O’ Christmas Tree

by Holly on December 8, 2009

in breakfast,dinner,holidays,lunch,recipes

This post may or may not contain graphic Christmas references.  You have been warned.

In honor of my friend Janetha, the skies decided to open up wide and “Let it snow…let it snow…let it snow!” Apparently, us Midwesterners need to brace ourselves for a snowpocalypse arriving Tuesday night. Gah, I am NOT ready for a blizzard quite yet.


That would be a French Meadow sprouted cinnamon raisin bagel + AB, alongside a sliced Braeburn apple.

Breakfast twas’ delish, but lunch was even merrier due to the fact clementines are back. Yes, there is a small month-long window in December when these babies are as good as anything.  All four were downed in a matter of minutes.


All I Want for Christmas….is Easy Vegan Chili and PopChips!  And yes, salt + vinegar PopChips rule.  Number two – just behind my beloved BBQ flavor.


The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without putting out cookies for Santa myself – that would be one of those soft, cakey grocery store holiday cookies (da best!) alongside Bekah’s cumin/cinnamon/maple almonds.  Hark the herald bloggers sing!


After work, my co-worker and fabulous friend Natalie held a Christmas tree lighting in honor of the great Rockefellar Christmas tree in NYC.  Now, I have never seen the Rockefellar tree, but I am pretty sure hers is even better…


The grand tree lighting was followed by LOTS of yummy food…


(clockwise from bottom left) hot dog wieners wrapped in bacon + brown sugar, beer cheese dip (with assorted pretzels), puppy chow and beef stew over mashed potatoes

I ate a couple wieners (TWSS), a truckload of pretzels + dip (SOOOO good!), a couple hundred handfuls of puppy chow and a small bowl of the beef stew over mashed potatoes a.k.a. Shepherd’s Pie in a bowl.  Glorious.

However, we eight kings of orient are didn’t stop there.

Enter in spiked hot chocolate.


Hot chocolate mix + water + skim milk + Peppermint Schnapps + Cool Whip + a candy cane do make a killer combination.  I wanted to drink like 6 of these.

Then, like the old German tradition says, it was time to find the pickle in the tree!


Okay, so I really didn’t win. Casey found the pickle, but they left the pickle so I could find it too.  Yes, I am a five-year-old.

Then, we called it a silent night, but not before one group shot…


Love these people.  All of them.  Lots.  I couldn’t ask for better co-workers and friends.

Looking eerily similar to Santa Claus, I hiked up my full belly, put on my Christmas hat and happily headed home – which is where I am right now.  I am finishing up some freelance writing, blogging and listening to my Pandora broadway station and crossing my fingers I can get to bed before Santa gets here…or before 2am, whichever comes sooner.

Merry (early) Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


Chelsea @ (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) December 8, 2009 at 5:23 am

Hahahahha! You did the pickle thing too! So funny. Needless to say, I broke a pickle in Pier One Imports and felt so bad I purchased three (even though the sweet cashier insisted it was not a big deal). You look so cute in your pickle tree pose!

Also, those soft, cakey cookies are the best. I LOVE those suckers.

Glad you had a merry time! Love ya!

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 8, 2009 at 5:47 am

That tree is very pretty! I don’t get the whole pickle thing. Has it been around forever? I just learned about it.

Lauren December 8, 2009 at 6:29 am

What a gorgeous tree and what a spectacular night! That hot chocolate sounds devine!

So happy you have such wonderful friends/co-workers to share the Christas spirit with.

Hope you are having a lovely week love.

Katie December 8, 2009 at 6:49 am

Ahhh! French Meadow + Pop Chips = <3

Music, Fitness, Food and Zevia Giveaway – http://katiechangesforkatie.blogspot.com/

katherine December 8, 2009 at 6:50 am

Aw sounds like a great night! Also, I think I need to pick up a bottle of peppermint schnapps. That hot chocolate looks phenom!

Madeline @ GreensAndJeans December 8, 2009 at 6:56 am

We alllllways have a pickle present. I think I have won every year but one (take THAT little brother!) The tree lighting party is such a cute idea!

crunchy granola gal December 8, 2009 at 7:05 am

fun coworkers are essential to a good working environment, fo sho.

what are these popchips i’m seeing everywhere? love dipping things into soupy messes, so i must give a try.

and you + pickle find shot = hilarious.

Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats December 8, 2009 at 8:15 am

FUN TIMES!!!! You are too cute with that pickle!!

Guuurl – no homemade sugar cookie can even compare to the store bought pillowy soft ones with that to-die-for frosting. HOW do they DO it?!?!?!

Jenny December 8, 2009 at 8:19 am

I have never found the pickle once, it’s such a tragedy. I think I may just make my own pickle this year.

yay for christmas cheer and hot cocoa :)! <3

Susan December 8, 2009 at 8:24 am

This post had all my favorites!
Puppy chow!
and spiked hot cocoa? uhh yeah I need to get on that…

Yay for wintry eats!
PS – I was always the pickle hider when I was a young’un

Evan Thomas December 8, 2009 at 9:01 am

Things that I love in this post:
Spiked hot chocolate
A tree with colored lights
The pickle
Vegan chili
Popchip obsession

Gina December 8, 2009 at 9:03 am

Whoooaa, that hot chocolate is calling my name! I have a completely huge obsession with all things cocoa. ;-)
Looks like you had a great time with your friends, always a good way to spend the Holiday season. :-)

Mellissa December 8, 2009 at 9:38 am

I could eat bags and bags of popchips!

Morgan @ Life After Bagels December 8, 2009 at 9:46 am

I just caught my own mouth hanging open while reading and staring at your food from last night!

Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) December 8, 2009 at 10:02 am

Oh my goodness. So much good stuff to comment on!

Pop chips – LOVE, obviously.
Puppy Chow, so dangerous, but so good. My mom makes this sometimes and I could really eat the whole batch!
Spiked hot cocoa – double the fun!
Christmas trees and good friends…sigh, perfect :-)

Glad you had a good night, lady!

Erin December 8, 2009 at 10:03 am


that spiked hot chocolates!!!!!

Shelley December 8, 2009 at 10:15 am

haha loooved the spiked hot chocolate– good idea! & this post is so happy :) i love it, the cookie looks really good. and areyou still in wisconsin? bc i know here in madison they are saying 9-12 inches =-o

Jenna December 8, 2009 at 10:17 am

i just tried those braeburn apples the other day for the first time! i had never heard of them before and they were great!and OMG those store bought sugar cookies are by far amazing!
all those eats at the party look fab as well!
glad you had a great night with your co-workers!

brandi December 8, 2009 at 10:23 am

what a fun night!

I think I need to make that spiked hot chocolate – yum!

and I agree about clementines. SO good right now!

Michelle December 8, 2009 at 10:29 am

Oh my HOLLY why is there a pickle on your tree??? Hahaha Of course, I should have expected that you’d be the first person to pull something creative and pretty hilarious out of you x’mas bag. Hahahah
I totally made vegan chili too!!! It looks so much like yours you’re getting me all hungry for lunch already. :P

Jenny December 8, 2009 at 10:31 am

You’re getting snow, I’m getting rain. Literally, I’ve never heard it rain for this long, NON STOP!

I need to get some peppermind schnapps for the holidays :)

Pandora is the new love of my life! Holiday stations? Yes please.

insideiamdancing December 8, 2009 at 10:59 am

Oh, this post makes me feel all Christmassy :D LOVE the tree! I never heard of the pickle-in-the-tree until yesterday and now have seen it on a few blogs- live and learn!

Cool whip on hot chocolate = WIN.

Coco December 8, 2009 at 11:15 am

Love those French Meadow bagels! The hemp one is my fav but if I ever see cinnamon raisin I’ll snatch it. Hot damn that spikey hot cocoa sounds divine right now!

Mama Pea December 8, 2009 at 11:21 am

Be careful with those pickle ornaments. They WILL break. Lulu spiked hers like she won the Superbowl and I think we are going to have to go find a replacement today. Puppy chow is from the devil!

Cindy December 8, 2009 at 11:24 am

ahhhhhhhh, good times my friend
good times!

Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) December 8, 2009 at 11:40 am

That hot chocolate does sound amazing!

Those cookies are dangerous around me ;-)

Tay December 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Frosted cookies!!! Those cookies are soooo good. So sickening, but yet so good :-)

chocolatepickle December 8, 2009 at 12:51 pm

My family has that SAME pickle haha! And I don’t know how you managed to only eat one of those grocery store cookies! They are addictive…soooo good!!

