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The Brown Christmas

Happy New Year!!!

How’s 2015 been treating you so far? Has anyone else been caught writing 2014 still? I’ll be doing that for a couple weeks yet I’m sure.

Ben and I had a long stint of relaxing holiday vacation and today it’s back to the real world. The break was much needed! I don’t know if it was some kind of combo of work stress, lack of sunshine, early Winter blues, or all of the above, but I have been literally wiped out. I spent more time than I care to admit just taking naps and sleeping in. 🙂

One of the perks of living in Wisconsin is that we are basically guaranteed to have a white Christmas. In fact, in all 33 years of my life, I’ve never (never!) had a Christmas where there wasn’t snow on the ground. A few years ago came close and a local guy bought a snow machine and blanketed his front lawn and house with snow. He made the local news. But luckily for everyone else, we had a decent snowfall a couple days before Christmas and everyone was white.

Then there was 2014 and this sight:

074Christmas morning… And yes, I would cringe a little bit every time any mention or variation of  “Let it Snow”, “Wintry Wonderlands”, or “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” would chirp from the radio station. It was definitely a crazy year!!

The couple days leading up to Christmas were in the 40s with lots of rain. Had it been a bit cooler we would have had some ugly roads for holiday travelers. Still, I can’t quite believe the 40s happened. We’re back down into the teens now. The frozen grass cracks under your feet and there is still no snow to be found.

We spent Christmas Eve keeping the Ben & Ali breakfast tradition alive and headed out for morning pancakes. The dining chain that opened a couple months ago has been great for quick weekend breakfasts.

I ordered two small eggnog pancakes (what would the large have looked like??) and a plate of scrambled eggs for some protein:

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Ben got his usual breakfast combo:

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Our Christmas Eve was spent prepping Christmas goodies and wrapping last-minute presents. We had the non-stop Christmas tunes cranking away and we danced around the kitchen whipping up goodies to share with our families. This year I made classic Hershey kiss cookies but with both Hugs and Kisses and also tried a new recipe for soft ginger cookies. Both were huge hits!

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(I never noticed that when you look out the window in this picture the sunshine makes it look like Winter outside. If only! 🙂 )

Then I made a couple batches of caramel puffcorn (aka Christmas Crack). It’s not Ali-approved without the chocolate drizzle over it though!

Please note that I only spilled butter on myself during the first batch, which required a clothing change. All in the pursuit of sugared goodness.

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We pre-measured the spices for wassail and had all that bagged up and ready to go and then made a French toast bake for Christmas breakfast. It was so easy too! I just sliced a loaf of bakery bread:

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And then combined eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla which got poured over the top. I slapped a lid over the pan and tucked it in the fridge overnight to soak up all the goodness.

On Christmas morning we made a quick crumble of brown sugar, butter, and flour which got sprinkled on top and then mom pop it into the oven.

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How delicious does that look? We also made a buttermilk syrup to spoon on top which was excellent. I liked the tang of the buttermilk rather than a thick and even sweeter syrup.

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Umm Hmm I might just have to make this again next year!

With cups of coffee and plates of French toast bake, we opened presents. The highlight was Alex opening his Samurai sword. I think he *thinks* he’s pretty cool now. 🙂

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Happy pooch too:

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After presents were unwrapped we raced across town for dinner (lunch) with Ben’s family. Their pets never cooperate for me with pictures. One year I’ll get it though!!

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We went back to my family for supper (dinner) and then got home about 9pm tuckered out. We hadn’t even opened our gifts to each other and Ben had been eyeing up a particular gift for the past week:

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We don’t ever grow up do we? Big presents are still the best. 🙂

It was a jam-packed holiday filled with family, food, and lots of laughter. You can’t ask for more than that!

I definitely owe a few more update posts, a 2014 wrap-up and a look ahead into the new year. I also am overdue on catching up on blog reading. Maybe this weekend 🙂 I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Thank you for keeping my little blog on your reading list!

Ali

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3 Responses

  1. Glad to see & read your blog this morning. I kind of wondered what had happened to you. A hiatus from blogging during the holidays? We got 2-3 inches of snow just a few days before Christmas so we had our “white Christmas”. Busy time of the year and it can sure tucker us out.
    Happy New Year!

  2. Glad to see you back! We had a rainy Christmas and no snow. Our Thanksgiving looked more like Christmas! LOL

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