Straight from the Heart
In My Own Backyard

Good Eats

Remember this?  

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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.

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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.

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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! 

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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.

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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!)


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I'm so glad you did it and that it went well. And I'm thrilled that Tom did the washing up!



Aren't new recipes fun? I did a new green bean with red peppers, onions, teriyaki sauce, honey and cashews. A little fussy to make but wonderful to eat!


Beautiful food. I'm more of a crock pot cook and I appreciate all the time and effort to make a meal like that!


That green bean dish and the apple/onion one look positively mouth-watering! I hope that issue is still in the store...


All I can say is "YUM!"
; )

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