How did I go from Halloween to December in a blink? Seriously, this is the first time I didn’t do a Thanksgiving wrap-up. My apologies. The good news is everything worked out well. I made Ted Allen’s deconstructed turkey again but just used an herb butter of my own making – 2 sticks softened, unsalted butter mixed with 1/2 of mixed chopped parsley, chives, sage, salt & pepper – rubbed under the skin and used a little of it melted for basting.
I used this Serious Eats dry brine, much easier than wet brine. Only difference is I mixed in a little dried thyme and rubbed sage. Used Sally’s Baking Addiction Apple Cranberry Herb Stuffing. A good showing.
If I am making Chex Party Mix, Drummer Boy will walk in the house and say “mmm, smells like Christmas”. So I thought this an appropriate party favor:
A dessert I meant to make for Thanksgiving but ran out of time, should still be made nonetheless, as it is delicious. All the ingredients are from Trader Joe’s and it is practically a holiday in a jar.
Winter Spice Trifle
WHAT YOU NEED (all from Trader Joe’s)
triple ginger snaps
5 TBSP cookie butter
4 oz whipped cream
3 TBSP maple syrup
Fleur de sel caramel sauce
WHAT YOU DO
Crumble the ginger snaps into the bottom of a jar/glass. Combine the mascarpone cheese with the cookie butter. Beat the whipped cream and maple syrup until stiff peaks form. Melt the caramel sauce in the microwave (top off!) until pourable. Layer the mascarpone mixture over the cookies, top with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel sauce. Amounts depend on the size of your jar or glass. Guitar boy had four of these over the course of a day. Shhh, don’t tell him it’s cheese!
So on to Christmas. The tree themes are Rainbow (as a result of me losing the white lights vs. colored lights argument to Drummer Boy).
The ornaments follow the ROYGBIV pattern of the rainbow with admittedly copper/rose gold subbing in for orange.
Front tree is Eat, Drink and be Merry so all food, drink, and music ornaments. It may be a touch too reflective of our lives (hotdogs, donuts and Diet Coke?). Um, can someone buy me an asparagus ornament?!
See if you can spot my new favorite Christmas tea towel.
That’s right, Batman smells has now been incorporated into our decor!
But yesterday we went to the Christkindlmarket, a very cute German market set up in both Naperville and downtown Chicago. We drank cider and cocoa out of commemorative mugs, ate bavarian pretzels and shopped for ornaments. They had loads of delicately hand-painted Santas, stockings, peaceful nativity scenes and woodland creatures. Beautiful. So what did we get #momofboys?
That’s right, can you spot the secret Krampus on each tree? Now I’m being lobbied for an all bad guys tree next year. Darth Vader ornament, I think you are about to have your moment!
Trying out a few Christmas cookies this weekend. These Brown Sugar Shortbread cookies were a big hit with the teen crowd.
Making a birthday dinner tonight for mbork of F’ing Ziti (a nod to season one of Sopranos where AJ is mad that Tony’s panic attack made him drop the leftover tray of ziti – if you are over 18 go watch it, it’s a classic). Really it’s Penne with Two Cheeses from Epicurious, but when I first made it for Aunt Mary and Treasured Guest decades ago, we were watching Sopranos so F’ing Ziti it became. Adding in Smitten Kitchen’s Perfect Garlic Bread because carbs were requested, so carbs will be bestowed!
Next up – Holiday Pizza Night. Have some homemade favors to share with you but more on that later.
Have a great week everyone!