Monday, December 29, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Cards and Gifts

Ok, so I think I might as well continue posting about Christmas, until January 1st, when I plan to start a whole new line up of exciting things...

My favorite Christmas gifts were homemade, OF COURSE! My favorite card was made by our friend, Corinne, who is a silly silly girl. She made a card that is not only cheery but has a lot to say. I love it when people actually write in their cards, instead of just picking a preprinted message and signing. Thanks, Corinne!

My favorite store bought card came from my hubby. He also had a lot to write and while I will not write all the sappy personal stuff here, he basically said a lot of things that made me swoon like how I am dedicated to all I do, especially being a mother and how he feels blessed to have me as a wife and Quin as a daughter. Honestly, this was the best card and gift. I love words of love, and to know I am appreciated. I am not sure what I did to deserve my husband but I am blessed indeed!

My favorite gift was made by our friend, Annie, her mom, Louise, and her son, William. They made us a gift "basket", of sorts. The bottom had a Christmas themed plate/bowl, which held little canning jars full of homemade goodies, plus a bottle of hard cider. The bowl was lined with tinsel, a great idea which we put to use right away on our tree. And the three jars contained Mango Peach Salsa, Apple Butter, and Creton. I decided to look up recipes for each to share with you. These are not Annie's recipes, but I am working on getting those...

Rather than repost the recipe here, I will link you to the site, because not only is the recipe there but there are step by step photos to go with it!

The combo of mango and peaches with onions and garlic is a winner on a burrito or with chips. I got this simple recipe from Vegetarian

Prep Time: 15 minutes

* 2 mangos, peeled and chopped
* 2 fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
* 1 sweet onion, diced
* 2 cloves garlic
* 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
* juice of one lime
* dash salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and chill. If you have a food processor, you can process all the ingredients in chunks, rather than dicing and chopping. Chill before serving.

If you are not French-Canadian or at least Canadian, you may not know what creton is. If you do, you can consider yourself a real foodie... Now if the above two recipes are good for vegetarians, creton is not. It is for carnivores. Creton is a spread made from pork. Many people in Quebec eat it for breakfast, and I can say it has always been available at any brunch I ate in Quebec (but as a veggie, it just kind of makes me queasy to look at it). It is not healthy but is said to be delicious (but then again so it vegemite!). The person who submitted this recipe to RecipeZaar likes to eat it on crackers or toast with hot mustard. Enjoy!

Emeril Lagasse's Creton

* 1 1/4 lbs ground pork
* 3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* 3/4 cup whole milk
* 1/4 cup fine breadcrumb

1. In a large saute pan, add the pork and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the onions and garlic, and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the salt, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add the milk and bread crumbs and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring to break up the meat.
5. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork is very tender and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
6. Remove the lid and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and all the liquid is evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes.
7. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
8. Transfer to a decorative bowl or several smaller ramekins, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.
9. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled and firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
10. Serve with thinly sliced French bread or toasted French bread croutons

No comments: