Welcome Back Dinner, part 1

Does it count as a welcome back dinner if the person you are welcoming back has already been here for 24 hours and you went out to dinner with her the night before? I think I’ll count it, or maybe change the name to “Welcome Back Dinner, which we cooked this time” to be more accurate. And there may not be a part two (it depends on what we all decide to do today when Jordan and Sam arrive) but just in case…

Janosz and I ended up dressed as Twinsies again

Kelsi was a bit jet lagged, understandably, and ended up sleeping til 11 am. I don’t think she would’ve woken up even then if it hadn’t been for the fire maintenance guys knocking on her door and Janosz texting her about what time we were all supposed to go to breakfast. I had already been awake and therefore already eaten, so I just went along for some tea 🙂 Really not wanting to spend another day holed up in my room, I walked around the City Centre with Kelsi while she ran the errands I ran last week. We have been so lucky this week with the weather. Yesterday may have been a little gloomy, but it wasn’t that cold at all! If this is what winter in Oxford is going to be like, I can totally handle it.

We decided around 3pm that not only was I not going to dance rehearsal that night (I haven’t been feeling well and was not up to it), but that we were also going to cook dinner and make mulled wine so that I could finally taste this drink that I’ve wanted ever since the weather turned chilly. To be fair, it has always been chilly, I just felt like mulled wine was more of a Christmas drink. So we made a highly successful trip to the grocery store to pick up ingredients. Only it ended up becoming a pain in the you know what when we were doing self-checkout. I don’t know why I have this aversion to other people checking out my groceries for me because I always go to self-checkout no matter how many groceries I have. For some reason, the machines hated Kelsi and me this time and it kept calling over an employee to verify every single item we rang up. It was pretty embarrassing, not to mention frustrating. By the time we were halfway through I had his employee code memorized but was too afraid of getting in trouble to just input it myself and save him the walk to our machine and us the embarrassment of needing him AGAIN. It literally took us 30 minutes to check out and by then we were so irritable that Kelsi swore off self-checkout again and I just swore once or twice.

Janosz joined us for the actual cooking, taking a much needed break from his studying for collections exams. Kelsi delegated him to making the mulled wine while she and I prepped everything for the Turkey Encore main course.

Kelsi and Janosz do prep work

Mulled Wine, pre-simmer

It was an easy and vegetable laden recipe (just the way we like it) that only took as long as it did because we had to peel and chop so many vegetables. After they were blanched and the turkey cooked, it was all one big–and I mean big–stir fry.

Good thing Kelsi had a lot of practice stir-frying at Vassar

It came out looking so colorful and was so delicious. We also cooked way too much, of course, so now each have between one and three meals of leftovers ahead of us. Not bad, especially cost-wise when you divide it up amongst cost per meal yield. And you can’t put a price on the fun you have cooking with great friends 🙂

This is what we had to stir fry all together!

And as for the highly anticipated mulled wine…totally worth the wait! The best parts were definitely the comforting warmth from the simmered alcohol and the poached apple slices at the bottom of our mugs.

Deliciously colored and tasty, mulled wine poached apple

Yeah we kind of went Jenna-and-Aisha-college-style for the drinking, wine in coffee mugs. Some things are just too convenient and good to change.

Browsing cupcake recipes for our next baking attempt

If you want the recipes, hop  over to Kelsi’s blog Kelsi’s Kitchen Adventures because I’m sure she is going to post this recipe…eventually…

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