Posted by Nicole
Christmas Eve was an extremely long, busy, and fun-filled day. My mom, Lauren, and I woke up early, got coffee, checked out of the hotel, and hopped on the southbound train out of San Francisco.
On the way back home, we made our annual stop at Sun Fat Fish Market to pick up supplies for Cioppino. This year, we got crab, mussels, clams, prawns, squid, and snapper — All fresh from the San Francisco Bay! Literally, the live crab were wheeled in while we were in the store.
After a few errand stops (wedding ring for David!, lunch, and bridesmaids shoes), we were back home and ready to get started on the night’s feast.
I made two loaves of whole wheat banana bread while my mom prepared the cioppino base. She always uses the prepared Cioppino sauce from Trader Joe’s and adds onions, spices, and other magical stuff to make it extra delicious.
Next, I chopped two eggplants, a lot of carrots and parsnips, a butternut squash, some brussels sprouts, and some broccoli (from our garden!) and tossed them with olive oil, minced onion, garlic powder, a summer savory spice blend, and red pepper flakes. The veggies roasted for about 40 minutes on 420* and turned out great!
While the step-bros played video games, the rest of us finished setting up for the feast. My mom decorated the beautiful table and we took advantage of Lauren’s DIY chalkboard glasses.
As for the rest of the food:
Wine Walnut Wheat Bread and Seeded Sourdough from Le Boulanger
Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Pistachios, Green Onions, and Bleu Cheese Dressing
Candied Walnuts and Pineapples for the salad
Cioppino with Lemon Pepper Noodles
Unpictured: Polenta rounds spiced up with garlic powder and cayenne
Desserts Galore! Brittle, Pumpkin Roll, Sugar Cookies, Hersheys Kisses, Dark Chocolate Powerberries (from TJ’s, love these) + Pie, Chocolate Covered Figs, M&Ms, Peppermint Bark, etc.
Dinner was delicious! My (first) plate:
After dinner, we all hobbled into the family room to open the mountain of presents. We didn’t have a Christmas tree this year, so the presents went in the middle of the room. OK, scratch that, we did have a miniature 12 Days of Christmas tree out!
As we opened gifts, there were smiles all around. Some of our highlight gifts: a new camera lens and an Apple TV for Lauren, snowshoes and a beautiful Canon Rebel T3i for me; and so much more! We were very very blessed this year.
We ended the night with many rounds of Cards Against Humanity and then called it a night.
Christmas Eve was so fun! I love having two Christmases each year :) Details about the second Christmas with our Dad’s side of the family coming soon.