Christmas Marathon Part I

So, I’ve spent a lot of time with my lovely family  over the past couple of weeks.  The events were well documented, and I’m sure all involved are anxious to see the resulting photos (seriously, you’ve all been waiting not so patiently, right?).

(Brian’s mom’s “Funky Santa”. I call it “Creepy”.)

Christmas eve started at Brian’s aunt’s house.  We had Chinese food.

My plate:

Because it looked so awesomely awesome, I had to photograph Brian’s cousin Ben’s plate:

And while I’m not entirely sure what this means, I can tell you that Fortune Cookies might be one of my favorite foods.  Crazy? Maybe.  Ashamed?  Nope.

Not too long after dinner, we headed home because I was sleepy.

I always have to plan to run on Christmas, as it is the one day out of the entire year that 24 Hour Fitness is closed entirely. Unfortunately, it is also a day that I desperately need a good workout.  I managed to go about 10 miles this time, which was really nice.

After my run, Brian was anxious to get going (presents, presents, presents!!!!) so we headed out. Gertie joined us for the affair.

(This picture cracks me up.  I’m not sure why her ears stick up like that sometimes, but I think she looks like Gizmo)

Brian’s mom gives really awesome stockings.  She fills it with “essentials” like toothpaste and deoderant and gum, but this year, there was another theme: Trader Joe’s!

And if you haven’t tried these almonds, I highly recommend them.

After we opened our stockings and presents, we headed to the other side of the mountains to see my dad.  What did we have for dinner?  Pizza.

What happened to ham/turkey/prime rib on Christmas? He selected this vegetarian thin crust pizza for me.  I brought a salad along to eat with it.  Of course, I was the only one eating it.  When I questioned why no one else partook in the salad, my dad said “I thought the vegetables were on the pizza?”

Clearly, my dad doesn’t know me.   Except he does, because he knew to buy a vegetable pizza.  My only complaint is that Papa Murphy’s uses a cream based sauce, and it’s way healthier to select a tomato sauce.  I didn’t want to complain to my dad, but if I had known I would have requested a red sauce.   Side note: you can always order your pizza with half the amount of cheese.  You’ll save yourself quite a few calories.

Speaking of calories, every year I make my dad a batch of these cookies:

We always call them Russian Tea Cakes, but I think they are also Mexican Wedding Cookies, or some other variation.  My dad loves these and basically eats the whole plate on his own.

Gertie was really happy too.

I also saw my best friend this weekend (she lives 5 hours away from me).  She has twins who will be 2 at the end of April (I guess that makes them something like 20 months, but I start to get confused when counting things in months.  Why do we do that?)

Regardless, they are rediculously cute. (especially when they eat chili and stick it in their nose and get it all over their face and stuff).

So, as if we hadn’t had enough Christmas already, we headed BACK to Ellensburg on NYE to celebrate Christmas/New Years wtih my mom, stepdad, my sister, and my brother and his family.

The details of that adventure will be featured in the next post.  I have too many pictures in this one and my computer is going slow and I have limited patience.


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Meet my mom (and the tale of the “Round Bread”)

So, I must start this post by introducing you to one of the most important people in my life: my mother.

She’s a really great person and is where I inherited my love of cooking and baking.  When we go home for holidays, she cooks up a storm.  What she sometimes struggles with, however, is her sense of style.  Evidence: her outfit she wore during our travels to Mazatlan.

My sister and I informed her that gaucho pants are out of style and it’s inappropriate to wear black socks with tennis shoes.  I will be buying her some ankle socks for Christmas.

My mom can dress up too, she looked good at my wedding.

So, the reason for this post isn’t to critique every outfit she wears.  It’s to discuss this bread that she ranted and raved about.

It. Is. Incredible.  And only found at a store called MEGA in Mazatlan.  My mom and step-dad have a timeshare in Mazatlan (where we are staying this week) and have made many a trip to MEGA for groceries.  My mom discovered this bread on one of her trips and came home with this description (several times, did I mention she repeats herself?):

“There is this delicious round bread, it’s a great, big, round loaf [hands curve around to describe size and shape of bread] that you find at MEGA.  It’s really soft and just delicious.  And it’s cheap, like 80 cents.”

So, when Brian and I came to Mazatlan for our honeymoon, I set out to MEGA to find this “great, big, round delicious bread” that I had heard so much about.  We found it. And ate the whole loaf.

So yesterday we went to MEGA and bought two loaves and also wanted to try a pan dolce, because we never had and because it looked so freaking good…

We also had some yummy bread with some Chihuahua cheese as a snack.

Actually, what my mom my mom likes most is flan, and has become somewhat of a flan connoisseur.  She has determined that the hotel flan is the best.

The flan is creamy and the top is caramelized just right.  Oh my gosh, it is incredible.

I also tried something else I really hadn’t before tonight: Mole.  We went to Te Amo Lucy’s, mainly because Topolo (where we’ll be going this week) was closed.  It was AWESOME.  I highly recommend it.  They prepare all of the sauces and food on site (much like most restaurants in Mazatlan) and it is all fresh from the nearby market (which I’ll show you in a future post!).

I had chicken breast in Mole and a side of refried black beans.

My mom had chicken enchiladas, which were also incredible.

While it was definitely worth the wait, it took a little bit for us to get our food.  Lexie got behind the lens and took some pictures of my mom and me.

Serious…

Posing…

Silly…(my mom was now irritated with my sister for pointing the camera at me and not at both of us, or her)

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that I’m a little bit goofy, and so is my sister. So when we get together, things like this happen and we think it is hilarious.  It is evident that my mom does not.

After dinner we headed out for a stroll around the old Plaza before we went back to the hotel.  They created a tree out of wine bottles and it was awesome.  I think I took about 400 pictures of it.

It’s time to hit the hay.  I hope you enjoyed my mom as much as I do (most of the time!)