Happy New Year!

christmas-market-distillery

And the New Year has begun!

2014 was a wonderful year, and there’s a lot coming up for 2015, too. I’m so excited for all that is in store for us. Right now the biggest things on the horizon are wedding planning (YAY and ACK!) and my trip to Costa Rica in the spring with my girlfriends (WOOHOO!).

This year, I have two New Year’s Resolutions. They’re nothing crazy, but they’re things that I think I can realistically stick with, and should seriously improve my quality of life.

In 2015, I resolve to:

1. Get more sleep.

Lately, I’ve really been struggling with getting to sleep on time, which makes each morning miserable and leaves me perpetually exhausted. I usually stay up late watching TV, just because after work and chores I feel like I deserve that me time. But that just makes me feel awful the next morning, hitting the snooze button until I need to scramble out the door. Then I feel tired, unmotivated and just generally BLAH all day. More sleep in 2015!

2. Eat without distraction.

We eat dinner in front of the TV all the time. We’re going to make an effort to shut off the TV and actually eat at the table. And no more eating in front of my computer at work. I’m going for either quality conversation or quality thinking time.

Thanks so much for continuing to read my blog. Wishing you all love, health and happiness in 2015! 

xo, Jill

Christmukkah Dinner

christmas channukah dinner

I hope everyone enjoyed celebrating the holidays with friends and family. We had a wonderful time visiting with my Mike’s parents, who were in town from British Columbia. Mike’s mom hosted us for Christmas where we enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner, and we now have a fridge nicely stocked with leftovers.

The weekend before, Mike and I hosted his parents and our siblings and their partners for a Christmukkah dinner. On the menu was: matzoh ball soup with jewdles (Jew+Noodles, get it? ha ha ha), brisket (I followed Tori Avey’s recipe), steamed beans, honey-roasted carrots and rosemary potatoes. For dessert I made the little apple tarts we made at our cooking class in Paris.

In typical holiday dinner party fashion, some things went smoothly, while others ended up burnt and in the bin. But the brisket was tender, the smoke alarm went off only once, and we ate, drank and were merry.

matzoh ball soup

 thyme rosemary roasted potatoes

christmas brisket

 christmukkah dinnerfrench apple tart

Happy Holidays

christmas miniature village

I hope you all stay safe and warm, and  enjoy carols and bright lights, glasses of boozy eggnog and time with your families and friends.

Wishing you all the best this holiday season!

xo, Jill

christmas miniature village

christmas miniature village

christmas miniature village

christmas miniature village

Last-Minute Grocery Store Gifts: Holiday Gift Guide

Ok, so you had the very best of intentions to get all your Christmas shopping done weeks ago, but now there are only a few days until Christmas and you’re still a few gifts short. Don’t even worry. There’s no need to brave the madness at the mall. Instead, pick up some easy grocery store gifts. Wrap them up in a pretty basket (or draw a Christmas tree on that brown paper shopping bag and tie it up with a big red ribbon) and you’ll pull it off like you totally intended to shop for your gifts in the produce section.

A cozy night in, for two:
soft cheeses and cured meats
crusty French bread
strawberries and chocolate sauce
a bottle of red

Me-time for a best friend:
chocolate-covered almonds
peppermint tea
nail polish for holiday parties
a scented candle
her favourite trashy magazine

For the kids:
gingerbread house kit
hot cocoa mix
marshmallows
a holiday colouring book

For a friend newly out on his own:
a cutting board
cooking utensils
holiday dish cloths
a rack of spice essentials
plants for a bright kitchen

Italian pasta dinner:
a box of noodles
pasta sauce
a hunk of Parmesan
braided garlic
a bottle of red

Time for tea:
a pretty box of tea
lemon-infused sugar cubes
short-bread cookies
holiday tea towels

For easy Christmas baking:
holiday ovenmitt
a roll of cookie dough
a tub of icing
red and green sprinkles

Fancy ingredients for your favourite gourmand:
caviar
black-truffle sea salt
vanilla beans in a glass jar
saffron
dried mushrooms
specialty butters
infused vinegars
sweet and savory olive oils

For friends that party:
rimming salt for Caesars
rimming sugar for Martinis
olives in a jar
a tray of nuts
a bottle of booze

 

Do you have any great grocery store gift ideas?

{ Photo from Bon Bon Break }