Eventhough the days were sweet and slow, Christmas holidays seem to have come and gone by so quickly. We thought about and sent good wishes to our families and friends who were far away.
Christmas day, aside opening presents, we spent most of the day digesting excess from Christmas eve while preparing a nice meal for dinner.
Christmas Eve was spent with our friend Ryan and his family (in picture above, Trina, Jeff, Dolores and Ryan). I was in a cooking mood and tried many new recipes during the holidays.
In the photos there are tomato and pesto tarts, salmon roll, lemon cake, and zucchini squares.
I wanted to make crème brulée and quatre quart (pound cake) because Yannick really likes these two things. I thought Dorie Greenspan's Perfection Pound Cake would be great to try. I never put so much effort into making a cake, but here I was disappointed with the result.
As for the crème brulée, I didn't have a kitchen torch, so I thought I'd try the oven broiler method. And the brulée experiment was conducted on blueberry and cranberry clafoutis.
I used jasmine extract instead of the usual vanilla here. But the brulée part didn't work out too well... So needless to say, no crème brulée for Christmas this year.
Out of all the new dessert recipes I tried, I was most pleased with this super light blueberry cheesecake (adapted from Strawberry Cheesecake Pie from the Nestle website) which I made for a gathering at our friend Andrew's a few days before. I used fat-free creamcheese and was very happy with the result. And eventhough Yannick doesn't like this kind of dessert very much, I am planning to be making a whole one for myself from time to time.
I made rotini and cauliflower gratin as a side dish for our Christmas dinner. It was very simple and satisfying.
Rotini and Cauliflower Gratin Recipe
1. Cook a 3 handful rotinis in salted water.
2. Add half a head of cauliflower, cut into large florets, to the cooking rotinis.
3. Make bechamel sauce (2 T butter, 2 T flour, a bit of onion, 2 cups of milk).
4. Add 1.5 cups of grated gruyere.
5. Mix the bechamel with the drained pasta and cauliflower. Put in a casserol.
6. Mix breadcrumb with melted butter.
7. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of grated gruyere and breadcrumbs.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for about half an hour.