Archive for the ‘Christmas’ category

Thank you to my brother for this beautiful picture

January 3, 2011

My bro, Jimmy, gave me this picture for Christmas. I’m not sure where he bought it, but it’s so pretty! It’s now hanging in my bedroom.

Spinach and mushroom pinwheels, pork tenderloin with herbed breadcrumb crust, baked butternut squash, and strawberry blueberry pie

December 31, 2010

Leftover pork

Leftover pie

The dishes listed in this post’s title are just a few of the recipes I’ve recently tried out; they’ve all served me very well! I was invited to a friend’s going away party several weeks ago, and wanted to make a creative appetizer containing some veggies. I stumbled upon this spinach and mushroom pinwheel recipe from allrecipes.com (I really love this site!).

The recipe itself is very easy, though you need to start making the pinwheels several hours before your event. That’s because you need to chill the dough for 3o to 60 minutes, and then chill it for another hour once it’s been covered with the spinach/onion/mushroom/flour/oregano/salt/lemon juice/garlic powder/Parmesan cheese paste, and rolled up.

I made the pork tenderloin, squash and pie for a Christmas dinner. The pork was AMAZING. I was all worried about making a meat dish, since meat can end up too dry or just plain bland. Well, I found this wonderful recipe on epicurious.com.

Basically you buy three pounds-worth of pork tenderloin (typically two tenderloins), trim the exterior fat, and then prepare a breadcrumb mixture. Then, you roll the pork in egg followed by the breadcrumb mixture, brown the outside of the pork in a pan for five minutes, and bake the pork until it reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit (for me this took about 55 minutes, but I had 3.4 pounds of pork).

The breadcrumb mixture contains crumbs from fresh French bread (I used a blender to make the crumbs), fresh chopped parsley, fresh chopped rosemary, and crumbled bay leaves. Deliciousness! The meat was so tender and tasty.

And the baked butternut squash (from cooks.com) just melted in our mouths (and kind of tasted like candy…in a good way). I chopped up the squash into little squares and covered it with cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, butter, and lemon juice. Then I baked it for about an hour (15 more minutes than the recipe recommends).

The strawberry blueberry pie was sort of my own creation. I based it largely upon this allrecipes.com three berry pie recipe. Because I didn’t have raspberries I added one cup more strawberries and one cup more blueberries. That worked out fabulously. The recipe was sooooo easy. Obviously the blueberries didn’t need to be chopped, and the strawberries only needed to be halved. I mixed them up with some sugar and cornstarch and voila!, the filling was made. I didn’t bother making my own crust so that part was super-easy as well (though I’d love to find a good pie crust recipe one of these days).

I baked the pie for about an hour (with foil over the crust for the first half), and the thing was done.

Our Christmas tree is now decorated!

December 14, 2010

This was before:

And this is after:

And we put up window lights!

Yeah!!!

Pastries and Christmas tree

December 12, 2010

This has been a weekend of eating pastries (not to mention cookies) and doing Christmas-y things (like getting a Christmas tree). Yesterday for breakfast I stopped by Modern Pastry in Medford, and had this apple turnover.

The guy at the counter said it’s the pastry shop’s specialty, so I thought “Why not?” It was pretty good, though I generally prefer breakfast pastries with less filling. Otherwise, it feels more like dessert than breakfast. This pastry shop, which also has a Boston location, has been recognized by the TLC television channel.

Sign on window

This morning I had a raspberry-flavored pastry from the Sweet Spot Bakery in Melrose.

The treat was a gift so I’m not exactly sure what it’s called. I liked it a lot better than the apple turnover because it had the perfect amount of fruit filling (not too much) and the ideal blend of flakiness and moistness. I will surely stop by this bakery myself one day!

My boyfriend and I also got a tree for our apartment. Here’s a picture of the tree on my car.

Here’s a picture of the tree set up in our apartment.

We are waiting for the boughs to drop a little more before putting up decorations. I’m not used to having a real tree, and love the amazing scent it produces!

Christmas decorations are up!

December 4, 2010

Here are some of them: