Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Christmas 2006

My Mom made a cornmeal topped Chili one night they were here. It was delicious, I can't wait to make it myself.

Christmas Day breakfast I made a Cranberry Brie Tart. It's pretty easy, although with all the chilling and baking you'll need about 90 minutes to get it together. Make sure that you have you wits about you when you make this tart. I found out on my test run of the recipe a couple of weeks before Christmas that you can't blind bake a tart shell without using parchment paper:
Yup, it's a bitch trying to scrape lentils off a tart shell that they have baked themselves into.

Tart with Cranberries, Brie and Tomato
serves 6-8

175 g flour
75 g butter
190 g cranberry sauce
small handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
225 g cherry tomatos, halved
300 g brie, thinly sliced
2 eggs
150 ml cream

In a food processor, whiz the flour and butter into crumbs. Add 1 to 2 tb cold water until the dough comes together. Lightly flour your counter and roll out dough to fit a 9" fluted tart tin. Chill for 20 minutes.

Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or beans. Bake blind for 10 minutes at 400'. Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

Turn the oven down to 350'. Spread the cranberry sauce over the bottom of the tart shell, then layer with the basil, brie and tomatos. Whisk together the eggs and cream, season with salt and pepper and pour carefully over the tart. Bake for 45 minutes until golden and set. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

Scott's mom has an embroidery machine and embroidered me these napkins for Christmas. Aren't they cute?

My parents neighbours are Swedish. When my mom told them I was cooking a Swedish dinner she sent along these table runners:

And these flags to put on the tree:

She also told my mom "I hope you won't be too disappointed in the food dear; Swedish food isn't very good."!

Incidentally, a couple of weeks before Christmas I was talking to my mom and she asked what I needed her to bring for Christmas dinner. I realized that I had totally forgotten to tell them that we were having a Swedish dinner like my dad wanted. So I told her all about it. She seemed surprised and said that she didn't remember hearing my dad and I talk about it. Well, the next night I got a phone call from my dad, saying that he didn't remember talking about a Swedish Christmas with me!!!! I double checked with Scott who says that he does remember, but still! That took a bit of the wind out of my sails.

We made Glogg:

And here's the dinner table for Christmas dinner:

I went a little easier on the menu than what I had planned - I just didn't want to spend the whole day in the kitchen obsessing about everything. We had:
Meatballs, Salmon, Stuffed Cauliflower (the recipe came from Mary at The Sour Dough), Gravy, Lingonberry Jam, Steamed Baby Potatos, Buns, Cream Cheese, Capers, Peas, Red Cabbage Salad and Curry Sauce for the cauliflower. It was all delicious. (See the white serving dishes? I got them for Christmas!)

Especially the Cauliflower. Thanks again Mary!

My dad brought a piece of Fois Gras with him, and he and Scott cooked it up on Boxing Day. I did not partake as I have no interest in Fois Gras. The other 3 ate it. It was Scott's first time and he was very underwhelmed. He told me later that he probably wouldn't have it again.

I feel like all I've been doing for a month is drinking alcohol and eating everything under the sun. I need some lighter healthier food, stat!


Anonymous said...

I'm always blown away by how we can be "present" and walk away with totally different stories about the same events. I'm glad you chilled on the Swedish theme and that everything was delicious. The napkins & table runners are wow as are the white serving dishes.
I've done the same thing with the beans and it is such fun digging beans out of a crust but oh lentils - way to small.
Lighter & healthier, I'm trying.

Anonymous said...

Your mums swedish neighbour who proclamed swedish food wasn't that good, probobly don't know how to cook it, because especially swedish xmas food is the best! meatballs, jansons frestelse (janssons temptation... a casserole of potatoes, onion, sardelles and cream... yummie), gravlax (fresh salmon that is pressed together with alot of salt) mmmm and the glogg... love that. I love xmas and xmas food!

how come you decided on a swedish theme?

foodiechickie said...

I love chili topped with cornbread. Mmmm. And probably one of the few people who enjoys Swedish food. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Everything looks great. Yes, you do need the parchment paper unless you want dried bean tart. :)

Anonymous said...

Gosh, everything looks so tasty!... well... except for the lentil-crust pie! ;) ;)

Anonymous said...


Merry (belated) Christmas and Happy 2007!

I loved reading this post especially since I have a little crush on all things Swedish.

And thanks for your sweet Christmas card, Sara! It's taken me awhile to get back into the swing of things since my trip.

Sara said...

Tanna, I know! I'm so glad Scott remembered or I would have thought I had imagined it.

Lex - I was going to make the Jannsons temptation, but I don't like herring. My Dad wanted a Swedish dinner, although now he says he doesn't remember saying it.

Foodiechickie - I had never heard of cornbread on chili before, but I loved it!

Peabody - I was lazy and for some reason I thought I could just tip them out. Why, I don't know.

VC - thanks!

Ivonne - glad you are back!

Lis said...

Yanno.. I've been there. My mother is famous for saying something and then forgetting she said it. There has been many times I've made a special effort because of something she's said (I have witnesses!) and then when presented to her she'll say she doesn't recall ever saying a word. Grrrrr.. maybe it's a parent thing?

Anyhoo.. I think everything looks delicious! So much so, my first thought was that I didn't realize that Swedish food was so yummy! I've been ignorant!

I think you did a terrific job!

PS - I heart your new serving dishes. =)

Emmy said...

Happy New Year Sara!!! I absolutely love the table runners!! So cute. And what pretty embroidered napkins Scott's mom made.