The Potluck: December 2018

Continuing the monthly tradition, The Speckled Palate’s The Potluck: December 2018 includes our traditional (and favorite) Christmas cookies, presents exchanged and received, some kitchen-centric items, a life-changing pair of pajama pants and more. Swing by the blog today to read the full list of things I adored during the month of December.

I’m gonna be honest, y’all: This post was supposed to go live last week, but the first week back to school and back to “normal” after the extended holiday celebration we had was a bit of a… mess. Couple that with less sleep, shots for the 4-month-old and Opinions from the 3.5-year-old, and this mama had no time to sit down to write, let alone do many things that are considered “functional.”

That said, December was LOVELY. Busy, yes, but all kinds of lovely, and the loveliness pertained to sweet childhood Christmas-y things, as well as some adult ones, too.

The girls went to see Santa, and Lady Speckle SMILED! Oh, she smiled so much, and just LIT up, which made my heart shine. Her big sis was so excited, too, and the photo of the two girls with Santa is going to be on display for years to come.

We hosted our families for the holidays for the first time in our new home. My parents and their spouses and my husband’s parents and sister visited over the course of three weeks for extra special visits and time together. The girls loved it, and so did we.

And before we hit February, I want to recap the month of December in my traditional potluck.

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    To recap, my potluck, as defined by the folks at Merriam-Webster is:

    the regular meal available to a guest for whom no special preparations have been made… a communal meal to which people bring food to share —usually used attributively <a potluck supper>; whatever is offered or available in given circumstances or at a given time.

    Ready to learn all the things I liked? Let’s do this!

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    1. Christmas classics playlist on Spotify: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know Christmas has come and gone, but if you were curious what was playing on repeat for the entire month of December in my car and in my home, this playlist is it. 

    2. New KitchenAid mixer bowlThis giant glass bowl was on my Christmas list this year. My husband surprised me with it, and shocker: it’s amazing. I don’t use my stand mixer all the time, but I’ve found that the metal bowl that came with it sometimes runs a little small for what I’m making. This glass bowl is larger and solid… and we easily made a double batch of chocolate chip cookies in it on New Year’s Eve in preparation for our party.

    3. New pajama pants: My favorite pair of pajama pants that were about four years old died a grisly death in December, so I ordered myself some flannel constellation ones from Old Navy. They’re cozy, and the length actually works, too. (I’m 5’7″, so I’m not a giant, but I’ve tried so many unintentional high water pajamas in my day. Those simply won’t do.)

    4. Top Chef: Who all is a Top Chef fan? Meeeeeee! While I’m not much of a reality TV kind of girl, I’m a sucker for a good cooking competition, and this year’s show has been fabulous. If you’re a fan, who are you cheering for? What have you thought of some of the competitors sent home? Who do you think is going to win Last Chance Kitchen? Basically: tell me allllll the things!

    5. Champagne and celebrations: YES! ‘Twas the season for celebrations and champagne and actually getting to enjoy it. Unsurprisingly, we sipped champagne this holiday season. From mimosas to bellinis (which technically call for prosecco, I know, but bubbly is bubbly, right?) And I’m thrilled that these fan-favorite champagne flutes are back in stock! Pick ’em up before they’re gone again. 

    6. Christmas present shopping (and new finds for the girls): I love, love, love being able to leisurely shop for the people I love, and the week before Christmas, the girls and I braved the mall here in Dallas to pick out some extra special presents for my husband. In addition to shopping for them, I loved shopping for my girls and added a few more books to our library this Christmas. Flip-o-saurus and Little Blue Truck Christmas are new favorites for sure, and I see us enjoying them for years to come!

    7. French Onion Soup Bowls: I’m all about French Onion Soup this time of year, and I have a new French Onion recipe comin’ at y’all next week, too! When I realized I was going to make this, I decided to invest in some oven-safe bowls… and they are fabulous! They’re solid, off-white and clean up easily, even after being under the broiler. (Bonus points for them actually going in the dishwasher, too!) If you’re in the market for some solid French Onion bowls, I recommend these. The smaller ones are a great size for photography and dinner. If you’re a fan of bigger soups, get the larger ones.

    8. Christmas Cookies: There’s a reason I started The Sweetest Season a bajillion years ago, y’all, and that’s because I freaking LOVE Christmas cookies. We baked our traditional fare this year, and Quebec Maple Pecan Drop Cookies, Chocolate Crinkles and Peanut Blossoms wound up on the plate we left out for Santa…


    What Did You Love In December?

    Curious about other things I’ve loved? Check out my other potlucks:

    2014: October | NovemberDecember 

    2015: January | February | March | May | June | July | August | September | November | December

    2016: January | February |March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December 

    2017: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

    2018: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

    2019: January | February/March | April | August

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    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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        1. I made blueberry buttermilk pancakes, scrambled eggs (for three people), and a bread dough in the bowl. I love how tightly it stays in the base.
          What did you use it for?

          1. Yummmmmmmm! That all sounds AMAZING!

            I’ve made cookies and a king cake. 🙂 I would’ve never thought about doing eggs or pancakes in it, but I’m gonna give that a go!

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