Salutations! (Remember Charlotte's Web? :) )
December was so much fun! But now it's January... time to take a deep breath and get 2014 off to a running start, right? But before we put the Christmas tree away and take the decorations down (I admit it's hard for me to let go of the holiday season), d'you wanna see some photos?
Early on in December, we made the impromptu and very awesome decision to see Jay-Z in concert! My first concert, actually!
Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning the house up for the holidays...
Lots of Starbucks seasonal drinks, of course! And first Buche de Noel of the season! For those unfamiliar, it's Christmas log cake and it's one of the best Christmassy things Vietnamese families look forward to. I was just telling Jennifer the other day how much I love Buche de Noel. More on that coming up.
Just as heart-warming and delicious is this pumpkin bread baked by my friend Gloria <3 The cinnamon sugar glaze was complex and not overly sweet... she's such a good cook. Actually she recently started her own blog (fitness & food), go check it out here!
This was the year of charcuterie boards for me. Just couldn't get enough of them.
To go with the charcuterie, an eggplant pizza!
Eggplant ribbon! (Jon's 40th birthday present inside)
Eggplant Disneyland! JK hehe. Disneyland was a total winter wonderland.
Put together a homey little "Birthday Shabu Shabu dinner" for Jon. It's his favorite :)
Snacks with my girlfriend while watching the annual Christmas boat parade at Newport Beach.
Catching up with old friends over al fresco lunches... 80 degrees around Christmas, courtesy of California skies.
It's finally Christmaaass! Yay for champagne cocktails! Cranberries, blackberries, pomegranate juice, lime garnish.
The most beautiful Buche de Noel I've ever seen! Jon ordered it from a boutique french bakery. We know it's authentically french because they were snotty ;) "'Ere we only use ze French chocolate, not zhat ridiculouzly sweet American chocolate!" No hard feelings -- the cake tasted amaze.
Cocktails round two! Note that at this point I was too buzzed to bother with the lime garnishes.
Cheers! In Vietnamese, we often say "Cang ly!" which means "Empty your glass!"
By Christmas I kid you not we had bought and eaten 4 individual Buche de Noels. Once Christmas was over it was hard to find a proper Buche, but we did buy a final cake -- Black Forest -- just to make sure we ended December on a good note. If you think I'm excessive with my love for holiday cakes, in my defense, YOLO.
Ending 2013 with a couple... maybe several French 75s.
Here's to 2014!