Saturday, December 13, 2008

*stage whisper*

that went well. last night's dinner with my prof J, her husband S, and her brother L and his fiance S went really well! it was very natural and fun and chatty and laughy. L and S made us pakoras with a mint chutney and we had dhal makhani (hers was way better than mine) and a beef and coconut curry with rice and a poilane-ish loaf that my prof made with some starter i gave her. the chocolate, salted caramel, banana tarts were DIVINE. sooooo tasty! i'm going to make them for dr. rei and hanbo when they come over for dinner on monday.

so all my going buck on weekends and after work during the week has paid off and i'm looking at a saturday (relatively) free of responsibilities and chores. it's awesome!!!!!! i've got all my xmas baking pretty much done (all that's left is the desserts for the dotytron's family's xmas and my family's xmas) and i'm at the point where i can just bake off frozen cookie dough as i need it and assemble tins with the cookies and pre-baked and frozen bars and candies. LOVE IT.

today i'm heading to this city of craft thing with H and baby D and our friend M. then i'm meeting up with my dear friend from uni T, who's visiting from B.C. and her bestie L - we might go see a movie (i think "milk"). then i'm coming home to sharpen my knives, mail and address xmas cards, work on the annual xmas cd (the dotytron wasn't going to do one this year but they're in much demand amongst a certain demographic - especially our duets. lol!) knit, and hang out.

we still have a vat of that cassoulet stuff leftover so we're going to be eating leftovers for dinner. it'll be nice to have a night off and in because this week coming up is FULL TO THE TITS with social engagements and commitments. peep this schedule (welcome to bucktown, population lagerfeld and dotytron):

monday: dr. rei and hanbo over for dinner

tuesday: lunch with the other staff at work, have B & G over for dinner at night

wednesday: holiday brunch at hart house with my colleagues, 1/2 day vacation to continue the tradition that we have when T visits of going shopping, getting rotis from ghandi's and have her come over

thursday: dinner at lil' baci with T, her boyfriend J, her bestie L, and L's boyfriend N

friday: party at L's for T and J

saturday: reid (the dotytron's mom's side of the family) xmas social in the afternoon, housewarming party in the evening, our friend I is coming in from montreal

sunday: dotytron family xmas brunch, still hanging out with I...maybe the dotytron's birthday dinner?

INSANE-O! i'm excited/terrified. i'm glad all my xmas shopping is done. tonight i'm going to wrap presents and tie up all the loose ends and knit like a maniac.

i'm including a recipe for sugar plums that i got from my old supervisor T. they're spiced dried fruit and nut balls that are proving to be an unusual and popular addition to the holiday cookie tin.



sugar plums
makes approximately 40-50 truffle sized treats

1/4 c. honey (i used liquid, but apparently creamed is better)
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. allspice
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
2 c. of almonds, toasted and finely chopped (food processor is your friend!)
1 c. of dried apricots (hand chop smaller and then finish in the food processor with the almonds)
1 c. of dried dates (ditto)

- in this recipe, the food processor is your friend...but i made a big mistake in thinking that i could just dump the whole dried apricots and dates in there and the food processor would do all the work - INCORRECT!!! the blade gets all jammed up because the fruit is too big and sticky.
- so i rough-chopped them into smaller pieces and then ground up the nuts and added the dried fruits to the nuts to finish chopping super small...this worked beautifully because the nuts absorbed some of the stickiness and made the mix a little drier and gave the blade some traction. my old supervisor T is crazy and just hand-chops everything super-small.
- combine all the ingredients
- roll approximately 1 T. sized portions into balls, chill.
- the original recipe tells you to roll them in cinnamon sugar...i dip them in melted dark or white chocolate and refrigerate them.

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