For the first time in my working life, I have the rest of the year off. I have worked in the industry in the past where we had to burn the midnight oil to meet the year-end numbers and ended up working overtime on Christmas and New Years eves (can you say, sweatshop?) … so you can imagine my surprise when my company encouraged all employees to take time off from Christmas to the new year to relax and spend time with the loved ones. I took it a little further and applied my remaining floating holidays on Monday and Tuesday, so I can have two solid weeks of pure rejuvenation. I’m on my fifth day of my guilt-free slack time and although I’m nicely relaxed, I’m being reminded every hour how quickly time flies – especially when you’re having a great time.
We usually have family Christmas dinner on the 24th, but we moved it to the actual Christmas day this year due to some schedule conflicts. It worked out perfectly because I got sick on the 24th and ended up spending the entire day in bed. I recovered well enough to stand in the kitchen to cook for the family but I decided to take it easy this year and go with the trusted family favorites, instead of flipping through the books and magazines for inspiration. We had honey-glazed ham from Honeybaked Ham as our main course. (Thanks to the $60 gift certificate we got from our dear friend, I was able to keep the cost low! The total, with ham and three condiments, came out to $58 and some change. Talk about the Price is Right!), and side dishes were pretty much the sequel from the Thanksgiving dinner.
(By the way, my boyfriend kindly pointed out that I was suppose to serve the ham upside down, with the bone showing, instead of the way it’s shown on my table … oops!)
It seemed like our favorite was the Potato Leek Soup I made as the first course by sautéing three large leeks and three Russet potatoes, pureeing the mixture in a blender, and adding a splash of soy milk for silky smoothness. It was simple but satisfying – a great accompaniment of more simple side dishes of grilled vegetables, sautéed Brussels sprouts, mashed yam and miso-flavored kale. We had Green Tea Panna Cotta for dessert, which is always a great alternative to much heavier confectionaries like cakes and cookies (not that there are anything wrong this those heavenly morsels).
My boyfriend had to attend his family’s party so he couldn’t make it to ours this year and from the sound of it, his party was a kick ass. (His family knows how to throw wonderful parties, I tell you.)
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!