For the holidays I really wanted some Egg Nog and Hot Chocolate but I came across two issues. First of all, everyone and their mother keeps referring to Egg Nog as drinkable pancake batter. This has disgusted me and I wish people would stop! So when I was at Whole Foods, I found this SO Delicious Coconut Milk Dairy Free Egg Nog. I thought I'd give it a try. It was pretty good, a lot lighter in texture and flavor than regular Egg Nog and it was pretty taste with a bit of rum.
My second problem was finding a Hot Chocolate mix that did not have High Fructose Corn Syrup. Forget finding that at your local grocery store! I looked at every Hot Chocolate mix at Market Basket and all of them had HFCS or some sort of Corn Syrup solids. Ugh. The tin in the picture above was from Whole Foods and the ingredients were: Sugar, Dutch Cocoa and Vanilla. That's it! Perfect, right? It cost $7.99! And it's only 6 oz worth of hot chocolate mix. I hope it cures cancer too because that price is outrageous.
I had Christmas lunch over at my parents house. Our Christmas lunch is always very unusual and this year was no exception. We had octopus, a potato-carrot-beet salad, green salad, avocado, hard-boiled eggs, broiled asparagus, my mom's rice and fruit salad.
The main focus of our meal is Octopus made by my dad. He has a very special way of cooking it that I still haven't learned quite yet but I did watch him make it this time and learned a few tips.
Including this one! In order to not over cook the octopus and to keep it tender, my dad puts a large baking potato on top of the octopus. He covers it with water (I forget how much) and cooks it. Once you can easily pierce the potato with a knife, the octopus is cooked.
My dad dresses it in olive oil and vinegar and onions. This year I think he just forgot to do it. He's turning 85 in January so his mind isn't always sharp but I am so very grateful to have another Christmas with him.
When my mom moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 1979, the first two things she bought at the grocery store here were Asparagus and Strawberries. They are not common in her country and only the really wealthy ate them. She never did learn how to cook asparagus so I taught her my method. I snap the bottom fibrous part, lay them on a foiled baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil, move them around so they are coated and then I broil them in the oven for 8-10 minutes until they start to brown and wrinkle. Then I shake some sea salt over them. This really is the best way to eat asparagus. Don't ever boil asparagus!
I hope you all had a great holiday!