Christmas is over! The awesome part of being a Russian here in the US, though, is that you get to celebrate two big holidays: Christmas and then New Year's. You see, New Year's is THE biggest holiday in Russia, the time of magic, fun, and big parties. It is on New Year's Eve that Grandfather Frost (Ded Moroz) comes and brings presents to kids. He is accompanied by his beautiful granddaughter, Snow Maiden (Snegurochka). Christmas is also celebrated (Russian Orthodox Christmas is on January 7), but on a much smaller scale, usually at home with the family. So, the holidays are not over yet... Getting ready to celebrate with friends, with traditional New Year's party foods such as olivie (I will write about it later) and vinegret, followed by the honey cake perhaps.
In the meantime, with this week off, I'm catching up on doing things around the house, not the least of which is BAKING. Mostly cookies, more cookies and brownies. Speaking of which. I have this recipe for fudgy and fabulous brownies from the folks of America's Test Kitchen (tweaked here and there). And it occurred to me to try to use eggnog in ice cream. And guess what? The eggnog ice cream works great with these warm brownies. Perfect for quiet days at home. Also really, really nice with a glass of champagne, especially in front of the fireplace (amazingly, it is actually cold enough here in Houston to light the fire).