Entries Tagged as 'kate'

Christmas Dinner at Aunty Gail’s

December 26th, 2014 · No Comments

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Photo by Heather

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Photo by Heather

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This was the 10th year in a row that we have gone to Dallas’s Aunty Gail’s house for Christmas dinner. My parents are visiting from Wisconsin this year and we contemplated not going, but in the end we did and dragged my parents along. I’m glad we did because it is so nice to see all of the family, including many who fly in and we don’t see very often. Of course, everyone made my parents feel right at home and they had a great time.

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Photos by Heather

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Photo by Heather

Last year Makai was just a baby. This year John was the smallest baby. Makai was running around and trying to get right in there with the bigger kids. That was fun to watch. He and his pal Hana are getting to the age when they can finally play together. When they were hugging I almost died. Cuteness!! Also, we keep Makai away from our stairs at home as much as we can, but at Aunty Gail’s tri-level home, there are a lot of stairs and they’re carpeted with VERY plush carpet and Makai would not hold back on going up the stairs. He’s a pro now.

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Photo by Heather

Every year Aunty Gail makes beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole and her mom’s lettuce/mayo/crab/pea salad. It never varies. Dessert varies because other people always bring different desserts, but Aunty Gail always makes her signature cookies. Someone made brownies, my parents brought a tray of their homemade Christmas candy and Naoko made a delicious yule log.

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Photo by Heather

Every year Aunty Gail reminds you a hundred times to bring your grab bag, “no junk!”. The gift exchange was a little more lively than it had been in the past couple years. Maybe because with my parents and Marty’s new wife, there were a few newbies. I just wanted the bottle of wine, dangit! My gift ended up including a bottle of wine, though, so that was nice.

Christmas Dinners Past:

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7th Annual Cookie Party

December 14th, 2014 · 1 Comment

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Last weekend, I hosted my annual cookie party. I was so excited and happy to have the party because last year Makai was just a little baby and I was not doing well and I could not even think about getting a Christmas decoration out, let alone hosting a party!

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So excited to have friends and family over and continue the tradition, that I took the day before off to clean and prep and cook! To counterbalance all of the sweets, I made some dill dip with vegetables, beer dip with pretzels, olives, cheese, meats and nuts. As always, we also had hot apple cider (spiked or not). Stephanie usually makes this, but this year she passed the torch to Jessica, who did a great job keeping up the tradition. Steph made her own cookies, two kinds, which I was surprised by, since she’s off at college now. One other big change, of course, was Makai. He was the “Official Cookie Tester.” Kidding! He only had one cookie! He had a lot of fun playing with everyone, especially Rory Batman and Halle.

These were all the tasty treats we sampled:

Oreo Truffles (Katie)
Cinnamon Spiced Hot Chocolate Cookies (Amanda)
Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies (Loden)
Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies (Jess G)
Homemade Oreos with Nutella Filling (Caroline)
Cookies and Creme Fudge (Stephanie)
Saltine Bark (Kristin)
Cranberry Pistachio Cookies (Mary/Mom)
Mocha-Toffee Truffle Bars (Rachelle)
Gingerbread Men (Liz)
Chocolate Peppermint Brownies (Jill + Halle)
Hello Dolly (7-Layer) Bars (Kristin)
Chocolate and Orange Pecan Shortbread (Rachelle)
Peanut Butter Cookies (Stephanie)

Like previous years, we did a quick vote to see which was the most favorite cookie of the day. It’s funny because every single cookie got at least a vote, which is cool that everyone likes all different things. Maybe everyone just voted for their own! haha. In third place was Loden’s Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies. In second was Amanda’s interesting spicy sweet Cinnamon Spiced Hot Chocolate Cookies. These cookies have black pepper AND cayenne! And the winner……… Katie, a newcomer to the party, with her Oreo Truffles. These were similar to Amanda’s Dirty Balls, which won a few years ago. I guess we know what my crowd likes! Take note for next year! Katie won Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cookies and a Mrs. Claus apron. Congrats, Katie!

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I’m declaring the party a success again this year! I’ll post the recipes for the cookies soon!

6th Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
5th Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
4th Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
3rd Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
2nd Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
1st Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party

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Josh & Liz’s Wedding Weekend

November 10th, 2014 · No Comments

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Sign of a good wedding weekend: I’m STILL tired!

Dallas was a groomsman in Josh and Liz’s wedding and it all kicked off with rehearsal on Friday night. I didn’t actually go to the rehearsal, but met up a bit later at the top of the Tribune Tower at The Crown for cocktails (many) and appetizers. Though it was chilly outside, everyone braved it to go outside and take a look around. The views are amazing and so is the architecture. I used to work across Michigan Avenue from the Tribune Tower and it was really interesting to see the opposite view and to see the Trib Tower architecture from the inside out.

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The wedding was at The Ivy Room. The ceremony was short and beautiful. The bride and the bridesmaids all wore white. The groom and the groomsmen were all tuxed up. I could not get over how adorable Liz’s niece, the flower girl was! And especially later on when all she wanted to do for hours was dance and twirl in her dress. I loved the part of the ceremony where the officiant revealed to Josh some things Liz said and vice versa.

The dinner was good, the dancing was great. After the wedding we kept going and it was quite a late night. I’ll leave it at that! Congratulations to Josh and Liz (and Konrad)!

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