Narrowing It Down to the Top 25
Perle Mesta I’m not, but I do love a good gathering of friends and family that allows me the rare opportunity of cooking for a gaggle. Just the two of us, “cooking” now often means coming home with sushi from the fish market or popping into Bedford Gourmet for a large container of their roasted cauliflower and some soup.
But I am spending today poring through new and old recipes and cookbooks for about five days worth of meals. Fish, sides, lots of good veggies. Standing Rib Roast Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Or neither?
Throw in a Christmas Day birthday child with a birthday cake and birthday presents, over a birthday breakfast, we pretty much give our souls over to the gym come December 26th. Or add more routines on the treadmill.
I am doing my best to keep the recipes all in the healthy range, but c’mon, it IS Christmas after all and some indulgence is allowed. Like egg nog! The major categories, with some ideas so far, are:
Breakfasts, including NO EGG recipes for Mr. EOS
Ina Garten’s Cherry Almond Granola, yogurts, waffles, fruit
Munchies, for all the times you just pass through the kitchen to ask if there’s anyway to help but there isn’t so you pick a little something off the counter….
Smitten Kitchen Sugar & Spice Nuts, dried apricots, Asian pears, fruitcake
Easy Help-Yourself Lunches, like chili or soups
Asian Noodle Soup with Chicken or beef, annotated
Winter Asparagus Soup, a recipe I found in a Santa Barbara California magazine. You can tell by the ragged condition of the recipe how much we make this. Four stars. Makes a great meal in itself, with a light salad.
Hors d’oeuvres, from late afternoon on through dinner MUST include my sister’s asparagus roll-ups or Mr. EOS won’t show up! The photo of these below is from The Hedonistic Kitchen but the recipe is the same as my sister uses. WARNING: These disappear very quickly! Can be made ahead and frozen, uncooked.
Drinks, alcoholic and not
Rule #1: Always have a batch of Pimm’s Cup on hand. While it’s traditionally a summer quaff, it is very refreshing and light anytime. Photo and recipe from Kitchen Riffs.
Dinners, healthy yet festive (no tofu allowed)
Fresh Bay Scallops, Salmon, Pork roast, brisket; still undecided about the standing rib roast. Ina Garten’s Mussels in White Wine is one of our favorites
Vegetable Side Dishes, or as a light main course
Three favorites are on the “for sure” list; Orzo with Spinach and Feta, A Delicious and Festive Looking Vegetable Tian from the Barefoot Contessa, and another Ina classic, her Moroccan Couscous
Desserts, birthday cake, or sweets for no reason
New to this category, a recipe in today’s New York Times for Chocolate Whiskey Cake. Might be a good birthday candle option.
The list will get whittled in the next day or so, ingredients bought, fish ordered, and serious preparation to begin this weekend! You know I would love nothing more than to hear (and see) what you are all planning to cook. Please feel free to send me photos and/or recipes you want shared with this gang.
FROM MARTHA. Read her comment below for explanation of photos.
AND FROM JOLLY SIR MICHIGAN, he posts his exercise regimen!