We’re already a few days into the new year, and I feel like I’m somehow already behind when it comes to posting on this blog. I was going to share these pictures sooner, but then I decided to just enjoy my day off on New Year’s … And before I knew it, it was the end of the week and I’d written absolutely nothing.
So today I’ll be sharing some pictures from the last couple of weeks. These pictures are mostly of food because, let’s be honest, Eric and I really love food … But the upside to getting a post filled with a bunch of pictures of the food we’ve recently consumed (including some stuff we made ourselves!) is the knowledge that I’ll be posting some delicious new recipes very soon.
I mentioned before that Eric and I were going to start a new Christmas tradition this year by making a special holiday meal. I don’t know how we managed to do it, but we worked together and successfully put together one of the best dinners we’ve ever made in this apartment.
Our Christmas dinner consisted of pan roasted duck breast with blackberry Merlot sauce, a classic green bean casserole, caramelized Brussels sprouts with brown butter, and sausage, apple, and sage homemade stuffing. (Oh, and dinner rolls … But we obviously didn’t make those.) This was an incredibly time consuming meal, but the end result was more than worth it.
Now that I’ve shown the finished product, it’s time to show some “before” pictures.
First, a few random pictures of Eric and me before the cooking began:
And during the cooking process:
While I worked on the duck breasts and sauce, Eric used the pan on my right to make the caramelized Brussels sprouts and brown butter. (It’s too bad we didn’t have another person over while we were cooking to take a picture of both of us working together.)
And, just for good measure, here are a couple of pictures of us enjoying our meal (as well as another angle of our plated meals that showcases our lovely casserole dishes):
We’re not so great with the “yum-this-is-so-good” eating faces (as you can probably tell). At least we have some time to perfect those faces before our next holiday meal!
As you can see, we made an effort to be at least kind of fancy and “proper” by eating our meal at the dining room table. When it came to dessert, though, all bets were off.
I briefly considered making an elaborate dessert, but after determining that we’d be spending a good chunk of our day preparing our dinner, I decided it probably wasn’t the right time to try my hand at baking. Luckily for us, we hadn’t eaten any of the wedding cake that had been sitting in our freezer since our wedding night. Since we were going to be out of the country on our one year wedding anniversary, we decided to save the cake for a special occasion … And what better time than Christmas day?
If you’re wondering how cake that’s over a year old tastes, it wasn’t great. I mean, it wasn’t bad … But it wasn’t great. I thought we wrapped it pretty well when we got home on our wedding night, but I guess we could have done a better job. Oh well. It could have been worse, I guess.
And, since we weren’t sure if the cake would even be edible, we got a backup dessert: a pint of Talenti gelato. (At least that was delicious!) Oh, and if you want to see just how classy we can be, here are some pictures of us scarfing down gelato on the couch:
I’d call Christmas dinner a success.
After Christmas, our next big dinner was on New Year’s Eve. We started going out for dinner on New Year’s Eve 3 years ago, but we didn’t really plan ahead that first year, so we ended up at Spaghetti Works downtown. The next year, we got our act together and made reservations at another restaurant in the Old Market, Vivace. This year, we remembered to make reservations well in advance, and scheduled an 8:30 dinner at Mark’s Bistro in Dundee.
This was our first time at Mark’s, and it definitely didn’t disappoint! (Though it’s a little disappointing that I can’t count it toward my 12 new to us restaurants for 2015 since we didn’t technically eat there in 2015.) I loved the romantic, intimate atmosphere, and the food was wonderful! We’ll definitely be going back!
Since it was ridiculously cold and windy on New Year’s Eve, I opted not to wear a dress. Thankfully, Mark’s isn’t a super fancy place so I didn’t feel out of place bundling up in skinny jeans, boots, and a nice sweater layered over a cute top. I did actually take the time to curl my hair, though … So I guess that’s something.
I also tried desperately to get a good picture of my hair since I don’t curl it very often. This was the best I got:
The rest of our New Year’s Eve was pretty uneventful. We changed into pajamas pretty quickly, and spent the rest of the evening drinking wine while watching cooking shows on Netflix and cuddling. We may not know how to party in our old age, but it was really nice.
Finally, I wanted to share a picture of our New Year’s Day brunch. (And yes, it was as delicious as it looks!)
We made a sausage, onion, pepper, and tomato frittata with some freshly diced avocado for garnish, red and purple potatoes cooked in duck fat (we saved this from our Christmas dinner to use in this meal, and it was one of the best ideas we’ve had in a while), and mimosas. Our New Year’s Day brunch wasn’t the healthiest meal, but it was a great way to start our morning (and the year!).
It’s been a great couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for us!