Christmas Eve

Back home now with 7 inches of snow -- a white Christmas for sure. After a long sleep and slow morning of newspapers and cappuccinos, we went for a walk around town, feeling odd being in the midst of so much hustle and bustle after so many days of peace and sunshine. We stocked up on some groceries and Chris built a fire and I set about to make our Christmas Eve meal.

A bottle of sparkling wine was put in the fridge, and I sipped a cranberry and vodka cocktail while making Savory Cheesecake, a green salad and Smoky Tomato Bisque. Both were pretty simple (I followed recipes, but of course, did my own twists -- ex. the soup wasn't supposed to be smoky, but I added liquid smoke and some sugar to create something that was reminiscent of a soup we had loved years ago at a now closed restaurant.) The cheesecake involved breadcrumbs, grated parmesan, and melted butter for the crust and cream cheese, bleu cheese, tarragon, roasted red peppers, and eggs for the filling. It didn't come out as high as I expected, but I think it may be because my springform pan was bigger than the recipe called for. Still, it tasted great. The soup began with a mirepoix of celery, onion, and carrots, which I sauteed with garlic and basil and then added Jersey Fresh canned tomatoes (28 oz, or 6 big tomatoes would work too). Then, once all lovely, I added some heavy cream until heated through and then blended together--slightly pureed. Then, I added the smoke and sugar. For dessert, I popped a few pie crust tarts in the oven -- filling them with cream cheese and fruit preserves, or chocolate and candied ginger. I had also made some blondies the day before we left on vacation -- and added chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, chopped pecans and coconut to the mix, proving that Blondes do have more fun. :)

Hope you had a merry one, too.

P.S. This is what the kitchen looked like--oy!
P.P.S. Chris would like everyone to know that the kitchen is not really that dark (?).