Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Christmas - Yeah, I'm a little behind.

Christmas scones. When I first started cooking in Sep of 06 I asked my sis if she wanted me to make anything for her. Immediately she said "a nice ginger peach scone." Two year later, she says I've made her version of the perfect scone. (And, she hasn't refused to eat the "mistakes" in the interim.) Pictured are the aforementioned ginger peach for my sis. Also, a cranberry white chocolate for my niece. And, for me, a Michigan cherries with golden raisins...oh and I think there was a fourth - an orange marmalade scone.

We had a Greek Christmas Eve again this year. After dinner it sounded as though the voted to make it an annual event. I'm more than happy to oblige.

There's my bother in law digging into the spanakopita (spinach pie) and the pastitsio (Greek lasagna) is in front of my niece. Looks like Grandpa was slappping his son's hand for something - prolly threatening to run off with the pastitsio. (Wait that's another arm!)
My niece, meanwhile, is threatening to eat with her fingers if her dad doesn't start serving folks. Looks like I should have added more kalamata olives to that salad. Least there were big ol' chunks of feta. (Can you HAVE too much feta?)

Oh, speaking of feta, I almost forgot. We also had pinwheels of feta and kalamata olives with fresh parsley. Yeah, they aren't traditional But, they're good. (The recipe for Kalamata Olive and Feta Cheese Pinwheels is here.

Just a quick story around food - and memory. The pastitsio has two sauces - one 5 hour red sauce and one cheesy white bechemel sauce. My sis came to the kitchen to see what smelled so good. I was just about to start laying the long tublular noodles in the dish to build the pastitsio when my sis reached for a naked noodle to dunk in the bubbly red sauce. "Dont!" I yelled, explaining that the noodles had egg white on them.

Laughing in the face of danger my sis dunked the noddle and gobbled it up. Then she stopped cold. She remembered that taste. It took her back to being a kid again at Grandma's house. So, while the bechemel cooled, my sis told me about eating at Grandma's. And, how she remembered the taste of that Greek noodle with brown butter and cheese on it. And, how Grandma would lay the bowl of noodles near my sis. I have no memories of my Grandma. And, I think my sis hadn't thought of that in ages. But, one bite of food and she was back there once again. (Then she told me to hurry up. She was hungry. *wink*)

BTW, that isn't my pastitsio up there. I borrowed that photo. But, mine looks about like that. Except it's missing 1 noodle because my sister ate it.

That's the spanakopita. (Looks an awful lot like the baklava that was still in the kitchen.)Except the baklava has "molten lava of love."

We also had an orange cake that my Thea Gofo taught me when I was a teenager. Not much to look at. But, wow! The flavor orangy.

If an orange married a piece of baklava, they'd have little cupcakes of this cake. I wish I watched my aunt more while she cooked. (I also wish I never called her "Aunt Golfball." But, I was like, 10. And, come on, the name Gofo...well, never mind. I was wrong. Forgive me, Thea Gofo. Um, and we love your cake!)

I was a bit of a baking fool this Christmas. And, once I got started, there was no stopping me. Here's is a bit of the assortment.

I had little cello gift bags so when we had the big family over...everyone made their own goodie bags to take home. In addition to the 4 kinds of scones, baklava, and orange cake...there were...

Darn good Double Chocolate Espresso cookies - recipe from my pal Lisa at The Cutting Edge of Ordinary...and,

chunky banana bread, and,

my "signature" orange chocolate chip cookies, and toffee cookies, and little chunks of peanut butter bars - which were decidedly NOT flattened out Buckeyes. *wink*

So, in sum, it was a good Christmas. I had a week in a huge well-appointed kitchen (thanks Sis) to cook and bake my fool head off. And, I was surrounded my people I love. Not bad. Not bad at all.

What's you favorite holiday food?
Tell us in the comments below!

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The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Looks great Dana! I need to cook more Greek food!

Jules said...

Loyal Reader #3 adding ...


Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D said...

Lisa - Those were the Double Chocolate Espresso cookies from your site.

Jules ;)

Kelly said...

Will you share the "recipe" for the pinwheels?
Thanks, Kelly

Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D said...

Sure, Kelly.
Glad to.

At your request, we posted the recipe at

~ Dana

STARDUST said...

You're a natural talent in cooking Dana! Everything looks so great! Pastitsio recipe on the way to you!

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