Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the pad, Vanessa was passed out on the couches near Dad. And Mom's in the kitchen, cleaning cups full of nog, as I sit here and type, updating my blog.
My family is small when it comes to the holidays. No Grandparents come around, and Aunts and Uncles are scattered throughout the country. It's almost always been just us four. And really, it's all we need. Though we bicker and argue, like all families do, there's no time like Christmas to come together and remember what's important.
I type away as my Dad and sister lay motionless on our big blue couches, full from dinner and waiting for Santa. My Mom scrubs up the counters, and next I suppose she will finish the last of her wrapping.
I sit and type, listening to the faint music coming from the radio and soaking in the last moments of Christmas Eve, perhaps the best day of the year.
We've had the same dinner for as long as I can remember. Sure, we've made a few changes, but the main course has been the same since I was born.
Tonight was no different, and we sat around the table exchanging stories we've all heard a hundred times, laughed about how we never finish telling them and enjoy the few days where life slows down enough that we can enjoy it together.
Our menu isn't too fancy, but it sure hits the spot every year. A wine fondue with ribeye steak, baked potatoes, a big pan of roasted butternut squash, hearty rolls and a big spinach salad.
Every year it gets a little better and I think, once again, we've been successful. I'll let you in on some of the family recipes, and maybe next year, your menu might be more like mine.
Oriental Wine Fondue with Ribeye Steak
2.5 cups red wine
2 (10-oz) cans beef broth
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp parsley flakes
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 bay leaf
1.5 pounds of ribeye steak (for four of us)cubed
1. In fondue pot, combine wine and beef broth
2. Add onion, parsley, salt, marjoram, pepper, garlic salt and bay leaf. Set heat control to meat setting. Bring to a boil and reduce to a cheese setting. Cover and heat for 15 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
3. For serving, turn heat control to meat setting and heat until signal light goes off. Spear one inch beef cubes with fondue fork and cook 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until degree of doneness. Serve with horseradish or blue cheese sauce
Blue Cheese Sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup blue cheese
1 tsp worcestershire
1/2 tsp salt
1. Combine all ingredients until well mixed
Roasted Butternut Squash
3 packages cubed butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp dried rosemary
Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until browned
1 package uncooked baby spinach
5 strips bacon, cooked
2 tbsp dried cranberries
1 oz toasted almonds
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1. Combine spinach, bacon, cranberries, almonds and eggs in a bowl
2. Whisk remaining ingredients; toss over salad
We bought fresh rolls from the farmer's market and ended our meals with a big plateful of desserts which will be coming right at you in the next few days. Until then, it's time for me to go to sleep and listen for Santa on the roof.
Have a blessed night. Merry Christmas Eve everyone!!!