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merry merry!

Andrea

Merry Christmas Everybody!!!  I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday with family and friends, full of good cheer, good food and good company!  :)

I've been debating how to handle my posts these next couple of days because there is going to be so much good food consumption happening.  My stepfather is an AMAZING cook and we always have so much fun eating the fantastic meals he prepares.  My mom, my hubb and I help too... :)  So I think what I will do is post my food journal entries with meal images, but then do some extra separate posts for specific recipes that deserve their own space.  The recipe posts will be sporadic and will trickle in over the next week.

Let me start with our Christmas Eve...  I got up and went for a run!!!  Yay...it had been nearly a week.  Yikes.  I've got lots of mileage to make up and I plan on taking full advantage of the lovely warm weather we are having.

Breakfast:  The hubb and I met my best friend / college roommate and her fiance for breakfast at a restaurant on Cocoa Beach called The Omelet Station.  I had pancakes and a fruit salad on the side...the food was ok, but the highlight of the meal was definitely catching up with my best bud.  Sadly, I got NO PICTURES!  I don't even care about the food pictures, I didn't get any pictures of me and Jackie!!!  So so so sad.  She's off in Jamaica now, lucky girl, so I totally missed my opportunity.  :(

Lunch:  My momma put together a salad for us, it was just what I needed!  It had ham, pickles, green olives, a little cheese and balsamic dressing.

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Dinner:  We were with my stepfamily in Daytona for their Christmas Eve tradition.  This was the first time that the hubb and I participated because we typically spend Christmas Eve with my dad and other stepfamily (the hubb and I have 4 families total...).  There were all kinds of goodies coming out of the kitchen that I munched on throughout the evening.  We don't have a set meal, people just graze...its lovely.  :)  Here's a small sampling, I wasn't on top of the food pictures for the evening:

antipasti tray

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crescent roll wrapped sausage

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homemade chicken tenders (unbelievably good...I had several!)

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cream puffs (also amazing...)

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And the family in front of hiding my grandmother's Christmas tree!

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It was a lovely evening, and we were exhausted by the time we got home.  I wrapped up a few last presents and then crashed!

Christmas morning was supposed to start with another run, but I just could not drag my bootie out of bed and when I thought I hit snooze I actually turned my alarm off.  :(  Oh well.  We'll go later...or tomorrow...

Breakfast:  The tradition in our family is to have panettone french toast [recipe to come]. I'm sure you've all seen the boxed panettone loaves in the supermarkets, they've become very popular.  When we first started making our Christmas breakfast my stepfather had to search the state to find a loaf, and now they are everywhere!  I guess we're trendsetters...  :) Panettone is a fluffy Italian bread that contains candied orange, citron and lemon zest.

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I think this may be my all-time favorite breakfast.  I look forward to it every year.  We spent last Christmas with the hubb's family and we had to introduce them to the tradition because there was just no way I could go a year without it.  I realize I could make it on other days around the Christmas holidays, but its just not the same for me if I don't have it Christmas morning!  This morning I also had two slices of bacon and some orange and tangerine slices.

After breakfast we opened presents!  So much fun to be with my hubb, momma, stepfather, stepbrother and sister-in-law.  I received some wonderful, thoughtful gifts, but I think my favorite is my new KitchenAid Mixer!!!!!!!!!!!!!  My current KitchenAid is a 28-year old hand-me-down from my Momma.  Its almond-colored...oh yeah.  It only has 3 of its original 10 speeds and puts off an interesting electrical smell whenever I use it.  It almost died while I was making marshmallows last week and I was nearly in tears.  So, needless to say, I am SOOOOOO EXCITED!!!

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My hubb gave me some fantastic new bread baking tools that I opened while we were still in Virginia so I don't have any pictures to share now, but I will because they will go so well with the new mixer!

Lunch:  Our second Christmas food tradition (we have lots of food traditions...I told you, my family is ultra food-oriented!) is to make Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo [recipe to come].  My family has a very strong love for New Orleans (the hubb and I even got married there!), which I will write more about when I post the recipe for the gumbo.

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Christmas food (or drink) tradition #3 is MOJITOS!!!!  My family does live in Florida, and when you have 80* Christmas' mojitos are completely appropriate.  Trust me.  :)

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There are so many wonderful smells coming from the kitchen right now...we are going to have a fabulous afternoon meal here in a couple of hours that I will post later tonight.  For now, I'm going to fulfill Christmas tradition #4, which is the afternoon nap!  :)