Tuesday, December 28, 2010

my christmas feast

Every Christmas eve we have a feast this year we served it in courses.
    1st course: Tuscan stuffed mushrooms- they were better than any other stuffed mushroom I've ever tried, we plated them with extra virgin olive oil and green onion.
         2nd course: kale, green beans and button mushrooms with spicy Parmesan- we added ground chili to the Parmesan to add some heat :)
    3rd course: butternut squash and vanilla risotto- i was surprised when i saw this recipe for vanilla risotto... i forgot to buy a vanilla bean.. so i had to make do using extract.
           main course: poached swordfish in broccoli pesto with lemon- having a non meat-eater in the family we always have something with fish in it instead of a turkey(last year we had salmon wellington, the year before it was fish minestrone)out of all those years i think this dish was the best.
     cheese course: aged Gouda, Gruyere and Herve Mon Morbier ( a blue cheese) with pears in Rosemary syrup- for the cheese course i wanted a semi-hard a hard and a soft cheese. I've never heard of Herve Mons Morbier but it was delicious.
the risotto
     dessert: hot chocolate cake with homemade marshmallows- dessert this year was made by one of our guests, it was wonderful!!
the swordfish and pesto with a menu i made for that evening

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

my Christmas

Lately I have been..........
1.watching a lot of Christmas movies(miracle on 34th st.,a Christmas carol, Santa baby and its a wonderful life)
2. listening to a lot of Christmas music
3. eating a lot of sweets.
4. going downtown to see all the lights and Christmas trees 
5. writing a lot of Christmas cards... 
....... so you see i'm really in the holiday spirit!!:) 
 everyone needs a few baubles in life...

 gold Santa
red Santa
both Santas!!!
a nutcracker

i really enjoyed the nordstroms window

especially this little squirrel

also these sparkling balls from the Ralph Lauren window at macys reminded me of ornaments
have a great holiday! xoxo, thea

Friday, December 17, 2010

foodie fridays: a few things

prosciutto and lettuce sandwich with white pepper- balsamic mayo
mmm... extra rich hot coco

Winter woodland Christmas cake
AMAZING cake from torie jayn 
we've gotten our Christmas tree, trimmed it, received a few packages in the mail......all that has to change for christmas time is the weather- remember the snow i talked about in vintage/antique post? well now its about the opposite, you could were a short sleeve shirt outside! so much for a white christmas :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

DIY: little homemade christmas presents

Here's some ideas for a few little Christmas present this year!
                      clay ornaments 
These are really fun to make, all you need is air dry clay, acrylic paint and a dose of creativity.

little blue bird ornaments, I gave these out to guests at my bruschetta party
little cute cloud ornament
toadstool ornament I made for my bruschetta party

             make your own coco kit
this makes a really great gift for fellow crafty people. Here's a rough guide to make the coco kit: fill a mason jar with layers of chocolate chips and marshmallows, put a piece of felt over the top, tie a piece of ribbon around a candy cane and the top of the mason jar, tape on the 
directions and ingredients: you'll need 1 cup of chocolate chips, 1 cup milk, sugar to taste and as many marshmallows as you like.Directions: melt the chocolate,add 1/4 cup milk and whisk vigorously, add the rest of the milk and mix, sweeten to taste, top with marshmallows and garnish with the candy cane. enjoy!!     

the directions for the coco kit, equipped with a candy cane

I made this little mug picture

 the coco kit filled with marshmallow and chocolate chips
im leaving you with a cool pic I took , doesn't it look wintery 


foodie fridays : pumpkin creme brulee

finally, a foodie Friday post that's actually on time!
pumpkin, eggs and sugar
Pumpkin pie seems like something you would serve at thanksgiving but its really delicious anytime. One of my favorite things about pumpkin pie is its custardiness (i couldn't think of another word) , its so much richer and creamier than apple and other pies so I made it extra rich by turning it into a creme brulee.It was really good......maybe even better than pumpkin pie??!.......especially with the caramelized crust :)

                       the recipe
11\4 cups pumpkin
1\4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1\8 tsp. cinnamon 
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
9 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 6 teaspoons sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place cream in heavy medium saucepan.Add pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Whisk yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in medium metal bowl to blend. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bowl to touch water).Add pumpkin and whisk vigorously until yolk mixture is pale yellow and hot to touch, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture.
Divide cream mixture among six 3/4-cup soufflé dishes or custard cups. Arrange dishes in 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of dishes. Bake custards until almost set in center and light golden on top, about 35 minutes. Remove custards from water; refrigerate overnight.
Preheat broiler. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar atop each custard. Place dishes on small baking sheet.Torch custards, if you do not own a torch do the following. Broil until sugar just starts to caramelize, rotating sheet for even browning, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate custards until topping hardens, at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.

eggs, the key ingredient

whisking the eggs and sugar

before they go in the oven

I love their peachy color!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

DIY: bruschetta party


A few days ago I hosted a party… not really your normal party (which isn't a bad thingJJ).

I hosted a bruschetta party; I made tiny rounds of toasted baguette topped with roasted eggplant for

Dinner one night, it was delicious!! So I came up with devoting a whole party to it.

Here are a few bruschetta I made for the party:

Toadstool bruschetta- goat cheese rounds topped with halved cherry tomatoes, they looked adorable! The green toast was "dyed" green with parsley pesto.

Eggplant bruschetta –delicious roasted eggplant and garlic with fresh parsley.

Wonderland bruschetta –prosciutto, fig, arugula and fresh

Clementine sparkler- fresh squeezed clementine juice with sparkling water and a bit of honey garnished with clementine segments, they looked great!

I also served make your own bruschetta-I toasted a baguette and served it with roasted sweet potato and homemade white bean dip, YUM!

Here's how I set the table:

Here are a few pics of how I set the scene for the party-it was a mix of elegant, rustic, and cute.

Everything was delicious and I would have gotten some more pictures of the food but everything was gobbled up too quickly!

the cute invites
okay, I really didn't need to label the utensils but it was fun! 
my fall/harvest bouquet
Please comment if you've had an out of the ordinary party lately.  

adorable homemade toadstool ornaments stood by the drinks

every last detail...
the drink station


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