Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Feast for the Holidays

Last month around Christmas weekend, we celebrated my parents' 28th anniversary. My mom had wanted me to make reservations at a nice restaurant for dinner, but the holidays just would not be the same without a home cooked meal. And what better way to spend time with family than by bonding in the kitchen over pots, pans, and pasta. It was a perfect excuse to try out my new Le Creuset dutch oven that the boy got me for Christmas! Recipes included - click on links below for recipes and more pics.  (Too many recipes to fit in one post!)

Our dinner started off with prosciutto and basil wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese. These were super easy to make. I prefer prosciutto to bacon hence the twist on the classic bacon wrapped dates. Plus you can never go wrong with goat cheese--and I really mean never. 

For starters, the boy made squash empanadas based off of Vedge's recipe with a couple alterations. My aunt and uncle joined us for dinner so we had a few enthusiastic little helpers --yep our flower girls and ring boy :D. 

As for the recipe, we substituted butternut squash for the Calabaza squash it called for. I had no idea where to find a calabaza squash so butternut was as close as I could come to a winter squash. 

He also made a beautiful loaf of rosemary focaccia bread to dip with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Incredibly spongey and fluffy, this bread was especially impressive since this was his first time ever making bread. 

I put together a winter salad of baby kale, spinach, and arugula topped with pomegranate, craisins, walnuts, and goat cheese tossed with a fig balsamic dressing. 

And for the main course: braised short rib ragu with crimini mushrooms over fresh pappardelle pasta, cooked for 4 hours in the Le Creuset dutch oven. LOVING this new pot! The beef came out completely tender, and fell off the bone so easily. I first wanted to try this recipe after trying the dish at Cucina Enoteca. Mesmerized by the flavors, I wanted to recreate the recipe and was lucky enough to find it online. 

I had been planning to make a pear mascarpone tart but sadly we didn't have enough time to make dessert. However, our wonderful guests brought banana-split ice cream cake that was bomb dot com. Plus the little ones went crazy over our smore's bar which made for some simple make-shift desserts - we have yet to take it down still. 

1 comment:

  1. Everything looks delicious! Small dinner parties are the best!