Holiday Dinner

Happy post-holidays to everyone! It was quite a whirlwind, and I’m ready to get back into a routine. However, I first wanted to post the recipes that I made for Christmas Eve dinner. In my family we typically have a smorgasbord of food in a variety of dips, crackers, shrimp, you name it. I wanted to do something similar but with only a handful of dishes since we were traveling immediately after.

Here’s a list of the recipes, along with the changes/additions I made to them, if any:

Pimento Cheese Biscuits from Little Kitchie:

I made these mostly as written, but the dough was very sticky so I had to add some flour. Overall these were delicious biscuits, but I would make some changes next time by:

– adding about 1/4 cup of flour first thing, instead of after already kneading the dough.
– double the amount of pimentos. They tasted cheddar-y, but not pimento-y enough for me.
– adding more garlic. I added about 1/2 teaspoon this time around, and I’d add probably a full teaspoon of powdered garlic next time.

 Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes by Home Cooking Memories:


– I added additional green onions within the potatoes themselves, which really helped.
– I didn’t have any milk, but wanted the potatoes creamier so I used an addition 1/2 cup sour cream. You could still just add milk if desired.
– Next time, I think I’d add even more garlic. They tasted like a loaded potato, but I wanted to really taste the roasted garlic.

Roasted and Charred Broccoli salad by Bon Appetit:

I needed something light after all the heavy dishes, and this fit the bill. It was also very flavorful between the charred broccoli pieces and the lemon I added. This salad also stays good for a couple days, so I could see myself making it on a Sunday some time and having it for work lunches. It’s also very diverse. You could add in a lot of things, like wild rice, finely diced apples, sliced grapes, gouda or cheddar, etc. Some changes that I made:

– Instead of peanuts, I used slivered almonds. Just a personal preference.

– Instead of 2 tablespoons of vinegar, I used only 1 tablespoon of vinegar and adding the juice from one lemon. I also added the zest from the lemon. I highly recommend doing this, as it adds a lot more flavor.

– Instead of nutritional yeast, I used shredded parmesan. This was mainly because I didn’t feel like buying one more ingredient. I could see shaved parm being really good as well.

– If you do make the above changes, I recommend letting it sit in the fridge for at least a couple hours so the flavors really meld together. You could also serve it hot if you’re so inclined.

Hazelnut Butter Meringues by Bon Appetit:

Yum. These were delicious! A few modifications that I made:

– I added 1/4 cup of toffee bits and 1/4-1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to the mixture before scooping out. These really brought these to a new level.
– Instead of coffee, I topped with more toffee/mini chocolate chips.
– I added 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar to the nut butter, to give it a little bit more of a nutella feel. It was the right decision.
– Next time, I’d reduce the salt to 1/8 teaspoon. You could really taste it. Also, you know the saying. You can always add more but you can’t take it out…

And now it’s time for….Cat Facts! This past weekend I learned from a veterinary friend that when cats are hunting and get excited they open their mouths. Cats have extra sensors in their mouths which enables them to smell their surroundings even better. FACT!

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