December Happenings

Christmas is less than a week away…what?! Who’s done with their shopping? I’m about half way there…it’s officially crunch time. My goal is to have it all done by Friday so that I can just focus on the most important stuff from here on out…which pretty much involves watching Christmas Vacation as many times as possible and drinking lots of these. Here’s a little peek at what’s been keeping me busy this month…
 
I face-timed with this sweet face last week. She got her Christmas present from Kevin and I early this year…this lucky little gal gets to see her favorite idols in concert next year, One Direction!! So crazy…the concert is not until September 12th of 2014, and tickets already went on sale in early December. My sister and I are taking her, and we’ve both sheepishly admitted that we’re actually pretty excited to go (and that we both kind of have crushes on Harry…shhhh).

photo

Kevin and I went on an adventure in the east bay for his birthday on the 6th. We finally went to check out the Hangar One distillery over in Alameda. It was a freeeezing cold night, but we had fun taking the ferry over after work, touring the facility, tasting some of their stellar spirits, and then dinner at a great spot in Oakland after. It was a bit of work getting out there and back, but well worth it and something we’d been wanting to check out for a long time. Hangar One is Kevin’s favorite vodka, and we’re always happy to support a local biz!

photo_6

I loooove catching up with friends over holiday dinners. My gal, Jessica, and I went to my favorite spot, Tosca, for such an awesome dinner. We capped off our meal with their famous “cappuccino”, which, incidentally, doesn’t include any espresso, but lots of other yumminess, like chocolate ganache, bourbon, and armagnac. Espresso, my apologies, but you were not missed.

photo_3

My book club had our annual Christmas dinner a couple weeks ago, and it was just as lovely as ever (here was last year’s party). This year, we skipped the full-on potluck dinner we usually do, and made it an appetizer feast instead. We all agreed it was a fun route to take, since we weren’t tied up in the kitchen the whole night, and it made it much easier to do lots of chatting. I took peppermint cotton candy that I made at home with my trusty little machine I picked up at Best Buy (can you say impulse purchase)?  Seriously though, parents, these things are only $40, and they will rock your kids’ lives forever.

photo_1

We’re in the market for some new Santa gear for the Zeidan family Christmas Eve celebration. Ever the good sport, Kevin modeled this janky beard situation I brought home this past weekend…what do you guys think?

photo_4

I hosted a few of my bloggity friends for a little holiday gathering this past Sunday. My friend Ryan was back in town (ps, his blog is hi-larious) so we rounded up some of our meetup peeps, including Alanna and her bf, and Chris & Julia, the couple behind A Bar Above. So fun to get to know these new-ish friends better.

photo_7

PS…I love our little Christmas tree!

 

Hope you’re all squeezing in lots of holiday fun yourselves!

 

Signature

Friday Round-up // Week 50

Happy Friday to ya! Any fun holiday party plans for the weekend? We have a couple parties, and it’s getting me all in the Christmas spirit. Speaking of which, I had to include the pic below from our recent trip to Disneyland for my birthday. If you’ve never been to Disneyland during the holidays, it’s like a big warm Christmas hug, especially Small World. It’s so decked out with lights and sparkles everywhere. It’s a definite bucket list item. Although, I’m pretty sure Kevin and I were some of very few people there not pushing strollers around. They even had designated “stroller parking” areas that we got a total kick out of.

 

Enjoy this festive time of the year…and enjoy a few of my favorite links for the week!

 

happy-weekend-high

 

Planning to do any baking this holiday? Don’t forget to test your oven temp.

 

I shared a fun holiday hostess gift on My Thirty Spot this week.

 

Officially the warmest, fuzziest of Christmas cheer.

 

Oh, but this too.

 

The psychology of waiting.

 

I finally toured St. George Spirits, and I have a new favorite vodka.

 

A holiday meal I’ve always wanted to try cooking.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Signature

Homemade Eggnog

This past Saturday, I joined a few of my fellow blogging gals for some totally necessary holiday crafting, hosted by the lovely Miss Lauren. There was lots of glitter, glue, and sparkles…and homemade eggnog, courtesy of me!
 
I took a stab at crafting up a couple ornaments, but I had a bit of an inferiority complex compared to the likes of Rachel, Mere, Camille, and Emily…seriously, some people are just born to DIY. I’ll just stick with what I know best, and that means keeping the drinks a-flowing.

 

homemade-eggnog

camille

eggnog-lights

 

Homemade Eggnog 

For the eggnog:

  • 1 dozen egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 cups of milk*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 1½ cups bourbon
  • 1 whole nutmeg

For the whipped cream:

  • 2 cups of whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

To prepare:

  1. In a large saucepan over low heat, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and 4 cups of milk. Continue warming the mixture, stirring continually, until it begins to thicken. Once it reaches 160 degrees (F) or coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat.
  2. Pour in the remaining 4 cups of milk, vanilla, and bourbon. Refrigerate the mixture until cold, at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  3. To prepare the whipped cream, combine the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl, and beat until stiff peak forms.
  4. To prepare the drink, pour a serving of eggnog in a glass, top with a dollop of whipped cream, and grate the fresh nutmeg on top (using a zester).

Serves 8-10

*I prefer to use 2% milk so that the eggnog is not too thick.

 

eggnog

 

PS…how I really want to drink my eggnog.

Signature

Friday Round-up // Week 49

Hey friends! How have you been? It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done one of these Friday round-ups, and, gosh, I missed them! I thought it was due time to get back on track, since there are just a few of them left to be written in 2013. How did that happen?!

 

Ok, so two major updates to share today. First off, happy birthday to my sweet hubby, Kevin! Hard to believe it’s already time to add another item to this list! I have to say, I love him for always being my biggest supporter…and also for being the best syrup, gravy, and chocolate sauce pourer of all time (you guys didn’t think I did that on my own, didja?).

 

Also, eek, I get chills every time I think of it…my sister got engaged!! And, the best part, her boyfriend did it in front of the family at our Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve never seen anyone get proposed to before, and it was maybe one of the coolest things ever. Congrats Ginger & Steve!

 

Ok folks, here are my favorite links for the week…and the winner of Hamilton Beach blender giveaway announced below!

happy-weekend

\\ Enjoying some beach time with my niece last weekend…ahhhh So Cal //

 

Sad to hear of Judy Rodgers’ passing…she will forever be remembered for her iconic Zuni Chicken.

 

Top Chef is so heating up! Was not sorry to see Miss Attitude depart this week.

 

You guys, the srirachapocolypse…it’s here. Stock up while you can.

 

Tosca getting some much-deserved love from Bauer.

 

Dear Santa, this amazingness has been added to my Christmas list.

 

This festive dessert is definitely making an appearance at my book club Christmas party on Sunday.

 

New addition to the Chef Wall, Mr. Rene Redzepi…an honor to meet him at a recent SF event.

 

Just getting into this read…haven’t gotten to the part where he becomes a total jerk, but I know it’s coming.

 

Confession…totally obsessed with this song (thanks to my niece, of course).

 

Last, congrats to the Hamilton Beach blender giveaway winners! Lovely J. will receive the Smoothie Smart Blender, and Julie A. will receive the Single Serve Blender. I’ll be reaching out by email for your address details. Congrats!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great weekend!

Signature