To start this post today, I’d like to say a very Happy Birthday to my cousin Sam!
I can’t believe how fast this year flew by. It’s crazy to me that Christmas is a mere 2 days away. Am I ready? YES YES YES!
First, I want to give a special shout-out and thank you to to Boston.com for featuring my Cranberry & Walnut Biscotti recipe the other day. Because of you, I reached a record number of page views for one day at Chocolate & Wine! What a great early Christmas present for my little corner of the Internet.
Lots of people ask me what I cook this time of year for Christmas and the various holiday parties I go to. To be honest, the list is endless. I try not to bring the same thing to the same place so it’s always a never-ending search for new recipes to try.
This year, I narrowed it down to a few winners.
For my best friend’s ugly sweater party, I made kale chips. The recipe could not be simpler. Take a bunch of fresh kale and wash thoroughly (they can be gritty so really let ’em soak). Then rip the leaves away from the stems and place on a baking sheet coated with non-stick spray. Top with more cooking spray (instead of oil to save some cals!), a little salt and a little black pepper and pop into a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. They become crisp and golden and melt in your mouth. A really great snack or appetizer for hungry girls watching their waistlines!
For a Christmas Eve appetizer, I pinterest-ed a recipe (did I mention I’m on Pinterest now? And obsessed with Pinterest? Well, I am.) And I found mini toothpick caprese salads. So easy, so healthy, so beautiful! I’m even going to make a balsamic glaze to drizzle over the top.
Christmas Day is my favorite. Because I come from a large Italian family, we do things in a traditional way. And by tradition, I mean we eat and drink for approximately 6-8 hours and pass out in food comas at the end of the night.
Christmas is a time for family and the Torto family’s ancient recipe for homemade raviolis. These are no joke, my friends. We already made them (in November) and they are sitting in plastic baggies in my aunt’s basement freezer waiting for their bath in from-scratch, simmered-for-hours tomato sauce.
Christmas day is served in multiple courses. Antipasti, then escarole soup, then the ravs with meatballs, sausages and pork, then salad, then dessert. Not to mention the finger foods we munch on before sitting down to the table or the bottles and bottles of Asti Spumonti and 2-Buck-Chuck red wine we go through.
And that’s only with my family. I mentioned that Stephen is Italian too, didn’t I? That’s a whole ‘nother story (and food coma..)
I hope your holiday is filled with family, friends, and great food. And maybe a surprise or two!