Hi everyone, we are having a wonderful Christmas season. We hope your holiday is going well too. It is a nice long break and a chance to catch up with family and friends. The weather also cooperated. It has been and continues to be bright and sunny. We had some more snow just before Christmas to freshen the landscape and it warmed up a little to make it really pleasant.
We had a Christmas party that spanned both lunch and dinner time, with caroling around the fireplace to end the evening. Ro-Ri San brought in a lot of firewood and built a strong fire that warmed up the entire family room. Tea and cakes rounded off the holiday atmosphere.
One of my favorite things to prepare for a party is Niçoise Salad. This large platter of raw and cooked vegetables cater to all sorts of preferences. Everyone can mix and match to suit their taste buds. This recipe was adapted from Julia Child’s Niçoise Salad.This dish lends itself easily to substitutions and innovations. I omitted the eggs and anchovies and included some zucchinis instead.
- 1 lb (450g) fingerling potatoes
- 10 oz (280g) green beans, trimmed
- 2 zucchinis, sliced
- 1 head Boston lettuce, rinsed
- 20 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup black olives
- ½ cup green olives
- 1 can solid tuna in oil, drained
- 2 tbsp capers
- ½ cup (120ml) red wine vinegar
- ½ cup (120ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp dried tarragon
- ¼ tsp salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Put all vinaigrette ingredients in a screw top jar. Shake to combine.
- Wash fingerling potatoes. Boil potatoes in lightly salted water for about 12 minutes until tender. Drain and toss with ¼ cup vinaigrette. Steam green beans for about 5 minutes. Plunge into cold water to stop cooking. Pan fry zucchinis in a single layer until lightly browned.
- Arrange lettuce leaves in a single layer on a large platter. Place potatoes in the center and arrange mounds of beans, zucchinis, tomatoes, olives, tuna, and capers on either side of the plate. Just before serving, pour remaining vinaigrette all over salad.
We had a warm and cozy Christmas Eve dinner. It was the first time I prepared prime rib roast. As it was a costly cut of meat, I wanted to get it right. I did a search on the web and came across this recipe from Paula Dean which had close to 500 reviews! The recipe was very simple but it took 4¾ hours to prepare the roast. It called for the meat to be roasted at 375°F for an hour. Turn off the oven and allow the meat to sit in there for 3 hours without opening the oven door. Yes, leave the meat in the oven for 3 hours with the heat turned off. After the 3 hours, turn on the heat again and roast at 375°F for another 30 to 45 minutes.
I followed the instructions closely. I timed it as such so that I would be at church attending the Candlelight Service during the 3 hours the oven was off. I turned on the oven again for about 35 minutes of roasting after returning home. I allowed it to rest for about 20 minutes after taking it out of the oven. The roast was perfect! It was juicy and pink in the middle. The 4 and ¾ hours was definitely worth the wait! Not opening the oven for 3 hours was probably the most difficult part but it helped that I was out for half of that time. I will definitely use this recipe again.
The weather warmed up just enough this week for the snow on the roof to melt to form icicles. Some are pretty huge and monstrous. The next picture shows the huge icicle on the left.
This picture was taken two nights ago. The icicle has grown a little longer since then.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