Presents Galore, and Rigatoni with Cauliflower

The morning after Christmas, everyone is playing with their new toys. It’s a beautiful sight. Nicholas is practicing becoming a rock star with his new keyboard and microphone that Santa brought him. Nicholas the rock starDan is wearing his new shoes. And I’m playing with a new look on my site thanks to Dan! What do you think of the logo? He surprised me with it, and I love it!

I’m also having total gift envy. My sister got Tyler Florence’s new book Start Fresh–baby food recipes for the first year. It looks awesome: Spinach and Banana pudding, Plum Spiced Applesauce, babies never knew they could have it so good. Katie hasn’t really taken to solids much yet, but we’ll be kicking it into high gear when we get back from holiday. So it looks like I’ll be getting one extra gift for myself this year!

That, plus my new food saver system, and we should be ready to get Katie eating just like her big brother. Who is currently eating his second breakfast. Man, that kid can eat.

So, baby food to come in the new year! But for now, how about a pasta recipe? Rigatoni with Roasted Cauliflower. So easy after our big Christmas dinner.

Cauliflower Rigatoni

Merry Christmas Eve! Cioppino

After Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner is probably the most well orchestrated and planned meal of the year. But what about Christmas Eve? You’ve got a huge meal planned the next day, but it’s still nice to make something special that night before. Something special that:

1. Is easy clean up, since you’ll likely be making a huge mess the next day (or have already started cooking on Christmas Eve)

2. Is relatively light to prepare yourself for the gorging that is to come the next day

3. But is still warm and hearty to get you in the Christmas spirit

What could possibly fit all of those criteria? Cioppino! A seafood stew native of San Francisco (where my mom also happens to be a native of) that consists of a fragrant tomato-y broth and basically whatever seafood you can get your hands on. It’s also reminiscent of Zuppa di Pesce, an Italian fisherman’s stew–one of my dad’s favorites.

Dan and I are often in charge of the Christmas Eve dinner, and this year is no exception. My mom has been experimenting with her own sourdough, so this year we have freshly made sourdough bread as an accompaniment.

Menu:

Cioppino
Sourdough bread
Garden Salad
Champagne