I started the cooking this evening. I'm trying to free myself up a bit from being totally stressed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Most of the presents are wrapped...funny story about that though. My mom took Umberto and Camille to her house Friday night so I used the opportunity to wrap their gifts. Poor Piper kept asking "Who's that for?" and finally ended up sobbing because she didn't think she was getting any gifts. I had to assure her that Santa had hers in the North Pole:P
Today, I started cooking. I didn't get as much done as I wanted though as I had forgotten some key ingredients. This always happens to me. I manage to get my pantry stocked with spices, flours, sugars, etc but I always forget things like butter and buttermilk. It was buttermilk today, and I was even at the grocery store. No pear cake tonight. Luckily it's not a complicated recipe. Plans for tomorrow are to cook the pear cake (to bring to my mom's house). Then I'll prepare the soup and get the casserole ready for Christmas day. I'll make the salad right before dinner.
I think they came out very nice. It's a good recipe, quite simple to make. It also has a simple taste but I like that in a pumpkin pie. I want it to taste comforting and familiar. Notice the empty French wine bottle in the background...gift from my sister-in-law which reminds me that I also need to pick up some wine.
In addition to the pie, I assembled the mushroom phyllo appetizers. I HATE working with phyllo. In fact, I hate it so much that I usually only make big things with it...apple, pears pastries, or vegetable tarts. I have never tried my hand at smaller phyllo items so these little buggers were a whole new experience. The base was easy. I food processed (is that a verb?) button mushrooms, onions, and shiitakes. I sauted them in olive oil with salt, pepper, oregno, and nutmeg. The folding of the triangles was not so easy. You had to take sheets of phyllo, spray them with cooking spray, cut them in half, fold those halves into strips, put a dallop of filling on the strip, and fold them into triangles. You also had to be fairly fast as the phyllo dries out quickly. My first few were horribly ugly. But I got better at it.
I'll take a picture of them cooked. Tonight I wrapped them in wax paper and plastic to freeze them. Half of them