Sunday, January 2, 2011

December Adventures

Our Christmas was quiet and small this year. My Aunt Pam came to stay for a whole week, which is the longest visit we've had with her here by herself. We had a good time doing things that families who live near each other probably take for granted: going out to eat (The Melt and The Cheesecake Factory), wandering around Costco and the mall, going to Christmas Eve Service, and sitting around visiting. One of my Christmas presents this year was tickets to the Manheim Steamroller Christmas concert. This happened to be their 25th year doing these Christmas concerts, and it was fun to see the show and be a part of the celebration. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas I sang in 11 concerts and who knows how many rehearsals. It's exhausting, but really fun. No one can play 'Sleigh Ride' like the Cleveland Orchestra!

On the 8th, we got something like 15 inches of snow at our house. Of course I had a concert that night and here are pictures of what I had to trek through to get there. Fortunately, I don't have that far to go. Many chorusters were stuck in traffic for hours and never made it to the concert.
On one of our outings, Aunt Pam and I drove out to Chagrin Falls. John and I took Mom and Dad out here last year for dinner, but it was at night and we didn't get to see the falls. They aren't very big but I was amazed at the amount of ice that accumulated even with the moving water. A very Christmas-y scene.
One of the stores in Chagrin Falls has this old newspaper framed and hanging up. Of course it isn't for sale, although that's probably good because I would have had to buy it for Nic's birthday present. It is the front page of the Billings Gazette announcing the death of Marilyn Monroe. What a crazy thing to find in a small store in Cleveland!
These are the first truffles I have ever made and boy were they good and rich. The recipe is from Celebrate with Chocolate! by Marcel DeSaulniers. I've also made his 3 layer chocolate cake from this book, which was loaded with so much butter that John couldn't finish it and told me to give it away. These truffles have a Kahlua ganache center and are then dipped in bittersweet chocolate and sprinkled with chocolate powder.
New Year's Eve we spent with a couple of John's work friends. They came over around 8:00pm and we played board games and had pizza, snacks, and various drinks until about 2:00am. It was fun, even though John seems "blessed" with winning every round of any board or card game that he touches. Nick and I are demanding a rematch on Super Bowl Sunday. (No, not while the game is on!)

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