Friday, December 17, 2010

Feastiveness

For the record, yes we did go with the huge colored bulbs on the tree this year. Let's just hope that the tree doesn't burn up because those suckers are hot!

On to other things...Tyler and I are the geeks that get a Christmas ornament on every vacation or trip we go on.
Here are a few of our new additions for 2010:

Charleston- March 2010
 

New York- Oct 2010

South Africa- Nov 2010


Now, the good stuff. For the past few years we have tried to come up with a small homemade gift to give out to friends and coworkers. This year was no exception and we decided to go with, drum roll please......... Cranberry and Orange Infused Vodka.




Cranberry-Orange Vodka
(recipe adapted from Michael Chiarello)

Ingredients
2 pound fresh or frozen cranberries
2 cup sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 oranges, peels cut into 2-inch strips
1 (1.75 L) bottle vodka, or a handle as we call it down south!

Directions
Place cranberries, sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Place pan over medium heat and stir. Simmer cranberry mixture until the berries burst, about 10 or so minutes.

Place orange peels in a 2 large glass containers with an airtight lids, or large mason jars with lids. Pour vodka over the orange peels.

Allow the cranberry mixture to cool. Pour the cooled mixture into the glass container(s). Cover tightly and set aside for 1 week. After 1 week, strain out the cranberries sand orange peels and pour mixture into a clean bottle, using a funnel. Store vodka in the refrigerator.

To serve: Pour 2 ounces of vodka mixture over ice in a tall glass and top with tonic water. Garnish with a slice of lime.


Don't worry we taste tested and it's GOOD!

PS: this is what Strongbow does all day since it has been soooo stinking cold outside!


Friday, December 10, 2010

South Africa: Part 1

I guess it is finally time to share a few photos from our journey over Thanksgiving. As I said earlier, we were graciously invited to attend the wedding of Grant and Stephanie Jackson in South Africa. It's not every day that you are able to travel across the world with a group of wonderful friends so we took full advantage of it!



We started our tour of South Africa in Johannesburg where we were greeted at the airport by the groom and a groomsman who took us to our hotel in Sandton, the financial hub of Johannesburg.


After we freshened up we were taken to a traditional African restaurant where we enjoyed face painting, wine, and a lot of meat! We ate Kudu, Springbok, and Gemsbock just to name a few.


  

   

 



On day 2 we headed to Soweto (South Western Township) for our tour of this historical black township. This history of Soweto is definitely something to look into as it is the birthplace of the uprising against the Apartheid. Until 1994 the black people in South Africa were force to live in townships and carry identification cards every time they ventured outside. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, both Nobel Peace Prize winners, lived in Soweto and the pride that remains there is unmistakable. Although you will not see a single white resident living among the 1.3 million residents, we were welcomed with open arms. I was amazed at how proud the people are and how eager they are to show you their heritage. We toured the Hector Pieterson Museum, the open-air market, the Kliptown squatter camp, the street where both Mandela and Tutu lived and even got to take a few pictures of Soccer City.













video






video
Thanks for the videos Brandon!









For dinner we ate at a quaint restaurant called The Attic in Parkhurst. Tyler ordered Impala and it was the most amazing piece of meat I have ever eaten! After dinner were headed to a pub called The Jolly Roger to watch the rugby match with some locals.

Overall, Johannesburg was a very interesting experience. It is a totally different place than anywhere I have ever been; however, it looks the same as many towns all over the world. The modern history is fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time and cultural divides are something that you can only understand if you experience it first hand.

Next up......safari!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

For my 26th birthday my sweet puppy dog gave me a Kumquat tree. He used up all of his allowance and begged his daddy to take him to the nursery to get his mom the best gift a dog could give!

I have been waiting patiently for my little fruits to ripen and last weekend was the inaugural tasting!






From what I have read these slow growing citrus trees are pretty hardy; they can withstand temperatures as low as 14 degrees. Another plus is that in the Spring they have the most wonderful smelling flowers that will literally envelop our entire patio.

So my point is, if you need a gift idea for that wonderful mom in your life a potted kumquat tree will be sure to please!

Now I just have to figure out what to do with all my fruit! Any ideas?

Monday, December 6, 2010

All I Want for Christmas...

Don't get me wrong here; I am fully aware of the fact that there is NOTHING out there that I actually need. However, that does not change the fact that when people ask me what I want for Christmas I need to be fully prepared!

I love reading everyone else's wish lists so I figured it couldn't hurt to make my own...



VIP Wallet in Chestnut

Bag from ModCloth



Boots from Urban Outfitters (too bad they are out of stock in my size!)




 


 



Wow, now that is is all on paper it looks like a lot! Don't judge; just tell me what's numero uno on your list this year!