Christmas Eve Dinner from Heaven

Hello Darlings, I have not forgotten about you.  However, with so much holiday cooking, merriment and shooting I have practically lived in the kitchen and the car. Here was my Christmas Eve dinner:

Parsnip Carrot Red Pepper Soups

After the candles were lit, we began with the Parsnip  Carrot Red Pepper Soup.  The recipes are based on the Millenium Cookbook from the famous restaurant. The parsnip soup is a heavy sweet while the carrot is brighter sweet taste. Using 2 ladles, you pour them at the same time.  They are both heavy soups and will stay in their own “territory”.  You can to garnish with parsley or cashew creme. We paired this with a Traminette.  A mostly dry white wine that can stand up to these intense flavors.

Broiled asparagus over bruchette

Next something lighter, Broiled Asparagus over Bruchette.  I wanted to have broiled and fresh veggies together.  I did lightly toast the bread with about a teaspoon of oil in the pan for all 4 servings.

The bruchette was not like what I have in the summer, but since the basil was fresh and smelled so great I had to have it somewhere at this dinner.

I paired this with small, dry vodka martinis.  I could have gone for a pinot grigio, but I thought the vodka got out of the way of the asparagus and basil better.  Who says you have to shove cocktails exclusively before dinner?

At this point, we were all laughing and telling old stories of family that took many minutes to allow for the giggling to subside.  The Avocado Grapefruit Salad was holiday-ed up with dried cranberries.  The only dressing was a little lime juice and a dash of salt.  The grapefruit does the rest.

Back to the Traminette for beverages.

Eggplant meatballs over penne

Now for something a little heavier.  These eggplant meatballs are so easy to make.  I think I have them scheduled for May or June.  They have NO added fat and are mostly eggplant, flax meal and bread crumbs.  Baked to a slight crisp.

The tomato sauce was my FAV a little Truly Italian, diced tomatoes and spices.

This is where the red wine started.  I opened a local winery – VyneCrest proprietor’s red.  We all know how dry LaDiva likes wine.  But this one starts off almost sweet, then switches into a complex rich flavor.  Excellent for the price and flavor.

Hostess with the Mostest Roast & mashed potatoes with Mmmmushroom Gravy

Continuing with that wine into the next course – Hostest with the Mostest Roast.  Obviously accommpanied by mashed potatoes with Mmmmmushroom Gravy.

My youngest guest started to get a little full.  However, he managed to take a few bites.  He had switched from sparkling apple to sparking red grape juice.  He said that was a better pairing.

How can you miss with savory seitan and massive amounts of porcini, shiitake and crimini mushrooms.

Lemon Cupcakes with Berries

Finally, the desserts arrive.  The first is a light lemon cupcake with berries.  The berries were frozen from my yard this summer.  I thawed them added a small amount of raw sugar and mashed it together.  I was going to add some Cassis, but since I had a young one dining and I wanted them raw, I declined.

We had Sand Castle’s Late Harvest ice wine with this.  Full flavor, but not overly sweet.

Caramel chocolate parfait with cherries

My young friend’s eyes grew the size of saucers when he saw this come out.  I could tell he was a little disappointed that lemon cupcakes were the finish of this gastronomique event.  But, I knew better.
These were a “hey this is in the frig” moment.  I realized that I had a caramel sauce from a german chocolate cake left over.  So, I made a parfait.
This is the regular ol’ chocolate pudding recipe interspliced [I LUV making up words] with the caramel topping garnished with thawed cherries.
This was paired with the Wilcox winery port from 2007[?].
After each course we had to clean the plate to reuse.  Having my designated kitchen helper clean as I cooked made clean up rather light.  We didn’t finish, but the next morning was a half hour and done to relax through the holiday week.

Any thoughts, Darling?

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