Good morning and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!
“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” Matthew 1: 24-25
This is my favorite holiday and I’m so thrilled to be able to share it with all of you! Even though times are pretty tough for most of us right now with the horrible economy, we have to remember just how blessed we are to have the necessities: family, home, FOOD, friends, electricity…..the list could go on. I’m as guilty as the next as getting caught up in the superficial aspect of the holiday but I think that especially this year I, at least, am humbled by the act of giving when money is tight.
Here is my family!
My other family 🙂
Last night was soooo wonderful having my mom’s good friend Margaret come over with her family. Margaret is one of 13 children and her mom died on Christmas Eve when she was 16….can you even imagine?! Her family always comes in from out of town (california and canada!) to be with each other on Christmas and last night they were just going to go to a restaurant for dinner!!! No way jose….everyone came over and we had a wonderful time of laughter, great food and company.
My mom made delicious blue cheese dip with cranberries and toasted pecans:
There was also some unpictured baked brie with pecans…..oops! I had two crackers with the brie spread on I think…hehe
And dinner! Oh man…was it ever amazing!
Margaret’s “christmas” salad—mozzarella with tomato and basil, spicy baked shrimp, lowfat broccoli casserole (out of Cooking Light), peppered beef tenderloin and a roasted new potato.
Two glasses of sparkling wine were drank during appetizers and about one glass of cab during dinner. 🙂
And then I brought out the dessert!
French walnut cake with honey thyme ice cream!
It was a HUGE hit, needless to say! The cake was incredibly simple to make and was leavened by egg whites, like angel food cake. No butter, oil or shortening was used—-just ground walnuts, flour, organic sugar, whipped egg whites and whole walnuts. The perfect presentation when dusted with powered sugar!
Gifts came later in the night….I have the best parents ever!
New blackberry curve—LOVE it
and………(shrieks with joy)
I have been wanting a KitchenAid for YEARS. Seriously. My whole life I have been cooking/baking with a handheld beater circa 1984 and this is pretty much the best thing ever to me. I told Ryan and he goes, “well we don’t even have to get married now….you just got everything you wanted!” Haha. Right. Meaning I have an entire gift registry already planned out in my nogin. 😉
This morning I slept in until around 8:00 then went downstairs and made breakfast….a waffle sammie with cinnamon peanut butter, preserves and a banana
My mom is making a later brunch of scrambled eggies and homemade cranberry walnut orange bread (made by yours truly) around 11 before I have to leave for the airport.
So, I will be up in the mountains until Sunday….we are getting in around 4 this afternoon and I’ll be there with Ryan’s entire family. I am so blessed to be able to share the holiday with not one, but two families now! The only “issue” is that we are WAY up the mountain (45 minutes north of Asheville) and there is zero cellphone/internet service. I’ve been thinking about what to do and I decided to just take a little vacation for the weekend. I’m going to photograph EVERYTHING and then do a HUGE recap on Sunday when I get home. I hope you all don’t mind too much!
I’m off to take a shower and finish packing now. I hope each of you have a very blessed holiday and I will be back on Sunday!
TaliaDecember 25, 2008 at 8:51 am
congrats on the kitchenaid! They are amazing!
KatieDecember 25, 2008 at 8:51 am
Merry Christmas Jenna! What a nice and cozy night you had.
I’m so jealous of your Kitchenaid!!!
Have fun in the mountains!
JennyDecember 25, 2008 at 9:05 am
I have that Blackberry, you’ll LOVE it!
Merry Christmas Jenna!
EmilyDecember 25, 2008 at 9:07 am
Merry Christmas! I live about 45 minutes away from Asheville! I love the town, its really unique…and has some great shopping!
VeggieGirlDecember 25, 2008 at 9:25 am
Such a lovely celebration you’ve had so far!!!
MaraDecember 25, 2008 at 9:25 am
CONGRATULATIONS on the KitchenAid (and the CrackBerry!!) They’re both such amazing and fun tools!
VictoriaDecember 25, 2008 at 9:36 am
Sounds like a wonderful evening. Enjoy the kitchaid. I couldn’t live without mine now!
GlidingcalmDecember 25, 2008 at 9:39 am
Merry Christmas Jenna!!! It is my favorite holiday too!!! And that dinner and cake looks spectacular!! So glad you are spending it with the ones you love!!
Have a fabulous day!!
MoranDecember 25, 2008 at 9:52 am
Wohooo what amazing gifts!!! Have a fabulous time Jenna!!
Becca ADecember 25, 2008 at 10:06 am
Merry Christmas! Have a safe trip up and an enjoyable time!
KristinDecember 25, 2008 at 10:08 am
Gahhh so jealous!!! Have fun with the mixer!
But I got a heart rate monitor from my parents so i’m satisfied 😉
Have a wonderful, blessed holiday Jenna!
