s a little too much to ask for at this time of the year. Glad to hear you had a good Christmas :D

  11. I love that you made homemade chocolate to give with your gifts – I bet the recipients loved it!

    Those carrots look so good. I love roasting carrots with a maple syrup or honey glaze. They seriously taste like candy like that!

  12. Looks like a great x-mas & amazing holiday dinner! The carrots & mousse look so good!! Love that you made homemade dark & white chocolate for gifts. :)

  13. Glad you had a good one! Mine was actually pretty similar… except my wine glass wasn’t filled with water. ;)

  14. Aw, what a perfect holiday celebration! Sometimes small, low-key gatherings are the very best. And all of that food…oh my goodness. I’m drooling.
    PS: Your hair is getting so long! It’s gorgeous!

    • I know, it is so long! I always have a hard time growing it out because I get bored with it, but I think I want to keep it long and finally was able to let it grow out of sheer laziness as it goes well into a ponytail. Your cut is tempting me though!

  15. i’m impressed you stuck to water. haha. just kidding. But man, those veggies, they look dead sexy. I’d come just for that! yUM!

  16. Looks like you had a fabulous Christmas and I love that black dress…HOT! Your desert looks so yummy. I actually just picked up a ton of fresh berries from Costco yesterday and cannot wait to dig in. :) Have a beautiful weekend! XOXO

  17. YUMMMMM!!! My family didn’t really go ALL OUT on the food for Christmas this year, I think it’s because we had a lot left over at Thanksgiving and my parents just didn’t want to have to eat it 5 days in a row, LOL! Your feast looks out of this world though. And I am beginning to believe that coconut cures all too! lol!

  18. Still can’t believe your dressed in such attire outside the restaurant. Let’s just pretend you’re on my side of the hood.

    Your dishes look amazing and that chocolate mousse… cannot think of a better nightcap.

  19. Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas!!

  20. Those rainbow carrots look and sound delicious. Had we served them for our dinner, I think I would’ve had a whole plate of just carrots. Ha!

    Glad you a nice holiday w/ your loving family

  21. CONFESSION: I just tried brussel sprouts for the first time this year at Christmas dinner!! There were two versions: one sauteed with bacon + onion and the other was a shaved brussel sprout salad with pomegranates and a maple apple cider dressing. SO GOOD. I’m so mad I’ve been missing out for so long!

    Looks like you had a great christmas! Your hair is beautiful by the way I’m super envious :)

    • Those both sound so good! I’m glad you were introduced to the amazing world of Brussels. :-) And thank you, I’ve been growing out my hair for a while and letting it go au naturale!

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