Monday, December 20, 2010

"Tis the Season

I'm beginning to mentally plan our party for Twelfth Night, which will also be our housewarming event, but it isn't until January 8.  Until then, I have the pleasure of going to Other People's Parties.

First up this weekend was Laurie Perry's annual Solstice Party on Saturday night.  There, I learned that Laurie and her sister (and various other relatives and SOs) are writing a blog called Party Know-It-Alls.  Laurie does a beautiful spread of food every year, often Middle Eastern, but this year she decided on a taco bar.  Check out Party Know-It-Alls for the salmon taco recipe.  It is delicious.  No surprise.

Our Sunday afternoon party at my barn was canceled due to the rain we've been getting in SoCal for the past three or four days.  The text came just as I was about to go buy ingredients for a hearty, warm dish a fancy  mac and cheese recipe from Rachael Ray that is always a hit with the Sunday Super Supper Squad 

Because of the rain, we decided to stay home rather than to risk the freeways on a trip to a party in Pacific Palisades.  I was sorry to miss it, but people in L.A. drive like they have no idea what to do and any hilly area is subject to mudsides.  Ugh.

I took the opportunity to get the kitchen ready for baking.  I've been organizing my dry goods in blue-lidded Fido jars from Italy, ever since I discovered them at Ross.  Sur la Table has them in other sizes at greater cost, but it does not sell the ones with cobalt-blue lids.  I have many of the one, two, half, and three-quarter litre sizes, and a couple of 3 litre jars for sugar and flour.  I think they go as big as 5 or 6 litres, but I have yet to see these in the flesh.  My rebuilt house had a pantry with shelves just deep enough for two rows of the jars, but I lack that in the new place.  Instead, I have a cabinet pantry, with pull-out drawers on the lower part.  That's where I'm keeping the jars (they hold about 16 big ones or 20 small ones.)  I got Len to do the labels for the filled ones yesterday and he'll do the new ones as I add ingredients.

I did get a chance to make the famous mac and cheese last week for the SSSS, along with a glazed ham and some brioche.
Then I took the remainder of the brioche dough and made pecan sticky buns for breakfast (I should have made this photograph when the buns were hot, because the caramel coagulated when they cooled.  Not nearly as attractive.)

Sticky buns turned out to be pretty easy to make when the dough was already in the refrigerator.  Seems like a theme in my cooking lately.

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