Saturday, January 03, 2009

Holiday Food 08

Before I show you all our foodums we ate on Christmas and New Years, let me show you how spoiled I was again this year! I got these magazines/cookbooks:
plus this Australian Women's Weekly Stew Cookbook. We picked up the Stew cookbook from Costco in November for $5, and I asked Scott to put it in my stocking. On Christmas Day I was so excited to get it, however it took me almost 2 hours before I realized that I had actually picked it out myself. I thought I'd seen it somewhere and somehow Scott read my mind and bought it for me. That poor man, he's stuck with me forever.

You don't know this about me, but I am a sucker for food related infomercials. I'll watch them over and over again. Some I could probably recite word for word. I do, however, draw the line at actually ordering them. So I was pretty excited to open THIS!
My very own Magic Bullet Single Shot! Scott bought me this with the hope that I will make less of a mess in the mornings when I make smoothies. We shall see, sir.

Now if I only had a Shamwow and a Slap Chop, my life would be complete (Vince: "You're gonna love my nuts!" Me: *snicker*)

SO! For our Christmas Dinner this year, we went Italian. (You may remember, or not, 2006 our dinner was Swedish, and 2007 we did French Canadian). We decided on 8 dishes. We ate over at my parents house, and they had the first course ready when we got there: Antipasti.

The top platter has bread, 2 types of cheese, 3 kinds of olives, and asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. The bottom dish has salami, marinated eggplant, and a marinated mixed seafood salad. The seafood salad (jarred, store bought) was the least popular. Tough and just not very good. The cheese and the eggplant were my personal favorites.

An hour or so later we sat down to Insalata Caprese (tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella salad):
And for those in my family who like sardines (that's everyone but me) a marinated sardine dish:
The sardines were beheaded and cooked with vinegar and raisins and pine nuts and other stuff. That's all I can tell you, the recipe came from my parents cookbook. But they all enjoyed it.

After another break we headed into the kitchen to make the next 2 dishes. First up was a dish from the October La Cucina Italiana magazine - beef rolls with pancetta and parmesan. The original recipe called for veal, but I don't eat veal, so we used beef instead.
You pound out some beef, top with a thin slice of pancetta, a sprinkle of fresh parmesan, roll up and use a toothpick or 2 to keep them closed. The rolls are sauteed in olive oil and butter. Then you remove them from the pan and make a sauce with tomatos, wine and more butter. Add the rolls back to re-warm, remove the toothpicks and you are done. Not really pretty, but very yummy.
From the December issue of La Cucina Italiana we made Patate in Tecia, pan fried potatos. They were cooked with pancetta and onion and broth. Not bad, but I'd make some changes if I were to make them again.
After yet another break in the living room we talked about our last 3 courses. We still had a pasta, a pea dish and dessert to go. Everyone was getting full. Because the pea dish had already been started and the dessert was done, we skipped the pasta. An Italian dinner without pasta! What is up with that? Here's the pea and pancetta dish, which I'll tell you more about later. For now I'll just say it was fabulous.
And then after yet another break, we had some dessert, tiramisu. Here's what they looked like after I made them at home Christmas morning. So good.
And then! We went into a food coma.

Thankfully we were revived in time for New Years. Unfortunately, as I have already whined, I got my usual flu between Christmas and New Years. So we scaled back our New Years Eve dinner by a couple of dishes. We had some raw veggies and dip and then our main course. We made 3P Fried Rice (Pork, Pineapple and Pea) and Egg Rolls from Paula Deen.
Hey y'all! I'm Paula Deen's egg rolls!
Here's her recipe - Pork Slaw Egg Rolls, and really, they are very very good. It also makes a crapload, so if there aren't 10 of you, you may want to half the recipe. But, the slaw and pork mix on its own is actually quite good.

And finally!

New Years Day my parents came over for dinner. We made baked ham and used our new favorite baked ham recipe for the second time. And for the second time I did not take pictures. But you don't need to see one of my bad pictures to know this recipe is a winner when you read it. I found this in Move Over, Santa - Ruby's Doin Christmas! by Ruby Ann Boxcar. This is a simple easy and fast ham recipe and so darn tasty.

Vance Pool's Tis The Season Maple Ham
adapted from Move Over, Santa - Ruby's Doin Christmas!

Ruby Ann says: One bite and you'll know why he weighs almost 400 pounds

5 lb precooked smoked ham*
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Preheat your oven to 325'. Place the ham skin side up in a large roasting pan. Score the ham in a diamond pattern. Do not add anything else to the pan. Bake the ham uncovered for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, remove the ham from the oven. Pour the maple syrup over the ham. Place back in the oven and bake for 45 more minutes, basting 2 or 3 times.
When the ham is done, remove from the oven. Place the ham on a platter or cutting board and cover with foil. Set aside.
Carefully pour all the drippings into a pan. Add the flour and whisk until blended. Add the water, mustard and worcestershire sauce.
Whisk over medium high heat and bring to a simmer. If the gravy seems too thick, add some more water.
Slice the ham and serve with the gravy on the side.
*If your ham is not precooked, cook as above until the ham is ready by a meat thermometer.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Gifts and food galore! What a holiday! Love that star plate!!

Katerina said...

You should try the Fennel Risotto from Jamie's Italy. I LOVE that recipe.

Sara said...

Thanks Tanna!

Katerina - I will take a look at that, thank you!

test it comm said...

Looks at all of that tasty food!

breadchick said...

Well Sara, I was wondering what your Christmas dinner country was this year!

And I'm a sucker for food product infomercials too. I can't tell you the number of times I've been tempted at 2:30am to order that sandwich maker thingy that woman puts two big scoops of stove top stuffing mix, a dollop of canned soup and a raw chicken breast in to make a meal...

Karen Baking Soda said...

2 hours? You gotta love those senior moments!
Your christmas dinner sounds wonderful with the breaks inbetween.

Mary I think I've seen the one you mention, they make them look so tempting! Curious.

foodiechickie said...

I love how your family tries a different country each year. I wish my family was as adventerous. Sigh.

Also love the caption you had for the egg rolls. LOOL!!

Sara said...

Ani - i must admit that all this started because i was looking for a way to get out of cooking a turkey for christmas! but i love it and i hope we'll continue the tradition for a long time.