31 December 2011
Auld Lang Syne - Citrus Vinaigrette
Zest of 1 lemon or tangerine
2T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8c lemon olive oil OR a quality extra-virgin olive oil
2t white balsamic vinegar
1t mayonnaise or Veganaise
1t agave syrup or honey
Salt + pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Season the dressing to taste, using salt + pepper. Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Serves approximately four party people, delicately dressed (the greens, not the guests).
26 December 2011
“Veni, vedi, vici…bis coctum!” Ah, yes, that’s Latin(ish) for, “We came, we saw, we conquered some cookies!” For the second-annual cookie exchange, we gathered in our best,
holiday California-casual attire to swap some sweets and revel in the recipes of our gal pals. This year, we voted for treats in each of the following categories: best looking, best tasting, most creative and most unique holiday treats. Printable details were inspired by those created by Natalie at BBM. Each prize-winner took home a special gift, and we all departed with multiple plates and boxes of decadent and decorative delights! Here are the treats, and recipes, from this special day! Mark your calendars for next year’s exchange, to be held on December 9th, 2012! Bonus…I’ve decided to offer a Gingerbread House Workshop prior to the cookie exchange. Let me know if you’re interested in participating!
This year’s guests + treats are below. Where recipes were not provided, I linked to a similar listing. Thanks to Ginger for her photos!
Martha: Holiday Butter Cookies
Wendy: Peppermint Almond Kisses
Angela: Turtle Cookies
Ginger: Ritz on the Rooftop
Angela: Mrs. Claus’ Super Sugar Cookies
Charlotte: Christmas Mittens
Angela: Dark Chocolate Mint Noëls
As newlyweds, we felt the need to establish some holiday traditions:
#1 – Jungle Bells – visiting the zoo at night
#2 – Cookie exchange – try out a new recipe or three
#4 – The Empire Strikes Back – it’s always winter on Hoth
#5 – Christmas Card Lane – holiday lights
#6 – Take a hike…or run…or maybe just curl up under a blanket with a book
#7 – Make veggie lasagna for Christmas dinner!
We’ll point you toward another entry for cookie exchange details but, for now, we’ll share the recipe for the dish that makes anyone feel warm and fuzzy at the end of an intensely scheduled season – or at any time of year. Bonus: it freezes well! Note: prep the veggies in advance, and this will come together in a snap! A little delayed gratification is in order, as the 10min of resting time at the end allows the lasagna to set up so it can hold its shape when you cut/serve.
(Adapted from Better Homes + Gardens)
9 dried lasagna noodles (do not use the no-boil, unless you like your lasagna to resemble the flavor of a school art-project)
1c chopped onion (1 large)
1c sliced, fresh mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
2T butter (I suppose you could also use margarine…but I’m a hater)
1, 7oz jar roasted, red, sweet peppers; drained + chopped (or, if you’re the ambitious sort, roast 2 of your own!)
1, 10oz pkg frozen, chopped spinach; thawed + well-drained (thaw in the fridge 24hs or under the tap in a pinch)
1, 15oz container ricotta cheese
1c shredded mozzarella cheese
½c grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 beaten eggs
1t dried basil, crushed
½t dried oregano, crushed
1, 30½ oz jar meatless spaghetti sauce (c’mon, splurge a little on the good stuff!)
1. Cook lasagna noodles as directed, until al dente. Drain + rinse.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook onion, mushrooms + garlic in hot butter (yum!) until tender but not brown. Stir in sweet peppers and set aside.
4. Spread ½ cup of the spaghetti sauce evenly in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles over the sauce and layer with half of the sweet pepper-spinach mixture and 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spoon remaining spaghetti sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the ¼ cup Parmesan/Romano saved for the topping.