Tuesday, December 30, 2014

no place like home for the holidays

How is that Christmas comes and goes so fast? We had a great time in Pennsylvania, celebrating with family and friends, eating and drinking too much and just enjoying the comforts of home. This is the first year we have been home for Christmas since we got married! A few holiday treats to share...
sour cherries (either fresh or canned - cans are roughly 14.5 ounces)
Maraschino liquor
You will need about 1 cup of liquor for a pint (or can of cherries). If using canned cherries (which I did), rinse in a colander. Bring liquor to a boil, add cherries, remove from heat and allow to cool. The cherries are much tastier than the jarred variety at the grocery store. Keep cherries in the refrigerator and enjoy for the next few months on your sundaes or in your favorite cocktail. 
Speaking of cocktails - try your cherry in an apple & bourbon cocktail.
1-2 shots of bourbon
apple cider
Stir together with ice and garnish with lemon peel and a cherry.

Before we left for the holiday, I had a luncheon with some of my Nashville girlfriends. We had Ina's butternut squash soup and some delicious almond chicken salad. This recipe looks a bit festive with the red grapes, and it is delicious in a sandwich or atop fresh greens.
4 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin on
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
extra S&P for seasoning chicken
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup roughly chopped almonds
1 cup red grapes, halved
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/3 cup honey
1 and 1/3 cup Hellman's Olive Oil Mayonnaise
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and season with S&P. Assemble on a baking dish and bake for about 45-55 minutes until cooked. While chicken cools, mix together mayo, honey, chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Remove chicken skin and shred chicken into a large mixing bowl. Add celery, nuts and mayo mixture - stirring to incorporate. Add in grapes and mix gently. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes at least 6 servings.

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