Cheesecake is Always a Good Idea

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December is probably the busiest month of the year. Shopping. Parties. Gifts. Family. Food.
Things I made for the holidays:
This banana pudding cheesecake (with some modifications). This was such a hit at Thanksgiving that I made it again at Christmas.
Japanese Milk Bread Rolls. These are always a hit.
Pomegranate Cranberry Mouse Pie from the Dessert Person cookbook.
Pecan Brittle Oatmeal Cookies from the same book. I usually make multiple cookies, but this year I made only one, and it was a hit.
My favorite gifts this year in no order:
Smeg kettle. I don’t need an electric kettle, but the stovetop kettle I have always gets covered in grease. This mint version is pretty and functional.
Shakti mat. Okay, so this seems like it would be a torture device, but it’s actually the opposite. The thousands of spikes on the back actually relax you like nothing else that I’ve found. If you have back pain, trouble sleeping, or just need a way to zone out, you will love this.
Stuffed pasta class. I’ve made my own version of stuffed pasta, but this is the real deal. It’s a family gift, with six of us, so should be tons of fun.
Things I’d like to try in the new year:
Pistachio cruffins. I’ve. been thinking about these since my summer trip to Budapest, and they are definitely a must-do this year.
Getting my (10-year-old!) sourdough starter active. I have so many ideas for bread, but maintaining an active starter can be rough.
Making salads more creative, and also a priority.
Other things on the radar:
I always have a running list of places I want to go. Top of the list right now: Australia (this one is likely as we still have a credit for a canceled 2020 trip),  and Sicily (this was always on my list but after watching both White Lotus and Stanley Tucci’s Finding Italy, it became a priority. We probably won’t do both this year, but these are the next two.
Trying to set better routines. I don’t set strict resolutions, but the new year is always the best time to reflect on things you’ve done and what you want to do. I’d like to start and maintain a regular stretching/yoga routine, eat better, and try to set some personal and professional goals. Wish me luck!
Try to get to the farmer’s market more. I know it’s a few months away, but this is something we used to do regularly, which we haven’t done in a while.
Some recipes I’m still loving this year:

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