Monday, December 18, 2006

{Day 18} Holiday dinner plans

What are your dinner plans for the holiday's? This was the prompt for {Day 18} of my Christmas Journal. Yikes...hadn't thought that far ahead yet! It was fun to look through magazines and dream about the perfect Christmas Eve dinner. We will be home with the kids, it will be before all the hubub of Christmas Day. My parents will be making the big meal on Christmas Day, so the evening before is my chance to start our own tradition. This is what I came up with. I wanted this page to be tactile, so I first put down a piece of my grandmothers vintage lace behind the photo, added another piece on top with a stick of cinnamon to remind me of the scents of holiday cooking. Then hand wrote out our little menu. Makes me hungry just looking at it!

I found this delicious looking picture and recipe for biscuit-topped turkey pot pie. I love pot pie and it seemed so warm and hardy for the big night. I thought spiced cider would be good and a waldorf salad. Then for dessert chocolate-carmamel bread pudding. YUM! This actually is part of our Christmas Eve tradition. When I was young and we would drive to Iowa to be with my moms family on Christmas Eve, we always had bread pudding, so here is a re-vised version:)

Chocolate caramel bread pudding

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 c. heavy cream
1 ½ c. milk
2 TBL cocoa powder
½ vanilla bean (seeds scraped and pod reserved)
1 large egg
5 large egg yolks
¼ tea salt
½ c. sugar
7 c. challah bread, cut into 1” cubes
1 ½ tea unsalted butter
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz. caramel candy chews

Make the pudding: Place the chocolate in a large bowl and set aside. Place the cream, milk, cocoa, and vanilla bean seeds and pod in a medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, and strain into the bowl of chocolate. Gently stir to combine and set aside. Whisk the egg, yolks, salt, and sugar together in a medium bowl. Pour the cream mixture into the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously until combined. Place the challah in a large bowl, pour the egg-and-cream mixture over the bread, and let sit, tossing occasionally, until the bread absorbs the liquid- about 30 min.
2. Bake the pudding: Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat a 10 inch deep dish pie pan with butter. Gently mix chocolate chips and the soaked bread together. Spoon half of the pudding into the pie pan, sprinkle with half of the caramel candies, top with remaining pudding and caramel. Tightly cover the pie pan with aluminum foil, fit it into a 10 by 15 in. roasting pan, and place them on the middle shelf of the oven. Fill the roasting pan with hot water until the level reaches half way up the sides of the pie pan. Bake for 40 min., uncover, and continue to bake until the liquid has set and caramel is melted- about 20 more minutes. Serve warm.

After writing all that out, it seems like a lot of work, but definitely sounds yummy!

I know I've seen Matthew Meads fabulous holiday magazine written about on many blogs. It really does have some fantastic holiday food recipes and gorgeous pictures! He has a web site too!


Lilli in Vancouver said...

Yummers! There's something just so comforting about pot pies. Good choice of a new tradition!

You were asking about the cute kids on the cards I posted: they're from "Daisy D's" Christmas line of papers etc. Too adorable by far :)

Anonymous said...

Great use of the doily/cinnamon! The bread pudding sounds great!

Jeanne said...

Yummy recipe. Matthew is such a talented guy. I've enjoyed his features in magazines for years.

Anonymous said...

AWESOME....and now I'm hungry! :)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful use of the lace, it is beautiful

Anonymous said...

For years now, our Christmas Eve meal has been a seafood fest! My kids love seafood and because it's so expensive, we decided that we would treat ourselves to it on Christmas Eve. We start with a lobster bisque and we usually have king crab legs and shrimp cocktail and many other things. So Yummy!! At the end of the meal, you have to roll us away from the table! :-)

Anonymous said...

very creative use of textiles. love it!