Food and Family

Home from the CIA for a little less than two weeks for winter break.

Home from the CIA for a little less than two weeks for winter break.

Happy New Year!!

I have neglected to update my blog recently, because I decided to spend my winter break catching up with my family and close friends.  I hope that your holidays were filled with as much fun and food as mine! Here is a glimpse at some of the food I’ve enjoyed over the past week.

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Christmas dinner for my parents, grandparents and brothers.

Christmas dinner for my parents, grandparents and brothers.

I am always happy to be home cooking in the comfort of my own kitchen.  When I first came home I made my parents eggs benedict for breakfast and a pasta dinner for my brother's birthday.

I am always happy to be home cooking in the comfort of my own kitchen. When I first came home I made my parents eggs benedict for breakfast and a pasta dinner for my brother’s birthday.

Homemade beet tortellini  with beet greens, ricotta, and orange zest

Homemade beet tortellini with beet greens, ricotta, and orange zest

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For my brother's birthday I made him braised beef with pasta, beet raviolis, roasted brussels sprouts and a Gorgonzola pear salad.

For my brother’s birthday I made him braised beef with pasta, beet raviolis, roasted brussels sprouts and a Gorgonzola pear salad.

Braised beef and pasta

Braised beef and pasta

Beet ravioli with a brown butter and orange sauce

Beet ravioli with a brown butter and orange sauce

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Every Christmas Eve we celebrate with my mom's family with a Spaghetti dinner made by my grandmother.

Every Christmas Eve we celebrate with my mom’s family.  My grandma made her famous Spaghetti dinner.

My grandmother's blueberry with homemade whipped cream and coffee for dessert.

For dessert my grandmother’s blueberry pie with homemade whipped cream and coffee.

New chef knife for Christmas

New chef knife for Christmas!!!

Christmas morning we always go to my Aunts for a relaxing breakfast of egg bake, bagels and coffee.

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Christmas morning we always go to my Aunts for a relaxing breakfast of egg bake, bagels and coffee.

Ingredients for Christmas dinner

Ingredients for Christmas dinner

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For dinner I made roasted lamb chops, baked haddock with a miso glaze, mashed cauliflower, roasted baby potatoes, brown sugar carrots and parsnips and maple glazed acorn squash

For Christmas dinner I made roasted lamb chops, baked haddock with a miso glaze, mashed cauliflower, roasted baby potatoes, brown sugar carrots and parsnips and maple glazed acorn squash

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Before dinner we snacked on cheese, fruit, hummus and lemon garlic olives

Before dinner we snacked on cheese, fruit, hummus and lemon garlic olives

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Mixed baby greens with balsamic, blue cheese, pears, candied pecans

Miso glazed haddock baked in parchment paper with herb stems

Miso glazed haddock baked in parchment paper with herb stems

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Roasted lamb with fresh rosemary and thyme

Roasted lamb with fresh rosemary and thyme

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Mashed cauliflower

Mashed cauliflower

Carrots and parsnips

Carrots and parsnips

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Coffee and ice cream for dessert

Coffee and butter toffee ice cream for dessert

I sad that I wasn't able to make Christmas cookies with my mom this year, however, I had the chance to learn how to make these iced sugar cookies with a high school friend.

I was sad that I wasn’t able to make Christmas cookies with my mom this year, however, I had the chance to learn how to make these iced sugar cookies with a high school friend.

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For years I have admired the beautiful detail work that goes into these cookies. It was so rewarding to try my hand at them...although mine came out nothing like these!

For years I have admired the beautiful detail work that goes into these cookies. It was so rewarding to try my hand at them…although mine came out nothing like these!

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The best part is not only are they striking…they are delicious!

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Homemade chocolate truffles

Homemade chocolate truffles

I was excited to go to all my favorite coffee places over break.

I was excited to go to all my favorite coffee places over break.

I got some of my favorite coffee to take back to school with me.

I got some of my favorite coffee to take back to school with me.

Cafe au lait

Cafe au lait

Cafe au lait

Iced Latte

Iced Latte

French press and cafe au lait

French press and cafe au lait

I rarely go out to breakfast but I had the opportunity to eat breakfast out a few times this break.

I rarely go out to breakfast but I had the opportunity to eat breakfast out a few times this break.

Cinnamon swirl French Toast

Cinnamon swirl French Toast and fresh squeezed OJ

Blueberry pancakes and fresh fruit

Blueberry pancakes and fresh fruit with local maple syrup

I was lucky to have my family cook for me and eat out so much while I was home.  I did cook a few nights while I was home, however.  One night I made homemade margarita pizzas.

I was lucky to have my family cook for me and eat out so much while I was home. I did cook a few nights while I was home, however. One night I made homemade margarita pizzas for my parents and brothers.

Shiitake and trumpet mushroom risotto

Shiitake and trumpet mushroom risotto

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“It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day. That’s what human life is all about – enjoying things.” – Julia Child
One of the restaurants my family ate at apologized for seating us so close to the open kitchen, however, it could not have been a more perfect table for us! I really enjoyed watching the cooks prepare our meal.

For dinner I had a winter caprese salad with oven dried tomato and burrata along with butternut raviolis, gorgonzola bread with roasted red peppers and calamari

For dinner I had a winter caprese salad with oven dried tomato and burrata along with butternut squash ravioli, gorgonzola bread with roasted red peppers, and calamari.

Butternut squash and ricotta ravioli with onion jam and a balsamic reduction

Butternut squash and ricotta ravioli with onion jam and a balsamic reduction.

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I shared a piece of tiramisu for dessert.

And coffee...

And coffee…

A Southwestern chicken quesadilla and salad at one of my favorite cafes.

A Southwestern chicken quesadilla and salad at one of my favorite cafes.

I will continue to post updates on my classes and experiences at the CIA.  When I return I will be finishing my first semester and beginning a whole new set of classes including meat and seafood ID and fabrication.

I will post an update on my classes and experiences at the CIA when I return this week.  This month I will be finishing my first semester and beginning a whole new set of classes including meat and seafood ID and fabrication.