Monday, January 11, 2010

2 Week Old Christmas Story

Christmas has been over for 2 weeks now and I'm just getting this post up now. I woke up Christmas Eve morning with a sore throat and developed a few sniffles, but nothing ever really happened past that. I've been really tired, though, so I've probably fought something off. Anyhow, I'm going to give you a post that is heavy in pictures, but hopefully, not too wordy. I do tend to run off at the mouth and my fingers suffer from the same affliction sometimes. Bear with me.
Is this just the perfect advent calendar for me or what?

A delicious little piece of chocolate was to be had each day.

Inside some of the flaps, there were little tidbits of info. For a trivia junkie like myself, this was gold!

Jim's project each year is to set up our Christmas village.

He always does an amazing job.

We invited Aunt Peggy to spend Christmas with us, much to Simon's delight.
He adores his Aunt Peggy.

Mama Rita cooked a turkey for everyone, did stuffing (and kept some out of the bird for me) and I did all the sides.
When I take pictures of Jim, he either has a fake smile or acts like a goof. Guess which look this is?
Everyone hungrily awaiting food. Jade, Aaron (taking Jim's cue) Mama Rita & Aunt Peggy.

The flowers I bought for the table were so pretty, it would be a shame not to share a few with you.
Perfect pinky, yellow, apricot alstroemeria.

Gorgeous, puffy white chrysanthemums.

Stunning pink gerbera.

My all-time favorite flower - the lily. These beautiful white ones opened to perfection on Christmas day.

Now the food - Here's my plate, with a bit of my shadow at the bottom of the plate. Excuse that would you please.

Starting at 12:00 and working clockwise we have roasted carrots, mashed turnip (or properly called, rutabaga), braised red cabbage, roasted Brussels sprouts with hazelnuts, mashed potatoes and faux gravy, Dynise's kick-ass Quince-Cranberry sauce, slices of Quorn Turk'y Roast, and stuffing in the middle. Needless to say, I couldn't eat all of this.

This Quorn Turk'y Roast is quite yum; perfect for Christmas dinner. Dynise's Quince-Cranberry sauce is so delicious I think I ate most of it myself!

Here's a shot of the braised red cabbage which I got from a recipe that was printed up in the Holiday issue of LCBO's Food and Drink magazine. I do what one is never supposed to do - try a new recipe for a company dinner. They are my taste testers! I had enough other sides that if this didn't turn out, we wouldn't starve. Luckily, this was a hit! The recipe isn't up on line yet, but I'll include it at the end of this post.

In November, I picked up a copy of President's Choice Insider's Report. In it, they were introducing their new frozen profiteroles and underneath was a little blurb that said to go to their website for a recipe on how to use these cream puffs to make a croquembouche. For years now, Jim would randomly speak of a croquembouche. I think he just likes to say the word because it sounds funny. I was stoked! I was going to make this as a surprise for Christmas dessert. It was super easy to put together and voila!

Jim had a croquembouche! I also put out a tray of sweets - chocolate covered peanut butter balls, shortbread, fruitcake, macaroons...I figured there was no way we would be able to finish this. The croquembouche was clearly the favorite as it was dismantled in no time.

After a long, festive day, Simon had clearly had enough.

In the words of Tiny Tim "God Bless us. Everyone."
Have a Happy New Year!

2 tbsp. butter (I used margarine)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used olive)
1 cup chopped red onion
1 red cabbage, about 2 lbs (1 kg) cored & thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
3 cloves
pinch allspice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup grated apple
1/4 cup red currant jelly
1. Heat butter and oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add red cabbage and sauté until coated with oil. Add bay leaf, cloves and allspice and season with salt and pepper.
2. Pour in red wine and vinegar and sprinkle in brown sugar. Toss together and bring to a boil stirring occasionally.
3. Turn heat to low, add apples, cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, or until tender. Add water if cabbage is sticking. Stir in red currant jelly and cook another 20 minutes covered. Taste for seasoning, adjusting as needed, remove bay leaf.
Serves 6-8


dreaminitvegan said...

What a nice Christmas you had. My husband is always making goofy faces in pictures too!
Beautiful flower photo's, the lily is gorgeous.

I was just looking at your info and noticed you like Muriels Wedding, wow, I forgot about that one, that's a cute movie.
Hey have you ever watched Love Seranade? It's also an Australian movie, it's one of our favorites.

Ellen said...

You had a nice Christmas and the food looked so delicious..yummm.Jim did a great job on the village..very impressed. Flowers were so pretty..the lily is also my favorite flower as I do have a few planted in my flower garden..hope to have a few more in the spring.Simon did look pretty pooped out..too much excitement..same thing happens to our doggies when we have a lot of company over the holidays lol. Now I am going to call you Grandma Carrie..congrats on the new arrival.

KleoPatra said...

that food looks so good...

love seeing a happy Simon

does my <3 good.


Veggie said...

My husband wants to try those Profiteroles. The pic of Simon at the end is so cute!

Happy New Year!