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Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone! We had a southwest inspired dinner

We had Christmas dinner a little early in order to have yummy leftovers all week. It was a beautiful balmy day outside. Perfect for barbecuing the turkey - and quite a climate change from last year. Our menu was derived from the November 2008 issue of Sunset magazine. My favorite issue of all time. We have now successfully eaten every single recipe out of it.

We started off the food frenzy with fresh salad greens topped with roasted beets and fresh carrots - all from the yard. I made a dressing out of fresh squeezed orange juice, rice vinegar and olive oil. It was so pretty!

The bird was gorgeous. It was basted with a chile orange glaze that set the tone for my Tex-Mex inspired theme. I had juiced a bunch of lemons the day before and saved the lemon rinds. I put them into the cavity along with some rosemary and sage. The smell was heavenly.

I made Cornbread Chorizo stuffing to go with it (cooked separately.) I was reluctant to try this one because my previous attempts with cornbread dressing resulted in mush. However, this one seemed to have the right combination of dry and wet ingredients and turned out perfectly. The cornbread offset the spiciness of the chorizo and it was just gorgeous to look at.

Last night I prepared the Cranberry Meyer lemon relish, and I must say, it's the best I have ever had. It was so simple to make; it's just cranberries and Meyer lemons (courtesy of the Master Gardener trees.) It really complemented the citrus infused turkey.

The Chipotle Corn Mashed Potatoes were interesting too. I was afraid the chilies would send Ed over the edge, but the potatoes offset the heat nicely. This recipe calls for roasting fresh ears of corns and then cutting the kernels off. I didn't want to spend the money so I used canned corn. I "roasted" them atop the stove in a little olive oil. The combination was great and beat out the garlic potatoes I usually make.

Dessert was a deep-dish apple pie that we love this time of year. Cranberries are one of the ingredients and it makes for such a pretty pie. This recipe features a crumble topping so I threw in some pecans to make it more southern.

It was a great meal. My only regret is that none of you were here to share it with us. I have given you links to all the recipes. Try a few of them and think of me!

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