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Monday, January 9, 2012

Holiday Foods

We ate some pretty tasty things this holiday season.  Unfortunately, I didn't make everything on my list, in part because we weren't able to visit Gualala for a week as we intended so I had less cooking time.  My in-law's were sick (and "run ragged" by their new puppy) so they didn't want us to visit last week.  So I was back at work and away from Dave a week sooner than I'd hoped.  I was seriously disappointed that we didn't get to visit...I don't think we've been up there since October!

So I'll just finish up my list over the next couple of weekends when Dave is home to eat with us.  But here's what I did make over the holidays:

A couple of days post-Christmas we had cheese fondue, using whatever random foods we had left in the fridge for dipping (purple potato pancakes, broccoli and cauliflower, chicken, and bread). 
 For breakfast on New Year's Eve, my dad and I made Eggs Benedict.  I'd never poached eggs the "real" way (swirling, barely simmering water, etc.)--mine are always more like "coddled" eggs when I nestle them into the ramen noodles when I make Asian soup.  We made the Hollandaise sauce the night before and it was pretty easy.  Like Julia Child says, once you master the egg yolk nothing can stop you in the kitchen!  Instead of using English muffins, I made a loaf of rosemary French bread and grilled it in butter before topping it with the egg, ham, and sauce (a la Cafe Bernardo, my and Dave's favorite breakfast eatery here in Davis).   We also just used some ham my dad had bought instead of Canadian bacon.

Eggs Benedict will be one of those educational meals to engage Eddie when he's older: learning about French sauces, why Hollandaise is named after Holland, the use of English muffins, Canadian bacon, etc.  Quite the European and (colonial) English lesson!
Edward and Jennifer arrived later that day from New York so we had a feast ready for them: roasted trout, paella (with chorizo on the side since my dad doesn't like spicy stuff like that) and jalapeno poppers (Daddy didn't eat any).
It was very yummy...and particularly enjoyable since we adults ate our feast without Eddie, who was napping.  Meals are so much easier (and quieter) without him around.  
I stuffed the trout with fresh bay leaves, parsley, and lemon and it was daaaaaaaaang good. 

Before roasting. 
After roasting for 20 minutes at 375F (and cut in half).
Just yesterday I made donuts for breakfast.  It was quite simple, really, but once you start frying it goes pretty fast.   
That lumpy thing at the back of the stove is a half-pumpkin from our CSA that I roasted the night before. I think it'll become curried soup.
 I made a half batch of dough the night before and let it do the first rise in the fridge over night.  On Sunday morning I simply took it out, rolled and cut it, and let the second rise happen in a warm oven.  To prevent the dough from deflating when I transferred each piece into the hot oil, I put each ring on a small piece of waxed paper and then sort of "dumped" them into the oil, as suggested some a reviewer of the recipe.  Excellent suggestion!  
I used a maple syrup glaze that I sort of made up...and it wasn't wonderful (didn't harden) so I need to work on it.  But overall, the donuts were super delicious--more cakey than raised donuts from a proper shop, but more delicious I think.  I fashioned ours into rings, holes, and one braided cinnamon-sugared "twist" for Dave.  The boys certainly approved.
This coming weekend I'll make the buffalo chicken dip for an easy junk dinner on Saturday and mussels and fries on Sunday for dinner (perhaps I'll be able to make a Moroccan preserved lemon pilaf for Sunday lunch?).  Having a quick, fun dinner dish like the dip on Saturday evening will be nice since we'll have just come home from a night-away date.  More details on that later!


Kaitlin said...

Wish I was there for the donuts!

Mariah said...

do you eat the head or is that just for looks? Yes, I'm serious.