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Christmas Eve/Christmas, New Year's Eve/Day 2020/21


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Thanks. Here's the recipe I've been using for 20 years. I love pecans and am always looking for new ways to use them.

 

BUTTERMILK PRALINES

2c sugar

1T light corn syrup

1c buttermilk

1tsp baking soda

3T butter

2c toasted pecan halves

1tsp vanilla

 

Combine sugar, syrup, buttermilk, and soda in large heavy pan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Cook to 220 degrees.

 

Add butter and nuts. Cook to 232-234 degrees. Remove from heat and let stand 2-3 min. Add vanilla and beat with wooden spoon till thick and creamy.

 

Drop by tablespoon onto waxed paper. 

 

Work fast cause it will seize up pretty quickly after it gets thick and creamy. Sometimes I just make half a recipe so I know they'll be pretty when cool.

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@kayb - I love the idea of all those different brittles.  I really need to do that sometime.  I also love the look of your pecans.  They look really deeply roasted.

 

@catdaddy– thank you for the praline recipe.  I’ll be trying that one non-humid day after the holidays.  I’ve always wondered how pralines got to be the de facto city candy of NOLA.  It is so hard to make that kind of candy when it is humid outside and New Orleans is seriously damp most of the time. 

 

Every year @Darienne gets a toast and a thank you from the Shooks and everyone we pack a goody bag for.  She gave me her Engstrom-Style Toffee recipe a couple of years ago and we all adore it.  Did this yesterday when it was sunshiny and dry:

IMG_4299.jpg.7c96bf99e03c21c510988aea95cee11a.jpg

 

Happy Accident candy:

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This is just the shards leftover from breaking up the sponge candy mixed with melted Trader Joe’s chocolate.  Makes a nice little two-bite treat. 

 

I am doing my PB cookies today.  This is the ones that I roll in demerara sugar before baking and top with a Hershey kiss when they come out:

IMG_4305.jpg.1badb44c98ceac200a99dc13fbe88fe4.jpg

 

Here are the Maldon salt topped kind:

IMG_4307.jpg.afe7011b70d96aa5db55b2c74f35c538.jpg

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Today I did some mini-chocolate pound cakes and tried my hand at vegan brownies (!) (that girl's about to start getting just jams and jellies for Christmas!), and packaged everything else up; made up three trays to go out tomorrow or Friday; another will go out Saturday evening, and that'll have the in-laws, but for one set, taken care of, and that set won't get theirs until the kids come after Christmas, so they can wait. Next week I'll make cookies, to give, along with all this damn fudge and such, to other folks who get just a goodie bag. And Christmas Eve morning, I'll make cherry almond muffins to take to a dear friend whose favorite they are.

 

And I wrapped all the presents, at least those that have gotten here, today. Still outstanding: four, I think, unless I forgot some. Still have to get stocking-stuffers for Jamie. And I actually cooked dinner. I may be in bed by shortly after dark.

 

It's about the time of the year I descend into grinchiness. I wish I could just enjoy Christmas instead of trying to DO so much.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

@Darienne  Care to share the recipe for toffee?

 

That makes two of us. Mind you, I've never made toffee despite having (long ago) gotten a wonderful recipe from a friend of my parents. That recipe is probably lost forever. Yours, Darienne, looks delicious.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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2 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

That makes two of us. Mind you, I've never made toffee despite having (long ago) gotten a wonderful recipe from a friend of my parents. That recipe is probably lost forever. Yours, Darienne, looks delicious.

In case she misses this, I'll link you to the recipe on my webpage.  I wrote it with @Darienne's directions and also my own variation (I could never do a good job of getting the chocolate on both sides like she does).  

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I have no xmas day traditions. When I was little we had a closet xmas. And I do mean closet. My mother came from a Kosher household but she loved xmas tree glitter. My grandmother lived in our apartment building, so my mother would literally hide a small tinseled tree in the coat closet in case Grandma happened by. You wanted that homey xmas cheer? Look in the closet, among the raincoats and liquor supply. Xmas day was most likely a movie and Chinese.

