Greetings! If you’re celebrating I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season.
Today, I’m going to go back up a week, to the joint birthday celebration we hosted at our place the weekend before Christmas. The dinner party for ten was held in honour of two awesome people whose birthdays are so near to Christmas that they rarely get a separate party — my darling man Nick and our dear friend Julie.
^ Me and the birthday people! ^
We began with cocktails and appetizers served in the kitchen — having learned from experience, there’s no use setting things up in any other room since everyone prefers to hang out where the action is.
We had Rum Party Punch, the classic Canadian cocktail Bloody Caesar, and wine or beer to drink, and to eat there was my Roasted Red Pepper Dip, some Marinated Tomato, Cheese and Olive Hors D’oeuvres, (which are usually served on skewers but which I left disassembled this time because we have an olive-disliker in the crowd.) We also had some Homemade Party Mix, and Isabel brought her signature hummus, which I seem to always ask her to bring because she makes it so well.
^ Our boy Eddie happily allowed me to carry him around the party like this. ^
Although Nick was one of the honourees, he still cooked the main courses. I did offer but he declined, because he truly enjoys cooking. He made a Swiss Cheese and Mushroom Quiche, baked marinaded salmon and a leg of lamb with fresh mint sauce. Veggies were roasted parsnips, peas and corn. I made a couple of salads — a Potato Salad and a Cuban Black Bean and Whole Grain Rice one.
I didn’t get a shot of the food all laid out in buffet style, but it looked lovely and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
Dessert was an assortment of things — Meghan brought some decadent eclairs from Nugateau, and I baked some Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroons (following this recipe from Smitten Kitchen) and a batch of mini glazed lemon cakes. But the highlight of the dessert offerings was the Apple Strudel that Andrea made, following her family’s traditional recipe. What a treat!
While I didn’t get a picture the night of, there were some left-overs which I photographed the following day …
Since you’ve caught small glimpses of our holiday decorations in the party pictures, I’ll go ahead and show you some details here as well. Everything that’s not Christmas related was pretty much left in place and I just decorated around it.
My obsession with vintage comes out in full force at Christmastime!
^ This is the top of the dish cabinet in the kitchen. The tree is from the 40s and the base is a music box that plays Jingle Bells, while the tree slowly rotates. ^
^ I was excited to find the snowman (which is a bell) at Value Village last year, complete with its box. What’s more, there were two of them in the same mixed-lot bag, so I gave the second one to my sister. ^
^ A cabinet in the living room. ^
^ Another cabinet in the living room. ^
^ Julie and Guy gave us the cute ceramic squirrel a while ago, which I Christmas-ized with an ornament. ^
^ I made the cotton flannelette tartan pillow covers last year and was glad to pull them out again. They’re very cozy and as soon as I’ve pushed publish on this post I might very well be sat right there reading. ^
^ Some handmade items : The ornament wall hanging that I made four years ago (and demonstrated in this post) is still going strong. It spent the year with the pieces of crystal hanging on it so I just squeezed the ornaments in. The wreath was made from bits and pieces gathered over the years, the straw base being something I made while still a teenager.
^ Some small details in the powder room : the ceramic woodchuck was brought in from the garden for the winter, and the crocheted sachet is the one I demonstrated last week in this post. ^
Today is still a holiday so we’re just hanging out at home and staying clear of any shops and Boxing Day shoppers. According to the news, it’s pretty raucous out there!
Thanks very much for taking a look,