Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas Yumminess: Winter Delights

Our book "The Lazy Woman's Guide to Just About Everything" redefines the word lazy.  Yes this Christmas feast took hours to prepare but it brought me such JOY to do it.  Therefore it was lazy.  If it fills your heart with joy, and does not add stress, then that's a damn good lazy thing.

This was a great feast and I'm sharing all the recipes because some of these are super duper easy to make, others more time-consuming but profoundly worth the effort, and all of them are delicious for the winter.

The trifle was a huge hit.  I had some leftover Gingerbread Cake (I have used the Silver Palate recipe -- with lemon glaze for over 30 years because it never ceases to impress) and I thought "Hey why not make a trifle out of that?"  So I made lemon curd, which I adore making because it's so fun to zest and juice the lemons and then watch as it slowly thickens over heat.  So I did layer of gingerbread, splashed with a few tablespoons of whiskey (or liqueur of your choice), then a layer of lemon curd, then some whipped cream (with vanilla and just a bit of powdered sugar because you don't want it to be sweet), and then some raspberries, and repeat until you make it to the top which is finished with whipped cream and berries.  It's so fricking easy and best to be done at least a day ahead so all the flavors soak in.

I found this recipe for Beet Risotto and built the menu around it.  Even Dan, the guest who hates most veggies and fruits, wanted to take leftovers home.  This is a super healthy and yummy risotto.  Check out that color!  I made it as people arrived and had cocktails just outside the kitchen so I could engage with them but still cook.  It's really fun to make.  I prepped the beets ahead and had everything pre-measured so it was stress-free. Here's the recipe: Beet Risotto

I sauteed broccolini in olive oil and garlic.  Finish with fresh squeezed lemon and salt.

I googled Italian Christmas dishes and found this beauty.  This is a very labor intensive dish but you can do it the day before and throw it in the fridge.  I will tell you it is worth every single moment of prep time.   It is scrumptious! Here is what it looked like when I put it in the fridge.  Below is when it came out of the oven. Here is the recipe:  Celery Root and Mushroom Lasagna.

NOTE: I left out the prosciutto. Yep, I completely and totally left out one huge ingredient. I don't eat meat so it was a selfish move, but the recipe flavor did not suffer.  I did add extra shaved parmigiano on top and next time I will drizzle the top with a good dose of olive oil because although it was fantastic I think that addition would make it perfection.

Here's some Lazy Woman Good News.  I had leftover Silver Palate Thanksgiving Potatoes so I threw them in the freezer to see if they could be frozen.  Well, I put them in the oven with the lasagna at 350 for about an hour and a half and they came out great!  I put them out even though they didn't really go with the theme because Dan doesn't like mushrooms so the lasagna was largely lost on him even though he valiantly picked out mushrooms and ate what he could.

The salad is my new fave because you can make all the ingredients ahead or buy them prepared:  lettuce, roasted squash (I did the day ahead with olive oil, rosemary and salt), fresh pomegranate seeds (I prepped the day ahead but you can just buy seeds), shaved parmigiano, toasted pecans, lemon, olive oil, salt.  I forgot to take a picture before it was tossed.  It's gorgeous pre-tossing with all the wintry colors.  It has all the right textures too.

And then the Laziest Move of the Christmas Season?  I ordered a smoked turkey from Burgers Smokehouse.  Last year my friends Rene and Leanne brought a smoked turkey breast to dinner and it wow'd everyone.  Go here to order:  Burgers' Smokehouse

Big props to my favorite magazine for recipes -- Food & Wine, and, as always, the tried and true favorites of the Silver Palate Cookbooks.

Buon Appetito and Buon Natale a tutti!   I hope you get to use some of these recipes this winter. I promise you won't be disappointed!

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