(this gorgeous cutting board was handmade by Karl Driesel)
This year my new year's eve feast is Russian inspired. After all, who better to turn to when looking to stay warm and cozy this time of year, than the Russians?
The holidays have me spinning! Family visiting, so much good food, and four generations of cooks in the kitchen . . . at the same time! For Christmas Eve we had a decadent lasagna with a tender Mâche salad and cookies of all sorts - gingersnaps, sugar trees, biscochitos, rum raisin balls - meant for Santa, of course. I was dreaming of goose for Christmas dinner, but with the hustle and bustle of the holidays I didn't get to the market until Christmas Eve, and there were none to be found. As we strolled up and down the aisles - my mother, my grandmother, and I - the inspiration started flowing. We decided on the traditional ham, slathered in a fresh pineapple and brown sugar glaze. Along side, we served Ina Garten's Brussels Sprouts Lardons (my kids fight over how many servings they can eat of these!), roasted new potatoes with fresh rosemary, and a light fruit salad with honey-vanilla yogurt dressing. For dessert, a stunning yule log - flourless chocolate cake, wrapped around a cream cheese filling, and garnished with a thick cherry sauce. Alas, I didn't go so far as making the tiny, candy mushrooms to grow on the log. Maybe next year.