Saturday, August 25, 2012

blast to the past: Christmas

Today, I took my puppy to the beach for the first time:

Mitchell's Cove, Santa Cruz

It was a long, wonderful day that included a stop at my favorite fish market that makes the best cioppino in the universe:

Phil's Fish Market, Moss Landing

Now, he's asleep at my feet and I'm feeling lazy. So all I'm going to do is sit on this couch, with a glass of my favorite champagne (Domaine Carneros Vermeil Demi Sec) and catch this blog up. There has been a lot of epic eating since December 2011 and, well, not a lot of blogging.

Let's go back to Christmas!

Christmas morning, I woke up, baked a ham, and prepped the $103 prime rib (Whole Foods, highly recommend their meat). It was strange because it was the first time I didn't wake Christmas morning, ready to rouse my parents from sleep (they don't live with me anymore) and bound into the living room to see what Santa had brought. Instead, I was all woman-of-the-manor and stuff with a house full of in-laws to entertain.

Really, though. The whole day, I felt more like a general preparing for battle: cooking my first Christmas dinner ever. The hardest part? Trying to get everything out on the table at the same time AND piping hot.

Christmas Dinner menu (recipes linked when available):

* honey-baked ham (Costco!)

* garlic + rosemary rubbed bone-in prime rib with red wine + rosemary au jus (you can use thyme or rosemary)

Disclaimer: not the actual Christmas prime rib, but the same recipe

* mashed potatoes (pretty much just add a lot of butter and milk or cream and you can't screw this up ... though I may invest in a food mill ...)

* asparagus + bacon tossed in a champagne vinaigrette and topped with poached eggs (recipe: blanch the asparagus and cut into bite-size pieces, fry or microwave the bacon and crumble over the asparagus, 4 poached eggs [using this spiffy contraption], and dressed with champagne vinaigrette [I like Girard's champagne vinaigrette])

* salad with grilled pears and a homemade brown sugar balsamic dressing (recipe for dressing: 1 cup vegetable oil, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, stir well with a whisk)

* creamed corn (cheated - this one came from a can)

* dinner rolls (cheated - store bought)


* homemade vanilla bean creme brulee (I will talk about this recipe in another post - it's a doozy)
* homemade pecan pie
* homemade pumpkin pie
* homemade chocolate crinkle cookies
* and so much peppermint bark that I had tins of it left on Valentine's Day ...

***tip of the day*** eat leftover prime rib with spaghetti (half red sauce, half alfredo - the jar stuff is fine) ... it's ... ah ... my mouth just filled with drool.

Only 4 more months till Christmas!!!

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