A Very Merry Christmas

This year I saved up my vacation time the best I could so I could spend almost three weeks with my boyfriend and our families back east.  We don’t get to see each other very often and its really hard.   We get to see each other every few months, its really taught us not to take each other for granted. We met over five years ago now but we’ve learned a lot about each other over the past ten months.  For example I learned that he is lactose intolerant and allergic to onions, raw apples and a few other things.  So, not only will our house be Gluten Free, it will be Onion Free and mostly Dairy Free.

I got my first experience cooking both GF and DF while he was here for Thanksgiving.  I made a complete dinner for us.  GF stuffing, a turkey, gravy, mashed sweet potatoes and to top it all off a GF Apple Pie!  He and I both loved it.  And have to admit looking forward to doing it all over again next year.

This year we sent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family back in Mass.  Christmas Eve is spent with my mom’s side of the family each year.  Lots of food and plenty of family to share the holiday with.  Its never a dull moment, trust me!  Christmas day is spent with my dad and step mom.  I had filled my parents in on Bryan’s allergies and my step mom made one amazing meal.  Completely GF, DF and OF!  Prime Rib with DF scalloped potatoes, green beans with pancetta.  The only part that wasn’t 100% GF, DF was the cheese cake.  My step mom makes the best cheese cakes, I swear!!  She even made me own special one with no crust.  Oh man I can still taste it.

They also wanted to take us out to dinner one night at the 111 Chophouse in Worcester.  I’ve been there once or twice before, but this was before finding out about having Celiac.  I made sure to bring my little Triumph Dining card with me, however I didn’t need them.  The Chophouse has a gluten free menu.  Not just a few things either, it was a very complete menu.  It had apps, salads, main dishes, and deserts.  I was highly impressed with their selection for GF guests.  I ended up going with the Wagyu Flat Iron Steak. (Thanks again Dad and Sue for another amazing meal!)

After about a week in Mass we headed back down to New Jersey to spend some more time with Bryan’s family and our friends.  We went to The City a few times, ate at Risotteria twice.  Shared the goodness of that place with our friends and Bryan’s Dad. (I have to say they were good sports to go to a GF place just for me! – Thanks guys).  On our first trip to the City we also went to MoMA to see the Tim Burton Exhibit, which is AMAZING.  I highly recommend going if you are there.  He is an extremely talented man, that is for sure.  Next stop was the Empire State Building!!  My dream finally came true.  (I know a self proclaimed dork, but I’ve always wanted to go since seeing An Affair To Remember).  Not only was it almost empty – no lines believe it or not, but we got to go to both the 86th floor and the 102 floor!  Both of which are amazingly beautiful.  It was night time and the city looked like it had a million Christmas lights all lit up.

Our next trip was with Bryan’s Dad to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex, NYC (which sadly closed on 1/3/10). They had some amazing things on display.  When you first got in they show you a “movie” of different artists who have been inducted.  It made me sad that I’ve missed some pretty amazing artists growing up.  Don’t get me wrong, I grew up listening to great music, but sadly didn’t get to see any of these artists.  I realized that we have lost amazing talent over the years and most musicians now a days just don’t measure up.

On our  way home we stopped at BabyCakes!! Its a small little place, but the cupcakes are unbelievable.  I walked out of there with six cupcakes and two brownie cupcakes.  Don’t worry I didn’t eat them all myself, I shared ;-)  I even love whats printed on the back of the box “Saving your behind one cupcake at a time”.  My friend Adina gave me their cookbook for my birthday, and now I can’t wait to try some of their recipes.

For photos from my trip back home visit my Flickr page!

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