A Christmas Recap & The Cleanest, Most Simple Meal Possible

If I had to sum up Christmas 2014 with just 8 photos, it would look something like this:

Christmas Home Decor
Christmas Eve spent sipping cocoa by the fire.
Trader Joe's cinnamon rolls
The best part about Christmas Eve Breakfast for Dinner: Trader Joe’s cinnamon rolls. We had asparagus too, promise.
Relaxing and chatting with family before the dinner guests arrived.
Had to pull out the big coats for the trip up to the Bay Area.
christmas table decorations
My mom is the master of the Christmas tablescape… and fitting 18 people into an 8 person dining room.
122914 not our dog
Guess who came to dinner? One of the neighbors’ dogs! Nice to meet you, Loraine. But seriously, what are you doing here?
122914 poutine mission
Smoke’s Poutine (Toronto original) opened up in Berkeley, so we checked it out for “research”.
122914 wine with friends
“Should we go out or stay in?” “Bars are too loud, let’s stay in.” We may be getting old, but our wine glass game is on point.
122914 ladies
These are a few of my favorite… ladies (+ Andrew)! One of the best nights of the trip.

 . . . . . .

A little reset before New Years

After a few wonderful days spent with family and friends, full of big meals and so, so much wine, Andrew and I wanted the cleanest, most simple meal possible for dinner last night. So we went back to basics with baked chicken breast + roasted vegetables (broccoli and butternut squash).

All three components called for a 400 degree oven.

122914 supplies

For the chicken… I found a new method for baking chicken on The Kitchn that uses parchment paper to keep the chicken moist and tender, and not in any way dry.

Spray a baking dish with olive oil, place up to four chicken breasts, patted dry, in the dish and season with salt, pepper, and anything else you like. I placed a couple stems of rosemary next to the chicken because I’m Martha Stewart.

122914 chicken prep

Cut a piece of parchment paper to roughly the size of the baking dish, and spray one side with olive oil. Place it, olive oil side down, directly onto the chicken and tuck the edges underneath.

122914 parchment paper

Bake for 25 – 35 minutes, or until the internal temp of the chicken is at least 165 degrees.

122914 165

Nailed it.

We roasted broccoli and butternut squash along with the chicken in the 400 degree oven, for just a few minutes fewer, about 20 total (compared to the 25 minutes the chicken needed).

122914 dinner

An easy, flavorful, clean and healthy meal that didn’t require much cleanup. Ideal for a Sunday night.

. . . . . .

Today

early morning calls for bulletproof coffee

As soon as I finish my bulletproof coffee (severely missed over the past few days), I’m out the door for a run. I completely abandoned any and all efforts to exercise over the past few days (despite my foolproof strategy!). With so many family members and friends to catch up with, I simply wasn’t willing to sacrifice the time. And I don’t regret the workout hiatus one bit.

Have a great Monday!

Amy

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