This weekend is off to a wonderful start for several reasons. I only worked until Wednesday this week, and after three years, I gave in and took all of Thanksgiving off. Also, I had today off, we got our Christmas tree, and tomorrow we are headed to our first Christmas market this season. Holiday spirit is high here.
The best decision really was to take yesterday off. This allowed for a full day of pre-dinner cooking and baking, and despite being on my feet in the kitchen for more than 12 hours, it was incredibly stress-free compared to previous years. Dinner wasn’t until 8 pm, as all our guests were working/training during the regular work day, and so I had the whole day to fill up my oven and warming drawer. This year, I really went all out. We had 9 dinner guests in total, nearly all athletes that Martin trains with, and 9 dishes plus 2 desserts. It was a meal to remember, shared with our most internationally diverse group so far. Guest came from the US (us, of course, as well as Martin’s mom who is visiting for two weeks) as well as Iceland, Luxembourg, Ireland, and Switzerland.
Since I may want to be reminded of this menu next year, and you may be interested in what we devoured, here is the run-down as my freitag favorites for the week. The new highlight for me this year had to be the Apple Crumb Crostata. It was a fairly last minute addition and was relatively easy to assemble, beautiful to behold, and seriously delicious.
- Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Toasted Pecans and Cranberry Vinaigrette
- Cider-brined Roast Turkey with a brown sugar and mustard glaze
- Sage Foccacia dressing (made with the help of this mix)
- Mashed Potatoes with Herbed-Infused Cream and Chives
- Mushroom Gravy
- Cranberry Pomegranate Relish
- Stir-Fried Balsamic Ginger Carrots
- Lemony Brussels Sprouts (the addition of curry powder is genius)
- Dilly Rolls
- Apple Crumb Crostata
- Bruleed Pumpkin Pie
Of course, the food and the company was so good that I neglected to take any photos of the full table. I did catch a few of the tabletop with my iPhone (see also instagram). I finally found an opportunity to use a pumpkin vase, an idea that I have liked for awhile but never done, and also lots of miniature pillar candles, antique floral paper placemats from kitchen papers, and my new Alessi dishes topped off with sparkly linen napkins and little Luxembürgerli macarons at each place setting. I think I need to entertain more often because I really enjoy the tabletop decorating as much as the cooking. In the end, it was an evening well spent, and so nice to rest and relax today.
We have so much to be thankful for.
And so, on that good note, I send you off into your holiday weekend. I hope you are spending this weekend with your family and friends, perhaps benefiting from a few Black Friday shopping deals (e.g. 30% off online at J. Crew through Monday), and looking forward to joy-filled December.