Holidays Roundup

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It is a beginning of a new year. The holidays season went calmly; work most of the time and barely any holidays spirit.  I finish work, go home, collect my energy and outstretch my body after a long crouching-next-to-computer-screen position for 8 hours.

Apart from that, a few food-filled evenings took place, mostly at home.Dad’s birthday
We gathered for a cheese and wine and a few nibbles. Below is a list of the cheeses I bought and a couple of wines. One goes well with the salad and the red wine was a match made in heaven with the old Amsterdam cheese.

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Mom and I made turkey. It was my first time to attempt to make a turkey for any occasion. I followed the recipe from Thanksgiving 101 and made bread stuffing and pumpkin pie as well. My coriander & garlic roasted vegetables was a success too. Mom stuffed and boned turkey with vegetables and marinated it in wine. Only a small piece of it was left.

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My turkey, roasted and stuffed with vegetables for taste and rubbed with butter and rosemary

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Mom’s turkey, boned and stuffed with vegetables

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It takes some concentration to slice the turkey

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My plate of Turkey, Rice with minced meat and almonds, cashews and chestnuts, bread stuffing, and roasted vegetables

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Pumpkin pie from scratch

I made gingerbread cookies that keep their shape and decorated them with an egg-free icing. My sister and cousin had fun decorating them. It was the first time I make these cookies with the icing and I think this is going to be a recurring tradition. I used this recipe of Gingerbread Cookies that don’t spread and keep their shape from The Kitchen Paper. I looked for an egg-free royal icing and ended up making my own creation. It’s really easy; mix a couple of tablespoons powdered sugar with a few drops of water or juice and almond extract, pour it in a sandwich bag and snip off a tiny bit of the edge and start decorating. Feel free to add food coloring to get your favorite colors.

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Testing an egg-free royal icing

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My sister and cousin took the job of icing the cookies as their own

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New Year
A family evening too with nibbles and drinks. I gulped down a bottle of Lambrusco dell’emilia Bianco before it was 9, and almost ¾ of a Merlot during the evening and one large dodo shot with a really spicy olive that I didn’t want to go for another.
The next day, we had grilled and fried pork steak and thick strips of what bacon is made of. Since it is the first day of the year I felt like trying pork for the first time. I have to say that I was not impressed. It tasted like dry chicken, (no chicken is even tastier) but I got invited to a future pork barbecue and get a taste of real pork deliciousness.

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Grilled pork steak

Speaking of dryness, I shall not attempt to eat any other slice of a Yule Log cake. Enough said.

I don’t think I have consumed a lot of food this holiday season, but I’ve had a lot of chocolate and, I won’t lie, GINGERBREAD COOKIES with that sweet satisfying icing. Anyways, it is fun times and gatherings are a synonyms for eating in our culture.

Wish you all a happy start of the year, despite everything.

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