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Saturday, December 25, 2010

So This Was Christmas

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas filled with your favorite gifts, your most loved family and friends, and of course, good food.

I was so happy to host Christmas Eve this year. For the first time in my life I had control over the menu. NO FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES! Christmas Eve was never my favorite holiday growing up. After years of dreaming of certain foods at Christmas, I was going to be making the kind of meal I always wanted to make.

The scene was set on a chilly winter's night with my beautiful tree and some good music (Stings CD "If on a Winter's Night" is awesome). Gifts were ready to be unwrapped.

I made sure the beverage table was well set. I specially ordered the pinot gris and pinot noir from Noble Pig. The scotch is for my stepmother.

For pre-dinner nibbles I simply put out a wheel of brie, some fig spread, some store-bought cilantro pesto and some flat breads. I'm learning I don't have to make everything myself.


Dinner officially started with a salad of grilled portobello mushrooms and pears tossed in a lemon-thyme dressing. I forgot to take a photo, but everyone loved it, even Sir Pickypants ate the pears.

My standout was my main course. I bought the most beautiful bone-in pork loin ever from Whole Foods. It was a thing to behold. I didn't know if I should eat it or worship it.

I cooked it with a molasses balsamic glaze and sliced it up into giant chops. Well, not all of them were giant, but the folks who took smaller ones ended up grabbing seconds anyway. It was that good.

My stepmother said she was having her nails done earlier that day and when the manicurist asked her what her plans were she said she started bragging about the meal I would be cooking for her that night. I'm glad I didn't disappoint!

I took a photo of my full meal, although I couldn't resist a few bites of pork first as evidenced here. My sides were spicy gingered green beans and brown butter mashed potatoes, recipe courtesty of More Than Burnt Toast. You can't believe just what magical things browing your butter can do for your potatoes.

I don't know why I forgot to take a photo of dessert. It's one of my most favorite cakes in the world, Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake. I highly recommend this recipe for anyone who wants an incredible and easy cake. It's made with Nutella and mascarpone. How could it be bad?

Then it's on to brunch at Mom's. She keeps it simple, but I made a big batch of cinnamon rolls courtesy of the Pioneer Woman. She uses maple flavoring in hers with no nuts. I filled mine with pecans and just used vanilla to flavor the icing.

I took these out of the oven and told my husband, "Look at these and tell me how much you love me."

I can burn all of this food off with MY NEW KINECT YYYYEEEESSSSSSS.

Tonight I'm heading to Chicago once more so my husband can watch the Jets play the Bears at Soldier Field and freeze his butt off while I stay nice and warm inside a museum. I won't be doing any more food reviews this time. I don't want to insult any more Chicago restaurants or take offensive lamb chop photos again.

Merry Christmas!!!!

8 comments:

Sue said...

Gosh, you're up early! The healthy one around here is exercising; the young ones are sleeping and I'm making a custard for floating islands, so I don't know how happy Santa was with all of us yet.

What a lovely meal - I love fig spread with Brie. I bet that pork loin was gorgeous and worth living without lights for a few months.

I hope you have no travel problems tonight. That's good you're not going tomorrow. Have a great trip and Merry Christmas!

PS Maybe it's good you're not writing about Chicago's restaurants. Did you read this?
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2010/12/restaurant-critic-s-irene-virbila-photographed-shown-the-door-.html

polwig said...

Have a Great Trip and Merry Christmas !!!

Melissa said...

Everything is so beautiful! And they were really lucky to have you making food for them.

We got a Kinect too. :D Congratulations. ;P I'm thinking we'll put it to that kind of use as well.

Happy Holidays Rachel!!

Heather said...

I lolled at the part where you said you could burn it all off with your new Kinect (the YESSSSSS part got me). Those pork chops look positively divine.

The CDM said...

You give me some rolls like that and I'll be MORE than happy to tell you how much I love you....


and we ain't even married!

The Blonde Duck said...

How did you like PW's dough?

Happy New Years to you!

Emily said...

Sounds like a good Christmas to me! I'm loving fig preserves lately, too. Your pork sounds aweseome.

Would you say those were the best cinnamon rolls you've ever had? I think I need to bake them...

The Blonde Duck said...

Happy Wednesday!