Celebrating Family

We have so much to be thankful for this year. We’re finally married, we’re finally together in our perfect little house, and we’re finally living the life we’ve always dreamed of. I never thought life would be this beautiful.

November morning at home

November morning at our home in Maryland

One of the biggest things we are thankful for this November is our enormously huge family. Each of us brought roughly 30 first cousins with us into this marriage, along with dozens of aunts and uncles. We love our new family more than anything. We’re looking forward to celebrating this with our second annual Day-After-Thanksgiving Christmas Movie Night.

Last year, we rounded up the cousins/aunts/uncles. Everyone brought their leftover desserts from Thanksgiving (which was a LOT of food).  I made my mom’s apple cider and my Italian grandmother’s Pastorelli cookies, both of which were a big hit with James’s family. The movie list? We went with family favorites: Charlie Brown’s Christmas and Elf.

It was the most fun I have ever had at a party that I was hosting. It was simple to put together and tons of fun for all involved. We can’t wait to do it again this year!

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Holiday Pizza Party!!

Our party was a huge success!! Chili and Pizza are now acceptable holiday dishes. We had about 20 people, all of which seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. Here was the menu:

Appetizers:

Artichoke and Crab dip w/ pita, salsa w/ chips, Manchego cheese straws, veggies, cheese plate w/ feta, pepperjack and a soft spreadable garlic cheese

Dinner:

Chili with toppings (meatless for our vegetarian friends), 5 pizzas (2 plain, 1 pepperoni, 1 CA’s veggie supreme, 1 half veggie half plain), Salad with Pinot Grigio vinaigrette made by my fabulous Aunt Diane.

Dessert:

Oreo pie, Cynthia’s famous brownies (AMAZING!!), Christmas cookies (made by myself and James) and a DARLING Christmas Cake made by Genna and my mom (decked out with Christmas cookies, Hershey kisses, and m&m’s)

Drinks:

Soda, lemonade, wines, egg nog

 

It was great! Sadly I burned my finger on a 425F oven rack taking a pizza out of the oven, but luckily my cousins took over the job of cooking pizzas after that. It was so much fun seeing family, and everyone’s fiancés and boyfriends added a lot to the party. The  party actually gave me a chance to see how my family has grown, and how all the new people really add a lot to the fun!

P.S. I’ll post the recipe for CA’s Veggie pizza soon. It’s really quite fantastic!

Holiday Party!!

My cousin and I are hosting our first holiday party next saturday, and the pressure is on! We decided to go easy and fun: A big pot of chili with a bar of toppings, and a couple of my fabulous homemade pizzas. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and honestly, I think my pizza might be the reason James proposed.
So what’s so “holiday” about chili and pizza? Well nothing, really. But we’ll make it that way. Add to it some fun appetizers (including interesting cheeses, of course) and some fabulous desserts (who doesn’t love pumpkin pie and christmas cookies) and there you go.

Ok, still not convinced? Egg nog, rum, a few wines… Now really, I’m not one of those people that likes to take the easy way out when it comes to parties and cooking. But when you have a full time job, sometimes you just have to go with “fun” so you don’t pass out from the fury of cooking Saturday morning.

Anyways, the real point of holidays, after all, is presents… err.. I mean family. Totally kidding. The party is going to ROCK, especially since all my favorite people will be there.