“In My Kitchen” January 2024

I think my January IMK posts are always the lengthiest.   Our families and friends know us well so there’s always a lot of food and cooking-related items gifted and received. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and if you’re still celebrating, good for you!   We had a few holiday gatherings and we were thankful for them all.

To start with, we hosted an early holiday party for my dad, his wife, my great-aunt, some cousins (first and second), and my aunt and uncle.  We also invited a few newcomers to the party.  It was a great time of visiting and swapping dirty Santa presents.   The older the family gets, the more often I wonder how many more of these we will have so it’s important to cherish the time together.  While we catered the dinner, I did make a charcuterie board 

What’s above is what I wanted to make. I found this picture on a Pinterest board but wouldn’t you know it was a busted link.   I did figure out the ingredients and I was totally pumped to make this but with all the shuttling of family to the venue, buying supplies and beverages for the event, and setting up, this is what I came up with.

I still like the results and I will use this mix again.

We had one “office” party and was given this mix.

I love the idea of gifting a cocktail mix with a small bottle of vodka plus the mixings…but honestly, this Mistletoe Mule was less than delicious.   🙁  We still have some in our freezer.   It tasted like the base was Tang.  (I just referenced that to a 20-something and she had no idea what I was talking about.)

We had a lot of health issues (still sending good thoughts to those involved) with my little work team, but we still managed to have a quick gift exchange.  As always, I gave out little jars of jellies and jams.  I always look forward to one of my colleague’s homemade gifts.

Seasoned pretzels, peanut clusters, choco-chip cookies, banana bread (and there’s peanut butter balls in there too.

We traveled to Iowa to visit Mom and my sister’s family for Christmas.  We had very pleasant weather and only saw a few snow flurries on our drive back home.  It’s always a wonderful time visiting them (during the holidays and otherwise).  Because Nephew I was absent (visiting the girlfriend), it was a bit bittersweet.   The food we ate was immense but here’s our pre-Christmas dinner appetizer spread.

Za’atar crackers, two different cheeseballs, smoked Cheezits, homemade hummus, chipotle-cheese short breads, and relishes.

Our Christmas dinner (no pics) was smoked leg of lamb with warm wine sauce, spiral cut honey ham, some delicious Delicata squash salad, cheesy potatoes, homemade bread, salad, and pumpkin roll.

I have to brag on The Hubs, he made this tortilla press for my sister.  Here  it is in action.

I love the woodworking talent he used.  I hope to have my own soon.

Here’s a rundown on the rest of the foodie gifts we received:

Homemade “Essence” spice, homemade Za’atar, cocoa, chocolate “smash” balls, organic coffee, and homemade crocheted pot holders.

Olive oil sprayer, a funky veg kit, butter keeper, and a crocheted basket.

The Funky Veg Kit has supplies and seeds for purple carrots, golden zucchini, Rubins Brussels sprouts, Tigerella Mr. Stripey tomatoes, and rainbow chard.

The Hubs received a smoker box and some pork spice rub.

My BiL is totally into sprouts…sprouts on everything.   He 3-D printed this sprout jar holder for draining and he included the jar, top cover, and seeds for us to play around with.

Seeds just getting started.

You MUST try some homemade hummus on a homemade Za’atar cracker with a sprinkling of home-grown sprouts.  It is delicious!!!!!

Finally, at our absolute last holiday get-together, the Godkids gave us these.


My favorite kitchen item was from The Hubs.

I Frida Kahlo apron.   I will use this a lot (and I wore it when we were making tortillas during the holidays).

As you can see, Santa was very good to us with all sorts of practical and delicious things.   We gave out spiced peanuts, spicy pepper oils, salt mixes, jams and jellies.

I will probably post some of the non-food items we made for gifts soon.   Until then, here’s my curveball, this holiday shirt that I bought.  I really didn’t look at it that closely…I just bought it for the retro Grinch.
When I got home, I realized there were peace-sign-flashing skeleton hands, a disco ball, and a psychedelic smiley face.  Was this drug humor?   I sent a pic to a hipper friend of mine and she dubbed this my “Punk Disco Grinch Shirt.”

As always, thanks to Sherry’s Pickings for hosting In My Kitchen.  Please check out the kitchens around the world that participate.  (For all my IMK posts, click here.)

Philbrook Museum of Art (Tulsa, OK) and Festival of Lights

Please have a very productive, peaceful and pleasant 2024.

4 comments to “In My Kitchen” January 2024

  • mae

    Looks like a wonderful Christmas! Have a great 2024.
    best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  • Liz

    It looks like you had a fabulous holiday. I agree, as we all age, it’s important to maintain relationships with family and friends. Love the festival of lights picture, we have one here as well and it’s a lovely way to kick off the season.

  • Your charcuterie board looks delicious! As does everything else! Thanks for sharing and happy new year!

  • thanks for joining in IMK this month Deb. I love Frida and have many items with her on them. And I love the Grinch. I got great foodie gifts over christmas too including amazing maple syrup with vanilla from the hubby. I like to make my own hummus; I have a medieval recipe which is brilliant. Happy new year to you!