Feast of Feasts

Pops and Nana came to help us ring in the New Year.  They arrived Friday night and we took a culinary tour around the world.  For me to celebrate is to enjoy a delicious meal around the table with the ones you love.  Sharing an elaborate meal is such a celebration of life and the blessings we have.
For our first night we treated Pops to a retirement party.  We visited Italy with a four course meal similar to what Max and I had while we were in Reggio Emilia.  The first course was Caprese, prosciutto, and Parmesan cheese chunks with balsamic vinegar drizzled over it.
Then it was tortellini soup followed by the main course of seared fillet mignon and molded spinach.
Dessert was chocolate cake covered with ganache and blueberries and Torta di riso.
It was a really fun night of eating and celebrating Pops and all the years of hard work he has put forth!
We hopped over to Spain for some Paella for Saturday night.
However this was no typical Paella.  It was loaded with crab legs!
We ate an astonishing amount of food.  There was nothing left!
After dinner the kids treated us to a performance.  Karlie, the director and producer, had been working on the production since Thanksgiving.  Each of the girls played a piano piece, Kaitlin told Christmas jokes, while Hank sang several songs and it concluded with a candlelit dance at the end.  We were very impressed.  Karlie had even typed up brochures with the performers and their parts.  So cute!

On Sunday we decided to do an all American style dinner.  Max made his signature ribs, homemade Mac-n-cheese, grilled veggies with a black berry pie.  Nothing like good ole USA!
Arizona finally got cold!  I couldn't even hang around the BBQ.  Almost near freezing overnight.  We have sure acclimated to the hot weather.  We have had two weeks of cold and we are all ready for shorts and bathing suits again. :)
Max was the breakfast chef.  One morning it was huevos rancheros, then it was poached eggs with seared scallops, Eggs Benedict, and finally blueberry pancakes with bacon and sausage.  We started the morning out with a feast and ended each day with a feast!
For New Year's Eve we soaked up the flavors of Mexico with an Oasis twist.
Prickly Pear Margaritas with homemade salsa, pinto beans, deep fried taco shells and fried ground beef.
Karlie loves to share sardines with Pops.
Sopaipillas for dessert of course!
Another gorge fest.  Cleared out all the Mexican cuisine!
To pass the time until midnight we got in the hot tub and pool for a Polar Bear swim.
Hailey and her BFF did multiple ice cold dips.  Max, Pops and I were the only ones that didn't have the nerve to jump in.  Even Nana did a few rounds of Polar Bear.  I would have needed a few more shots of tequila to jump in!
Afterward to warm up we watched Avatar.
Finally the big moment came to ring in 2013!  Cheers to the New Year and a whole year of celebrating!
On Sunday we did take out Chinese and had many courses of delicious food with no kitchen mess!  It was a busy day where we tried to fit in some new things along the way.
We did manage to do a few other things than eat...  Max had recently moved our pool table into our formal living room, which had been a big battle.  I finally conceded and must admit that he was right!  We have played it so much more.  We played a few rounds with Pops and Nana.  The kids managed to amuse themselves while we played.
Nana and Pops did not know that they were going to have earn their keep.  We recruited Nana to help (aka did all the work) us recover the cushions on a patio set I got for a steal at a garage sale.  The cushions were a HUGE amount of work.  I did not realize it was going to be so labor intensive.  But Nana rose to the occasion and finished all 6 cushions.  We were able to toast on them before they departed.  Thank you for transforming our patio!!
While Nana worked in the sweat shop, Pops was forced to labor outside helping Max build the kids a tree house.  Hailey has wanted a tree house since she was a little girl.  Max promised he would build her one.  But with residency and then a new job, it was hard to find the time or energy.  Then we moved into a new housing development that had no mature trees.
When she saw the trees in our backyard she exclaimed that she could finally get her tree house.  Max fulfilled his promise with Pops' help.  The kids have been delighted with their new tree house and have spent countless hours playing!
Max and Pops did manage to fit in a couple bike rides too.
On our final day together we hit the family fun park!
Everyone got a chance to race the go-karts.
Trouble!
Kids big and small thought this was really fun!
Kaitlin loved trying to pass Nana.
 Karlie our dare devil kept wanting to go faster and faster with Pops.  I am thinking we shouldn't pair these two speed demons up again. 
Then it was time for mini golf.  Basically complete chaos with Hank.  I don't think golf is his sport.   A little too slow.  However, there were a few shots the pros would covet out of Nana and Max!
Our final meal celebrating a delightful time together was at none other than In-N-out Burger!  I have to give a special shout out to them for their allergy awareness.  I was able to order a meal for Hank with his allergies listed and be assured that it was allergy free.  It is always in the back of our minds and to be surprised by their provocativeness was awesome.  They have found some loyal patrons from MKHKKH for sure!
I can't thank Pops and Nana enough for all their contributions.  Our backyard space was transformed by their loving hands.  It was a wonderful time to celebrate Pops, family, food, the New Year, and the hope of celebrations to come in 2013.  We love you!  The best is yet to come ;)

1 comment:

Courtney said...

Phew, I am exhausted just reading! And probably gained 5 lbs too. :) What fun to celebrate with family and lots of yummy FOOD! I need to visit...;)