“It’s Tradition!”

My cousin and I created an “ironman” competition one Christmas by seeing who could sit outside the longest in zero-ish-degree weather with just our jeans and tee-shirts. That was sixteen years ago and I distinctly remember that I won because he finally picked me up and threw me inside the door, claiming I was the “first one to go in.”  Well, that tradition didn’t really stick I guess because we haven’t tried it since.

This year I wanted to challenge myself to a fitness goal, something doable, yet a challenging little goal that could perhaps become tradition. In the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the goal has become: 700 reps of various strength exercises each day. 700 for the last 7 days of the year. It just sounds nice. Plus, I really like the number seven. Maybe New Year’s Eve, I’ll throw in an extra 100 reps to make in an even 5000. Good way to ring in the New Year, right? I’ll let you know how it progresses but so far, so fun! I’m a little sore even with my modified 30-week baby belly exercises. And to give you an idea, I usually do an assortment of lunges, squats, push-ups, ab-work, etc.  I break things down into sets of 50 and do multiple sets of some exercises. I mix and match and have fun with it.

Secondly, I hoped to create a little kitchen tradition and a Buche de Noël is something I’ve wanted to make for years.

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It’s a traditional French Yule Log. I had the wild hare idea of somehow making it out of my chocolate beet cake; however, after some research I realized that it’s actually a gluten free, but very non-vegan, cake. So I decided not to mess with the unknown this time and followed this Buche de Noël recipe.

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It didn’t look particularly like a log after simply rolling it in the powdered sugar-dusted towel, so I went ahead and made this crazy good frosting. (Cutting the recipe in half, there still was some left over).

Finally, the true icing on the cake was the meringue mushrooms. I vacillated for a day about whether or not to make them, thinking they’d be a lot of work. No way! They were easy and so much fun.

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The recipe does mention adding a tidbit of cream of tartar, but it wasn’t listed in the ingredient list. I didn’t have any on hand and my mushrooms were delightful without, so take it or leave it.

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Besides our moonlight sledding on Christmas night, the Buche was a hit amongst the fam. I think, fair to say too, it’s tradition now.

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