Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Fare

Last year I made an elaborate Christmas meal, only to have all my kids get sick and not be able to enjoy it.

This year I decided to chill out and enjoy the day a bit more, so here is what we had for dinner:

Christmas Eve
My family has a long standing tradition of eating a "Jerusalem Dinner" on Christmas Eve. Depending on the age of the kids, we would sometimes dress up in nativity costumes and we almost always ate by candlelight. Dinner would consist of things that Joseph and Mary might have eaten in their day. This year we ate fish (lightly pan fried in a little EVOO), dried plums and apricots, olives, and pita bread with goat cheese (as well as some other cheeses that the kids would like). I also had some smoked oysters that a friend gave us when he cleaned out his pantry, so I made a cream cheese spread with them to eat on the pita bread. We drank grape juice with the meal. Leah added to the scene by placing nativity characters around the table.

Christmas Brunch
After the excitement of opening presents, we sat down to cinnamon rolls, mango-berry juice, and CranApple Acorn Squash. I was going to serve grapefruit as well, but we really didn't need anything more - it was a perfect snack to keep us going as we tried out our games and toys.

Christmas Dinner
The last thing I wanted was to be stuck in the kitchen all day, so I found this great recipe for Posole which cooked in the slow cooker all day and served up great with a batch of cornbread and a little salad.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Harvest Pound Cake

This recipe is the result of me trying to make a recipe I found online and realizing I was out of many of the ingredients. I liked it so much I figured I should make note of my "recipe" for posterity.

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup pumpkin or sweet potato puree
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour (I used half white/half wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups chopped or grated apples or pears
1 cup dried fruit (I used a dried berry mix)

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, pumpkin, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to egg mixture and mix well. Stir in fresh and dried fruit. Pour into a two 8x4 loaf pans (greased and floured).
Sprinkle with coarse decorating sugar. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.