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Last week, I continued my seasonally appropriate blog posting with a pear pie I made for Christmas Eve. Today, I will be sharing some pictures from Christmas Day itself. It started out with early morning gifts and chats with Matt and Carmel, who had just arrived from Canada the night before. We were gearing up for a week and a half of incredibleness.

Here’s me loving my new Anthropologie rolling pin and pie plate from Levi. Beauty.


These biffles unwittingly got each other whiskey stones. How adorable is that.


After Obi unwrapped his new toy snowman, some serious bonding time ensued.


He then absconded with the snowman to the top of the couch.


As befitted her name, Carmel bestowed us with a trio of homemade caramel sauces.


Later that evening, the Collisters joined the Gelineaus and Colbys to form possibly the first group of carolers Simi Valley has seen in 40 years (at least that’s what one of the neighbors told us, with teary eyes). We were largely greeted with excitement, cell phone videotaping, and wide-eyed little children, and decided that this was our new favorite Christmas activity—one that we hope to make a true tradition. Levi and I don’t have many of those yet, other than Christmas dinner Mexican-style. Tamales and tortilla soup all the way, baby.


Now we get to the pie, which in fact stems from another Christmas tradition—maybe we have more of them than I originally thought.


There’s a scene in Love Actually, our favorite Christmas movie, where Keira Knightley turns up with some Banoffee Pie in exchange for a wedding video filmed by her husband’s best man (aka guy who is hopelessly in love with her and secretly only filmed her throughout the entire wedding, leading to a rather awkward moment when said video is found and played.)

I’ve wanted to try Banoffee Pie since seeing this scene for the first time, even though there are jokes made on Keira’s character’s part that she has “terrible taste in pie”. I could not reconcile “terrible” with the ingredients in my cookbook’s version of this recipe…dulce de leche, bananas, cream, sugar, instant coffee. What could possibly go wrong there? The answer is, of course, nothing. Keira, you’re wrong-o.



I followed Ken’s recipe precisely on this one and used prepared dulce de leche rather than making it from scratch. Turns out that Trader Joe’s has a very delicious jar of it, at least around the holidays. Joe never lets me down.


*The screenshot was borrowed from this top-notch post on the same subject, which I highly recommend reading in its entirety. It includes a variant recipe for banoffee pie, history on where this pie originated, and some classic jokes about the zip-up turtleneck that features so prominently in the referred-to movie scene.