It’s almost Christmas, and it’s already been an exciting December. I started the month by hosting my very first five-course meal to celebrate my 29th birthday. The meal started with a variety of cheeses, wine, and beer while everyone arrived and mingled. It continued with a wilted green salad and bacon vinaigrette dressing; a rustic mushroom soup; an entree of fig and goat cheese stuffed pork tenderloin and roasted vegetables; and a whiskey-cherry upside down cake. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that made this celebration possible. It was by far the best “grown-up” birthday I’ve ever had.
The mushroom soup was delicious and super easy! The recipe came straight from my fellow bloggers at http://blog.seasonwithspice.com. The tenderloin was also incredibly straight forward. I made it with figs from my own yard (frozen back earlier in the year) and seasoned goat cheese instead of the blue cheese recommended in the original recipe (http://www.whatwereeating.com). The whiskey-cherry upside down cake is one of the more complicated cake recipes I’ve made, but it is totally worth the effort. For great directions on this culinary treasure, see www.endlessimmer.com.After the birthday excitement, my husband and I celebrated another first. We bought a live Christmas tree for the very first time. We visited Jack’s Tree Farm in Talking Rock, Georgia and picked out a fresh white pine. Unfortunately, when we arrived home, we discovered that our tree stand was not quite large enough for our selected tree. It spent the night in a stock pot of water before being set upright and decorated. Aside from the natural beauty and lovely smell of a live Christmas tree, there’s a lot of peace of mind for this nature-loving hippy in knowing that this tree is produced sustainably and can be composted after the holidays.
Photos by Jenn Ballard, Jamie Brantley, and Maria Evola