'Cause no matter how far away you roam
If you want to be happy in a million ways
For the holidays you can't beat home, sweet home."~Perry Como
Well, I didn't get half the things done that I had planned for the month of December but I've had time to be with my husband, my kids and my grandkids and that counts for a lot.
We had our annual Christmas party for Quilt Guild and this year it was a brunch with yummy peach French toast, ham and an egg casserole that I loved. The theme was Home for the Holidays. We were challenged to make a quilt with a home on it somewhere and of course I couldn't fit that into my schedule. Our famous visitor this year was Amber Johnson, the creator of Gigi's Thimble patterns. She brought a nice trunk show with bright colored quilts.
I am including two recipes this time that would be perfect to include in a nice family Christmas dinner and of course I always pick recipes that are relatively quick and easy to prepare because we always have better things to do during the holidays than spend a ton of time in the kitchen,
Easy Shrimp Linguine
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
16 oz. linguine
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, chopped
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chicken broth
1 tomato, chopped
Boil the pasta in salted water until done. Drain well.
While pasta is cooking, zest and juice lemons. Saute’ the onions, mushrooms, garlic and shrimp in a little olive oil. Add the lemon rind and pepper flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add basil, salt, pepper and chicken broth and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to your taste. Add pasta to the sauce and garnish with parmesan cheese and chopped tomato.
This salad is so good but be warned, it doesn't do well as left overs. So eat it all up in one day.
Tossed Pear Salad
¼ cup plus 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
½ cup pecans
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 clove minced garlic
½ tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
3 pears, 1 red, 1 bartlett and 1 d’anjou, cored and thinly sliced
5 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
½ cup thinly sliced green onions
Combine sugar and pecans in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring gently, until sugar has melted and pecans caramelize, about 6-7 minutes. Cool on wax paper.
Whisk together oil, vinegar remaining 1 ½ tsp. sugar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in small bowl or shake together in small jar with a lid.
Layer lettuce, pears, cheese, avocado, and green onions in a large serving bowl. Just before serving, pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with pecans and toss.
This is the perfect book to read to your grandchildren on Christmas Eve. It's a sweet little story by the famous author, Leo Tolstoy.
I did find time to make some Christmas pillowcases for my grandkids to go with the books that I love to give.