The family room is happily messy with holiday atmosphere.....wrapping paper and ribbons strewn under the coffee table, lights twinkling on the tree, fire blazing in the hearth. Ron and Andrea have settled in to start watching their new "From the Earth to the Moon" 12-episode video set. I will soon curl up to finish the Steinbeck novel, "The Winter of Our Discontent" and sip French vanilla cappuccino that was so kindly gifted to me by a Sunday School student.
Hard to select our fave celebration....Christmas or the Day After Christmas!
It may have been our most delightfully fun Christmas Day.....and I don't say that every year! It was a day tailor-made for warm, rich memories of family fellowship, gut-wrenching laughter, thoughtful gifts, and my work-of-art dinner.
I will be a grandmother for the first time in May 2005. We were all reduced to tears of hysteria over my oh-so-creative mid-20s son's speculation on names for his future son or daughter. Please, Ryan, if you're reading this....children should never be named after fast food (western bacon cheeseburger) or Frank Zappa's kids (Moon Unit). I don't care what wacky names hippie parents picked in the 1960s.
The dinner menu turned out superbly. I've promised to publish three of the recipes, so here they are....
Lemon-Rosemary Marinade and Poaching Liquid for Salmon
Equal parts lemon juice & olive or canola oil
1 cup, unsweetened coconut milk
Freshly cut rosemary
Use proportions to taste. I use the garlic salt sparingly and lemon pepper heavily. Make sure to cut the rosemary needles, to release the full flavor. I marinated 3 lbs. of salmon in the liquid for 30 minutes, in a shallow baking dish, and then baked it for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.
Lime Cilantro Sweet Potatoes
inspiration - Epicurious.com *
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into thin slices
4 tbsps, olive or canola oil
2 tbsps, garlic salt
1/2 cup, lime juice
2 bunches, fresh cilantro
Toss sweet potatoes in oil and 1/2 garlic salt, and bake in baking dish for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut cilantro, and combine wth lime juice and remaing salt. Mix into sweet potato mixture, and bake for another 30 minutes.
Proportions are not vital for this recipe. Add or reduce cilantro and lime to taste. Fresh lime zest and cayenne can also enhance the taste of this unique, addictive dish.
* inspiration = I modified the original recipe
Pumpkin-Butterscotch Bundt Cake
source - "Bundt Cakes" by Karen Plageman & Susan Herbert, 1973
1 pkg yellow or vanilla cake mix *
2 tspns, pumpkin pie spice
2 tspns, cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
2 tspns, baking soda
16-oz, fresh pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1-11-oz package butterscotch chips
1 cup, powdered sugar
1 tbsp, white corn syrup
1 tbsp, milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Combine cake mix, spices and baking soda. Add eggs, pumpkin and water. Beat until smooth as silk. Fold in butterscotch morsels. Pour better into pan and bake for 40 - 45 minutes. Let cool in bundt pan for 30 minutes, and then turn onto cake plate. Dirzzle glaze when cake is cool. For finishing effect and extra taste, I sprinkled cinnamon over the glaze.
* I prefer Betty Crocker cake mixes. BC mixes taste better & fresher than other brands.
One last time in 2004....Merry Christmas!