Sometimes, the only thing you want to eat is just desserts for dinner…..
Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Gelato with Homemade Italian Pizzelle Cookies……
The Feast of the Seven Fishes (Italian: Festa dei sette pesci), also known as The Vigil (Italian: La Vigilia), is a Southern Italian and Italian-American celebration of Christmas Eve with meals of fish and other seafood.
The long tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates from the Roman Catholic tradition of abstinence.A traditional holiday meal may include seven, eight, or even nine specific fishes that are considered traditional. The most famous dish Southern Italians are known for is baccalà (salted cod fish). The custom of celebrating with a simple fish such as baccalà is attributed to the greatly impoverished regions of Southern Italy. Fried smelts, calamari and other types of seafood have been incorporated into the Christmas Eve dinner over the years.
A typical modern Christmas Eve Feast may include some combination of anchovies, whiting, lobster, sardines, dried salt cod, smelts, eels, squid, octopus, shrimp, mussels and clams.
The menu may also include pastas, vegetables, baked or fried kale patties, baked goods and homemade wine. This tradition remains very popular to this day.
Below are few of the dishes that were apart of our Feast of the Seven Fishes.
Seafood Risotto with Shrimp, Asparagus
Baked Stuffed Trout with Oyster Stuffing
Seafood Gumbo with Quail, Blue Crab and White Clams
Calamari Fra Diavolo with Squid Ink Pasta
Shrimp with Zucchini Linguine
Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli with Spinach Basil Pesto and Shaved Parmesan
Cioppino Seafood Soup with Sourdough Rounds
Escarole and Fig Salad
This recipe was adapted from Chef Vivian Howard who contributed to the January 2015 Issue Food and Wine Magazine. Originally conceived as a fancy grilled cheese sandwich made with Époisses, the pungent French cow-milk cheese, and sweet and spicy pepper jelly, it can easily be adapted to be a festive appetizer. I made my own hot pepper jam for my version of this dish.
You can find the original recipe by following this link:
1/2 cup pecan halves
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 Teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices of French bread
4 Tablespoons hot pepper jelly
8 ounces Applewood Smoked Gouda Cheese, cut into 1/4-inch
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a pie pan, toss the pecans with the oil and salt. Bake for 8 minutes or until toasted. Let the pecans cool, then coarsely chop.
Spread 1/2 tablespoon of the butter on one side of each slice of bread. Toast in the oven until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and spread 1/2 tablespoon of the pepper jam on the other side of each slice. Arrange the cheese on the buttered of 4 slices of bread and top with the pecans and return to the oven, for about 3 minutes and bake until the cheese is melted.
Remove the cheese toasts and arrange on a serving platter with the jam covered toasts. Serve with additional hot pepper jam on the side.
Who says Sangria is only for Summer entertaining? Look what we found on-line at Zulka Sugar. Another crowd pleasing drink with a twist that will surely become a staple at your winter and holiday gatherings. Enjoy!
Mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. In another small bowl, pour a little of the brandy. Dip the glasses in the brandy and then the cinnamon sugar. Add a few apple slices to each glass. Set aside.
Pour the remaining cinnamon sugar in a large pitcher. Add the apple cider and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Top with the brandy and wine and mix. Add the rest of the apples. Chill until ready to serve.
Add the sparkling cider right before serving. Garnish with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick. Serve chilled. Add ice if desired.
Zulka Sugar has created a most sublime holiday cocktail……………
The Christmas Cranberry Lime Mojito!
Get the recipe here, by following this link:http://bit.ly/1BZrD0E
The world has a massive food crisis on its hands. The crisis is so big that organizations like the World Bank and the United Nations say there won’t be enough food to feed the global population when it jumps from the current seven billion people to nine billion by 2050.
Some research even suggests a food scarcity crunch as early as 2030— just 15 years from now.
The reasons? Severe weather events like droughts and floods, economic hardships, and political unrest in underdeveloped countries, as well as agribusiness expansion.
While many experts say that producing more food will make the crisis go away, others contend it’s not that simple.
“To address food security, we need a shift in the way we address poverty and inequality in the world,” Stephen Scanlan, a professor of sociology at Ohio University. “There should be a reframing of food as a fundamental human right…
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Here is a preview of the Christmas Eve Dinner.
This year we are celebrating with an Italian theme: Feast of the Seven Fishes…………………
One of the featured main courses will be a Seafood Risotto. This dish is really simple, composed of aborio rice, white wine, butter, shrimp, tender spears and baby portabello mushrooms.
Stay tuned, because there will be more dishes from our Feast of the Seven Fishes to follow!
This past weekend, I went by my favorite wine store to pick up a bottle of burgundy for the braised oxtails dish that I as going to make. I found my favorite bottle, but my eye caught this wildly fabulous label that I have never seen before.
Red Velvet Wine by Cupcake Vineyards. I read the tasting notes on the label :
“Red Velvet combines Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. Each varietal adds distinct characteristics and lends structure, aroma and depth of flavor. We ferment each varietal separately before blending. Finally, a unique oak regime infuses creaminess. Experience a wine as rich, soft and elegant as red velvet. Our Red Velvet blend delivers over-the-top aromas of chocolate, deep dark blackberries and luscious red fruits that follow through to the palate. Finish with a hint of coconut and creamy mocha that shows unmistakable intensity and length.”
I absolutely love Red Velvet Cake. It is one of my favorite desserts. And with reading the wine’s tasting notes, I had an Ah-ha moment: This would make a great jelly! So I bought a whole case of the 2012 Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet Wine. The merchant gave me an additional 10% off. Saturday was definitely my lucky day.
I made the jelly and it turned out perfect. I am happy camper all the live long day!
If you like to try the Red Velvet Cake Jelly, you can find it on-line at:
Just bcoz something’s toxic doesn’t mean its not tasty.
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