While I am sure that our mothers did not invent the original dish, it was a common holiday treat in both of our house growing up. Sweet Medjool dates stuffed with crunchy peanut butter and dusted with powdered sugar says “Christmas” in our house. These are easy to make, but they do not last long—even when there are no children around. Wife Jan, of course, decided to improve on the recipe this year by adding some spice.
Category Archives: Holidays
Note: I mentioned these treats in an earlier post and I felt I could not mention them without giving the recipe.
While I am sure that my mother was not the inventor of this dish—wife Jan insisted that her mother’s name be added to the title—it was a common holiday treat in our house growing up. Sweet Medjool dates stuffed with crunchy peanut butter and dusted with powdered sugar says “Christmas” in my house. These are easy to make, but they do not last long—even when there are no children around.
Sunday was St. Patrick’s Day, and around here that means corned beef and colcannon. Daughter Miriam is off onions and garlic—although she has recently been OK with just a little green onion (see colcannon without garlic and onions). For this meal, I adapted my regular corned beef for one adapted to my daughter’s needs. Most recipes for corned beef include onions and frequently garlic. I decided to replace these aromatics with celery and carrots.
When I proposed my usual Greek lamb for this Easter’s dinner, I was faced with a bit of a revolt. We finally settled on both ham and salmon as the main dishes. For everyday meals, I usually broil my ham steaks, but—since I was already planning to plank grill the salmon—grilling it this time was an easy decision.
It is always a challenge to decide what to make for Christmas Eve dinner. I have done lamb, crab & lobster bisque, and last year I made tamales—since Jan discovered that she is a quarter Cora, we have been trending toward Mexican cuisine in our Christmas celebrations. This year, Miriam asked for tri-tip tacos—and tacos call out for beans.
Jan’s family Christmas Eve traditional meal was Grandpa Von Hausen’s goulash. This was a Depression era dish of bacon, hamburger, onions, a whole bottle of ketchup, garlic, paprika, and cans of peas, kidney beans, and pork & beans. The idea was that this dish would sustain the family throughout the days of Christmas—without anyone needing to stop and cook.
This Thanksgiving, I did a deconstructed stuffed turkey. Jan invited one of her former Chinese students to dinner and she had requested American “festival foods.” Since I still have half a turkey in my freezer, I did not want to do another, but I thought I could adapt my recipe to chicken.
One of Jan’s students is coming to dinner with her husband and she had asked for (American) festival food. I decided to do a chicken variation of my Thanksgiving turkey and I wanted a hot vegetable dish to go with it. Green beans are always a good choice, because you can steam them to just tender and then set them aside. Reheat them with some aromatics, just before serving, gives you a quick hot vegetable.