In retrospect, this seemed like a really busy week, so I didn’t cook many new recipes. Instead, I stuck to old reliables for my weeknight cooking and tried to keep things light to make up for all excess eating we do around this time of year. (I’ve posted several of the recipes here.)
My god, the food is everywhere! Yesterday at my office alone, we had lunch brought in for the board meeting, there were leftovers from the holiday party the night before, and one of my vendors dropped off the most spectacular gift basket I have ever seen, with boxes of cookies, a huge bag of Lindt truffles, a carton of Ferraro Rocher candies, fruit, sparkling cider and other goodies. I think I did a pretty good job of controlling myself, but looking ahead at the next week, we have planned a holiday dinner at one of our finer local French restaurants, two family-style dinners at Maggiano’s (one work and one family), Sunday brunch, Christmas breakfast and Christmas dinner at my Dad’s, who is one of the finest chefs I know. I’m just glad the weather is so beautiful so I can at least get some exercise with my dog (who has been helping out this holiday season — see photo).
Still, I don’t think one week of excess is a bad thing. This time of year is about celebrating life and all the things we love about it, including food. I’m not going to obsess about what I put in my stomach and spoil the fun. The long, cold, dreary winter is coming, so for now, let’s just enjoy ourselves.
Best Recipe of the Week
I only cooked one new recipe this week, but it was a damn fine one: Balsamic Braised Chicken. This stew — recipe from Cook’s Illustrated magazine — was redolent with red wine and balsamic vinegar, onions, garlic and red chard. It was beautiful served next to oven-baked brown rice, wintry comfort food that still felt healthy. And I remembered to take photos this time!