Friendsgiving ’14 Recap


Yesterday we had an awesome Friendsgiving, and I was so grateful for it.

After 16.5 years of marriage, it was the fourth Thanksgiving meal that Ever Patient Spouse and I crafted.

Two years ago (#2), I was in charge of the turkey. Yesterday, he was on Bird Duty.

One of the best parts of yesterday was having everyone over for drinks, appetizers and conversation, then people who had obligations elsewhere could go as necessary and everyone else stayed for the Big Meal.

It was perfect.

The biggest hit of the day was an appetizer: whipped lemon feta dip.

Seriously, every morsel of this was gone by the time cocktail hour(s) was/were done.

Here’s the recipe:

Whipped Lemon Feta Dip


  • 10-12 oz. crumbled fat-free feta (this is a real product and perfect for this dish)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • Juice AND zest of one lemon
  • Optional but recommended: Generous shakes of red pepper flakes


  • Get out your food processor. This is what you need for this recipe to work.
  • Pulse the garlic cloves until they are in fine bits. Scrape down bowl.
  • Add feta, lemon zest, olive oil, (and red pepper flakes, if using) and then juice/pulp of the lemon.
  • Pulse until creamy.
  • Ok to eat immediately, but even better if you let the flavors meld for a few hours.

I paired this with crudités (endive, baby zucchini, cherry tomatoes, carrots), a cheese board (brie, manchego, peppered gouda), marcona almonds, and two flatbreads I bought from Trader Joe’s.

After a prosecco toast, one holiday drink we served was hot cider with two kinds of spicy liqueur (Fireball – a cinnamon whisky, and Goldschlager) as optional add-ins. Yum!

The Big Meal was mostly traditional, but we had carrot cake, pumpkin pie, and my unfailing flourless chocolate cake as dessert. All of the chocolate cake was gone in the end. Every last crumb. Like ALWAYS. This dessert hit another home run.

Having friends over was so awesome. This was a great holiday.

P.S. This actually happened:






Elf Rage

Unknown-3Full confession of yet another parenting deficiency: I really hate the Elf on the Shelf.

When the whole phenomenon – if I am generous enough to describe this trend as such – started a few years back, I was on board.

I bought the requisite Elf kit and read the pedantic story that accompanies the Elf (the same crappy, cheap type of felt Elf my grandmother had back in the 70s. Seriously, I think that Elf technology should have progressed enough in the intervening decades to at least allow them now to have real legs and feet. I digress).

The first night, I perched the Elf on a ledge above a door in our upstairs hall. I was abruptly awakened to shrieking at 5 AM the next morning by Trixie, who was almost 3 at the time.

Trixie: “A witch! I see a witch! It’s a witch! I hate that witch!”

And that is how our Elf got his next and final perch in our trash.

But really, what was I thinking? I barely have enough time to keep my head above water, much less assemble elaborate dioramas like this:

images-2 images-1

And now there is the whole new Naughty Elf genre I keep seeing on social media. These are two of the tamer examples:

images-3 elf-poop

Yeah, I definitely don’t have time for this.

P.S. If you want to feel good about your own holiday card, check out this gallery of Awkward Family Christmas photos. Mustache dad in the hot tub is my fave!