Lauren’s birthday is four days before Christmas, which makes for some interesting challenges around the holidays. Just when I’ve gotten through November which includes Sam’s birthday and Thanksgiving, we’re bearing down on the end of December, full-throttle.
I’ve never been one to throw big birthday parties for my kids. We usually go the homemade birthday cake + celebrate at home route. Lauren especially loves to spend the day with me in the kitchen making a big layer cake and planning her birthday dinner courses.
This year her selections are 1) chicken tostadas with guacamole (as Emma likes to say, “mock ‘n molé” and I will die a silent death when she stops referring to it as such), 2) beef and bean nachos, and 3) a candy cane birthday cake.
With 3 boxes of unwrapped Christmas gifts stashed in my room yesterday and my parents’ imminent arrival from Toronto, I felt like my head was spinning when we arrived at the lake for our 2-week stay. Holidays are challenging. The world’s tiniest violin is playing softly in the background, I know, I know. To be burdened with too many birthday dinners to cook and gifts to wrap. But the holidays always take me off guard. I know that they’ll be busy, but I never anticipate the kind of frenzy that sweeps through my home and keeps me on my feet for days on end.
Luckily the holidays come with a few perks. Yes, I’m the chief giver in the house, orchestrating a mass distribution of gifts that are seamlessly ordered through Amazon and then painstakingly unboxed, categorized, wrapped and given on Christmas morning. But I also receive a few gifts that put a smile on my face.
One of those gifts this year was a box from Quarterly. Quarterly sends a box of hand-picked items every three months (hence the name) from one of its well-known curators including Food 52, Chef Ludo of Top Chef fame, Grace Bonney, the talent behind the popular blog Design Sponge. If you’re still looking for unique holiday gifts, check them out at Quarterly.co.
I received Grace’s Design Sponge box, which came just in time for Lauren’s birthday marathon, which aside from cooking more Mexican food than I have in the past year, included her Christmas-inspired candy cane birthday cake. I had reservations about the cake idea (vanilla peppermint buttercream anyone?), but it was her creation and it was surprisingly good. Sam had three slices, after claiming post-Mexican feast that he was too full for dessert. Perhaps Lauren should help me write recipes more often.
Fueled with tea, our day looked a little something like this…4 comments