MaureenDecember 25, 2008 at 10:19 am
Yay for presents! Merry Christmas!
hkDecember 25, 2008 at 10:33 am
merry merry!! dinner with the fam looks great 🙂 enjoy your weekend in the mountains, FUN!! love the kitchenaid, yay for awesome cooking and baking adventures to come 🙂
KDecember 25, 2008 at 10:41 am
KITCHEN AID!?! I’m way jealous, girl!! Enjoy it!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO BOTH OF YOUR FAMILIES 😀
Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food)December 25, 2008 at 11:26 am
BethTDecember 25, 2008 at 11:34 am
Merry Christmas!! Aww, is the mixer from Ryan? That is my dream gift as well!
pollyDecember 25, 2008 at 11:59 am
Merry Christmas, Jenna! Beautiful family! Have a wonderful trip with R! XOXO
GretaDecember 25, 2008 at 12:02 pm
Merry Christmas miss jenna!
SharonDecember 25, 2008 at 12:14 pm
Have a great time at the mountains. Looking forward to your recap. And what a cute joke Ryan made!! Hahah!
ttfn300December 25, 2008 at 12:16 pm
Merry Christmas!!! Love the mixer 🙂 I can’t believe the pastry chef didn’t have one yet!
Enjoy the rest of the family time 🙂 And umm, that cake… do we get to see the recipe?? Lovely pairing with the ice cream, btw 🙂
natalieDecember 25, 2008 at 12:32 pm
Have a Merry Christmas Jenna! Have a great time in NC and a safe flight! 🙂
FancyDecember 25, 2008 at 1:29 pm
Have a wonderful time with Ryan’s family, Jenna! Merry Christmas! 🙂
fitforfreeDecember 25, 2008 at 2:38 pm
Merry Christmas!! That stand mixer is awesome!
emilyDecember 25, 2008 at 2:43 pm
Merry Christmas! and enjoy your trip!
SammieDecember 25, 2008 at 2:45 pm
Merry Christmas Jenn. I hope have an awesome weekend!!!
KellyDecember 25, 2008 at 2:54 pm
Merry Christmas!! 😉 We had baked brie with apricots last night- oh soooo goood.
Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter)December 25, 2008 at 4:51 pm
Merry Christmas Jenna. Have a fun and safe trip to the mountains. Looking forward to lots of pics. when you return 🙂
CassidyDecember 25, 2008 at 5:46 pm
rebeccaDecember 25, 2008 at 6:04 pm
Aww, yay! Such awesome presents and family! Merry CHRISTmas!
MelDecember 25, 2008 at 8:00 pm
Your pics of your family are too cute! Dinner looks amazing!
Have a safe trip to see the other family!
CaitlinDecember 25, 2008 at 8:28 pm
MeganDecember 25, 2008 at 8:57 pm
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
AndreaDecember 25, 2008 at 9:56 pm
merry christmas. love the crackberry 😉 i loooooove them.
caitlinDecember 25, 2008 at 9:58 pm
you look like you guys had a fabulous day! i love your eats and presents (pink blackberry, gaaaah!!! so cute). we are very excited to see you both for the wedding 🙂 can’t wait!
ashley (sweet & natural)December 26, 2008 at 12:02 am
Merry Christmas Jenna!
CatDecember 26, 2008 at 12:15 am
Merry Christmas, Jenna, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend! Of course we don’t mind if you take the weekend off. I think we’re all happy with whatever makes you happy! 🙂
Have tons o’ fun!!
BeadieDecember 26, 2008 at 6:46 am
Looks like you had a fab Christmas. Enjoy your weekend away!
Amy A.December 26, 2008 at 8:13 am
Hi Jenna, Merry Christmas!! Now, don’t associate those warm wishes with the link I’m about to share: http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=sOSXjwadJRY&fmt=18
It’s really gross, but I just can’t not share it!! My mom sent it to me with the subject line ‘yum yum mouse in a bun’ and when I saw the Arnold brand name, I immediately thought of you. On the up side, there is discrepancy over whether or not it was a mouse, but it’s still creepy looking!
Sarah (now in FL)December 26, 2008 at 11:19 am
Merry Christmas!! 🙂 I’m so glad you got the KitchenAid mixer. I wanted one but didn’t get it from my registry. I did, however, get a Cuisanart food processor-it’s stainless steel and I love it! What a great Christmas gift. Have a WONDERFUL time in beautiful NC!
Oh She GlowsDecember 26, 2008 at 11:11 pm
Awesome Kitchenaid!!! I got one for my bday this year and it is the most amazing gadget ever. Have fun with it!
FancyDecember 27, 2008 at 10:54 am
That video is mortifying….EW! I think I would faint if that happened to me!!!! Omg so gross!!!!!
BridgetDecember 27, 2008 at 11:22 pm
Happy baking with the Kitchenaid!!
MeghanDecember 28, 2008 at 1:56 pm
I hope you are thoroughly enjoying yourself 🙂
Kelly TurnerDecember 28, 2008 at 6:17 pm
I want a Blackberry 🙁