Monday, December 29, 2008

A very non-traditional winter holiday to you!

We did not get into the traditional Christmas at our house this year. The Kids left a few days before for Florida with mom & grandma and we were running behind in everything. We were lucky enough to go to my sister's so we could spend Christmas eve & Christmas day with her family and my dad & his wife. Christmas is much more fun when you have small children who still get caught up in the excitement of it!
Our cork Christmas tree was the only tree that went up in our house. It seemed wasteful to spend money on a tree just for the sake of having a tree, but I did take the time get my annual ornament. I have gotten an ornament every year since my husband & I were engaged and plan to continue this regardless of the tree situation. This year, I went a step farther & made an ornament. One of the benefits of working at an arts center is that you get to experience art every day and even try something new if the mood strikes. This year, I decided to try blowing a hot glass ornament. I had lots of help (Thanks Ben!) but this is what I made

If ya have a chance to do this, I totally recommend it. I had a blast & have a great ornament!

Since the kids were on their way to warmer climes, and we were going over the river & through the woods, we didn't want to do a traditional Christmas dinner. We chose instead an warming winter meal from my latest library book.
In this case, the "Balti" is they style of cooking, Indian-by-way-of England, and the way it is cooked, in that large wok-like pan. We chose most of our menu from this book.

  • Balti Butter Chicken
  • Balti Baby Vegetables
  • Naan
  • Tandoori Style Salmon from my own collection of recipes
Do ya wanna see?

The Butter Chicken was unbelievable (ok, they had me at "butter") It was marinaded in a thick yogurt and spice mixture for about 8 hours then cooked on the stove top in a traditional wok with, you guessed it, butter (I couldn't find a Balti at the local kitchen shop). In looking at other recipes on the world wide web, I think I could have done a version cooking directly in the clay dish and been equally as traditional. This was a flavorful, but mellow chicken dish that was super easy and will hit the table again soon!

I loved the tenderness and bright flavor of the baby vegetables (I used new potatoes, baby zucchini, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and chick peas) This was tasty, the sauce was a little over-zippy, but mellowed to a nice level on the leftovers (usually it goes the other way, hmmm). Not sure I would do this again unless I can find cheaper baby vegetables. It seems that you pay for the cute factor. Maybe in spring!

The naan was a decent bread, (seen here pre-oven) it didn't look or taste like naan to me. That is something that I will work on for the next time, though I think I need to forgo the oven in favor of the grill for this.

Oops, no picture of the salmon. It was very tasty and went quickly though. We had a blast doing a non-traditional dinner and will likely hit this cookbook a couple more meals before the due date! I can't wait.

So, what kind of food did you eat over the holidays? Any new favorites?

1 garnishes:

noble pig December 29, 2008 at 1:20 PM  

kiki it all sounds delicious! I love it and it's beautiful, good food. I think it was all a grand meal.

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