Merry Christmas!

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It’s not time for New Year’s Resolutions yet, so I have been eating a bit.  On Christmas Day, we went over to my brother-in-law’s place to eat a dinner (4:30 to 8:30PM – very civilized).  I brought pate and cheeses with crackers for an appetizer – Liver and truffle mousse, a wedge of Brie, and a slice of Bucheron, which is a goat cheese log.  We had turkey with dressing, beans, spinach salad with pear, scalloped potatoes, and an apple cranberry chutney.  My brother-in-law is gluten-intolerant, so my mom made a French Silk pie on a bed of meringue.

I do not feel like I over-indulged that night, but have had a great time with the left-overs, and some candy given as gifts.  My mother made pecan puffs, my sister sent pecan pralines, and there was a lot of chocolate with mint – Lindt truffles, peppermint bark, and Frango mints.  I laid waste to the pate and the pecan puffs yesterday.  It looks like I will be finishing up the pralines and Brie today.  I had some veal stew I had made in the slow cooker, and used the left-overs to make two pot pies.

The only other cooking I have done was to try this Mexican chocolate cupcake recipe – it is gluten and lactose free.   The cupcakes were okay – mainly due to the Ghirardelli chocolate chips – but next time I would use white rice flour instead of brown.  I hope my bro-in-law likes them: they are for his birthday.  I made cupcakes, then a two layer cake with chocolate icing.

Last Friday, I met a friend and we went to eat at Eclipse di Luna – a tapas bar and restaurant across from Perimeter Mall.   I had been to the restaurant at Miami Circle a couple of years ago, and it was by pure accident that we happened along on this one.  I had a glass of cava (Spanish sparkling wine – my latest drink), and two plates: Empanada de Pollo y Chile Poblano (Roasted Chicken and Poblano Pepper Empanada w/ Manchego cheese & fire roasted tomato jam) – it had a cilantro cream squiggled on top.  I also had a mini-panini with roasted vegetables.  For dessert, I had their awesome fig and sherry ice cream.  I’ll definitely have to go there again.

So, I know that there will be more Spanish food in my future – we leave for Barcelona on January 11.  I got a great hotel deal for our first night there, and we are supposed to have accommodations on the coast while my husband is working.  I just need to book a hotel for the last two nights.  I don’t know what is going on that weekend, but the Saturday, Jan 19 rates are significantly higher than the other nights.  It will still average out reasonably, though.

I have left off of my Maison Celeste production a bit – hope to get re-energized in January.  In a bizarre twist, I just got this bedraggled package returned to me – I had mailed it in February 2007 to Austin, then it tried to go to Terlingua, Texas.  Now it’s back to me!  The sheer shrine inside of it was unharmed, but I will have to investigate and see if the person who ordered it can be located!

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