I did something completely different on the culinary front for Christmas this year.
I invited the family to vote on Christmas dinner. I went about it by creating a menu with three categories: appetizer, main dish and dessert and listed three food options within each category. The menu was circulated electronically and the boys were asked to vote quietly on their top food choice in each category (they would only find out on Christmas day which selections won). In the event of a three-way tie in any category, mom would get the deciding vote, otherwise, majority rule.
I thought it would be a fun way to mark our first Christmas in the new home. In the end, it was also well worth the effort. I will admit to some intermittent anxiety — that moment when you wake up at 2 am and think: did I really say that I was going to make herbed mushroom, garlic & onion sauté cradled in a pillow of sour cream and served on miniature pancakes? And was I fully baked at the time?
To make the process interesting for yours truly, I offered up suggestions that I’d been wanting to make for some time now. A mix of classics and curious inventions. I kept food photography out of it so I could relax and just enjoy the actual cooking process (and Christmas day!).
In case you’re curious, here’s a little summary of the winning selections: the chosen appetizer was indeed as described above: pan-seared herbed mushrooms, garlic & onion cradled in a pillow of sour cream and served on warm miniature pancakes. I survived it and I’m glad I did. This was a delectable little creation that was inspired in part by a conversation with a girlfriend, in part by this post, and in part by my meddling noggin. This is definitely one that I will blog about in the future.
The winning main dish was this classic. I’m so glad I made it! It’s the funniest recipe though — have you made it? It’s quite unconventional (old fashioned?) in its construction and maybe mildly convoluted. I found myself reading it several times to get a handle on it and also wondered about the wisdom of some of the seemingly arbitrary steps — but who am I to argue with the famed dish and its creator. So, I followed the instructions as closely as I can ever bring myself to and in the end, it was a mouth-watering meal that was loved by all (phew!) — I served it with wild rice, julienned carrots and seared baby onions. Not a drop left on anyone’s plate.
Dessert was this obscenity. Even with half the sugar it was divine (and seemingly still quite sweet). Silk on the tongue. But beware, very rich, a sliver will do y’a. Next time I make it I will focus on the crust which was somewhat lackluster – walnut perhaps.
I hope you all had some fun kitchen adventures as well!
Today, I’m recharging with this antioxidant-rich rejuvenating green tea smoothie… so delicious and full of beautiful ingredients. Versatile too — don’t forget, there are always options, so feel free to make this lovely your own.
Oh, one last thing… Inspired Edibles returns in the New Year with a new Nutrition Series! I’m excited to offer you some focused nutrition information in addition to recipes, photography and life stories.
Until then, be well and have a joyous new year’s celebration!
- 1 cup almond milk or milk/water beverage of choice (see notes)
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 frozen banana, chopped
- 1 green apple, skin-on, chopped
- ½ avocado
- handful walnuts or nut/seed of choice
- 2 heaping tsp matcha (green tea powder)
- 2 tsp maple syrup (or to taste)
- splash of fresh lemon juice to taste
- Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
- Blend until ingredients are broken down and well integrated.
- Add more fluid as necessary to achieve desired consistency.
2. I enjoy a fairly dilute smoothie (I find it easier to drink), but if you prefer something thicker simply reduce the fluid at the outset.
3. You can use any milk beverage of choice or water (coconut water is also lovely).
4. Feel free to use whatever fruit and/or dark leafy greens you have on hand for this recipe. Smoothies are versatile and generally quite forgiving :) so have fun with it and taste test as you go along to achieve desired result.
5. Matcha tea is made from green tea leaves that have been finely milled into a silky, radiant green powder. When you drink matcha you are benefiting from the entire green tea leaf, not just the brewed water from the leaf. Matcha is considered amongst the highest quality green teas with one of most concentrated antioxidant contents.
6. Avocado not only tastes delicious, it is also endowed with gorgeous, nutritive properties. An excellent source of heart healthy monounsaturated fat, avocado is also rich in lutein, a carotenoid that operates to help protect our eyes from disease. Other health supporters found in the avocado include: fibre, folate, vitamin K, vitamin E, and vitamin B5.
7. Dark Leafies! Studies continue to link spinach, and other dark leafy vegetables, to a lower risk of cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. The vitamin E content in dark leafy vegetables is also said to protect our brain cells against oxidative damage, helping keep our minds healthy as we age.