Family Style: Xmas Eve Eve Dinner 2012

Last year, my family kicked off a new Holiday tradition of sharing a meal on Christmas Eve Eve at my house in South Philly. With so much running around on Christmas Day, it’s nice to gather with just my parents, sister and our boyfriends without having to rush off to the next gathering. This year, Dre’s mom joined us from Baltimore and it really felt like the family was complete.

Someone, however, was missing this holiday season… my lovely Grandma. On December 20th, she passed away peacefully in her sleep. It’s still too fresh of a heartache for me to share very much right now, however the food love she inspired in me certainly shines through in this year’s Xmas Eve Eve dinner, from the Dutch oven I used to the trivets & tablecloth. I know she was there with me in the kitchen all weekend.

And so I present, my Xmas Eve Eve Dinner Menu 2012:

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Oven Poached Salmon w. Pink Grapefruit & Tarragon Sauce

Emeril’s Potluck: Comfort Food with a Kicked Up Attitude – Recipe

Cider-Brined Roasted Turkey w. Star Anise & Cinnamon

Bon Appétit November 2011 pg 94 – Recipe

Butternut Squash & Corn Bread Stuffing Muffins

Food & Wine: Michael Symon’s Heartland Thanksgiving Menu November 2011 – Recipe

Caramelized Onion Scalloped Yukon Gold & Sweet Potatoes

Adapted from two recipes:

Bon Appétit November 2008 – Recipe #1

Bon Appétit December 2012 – Recipe #2

Broiled Asparagus w. Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette

Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

Sautéed Shiitake, Cremini & Buna Shimeji Mushrooms

Julia Childs’ Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Generic Brown & Serve Dinner Rolls

I’m only one woman!

I put the rest of the fam in charge of booze, hors d’oeuvres, & dessert once again. Dad & Mary Ann are always on point with their beer & wine selection. Im polishing off the final, and aptly named, Evil Twin Before, During and After Christmas Beer as I type. Kerry & Rich made mini crab cakes, citrus-goat cheese endive and classic lil smokies & BBQ sauce. Dessert was a selection of cakes including an out-of-this-world Yule Log filled with fresh strawberries that Dre’s mom brought and Kerry’s chocolate chip bread pudding a la mode. And another holiday feast has come and gone…

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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Weekend Update: Labor… er… Memorial Day!

Whoa, summer! Slow your roll! I can’t believe it’s already Labor Day and I’m just now getting around to posting about Memorial Day. Dre + I aren’t up to much this holiday weekend so I’m happy to throwback to one of the best BBQs I attended all summer – Jenny C’s White Trash BBQ! I was sort of in “introvert mode” that day so I just laid back, shot some photos, and enjoyed the delicious food into the suburban Jersey night. Of course, I showed up with some solid BBQ staples and was thrilled they were such crowd pleasers. How can you go wrong with deviled eggs and rice krispie treats? You can’t… and I did them oh-so-right!

Chipotle Deviled Eggs FTW

Now let’s take a hot minute to talk about my rice krispie treats. I discovered a super simple way to make them Snap, Krackle, and mother-effing POP like no other rice krispie treat before it. Melt some butter in a sauce pan, melt it some more w. a few swirls of the pan, melt it until it starts to brown but careful enough that it doesn’t burn… and proceed with your usual back-of-the-cereal-box recipe. Brown butter instills a distinct nuttiness that no one can deny. Extra marshmallows are a no brainer, as well, and a sprinkle of sea salt to finish them like a salted caramel doesn’t hurt either. Steal my secrets. Do it. Everyone will love you!

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats 

See the rest of my Memorial Day photos on my Flickr photostream….
including Gilly Jo’s Grilled Cinnamon Pineapple and the 100ft Slip + Slide!