Christmas!

Its hard to believe Christmas is over! I love the holiday season, and I’m always a little sad when it ends. Sometimes I wish Christmas came later in the winter so we’d have something warm and cozy to look forward to during the year’s bitter months.

While we spent Christmas Eve with my very large extended family, Christmas Day was a quiet celebration with my small immediate family of three. Evie, Chris and I opened presents in the morning and then enjoyed a leisurely homemade brunch together. So I could relax on Christmas morning, I prepared everything for the brunch the night before, including my newly created recipe for sweet rolls:

1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 package Pillsbury Grands large biscuits
1/2 box Jell-O cook & serve butterscotch pudding mix
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick melted butter
cinnamon

Coat a 9″ springform pan with non-stick spray. Sprinkle 1/4 cup pecans on the bottom. Lay the biscuits on top of the pecans (they should perfectly fit in the pan). Top with the remaining nuts, brown sugar and a few good shakes of cinnamon. Drizzle the melted butter over the top.

At this point, I put the prepared dish into the fridge and went to sleep. However, I’m sure you could just put them right into the oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (until the biscuits are done). Remove from the oven and loosen the springform pan. When you are ready to serve, turn out onto a pretty plate.

These will keep nicely in the fridge for a few days, too. Just pop one in the microwave when you need a little treat! I also think these would be great with some sliced apples layered in – yum!

In the evening, I prepared a nice Christmas dinner for the three of us. Although we don’t eat beef or pork (which means no traditional dishes like prime rib or ham) I still wanted to make something special. So, the menu included homemade shrimp bisque, salad with homemade balsamic dressing, lemon risotto and pan seared sole with lemon and capers. Before the main courses, though, I put together a little appetizer plate with almonds, turkey sausage from our recent trip to a rural poultry farm and a new goat cheese toast recipe I created:

1 baguette
extra virgin olive oil
4 oz chevre (creamy goat cheese), room temperature
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
kosher salt

Slice the bread diagonally. Place on a cookie sheet and brush or rub each slice with a little olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees until a nice toasty color appears. Remove from oven.

In a small saute pan, warm a little olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drop in peppercorns and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese and 1 tablespoon of cream. Add the remaining tablespoon cream and stir until well combined and creamy (you may need to add a little more cream to get a nice consistency). Stir in the shallots and peppercorns and a little bit of kosher salt. Spread the mixture on top of the toasts and serve immediately.

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Written by Maureen

More posts by: Maureen

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