19 December 2011


Both CA and I have fallen victim to a lingering respiratory strain--he's still coughing and I can't quite rid myself of the sinus-respiratory infection that began Thanksgiving Day. Life moves on at a brisk pace, but we're still dragging our tails...

That doesn't mean I've ignored my Christmas responsibilities--just accomplishing them at a slower pace. I'm O.K. riding in the car, but actually standing upright for very long is exhausting. 

Saturday was the Jacobs' family celebration in the Peoria area, so CA and I made a flying trip--driving there and back within a 12-hour span. 46 people, including 10 under the age of 7 years got together for small dishes and dessert. Desserts are the hallmark of my family. The entire 7-foot dining table is laden with cookies and candies--every last one homemade with love and care.

My contribution was an antipasto salad/appetizer. I figured that with all the desserts to follow, some would appreciate a quasi-healthy first course. Our favorite version is at Georgio's in Crystal Lake, so a week ago Sunday we ordered out an antipasto salad and wrote down the ingredients, prepping everything but the Romaine before leaving home. By all evidence, the antipasto was a hit, and we have enough leftover ingredients for dinner tonight. Here's the mix:

Parmesan - shaved 
Black olives
Red cabbage, shredded
Green peppers
Red onions
Genoa salami
Italian sausage

Then, our Small Group Christmas dinner was last night and I'd promised dessert, which had to be prepped and ready before we could leave for Peoria on Saturday. I made 5 cheesecakes--4" in diameter: black raspberry swirl, New York-style (plain), coconut, cappuccino, and chocolate truffle. And, I made Kahlua brownies with chocolate ganache, and also shortbread rounds--half coated with red glaze. 

Can I just say that I used to be much more efficient at this type of thing when we entertained more often? I'm rusty... After the cheesecake production, the kitchen was ready to be declared a National Disaster Area

And, am I the only person who owns multiple springform pans in at least 5 sizes? I have 4-4", 2-6", 2-8", 1-10", and one heart-shaped. Williams Sonoma has nothing on my pantry! And, let's just not discuss tart pans, 'cuz it gets too embarrassing.

Today I'm committed to my punitive online driving school requirement. (Throat clearing...) I might have gotten a ticket for distracted driving in the recent past... 4-hours of online punishment, at no small cost.

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