It’s less than two weeks until Christmas and things are really beginning to pick up speed in my household. Shopping, decorating and meal planning have begun their course, and let’s just say, “I haven’t seen the light at the end of the tunnel yet.” I do love this season, and reading about all the wonderful gift ideas that are posted on the internet. What did we do before technology rolled into our lives? There is so many opportunities to purchase that special something that will be the perfect fit for a loved one. A few pretty cool items have popped up for home bakers this year, one from Grist & Toll in Los Angeles, the first urban miller in hundred years…. and it’s a chocoholic’s gift set that includes two in-house milled flours, and three bags of valhrona chocolate pieces or feves. It’s the perfect treat for a baker or potential baker, who wants to explore with some different types of grains, and high-end chocolates. There’s another site and place that I’ve visited many years ago (before it got super famous), called Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, and it’s a high-end country resort that sells farmstead products that they make on the property. There’s a blackberry-walnut shrub that you can add to sparkling water, or to a cocktail to make one tasty drink. It would be the most marvelous stocking stuffer or under $30 gift. They also have cheese-clubs and breakfast bundles at a higher price point that would make some great gifts too.
As far as meals this week, baby it’s cold outside and I have soup on the brain. It’s time to utilize that Instant Pot and make things easy on yourself. Monday it’s my Lentil and Leek Soup that’s not only simple, but truly…. one tasty bowl of comfort food. We’re enjoying Chicken Enchiladas Verdes on Tuesday because they’re one of the best meals around. You can always use rotisserie chicken and canned enchilada sauce, if you want to cut-down on time. Wednesday, it’s Meaty Mushroom Sauce that you can spoon over spaghetti or steamed squash to create a kicked-up classic that everyone will love. On Thursday, my high-school friends are coming to dinner, so I thought my Honey-Chili Chicken might be fun because of it’s contrasting sweet and spicy flavors. It’s a no-brainer meal to prepare, so I won’t be spending all night in the kitchen. Friday we’re having finger food, and my Whipped Goat Cheese, Prosciutto, Fig and Honey Toasts are the best thing with a good glass of wine or bubbles. One of my favorite sparkling wines is from Flying Goat Cellars and their Goat Bubbles would make the perfect pairing or gift for the holidays. Saturday’s are for baking, but it’s also the last Saturday before Christmas, so movie night might be in order. My Nutty Holiday Caramel Corn is a great snack to enjoy while indulging on your favorite show, but it also can be bagged up, and given as gifts. Have a wonderful week, and stay warm.
Monday – This pot of soup is super easy to prepare, yet has all the flavors of something that simmered away for hours. The hardy lentils fill you up and make it one satisfying bowl.
Instant Pot Lentil & Leek Soup – Recipe!
Tuesday – It’s enchilada night and we’re enjoying green with my Verde sauce. Tonight the whole family will be on-board for this tasty meal.
Chicken Enchiladas Verdes – Recipe!
Wednesday – I love a good sauce and this one will not disappoint. It’s easy to prepare and quickly ladled over warm pasta for a hump-day treat.
Meaty Mushroom Sauce – Recipe!
Thursday – Nothing better than sweet and spicy food and this meal covers both ends of that spectrum. It’s a delightful dish that’s fun to prepare and makes things easy for during the week.
Honey-Chili Chicken – Recipe!
Friday – It’s the end of the week, and whether it’s a quiet night at home or you’re having some friends over, these toasts are perfectly festive. I like to serve them with a little bubbly.
Whipped Goat Cheese, Prosciutto, Fig & Honey Toasts – Recipe!
Saturday – Make a big batch of my nutty caramel corn to enjoy during a good movie, and bag up the rest as gifts for Christmas.