Whit December 8, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I want that frosted cookie! What a fun party too! :D


[that’s me saying I heart you whilst sneezing.]

Katie December 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Gorgeous tree!

I always inhale the bag of clementines in a matter minutes. They’re too easy to scarf. :-)

Leianna December 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm

The blizzard started here in Iowa, hope you are surviving in WI!
Love your puppy chow and pickle in a tree started at my house recently too!

Kailey (SnackFace) December 8, 2009 at 1:39 pm

OMG! How did I miss out on this party! It looks fantastic and so fun! YOU LOOK ADORABLE!!! I just wanna hug you and then sign Glee-style carols witchoo.

Love you, miss you, talk to you latuhhh! xoxoxox

Faith December 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm

What a fun party! I’m starting to feel Christmas-y too! I just realized that it’s been waaaay too long since I’ve had puppy chow! ;)

Bekah December 8, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Hahahaa I used to LOVE those (like stuff my face with 5 of them in elementary school LOVE) grocery store cakey cookies. Alongside some almonds? even better. :)

Lizzy December 8, 2009 at 3:14 pm

how you managed to only have a Hundred handfuls of puppy chow is beyond me, that stuff is crack to me! hehee…..your co-workers look like such a fun group of people! i absolutely adore holiday parties! they turn out to be so much fun even if you expect them not to be! hope you had a glorious morning and i’m crossin my fingers that the snow storm heading our way isn’t as bad as they say its going to be! love u girl! :)

Tina December 8, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Holly, I love you for carolling on your blog! I’m a big caroller myself. When I read your title I broke out into song and dance (Oh Tannenbaum, to be precise).

Yo ho ho and a merry early Christmas to you too!

P.S. Watch out with posting pics of Spiked Hot Coco… the feds might be onto ya…

K December 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm

That snow storm hasn’t hit MI yet (it’s coming) but I’m basically crapping my pants thinking about having to drive in it. Ughhhh!

Puppy chow and adult hot chocolate – LOVE IT!! I’m coming over next time! I love your festiveness!

janetha December 8, 2009 at 3:39 pm

GLORY HALLELUJAH! SNOW SNOW SNOW! it has been snowing here alllll dayyyy. and i am stuck in my office. grrr. wanna get to the slopes!! funny, this is the second post ive read today titled “o christmas tree” :) love christmas and holly. and OMG we have a pickle ornament on our tree here at work! hahaha.. i picked it out. or shall i say pickled it out?!

Naomi(www.onefitfoodie.com) December 8, 2009 at 4:11 pm

hey girrrlll omg did you want to make us all drool on our computers with this hot chocolate talk?? it sounds AMAZING. I love stirring a candy cane in there and letting the flavor take over the mug of goodness and love the hit of peppermint schnapps-good stuff :)

have a wonderful night my dear!

Susan December 8, 2009 at 4:21 pm


Please :)

Low December 8, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Those g-store cookies are bomb it’s true. I want one!

That picture of you with the pickle ornament makes me happy. You’re so full of life! Looks like a super fun night :)

Marissa December 8, 2009 at 6:17 pm

OMG! Puppy chow is the best holiday food in the entire WORLD! :)

Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries December 8, 2009 at 7:48 pm

gaaaaaaah puppy chow!!! i can;’t wait for my sissy to come home from college so i have someone to make/eat it with!

and clems! love them–mostly bc i detest peeling oranges, and clems are so much easier. and cuter.

like you. the cute part–not the easy part…

Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries December 8, 2009 at 7:49 pm

oh and the s&v popchips. numero uno en mi libro–but i’m glad you at least gave em runner -up estatus


BroccoliHut December 8, 2009 at 11:18 pm

LOL I had completely forgotten about the pickle tradition!

Sarah (Finding My Balance) December 9, 2009 at 7:06 am

We do the pickle tradition, too!
Looks like you sure are revving up for the holiday season, Holly! The party looks fabulous and fun!

Jessica December 9, 2009 at 10:51 am

Ahh Holly I love this!

Clementines are one of my favorite things about the winter season! No joke– I used to eat maybe 15, 20 at a time in high school. Just kept poppin’ dem! hahahaha……

I love that hot cocoa-remix going on! Peppermint flavors are the best!! love, love.

And gah! love that breakfast picture. Not only is the apple perfectly sliced, and that bagel looks divineee…but there’s SNOW in the background!


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