It's 2016, but I'm taking a moment to reflect on...food.
Welp, I can stop complaining about not being able to cook - most of our kitchen stuff has been in storage while we wait to leave escrow purgatory at the end of this month! Fingers crossed. Before the holiday, I committed myself to making parts of Christmas dinner for the in-laws and cooked throughout our stay. Some of the things I made:
- Christmas Eve tri-colored lasagna - I kind of made it up as I went, but it was loaded with a homemade Italian chicken sausage tomato sauce, spinach béchamel sauce. I never boil my lasagna noodles anymore and it's such a time saver!
- Christmas morning Cinnamon Rolls! I think this is my new tradition. I hadn't made a yeast-based bread in forever and everyone loved how they came out.
- Milk Bar's Crack Pie - everyone who eats this, can't stop talking about it.
- My in-laws are crazy for flan, so I made my mom's recipe. I happen to think the Filipino Leche Flan is more rich than the Spanish and Mexican versions - probably because we use evaporated and condensed milk vs. regular milk.
- Bacon-wrapped dates, because - why not?
- Christmas Dinner Tri-Tip - tried to bring a little California to St.Louis. Apparently this is an uncommon cut in the midwest? We paid $$$ for the roast, but it came out beautifully.
The key for me was making the desserts and prepping the cinnamon rolls and appetizers the night before - and waiting for people to go to sleep so I could have the kitchen to myself. It was quite cathartic for me. I realized how much I missed cooking for people I love (clean up, not so much!).
I came out of this holiday inspired to sharpen my cooking skills this year. I signed up for my first class (Rise and Shine pastry class) at the New School of Cooking and I can't wait!