I woke up Christmas morning with a lot of emotions. Another Christmas yet a new place, miles away from family and old friends yet excited and grateful for a day ahead of new traditions, good food, and friends both new and old! An old high school friend of mine, an old Army buddy of Ryan’s and those who are special to them have landed us among a fun and kind group of people through very lucky coincidences.

With a child still too young to understand the Christmas bit we enjoyed what might be our last year of lazy snuggles, instead of a mad dash to the tree.

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Joy comes in all shapes in sizes. Hank’s joy came in the form of cars, trains, tools, and books. My joy is in the kitchen. Slow-cooked, cranberry roasted pork is a Christmas Day favorite of mine with easy prep and the all-day savory scents worthy of such an occasion.

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I love Christmas Day for its lazy vibe after weeks spent finding the perfect gifts, writing cards, and attending events. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the craze. Christmas Day is the day to unwind with loved ones, and I prepared a seasonally inspired charcuterie for just that purpose.

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We welcomed our friends straight to a board of whipped ricotta served with rosemary and drizzled honey, roasted chestnuts, sliced pears, pistachios, and prosciutto. 

For our kind and warm Texas friends I prepared a Texas-inspired baked brie. Brie baked in puff pastry with Texas plum jam and served with locally grown pecans.

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Houston has an over-the-top style and Christmas is no exception. A walk through River Oaks lit up our Christmas evening with the imposing oaks Houston is famous for dripping in lights.

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Plus, we needed to make room for the cranberry walnut bread pudding!

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And with that, rest this merry little gentleman and Merry Christmas from Houston!

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xoxo,

Christine