I always knew getting married would mean compromises, especially when it came to family.Ever since I was a little kid, missing Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter was a big no-no. Birthdays could be shifted around a bit, and long periods of non visiting were acceptable (particularly when I lived in Philly) but nothing was more important than celebrating with family on these three days. When I got married to, not my high school sweetheart, but still a friend from my hometown, I thought how great life was. Both sets of parents lived within 10 minutes of each other. There was no need to travel halfway across the country, decide whose parents were “more important” to visit for each holiday, then switch it up the next year. It was all well and good in theory, but not so much in practice. Instead of splitting and alternating like many couples, we double celebrate each holiday. That means two Christmases, two Easters and yes, two very filling Thanksgivings. Two food centric events on the same day.
By now you should be very familiar with Smitten Kitchen and her glorious Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. If not, you may be living under a rock or are not seeking enough creative ways to get your daily servings of booze. Both are unacceptable. I was first introduced to Smitten Kitchen and her boozy cupcakes at a friend’s St Patrick’s Day party. I’ve never done an Irish Car Bomb. After dropping in a shot of Jameson and Bailey’s, you need to quickly chug the beer before the Irish Cream curdles. Considering my idea of downing a beer still takes a good half hour, while others have already moved onto a second round, I don’t think the concept would work too well. Nevertheless, when my friend added cupcake to the end of the description, I was already in love.
It might have warmed up outside (a bit) but my apartment is still cold as ever, a drastic change from our last place. We used to live across the hall in the same building in a one bedroom apartment. I mean, literally right across the hall. Open our door and our old apartment is right there. We’re now in a two bedroom because we decided we needed more space. Really I was tired of being forced to read in the bedroom, where I would usually fall asleep, or combat the sounds of Doctor Who in the living room.
The two places might have been right across from each other but they’re drastically different. Before we were in the back of the building, but now we’re on the main avenue so it’s a bit noisier. The radiators in our old place where loud (think bowling balls being thrown on the pipes) and way too warm. Our apartment would run a toasty 80°+, with windows open, and generally shorts and t shirts where the winter attire. I guess I should also clarify that our apartment, along with most NYC complexes have forced hot air systems. On the plus side we don’t have to pay for heat but on the negative, we can’t control it either. We moved into this apartment last November and the temperature seemed to be pretty comfortable. What we didn’t account for was living here after a full summer, with window air conditioners that stay in the windows year round. So now, it gets a bit drafty. We’re working on some sort of temporary insulation plan or those thermo curtains, but for now, the solution is lots and lots of soup.
I’ve noted may times throughout this Twelve Recipes of Christmas series that Christmas is all about sweets and booze. So why not combine the two into a perfect holiday dessert?
If you’ve a reader of my blog, you know I’m a fan of Smitten Kitchen. And if you’re not regular reader, welcome! But if you don’t have the faintest idea who or what Smitten Kitchen is, well, I’m not so sure we can be friends anymore. I reference Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman’s recipes, well, a lot. So you could imagine my excitement when I learned she was writing a cookbook. And going on a book tour. That had several stops in Brooklyn and Manhattan. And I was going to MEET HER.