Friday, December 30, 2016


{G.G.had to take a panorama shot before
we ate thus annoying her siblings just a bit}
I hope everyone had a very merry winter break.  We had a lovely holiday together with all three kids at home. Kaylee came from Brooklyn, Tristan from Iowa City, and Groovy Girl emerged from her lonely only child funk to enjoy her siblings.  It's tough to be the youngest.

I'm enjoying this last little bit of break by catching up on sleep, on a few shows I like (This Is Us, Empire, and Atlanta), and end-of-the-year reading, more about that in my next post.

My refrigerator is full of leftovers so I do NOT have to worry about cooking for a few l-o-n-g days. Everything I made for our Christmas meal was fantastic!  This is unusual my friends. Normally something goes wrong just by the law of averages. Prepping in the two days before helped me immensely. It's a little weird to spread recipe love before you've actually made them so here is what worked:

Turkey brining is always the way to go. I brined it outside for about 24 hours in my grandmother's crock with snow packed around the outside. I let the gorgeous 12-lb bird air rest in the fridge. It cooked in about 2 hours and it was very tender and flavorful with a crispy skin. I also thanked the bird for giving its life for us to sustain us. To counterbalance this meat at our table Tristan's vegan girlfriend brought a Gardein turkey roll with it's own gravy and it was good also. We've always loved to mix up our meals and almost everyone tried some of the turkey roll. I did not follow Emeril's brining recipe to a T; just simplified it to the bare minimum. I did stuff the turkey as per his recipe though.

Wild Rice and butternut squash-huge hit. I will make this again and I have enough leftover for lunches. I forgot how much I like wild rice. The whole carrots-delicious as well.

I did a trial run on the sweet potato dish from Thug Kitchen and while I liked it, I didn't think my people would love it so i scrapped that recipe for simple baked then smashed together. No brown sugar, no marshmallows; just the deliciousness of sweet pots.  Love 'em.

Brussels sprouts were amazing. I just cleaned them, halved them (except for little ones), tossed them with coconut oil and olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and roasted them on a baking pan.  They were good although I would have preferred them crispier. It is a fine line between almost burning them and crisp and I've crossed that line before. I served them with shaved parmesan on the side.

Clam Chowder was a huge hit on Christmas Eve but the oyster stew not as much. I don't know if it was the recipe or just something I did; it was lacking the wow! factor.

Enchilada breakfast dish made everyone happy I think. It might have been the mimosas though. But you have to eat and I did play with this recipe adding in our regular green enchilada sauce and made only a 1/2 batch of the heavy cheese sauce. I didn't need it to be THAT cheesy. We had a whole plate load of toppings as well; sour cream, avocados, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and our own family-made salsa)

I love it when meals come together. It makes everyone happy to sit at the table and know that we are blessed to share food in the same space for just a few days. We are ready to rock another year even when we are not in the same place.

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