Whether I like it or not, I think my blog is rapidly headed in the food-blogging direction. What can I say? I really love food.
The 2nd Annual Post-Thanksgiving Food Fest went off with only a couple of small hitches. I think planning ahead (to an almost obsessive degree) helped a lot, as did cooking some items on the days before Saturday. The turkey was done exactly perfect, immediately justifying the $6 I spent on an instant-read meat thermometer. The thighs were fully cooked, and the breast meat was juicy, tender and flavorful. Evonne did all the work on the turkey, and I have to say, it’s a great recipe.
One thing that was a little disappointing was the stuffing. The herb and mushroom stuffing I got off CooksIllustrated.com looked great on print. 8 cups of dried bread cubes, 6 cups of celery and onions, diced fine, and 1 pound of mushrooms sliced thinly. It looked like an absurd amount before I applied heat, and the recipe promised 11 cups of stuffing. Instead, I got a measly 5 cups. It was an incredibly yummy 5 cups, but 5 cups of stuffing wasn’t going to be enough for 11 people. I think next time, I’ll use some hardier bread that doesn’t deflate as much. Fortunately, stovetop stuffing had been on sale last week at the grocery store, and I’d bought two boxes as a contingency plan, so we ended up with enough stuffing, although only half of it was made from scratch.
We also had mashed potatoes, steamed veggies with sauces, sweet potato pie, apple crumble, meringues with whipped cream and fresh berries, crudites (instead of the planned salad), and a fantastically yummy cheese platter. I think everyone knows I have a weakness for cheese. At Nina’s recommendation, I got a nice, half-pound chunk of prima donna, a creamy gouda with strong fruity flavors. Not stinky, just yummy. It has achieved the status of my favorite cheese for eating uncooked. The cheese was served with some sourdough bread, crackers, and slices of apple and pear.
Now that the food-stravaganza is over, and the cleanup has begun, I’ve turned my thoughts towards Christmas cookie baking. Adan, Evonne and I are headed to Singapore for Christmas this year, and I’d like to bake a huge batch of cookies, brownies, and other nummy-treats to bring home with me. I’d rather bake in my own kitchen, since I already have most of the necessary equipment, and I know the temperament of my oven quite well.
To this end, I’d like to ask everyone to share their preferences. What kind of cookies do you like to eat? I’m intending to bake a ton of cookies to bring home with me for Christmas, and I’m looking for inspiration. Brownies and other hand-sized baked goods suggestions are also welcome. I’ve started looking on sites like harryanddavid.com for inspiration, too.