Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas "Nom - Noms"

Silly name, I know. But that is what my son calls exceptionally good food. It can be anything from a new dinner dish to a decadent dessert. So, to share our holiday food adventures, it seems a fitting title.

For Christmas Eve, I wanted something simple but special. Nutritious finger food without a lot of clean up. So, I made my very first "Wood Fired Pizza". I watched Alton Brown make one so I had to give it a try.

Now we try to stay with organic foods as much as possible, but to make this easy, I purchased a ball of dough from the bakery department. Not organic, but it does not contain the worst of the additives that we try to avoid. I also used some of the sauce from a jar of organic spaghetti sauce. Fresh organic bell peppers and mushrooms and all natural shredded mozzarella for the top and I was ready to go to the grill.

Yes, I did say grill. I don't own a fancy wood fire oven in my back yard. I do have an old charcoal grill and an endless supply of oak from our trees. I rolled out the dough, oiled the grill and used a cookie sheet as a peel. I cooked the dough on one side then turned it and added my toppings.

I did end up finishing it under the broiler of my oven. When I cooked the first side, I left the lid up so I could watch it cook. I closed it for the second side, but my fire had burned way down. Next time, I will close the lid both times for more even cooking.

Simple ingredients, but SO tasty with the flavor of the oak. The only other suggestion my guys made for next time was to buy 2 balls of dough :)

Christmas morning I made my Hawaiian Banana Bread. In a blender, puree 2 ripe bananas, 1 stick of butter and 2 eggs. In a large bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pour in the banana mixture from the blender and mix until just combined. You can bake these in muffins cups for about 12-15 minutes at 350 F, or grease and flour a bread pan and bake for about 25 minutes. Today's batch was plain, but it's also good with dark chocolate chips.

Since it was just the three of us, I kept dinner simple this year. I was disappointed at the selection of hams at the markets I shopped at. They were either glazed, spiral cut or both. I finally settled on a smoked, but uncured spiral cut ham. I followed the directions to heat it and made my own glaze from canned organic pineapple, cloves and local honey. I cooked it in a covered roasting pan, then uncovered it for the last 15 minutes. I made my own scalloped potatoes, steamed organic broccoli and reheated us each a roll we brought home from dinner out 2 nights back. Homemade chocolate cake and frosting brought our meal to a close.

Back to the kitchen for me. This is my bake day since we are having Christmas with more family this week. If you are reading my rants, allow me to close by wishing you and yours a
Very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

In His love,


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