Monday, December 19, 2011

Thyme for Christmas!

OMG what is this you ask?
I actually got my SH*T together in time to make a pre-Christmas dinner to cook, analyse, and write about! If I was cooking Christmas dinner this year, this is what I would be making for everyone. But I'm not, so the only one's who will be eating this are myself and my friend Lauren. She's the lucky one because we were supposed to be going out to dinner anyway, but I wanted to do this and I figured I couldn't let all this great food just sit in my refrigerator.

Everything for this from soup to nuts took me about 5 hours to make. Some of you may be thinking...5 hours!! WTF? That is a long time! But if you have ever cooked a huge holiday meal, you would know it can and does take 2 days. So I pride myself in making an entire Christmas meal in 5 hours. Yes, you could make some of it the day before, but in total, this can be done in 5 hours. That means that if you were to do this all on Christmas day, you could start cooking at 10am and eat by 3pm. (Not that I would do that...I would actually start Christmas Eve, but you could.)

I put the menu together with two things in mind: first that each dish would be simple and second that all of the flavors would go well together. I've always liked Christmas dinner better than Thanksgiving because I feel like the menu for Thanksgiving is traditionally the same thing: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pies....lots of pies. You can be A LOT more creative with Christmas dinner.

Butternut Squash Soup w/ Rosemary Infused Bread
Stuffed Wild Cod w/ Cranberry Sauce & Artichoke Salad
Gingersnap Cookies w/ Vanilla Ice Cream

I purposely chose a lighter dinner because I feel like it shouldn't be nearly as heavy as Thanksgiving. You could easily substitute the fish for duck or pork. I used a bunch of different spices...thyme (had to incorporate it in somehow!), rosemary, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. Some are quintessentially Christmas, but I was mostly striving for warm, hearty flavors.

For the sake of not writing a novel, I am breaking this up into 4 different posts. Tomorrow nights will be the soup and bread, then the stuffed cod (or roast duck) with cranberry sauce and artichoke salad, and last but not least the ginger snaps with vanilla ice cream (no I am not making the ice cream...maybe one day, but not today).

The soup, bread, cranberry sauce, and cookies can be made the day before. The fish (or meat) and the salad should be made the day of. I also suggest starting with a glass of wine and putting on your favorite music (big band works wonders for me).

OUTCOME: I forgot to serve the was in the microwave ready to be heated up....but by the time Lauren and I started blabbing about everything we needed to catch up on I forgot about it. Oh well... nothing is perfect and things go wrong. Life is messy, but that is no reason to get worked up. Right?

This sh*t ended up everywhere!
Also, the fish was good, however, I think the meal would have been better with a piece of duck. I thought initially that duck would go best, however for the sake of not including any meat, I chose to use fish. So I will be writing about both, because I have made a duck before and it is easy.

Always go with your gut. It will lead you in the right direction. 

1 comment:

  1. The butternut squash soup and artichoke salad sound lovely. Happy holidays!


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