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I’m very aware that Christmas Eve was two weeks ago. I’m also very aware that the dinner I ate that day was awesome and too great not to share. So without further ado, I give you Christmas Eve dinner.
Christmas Eve was a whirlwind of a day. After we were done being famous and eating breakfast in NYC, my dad, sister, and I got right in the car and headed back to CT. What was the reason behind our hurry to get back? Another beloved holiday tradition of course – our family friends, the Peredas, host a Christmas Eve pig roast dinner each year! Since they had an early flight out to Florida the next morning, the gathering was pushed to an earlier time than usual, and became more of a mid-afternoon “linner”.
The Peredas are Cuban, and love to serve an entire roasted pig (that they cook on their back deck), rice, and beans, along with traditional salads, appetizers, and desserts that guests bring.
Broc casserole, corn casserole, and cheesy potatoes.
Joe and I arrived a bit late due to our wine-tasting stop, so some appetizers had been almost entirely cleaned out, but there was certainly no shortage of delicious food.
Mmm veggie madness!
Joe, AKA typical boy who doesn’t seem to care about or ever want food, wasn’t very hungry. I was though! I don’t like ham much, but the Peredas’ party is the only time I ever eat it, because this freshly-roasted pig is just SO good! The black beans, which they usually bring in from Pollo Tropical, were homemade this year because the nearest location closed. And they were actually the best they’ve ever been, so way to go Mrs. Pereda!
My plate (and wine)…awesome.
And of course, more red wine was had! How could I not when I had so many delicious foods that paired well with it, like kalamatas?
I chatted with the Gerbers, who I’d just seen a couple days before at the Andersons’ get-together, and a bunch of other family friends that I hadn’t had the chance to catch up with in a few months.
Amazingly talented Mollie (she just got into the Mass Institute of Art!) and I.
Got to wear my new Kohl’s skirt from Black Friday! First time pairing a skirt with tights and heels, and I loved it.
Megan (she's a nutrition student!) and I.
My mom, me, and Mr. Gerber (Mollie and Megan's dad). They match!
Not long after my (late) arrival, dessert came out! So many options, but I had about one sample of each.
Cream cheese and almond stuffed strawberries – surprisingly, I didn’t like these too much! It’s just because the almond flavor was very strong. I can only take so much almond in anything. Everyone else adored them though – Vivian did a great job. Don’t trust me, I’m an almond-avoider!
If you weren't drooling yet, you are now.
She also made these mint chocolate chip cookies, which were perfectly gooey and didn’t skimp at all on the chocolate, just the way I like it. They reminded me of the cookies I got from my wine-twin Meg of Eat, Drink, and Be Sperry in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!
Casual Steve stood guard over the other desserts pictured – many holiday cookies, including leftovers from Mrs. Anderson’s goodies!
I didn’t have any of the above creation because it was made with cherries, which are definitely one of my least favorite foods of all time. Too many cough syrup associations…but cherry lovers dove in!
One of our friends, Mr. Andries, happens to have a birthday on Christmas Eve! So the party was also a celebration for him. His daughter, Courtney, picked out the most fabulous red velvet Coldstone Creamery ice cream cake ever, made with cheesecake ice cream – which happens to be my favorite Coldstone flavor!
We all got a bit carried away with the birthday wishes, and followed up Mr. Andries’s birthday song with one for my mom, whose birthday was the day before. And then we expanded to other December birthdays…November birthdays…things started getting out of hand when we began singing to Mariel, whose birthday was back in early October.
Parents are into it.
My mom is loving it.
Nice bunny ears move, Mr. Pereda!
OK…can I have my cake now?!
Now that’s what I’m talking about. Hands down, best ice cream cake I’ve ever had.
The fun wasn’t over yet…I’m not even sure if these came out before or after the birthday singing, but it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that Vivian had another success in the kitchen, and we all certainly benefitted.
I give you – butterscotch liqueur and caramel apple shots!
Now, I don’t like apples. But who couldn’t love these?
What a festive Christmas Eve! I think this may have been the best Pereda pig roast ever.
Afterwards, my family and I headed home to open presents – our first time doing so on the 24th, since our planes to Florida left early in the morning on Christmas Day. I definitely didn’t like it as much as the whole Christmas morning routine, but I couldn’t really complain because I just wanted to get on that plane to the warmth!
So you guessed it, this means I can finally start recapping my trip to Florida. I may finish writing about things that happened in December 2011 in…I don’t know…March 2012? Sounds about right 😛
Have you ever been to a pig roast or something similar? What’s your favorite place to get ice cream cake?