-Ambrose Bierce

I hope the holidays have been treating you all well, and you got some needed rest and relaxation. I hope you talked and laughed and hugged the ones you love. I’ve been eating and drinking and not blogging. Bad me. Culinary school starts on Monday, so I expect to be blogging my little learning heart out. I can’t wait to get all my kitchen swag, and start learning about food-borne illnesses for six weeks. Should be great for my OCD recovering self. Seriously, there was a point where my own mother couldn’t use my toothbrush, or deodorant  if such an emergency arose.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day usually fly by with lots of my time spent in the kitchen. Not to say I don’t enjoy every managed minute of it, but this year instead of cooking on the days leading up to the holiday, we ordered pizza, went out for dinner, and opted to have dinner on Thursday night so I could enjoy the long weekend. It worked out swimmingly with plenty of choice bites, time for kisses, board games, and bad-Christmas-movie watching. No rushing to the store for last-minute forgotten ingredients, just blankets and time well spent. So no fancy pants this year, but don’t worry, I made up for it on New Year’s Eve with a night to rule all nights. Dressed to the nines, on my love’s arm, calamari, a whole loaf of bread, duck confit and Negroni’s at Cafe Campagne, and fried apple pie with vanilla ice cream, chocolate Ovaltine cake with ice cream, champagne and Gimlets at Palace Kitchen to ring in the new year. Oh, and Tom Douglas stopped in to check on the night’s success. It was perfectly unpacked so it felt like we were with family.  Entering the new year with compliments, smiles, and holding hands. A great end to a night and a year.


Potato sausage, roasted fingerlings, and red cabbage

Shallot caper mayo, garlic mustard mayo, curry mayo

For a quick way to add lots of flavors to the meal, I made three different flavored mayos for the fingerling potatoes. I used prepared mayonnaise, but these would be even better with some homemade mayonnaise. No time for egg yolks Dr. Jones!

Mustard Mayonnaise

1 tsp. of mustard per 1/4 of mayo (I used garlic mustard, but Dijon, or beer mustard would be great too)

Combine mustard and mayonnaise.

Shallot Caper Mayonnaise

1 tbls. capers, rinsed and chopped

1 small shallot, sautéed until soft in some olive oil

1/2 tbls. finely chopped parsley

pinch of salt

freshly ground white pepper

tiny squeeze of lemon (optional)

Combine all ingredients.

Curry Mayonnaise

1/2 tbls. curry powder

1/2 tbls. olive oil

1/4 cup mayonnaise

a heaping tbls. sour cream or yogurt

Gently cook curry powder in oil for 1 minute

Combine all ingredients.

These would be great on veggies, steak, chicken, pretty much anything on which mayonnaise would be good. And that is basically everything. I have heard this nasty rumor that there are actually mayonnaise haters out there. I would not like to meet any of these mayonnaise misanthropes.

Turn that nose back down, kielbasa with ketchup and hot horseradish is tasty.

"If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world." - J.R.R. Tolkien