January 01, 2007

Christmas Vacation

Christmas vacation is now over. It was relaxing, although our schedule was very full this year.

We only stayed in Michigan for a week this year, so I didn't get a chance to see everyone I wanted to see. We had two Christmas events on my side of the family - one up north, in Harrison with my mom's parents, and our traditional Christmas get together. On Emily's side we also had two Christmas get-togethers - at Sheri's house and at the farm in Illinois.

I did find time to cook while I was in Michigan. On three different nights, I made the Murgh Korma, Roast Chicken, and Baked Orecchiette. I also helped on Christmas day by making some side dishes: my mashed potatoes, some green beans, and cucumber kimchee.

When I got back, I spent the remainder of my free time cooking and playing NWN2. I made the Zuni Chicken, both vanilla and chocolate Pots de Crème, Rosemary Focaccia, and Chimay Braised Short ribs.

The focaccia had been on my todo list for a while. I ended up rolling it out a bit too thick, so it turned out a bit tall. But it turned out quite well. I used the recipe from Jamie's Kitchen, but substituted milk for half of the water and threw in a couple tablespoons of olive oil and some minced rosemary. The texture was just right, the only issue was the thickness of the loaf.

The Pots de Crème were from the Bouchon book. The turned out quite well, the chocolate one was a little dense but smooth, a combination of the chocolate and perhaps cooking it a bit too long. The vanilla was light and silky. I have since made a cinnamon batch, and will do mint and cardamom versions eventually. Then I'll move on to Crème Caramel and Crème Brulée.

The Chimay braised short ribs were easy and tasty. We didn't get a photo, but I will be making it again. This sunday I'm planning on making the "pot au feu" from the French Laundry cookbook out of the remaining ribs.

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