Christmas 2009 Last blog of the year

Gosh I can’t believe the year is over and this will be my last 2009 blog post! I have to admit, I am ready for a New Year. This year has not been my best ever but somehow I have hung in there and kept a good attitude. I had an unexpected change in my holiday plans due to a family emergency. Instead of making Peach French Toast for my mother and her friends, I found myself in Dallas having a Christmas eve dinner and a New Mexican Christmas breakfast then heading home.

So Christmas had its share of joy and sorrows this year. I was happy to be there for my family member and they are doing better. I was also able to spend time with some special people while I was in Dallas and as life has it, one of those people I will never see again, so I am glad I had that experience while I could.

I must admit, given the rush job and having to grocery shop on Christmas Eve, I managed to make some pretty tasty meals. For Christmas dinner I made a lightened up version of Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa http://www.foodreference.com/html/coco-sh-ov-72406.html and an Orange Raspberry Sauce (my Florida roots showing through during a snowstorm!), Brussel Sprouts with Lemon Butter and toasted almonds,a roasted sweet potato and sparkling cider. No dessert this time. I think I have had enough sweets for a lifetime already.

If you make the shrimp, I would recommend you don’t put too much flour on the shrimp as it will get gummy. Also, make sure you have a hot oven. Ours was under temperature and we had to adjust it to get the best browning. The amount of flour stated in the recipe is too much. I probably threw more than half of it away unused, so start with less and add more if you need it.

The pineapple salsa was incredible, but I was lucky enough to find a really good fresh pineapple at Whole Foods Market. I had to shop around to find the Pineapple Preserves, but that added a nice sweet contrast to the tangy salsa. The Orange Raspberry sauce was also really good. Most of the time when you order Coconut Shrimp you get an orange sauce. The raspberry was a nice addition.

Here is the sauce recipe. The original called for a lot more hot sauce, I think 2 tablespoons but that is way too much so I just used a few drops to taste:

Zesty Raspberry Marmalade
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 tbl seedless raspberry preserves
1 tbl Dijon mustard
Few drops of hot sauce

Combine ingredients and serve with hot coconut shrimp.

I made my absolute favorite breakfast, Pasquales Huevos Motulenos. When I first looked at the recipe, the combination of ingredients sounded pretty funky, but trust me, it is delicious. I made a smaller version and instead of the corn tortillas, I used blue corn taco shells broken in half so they were flat. I made the black beans from a can of Whole Foods brand Spicy Black Beans then added some jalapenos, chopped cilantro, a bit of cumin and a good squeeze of lime juice. For the green chile sauce, I bought a can of Hatch Green Chile sauce at Wholefoods and used it as is. The best. If you ever have a chance to visit Santa Fe, go to Pasquales for Breakfast or Dinner. You will have a memorable meal, guaranteed. Here is a link to the recipe: http://www.recipelink.com/msgbrd/board_14/2005/MAR/16478.html

I promised you the Sangria Flora recipe in a previous blog, so here is a link to that recipe as well. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sangria-flora St.Germain Elderflower liqueur is a bit pricy but it adds a wonderful floral aroma to the Sangria. I didn’t use Cointreau as the recipe called for. I substituted Grand Marnier because that is what I had on hand. I didn’t hear anyone complaining about it..HA!

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and an incredible, healthy, happy and prosperous 2010 full of love, friends, family, laughter, great food and……don’t forget to exercise!!