Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays

With Chef Don back in town for the holidays this week has included a whole lot of relaxing at home together and of course... amazing food.
Butternut Squash, Kale and Cheddar bread pudding. I first had this last year when my co-worker Christi made it and it has been one of my favorite dishes since. The recipe is from Bon Appetite. It is sinful, delicious and all mine because Don doesn't like butternut squash... there is a lot of it left in the fridge for me to conquer. Next to the bread pudding is Field Roast "meat" loaf. Have you tried this stuff? That Field Roast, so smart.
My mom and dad got us a Blendtec for Christmas!!! We have been wanting one for years and it is just as magical as I imagined. My first concoction was inspired by a drink that my dear friend Stephanie made me the last time I visited her in Idaho... A banana, 3 peeled oranges, a Honeycrisp apple (skin on), lemon juice, honey, cinnamon, ginger, a couple spoonfuls of plain yogurt, three big handfuls of spinach and some ice. After loading all of this into the blender I was convinced it wasn't going to work. But I turned it on, hit the smoothie button and 30 seconds later I had the perfect juice in front of me. I don't get it, but I love it. Thanks Mom and Dad!!

Such a delicious way to cook brussel sprouts... We didn't have any cannelli beans, just garbonzo, but it still turned out great.

My current favorite snack; roasted Medjool dates with olive oil and sea salt. I have been in a constant state of eating these for the last week. They are so easy. I snagged this idea from my beloved Walrus and the Carpenter. Their chefs are masters of elegant simplicity and everything I have ever eaten there has left me feeling so inspired to go home and eat simple whole foods with only the best ingredients. I'm not sure how they prepare this dish but we brush a small amount of olive oil on the dates, sprinkle them with course sea salt and bake them in the toaster oven for a few minutes. Can't go wrong. The inside is like warm honey.

I told Don last week that I have never much liked Ginger bread men. He took that as a challenge and managed to concoct a ginger bread cookie recipe with the consistency of a dense brownie and the sweetness that I have always found to be missing in gingerbread men. And instead of the traditional royal frosting he created a gooey amaretto variation that was so perfect! That Don, he is very sneaky. I don't know where he comes up with this stuff...

We had planned on going to Beth's Cafe for Christmas breakfast today but didn't feel like taking our pj's off so Don whipped up some greasy hashbrowns (and he told me that they were bottomless so that I could feel like I was at Beth's) and eggs benedict on some amazing crumpets that I picked up earlier in the week. When he was a youngin' Don cooked at a 24 hour breakfast restaurant so he knows how to make the eggs on my benny just the way I like them, super soft but not very runny.

Remember these? Big Newtons, a new holiday tradition brought on by our friend Piper making them for us last year. These things are amazing. Labor intensive, but so very good.

All in all it's been a pretty rough Christmas vacation. We're all a little worn out. Time for another Hot Toddy and some movies. I hope you all are having a great Holiday!

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