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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Recipes: Christmas 2009

For reasons beyond my control, my family had their Christmas gathering this year on December 26th rather than Christmas Day. Since Todd's family is in Florida, we didn't have anywhere to go for Christmas Day. So, we had our own special Christmas, just the two of us (and The Bug, of course), on Christmas Day. I decided to spend the day making a wonderful Christmas Dinner for us. It worked out nicely.

First, Christmas Eve, I was in Annapolis with my mom and brother. I brought crabcakes from Wegman's, which are usually much better than they were this time. Mom made tenderloin and other things, but I didn't cook for this one.

Christmas Day Menu:
The turkey was AWESOME. This is the third time I've made a turkey, and the second time making this particular recipe. I loved it, it came out perfectly. I used the Convection Roast setting on my oven, which seemed to work, although I don't know if it really took any time off of how long the turkey should really cook. I still have difficulty using a meat thermometer on a turkey, I need some more practice with that.

Stuffing wasn't so great, although Todd was pleased. I bought too little bread and it wasn't stale enough, so I felt like it was too gummy. Like I said, Todd enjoyed it. I tried it in the crockpot, but it was hard to say if the crockpot was a good choice or not because of the aforementioned issues with it. So, I'll have to make stuffing again sometime.

Mashed Potatoes, green beans and carrots were all Todd's job, and he did an excellent job with those.

The rolls came out nicely, but I don't think they had enough time to rise. I was using dough from a store mix for white bread, and that part was fine, I think it just needed to rise more. One issue? We were out the room for a bit. I'd placed the rolls in the iron skillet and put a dish cloth over them. I left them on the kitchen island. The Bug, who likes the warmth put out by the recessed lights above the island, thought this would make a nice seat for him. We came back into the room to see him SITTING ON THE ROLLS. Arg! They were still yummy though, although not quite as good as they could have been.

The apple pie... Here's the thing with apple pie. Todd loves it, and his current favorite pie came from my grandmother. Before that, it was his ex-wife, who once went into an apple pie baking war with Todd's mom. I have been putting off baking an apple pie for Todd for years now. Well, this was the day. This recipe was perfect, and just right, and I think the result was spectacular. (Check out the photo - while I often use other people's photos for my recipes, the ones on this post all came from Todd!) . The only problem that I had with the pie was that I haven't used the oven since the Monkey Bread Incident, and so as soon as I put the pie in the oven, it started to smoke. A lot. It smoked up the whole house. We aired it out, it was fine, but the pie smelled just slightly of smoke.

(Also, see the awesome Christmas dinnerware that we have! Todd surprised me with these on Christmas)

Boxing Day, we joined my family in Virginia for a Christmas Feast. I made some rolls (just plain ones), and also contributed a Spinach Salad with Gorgonzola, Pistachios, and Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette. This was super-easy, and easy to bring to the party. I kept the spinach in bags and put the nuts and gorgonzola in one container, and the pre-made pepper jelly vinaigrette in another. I mixed it all up there. I used almonds instead of pistachios, but that was just because I didn't have time to deal with pistachios, as they weren't with the other baking nuts and I was in a hurry the other night in the grocery store.

It was a delicious Christmas (a little too delicious, perhaps?).

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