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Hyvää Uuttavuotta!

January 4, 2011

How was everyone’s first day back at work and school yesterday? Did you survive? My day was surprisingly busy now that everyone has returned to the office but it still felt strange to look at the calendar and see it full of meetings, deadlines and work again. Makes me miss the quiet holiday season!

Did you get the chance to check out my first New Ingredient Challenge? Brussel sprouts were the name of the game and they turned out oh-so good. Forget steamed, stinky sprouts and welcome rosemary- and wine-infused greens. Yum!

I actually made the sprouts on Sunday just to be sure they would be delicious — don’t want to post anything gross on the blog — so last night my college BFFs and I met up for dinner and Secret Santa exchange.

There was Ledo’s pizza.

And plenty of wine.

Jenna — the only one from our group not currently in the DC-area and just one semester away from finishing law school! — made a fresh salad with tomato, avocado, peppers, walnuts and an Asian pear, while I made an easy dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper.

Let’s eat!

Cheers to best friends since freshmen year of college! Allie was my freshman roommate and Jenna & Zoe lived down the hall. Simone was two floors down — we met randomly at the beginning of the semester in French class — while Erin (the other one 😉 ) transferred to Maryland sophomore year.

After eating my body weight in veggie pizza, it was time to swap gifts. Some people reacted with excitement and joy

while others took Secret Santa more seriously.

My Secret Santa recently returned from Finland and is prepping a guest post for Travel Eat Repeat as we speak. ‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,’ says the note.

Simone filled the bag with all sorts of fun Finnish treats, including jam and a wooden spreader, a hand towel, chocolate and cute mug by a famous Finnish brand that I’m completely blanking on.

Simone insisted we each smell the wooden spreader and I can assure you it smells scrumptious. Very wood-y. 😉

These animated characters are apparently popular throughout Finland so I’m excited to have him in my house, too.

Uh-oh, I’m starting to get itchy feet. Time to start researching vacations. Florida is this weekend and I’m already considering a few possibilities for summer but don’t want to say anything yet in case it falls through. 😀

Did you participate in any Secret Santa gift exchanges this year? What was the best/worst gift?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2011 10:25 am

    I might be going to Finland this summer for an MSW class. So excited! Does your friend have any tips or info to know before I go?

  2. January 4, 2011 11:59 am

    I love doing Secret Santa with friends. We do it with our family too. My sister got me some nice things in it. That meal looks like a great one with friends. I adore salad and pizza.

  3. January 4, 2011 1:53 pm

    Ledos pizza makes me jump for joy 🙂

  4. Krisitn permalink
    January 4, 2011 8:10 pm

    I’m a high school English/journalism teacher, and my journalism class had a secret santa party… One of the senior boys got his friend a BLOW-UP DOLL (without holes!!! That was his excuse). Very awkward but secretly kind of funny.

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