January 2023 “In My Kitchen”

Happy 2023!

For January’s IMKs, I usually highlight our holiday gifts here.

We received our annual Harry & David gift box from a generous brother-in-law.  We also received a mystery basket from Amazon.  No gift tag.  We appreciate the nuts and snacks to whomever sent it!

Our holidays were a bit convoluted this year.  We were prepared for Mom, Sis, the BiL and the two nephews (and one girlfriend) to visit for the Christmas Eve weekend.  Unfortunately, the weather and the flu kept that from happening.  To say I was bummed is an understatement.

But, the Christmas Eve buffet still happened.

There’s Hot Onion Dip, a charcuterie and cheese plate, ham and cheese sliders, hummus, Za’atar crackers, herbed olives, little smokies and a Christmas Tree cheese ball.    I made too much food and we ate through the buffet for a couple of days.

Please notice our cheese ball:

Since The Hubs’ family would all be apart this holiday, we proposed a cheeseball contest.  The most inventive design would win.  I thought we had a pretty good chance because of our use of ingredients.  Each mini-cheeseball is covered in a different spice, herb, nut or seed.  We used paprika, chili powder, a Nashville hot spice mix, turmeric, dill seed, chives, dried shallots, and sliced almonds.

But, check out our competition:

Yes, that is the “Cheese Mahal.”   Notice Santa’s Sleigh.  Santa’s face is sliced ham and his hat is made of pomegranate arils.    We were totally outdone.   When all the votes were tallied (via a Google form), Santa’s  Sleigh won and there was a tie for second between the “Cheese Mahal” and Santa.  Alas, our tree received no votes.   There’s always next year.   I already have an idea and am planning.  You have no idea about the competitive nature of this side of the family…. I anticipate some flying reindeer for next year’s round.

We were able to pull together a family gathering on my side.  At the last minute, we traveled north to Iowa to see them over the New Year’s weekend.  It made my Christmas!   It was great to be with the family!

The dog cousins met and mostly played well together.  

That’s Newt on the left and Gus on the right.

As always, were ate well and received lots of foodie gifts.

My sister made and gave (from left to right) herbed salt, homemade Za’atar, curried pickled green beans, and coconut vinegar.

She gifted a dan-dan noodle kit to the Hubs to make for me.  

And this tea showed up in my stocking.

Thanks, mom!

I’m so glad we got to see them all!  Nephew I left this week for a semester in London so I would have hated missing him this holiday.   And, the holidays just don’t feel right without family around.

In My Kitchen is hosted by Sherry’s Kitchen.  Stop by her site and see what’s going on in kitchens around the globe.

7 comments to January 2023 “In My Kitchen”

  • mae

    Too bad the cheese-ball competition was so fierce… good luck for next year! I never trust amazon to actually include a gift card. Your secret Santa should have sent you a heads-up email, I guess. Anyway I hope they confess to having sent it.

    Have fun in the New Year and I hope the flu and all stay away.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  • So glad you got some family time! And I think your cheese balls look amazing 🙂

  • That’s some cheese ball competiton, I had no idea such creations could be made! Sorry to hear about the flu. You have some wonderful foodie gifts.

  • Love the cheese Mahal! and the cute dogs. Coconut vinegar sounds interesting – does it taste like coconut? thanks for joining in!

  • What a fun cheese ball competition and looks like adults and visiting furry friends had fun too. Happy New Year 🙂

  • I tried a comment yesterday but it just did this spin so, here’s hopng this goes through.

    I did not know there was such a competiton and creativity for cheese balls! It all looks good. Love the dog photos.

  • Cheese mahal! that is some serious construction going on in your family.. I did see some crazy thing on instagram where they were making edible charcuterie houses from crackers – the cheese mahal wins hands down 🙂