After dinner - out came the pumpkin-mascarpone pie in its rustic pumpkin pie dish, out came my mother's sumptuous trifle in the sparkling glass bowl and out came the cannoli cream in the crystal. And then out came the cannoli shells in ... their... box. Which brought a retort from Brian, "You're putting cardboard on the table?" I forgave him. Because:
a. it was Thanksgiving Day
b. out of our years of friendship and working together on shows and most importantly -
c. the salsa.
Yes, it's the offending cannoli box.
But below is Brian's calling card- the jewelled-apple-lovin' salsa. A holiday on a tortilla chip.
Cranberry salsa has a lot going for it - especially for the holiday season. The salsa is low-fat and the ruby-red cranberries sparkle the colors of the season. Use it as a dip for tortilla chips or toasted pita bread. Add it to turkey sandwiches (with Brie!) or to top a sliced rotisserie chicken.
Cranberry Salsa Ingredients
12 oz fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 med red onion
1 granny smith apple - peeled and cored and cut into 1/8's
2 tbl pickled jalapano - chopped
2 tsp lime zest
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup apple juice
2 tbls cilantro chopped
Cranberry Salsa Preparation
1. Chop cranberries, red pepper, onion and apple separately in a food processor. (You can also chop all by hand.) You want small pieces - do not pulverize them.
2. Chop the jalapeno and cilantro by hand.
3. In a large bowl combine chopped cranberries, red pepper, onion, apple and jalapeno and stir.
4. Add lime zest and sugar and stir to coat all. Add apple juice and stir. Top with cilantro and toss till combined.
5. Let sit 3-4 hours to allow the flavors to combine. Can do ahead - the salsa keeps for days in an airtight covered container in the refrigerator.
This is a salsa recipe that begs to played with. If you want it more tart, reduce the sugar. Add sweetness with a honey crisp apple instead of the granny smith. Or add two apples. Throw the entire bell pepper into the salsa. If you like more heat in your salsa, add another pickled jalapeno - or two. Or eliminate it. The variety of flavors dance on your tongue so adapt the cranberry salsa to your palate.
And to add to my holiday pleasure, because I am part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker's Program, I received an extraordinary holiday package from Hickory Farms.
Sausages, cheeses and mustards which go right to my savory heart.
I am hosting Christmas Eve for my husband's side of the family - for about 40 people give or take ten people.
This beauty will see serious use. I will have fun providing an assortment of breads, crackers, olives and vegetables to complement this generous gift. Come back Christmas Eve - it will be quite a spread. Or drop by, there will be so many people, what does it matter if a few more arrive on the doorstep?
I have frequently used Hickory Farms gift packages as presents. Check out their website to see the variety of their Holiday Gift baskets - there's a size and price to fit all tastes. I do thank them for generously adding to my Christmas Eve Feast.
And - I have been tagged by Sophie of Sophie Foodiefiles. Sophie's website is filled with her original, healthy recipes that enchant the eye and satisfy the stomach. Please visit her when you have time. You will be enticed by her recipes.
I am not good at being tagged. I don't have favorites - for anything. I have moods and the moods dictate my cravings. And they're very much in the moment.
1. What is your most memorable meal that you ate in your life & why?
One stand-out was a dinner in Hawaii - on my honeymoon - where we had lobster just flown in from Maine. I know.
2. Why did you started blogging?
To provide a record for my family - of recipes - and family lore. But the unexpected happened and the connections made in blogosphere have enriched me and kept me blogging even when I am on deadline (oh - like today!).
3. What is your favourite restaurant, where & why?
No favorites - and as any Italian will tell you - the best restaurant is at home.
4. Which are your 3 most favourite chefs in the whole world and why?
No favorites - take a look at my blog list and the blogs I follow and that's where I find new recipes!
5. What is your favourite recipe on your own blog and why?
Hmmmm, that favorite thing again. I'm fond of my mussels and carbonara and the deeply rich butter chocolate cake Kirsten made me for my birthday. Each recipe brings a reminder of past meals, past celebrations and the promise of gracing my table again and getting me even chunkier.
6. To which music do you listen to when you cook and bake & why?
Rock 'n roll. Energizing!
7. What is the strangest food that you have ever eaten and did you like it or not?
Confession: I don't do strange foods.
8. What is your most lovely food destination in the world & why?
Italy. France does not lag far behind - but Italy. To sample what does not make it into the USA. To enjoy food that never travelled on trucks. Plus they have gondolas, the Mediterranean and wild boars.
9. What is your most favourite food shop in the world & why?
Farmer's Markets. You get to schmooze with farmers, find new vegetables and they will tell you their secret way of cooking them. Now, that's a good time!
10. Which kitchen gadget do you love the most & why?
Not a huge gadget person. Although one can really have fun with an olive pitter!
I have more catching up to do with you but as stated - I am on deadline (December 1st), so let me mention the ending of my Thanksgiving holiday. I have worked with this young boy in three shows. He's all of 8 years old and has an intuitive talent that shines and a kindness of being that glows. And he is Tiny Tim in The Guthrie Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol.
On Sunday, the theatre darkened, the lights came on center stage and there was Noah - all by himself opening the show with this lyrical, haunting rendition of "Coventry Carol." Heady stuff for an eight-year-old. I teared over and I just knew -