Our Christmas was just the way Christmas should be; filled with fun, food and family.
It all started with our oldest boy and his wife showing up on Saturday evening. It has been a year since JR had seen the kids (I was lucky enough to see them last April). We both have decided that it had been too long. Unfortunately, with us living so far away once a year may be all we can expect.
The girls and I put together a terrific Christmas meal. We had a really great time working together. The guys sat around and watched TV but it didn't bother us too much since my kitchen is so small anymore bodies in there would have been a disaster. I think that the girls (Val and Candace) learned a little bit but more importantly I got to boss them around.
Here is the menu:
1. Pan-roasted salmon & steamed clams (for everyone but me. As you all know, I don't eat meat. Yes, fish is a meat. That fact freaks some folks out)
2. Curried creamed sweet corn (this was awesome!!! Hands down one of the best dishes. I say one of the best because there was another that rivaled it. I will be making this again very soon and will actually post the recipe. I'd do it now but I didn't take any photos and it is gone already.)
3. Curried quinoa (this was in place of a stuffing. Quinoa has a ton of protein and vitamins. I've never been big on quinoa before but adding curry took it up from meh to yummy.)
4. Mashed potatoes & kale (adding kale makes the mashed potatoes with all the butter and sour cream good for you. It doesn't, you say? I beg to differ. Kale is a vegetable so obviously it is good for you. That's my theory and I'm sticking it. Why? Because I feel the need to justify the massive quantity we made and ate and are still eating.)
5. Vegetarian meatballs with a mushroom veggie ragout. (this was a first for me. I've never made my own meatless meatballs before. They turned out really well and the leftovers went into the shepherds pie the next day. Booyah! a two-fur. Next up? meatless loaf. I think I remember that Jan has a meatloaf glaze that everyone is raving about. I'll have to try it.)
6. Broccoli w/caramelized garlic and pine nuts. (yum! I pretty much love anything with garlic in it but it was the pine nuts that took this dish beyond steamed broccoli.)
7. Sweet potato squares with lemon-garlic mayo (this is the dish that rivaled the curried cream corn. It could not have been easier. Roast 1 inch squares of sweet potato. Fry up Italian sausage (I used veggie Italian sausage, of course). Skewer a potato square and a piece of sausage. Make lemon-garlic mayo. Dip in mayo and eat. And eat. And eat some more. These were Yummy with a capital Y.)
8. Curry stuffed eggs. (basically, deviled eggs with curry in the yolk. As you can see curry was the theme for this meal.)
I had planned on a 9th item (sauteed zucchini, yellow squash & eggplant) but decided that we just didn't need it. There was too much already. I did cut it all up when I did all the chopping prep so I'll use it up today in a fritatta or a souffle.
Do you prep all your aromatics and veggies at once?
I do. The day before a big meal I will chop a boatload of onions, garlic, peppers, celery, carrots and anything else that needs to be processed. Usually I chop more than I need by a lot. This doesn't really worry me though because I use it during the week. It sure does cut down the time I spend in the kitchen. Need a cup of chopped onions? No problem. Just scoop out a cup from the ziptop bag of pre-chopped onions. Couldn't be easier. I'm thinking that every weekend I should chop up a bunch of veg just to free up some valuable week night time.
Even with all the crazy work schedules around our house we all got to sit down at the dinner table at the same time. It was so great. We ate, talked, and laughed. It was truly wonderful to slow down and share a meal together.
I hope that your Christmas was filled with fun, food and family. Now, we get to end this year and start a new one.
Wishing all of you a wonderful 2012.
Happy New Year everyone!