Thursday, November 29, 2012

Because I Couldn't Not Make My Cranberry Sauce...

We got a basket of cranberries in our Thanksgiving week Farm Fresh to You box, so of course I had to make my favorite red wine cranberry sauce!  But I didn't get it together in time to make it before Thanksgiving, and then it was the Sunday before Cyber-Monday and I had a basket of cranberries and no turkey.

What do you do with cranberry sauce and no turkey?  You make pecan-crusted chicken, it turns out.

This chicken is impossibly easy.  All you do is brush it with dijon mustard, coat it in a mixture of crushed pecans and seasoned bread crumbs, and bake at 400 for 30 minutes on a greased baking sheet.*

And I added a salad of persimmons and pomegranate seeds (I had been wondering what to do with all the persimmons and pomegranates we were getting from Farm Fresh!).  I made a simple dressing from apple cider vinegar, the juice of 1/2 an orange, and 1/2 lemon, and sunflower oil (you could also use vegetable oil or any light oil).

Cranberry sauce wins again!

*Recipe adapted from Robin Rescues Dinner, the book I talked about here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Different Home for the Holidays

This Thanksgiving was the first holiday I spent away from my family.  I had avoided the "now that we're married..." holiday talk for as long as possible, but this year I had no choice but to succumb to the splitting plan.  

Luckily for us, Christmas isn't really an issue -- my family does a big Christmas Eve feast, and his does the whole Christmas morning thing, so we just fly from SF --> OC early on the 25th.  But Thanksgiving is problematic.  It's only one night, one indivisible meal.  There's no time for a flight, even a short 90-minute one.  And I'm an only child. 

Plus, it goes without saying, my family is THE BEST at Thanksgiving (if I do say so myself).

{the fam, Thanksgiving 2011}

Last year was the first time Brian had Thanksgiving with my family. He gladly ate spanikopita in place of green bean casserole, he didn't complain a bit about missing his family (although I'm sure he did), and was happy to be there with mine.

This year, I owed him the same.  But I worried I wouldn't be able to do it.  I worried that I'd complain, or I'd be grumpy or sad or resent him for making me miss out on one of my favorite family days.  I thought about it, read about it, self-analyzed, tried to prep for an emotional meltdown.

And now I can tell you, the truth is it was totally fine.  Better than fine -- it was really really nice.  When we got in the car headed to Santa Barbara, I was just grateful.  Grateful to have Brian by my side, and grateful that I had a new family who was willing to add me to their table, include me in their traditions, and invite me into their holiday.  I realized that it wasn't about me (surprise!).  It was about them.  It was about making sure they knew that I was happy and thankful to have them in my life, and to have them welcome me into theirs.

And so it was a rite of passage of sorts, and it was important that I was there, for them, for me, for us.  A very happy Thanksgiving!  (A couple pictures here if you want to see.)

P.S.  We also started a little mini-Pearson-fam Thanksgiving tradition, just the two of us -- we ran our first turkey trot!  (I know, I know, everyone's doing it these days -- but it was funnnn I swear.)  It was a 4-miler in Santa Barbara, and we've made a pact to do it again next year in the Bay Area, no excuses!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Now that I've eaten my weight in pumpkin pie, it's practically Christmas.

Hi there!  Sorry for the silence.  Life happened.

I've been meaning to show you around our apartment for a while now, but now I feel like I've waited too long and the carpet's dirty.  It's totally dirty.  Sorry.  You're still allowed in though.  Just don't look down.

Anyhoo, I went a little Christmas-crazy on Saturday.  (This relates.)   I don't know what came over me.  I woke up on Saturday in Santa Barbara (where we spent Thanksgiving), and maybe it was my hangover, or maybe it was the 80-degree weather that made me think it's Christmastime. . . . So we drove off down the coast in search of a good tree lot and a Target.

Buying a Christmas tree in L.A. is not cute.  It's not the wintry, nostalgic experience of my childhood when we used to chop down our tree in Half Moon Bay (ok, truth - that only happened like twice, and there was no snow involved obvi, but it was memorable!).  Tree-buying in L.A. is more like rescuing a barely-living plant from a depressing, shade-less parking lot.  So we rescued a tree, named it Earl, and took it home.

The Target experience was more festive to be sure.  And yes, it was frivolous and totally impulse-fueled, but I just couldn't not buy Christmas pillows.  Christmas pillows!!!  And so now is the part where I show you pictures of our living room and the things I put in it.

Here's our apartment pre-Christmasication:

Quite summery, no?

Here's our living room with the first couple holiday touches added in:

{thanks to the best grandparents-in-law for all their extra ornaments!}

I know it's not a lot, but just having a few things around to remind me of Christmas made me smile like an idiot all weekend.  (That also could have been the peppermint martinis. . . .)

The next project:  finding some stockings for our fireplace!

I'm thinking maybe some of these...

Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

New York

This doesn't even feel real yet, but I'm going to New York TODAY!  To see my loves!*

*(except for one - we'll miss you and send you lots of tipsy texts)
We get to celebrate Brittany's engagement and go wedding dress shopping and margarita drinking and I even get to take some engagement photos!  In New York!!!
Ok it feels real now :)
Smiling through the screen!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Last Day Of Summer

It was Tuesday.

It came and went, but I got to enjoy the WHOLE DAY.  Outside in the sun!

This place sure knows how to charm a girl.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hitchcock Premiere!

Last night I got to go to the Hitchcock premiere!!!

Brian got an extra ticket from work, and magically the stars aligned and I was able to finish up my work in time to make it to Hollywood for the show!  (That is a great success in itself these days!)

There were pre-show cocktails at the Roosevelt before the show, and an after party of the Hollywood variety.  I kept my eyes open for celebs, but my spotting skillz failed me.  The people watching made up for it, though!  Oh man, was it good.

Although I didn't love the movie, it was just such a treat to be doing something different and new on a Thursday!  It was a night that only could have happened in L.A.

Happy Friday friends!