Christmastime Was Here

The Duchess is spending her holidays in the Chicagoland area, many miles from the republic of Cambridge.   Today’s the day after Christmas, arguably one of the saddest days of the year.  Luckily I still have enough Christmas spirit to share with my loyal subjects, I mean readers.  Below are some of my favorite parts of the holiday this year. 


1) Leaf Cookies

ImageLast weekend I spent a few hours in Boston’s North End, walking around and enjoying the pre-Christmas atmosphere.  I wanted to purchase some treats for my family to take home to Chicago so I walked into Maria’s.  And. I. Found. Them. Leaf Cookies!  One of my top favorite cookies!  Don’t worry- these delicious bits of sugar taste nothing like a real leaf.  The ones with chocolate on the bottom are hard to find making this like finding treasure at the bottom of the ocean.

2) Fat Squirrels

ImageThe same day I walked in the North End I also made a trip to the center of Boston.  I passed through the lovely Public Garden and came upon many, many fat little squirrels.  It was so cute to see their fat little bodies scurrying around, preparing for hibernation.  I found one “little” squirrel in the treetops, enjoying his nut on a branch and had to snap a photo.  Talkin’ bout my squirrel!

3) Penguin Ornament

ImageThis little guy is one of my favorite ornaments on my family’s tree.  Isn’t he the cutest?  When I was younger I always made sure to be the one who put him on the tree. 

4) Charlie Brown Christmas

ImageI think A Charlie Brown Christmas is my favorite Christmas story of all time (except for the real Christmas story, of course!).  Nothing puts a smile on your face like when the whole cast gathers around Charlie Brown and his tree and belts out “Hark!  The harold angels sing”.  That first note always makes my heart double in size. 

5) Family Time

ImageSeriously, what could be more fun than cuddling with this little cutie?


Sharing Cambridge’s Culinary Delights


Sorry to my faithful readers for the lack of posts in the past few weeks.  I have been busy with the normal holiday preparations, as well as my dance show last weekend at Boston University’s Tsai Performance Center.  In addition, my parents were in town for a week.  The last item on the list means getting to share New England, Boston, and, of course, Cambridge with them.  While my mom was bemoaning the lack of Christmas lights in downtown Boston, I was trying to let her see the culinary delights of the area where I reign  : ) .  Based on a recommendation on another friend’s blog (shoutout to Lauren Simpson’s Delight and Decorum), I took my parents to brunch at Catalyst.  Yes, the Duchess ventured out of her kingdom to the next Square over, Kendall Square.  This was particularly interesting since my dad spent his share of time in Kendall Square 40 years ago during his undergrad and graduate school days.   He remarked that the environs had changed substantially as the modern, functional buildings that stood around us now were once “industrial wasteland”.

We ventured into one of these modern buildings to Catalyst and were greeted by a fireplace lobby with sleek sofas and wooden stumps  for waiting.  In the main dining room, the delicious rustic setting matched the delicious cuisine perfectly.  It had been a long time since I had an eggs benedict and this one did not disappoint.  Two creamy eggs sitting atop lightly salted cod made for a delicious New England twist to a brunch mainstay.  The home potatoes came in a just-too-cute casserole.  We finished off our meal with a hot, crumbly coffee cake that melted in our mouths as soon as we were able to spoon it from its pan.   Such a great way to start the day and show the city to my parents!