I hope you all are having beautiful holidays!
We hosted Christmas dinner at our home with Roy’s family, so it was a quite busy week, so now, we are trying to do very little and relax for the coming New Year.

I estimated that it would take 5 days of work to get ready for the Christmas meal, so Roy could shop for groceries & I can cook gradually. The menu wasn’t big and no one in the family eats that much, so I thought this would be an easy plan to follow. For some reason, I started with this gingerbread house, which took forever to finish. It is modeled after one of the houses in Park Güell by Antoni Gaudi. I ended up improvising a lot of it, which was difficult, but if I make another one, I’ll improvise again! I’ll save the pattern for the next time, even if I don’t stick to the plan.

This year, I created the menu as a tribute my family in Japan. My mom was planning to visit us for this holidays, but for several reasons, she needed to postpone the visit. She lives in Sendai, where the epicenter of the earthquake last March.  This was the first Christmas my mom didn’t celebrate for as long as I can remember. She is very into decorating her apartment & cooking a special Christmas meal for guests, but this year, she lost most of her tableware and favorite dishes, which is one of the reasons why she was not in a festive mood.

I tried to come up with a few dishes to remind myself my mom’s Christmas, and imagine what it might be like to prepare the meal with her. Both the Bûche de Noël and Strawberry Mousse are her standard desserts, and we always had icebox cookies in the fridge when I was growing up. A paella is one of her regular dishes too. So after practicing a few times, I made a pesto paella. I needed to check with my friend in Spain if I can still call it paella, (she said yes) and I drew a poinsettia with red peppers on top.

I guess little of the meal was familiar to Roy’s family’s traditional Christmas meal, but I’m thankful that they dealt with my choices.



Pesto Paella

Strawberry Mousse Cake

Bûche de Noël

Ginger Bread House