Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday Eats, for Two

Although this wasn't technically the first Christmas Alex and I have spent together, it is the first year we've spend the entire day together, and to add to that, it's the first (and hopefully the last, at least for a while) that we spend alone, together. We spent a good bit of time trying to figure out what would be important for us to do to make the day feel special. Okay, I spent a while trying to think about what I wanted to do and trying to get Alex to tell me what he wanted. We ate, played video games, went to the movies, and ate some more.

I knew I wanted to have a special breakfast or brunch. As a kid, we always had French toast and a sausage and egg casserole my grandmother would make. I toyed with the idea of making something similar with vegetarians soysage, but simply ran out of time to plan after a busy week. As it was, I was at the grocery store on Christmas Eve during the single available hour between when I finished work and the store closed.

We had red & green (red bell pepper and broccoli) frittata for breakfast, along with some garlic cheddar biscuits.

For Christmas dinner, we snacked on mushroom bruschetta: chopped cremini and shiitake mushrooms, red onion, garlic, and thyme piled on pan-toasted baguette slices, rubbed with a bit of olive oil. Some we tried with a smear of goat cheese, others just the mushroom mix and bread.

We also ate a spring mix salad topped with pistachios, dried cranberries, goat cheese, red onion, and balsamic vinaigrette. I've said before I don't like to eat right off the stove -- I prefer to relax for a few minutes before eating -- so it was nice to have these appetizers with some Pere Jacques while our oven roasted potatoes, well, roasted in the oven.

I prepared blackened tofu from the recipe in a new cookbook, The Vegan Soul Kitchen, along with some sautéed kale and those oven roasted potato slices. I know I'll be looking at some of Bryant Terry's black-eyed pea recipes for New Year's Day.

This meal was certainly a success. and although I can't say this will become a Christmas tradition for us, it was certainly a very nice meal for our first Christmas alone together. At least Alex liked the meal better than the movie I wanted to watch (Mixed Nuts).

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