So December has been a pretty busy month this year, between working hard to finish up a translation project for the first half of the month and celebrating holidays and visiting with family and friends for the second half. We’ve got a few days left in New Brunswick and we’re enjoying the time we’ve had here but also looking forward to getting back to our apartment and settling into our routine. I am, as usual, linking up with Leigh Kramer to talk about what I’ve been into this month.
Surprisingly little, actually. I did read through Empire of Storms, the latest installment in Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series (which has been good, but I like my stories wrapped up with happy endings so I’m looking forward to the sixth and final installment.)
We caught Moana and Rogue One in theatres this month, and loved both of them (Aaron has had “You’re Welcome” stuck in his head pretty much since we saw Moana).
For our live theatre date of the month (it’s pretty much a thing for us now), we went to see the Drayton Entertainment production of Sister Act: The Musical in Cambridge and really enjoyed it. I found myself suprisingly moved by it for reasons I couldn’t immediately articulate. I think it’s because, at its core, it’s a story of a woman who didn’t have any female friends suddenly finding herself surrounded by women who love and support her. Female friendship is such a gift, and I loved seeing it celebrated onstage.
The Sister Act soundtrack, on repeat. I’ve also really enjoyed some of the Advent hymns we sang in church, particularly this one. 2016 has been such a dark and difficult year on the world stage, and I’ve badly needed the reminder that God is still at work in the world, bringing about justice and peace.
I got a bit of Christmas baking done before I headed home, and I think these peppermint bark cookies were my favourite.
I also made this flourless chocolate cake with lime raspberry salsa as the dairy-free and gluten-free option for a friend’s wedding reception (the original recipe wasn’t dairy-free, but I subbed coconut oil for butter and omitted the cream from the ganache and it worked beautifully) and I was immensely pleased with it. It was simple and delicious and really pretty, even if my food photography skills leave something to be desired.
Other favourite things I made this month include this three-cheese roasted grape pizza and these pork chops with a pear and ginger sauce. As usual, you can find my favourite recipes of the month on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest Board.
On our date night at the theatre, we stopped at the Cambridge Mill and had their pre-theatre menu for supper, and it was delightful. I could have (and almost did) filled up entirely on their bread, which was light and airy and buttery and salty and delicious. I also took advantage of being on the East Coast to visit all my favourite local restaurants and chains. We had (excellent as usual) lunches at Isaac’s Way and The Chess Piece in Fredericton, and tried out Cinta Ria, a fabulous Malaysian restaurant in Moncton for the first time. And of course I had to make stops at Relish Gourmet Burgers, Greco Pizza, and Monkeycakes. I maintain that the best way to experience a region is through its food.
Being home always provides us with an opportunity to inflict our new favourite games on our family. Codenames, a party word game that won the 2016 Spiel des Jahres award was a hit with my family. We also got to try out some new games, including Luther: The Board Game (a gift from my aunt in Germany, released for the Reformation’s five hundredth anniversary). Aaron put his German skills to the test, with help from my sister, and won the game. We also got to try out some new games at the Riverview Unplugged Board Game Cafe, and I particularly enjoyed King of Tokyo (doesn’t hurt that I won both rounds) and Survive: Escape from Atlantis. I did abysmally at Lotus, but found the artwork absolutely gorgeous.
Being home has provided us with the opportunity to spend some quality time with friends and family, whom we don’t get to see often enough. I particularly enjoyed getting to spend some quality time with my sisters and with my nieces, and getting to meet my nephew for the first time. And we loved celebrating the Christmas holidays and everything that comes with it: the services, the songs, the family time, the food.
That’s about it for me for the month. I hope that you all had lovely holidays and I wish you the best in 2017. Be sure to check out Leigh’s blog for more link-up contributions.