Filed under: Uncategorized
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I can’t believe it has been over two months since I last blogged. (I did post our Christmas menu though. . . scroll down and take a look.) Well, actually I can believe it. November and December whizzed by – just about as fast if not faster than the entire year.
Why is it that as we get older, time goes by so much quicker? I must admit, I am glad this year is coming to an end. I made this comment the other day to Mike and although he agreed, he was also quick to point out that I had quite the year.
2009 brought me to a few new places and to a place that I thoroughly enjoy, but had not visited in quite some time. I went skiing in Utah, vacationed in St Barths, partied like a rock star in the Hamptons and went on a birth tour with one of my BFFs in Montreal.
Event wise, I produced a TV premiere, launched a national comedy tour, raised hundreds of thousands for charity, conga-ed with the Capitals, worked with the VP Biden camp and the Secret Service and had mother Nature “majorly” crash one of my parties.
Personally, I had quite the year too. . . although none of it as glamorous as my professional life. I persevered my second root canal and then early this fall, went under the knife. I discovered through both that I have quite a high tolerance for pain, but not for worry. All summer I was convinced I was sick. I did have a health issue and tried not to think about it and to stay positive, but at night when you close your eyes there are just some things you can not shut out. Because of this, I learned what a real support system does for you emotionally and physically and as a result, became a better wife, daughter, niece, cousin and friend. I also tried to master not worrying about what I cannot control. I still have much practice to do on that front, but it was a start. And then I also learned first hand what the delivery of good news does to you and everyone around you. It changes your perspective on just about everything.
I watched my husband take on a new project that in the end just let him down. I learn from him just about every day that mistakes are okay and our own personal failures only make us stronger. The combination of the two make us succeed when it matters most. That good things come to those who wait and that money does not buy happiness.
Both of our Christmas cards this year had the same basic message and from the opposite end of the spectrum from last year. Last year reflected the doom and gloom of the economy and was all about slashed prices. This year our personal annual CD was titled “Peace, Love and Good Tunes” and boasted some new fun songs but some classic feel goods too. My work cards read inbright-colored letters “Hope, Peace and Cookies,” and I delivered them with boxes of Barbara Lynch’s home-made cookies. Both frivolous for sure, but the message was loud and clear.
2010 is a day away and I am ready for everything it brings. My New Year’s resolutions are simple and mirror the sentiment of the holiday cards. I watched one of my favorite holiday movies last night, The Holiday, and Jude Law’s character is what really inspired me to write today. It’s the comfort of the things we know, the fantasy of that we don’t and the little things like cookies and great songs that make us who we are. That is how we get from one day to the next.
I wish you lots of those little things and in true Daily Cookie form, I know money does not buy happiness, but it does not exactly fend it off either. So here is more to spend in 2010.
Happy New Year!
Filed under: Feast
HO HO HO and YUM YUM YUM!
This year my commander and chef and I put out quite the Italian spread for our guests. We started our day with some delicious salumi and cheese from our favorite shop Salumeria Italiana in the North End.
Our primi course was Fusili Lunghi Con Pomodorini al Forno compliments of Lidia Bastianich. Translated this is long fusili with roasted tomatoes. This pasta dish requires a lot of prep work and time, but it is absolutely scrumptuous. Simple ingredients (panko crumbs, chopped capers, freshly grated pecorino romano, fresh basil and garlic, dried oregano and EVOO) that make every bite unbelievable. You roast the tomatoes first topped with the bread crumb mixture and then set them aside to cool, slice into quarters and later add to the cooked pasta. The only sauce for the pasta is a garlic infused EVOO that you do yourself earlier in the day. The little grooves and spirals in the long fusili capture it all when mixed – truly genius. We feasted on this for lunch the next day too.
Our second course was a slow roasted tenderloin that can be found in Barbara Lynch’s new book Stir. Cooking classes and this book were two gifts to Mike. Key ingredients here are thyme and time – you need a lot of both to properly cook. We ordered 8.25 pounds of meat from Sulmona – a little butcher shop in the North End. It was by far the biggest and best piece of meat we have ever had. Oh and they only take cash.
With the tenderloin we served sautéed green beans with tomatoes and basil and a butternut squash gratin with pesto – both recipes from one of our favorites to watch and try, Giada de Laurentiis.
An Italian caesar salad (its made with sun-dried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts) finished our meal.
We served a champagne punch made with champagne (hence the name), pomegranate juice, simple syrup, white rum and garnished with lemons, cranberries and mint. And then with dinner some Veuve for our holiday toast and two delicious wines – a Forman Cabernet and of course a 2005 Barbaresco.
Tradition in our home calls for a huge dessert buffet that is devoured by our ten and then many more family and friends. This year’s highlights were home-made cookies – my Moms charmelles and pizelles and Ms. Lynch’s assorted chocolate and sea salt, shortbread and sugar cookies, my favorite bow ties and macaroons from Jube’s little hot spot and a few cakes and pies. And much more champagne punch and wine. I think I blew out the candles and cleaned the last glass at around 11:30PM. We started at 2. . .great effort.
Mom, Dad, Jubes, Jodi, Hal, Emery, Lila, Henri, Tom and June – thanks for coming and sharing our full day and to everyone else, hope you too enjoyed a feast like ours.
p.s. – today I went back to pilates and completed day 2 of my cleanse. LOL.