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Posted on Dec 27, 2012 in Food | 11 comments

Christmas 2012 in Pictures


Hello there! Well, it’s official. 97.1 FM has stopped playing Christmas music, Christmas cookies are being sold for 75% off at the grocery store… the glorious December holiday is over. But luckily for me (not so much for you guys, haha), I took approximately 18932863 pictures and am now going to post them all here so you can relive the magic with me.


This was the last Christmas we had as present-generationers. My sister’s baby is due at the end of Marhc, so next year, there will be my little bouncing niece to shower with gifts! (As if I didn’t already give Jenny and Dan enough baby gifts for Xmas this year, hahaha.)


So it was definitely important that we employed all the family Christmas traditions. My siblings and I all slept at our parents’ house on Christmas Eve, things started off with me waking up early, unleashing the dogs on my brother and sister to wake THEM up, and then all of us heading to grab our stockings. Our rule since we were little kids has always been that we can open up our stockings before our parents wake up, but we have to leave anything that’s wrapped until everyone is all together.


Of course, as we’ve gotten older, the difference in time between when we “kids” wake up and when my parents wake up has slimmed from a few hours down to maybe like 15 minutes, hahaha.


Then we all take turns going around and opening up our various presents! I really love getting to see what everyone else gets, so this is much more satisfying for me than just going in and ripping open my pile of presents all at once.


Sean came over a little later on in the morning, and he gets full credit for surviving a Powell Family Christmas. Admittedly, the entire experience can be a little… intense. Heh.


My family was very generous with me this year (as they always are), and in addition to the sweet Le Creuset kitchen additions pictured up top, I also got an ice cream maker (which I’ve wanted for a long time!), a panini press, Modernist Cuisine at Home (the most amazing cookbook food encyclopia ever — Sean has the full version!), and the new Volt Brothers’ cookbook. Amongst other things. 🙂

We all hung around, played with our new toys, and had Christmas brunch (which is always a combo of pancakes, bacon, eggs, and whatnot) and before I knew it, it was time to buckle down and start prepping dinner!


I think we really outdid ourselves on the food front this year.


We started off with a spinach salad that had apples, cherry craisins, spiced walnuts, red onion, and goat cheese, with a homemade lemon vinaigrette that I made.


My brother-in-law Dan made his mom’s awesome homemade crescent rolls recipe, and my mom also made yorkshire pudding, which I didn’t get a picture of. But it was awesome. Mmm, carbs.


The other sides were my roasted garlic whipped potatoes (I added chives this time — yum!), roasted maple brussels sprouts, cranberry quinoa salad, and arancini (risotto balls) that Sean made from scratch. Mmmmmm.


Of course, that was just all accompaniment to the main event:


My mom’s always perfect, always amazing rib roast!


There was dessert too — Dan made his awesome tart cherry pie, and I contributed a pecan pie, but we honestly didn’t dig into the desserts too much that night, we were all too full of dinner awesomeness.


There was also an incredibly misguided attempt to make ice cream with my shiny new ice cream maker. I say it was misguided, because I was too impatient to wait the full 16 hours for the freezer bowl to actually freeze, and thought that I would be able to make ice cream after only, um, 5 hours.


I was wrong. Milkshake, anyone? Hahahaha. Oh well, something to try for next time. 🙂


So. Cleeeearly not too shabby on the food front this holiday season, eh? I guess I should report (and you should all be very proud) that I actually have not gained a single extra pound since before Thanksgiving. Which is actually kind of amazing, considering, well, all the above. Of course, I haven’t lost anything either, but who really needs to be actively LOSING weight during the holidays, eh? I mean, c’mon. Cookies… and stuff… you know?


What’s the best thing you ate on Christmas?


  1. The Modernist Cuisine is so great! I worked a volunteer event with Maxime Bilet in Seattle. So fun. Merry Christmas! 🙂

  2. Wow. Absolutely amazing …… everything.

    Love the tree. You and the fam really know how to do it up BIG!

    Arancinis = yummy! My fave little snack.

    Toast to 2013 … be cozy & safe Gretchen.

  3. That’s it- I’m coming to spend Christmas with your family next year. Um- WOW!!!!! Looks like an amazing and delicious day! (and the photos are beautiful, of course).
    Merry Christmas, lover!!

  4. I just started reading your blog and really enjoy it. We had standing rib roasts well and it s incredible. How do you guys prepare it? We use a Paula Deen recipe that calls for salt, pepper, garlic rubbed on the outside. So good.

    • It’s my mom’s recipe, but I know she embeds garlic cloves in the meat (like cuts a tiny slit and then pushes in the clove) and also coats the thing with salt & pepper. And then she does a 30 minutes at 500 degrees, the rest at 350 (or something) method. I’ll have to ask her for the actual recipe!!

  5. Looks like quite the fun time! I totally did the same thing with my ice cream maker and ended up with sangria slushies instead of sangria sorbet, haha.

  6. Looks like a great day!

    I have that same ice cream maker and (when you actually freeze the bowl), it works great! My favorite thing is to melt good chocolate, let it cool so that it’s still liquid but not hot, then drizzle it into the churning ice cream about 3 minutes before the ice cream is done. So good!

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