Christmas Feast 2010 Part 1 – Intro, Menu and Appetizers

Christmas Feast 2010 Intro

My passion for cooking and my use of social media led to my writing the Christmas Feast 2010 Posts.

Cooking is one of my Vitality Pursuits. www.vitalitypursuits.com

I use Social Media for 2 things –

#1 – to connect with my friends and fans, and

#2 – to help make my dreams come true – I call doing that Make it Happen Social Media (coming in 2012 – www.makeithappensocialmedia.com and hopefully Make It Happen Social Media – the book)

In addition to following my blogs, I can be followed on Facebook (search for Steven Shomler – I would love to be your FB friend!) and on Twitter @stevenshomler @battlefatness @borrowerincome (my twitter feeds are topic specific). For more on following me, see stevenshomler.com/follow

On Friday Christmas Eve day, I spent a good part of the day cooking and posting what I was making to Facebook. Since then, I have had a significant number of requests to share the recipes I used.

I often cook by “gut” or “instinct,” and it is very common for me to not use a recipe. For this meal, however, I did use some recipes (even if I modified them on the fly).

Here is our menu, and following it, I will tell you about our Appetizer Course.

Christmas Feast 2010 Menu

Appetizers

Turkey

Sourdough stuffing

Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes with Hazelnut Butter

Departure Style Brussels Sprouts

Sesame Soy Christmas Slaw

Sweet & Tangy Cranberry Almond Yams with Lemon Zested Marshmallow Crust

Orange Spike Cranberry Sauce

Hand Torn Rustic Sourdough Bread

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Zest Whipped Cream

Christmas Feast 2010 Appetizers

We enjoyed our Christmas Dinner around 5:00 PM. At 1:00 PM, we had an Appetizer Course.

I wanted to have some appetizers, however, in light of all of the other cooking I was doing, I wanted to keep it simple.

If you have not ever done much with appetizers, go for it! It is fun, and it does not have to be complicated.

Often when I see appetizers covered in a magazine article, they look really good and they look really complicated. Appetizers can be fun, simple, AND delicious!

I started cooking around 9 AM, making the stuffing, getting the turkey into the oven, etc. Around 11:30 AM, I started on the appetizers.

Around 1 PM, I put out Pickles – Baby Dill and Baby Sweets (really hard preparation- Step 1 – open the jars, Step 2 – put them all in one bowl, dill on the right, sweets on the left), Green Olives, Celery stuffed with Cream Cheese, Spotted Deviled Eggs, Green and Red Peppers, and  Cranberry Sprite for the kids and Cranberry Margaritas for the adults.

I took Red and Green Peppers (sweet peppers), and I cut them into strips. I put the red and green pepper strips into a bowl and lightly coated them with some wonderful Olive Oil I got at the Mediterranean grocery store located next door to Ya Hala Lebanese restaurant in Southeast Portland, Oregon  www.yahalarestaurant.com. I then sprinkled them with some Morton’s Coarse Sea Salt. They looked very Christmasy, and they were delicious!

Spotted Deviled Eggs – I wanted to do something different than I normally do with Hard Boiled Eggs. I mixed up the boiled egg yolks with Mayo – Best Foods (NOT Miracle Whip), a little yellow mustard, some Dill & Cracked Pepper, added some fine chopped black olives, and filled the boiled egg whites with the mixture, then hit my Deviled Eggs with a little Paprika. Sorry no actual recipe. I just mixed to taste, and so can you!

Cranberry Sprite. I put 2 liters of Sprite into a large pitcher and added some Cranberry Juice – Not too much – just enough to give it nice color and some cranberry flavor. I coated the kids’ glasses with the same Cranberry Sugar (see below) that I coated the Margarita glassses with.

Cranberry Margaritas. I got the idea for these out of my December 2009 Sunset Magazine. A link to their recipe can be found here – http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/kitchen-assistant/mexican-drinks-00400000063694/page8.html

Gayla does not like the taste of regular Tequila, so I used Lunazul Blanca Tequila www.lunazultequila.com which has a milder taste more to Gayla’s liking. The recipe I modeled my margaritas after, mentions Cointreau, which is wonderful. For these margaritas, however, I used Patron Citronge Orange Liqueur.  http://patrontequila.com/#/tequilas/patron-citronge/

For my Cranberry Margaritas – In a blender I mixed  –  1 1/2 cups of Cranberry Juice, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cup fresh  lime juice, 1/2 cup Lunazul Blanca, 3/4 cup of Patron Citronge, 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, and about 3 cups of ice.

It was fun to make Cranberry Sugar to put on the rim of the glasses, and it made the glasses look really cool!

Cranberry Sugar -put some cranberry juice into wide bowl #1 and some sugar into wide bowl #2. Dip the rim of the glass first into bowl #1 and then into bowl #2.

Cranberry Skewers – I garnished the glasses with cranberries that I had stuck onto a toothpick (3 cranberries per toothpick).  I then rolled the little cranberry toothpick skewers into the cranberry juice bowl and then in the sugar bowl, and then I set them onto the rim of the glasses.

Next Christmas Feast 2010 post – Turkey and Sourdough stuffing.

Special thanks to my good friend Ken Wilson www.mediamaestro57.com for his help with some of the pictures used in this post. The cool looking pictures of my cooking are the ones he took!

Steven Shomler

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