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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Food

It's been awhile since I've had time to just sit down, much less update the blog. There really hasn't much to update anyways...I haven't really been cooking over the past few days. I made spaghetti for Lindsay's birthday on Tuesday, per her request, and then did leftovers on Wednesday. The kiddos went to my folks' house on Thursday, so the boy and I had a nice dinner at Firecreek (flash-fried calamari appetizer, short rib for the boy, and a mahi/lobster/crab dish for me).

On Friday we were at my family's Christmas celebration and had jambalya, clam chowder, and my mom's amazing mac-n-cheese. And finally yesterday we were with the Risser side of the family for their celebration. My brother-in-law always cooks (which is a special treat for all of us since his culinary skills are probably the best in the offense to anyone else?!?), and it's tradition to have prime rib. I was in charge of a side (to go with all of the other sides he put out), so I made a winter fruit salad with a lemon poppyseed vinaigrette. I was hesitant to make something like that because the boy grew up with PA Dutch-style cooking, so some of the things I put on the table he totally balks at (therefore, it's likely his family would, too). But, I know it was way too good not to make, and it fit in nicely with the rest of the dishes. I never even made it to dessert yesterday because I was way too full (with the exception of a small toffee millionaire bar...of which I could have easily eaten another half-dozen), although naturally I was not too full to enjoy all of the wine my SIL & BIL brought. It sure beat the hell out of the boxes I'm used to ;-)

So, yup, it was a great holiday weekend, filled with all sorts of fun! We're spending today recuperating and it's nice to have the boy home as backup (usually he's back at work the day after Christmas). I do have to say, though, I am so sick of food. I need to use the flank steak that's in the fridge, so I'm making flank steak pinwheels tonight, but come tomorrow I don't even know what to make...I can't stop eating, but nothing sounds appetizing anymore?!

Winter Fruit Salad w/ Lemon Poppyseed Vinaigrette

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons diced red onion
1 teaspoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup cashews, pecans, or walnuts (I used leftover pecans from my pie the other week)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 apples - peeled, cored and diced
1 pear - peeled, cored and sliced

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard, and salt. Process until well blended. 
  2. With machine still running, add oil in a slow, steady stream until mixture is thick and smooth. 
  3. Add poppy seeds, and process just a few seconds more to mix. 
  4. In a large serving bowl, toss together the romaine lettuce, shredded Swiss cheese, cashews, dried cranberries, apple, and pear. If making ahead, you can toss the apples and pears in the vinaigrette so they don't brown.
  5. Pour dressing over salad just before serving, and toss to coat.
Everyone seemed to love this yesterday. It makes a TON of dressing, though, so you might want to either serve the dressing separately or add some more lettuce. Also, it's not something that is good as leftovers if you mix the dressing with the salad (everything gets wilted and loses its crunchiness).

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