Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Children make the day. What are the holidays without the cheer and unbridled awe of children in your life? Dad & I visited friends young and otherwise on Christmas Day and celebrated friendship. Linda set the most beautiful table for Christmas dinner above.
On the way to Linda's in Glen Ellen, we stopped at Jo-Ann & Jonathon's for tea, and yes, the cake pictured yesterday was a surprise! It was also light and fluffy and had fresh strawberries inside as well. We were lucky enough to catch Jo-Ann's younger brother Glen there, and shot this photo of him with Toran & Aurelia, being a big tease!
On to Glen Ellen, Miss Olivia posed in front of the Christmas tree in a pretty dress that matched the mood of her grandmother's table.
Linda made some luscious honey baked ham, perfectly cooked green beans, and some amazing sweet potato fries. Yalda made an amazing mandarin orange jello mold. And the two of them put together an amazing spread of appetizers that we started out the evening with (as well as some champagne). I'll tell you how to make my contributions to the meal following.
Twice Baked Potatoes. Yalda loves these, so I found a recipe on the web and made these up. The variation I made to the recipe was to microwave them rather than bake them again at Linda's since the oven didn't have room. They look a bit messy, but the flavor was intact!
Yields: 8 servings
"Potatoes are baked and then hollowed out. The flesh is combined with sour cream, milk, butter, green onions and Cheddar cheese, then topped with more cheese, green onions and bacon."
4 large baking potatoes
8 slices bacon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar
8 green onions, sliced, divided
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
4. When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.
5. Bake for another 15 minutes.
You can make ahead and wait for the second baking and then it takes 30-40 minutes in the oven, or just a few minutes (5ish) in the microwave to finish off the dish.
I also brought a variation of the salad I made for Christmas Eve at my home last year, the Pomegranate Spinach Salad. It looks so festive! My variation was to use glazed walnuts instead of almonds, and I used a bottled balsamic vinaigrette.
Wonderful times, wonderful memories, and I hope all your celebrations were the same.