Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Round-up

Here it is, three days post-Christmas, and the blues are beginning to set in. The packages have all been given and unwrapped, the food has been eaten (well, actually, it continues to be eaten), and the countdown to the New Year has begun.

I thought I'd do a bit of a holiday round-up of the feasting that has gone on the past week before bravely heading into 2010 with the obligatory "I'm going to eat better and exercise more" resolution (come on, you have it too).

A couple of weeks ago, I made a sweet, festive cranberry upside down cake and served it on my adorable green cake stand, which I only get to use about once or twice a year.

The recipe was from Cooking Light, and the presentation of it was absolutely divine; if you are ever in need of an impressive holiday dessert, this is a winner. The crumbly yellow cake is topped with fresh, tart cranberries dancing with syrupy brown sugar and butter.

Christmas Eve dinner at my parents' house means good old lasagna. We have a Stouffer's lasagna every year, which has been cooking in the oven as we're sitting in church. By the time we walk in the door, the house smells of the goodness of cheese, meat, tomato sauce and more cheese.

Christmas Day brings tender prime rib coated with a crust of olive oil, salt and pepper: the staples. We marry the meat with assorted sides (mostly of the carbohydrate variety mind you), so that by the time we're finished eating, everyone but the dogs is basically in a food-induced coma. I love Christmas.

We can't forget the wine.

Then, there are the pies... This year, mom made two sinfully delicious pumpkin spice pies that were topped with gingersnap cookies and a crunchy cinnamon-pecan streusel married with a creamy ginger-cinnamon whipped cream. Seriously. Yum.

After we finish our dinner, every year, we head to our dear friends' home for more yummy food and drink. And, every year, there is a homemade Italian cream cake that is almost too pretty to eat. The layers of moist cake are topped with icing that's as light and fluffy as a cloud and peppered with sweet coconut flakes and finally sprinkled with a dusting of green and red Christmas magic.

Now, as I sit here typing, with my pants a bit tighter than a couple weeks ago, I say a warm "hello" to the grilled chicken and lettuce that is most certainly in the near future.

Farewell to Christmas 2009.

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