Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Dinner

For the first time EVER, the hubs and I are on our own for Christmas Eve. We've always been at some family member's house, usually my parents'. For some reason, this year my parents have opted to host us on Christmas Day. I think mom just wasn't up to making a big meal when she knew she would be working at the store. So instead of being mopey about being by ourselves, I set out to make my first ever Christmas Eve dinner.

The Menu:
  • Roasted Gerber Chicken with herb butter, stuffed with lemon, garlic, more herb butter, and the green part of a leek
  • Organic golden potatoes, carrots, and leeks roasted with garlic, rosemary and Greek olive oil from The Olive Orchard
  • Individual fruit pies made with puff pastry and Winesap apples served with a scoop of Jeni's Honey Vanilla Bean ice cream and a generous dollop of Snowville Creamery whipped cream
  • Rรถmerhof Riesling

I'm fairly certain I've roasted a chicken before, but this felt like square one for me. Instead of carving the poor thing, I feel like I butchered it when it came time to serve. While the breast meat was tender and juicy, it didn't have near as much flavor as the dark meat. The vegetables were roasted in the same pan with the chicken, so they took on all that chicken-y goodness. My husband raved about how great they were and even went for seconds! I wish I'd thought to take a photo of everything still in the pan, but we were both eager to eat.

Green beans had originally been planned, but due to my inability to cook frozen veggies, I had to toss them. I even googled how to cook them, but I had trouble executing- they went totally limp. There are a TON of frozen green/wax beans in the freezer from this past summer's farmer's market. I had hoped to be able to saute them, but appears they will be relegated to soups and stews. :(

The biggest disappointment to all of you would be the lack of a photo of our delectable dessert. The ice cream was getting melty and I wanted to plate everything and eat it before it got worse. You can see the apple pies here. Maybe they'll make a reappearance in the morning at breakfast? Ooh, and then the lighting will be better! And would you believe I've never made whipped cream? My mom does it all the time because she has one of those dispensers, but I used the whip attachment on my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer. It was SO good. There's still a bunch left even though I only whipped a cup of cream...I want to just eat is straight from the bowl!

The table was set fairly simply because I don't own any actual table linens...I haven't found anything that suits my tastes and actually looks right on our table. Instead of fancy china, my dinnerware is the basic Great White from Pottery Barn that I got ages ago when I used to work there. Actually, now that I think about it, 98% of what's on the table is from there, LOL. The silverware is the old Atlas pattern (not sure if they still carry that), PB Basic white wine glasses, orange & white napkins from the outlet, and the orange bubble dofs (PB) are a wedding gift from an old friend.
The centerpiece is actually a mirrored picture frame (PB) decorated with candles (PB), pinecones, and thrifted apothecary jars filled with mini pinecones (yes, PB!), tiny mercury bulb ornaments (PB), and real cranberries. 

You know what? I can't remember the last time we actually both sat at the table for dinner. I loved it! The trouble is getting him on board with doing it more often.

Right after dinner I let J open his presents; I got him a pair of leather gloves and a Bodum stainless steel travel mug. Keeping it low-key this year because it's not about presents. Besides, I love practical gifts. I'll have to remember to take photos tomorrow of what I got my family.

I can't believe how late it is already! I still have to melt some chocolate to dip the macaroons in so they can sit in the fridge to firm up...but I don't want to wash a bowl to make a double boiler...I think I'll save it for the morning and watch J play Final Fantasy XIII. Neither of us have played in ages, so I figure if I watch his gameplay, I'll remember the story and where I left off so that I don't have to start over.

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