FABULOUS Foods

As you plan to be…alone…with another…with a your quaranteam or a socially appropriate cluster…

Fabulous food will make your holiday merry and bright. This year I’ve used (looked at) recipes more than all my years put together. It goes without saying that often the recipe was available for reference but I didn’t follow it to the letter. However, I’ve even followed a few…really close. I have an email file and favorites saved on all my devices. I hope you’ll find these enticing as you prepare for whatever your holiday plans might be. Some I’ve used for a number of years. Some are new finds this year. And, some…on my to-do list for the coming days.

TO START…

Buttermilk Panna Cotta

I made Buttermilk Panna Cotta this past summer as a first course with compressed watermelon instead of mango. While it is served chilled think about it being a wonderful holiday dinner starter with sweet corn and pancetta…citrus and roasted beets…or smoked salmon and caviar…add a dot or two of pomegranate aril…FABULOUS!!!

Kir Normand

I’ve found upon arrival our guests look forward to a libation that’s interesting and conversational. Or, maybe it’s just that I like a pretty cocktail. David Lebovitz shares…”Almost everyone knows what a Kir Royal is; a flute of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) and Champagne or sparkling wine. But in Normandy and Brittany, the drink takes a decidedly regional turn, and becomes a Kir Normand if made with Calvados (apple brandy).” A Granny Smith apple twist will make this really FABULOUS!!!

Originally from Lynne Rossette Kasper’s The Splendid Table SPUMA DI MORTADELLA by way of Our Italian Table came to us from our dear friends Delia and Robert after their first Tuscan cooking tour. I can’t say that it’s a visual show stopper but the flavor profile is absolutely FABULOUS!!! The first several times we enjoyed it Robert made it. I wanted to serve it at the farm and requested the recipe. I must say it’s a labor of love…but ohhhhhh, so worth it.

Hissy Fit Dip

Crazy name for a crazy good…uhhh, not really a dip, not a spread, definitely not pate…but whatever you call it…call it FABULOUS. No real origin of the name Hissy Fit again…call it whatever but just be prepared to add it to your casual cocktails or sports watching favorites list.

Earl Grey and Aquavit Spritz

Three years ago I had a bride request an Earl Grey infused wedding cake. She was on the cutting edge of what has now become a trend. Tea is suitable for more than afternoon drinking or “deep south tea flavored sugar water” LOL. Here, Earl Grey visits Scandinavia to create an Earl Grey and Aquavit Spritz. Heading to Sweden, Norway or Denmark? It won’t be long before you’re presented with a glass of aquavit. Amazingly a touch of carraway, Earl Grey tea, pear bitters and a little sparkle is guaranteed to make your holiday Merry and …FABULOUS!!!

NEXT….

Citrus Salad with Fennel and Avocado

Intended as a salad this dish could easily be elevated to a main course with the addition of seared tuna, grilled chicken farro or roasted chickpeas. The flavor profile and textures are really amazing…especially with the use of holiday citrus. This FABULOUS citrus salad “uses a delightful mix of fruit and is full of crisp, aromatic, salty, and bitter elements to accent the sweet, juicy citrus.”

Short Rib Ragu with Pappardelle and Pecorino Romano

Quarantine has presented us with a lot of opportunity. Some have become artisans in the baking genre. Figs became Summer Sensations. Given that we will be staying home for the foreseeable holidays and future give fresh made pasta a try. Pappardelle is a perfect first attempt. No equipment necessary. A rolling pin acts as the sheeter and a sharp knife will cut beautiful ribbons of pasta. Add a succulent short rib ragu and you’ve got a FABULOUS dinner for Sunday Supper, Christmas Eve or any other dining opportunity.

Oyster Dressing

Long story…Reader’s Digest version. We were invited to a friends for Thanksgiving dinner….a Lovely, Elegant evening. A friend of the friend we barely knew brought Oyster Dressing to add to the traditional Thanksgiving bounty. The Oyster Dressing was FABULOUS. Our friend had slaved to entertain in the grandest of style. Yet, all the guests (Tim) wanted to talk about was the Oyster Dressing. Our sweet friend “lovingly” hasn’t let us forget it. And, speaking of forgetting the new friend then which dear friend now tried numerous times to replicate it…failing miserably each time. Fast forward to me finding this Edward Lee version in Garden and Gun. This Oyster Dressing is truly FABULOUS!!! I don’t do the chestnuts because I never remember to look for them in advance but everything else is amazing!!!!

