Hello friends! It’s weird to think that last year, on December 15th, it was Russell’s last day at his old company before they had to let him go (budget cuts). We did it folks. We lasted a whole year on freelance incomes and managed to pay our mortgage and all our bills. I hope it gets easier from here.
It’s been a stressful December. Russell and I joked that this holiday season and last year’s holiday season have been really stressful; so maybe next year’s Christmas with a baby will actually be easier for us. Ha. The month has zoomed by and we are only days away from Christmas (!!!).
Anyways, to celebrate, Russell and I threw a Christmas party for our last community group meeting of the year. I wish I took more photos, but here’s one Russell snapped while we played board games.
I spent most of Thursday afternoon cooking and didn’t get to take pictures of any of the delicious food. Let me just describe it to you, yes? It’s worth describing.
For the main dish(es), we had:
- Ribs that we had in the crockpot all day to get tender, then threw in the oven to broil really quick with some sriracha bbq sauce.
- Chicken that we also broiled then placed on a bed of pan-fried mushrooms. The mushrooms by the way were sautéed in butter, garlic, and thyme then tossed in lemon juice.
- Mashed potatoes (brought by friends)
- Chicken caesar salad (brought by friends)
- One of our friends who works at Disneyland brought a whole bunch of Disneyland churros!
- Chocolate croissants
- I found a recipe for a holiday drink that I tried out and was a big hit. It consisted of: ginger ale, cranberry juice, and frozen cranberries (acting as the icecubes) mixed in.
- And lots of soda
For the second meal (oh yes), we set out some finger food guests could snack on while playing board games:
- Russell’s brisket which is glorious. He marinates it overnight then cooks it in the oven for hours to get the right taste.
- Shrimp cocktails
- More homemade chocolate croissants
It was a loooong day of cooking and I was exhausted by the time everyone went home. But I couldn’t just go to bed. It had been raining all night and Russell convinced me to bake some pandesal (Filipino bread rolls that are amazing and better than any American bread rolls I’ve had). I had prepped the dough before our guests arrived in hopes of baking some for them but I never got around to actually rolling the dough after it rose. So around midnight, I finally rolled the dough into small balls and baked them.
I am one proud Filipina when these came out. So happy and worth staying up for. There’s nothing like fresh bread coming out of the oven. Russell and I had these to ourselves and we ate our midnight snack to the sound of rain falling outside. It was dreamy. Sitting down all cozy + food + husband = one happy pregnant Katrina.