Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas, 2010

Christmas dinner came out beautifully this year.  It was small, for just Kid Cayenne, myself and a friend.  I roasted my first duck.  I was terrified to do it, but it came out well and I'm over the trepidation hump so I think I can continue to hone the skill.  Other dishes included roasted red and golden beets with arugula and goat cheese, a nice baked mac and cheese and  roasted sweet and spicy pumpkin wedges.  We had milk chocolate and  salted caramel gelatos from La Divina for dessert.  All in all, quite lovely.

Amongst my Christmas gifts this year were these jewels:

  • ad hoc at home - Thomas Keller

  • Around My French Table - Dorie Greenspan

  • How To Cook Everything Vegetarian - Mark Bittman

  • The Art of Simple Food - Alice Waters

  • tart pan

  • madeleine pan

  • kitchen scale

  • a Kitchenaid stand mixer

  • 1 of those beautiful iitalla EgO coffee cups I oohed over earlier this year.  *sigh*


  • Needless to say, I'm thrilled with the prospects.  I've hardly put my cookbook stack down since Christmas morning (and quite a hefty stack it is, since each book feels like it's about 45 pounds a piece, at least!)  I've inaugurated the mixer with a batch of tart dough which is currently chilling in the refrigerator and is destined to become a Meyer lemon tart this evening.

    I'm looking forward to 2011 with great anticipation.  Rather than compile a list of resolutions for the new year, I'm just trying to think of new and interesting things I'd like to try that I haven't yet.  I'll get back to you with some of those.  Hope your holidays were warm and full of love and joy and your new year is brilliant!

    8 comments:

    Celeste December 28, 2010 at 11:49 AM  

    Let me know how the tart turns out...what kind of dough did you use? Of all the KA stand mixer attachments, I think the pasta roller is the only truly useful one. I have the meat grinder, and it's okay, too. And buy yourself this beater blade--will save beaucoup time scraping down the sides of the bowl: http://www.beaterblade.com/categories/66FDB314-9717-65ED-C617128AAA04187B/kitchenaid__bowl_lift_mixers__ka_5l_and_ka_6l_.html

    Merry Christmas!

    Shelly December 28, 2010 at 12:16 PM  

    I got Bittman's Food Matters Cookbook and The Art of Simple Food. I think this week is pretty much devoted to Bittman Food- I have his Jook recipe cooking in my crockpot as we speak and I made a big pot of red bean and collard green soup for my lunches this week.

    NOJuju December 28, 2010 at 1:00 PM  

    Celeste, The pasta attachment intrigues me, as does the ice cream maker bowl attachment, since I don't have a free standing ice cream maker. Have any opinions on that? The scraping beater blade looks fantastic. Thanks for the tip.

    The tart dough is via a recipe from a pastry chef friend of a friend, and is in the form of a sort of short hand forwarded email so I don't have a formal name, but as far as I can tell, it seems to be an adaptation of the Tartine Bakery Shaker Meyer Lemon Pie recipe, so it may be a flaky tart dough... although the directions really don't resemble the ones in the book. In other words, you got me.

    Shelly, aw, we're cookbook twins. I love jook and make it for breakfast all the time! What does his recipe add to it?

    Tim December 28, 2010 at 3:43 PM  

    I lovelovelove my pasta attachment, but unfortunately my Kitchenaid broke a second time! Despite being the HD model, it's stripped a gear. Off to the shop.

    I had to finish off my noodles the other night with my trusty old hand-crank machine, which brought on nostalgia and shoulder spasms, but the pasta (I just finished the last of it for my lunch) was divine.

    If anyone is interested in a Kitchenaid pasta maker demo, there's one over here: http://tinyurl.com/36zm99r

    NOJuju December 28, 2010 at 9:11 PM  

    Reading that post of yours again, Tim, makes me really, really want to make pasta.

    Laila December 31, 2010 at 7:43 AM  

    What wonderful presents! Where did you find golden beets? I need some for my NYE dinner but can't find them.

    NOJuju December 31, 2010 at 2:42 PM  

    Whole Foods Magazine St. had them the week before Christmas but I haven't looked since then, Laila. I hope you find them!

    Shelly January 3, 2011 at 12:48 PM  

    His jook involved chicken thighs, garlic, ginger, jalapeno,cabbage, and carrots, and is topped with cilantro and scallions. You season it with sesame oil and soy sauce. It's really good- total comfort food!

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