Sunday, December 18, 2011

all the foods of Christmas.

Every year, my family hosts Christmas Eve at my parents' house with most of my mom's side. And every Christmas Eve for the last, oh, probably 8 years or so, I've been in charge of the desserts. That is my forte.  Usually cookies, some fudge, and either a cheesecake or layer cake of some new flavor I decide to experiment with.

I'm pretty excited this year, mostly because I've barely baked at all this semester. All I've made really are my favorite cookie recipe that I made all the time. So I'm looking forward to experimenting with new recipes. Red velvet cheesecake, homemade almond roca, and some sort of cookies are on the list this year. So, of course, I've spent the last hour browsing Tastespotting. It's nice not having school to worry about anymore, because I don't feel guilty about spending so much dang time drooling over recipes online!

Tomorrow I'm starting the holiday baking storm. Gonna make some cookies and test out that almond roca recipe and give them to our friends. Our friends, the Bowles', brought over some (amazing) gingersnaps and cheesecake bites the other night, so now we need to return the favor with Christmas goodies too! Great excuse to bake, right?

I also give the Bowles' full credit for us finally having a clean apartment.

The other evening, Sterling and I were taking a nice nap. A text from Justin asking if we were home woke me up. I told him we were, and he asked if he and Annie, his wife, could stop by our place with goodies. I woke Sterling up and frantically told him we needed to tidy up our apartment quickly so they could stop by. Sterling said he bet they were already on their way. Turns out he knows Justin pretty well!

Now, when I say our place was a mess, I mean it was seriously a mess. Like, a full-on hazardous waste filled disaster zone. I don't even know how it got so bad. Our living room had random articles of clothing all over the floor (for some reason I moved the full-length mirror into there a few weeks ago, accidentally turning the living room into the "dressing room"), and wedding presents and wrapping paper everywhere. Our kitchen had Sterling's attempt at making cookie bars (poor guy...I had to race to work, leaving him to finish the recipe....he accidentally left out a couple crucial ingredients :)) sitting, and staling, on the stove. Our bedroom was awful, with quilts and clothes and study notes and textbooks all over the place.

So anyway, the Bowles' showed up, and I resorted to closing as many doors as I could and then apologizing for our apartment being disgusting.

And then doing a serious deep-cleaning of the entire apartment the next day.

I want to be comfortable with people stopping by whenever! We love having visitors, so we need to make it possible for friends to make a surprise visit without us being embarrassed of our piggyness.

So now, I'm happy to announce, our apartment is just lovely. It's cute and clean and organized, and we love it. And we're now getting ourselves into the habit of keeping it clean. And we're doing pretty good. Clothes are in the hamper, dishes are washed everyday, trash is taken out often, bed is made everyday. It feels great. And Sterling is doing so good, I must say! He's the resident bed-maker.

On Wednesday we're heading to California for a week with my family, then going to Grace to see the Stoddard side for a little less than a week probably. Then we'll get back and it'll be my birthday! This is my favorite time of the year. Can I also mention how excited I am to have sushi while we're in CA? I already talked my sister into taking a trip to Sacramento with us just to get sushi. Oh, yum.

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