 

In college in New Mexico I had a boyfriend I always spent xmas eve with. He had a big family and their tradition was green chile burgers. Xmas day was always a free-for-all, one place or another. Once I settled in CA and met my husband to be every xmas eve was spent with his family and every year his mother made the most god-awful minestrone you can imagine. That's just what they did. To this day, forty years later, I have no idea if all the siblings and in-laws really liked it or just pretended. It was what it was.  It wasn't in his family code to dislike anything out loud. Gift opening happened after dinner and it was interminable. Xmas day was still a wild card, since his parents traditionallly had other plans and all the sibs eventually married into families with their own xmas day traditions. 

 

When we had our daughter I was pressured to have a tree and presents on xmas morning. Not so bad. Xmas day was still a wild card. No traditional menu. Sometimes a movie, sometimes an invite, sometimes dinner in SF's famous crab restaurants, sometimes guests and coq au vin. 

 

This year it's just the two of us. I'm going to thrill my husband by recreating my NM xmas eve with green chile burgers. I haven't eaten beef in two years and he misses it. I miss it, or maybe I miss my old boyfriend from a zillion years ago; I really don't know and in the end it doesn't matter. Not any fuss so it's fine with me .Xmas morning will be lox and bagels. Xmas dinner will be home made pizzas, a variety: artichoke, radicchio-chard, and a plain margherita, or something of that ilk. He does the crust and the baking, I do the toppings. Again, not a lot of work for me, except, well, artichokes. Dessert is an unknown. Maybe I can talk my husband into making zabaglione....I like it warm....

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It’s just my husband and I. So I think I may order stone crabs from local 130 in NJ for xmas eve. 
 

  I really am apathetic about this holiday. I miss my parents and inlaws. I already gave my husband a big gift— the new Apple 6 series Hermes watch. He has afib and the newer model takes your blood oxygen levels and does an EGK. 
 

I won’t go to a grocery store so I’ll have to rely on Insta cart. Maybe we will do fondue. 
 

next year I really either need to use my Instant Pot and Anova or get rid of them. 

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16 hours ago, MetsFan5 said:

It’s just my husband and I. So I think I may order stone crabs from local 130 in NJ for xmas eve. 
 

  I really am apathetic about this holiday. I miss my parents and inlaws. I already gave my husband a big gift— the new Apple 6 series Hermes watch. He has afib and the newer model takes your blood oxygen levels and does an EGK. 
 

I won’t go to a grocery store so I’ll have to rely on Insta cart. Maybe we will do fondue. 
 

next year I really either need to use my Instant Pot and Anova or get rid of them. 

 

Nice gift for husband! Let us know what you got, after you get it.

 

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I should finally chime in here.

 

Like Thanksgiving, I'm honestly happy for it to be just the two of us.   Holiday gatherings stress me out--it's not them, it's me.  I have a few more gifts to drop off on porches which I will do early next week and then I'm done (I think).  The rest of the days can be spent doing nothing but cooking and watching Christmas movies and just letting my brain settle down and enjoy.  

 

Christmas Eve will be cioppino that I ordered (yes more splurges but I don't care this year lol).  I am pretty sure I'll have to doctor it up a bit with some of my canned tomatoes ...maybe some broth.  I've always wanted to eat like the Italians do with the 7 fishes (is that right? 7?) meal so this is my homage.  Bread to sop up with....oysters that I've saved in the freezer.

 

For Christmas Day breakfast/brunch I ordered Kolaches.  Major throw back from when we lived up in the mountains and my mom worked at the bakery.  I ordered both savory and sweet.  I've been craving them for a long time.  Will make scrambled eggs to go with (some of the kolaches are sausage).

 

Christmas night I have a prime rib aging in the fridge.  Truffle Mac and cheese to go with and some kind of veg...or maybe more a splurge with potatoes too.  Have to figure that out.  I also have an Italian rum cake coming.  Delayed because of the snow so we will see if it gets here.

 

NYE will be our 21st anniversary.  I got sick sick sick last year on our 20th and I'm still having residual effects (Covid?  had relatives that flew in from Florida so ..I'll never know).  I pray this year I can actually enjoy NYE and NYD.  NYE Ronnie wants to recreate what we made for our wedding night (my mom, stepdad and us made all the food). Fried fish and Mac and cheese.

 

NYD will have all the lucky foods I can think of--for GOODNESS SAKE EVERYONE EAT ALL OF THE LUCKY FOODS!!!!   Ham, some kind of BEP dish--maybe cowboy caviar.  Greens etc.

 

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@Shelby All sounds good. Love the anniversary recreation. I have never had kolaches so pics will be needed. I miss entertaining, writing of lists. Heck I make lists just for me; centers me.  Pretty bad here so we have all vowed - stay home! We will talk and share meal ideas and favorites. 

I have settled on cheesy Christmas movies for days, wild Argentinian red shrimp for Christmas eve with roasted sweet potato chunks + spicy mayo dip,  and for the 25th turkey thighs, broccoli salad, and undetermined starch - maybe spiced coconut rice as the turkey will be saucy.  Making Melissa Clark's version of olive oil granola for snacking and to have over baked buttery apple chunks and (avert your eyes) Cool Whip. 

Edited by heidih (log)
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Oh and a girl can dream right? I am not a sweets nut but I saw this on eater LA the other day. It is less than a minute walk from a friend's house. I told her she HAD to get over there and let me enjoy vicariously.   

2311 S Alma St
San Pedro, CA 90731 (213) 444-0077

There may be no finer holiday pick-me-up than a gingerbread cookie paired with a dark chocolate mint mocha latte topped with house-made torched vanilla marshmallows and crushed peppermint candy from San Pedro’s Colossus.

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being fond of bûches, i thought why not make a savory one?  so for christmas dinner appetizer i shaped chicken liver pate (silver palate recipe) and garnished with mache, cornichon moss, and quail egg/tomato amanitas.  offscreen were some leaf-shaped crackers.  

 

 

 

savory buche.jpg

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1 hour ago, dystopiandreamgirl said:

being fond of bûches, i thought why not make a savory one?  so for christmas dinner appetizer i shaped chicken liver pate (silver palate recipe) and garnished with mache, cornichon moss, and quail egg/tomato amanitas.  offscreen were some leaf-shaped crackers.  

 

 

 

savory buche.jpg

 

Very impressive...and welcome back!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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1 hour ago, dystopiandreamgirl said:

being fond of bûches, i thought why not make a savory one?  so for christmas dinner appetizer i shaped chicken liver pate (silver palate recipe) and garnished with mache, cornichon moss, and quail egg/tomato amanitas.  offscreen were some leaf-shaped crackers.  

 

 

 

savory buche.jpg

Never seen a savory one. Impressive presentation and it sounds delicious.

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Yes, on Christmas Eve, it is traditional for Italians to do the feast of seven fishes. It’s pretty freaking awesome. Calamari, smelts, shrimp, octopus, flounder, seafood salad, clams and mussels and more. I miss it. Half the time we are with my inlaws for xmas so I haven’t been able to participate in a while. Freshly made pasta... the Italian side of my family can cook well and prepare huge feasts for holiday. 

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Decide in small, immediate family Christmas dinner.   

 

Ordered Aged Standing Rib Roast from Pat Lafrieda.

Fondant Potatoes (or my take)

Green Beans Almadine (family tradition)

Going old school with Wedge Salad

Gruyere and Black Pepper popovers on a take of Yorkshire Pudding

Au Jus of course

Fresh Horseradish sauce

 

Assorted Hors D'oeuvres  Such as Shrimp Cocktail, Oysters, Cheeses..

 

I am going completely old school here.  No Modernist Cuisine.    Reaching back to the roots........

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Ive been dragooned into doing the 7 fishes. Just 4 well-isolated/vaccinated people will be there.

Thought I might touch all 7 bases with a single terrine, but it was an unattractive mess

So now it'll be small plates, tea sandwiches etc.

(And the Worcestershire sauce in the pimento cheese counts as 1 fish)

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