December 21, 2011

Danish Christmas CabbageOn Sunday we threw a surprise Julefrokost (Christmas lunch) for our friend Mads. He’s been sad that he was going to miss his favorite Danish holiday tradition, so we re-created it for him. Apparently Danes attend several Julefrokosts during the holidays, which is mind-blowing because there is so much eating and drinking involved. I fell asleep on the couch watching Father of the Bride at 7:30pm.I was put in charge of one of the few veg-friendly dishes (there was a lot of herring and weirdly shaped meats at this meal). Our friend Bjorn sent directions to make the cabbage, which included instructions like “boil lively.” To be honest, I put the ingredients in a pot and tasted as I went. The cabbage ended up sweet and very vinegary, so I was perhaps too generous. 1 head of Red Cabbage, cored and shredded2 cups White Vinegar1 cup Sugar3 cups Red Currant Juice (found this in a Polish grocery in GreenpointI)1 Tbsp butter
In a large pot, melt butter. Add shredded cabbage and toss with butter. Add in vinegar and red currant juice, and then sugar. Toss with cabbage and bring to a boil over heat. Cover and simmer over medium heat for about 1 hour.


December 15, 2011

Smashed Potatoes with Balsamic Tomato “Jam”Mixture of small red, white & purple PotatoesExtra Virgin Olive OilSea Salt
“Jam”1 container grape Tomatoes1/2 white Onion, finely chopped1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oilpinch of Salt
Bring water to boil in a pot. Poke potatoes (I made six) with a fork and add to water. Throw in some salt. Allow to boil until potatoes are tender but not overcooked (should have followed my own advice). Drain and allow to cool slightly. Using a utensil of your choice (I used the bottom of a measuring cup), smash potatoes flat. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with sea salt. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 mins until crispy. For the “jam” Saute onion in olive oil with a bit of salt over low/medium heat until translucent. Add grape tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Cover and allow to cook for about 5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to split. Using a spatula or other kitchen utensil of your choice, smoosh (not a culinary term) tomatoes gently. Cover again and continue to cook, stirring occasionally as liquid reduces. Once the consistency is a bit thicker, remove from heat and serve with smashed potatoes. This year will be my first time staying in New York over Christmas (I usually fly back to WA), so I decided I should buy myself a New York priced Christmas tree ($30 for a three foot tree! Seriously?!) My mom was lovely enough to send me my childhood ornaments so that I had something to decorate it with. We never had a flashy Christmas tree growing up, so I went all out with tinsel and colored lights.

I used my favorite kitty angel ornament as the tree topper. I’ve had this thing since I was about 3 years-old. It’s been through a lot.

I also added creepy dollar store Santas to my shadow boxes. This is about the extent of my festiveness. 
I’m thinking of doing an ode to Greenpoint with a Polish-themed Christmas dinner. What are your favorite holiday food traditions?