Merry Christmas Eve 2014!

This year, we flew home extra early to celebrate the holidays with our family, and to introduce everyone to the Fudgelet! I am writing this ahead of our trip, so I am really anxious about how everything will be happening. By the time this post posts I will have already been there for over a week! But, we will still have another couple challenges: how will he do with a big Christmas party? How will he do when we drive several hours to NYC to see K’s extended family? Will we get good naps out of him there? So much uncertainty. Fingers crossed that it all goes well and that I will only be in a moderate state of panic at this point. 🙂

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In the meantime, here are some Christmas pictures and a present idea.

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Tips-y Tuesdays: Bailey’s Cookies and Cream Milkshake

This post could also be titled, “How to Thank Your Husband for Getting Dinner”. Clearly this recipe is not something I had any part of. Not because I’m pregnant. Just because I don’t enjoy the taste of alcohol. This did not smell good to me at all, but I took it as a good sign that it must have enough alcohol for the dear K. You see, I made Bailey’s ice cream a very long time ago for him. But, he has taken his sweet time finishing it, which also means I was down my glass container for a long time. *sigh* Supposedly he kept forgetting about it, and because it wasn’t in one of our normal ice cream containers, he thought it was soup or something!? I’m all, what white soup have I made? Who knows. Anyway, there was one serving left, so I used it to make this milkshake for him. He had talked about making a milkshake with it and some Oreos, so I decided to make it happen for him.

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Watermelon Granita and Lemonade

Here is what I did for July 4, in case you were curious. Some recipes have been posted already, including the farro and oven-fried chicken. There will be more recipes coming, hopefully for the sticky rice (K’s mom’s recipe), the soup, caramel sauce, and veggie dip. In the meantime, some pictures and a recipe for our main drink of the day. I was inspired by a watermelon lemonade margarita I saw online. The combination sounded tasty, so I bought some nice lemonade from Costco and made a watermelon granita to go with it. Well…apparently large watermelons have lots of juice, so I had about 8 cups of juice…from part of the watermelon! I ended up using the remaining amount as just “juice”. If you don’t want to make granita, you can also make ice cubes from it (we did that, too). And, you can add vodka to make it “adult”. We had many non-drinkers and some who had indulged recently, so most had the virgin version.

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Earl Grey Ice Cream (and milkshake)

This is a odd posting day for me. It is both awesome and sad. Awesome because it’s one of my closest friends’ birthdays (hi, Sarah!) and sad because it is also the day my mom passed away, several years ago. That was a tough phone call–happy birthday, Sarah, and I have bad news. Luckily, she was such a good friend that she took it in stride. In many ways I am grateful that it was on the same day because August 27 will always mean, first and foremost, Sarah’s birthday. It was part of her AOL screen-name when we first started being friends, it also is two days away from one of my other closest friends’ birthdays, and a few days after my sister-in-law’s birthday. Basically, the end of August is so full of celebration, that I really can’t get too sad about it.

In honor of today, I wanted to post a recipe that was suitable for both. Since both are such ladies, they both like tea. One of my mom’s favorites was Earl Grey, and I used to make sure I had some on hand at first my apartment and then my house just in case she wanted some on a visit. One of the best college memories was going to the dining hall with Sarah and getting milkshakes. We had a local dairy on campus (does that make us sound like farmers? I promise it is a full university and right near DC) and the ice cream was just amazing. I still enjoy it when I make it back for a visit. They would make you a milkshake from any of the flavors. Cookies and cream was one of the best, but I like to think that this Earl Grey milkshake could almost put it to shame.

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Apple Cider

Growing up in Maryland, October meant time for picking apples. We would go as a family on a weekend to one of the U-pick places nearby. I loved going by all of the different kinds of trees trying to see which ones were our favorites. I remember really wanting to like the Red Delicious ones because they were so bright and pretty, but their flavor wasn’t what I wanted. Instead, my family usually preferred the wine sap/braeburn/stayman varieties. Depending on the farm, we could also pick out our pumpkins for carving after going on a short hayride.

I also always looked forward to apple cider that the places would usually have for you to try. They would have the warm, spiced ones, but my favorite has always been the chilled plain cider. We watched videos of how they would make it and could even see it happening in some of the places. I thought it was some magical task that had to be done by fancy machines. Little did I know that you could make it at home!

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Two Lemonades

That’s right, you get two lemonades for the price of one post! The sight of Meyer lemons inspired donuts, and they also inspired lemonade. I squeezed extra lemon juice when I made the donuts so that I could make some lemonade. The funny part is that even though I’ve made all sorts of dishes, I had never made lemonade before, so I was excited to find some ideas and methods.

What to do with lemons?

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