Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas food photo-blog

Lasagna with the fresh mooutz!

The star of the show!

Corn pudding and balsamic rosemary acorn squash

Top row: Panchetta brussel sprouts with golden rasins, tarragon string beans, breaded and baked cauliflower, potato crips Bottom: Blood orange and fennel salad, sweet potatoes and walnuts

 

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On the First Day of Christmas

I’m starting a Christmas recipe installment inspired by the ’12 Days of Christmas’ traditional holiday song.

The song is about the 12 days between Christmas, the day Christ was born and the Epiphany which marks the day the Wise Men brought gifts and acknowledged Jesus as “King.”  Each part of the song is a symbol for a liturgical reference.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree

The partridge is symbolic of Jesus.  Appropriate as the first day of the song is when Jesus is born.  It is said that female partridges are known for fooling their predators into making them think they have been affected by the suffering inflicted upon them in order to protect their nest.  And in mythology pear trees represent everlasting life and immortality.  As a girl who knows a thing or two about Catholicism I can see both symbols relating to the life Jesus led and what the religion believes.

The recipe I have chosen is a delicious roasted pear and dried fig mixture that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.  Use as a topping for vanilla (rum raisin or ginger) ice cream or melt with grilled cheese sandwich (try using a gruyere or white cheddar).

 

ROASTED PEARS AND DRIED FIGS

4 Pears, peeled, halved, cored and cut into wedges

1/2 pound of dried figs, stemmed and hydrated in boiling water for about 15 minutes

4 oz sugar

2 oz dark rum

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Place all ingredients in a roasting pan and toss to mix.

2.  Roast at 500 degrees for about 10 minutes (lower heat if pears and figs are charring too much, some charring is good).

3,  Serve warm.  This can be refrigerated and last several weeks.

 

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Eleven Vegetables Piping

What seemed like the 12 days of Christmas with all the prepping and organizing was wildly successful in the end.  We had lists, timelines broken up by day and ‘In the Oven.’  Thanks to my account management skills were we able to work right up until our guests arrived at 3:00 on Christmas Day.  It was literally ‘Utensils down Hands Up’ when that doorbell rang.  My carmelized onion tart just managed to slide into the oven in time.

Every year we have our staple Italian antipasto to start things off which for all the new comers can prove quite deadly if you don’t pace yourself.  Second course is the infamous Lasagna followed by two meats and the vegetable showcase.  This year there were eleven!

Mixed Root Vegetables

Thyme Mushrooms

Breaded cauliflower

Butternut Squash with dried cranberries

Corn Pudding

Potato Crisp (a new favorite, russet potatoes cut thin arranged like a ratatouli with shalots and thyme springs)

Bourbon Sweet Potatoes

Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and golden raisins

Apricot, radicchio and spinach salad with goat cheese

Broccolini with homemade lemon breadcrumbs

For the meat, we had a filet mignon with a horseradish Dijon mustard herb mixture, and pork stuffed with dried mix fruits and chesnuts.

And of course this massive feast would not be complete without freshly stuffed cannoli’s, sfogliatelle, tiramisu, pistachio gelato, an assortment of pies, italian cookies, Aunt Laura’s famous ambrosia, and my new coconut rice pudding.

We had enough food to feed our guests a second time around the  next day and then some!

I have to say my right arm has toned up nicely from all the chopping, peeling, stirring and sauteing.  Work-out while you eat!

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