Friday, December 29, 2023

Happy Christmas


We flew home from Michigan today and it is good to be back in the sunshine.  The weather was gloomy and drizzling there and there definitely wasn’t a white Christmas this year, but it did not put a damper on the fun we had.

Of course the highlight for all of us was our precious granddaughter’s first Christmas.  She is starting to react and play a bit and we couldn’t get enough of her.  It was sad to leave, but Megan is good about sending photos and videos, so that makes it a bit easier.

Some of the highlights included Christmas celebrations with both sides of our family, Audrey meeting her great grandmother, a fun and relaxing two days at our daughter’s house that included Audrey’s first outing to a sculpture garden and even a brewery, where she was the perfect baby for her momma. Last but not least, we ended the trip with an overdue engagement celebration for Melissa and Kevin that included his parents and a toast to their July wedding.

I love family time and I especially love family time when it involves staying in, cooking, playing cards and a lot of catching up.  Christmas 2023 is in the books and I couldn’t be happier.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Spicy Strawberry Balsamic Jam


I am hosting a pre dinner happy hour on Thursday and decided to make this recipe as one of the appetizers I am preparing.  I love a sweet and spicy combination and thought it also would look really pretty and festive on a platter with some rosemary as garnish.  

Even though I am not making a lot of appetizers since we are here for a short time, it makes my day of prep easier since this could be made in advance.  Making a small batch jam like this couldn’t be easier and I did other things while it cooked, just remembering to stir it now and then by setting a timer.  After it cooled, I placed it in a freezer jam jar and in that kind of container, it will be good for several months.

A sneaky taste was required to see how spicy it was and I am happy to say it has a kick, but nothing crazy.  It is the perfect little bite and will go great with the Prosecco I am serving.  To serve, spoon over a block of cream cheese and pair with a good quality, crunchy cracker or a toasted baguette slice.

Happy holiday entertaining!

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Lights In Bloom


Last night, on a beautiful 72 degree evening in Florida, we attended Lights in Bloom at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.  It is a magical event and location with the gulf breezes and multicolored lights creating a tropical holiday vibe.  The many pathways are lit with millions of lights and displays to walk through at your own pace.  To keep the botanical theme, there were many butterflies, flowers and even pink flamingos.  

Every holiday season we try to go to some kind of light display to get into the holiday spirit and this one was quintessentially Florida.  There is something quite nice after shivering for many years at light displays and other holiday events in Michigan to enjoy holiday lights in perfect temperatures. Not necessarily traditional Christmas as we know it, but it suits where we live now very well.  

Happy tropical Christmas to all!

Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, martinis, yoga, lilly

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