Friday, December 18, 2009

Pretty much every night this week was spent similarly. I went home, put my warm pajamas on (it's been COLD here- high of like 37 today!!), and worked on various Christmas tasks. I made a trip to Wal-mart early in the week to pick up Christmas cards I had printed to the photo center. I'm kinda late with cards this year. I seem to remember being more on top of that last year. Anyway, since Greg and I still have no kids, a while back we got in the habit of doing a Christmas picture of one or more of our rabbits every year. We have three bunnies; Cinnamon (girl), Bosco (boy), and Baxter (boy). The first year we did the bunny Christmas year was probably like 6-7 years ago and we did a picture of two bunnies we had back then, Butterscotch and Oreo, with two little Santa hats we got at Petco. Thus the bunny Christmas card tradition was born. The past couple years we've been mostly using Baxter as our Christmas poster child as he is the most photogenic of the crew. Plus he's black and white so his coloring goes well with most Christmas stuff (red settings). This year I did a picture of him with candy canes scattered around him.
So, each night I've been working on the Christmas cards, wrapping stocking stuffers (which I got the night I went to Wal-mart to get the Christmas cards), and baking TONS of cookies.
Every year I make a ton of Christmas cookies and give them as gifts to friends and co-workers. My friend Kelly is having a cookie and cocktails party tonight, so I made a big batch of my orange chocolate pinwheels for the party. If anyone is interested in the recipe, these are my go-to cookies if you want something kinda different with a wow-factor. A couple years ago I was watching Food Network's cookie special and Alton Brown made these cookies except with peppermint flavor instead of orange. My dad LOVES orange and chocolate together, so it occurred to me that I could make these cookies and change out the peppermint flavor for orange extract (I also add a bunch of orange zest). I've also made them with raspberry extract and they are good that way too. You really could use any flavoring you want in the "peppermint" dough that you like with chocolate. The cookies are slightly labor intensive, but if you plan ahead and make the dough ahead, I don't think they're too bad. Anyway, here's the link to the recipe.
Speaking of Kelly, two weeks ago she and her man Brad got engaged! I met them last spring in my running group and love hanging out with them. I've mentioned them many times before in the blog because they are single-handedly responsible for jump starting my social life in Charlotte. They love good food, wine, and Noda! Friends have always been important to me, but in the last few years I've really started to reassess what good friendship is, as I had my first ever "friend break-up" about a year and a half ago. I think I'm a lot more wary of who I will get close to and trust now because of that. I can honestly say I'm at a good place now with the people I've chosen to have as friends and I am very lucky to have them in my life. Kelly is definitely one of those people that has been easy to be friends with from day one. She's just a happy, positive person and very fun to be around. Earlier this week she called to chat and asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding next summer! I happily accepted and I'm so glad she feels the same about our friendship as I do. It's really nice to have a good bunch of girl friends and I'm glad she's one of mine :)


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