03 December 2013

Where did all the people go?

The house feels so quiet this week after our guests headed home from "Friendsgiving."  Hosting Thanksgiving filled our house with great friends, tasty food, amazing wine and that bustle of the start of the holiday season.  We were lucky enough to have our dear friends Eric and Erin from Portland, OR, and Andrew and Logan from Salt Lake City, UT, drive to Boise.

This was the first holiday I hosted at my house with a tiny human in the mix.  I knew I would have to prepare more in advance and be uber organized.  All of the planning paid off because the weekend went so well and was void of (most) stress.

Erin, Logan and I shared recipes and decided on our Thanksgiving menu well in advanced.  We all love to cook and search for recipes, so it was a challenge to settle on a just a handful for our feast.  But once the menu was set, I printed off the recipes, created a grocery list and made a list for all of the prep I could do before Thursday.  I figured that this was key to staying calm while guests were here.

The week before Thanksgiving, I prepped and cooked and baked as much as I could while Kiki napped.  She is an amazing sleeper.  While she snoozed, I baked cornbread for our stuffing and toasted hazelnuts for the Brussels sprouts and experimented with vegetarian mushroom gravy (which turned out amazingly). 

My little helper
Together, Kiki and I grocery shopped.  She seems to enjoy being pushed around in the cart where she can see new people and the colorful foods.  I hope she continues to like this adventure because we do it multiple times per week (I can't figure out how to make just one grocery run per week).

Eric and Erin prepping the apple pie while Andrew an Logan chop
Idaho potatoes for the mashed potatoes.

Thursday was spent in the kitchen, making pies, shredding Brussels with a mandolin, and deciding when to put the turkey in the oven.  Our meal was served a little later than planned (around 8:30 pm), but Kiki was in bed and we were all hungry.

With all of the cooking and eating, we made sure to get out walking and hiking in the mild end-of-Novemeber weather.  The #31 Corrals Trail, just up the road from us, was a great Saturday afternoon hike, that provided a wide path for walking and talking.  Kiki (and her pack mule Mom and Dad) love her new Deuter Kid Comfort III backpack.  It is comfortable for all of us and allows us to get out on the trails where a stroller couldn't make it.
The Corrals Trail, less than a mile from our house,  was
a great way to get some fresh air.

Saturday night, we booked our babysitter and made reservations at Alavita in downtown Boise.  We had a cozy corner table with a view of the bar and the kitchen.  We enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail and appetizers (including the burrata and olives), ordered house-made pastas for our mains, and ended the meal with a salted carmel vanilla budino and flourless chocolate-espresso tart.  Alativa charges a $10 corkage fee (Erin brought very special wines from Portland) but donates all $10 to a local charity - so cool!  It was the perfect end to a great weekend.

Alavita for Saturday dinner.
Erin, Logan and me ... sporting our new lipstick!
I am so grateful for these wonderful friends we have met along our journey.  We can all get together after months of being far away and it feels like it was just last week.  Until next time...I'll will be watching Kiki wonder, "Where did all those people go?"

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