Christmas Eve has arrived. And, being in Houston, it’s a balmy 70 degrees outside, perfect for last-minute shopping, yard work, or time in the kitchen.
Me being me, I have spent most of the afternoon with sticky hands and dirty dishes. First up was the challenge of gingerbread houses. My sister and I ‘cheated’ and made them with graham crackers, instead of baking actual gingerbread. The control freak that I am, I had printed out recipes for our ‘royal icing’ and directions for assembly of the miniature architural masterpieces. My sister, however, did not enjoy my helpful directions. 15 minutes into building, the yelling started, because “you didn’t cut the gables correctly!” and “now there will be a gap in the roof!” which means that “this is a waste of my time, you can’t do anything right!”. In her fit of rage, she demolished one of the houses, which I carefully tried to put back together. And it looks just fine. I mean, I wouldn’t want to live in it because yes, there is a gap in the roof, but it’s cute. It’s fitting for Houston, like a hurricane survivor gingerbead house. Here are a few pictures:
Aren’t they precious? I’m trying not to think of the amount of raw egg that I ingested from the royal icing that was all over our table, hands and clothing. I didn’t want to bother with pasteurized eggs, because I don’t think anyone will be eating these buildings. We have a much better dessert to look forward to tomorrow on Christmas day…. that is if I can find the blasted recipe! I’m trying to recreate the tiramisu masterpiece that I made earlier this year for my sister’s Prom group. I never even got to taste it, but it received rave reviews from all the hungry teenagers and parents. Apparently, it’s better than Olive Garden’s (which pleases me much because I have personal issues with that place), and even had me mistaken as a professional caterer. Now, if only I could remember where the recipe was from! You see, this is the problem with being able to find hundreds of recipes so easily online now, I never keep track of recipes that I use. I rarely even print them out; my laptop just sits on the kitchen counter as a little electronic sous chef ;)
For Christmas morning, the breakfast strata is already made and chilling in the fridge. Originally I was going to make monkey bread, but I decided I should really make something a little less artery-clogging and hyperglycemia-inducing, so I went with a lovely asparagus and leek strata.
As for tonight on Christmas Eve, our family has a tradition of watching a movie and eating a selection of appetizers. The first year we did this we watched “Little Miss Sunshine” and ate these little mini quiches my sister whipped up. We enjoyed it so much we have continued it every year. This year, the chosen movie is “Wall-E”. I wanted to be clever and tie the food into the movie’s theme, but we couldn’t come up with anything to go along with the environmental message of the movie. So instead, we’ll have my sister’s usual quiches (an easy pillsbury recipe), along with raw veggies with ranch and hummus, pesto and mozarella panini bites, and cauliflower popcorn (see, the dietitian in me comes out sometimes!).
The kitchen is beckoning me back… there are things to prep. Oh yeah, and the tiramisu recipe to find….
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
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