Wow, I absolutely cannot believe that I’m already writing about December; the end of a year and the beginning of another. What a crazy year 2015 was.  As I think about how many unexpected events happened, how up and down this year was between job transitions, making it through a deployment, moving, starting a food blog… 2015 has topped the charts with events.

Table with appetizers in front of Christmas tree.

I am so thankful for how the events of 2015 led me to overcome fears (ahem, starting this blog) and pushed me to do things I never thought possible.  If there’s one thing 2015 taught me it’s to stop being afraid, put yourself out there, and follow your dreams/heart/wildest ideas.

Snow Pea Crostini | Fork in the Kitchen

Like one of my parent’s cats, if you want to help cook Christmas Eve dinner, jump on up and don’t let anything stop you.

Cat + Dinner

That being said, I want to thank you for your support throughout the year, in whatever form it may have been – reading posts, making recipes, writing comments, or sharing words of encouragement. Your support is what keeps Fork in the Kitchen alive, and I couldn’t do it without you! Here’s to making 2016 even better and more delicious; cheers!

Wine + Baguette

I’m dubbing December as the month of gluttony. It doesn’t help that it is the time of year to indulge in treats, but it starts out with my birthday, so obviously that includes copious amounts of cake, cheese, and pasta while relaxing with favorite movies (Love Actually pictured below).

December Birthday

I was also fortunate enough to spend almost two weeks back home in Minnesota with my family. And what do we do best? Eat and drink, of course.

Thanksgiving in December

^ “Thanksgiving” in December

Shrimp Scampi

^ Shrimp Scampi (one of my favs!)

We headed back to 112 Eatery in Minneapolis to have a major sharesies dinner with the BF who was also visiting the fam with me.  Before even starting dinner, you arrive to a table filled with deliciousness-covered almonds and olives.

But the real reason we went sharesies on dinner was so we would not have to share dessert.  I present to you, the Butterscotch Budino at 112.  It may look unassuming to you, but if you have the chance to indulge at 112, you must, I repeat must, get this dessert.

112 Eatery | Fork in the Kitchen

We also indulged at Butcher and the Boar (a first for me), mostly so the boys could get their fill of meat.

Never fear if you’re not really a meat eater, because their sides are definitely all you need – Red Hot Brussel Sprouts, Taleggio Mac & Cheese, Caramelized Broccoli, Fulton Beer-Battered Fries… ah, so good.  You can see the Long Rib behind the Mac & Cheese here.


I shared with you before how we binge watched Making a Murderer, and that’s about the extent of our activities outside of restaurants or a kitchen. These times are what make my soul happy; they’re the root of my love for cooking, wine, and kitchen dance parties.  My family is also huge on games – the kind of family games that turn inappropriate, are loud, and make you laugh for days.  Cards Against Humanity may or may not be included in that… and sometimes Das Boot is taken down from that top shelf and filled for hours of good ol’ bubbling fun.

Games + Booze

At the risk of going on far too long about how December is undoubtedly the best month of the year (despite the cold), let me wrap up with a few more of my favorites that I have to share:

Spyhouse Coffee Roasters in Minneapolis – first time there, and it definitely won’t be the last.

Spyhouse Coffee

Christmas Eve Strata for Brunch…

Followed up by Short Rib Tagliatelle for dinner: it’s so good even vegetarians will eat it (and our new tradition…)

Christmas Traditions | Fork in the Kitchen

Finally, the tradition that will never go out of style, my Mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls.  Still drooling over these as I relive their warm, cinnamon-sugary goodness and that sweet melty frosting spread in excess.

Oh, and latte art practice as the BF impressed us all with his latte making skills.

Homemade Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls | Fork in the Kitchen
Cinnamon Rolls

How was your December?  What are your holiday traditions?!  Please leave a comment or tag me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter; I’d love to hear from you!