Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas with Ariel (and Tripp)

Back in Georgia, there is a girl named Ariel who is my Soul Sister. We went to college together and worked on the paper together. We even had an English class together before I knew her, and I'm so sad we didn't connect earlier that semester because it would have made that class a lot easier to get through--that professor was the worst. But no matter the amount of stress, sleep deprivation or craziness as writers we experience, Ariel has always been there with me to see me through it. Let us not forget that she's also one of the most incredible writers I've had the privilege of knowing personally.

Ariel also has a blog, by the way. There, she bakes cupcakes based on books she's read/reading (typically, this week it's just Christmas goodness). You should check her out over at Books & Batter if you haven't.

Ariel is great for many reasons, but the biggest reason of all is that she is always the person who can put a smile on your face no matter where you are in life.

We spent our Christmas Eve eve over FaceTime after she received my Christmas present of an apron with cats printed all over it (and she looked adorable in it, let me tell you). So while she baked yummy treats, I worked on a Christmas dinner for Tripp and me. Probably the most creative thing (other than cooking a black forest ham for the first time) was biscuits with stuffing in them. You heard that right.

Just as much as the holidays are about love, they are about loving food, and I got a little creative. So, here's the slopping mess before they baked:

Look at that sludge, then look at the pic below. Guess who won the aesthetically appealing part of this contest? 

When they finished baking, the biscuits didn't change much in terms of size or color (the stuffing was likely weighing down the biscuit dough, which means next time less stuffing mix or more biscuit dough [because the latter means more biscuits]), but when they were finally done and got brown on the bottom, they broke apart easy and had the thickness and taste of stuffing while holding together like a biscuit. They were honestly pretty great. I might do it again for another holiday dinner that calls for stuffing.

Below are the tasty concoctions that Ariel came up with for her Christmas duties this year (you can find the recipe on her blog linked above):

These look scrumptious. I wish I wasn't across the country.

Ariel and I reminisced, laughed at the mess we both were making in our kitchens and I watched "White Christmas," "Love Actually," and "Christmas with the Kranks." I also ooed and awwed at her adorable cats more than once.

When the FaceTime fun was over, I made myself some (more) cocoa with pecans and cinnamon and marshmallows, and Tripp and I made our plates and sat down to eat. I'm marking this Christmas down as a success.

Full plate of food that I ate too fast because I was really hungry by then. We've got cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, oven roasted black forest ham (with a mustard, butter and honey glaze) and the stuffing biscuits. My other pictures didn't come out too well. The blogging gods will have to forgive me this time. 

Tripp and I also opened each other's presents early (because we have to work Christmas Eve and Christmas day).

He hates packing peanuts.

It was a fun day with Ariel and great night with Tripp. Among a few other things, Tripp got me a beautifully illustrated, special edition of Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone. (The nerd in me died inside, and it brought tears to my eyes because the series means that much to me.) I hope you found/find your Christmas to be just as lovely.


  1. Oh my goodness, that picture! ☺️ I love you and I love this post!

  2. I love Christmas time so much, except I eat way too much!

    1. Gosh! I have eaten SO much this year; I started working out again out of holiday shame, hahaha.


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