thanksgiving check listing
on a mission, on a mission, going to get it right.

holidays bits & pieces

my luck with computers is really terrible so it's totally funny to me that i actually want to have and keep up with a blog. i can't explain it but i am magical at making specifically MY computers, yes computerS, become pretty much non functional. but no excuses! if something is broken find a way to fix it OR throw everything away and start again new. its okay to do that. it's not giving up it's being brave.

things have been quiet on here and words have been even more difficult for me lately but i wanted to break the cycle and share some holiday moments.

starting with thanksgiving.

i love to start the day with bagels & lox, an accidental tradition that i don't mind keeping up with. popping into starbucks for the paper, latte and phone chat with the biff is must as well. we used to do that together but when life puts you in different spots you have to improvise.

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as i mentioned before i really wanted to make Joy's parker house dinner rolls and i have to say i had a lot of fun with these babies. i am super in-experienced in working with yeast so i always seem to put those recipes in the save for later pile but not anymore. it got me pumped to play a little more with things that are aliiiive.

and okay so maybe i threw away my yeast starter like 3 times because i couldn't tell if it was "foamy" enough but look, everything worked out.

a hint of sweetness with just a slight chew, warm with butter - these rolls were just perfect.

cheating.. is bad.

but it can be so SO good and easy. i try not to cheat in the kitchen, i try not to make so many dishes dirty i want to cry when i look at my sink. but when you need four pie crusts STAT break out that food processor and save yourself from unnecessary holiday stress.

the key is to keep your fat (butter/shortening) as cold as possible, i freeze mine, and use ice cold water too.

first timer at pre-baking a pie crust.

i used rice, parchment paper and crossed my fingers.

not to mention, first time making a chocolate pie too.

nifty trick i picked up while interwebs researching? wax paper helps from that weird thick filmy layer from forming on top of your chocolate pudding filling. guess what? it worked.

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action shot of goodness.

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just like that chocolate pie made with a lot of love.

oldies but goodies, sweet potatoe and cran-apple pie.

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it was a romantic affair.

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my schwester slicing up the bird.

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me and my second eldest niece. she may murder me for this photo, but i couldn't love her any less. teenagers and their aversion to smiling, i remember that. oh wait, because that was like 3 months ago for me!

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like the inappropriate photo taking blogger that i am, i assumed the postion and stood on my chair right at the dining room table to snap this.

real life.

the most amazing thing to happen to me all winter.. my hooded AND footed adult cupcake onesie.

gingerfraaaanz with their mega intense blue eyes. pssh Twinkie Chan magic, of course. Did you make it to the winter Renegade craft fair in San Fran this year?

brown butter.. dark chocolate.. fleur de sel the ingredients for one magnificent chocolate chip cook. dark, decadent and delicious.

hand candy via Stoopidgerl.

my christmas bars.

buttery shortbread crust topped with craisins, dates & shredded coconut. these are one of those holiday treats that i copied from an old and very used recipe card from my mom's recipe box.

admittedly it isn't much the same anymore. originally hers is topped with a medly of candied fruit and coconut but when you grow up you get to decide how you want your christmas bars made. sorry mom.

this year it was my turn to bring the watergate salad.

Xmas tree

Xmas food
christmas cheer at my parent's house.

christmas eve is my favorite because it's the epitome of anticipation of what's about to come, what you have been waiting for all season long.. christmas.

my family decided to change things up with our normal christmas eve festivities by wearing pajamas, normally meant for the next morning but why not start by celebrating in them?

the EXTRA awesome members of the fam rocked full onesies. no waistline? yes please!

have you ever watched this film? when i was little my dad let me watch this and i was captivated, i can't count the number of times we've watched this together. Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe essentially sums up who i am.. what i'm interested in and i didn't realize that until recently. it's funny looking back on your childhood and making those little "oooh, well that makes sense" connections.

ew that means i am getting older some more right?! omg. it. just. keeps. happening.

my favorite christmas gift this year was from my sister, they usually always are, she framed and hand painted all the gold embellishments. these are the gallery cards from the sylvi ji exhibit we went to in LA, remember that?

the schwester is too talented for her own good, i keep encouraging her to share more of her art with the world. one day hopefully she'll let me do that here at PassionPending.

new years eve morning looked like this.

and new years eve evening looked a little like this.

2013 you took all my words from me. the ups, downs, discoveries, and lessons learned will all help me be a better me for the new year to come. i want to strive to keep growing and focus on finding the happy in each day. i am beautiful, you are too and so is this life we have been gifted, lets keep remembering to try and make the most out of it.

i can't wait to see what adventures await for me but first i have to create them. here's to more words, more tea and much more love in 2014.

oh and new friends too!