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Friday, December 25, 2015

Jingle and Mingle

Merry Christmas! This year, our family was out of town, so we celebrated Christmas with close friends. Our friend, Matt, is a phenomenal cook and hosted a festive dinner party for 8 on Christmas Eve. Kanchana suggested we prepare a whimsical red and green holiday menu. Matt and Archana delivered on a delicious feast and we are excited to share our celebration with you.
We began our 4-course meal with a bottle of champagne from Domaine Carneros. We sipped on this nose tickling bubbly as Matt and Archana finished their prep work. When guests arrived, they enjoyed a glass of Emeril Lagasse's delicious hot apple cider! You may recall that we served this specialty cocktail at Friendsgiving. This cocktail features a great balance of seasonal flavors from apple to citrus to cinnamon and cloves.
We paired each course with a wine that brought out the flavor of the dish. We started with a split pea sphere amuse-bouche and Sauvignon Blanc. Matt used his molecular gastronomy kit for the first time, and we were excited to be his guinea pigs. The peas were mixed with chives and chicken broth. The dished looked more like a soup verses a sphere but it tasted wonderful! The second course was a beet and watercress salad and we paired it with one of our favorite white wines- Robert Sinskey's Abraxus, which is a blend of Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gew├╝rztraminer. The third course featured Michael Chiarello's grilled fennel spiced lamb chops with roasted cherry vinaigrette, polenta and broccoli rabe and Pinot Noir. We concluded our meal with a strawberry and grape crisp with homemade guava and goat cheese ice cream and Furmint. It was a wonderful way to finish a fine dining experience at home.
Matt and our friend, Dominique decorated a small Christmas tree with gold metallic ornaments. For table decorations, we used a burlap tablecloth, Williams Sonoma's nutcracker napkin rings, crisp white napkins, Bed, Bath and Beyond ornament place card holders and white mums. Kanchana created adorable holly place cards.
Throughout the evening, we took goofy pictures of us in Naughty or Nice hats and reindeer ears. After dinner, Kanchana beat everyone in a game of Cards against Humanity!
Merry Christmas everyone! Matt, thanks again for hosting a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner AND letting us add some TWINSPIRATION! And for the record, we didn't drink that much wine.... :) 

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."–-Charles Dickens

Recipes From This Post
Lamb Chops & Cherry Vinaigrette: Michael Chiarello
Polenta: Michael Chiarello 

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