Alton Brown’s Iced Cinnamon Buns were FABULOUS, as always. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/overnight-cinnamon-rolls-recipe/index.html It’s a recipe that is soo worth the work involved. They have an intense cinnamon flavor and the dough is soft and moist and the buttery cinnamon mixture topped with cream cheese icing is gooey and all this goodness just melts in your mouth. Ultra yum.
I also made a batch of my mother’s very own Mennonite family recipe of mincemeat pie. If you think you are not a fan of mincemeat, think again. This is not the knock-off version of mincemeat sold on store shelves that does not even deserve the effort of being put into a premade pastry pie shell and baked in the oven. This fabulous homemade goodness is real ground beef, apples, oranges, lemons, dark cherries, cooked raisins, molasses, lots of spices and let me just be quiet before I give away the family recipe. LOL. This batch made six pies, and I made three for my father-in-law, who definitely appreciates this concoction. We had a pie ourselves on Christmas Eve/Christmas morning and there are two pie fillings sitting in my freezer waiting for a special occasion. This took two hours to make, and by the end I remembered why I don’t do it very often. :) A lot of hard work.
I also made homemade shrimp bisque on Christmas Eve. http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/shrimp_bisque.html It was my first time shelling and deveining shrimp, but it won’t be the last. This soup was so so so good. Unfortunately it was all sipped up before I got my camera out.
At the family get together on Christmas, my husband’s uncle had made this vegetarian lasagna made out of butternut squash and roasted chestnuts. Every bite was savored and I will be begging for that recipe. We had a table full of food, complete with more pies and candy, cookies and Emeril’s Gingerbread with Spiced Creme Anglaise Sauce brought by yours truly. His wife sent home her homemade candy, which I justly describe as “the bag of crack.” I tried to take one piece, and I ended up inhaling almost half the bag. I can’t deny toffee on a good day, but toffee in a bag of crack sets off all my triggers and all of my old eating habits came flying out, hand to mouth, hand to mouth, over and over again. I felt bloated, fat and stubby, and a bit dim-witted and sluggish to boot. I knew it was time for the holidays to end.
I gathered up the leftover homemade cookies and the bit left in the bag of crack and asked my dear husband to PLEASE hide it. I know not where he went. I can’t know. Or I will be licking the remains of this bag of crack. I made myself this cup of black tea to send messages to my brain that the crunchy, natural, tree-huggin’, thinking-of-being-a-vegetarian, healthy, working out and starting to focus on running, happy with much less emotional baggage Cheryl is back in control. I sauteed some veggies and made this new go-to recipe of quinoa that my husband and I have become instant fans of. So the holidays are wrapped up. They were merry, yummy and full of special food. But the trick is that it was special holiday food. Food that is a treat and not to be indulged in for our everyday lives. Food that is special to help remind us of the specialness of the holidays: family, love, spending time together, bonding, laughter, love, good cheer, giving and receiving… But there comes a time when you wrap up the memories in a tidy little box, with the leftover gift wrap strewn over the floor around the Christmas tree, and you get back to healthy nutritious eating. That time came for me. Try this recipe and see if you enjoy it as much as we do!
Quinoa with Sauteed Apples and Almonds
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 med or 3 small carrots, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2-3 teaspoons curry
- 2 small or 1 med-large Granny Smith apple, finely diced unpeeled
- 3 tablespoons almonds, toasted (slivered or a handful of whole)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place quinoa in a fine sieve; place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender and carrot begins to brown. Stir in broth, quinoa, salt, and cinnamon and curry; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Fluff with a fork; keep warm.
Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apple to pan; sauté 7 minutes or until apple begins to brown. Add apple, almonds, and pepper to quinoa, tossing to combine. Serve warm.
I want to keep playing with this recipe, to see if I can even make it better, but we really enjoy this version. And remember, quinoa is a highly nutritious food and also considered a complete protein. Serve with a fresh salad on the side, and you have a nutritious, healthy meal!