Earlier this month I decided to focus my Christmas food-planning on the holiday meal highlighted in the December issue of Cooking Light magazine. Oh, there was plenty of warm-up food. . . before the big meal.
Tom and Erin baked cookies.
We had plenty of treats and goodies from friends and family -- including a giant treat basket from the fabulous Zingerman's Bakehouse in Ann Arbor. (Sadly, no photos. Demolished too quickly by a family of Sweet Tooths.)
And on Christmas morning, we ate our traditional baked French toast breakfast.
But then. . . my real cooking adventure began!
Now, I like to cook. A lot. But I don't typically take on an entire menu of new dishes . . . all for one meal. I usually try to plan meals that come together without a lot of stress at the end, and that don't involve every single pan in the house. So this. . . was something of a stretch for me. Everything needed to be cooked at the same time! Nothing was a do-ahead dish!
I didn't actually re-create the entire menu from the magazine. There was just too much food for one meal! After a careful study, I chose to make the brined pork loin (with a brown sugar-bourbon glaze), the wine-soaked beans and mushrooms, the onions and apples with bacon, and the Yukon gold mashed potatoes with horseradish butter. Oh, and German chocolate mousse for dessert (which I did make the day before).
It was fun. It was wild. It was tasty. Really tasty. I didn't get many photos, though, because it was just happening too fast.
Everything tasted great -- and, since I was following a professional menu plan, the dishes all complimented each other. . . perfectly. I scrambled like a mad-woman for a good 45 minutes, and I made a total mess of my kitchen, but it was adventurous and fun and tasty. I'll definitely try this again!
And Tom -- bless him -- cleaned up my mess! (After he ate. . . of course!)