Low Carb Cauliflower Cheese

This is one of my favorite finds in the Low Carb world. Cream cheese, whipping cream and shredded cheese with your choice of veggies makes for a great side dish. This Cauliflower Cheese uses cauliflower AND broccoli. I’ve made it with cauliflower only, summer squash, zucchini, mixed squash, as well as eggplant. It’s cheesy and FABULOUS!!!

Kohlrabi Slaw

Doesn’t this look like it should be on a Holiday buffet? The perfect color, texture and taste combination for the holidays. Kohlrabi Slaw sounds simple but the presentation and flavor are anything but…and definitely FABULOUS!!!

FINALLY…

Pot de Créme

Again…simple…but FABULOUS. I’ve made this Pots de Crème numerous times. It’s really easy and perfectly delicious…’nuf said.

Bonkers Bread & Butter Panettone Pudding Tart

Okay…not so simple. However, Panettone Tart is possibly the best dessert I’ve ever made…I did it twice last Christmas. AND, I did it once this summer with leftover donuts and white chocolate. The mix of chocolate and marmalade is amazing. I’ve used Meyer Lemon Marmalade but Orange or Clementine would certainly be delicious. I’ve also made it in a casserole dish instead of a tart pan. Whatever you do it’s going to be FABULOUS!!!

Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars

These Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars are showstoppers. They come to us from my oh so talented cousin who pens the highly popular blog Bake or Break. Of course, how you decorate them is up to you. I feel like she outdid herself on temptation and aesthetic. It’s a sugar cookie in bar form, with peppermint, frosting and fancy, festive sprinkles. You simply cannot get more FABULOUS than these tasty treats. This time of year you’ll probably find fancy, festive sprinkles at your local retailer. If not, a quick Google will give you more options than one can imagine.

S’mores Bundt Cake

So, my guilty pleasure is marshmallow. And, really not the fancy homemade kind. Jet Puffed, cheap chocolate covered eggs or bunnys, hearts or santas. Peeps are okay but really just plain out of the bag marshmallows really make me smile. My Mom shipped them to me when I lived in Hong Kong. So, yes I love Rocky Road Ice Cream and of course S’mores. Imagine my delight when this cake appeared on Overtime Cook. While I by no means pretend to be a baker I thoroughly enjoyed baking the S’mores Bundt Cake. Instead of the Marshmallow Glaze using store bought fluff I made Marshmallow Fluff which is actually Swiss Meringue…and of course torched it for the full effect. FABULOUS doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Shortbread

I’ve heard many people lament over the challenges of making shortbread. Thus, I never tried it…until last Christmas. Don’t ask why but last year we harvested the citrus off our patio and I got the itch to make lemon shortbread. This is the recipe I used. It was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done and they were delicious. It made a lot of dough so I froze some. When I used it they were great again. I added lemon zest to the recipe and drizzled them with basic lemon glaze of confectioners sugar, a bit of milk and citrus juice…totally FABULOUS!!!

Here’s hoping these FABULOUS FOODS help you get excited about whatever holiday plans might be coming your way…or adding them to your rotation for the new year. May your days be merry and bright and your house be lovely and a good time be had by all.

📷 Peter Frank Edwards, @gowantseconds, @ouritaliantable, Victor Protasio, Emma Shevtzoff, @biggerbolderbaking, @jamieoliver, @overtimecook, @loveandlemons, @davidlebovitz, @jennifermchenry

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Patrice Kelly says:

    Wow. Wish I was on your quaranteam. Not only are the recipes great, but the photography and whole presentation is exceptional. Love to you both for the Holidays!

  2. This all looks SO good. Thanks for sharing my sugar cookie bars! I do wish we could share some homemade treats with each other. Merry Christmas!

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