Food Buzz


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Holidays spent snowbound - cooking, baking, eating and repeating

I just returned from NY, where I visited my mom and family for the holidays... little did I know that I would be stuck inside for three days while the plows took their merry old time getting the streets back to normal.  That gave me lots of quality time with mom to catch up, drink wine and make yummy food.

We started off with her meatballs (which are also "my" meatballs) which I always look forward to tasting.  Secret recipe - can't share, but I can tell you my friends with Italian roots think they are delicious!!
One night we had to cook using whatever ingredients we had in the house (due to 20 inches of snow on the ground), kind of like the show Chopped, but without the really random ingredients.  We had chicken, some vegetables, white beans... I thought a stew or chili might work, then I found this great, easy, comforting recipe for Chicken with White Beans that was fun to make and delicious, too!  Also I roasted one inch cubes of butternut squash with a little brown sugar, olive oil and salt and pepper.  It was so simple and tasty and the house smelled great! 
Chicken with white beans
When we were finally able to head out to the store, we had one thing in mind: BAKING!  Mom has had a bread maker in her house for a while and has never ever used it (I know, right???).  I wanted to show her how easy it was to make dough and form a French bread to bake in the oven.  Although it is time consuming, it was sooooo worth it.  I think she said "this is the BEST bread I've ever eaten." 
We also made coconut macaroons.  Er...they were supposed to be macaroons but were more of a meringue/macaroon hybrid, dubbed so eloquently by my writer of a mom as "meringue-aroons."  I think I may have to go trademark that name so don't steal it. Anyway, they were light, airy and crunchy on the outside and chewy and coconut-y on the inside.  We could have finished off the whole tray of them, but tried to have some constraint.
I am back in LA now and in the 36 hours that I've been home I made my carrot soup, Italian bread and a great pasta salad for my friends who JUST had a baby boy.  I am so glad I do what I love for a living and can't wait to do it more often.  If you know anyone in LA having a small party or who might be interested in a personal chef, please pass my info on! :)Dd you cook anything fun over the holidays?  Feel free to share with us here!
Chow for now!

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