WIAW Holiday Edition

Hello, everyone! I hope your New Year is off to a great start!

My day yesterday was pretty laid back, which is always a great way to celebrate the New Year, in my opinion. πŸ™‚ I was also considering it as my last day of break, as I am nannying during the day today and tomorrow, and have things going on during the evenings up until this weekend. I still can’t believe my three weeks of break are almost over, but it really was so much fun. I had a very relaxing Christmas full of…


…thankfulness, family…



My mom, Dan, my aunt, and I playing Euchre.

…lots of cards and board games…

Loaded Questions...such a fun game!

Loaded Questions…such a fun game!

….fun presents (including these, for me)….


Picture 1

Komachi knives from my grandma – they are AMAZING! The nakiri knife, which is for chopping veggies, is my favorite! πŸ™‚

A beautiful dutch oven (only mind is deep red!) and three mini ones!

A beautiful dutch oven (only mind is deep red!) and three mini ones!

and plennnnty of good food! (See below!)

My parents, Dan, and I celebrated New Year’s Eve by going out to an Italian restaurant downtown. My dad and Dan both really enjoyed their dinners, but my mom and I weren’t fans of ours. Oh well, the company was great, and downtown looked beautiful.


How did you ring in the new year?


Because I didn’t do a WIAW last week, I have loads of food to share with you all!


First up: the breakfasts.

For Christmas morning, my mom made these amazing clover leaf buns. She took frozenΒ  dough and cut each “roll” into thirds, rolled them around in butter then cinnamon-sugar, and then popped them into a muffin tin to bake. I made a simple glaze out of powdered sugar and milk, and voilΓ ! So. Good.


My dad also made some pancakes New Year’s Day. I only had one, but made sure to put sprinkles and then cinnamon-sugar on it. Yum!



A taco salad made with seasoned ground beef, cheese, tortilla chips, salsa, and of course, romaine lettuce.


For Christmas Eve, I made a pot roast from Ina Garten’s recipe. If you look, there is a sort of sauce that is made using veggies, wine, and broth just before it’s served. That sauce was incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten something that rich in flavor. We had some leftover from the roast, so I cooked up some quinoa and poured the sauce over top of it. With a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, it was a perfect lunch. We had so much leftover that I made this three times over the course of the week!


I also had a chicken, apple, and cheese sandwich with a side of veggies for lunch yesterday. I had so much bad food (bad for me, not bad tasting) over the holidays that a nice salad was in order.



If I took note of all of the snacks I’ve enjoyed the last few weeks, I’d be uploading pictures for hours. I wish I was kidding. One of my favorites, though (and the most photogenic), was this dried fruit my cousin and his girlfriend made for us as a Christmas present. I love dried fruit!



On Christmas Eve eve (or Christmas Adam, as I’ve heard it called!), we had pork roast. My mom put pork loin in a slow cooker with some cranberry sauce and a few other things, and roasted it throughout the day. It was seriously delicious!


As mentioned above, we enjoyed a lovely pot roast on Christmas Eve.


Then on Christmas Day we had baked ham, thick potato “chips”, and peas. I ate my ham with dried cranberries because I love that combo!


And on my brother’s birthday we had traditional English pasties. We also had them for my dad’s birthday, and I wrote at that time that I had been on my feet for three hours making them. Well, this time, I was a bit smarter. My dad cut the meat (a chore that I find very unpleasant), which helped a lot, and I did the rest of it in shifts. I made the pastry and took a break. Then I cut the veggies and took a break. When I finally got ready to put the pasties together, it took hardly any time at all!


I also pretty much perfected making pastry crust. I used Nigella Lawson’s (albeit drawn-out) method of freezing, blending, chilling, rolling, and filling. It worked wonderfully. Hooray!

(Recycled photo.)

(Recycled photo.)

Finally, for New Year’s Day yesterday, my mom and I spent a couple of hours preparing some finger food for dinner. There was BBQ chicken wrapped in bacon and sprinkled with brown sugar, potato skins, and quesadillas. Yeahhh…my clean eating will be reenacted today! πŸ˜‰


Desserts and Baked Goods

For New Year’s Eve, I had a huuuuuuge bowl of frozen yogurt…


…but that’s not what I want to show you.

I went kind of crazy baking over the last two weeks!

First up, mincemeat pies (from Nigella Lawson’s wondeful recipe – only we bought the mincemeat) for my dad’s side of the family party, as well as brown sugar-cinnamon crescent rolls.

IMG_0850 IMG_0861

A vegan brownie pudding.


Chocolate chip cookies.


Pretzel strawberry dessert.




IMG_0921And sugar cookies! Decorating sugar cookies on Christmas Eve is a family tradition. This year, my neighbor got me a couple of awesome 3D cookie cutters. The tree broke apart before I could frost it, but look at that cute Santa!



Workouts December 31 – January 5
Sunday: off
Monday: 30 Day Shred + 30 minutes elliptical trainer
Tuesday: P90X Ab Ripper + circuit training + 20 minutes elliptical
Wednesday: 20 minutes jogging + 25 minutes walking on treadmill
Thursday: rest
Friday: P90X yoga?
Saturday: P90X yoga OR 20 minutes jogging + 25 minutes walking on treadmill

Speaking of workouts, here is my main goal/resolution for 2013:

Be happy, be healthy.

Yes, I know that’s the Honey Nut Cheerios slogan, but I think it really works for what I want to accomplish in 2013. I don’t think it’s possible to have one without the other: I’m going to work toward being the healthiest I’ve ever been (as far as clean eating and more exercising) and will therefore be more happy with my body/mind/self. Along the same lines, I will try to be generally more happy, which will hopefully lead to a healthier body/mind/self.

Other small goals for 2013 include:- Meat Free Mondays
– Run a 5K in the spring
– Figure out what to do with my future
– Earn a certificate of completion from Top Chef University! (My parents got me a year of classes for Christmas!)

Do you do New Year’s resolutions or goals? What is one of yours?

That was a super long post! I hope you’re all having a very relaxing day back in reality/work, or at least a very good break! πŸ™‚


I know Ella is! πŸ˜‰


  1. jessielovestorun · · Reply

    Good company always makes up for poor meals… at least that’s what I tell myself anyways =) Your meal may not of been stellar, but all your holiday meals/treats look AMAZING!!! Love the added sprinkles πŸ™‚

    Happy New Year hunnie

    1. Thanks! You too! πŸ™‚

  2. those knives look amazing, i really need to invest in some kitchen appliance stuff because I would love a good knife. i wish I could make my own dehydrated fruit like that, it looks delicious to me. game nights with the family always make me smile

    1. They’re amazing! They cut through any food like it’s butter! I wish I could make my own dried fruit, too – I think I’d save a lot of money. πŸ˜‰

  3. Hi!
    I was hypnotized by your Strawberry/Pretzel dessert – I was staring at it like for a minute, and then by Ella – she’s the cutest. Beautiful pictures as always, Liv!
    i don’t do big resolutions any more! Just trying my best! And enjoying it. Otherwise, why bother?..
    Have a great Wednesday (or what’s left of it, girl!)

    1. Haha it’s just an amazing dessert! Thank you, she really is just adorable. πŸ™‚

      That’s kind of why I started calling them goals instead of a resolutions – I always feel pressured and angry when they don’t work out. I agree with you – just enjoy life!

  4. Those colorful knives are beautiful… I want them. πŸ˜€

    Of course, of all of your food photos look amazing as well! The English pasties as well as the pot roast look great and I’m sure they are perfect cold-weather foods. And all of those desserts… GAH! Picking a favorite… For breakfast I’d definitely take that pancake πŸ™‚ As for the others- It’s a tie between the sugar cookies and heart pies!!

    1. Thank you! They were perfect foods for a snowy night. πŸ™‚ I don’t think I could pick a favorite either!

  5. Wow, this all looks delicious! And I love that nail polish on your fingers in the mincemeat pie photo. πŸ™‚

    1. Haha thanks! I thought it was very festive! πŸ™‚

  6. All those desserts look fantastic! I want those knives too!

    1. Thank you! And yes, they are great!

  7. I’m totally making that pot roast! And those pasties look awesome too!

    1. I hope you do! It was just incredible. And thanks!

  8. I adore big, deconstructed taco salad. They’re so delicious and with salsa as the dressing? Win for sure! I also love Ina Garten’s recipes. Her Barefood Contessa cookbooks are like bibles in my kitchen. πŸ™‚ Glad your pot roast turned out so well!

    1. I love every recipe of hers that I’ve tried! I actually don’t have any cookbooks of hers, but I might have to invest in one soon. πŸ™‚

  9. Wowww! All your food looks amazing – loving the look of that hugeee bowl of fro yo on NYE! mmmm.
    it all looks so festive and beautiful as well.

    1. Haha yes, it was perfect for celebrating the New Year! And thanks! πŸ™‚

  10. Sweeeet jesus I am literally drooling over ALL THE FOOD PICS

  11. There is so much food to drool over here… I don’t even know where to start! Your description of that pot roast has me craving it, and just when I thought sweets had become unappealing (over-indulgence to the max) all of those decadent pics make my want to go make brownie pudding.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Haha I’d say that’s the only bad thing about WIAW – it makes me crave foods that I definitely don’t need! πŸ™‚ Thank you, you too!

  12. moderngirlnutrition · · Reply

    Love this post! All your pics are gorgeous!

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  13. […] Christmas Eve dinner this past year, I made Ina Garten’s pot roast recipe. The roast was a huge hit, but it was […]

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