The Menu

Mustard Roasted Broccoli with Leeks and Lemon
Curried Tomato Chickpeas Stew
Wild and Brown Rice Ghee and Lemon
Tossed Salad
Christmas Surprise Cake
White Wine

December’s Book Selection

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows


Everyone contributed to December’s book club meeting both by bringing food or wine and sharing their thoughts about the charming book we read. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was the prefect book to read in December. With everyone’s hectic schedule we needed an easy read that was on the lighter side. And, this fit the bill. While light and breezy to read it was charming and sweet without being saccharin. The same can be said for our dinner.

I have one regret however, that I didn’t photograph my coffee table brimming with the wonderful appetizers several people brought. But lighting  in my living room is a challenge under the best of circumstances and isn’t suited for photography, so I apologize. Nancy brought tomatoes, mozzarella and basil and Gloria came loaded with goodies from Trader’s Joe; two kinds of goat cheese, bread, olive tapenade, crackers and tangerines. Simi brought a tossed salad and Lyssa wine.

Broccoli Pesto

I made a Mustard Roasted Broccoli “Rilletes” with Leeks and Lemon  featured on The First Mess, a blog I recently subscribed to. She has some wonderful recipes I am discovering. The mustard roasted broccoli was a delight, very flavorful and light and went wonderfully with the prosecco we shared to toast the holidays and new year with our appetizers.  Always experimenting with food combinations I spread the mustard roasted broccoli on top of some goat cheese on a piece of a baguette and it was heavenly. It isn’t easy to find appetizers that are healthy, light and satisfying. This one is a keeper! Everyone asked for the recipe so I am including it in my blog as well as a link to The First Mess.

The meal was hearty without being heavy. I would consider it more comfort food than festive. All the ladies enjoyed it and most went back for seconds. Even though the chickpeas stew had curry in it, the tomato flavor was very strong which is what I was striving for. Because I used a whole can of tomato paste, it is was very thick and rich. And the rice sautéed in ghee before simmering had a wonderful flavor that held up on its own as well as accompanying the stew.

Xmas surprise cake lo-res

The desert was something special for Christmas. Erin always making something which coordinates well with the occasion made the lightest cake I’ve ever eaten. And, as a visually treat was red and green when sliced.

Slice of Xmas surprise cake lo-res

Happy Holidays to you and your family from me and Halley! And Best wishes for a New Year filled with laughter, insights and sustenance that feeds the mind and body.