I don’t know about you, but my holiday was full of everything delicious.
First off, there was a neighborhood Christmas Eve Party, filled with all kinds of goodies.
It was midday and I made four kinds of sandwiches.
First there were pesto grilled cheese ‘wiches plus turkey/cranberry/Havarti
and then there was the roast beef, homemade Rondele, Mama Lil’s Peppers and arugula
and ones with salmon, avocado and cream cheese.
There were cookies aplenty
and Chex Mix
and all my friends and neighbors seemed to show up with more treats.
I’d made so much food that what didn’t get taken home as goodies was packed up
and dropped off near a homeless camp so it wouldn’t go to waste (I drove by later and it was all gone).
My mom and stepfather were here visiting all that week and it was my pleasure to cook them opulent but homey meals over the holidays.
Breakfasts were all about pancakes or omelettes or biscuits
lunch we’d grab from a favorite shop or food cart
and then we’d enjoy big dinners at home.
We had steak frites one night,
and fabulous double-thick pork chops another night.
Our last night together we enjoyed a jumbo shrimp scampi with a beurre blanc made with rose bubbly.
(What a scrumptious way to use up leftover champagne!)
There were so many delicious meals over our break.
And you know that whenever we’d chow down,
we’d always save a little taste of almost everything for our beloved Pork Chop.
Like in years past, so many of my favorite gifts stemmed from my love of cooking.
So many delicious items arrived in the mail.
I love the cashmere sweaters I got, but I know I will use this every single day.
Isn’t this pepper grinder so damn pretty?
One friend gave me this
showing me just how much she gets me.
I mean, just look at these lovelies.
I also got special treat coffee.
And this which makes for a spectacular special latte.
And when the smell of garlic, meat or salmon is particularly strong in my kitchen, I love starting my Amazon diffuser along with some of my new essential oils to dissipate the aromas and freshen it up.
One last present I got I want to show you.
Do you know this book?
Better yet, do you own it?
I heard about it from someone in my cookbook group and then I saw the Netflix series based on the book and I cannot recommend it highly enough — it’s sumptuous and fascinating and so informative.
I learned so much from this series– and I can’t wait to read more of this book.
It’s fascinating, and as the title suggests, dynamic cooking is all about mastering the elements of Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat.
The author, Samin Nosrat, was a cook at Chez Panisse and she writes powerfully, intuitively, and the drawings inside are a wonderful complement.
It’s hard to even think of it as a cookbook — it’s more like a cooking theory class + girlfriend showing you the ropes kind of thing.
More than recipes, you will learn whats and whys of delicious food so you can improvise from there.
When have you ever seen something like this –– a global look at how different cultures and cuisines add acidic elements to their cooking?
As I write this, I’m eating breakfast and thinking about these tenets.
Are my toasted bagels (laden as they are with whipped goat cheese + tomato + basil or homemade Rondele, lemon and lox) so satisfying because they balance so beautifully these different elements?
Probably. The lemon lightens the richness of the cream cheese on the latter bagel just as the tomato juices on the former goes head to head with the goat cheese. And the warmth of the crunchy cushion juxtaposed against the chilled cheese is pure magic.
Dueling textures and heat levels and richness is where it’s at people
and this book is a hell of a read.
(I hope your holiday was everything you hoped for, too.)
Ah, a new year, new cookbooks. It’s the perfect time to try out some new recipes so look for more cooking here soon.
Even if we don’t always make it out of our pink fuzzies,
it should be pretty tasty.
It’s 2019, y’all!