We were searching for an adequate Christmas dinner recipe. One that would stand up to the expectation of "Christmas Dinner". I offered my sister the short list of Christmas-go-to-mains, but somehow came up with a lackluster response to rib roast, ham, turkey....I threw the idea of short ribs out there and she took off running. Kate and I are both runners, so as you can guess, we like an idea, and go with it. She searched our favorite places for recipes, namely epicurious and food network. Stout braised short ribs came up....now normally this would have sounded like a great idea, but today it was the perfect idea because I could vouch for a beef braised in high quality beer stew was the way to go. Just prior, I had one of the best concoctions from Aaron's roommate Crash, a budding brew-based culinary mastermind. With a small sacrifice of time (these dishes do better when slowly cooked over half a day....yes patience is a virtue here) a delicious Christmas dinner was going to happen.
This dish was inspired first by Spain, second by my awesome friend Rene, and third, by the baby octopus we saw at Sun Fat, the local seafood market. Rene makes a great paella, and not just any paella, this dish is one that adds a little more fresh veggies than your average, which I love, but it also has a spicy chorizo which gives it the kick necessary to wow your French guests...and yes, if it's a dinner party with Rene is SF, there will be French guests. The recipe was adapted from this recipe
The great thing about paella is that you can add anything you have on hand to it and it will taste great. I highly recommend mussels if you have access to them not only because they are delicious, but because they add an extra third dimension to the dish. In our case. the baby octopus became the larger than life addition. Don't forget the saffron!
While in Palm Springs visiting my Aunt Barbara, we decided to make Tortilla soup since it's a healthy and hearty meal. My sister (Katie) sent over this highly recommended recipe and knowing that she holds a certain amount of culinary clout, Aunt B and I were glad to embark on this task. It was a bit my of our normal soup making skills and Aunt B did most of the long slow cooking. Let me tell you, this soup packs an amazing smell! One you can't get enough of. Here is a link to the recipe with some tips on what to make. We found a lot of the ingredients at the farmers market and regular grocery store. However, if you have a Mexican grocery store nearby, that would be the best option. If you know Spanish, chat it up with the owners! Mexico is playing Argentina today and I'm feeling the world cup fever. My ties have to go to Mexico.
This cake was a blessing in disguise. We used a recipe from Baking Bites Chocolate Cake and modified it with less baking powder, by accident, and no egg. Needless to say, the cake did not rise as we had hoped. In the midst of being distressed at our "flat" cake, we iced it regardless with lots of chocolate ganache. After bringing it to the birthday girl, we sampled the cake with caution not knowing if it would hold up to our normal standards. To our relief, the cake was marvelously decadent. I'd definitely make it again the same way. No eggs and not enough baking powder. Here's to not following directions!!
This cobbler was made on a whim (The best things are made this way). We had the peaches to use, and the cream leftover from something delicious that I can't remember. The crust came together fairly simply with almond cookies we had on hand. We ate this quickly over the next few days.
Crust: Almond cookies, crushed, patted into tart pan
Peach filling: 1 cup whipping cream whipped to slightly stiffer consistancy (custard like) 1/4 cup sugar
2 peaches thinly sliced
Press crumbled cookies into pan. Then spread the whipping cream onto crust. Add peaches in a layered arrangement. Cook for 25-30 minutes at 350. Great a la mode!
We are two sisters who grew up in the Washington Metropolitan Area. In college we split ways, one sister heading off to the San Francisco area while the other making her way to Pennsylvania. Whenever we're together, we combine our bicoastal culinary influences to create gastronomic masterpieces, or just good old yummy food. As young kids we always tuned into Julia child or Two Fat Ladies, beginning a tradition of cooking that would kick off our collaboration in the kitchen.