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After spending the past two Christmases here in the wild west T. and I will be traveling home to the east coast to spend Christmas with my.. well now our family.  Growing up I wasn’t always a huge fan of the holiday season, like most children of divorce it was a lot of shuffling back and forth between families, family from away annoyed you weren’t there more… the usual drama and over eating that accompanies trying to keep two families happy. However as an adult my outlook has completely changed. I love Christmas. Our home is overly decorated and even though T. grumbles about it I know he secretly enjoys it.  I defy you to think of something more cozy and joy inducing than sitting in front of a REAL Christmas tree, decorated with ornaments that are mementos of life’s millstones and adventures, with the ones you love – you can’t! It is pure magic!

It stark contrast to my childhood this year my family will be spending Christmas day together – that’s right mama, papa, little brother, T. and I. Not going to lie it is going to be very interesting! This is the first time post divorce (about 16 years) that we will all be together. Like they say time changes everything. I’m very excited about my family being together, not in a ‘hope my parents get back together’ kind of way – trust me that ship has long sailed but I think it’s a really positive thing we are now able to spend this time together. To mark my happiest what else would I do but plan a menu of Christmas Day munchies for us?!? 😉

This past weekend I spent Saturday night testing recipes.. Which as it turns out was a really good idea!!  I’ll share a few lessons.

First blinis not that easy! I followed Gordon Ramsays’ Christmas Blini recipe. These were very tasty but I made them too big. The blinis definitely need to be one bite – especially for men. I was okay with the 2/3 bite but T. was not. I used non-fat milk instead of the called for full fat milk, which didn’t work so well. Also I made the mistake of blini, cream, smoked salmon and the cream definitely needs to be on top. I’m hopefully lessons have been learned and my next batch will be better.

Second I made mustard and tarragon sausage rolls. I wasn’t sure about these for a few reasons, one being T. doesn’t like mustard but since he ate about 10 of them I don’t think that was an issue. Some classics shouldn’t be messed with but I am really glad that I messed with this one. These were so good I can’t wait to make again! If you may recall from my early pastry attempts it isn’t my forte but I am improving!

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I’m going to round out these munchies with some cheese and nuts AND of course champagne. Seeing as champagne is more or less scientifically proven to make people happy I think it is a good insurance policy for my reunited family Christmas!

**Sorry not many photos in the mess my end of term life is I have no idea where the battery charger is for my camera

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