Happy Belated Christmas!
I've finally recovered from one of my favorite nights of the year: Christmas Eve at the home of our friends Duane and Paula. They sure know how to throw a good party! And look at the beautiful table that Paula set with holiday poppers, red and white tulips and a dramatic Christmas quilt.
Paula decorated with Christmas quilts made by Duane's mother, Marge, and they made the house feel warm and bright as soon as we entered. Marge, who is in her 80s, churns out at least one or two BIG quilts every month from her home in Superior, Wisconsin. These are just a few of the Christmas ones. Paula has so many of Marge's quilts that she uses some as tablecloths; the washing and drying gives them a nice soft quilty look.
When one of the guys suggested Paula was like a certain Martha because of the artful crackers (or poppers), she said: "I'm no Martha Stewart, but I am a Costco shopper." We gleefully yanked our crackers open and were showered with glitter, gold foil crowns and really useful presents. I got a little retracting purse-size tape measure and my husband the microbrewer got a beer bottle opener. My daughter got a multitool, which she said was exactly what she needed!
Duane adjusts his cracker crown.
We also had a red and green theme going on with the food, like this quinoa dish that my daughter made. She added pistachios for green, dried cranberries for red, and alternated red and green apple slices around the outside. It must be in her genes.
Here I am with Dave and Julia -- the only one missing is our son, who stayed in the Midwest. Paula roasted tomatoes and asparagus to continue the Christmas colors, and both were delicious.
Chef extraordinaire Paula and her daughter, Valerie, and my daughter.
Valerie made the chocolate pie and Julia made a vegan chocolate cake and chai snickerdoodles. Yum!
Jake was the center of attention much of the night. And this (below) is how I'm feeling after weeks of holiday eating!
Have a colorful day