"A good meal is like a present, and it can feel goofy, at best, to give yourself a present. On the other hand, there is something life affirming in taking the trouble to feed yourself well, or even decently. Cooking for yourself allows you to be strange or decadent or both. The chances of you liking what you made are high, but if it winds up being disgusting, you can always throw it away and order a pizza; no one will ever know." (Jenni Ferrari-Adler)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Pictures are finally here :)

Thanks Kiki and Jay :)

So as promised here are the official thanksgiving pictures.
Because not even big houses are large enough to entertain..... a little improvisation was required

The cheese table

Vegetable terrine. This was my masterpiece.... it required overnight refrigeration, but off course that did not happen. I'm still wondering how it actually stayed up with  only 2 hours in the fridge.... one more reason to be thankful this thanksgiving. i had tears in my eyes upon removal of the mold. :D.

Spinach Gratin.  This was also very very delicious.  This recipe was posted in the food 52 blog. I used fresh spinach instead of frozen.

Heirloom tomato lemon mascarpone tart, also a recipe from food 52 blog I've wanted to try for a while. I cheated a little on this one as the pie crust was store bought (had no time to make it)

On the upper left corner (cut-off in 1/2), is the chevre mashed potatoes (remember it used to be a caramelized onion chevre mash..... well it lost its onion due to time constraints ehehhehehe, who cares no one knew about the plan, unless off course they read the blog entry.

Roasted brussel sprouts pomegranate salad tossed in vanilla butter and pomegranate molasses finished with vanilla-thyme candied pecans.  

To the left is the roasted pumpkin and spinach salad with berries and pine nuts in a mustard vinaigrette (unfortunately it got cut off and i didn't get any picture of this one :(  )

Roasted potato and radish salad with black mustard seeds... recipe herehttp://www.food52.com/recipes/search?recipe_search=Roasted+potato+and+horseradish+salad+with+black+mustard

To the right just about in the middle of the photo, the dish that got cut-off was prepared by Bina. this was her own version of Julia Child's Brussel Sprouts with creme ..... delicious!

Next to the potato salad is the stuffing... not sure of who prepared it

This is one of my favorite.  J's Goat cheese and garlic stuffed mushrooms, a success in every party and always the first plate to be emptied 

Our Kosher Turkey, directly behind it its an interesting creation by my aunt.... portobello mushroom stuffed with guacamole and some lemon dill version of a ranch dressing...... i did not try this one, tho i heard it was good  

Equally as  important.... the center piece. I think my mom does an outstanding job with these and should do this for a living. I wish i had gotten my mom's artistic vein..... lucky me at least i got the cooking gene.  Hey, one can' t have everything ehehhehe

Bacalhau com natas........ yuuuuummmmmmmmm. Because as a good Portuguese family, we created our own thanksgiving tradition. And what tradition is it without salt cod? My mom makes the best bacalhau com natas i've ever had. We could have a restaurant surviving on this and trust me we would be millionaires by now.  Its that good! 

And now i'd like to introduce you to my new addiction....... Sweet potato marshmallow roasted mashed potatoes. This is a creation of Jason "Lagassi" ehehehhe  (its actually an Emeril Lagassi recipe, and if you did not know Emeril is of portuguese descent :D ) This is DECADENT!!!!
And finally lemon and herbs roasted chicken .
For some reason we have no pictures of the dessert table, which was basically set in the main table after all food was removed.

My Sister prepared her famous tiramisu and chocolate mousse,  and experimented with a pumpkin flan in a pie crust.... not so crazy about the caramel being sucked up by the crust ( i thought it was a bit of a waste) but the Flan was excellent.

Also prepared by our guests we had apple pie (the best i've ever had, I'm gonna swap one of my recipes for this one), coffee cake and some homemade chocolate.

And finally the classic pumpkin pie, and diabetes and diet friendly sugar free apple pie (by the way no one touched it... maybe because it sucks) from Marie.... you know Callendars.

To cap it all off.... a nespresso.

Notice my menu changed from what i had programed earlier. The rice and salmon mousse were removed from the plan due to time constraints.  It kind of worked out to our advantage because there would be more left over food.  So instead (and because the salmon had been defrosted), on sunday, I prepared salmon  for the entire family.

Recipe here

So as you may guess..... I'm sill trying to digest thanksgiving dinner :D

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vegetarian Wednesdays

Getting back to healthy eating after thanksgiving and in preparation for the next 4 weeks of baby showers, birthday parties, wedding anniversaries, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years..... Always looking forward to the month of December.

Tonight was vegetarian wednesday..... 

Veggie Penne with Crumbled Gorgonzola and Pine nuts

Serves 3-4
Organic Penne Pasta (about 1 cup uncooked)
Water for cooking
1 Cup of cherrie tomatoes
1/2 fennel
2 small shallots
1 garlic head
1 cup of shiitake mushrooms sliced
Gorgonzola cheese
Pine nuts (roasted)
Kalamata olives (1 hand full)
1 cup of fresh arugula
Olive oil
salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F
Slice fennel and shallots.  Peel Garlic. Reserve

Cook pasta in water till its all dente.

In an oven proof baking sheet place cherrie tomatoes, sliced fennel and shallots side by side in one layer. Season with salt and pepper, add some oregano and fresh thyme. Toss all ingredients with 2 spoons of olive oil ensuring all vegetables are coated.  Place baking sheet in oven for 20 min or until tomatoes are soft.

Meanwhile, sauté garlic in olive oil in a cast iron or large frying pan till soft.

By now pasta should be al dente. 

Add roasted vegetables and penne to the sauteed mushrooms. Toss for a second and remove from stove onto a serving dish.  Add crumbled gorgonzola, olives, arugula and pine nuts.

And Voila, a healthy filling and quick meal ready to be enjoyed with a glass of white wine, specially when eating alone :)

And if you are eating alone..... then tomorrow there left overs can be lunch in a box,  add some grilled chicken and pesto sauce and there's dinner too. 

What to do with the free time.... well catch up on some ZZZZZZZ or hit the gym.

Bon appétit!

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