Friday, December 27, 2013

FFWD December 2013 (Gravlax + Onion "Carbonara" + Tuiles)

I'm not going to try to write about balance today.  People much more eloquent than I am who have given it much more thought have written plenty.  I'll just say that the last couple of months have not been balanced.  I've been working way too much.  I've tried to spend every second I wasn't working with Charlotte, and that hasn't left much time for anything else.  To say I'm overwhelmed and behind on everything in my life (including sleep) would be a serious understatement.  For the most part, we've been eating very simply around here and Paul's been cooking more than usual.  I have made all** of the blog recipes, but haven't had a chance to post.  Now that my work deadline is finally up, I'm trying to slowly catch up on things.

My Almond Orange Tuiles failed completely.  I followed the instructions exactly, but substituted almond meal for the blanched and chopped almonds.  I assumed that was my mistake, but from reading your posts it seems like other people made that substitution with no trouble.  I don't get it.  My cookies did not spread at all.  They tasted alright, but weren't the least bit pretty.

The Recipe Swap Onion "Carbonara",  on the other hand, was an absolutely winner.  It was very quick to put together, and served over pasta made an excellent dinner and pretty good lunch leftovers too.  I don't really like onions until they're thoroughly browned (caramelized are my favorite) so I was worried about this one.  I don't think I would have enjoyed the onions by themselves, but they definitely worked as a pasta sauce.

Because I'm Jewish and my family is local, we normally spend Christmas with Paul's family in Portland, Oregon.  We just traveled to Oregon in October, though, and traveling with Charlotte was not exactly easy, so this year we stayed put for Christmas and Paul's mom came to us.  So this Jewish girl ended up hosting Christmas Eve dinner.  I was nervous, but I think everything came out well.  I wanted to have substantial appetizers so people could come over early and hang out for a while before Charlotte went to bed.  (This part of my plan failed completely.  Charlotte stayed awake through dessert!)  I made the gravlax with homemade rye bread and mascarpone stuffed dates.  The gravlax was a definite hit.  Everybody loved it, and I loved that it could be made ahead of time.  For dinner our friends made a delicious salad, and we had roasted duck with potatoes, beets, and braised endive.  For dessert our friends made a Buche de Noel and a chocolate sausage and my mom made fruit cake.  It was an excellent night, and it's nice to finally have some time to relax and enjoy things.  I'm hoping the New Year will bring less work and more time with family!

**I'm hoping that maybe by posting about three recipes at once nobody will notice that I skipped the fourth?  I just wasn't brave enough to try making the chopped liver.