The first Christmas...













This was our sixth Christmas together, but the first in our new house.  Between organizing and painting and projects, fueled by breakfasts of eggs and hearty bowls of oatmeal with not much else to eat until we clean up for dinner late at night, our vacation is really anything but, although we did take a break on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, put everything aside, and just relaxed and enjoyed our time together.

We watched movies, we slept and we made some fantastic food.  These are just a few of my favorite photos I took (above are from my Nikon DX, and below are from my iPhone via Instagram).

For a Christmas Eve dinner with friends, I made this flourless chocolate cake, so rich and decadent, and so simple to make.  I love that it has only six ingredients - chocolate, butter, cream, sugar, vanilla and eggs - the creme de la creme of baking ingredients.  It was beautiful with a simple dusting of powdered sugar.

To accompany the cake, I also churned a fresh batch of salted pecan ice cream, starting with my favorite vanilla ice cream base, and adding a teaspoon of coarse salt, a handful of chopped toasted pecans, and a splash of Jameson instead of the bourbon.  The whiskey gave the ice cream such a a smooth buttery flavor, almost like butter pecan ice cream.

Christmas morning we made blueberry pancakes for breakfast - pancakes are a rare treat for me these days - and we tried a recipe by Finding Home for their Mapletini Martini.  It was a little sweet for me, but still yummy with the pancakes.  Yes, we had a cocktail with breakfast.  No judgement, it was Christmas!

After the present opening, pie crust making and apple peeling, the apple pie was in the oven, with its top crust of Christmas trees browning beautifully, and I made a batch of homemade eggnog (which, by the way, can be made with or without the pumpkin) to serve in the pretty copper mugs Jamie gave me.

It was a lovely couple of days, and as always, I'm a little sad that Christmas is over.  However, we still have half a box of Belgian chocolates, which counts for something.