Wow, autumn just flew by. Bad bad Yasmina for not trying new recipes, writing on food and photographing dishes. It’s been months since my last blog post. Hopefully the short winter break gives me the space to finish up a few overdue draft posts that I can publish on a more regular basis. In the meantime, here is a short update on our Christmas adventures so far, and likely to be my last post of the year!
Our annual Christmas party last weekend
Our friends know the drill: show up at ours with a bottle (or six!) of what they like to drink, we supply the finger food, Robert’s yummy-and-potent eggnog and the Spotify playlist, and everyone stays as long as they like.
This year I was a bit lazy with food prepping, so I ended up doing cheeseboard and coldcuts platters, with grissini, grapes, onion chutney, mustardy fig spread, olives, peppers, walnuts, patés and jam… The handsome-and-talented husband baked flat breads that we served alongside crusty sourdough boules and nutty breads.
Having everything laid out in the dining room meant people could hang out there and graze on food, or they could grab their drink and have a wander around our flat. We had a good crowd: it helped that most people already knew each other from our previous events. The kitchen was always full of people wanting eggnog refills, the mancave had a VR show going, the femcave was a cozy space for chats.
Unfortunately I didn’t take many photos but Marika was so kind to let me use her images of the food below.
Christmas Eve dinner
Usually when we’re in Berlin for Christmas, we’ve been lucky that friends host us for the 24th and 25th. We just show up with wine, gifts and maybe dessert or a side dish. This time though, we hosted. It’s the usual suspects who all already know each other, mostly through us: Alex and Chika and their kids, Kai and Teo. Astrid and Abi. Louisa and her mother, Emilia. Marika.
In any case, I didn’t plan on having a traditional Christmas menu. I wanted comforting winter food, that could be dressed up for Christmas Eve dinner with friends. It was all thrown together very last minute, designed for easy prepping and casual eating. I’m pretty happy with my selection:
- A selection of cheeses, cured meats, paté, olives, grissini, taramasalata, anchovies
- Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic: I bastardised Phil’s recipe with the NYTimes recipe
- Caramelised shallot mashed potatoes
- Brussels sprouts with longanisa (Filipino sausage): a riff on Saveur’s Brussels sprouts with chorizo recipe
- Orange, fennel and rucola salad to cut through the fat of everything else
- Green salad with Parmigiano shavings and lemon-thyme dressing
- Apple crumble with vanilla and caramel swirl ice cream
I really am terrible at taking photos during my own dinner parties. So here is a picture of the two cuties who came to dinner last night.
Merry everything and happy always!
After a relaxed day of sitting around in our sweatpants and generally chilling and feeling loved up, tonight we’re going to Louisa’s for Christmas dinner, where she will be doing her annual meat fondue with the best Béarnaise sauce ever.
The handsome-and-talented husband and I wish you all a lovely Christmas and winter break. We received the funniest Christmas present everrr from Joe and Adriano, and we hope you’re spending Christmas with the ones who make you laugh till you cry.
Here’s to a brighter 2017! See you on the other side!