In celebration of the last month of DECEMBER: My 2011 Christmas Menu

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

This should still be valid after Christmas Day, considering the is 12 Days of it! Right?

What a month December had been, I just came back fromTokyo and loved every minutes of living there for abit. Time seemed to really fly by this year at an amazing pace, it’s nearing the end of the year.

Image!

*Rubs Hands in Anticipation* as I’m writing this.

My Mushroom medley stuffing for Roast Chicken smells heavenly yesterday.

Because my Dried Apricots have strangely disappeared from the refridgerator, I decided to substitue with Golden Raisins. Added Portebello to make it a tad woody and down to earth. (More on the recipe tweaks in my next post!)

I basically massaged my birds with freshly grounded spices (Not the usual McCormick’s mix) I bought while in Tokyo and plenty of Thyme and some Rosemary.

What a Perk Me Up, prepping and cooking through the wee hours for today.

I also managed to bake a yummy – Caramelised Pear and Walnut Pound Cake (With the help of a pre-mix if course!)

Cooking pears in Cinammon and Butter – Just HEAVENLY.

Wafts of cooking food smells shold be bottled and sold! Seriously.

Fuss free, advance preparation (For the Marinating of meats mainly) and planning a sumptiuos homecooked meal. With a Christmas theme yet a slight veer from the norm.

I saw a general tweet from Nigella Lawson days ago about whizzing up Ginger and Chilli for Pork loins, it stayed in my head. Which basically served as the basis for my Ginger Chilli marinade concoction. (Here’s her Slow-Roasted Aromatic Shoulder of Pork, maybe you can use this too.)

PORK CRACKLING!. I couldn’t resist grabbing 2 slabs of yummy Pork Belly from the supermarket. Roast Pork with a little crisp and oozing oily goodness. C’mon it’s a time for celebration! What can be better? I decided a Garlic Parsley marinade with a dash of Balsamic and Red Wine to make it tasty.

MEAT MARINADES are best left overnight in my opinion to soak in the juices of goodness.

I love twists in life, go a little off the rail sometimes. Have a little fun and joy cooking what you think tastes cook! Go with the flow.

Anyway, the Potato Carrot Pancakes was supposedly a dish for Hannukah (also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday .)

I chose to served  the dish with Cranberry Sour Cream & Dijon Mustard Sour Cream. A little sweet and a little spicy savoury. Good right?!

So CRANBERRY. Another festive ingredient.

Cranberry Gingerita. I decided to have it in my beverage list when I saw the awesome recipe by NM. Quite a feat without Ginger Liquer, I substitue with Fresh Giner. While update about this later.

Lastly, I have been wanting to re-make Sophie Dahl’s New England-style clam chowder with crunchy thyme breadcrumbs. Which I loved love love, eversince my first try. This isone of my favourite feel good dish by far. And so easy to make.

On the overall, I wanted a feel good festive dinner in celebration of life, appreciation and family.

Nothing too complicated, yet a variety of tastes to excite. I shall call it a RIOT AT THE DINNER TABLE. PARTY FO MEATS and SPICES :)

Anyway good to see my little sister AWESOMELY fearless dealing with cleaning chickens and getting her hands dipped in marinades. Helping with the stir fry of the stuffing. Trying to carve a little food appreciation in her. I guess I’m making progress. Good fun to cook together in the kitchen.

NOTE: All links displayed here were the basis of building up my menu, recipes were tweaked according to ingredients availability and creativity for myself. FYI, I’m never quite a specific follower for food recipes most times!

ANYWAY! I’M OFF TO FINISH UP MORE PREPARTIONS AND COOKING!

Have a good one and MERRY CHRISTMAS!.

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