Monthly Archives: December 2012

Vancouver

My boyfriend and I decided to take a quick trip to Vancouver, Canada for New Year’s. So far we are having a blast. I’ll have many more highlights to share later, but the first few days spent in North Vancouver have felt wintry and festive. We’re enjoying the stunning outdoors, while bundled up in layers from head to toe (it’s freezing by LA standards!). Today, we went up a nearby mountain for sleigh rides in the snow.

We’re off to Victoria for a few days and then to downtown Vancouver for New Year’s.

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Merry Christmas

It feels like Christmas started a few days ago. My boyfriend and I exchanged gifts a few days early (we get excited), and last night we had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner with both of our families. I’m looking forward to a low-key day today that will consist of opening presents in the morning, lounging around in my pj’s, eating Chinese and seeing a movie (Zero Dark Thirty). I hope you and your loved ones have a very merry holiday!

A peek at our Christmas tree.

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Holiday Cookies: Part Two

In addition to gingerbread cookies, I made lemon shortbread cookies to give my holiday cookie assortment a different flavor.  The lemon cookies were a light, refreshing surprise and a welcome contrast to the spicy full-bodied gingerbread.

I used this recipe and made both round and star shaped cookies. The cookies were delicious with a balanced mix of buttery, sweet and citrus flavors. I topped the cookies off with lemon icing which gave them a tangy sweet lemon finish.

Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday weekend! xx

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Holiday Cookies: Part One

A few weeks ago, I went a little overboard with holiday cookie making. I needed something to make me feel like the holidays were here. Hosting a party and baking were the perfect solution to immediately making our apartment feel festive and cozy (plus it was fun for our guests to decorate the cookies).

With all the wonderful different types of holiday cookies (white chocolate cherry, oatmeal butterscotch and German spice cookies are some of my other favorites), it was hard to choose just a few to make. I decided on two with contrasting flavors – lemon and gingerbread. I rarely go a holiday season without making gingerbread cookies, my favorite.

When it  comes to gingerbread I prefer a softer, spicier cookie. I chose this recipe and rolled out the dough so that it was fairly thick (1/4 – 1/2 an inch or so). The result was just what I wanted – cookies that were soft, slightly chewy and extra spicy.

I’ll share my lemon cookies (part two) tomorrow.

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Thoughts

I spent this weekend at home in the San Francisco Bay Area visiting friends and family. I had the luxury of picking up my nine-year-old niece from elementary school on Friday. I sat watching kids run around playing, innocent and without a care in the world. Barely able to contain my excitement and contrasting sadness, I kept peeking into my niece’s classroom window making sure she was there safe and sound and waiting impatiently for when she would come running out for a hug.

The unbelievable news about the tragedy in Newtown, CT had come that morning and broke my heart. My thoughts have been with the families and friends of these victims. I can’t even begin to fathom what it must feel like for the families and community.

While I usually try to avoid talking politics on the blog, and without sounding preachy, I want to note a few things (these are not specific to the incident, but more generalities inspired by it): 1) I cannot wrap my head around why guns are prevalent in our society. Even if they can’t be completely abolished, making guns harder to get will make it so there are less in the hands of everyone – including adolescents who don’t understand the gravity of such weapons. 2) I wish mental illness would become more of a talking point in our society. Encouraging a greater awareness of mental illness and ability to share stories and experiences, can only better the lives of sufferers, their families and society.

Life is precious. While this blog may seem trivial at times, my hope is to make readers feel happy and inspired – even for just a few minutes. I spent the last few days surrounded by a support system that I am so grateful for. One of the highlights of my trip was walking through these holiday lights with friends and family in my hometown.

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