It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that Christmas Day is a week away. I started decorating the house just before Thanksgiving. We bought our tree a little over a week ago. The major cleaning of the house is done. The table linens are washed and ironed.
The tree is lit up like Luna Park–and I wish I had a Dustbuster to pick up the needles instead of carting the vacuum around!
Bonaparte and I had time to run to the KOP mall on Saturday to run last-minute errands, and do much of the food shopping. We dropped Chippy off at the doggie day camp, and by 9:30 AM we arrived at the mall for the early Holiday opening.
I couldn’t wait to wear my new LOL sweater that I ordered from J. Crew. But–as is my luck, the second I put this beautiful creamy white sweater over my head, I got a winter nosebleed. Nothing says “Winter” more than that first nosebleed of the season. After completely disgusting my refined French gentleman of a husband, my nose dried up and we were off!
Our first stop was the mall. We arrived at the mall so early that nobody was waiting to see Santa. He saw me stop to take his pic and yelled out what did I want for Christmas. I yelled back. “I want Trump to be impeached”. That got a laugh and a “Ho, ho, ho”!
Bonaparte may have been disgusted by my bloody nose, but he was proud when I announced what I wanted for Christmas!! Please Santa. Make my wish come true!
The Mall’s tree is pretty spectacular this year..
And this bright reindeer is very popular with the Kodak Moments. Wait? I don’t think Kodak Moments are relevant anymore. I should say iPhone moments!
This is how I like my mall visits. Empty!
After hitting the mall, we headed to Wegmans which was a feat upon itself. Everyone and their brother was there for Christmas food shopping. I had a headache when we left.
I’ll be driving to Philly airport later this week to pick up Oona—she’s flying in from Cincinnati. I’ll be picking up Jake at 30th Street Station on Thursday and I think I’m picking Roman up in Paoli on Friday. No. Wait. The plans have changed. I’ll be picking Oona up at the airport in Philly–her plane arrives at 3:00 PM. The boys have informed me that they will be at the 30th Street Station at 3:45.
I’m planning for a stress-free Holiday. I said I’m planning. You know that there will be delays and to make it from the airport to Center City in 45 minutes ain’t gonna happen!
At least my food is somewhat prepared.
So what did I prepare? I’ll show you!
The majority of the baking is either done or prepared. The freezer is jammed with baked goodies—cookies are baked.
The Momofuku Corn Cookies have been baked and are protected in bags and are in the freezer..
..as are the Chocolate Chocolate cookies…
…and the compost cookies.
I also have bags of cookie dough that haven’t been baked yet. You never know how many I’ll need for the week!
More uncooked cookie dough packed away. Even if they aren’t baked any time soon, they will keep for months!
The cake for the Buche de Noel is baked and frozen but the Ganache frosting and the Chestnut filling are in the fridge.
Inside this freezer bag, underneath the foil is a layer of plastic wrap. Under the plastic wrap lies the genoise cake for the Buche de Noel…
I made the chocolate ganache frosting earlier yesterday. Very easy.
I took two cups of heavy cream, 16 oz of semi-sweet chocolate, and vanilla (Ina will kill me. I didn’t use GOOD vanilla!)…
Added the chocolate to heated heavy cream and vanilla…
Then whisked like crazy till all was well-blended and glossy..
Poured into a plastic container and into the fridge to set. It’ll become thick and harden somewhat to be the perfect frosting!
Next I prepared the chestnut filling for the inside of the Buche. Chestnuts–either you love ’em or you can’t stand ’em. I love them!
Tray Joe’s has the best price on chestnuts! Two packs of these…
…pulsed in the food processor with a bit of grapeseed oil and a touch of Kosher salt to make a butter…
I then emptied the contents of the food processor into the bowl of my KitchenAid stand mixer. To that I added one softened stick of unsalted butter and confectioner’s sugar. I added about a cup and a half to two cups of sugar and blended until all ingredients were incorporated and smooth. I also added vanilla..
Chestnut filling–into a container, in the fridge. On Friday evening I’ll make the Meringue mushrooms to embellish the cake. On Saturday, I’ll assemble. Everything is prepared!
Are you familiar with Ina Garten’s French Nougatine dessert? I’ve written about it in past blog posts. This light and airy dessert will be one of the desserts served along with the Buche de Noel.
Inside these double-wrapped loaf pans sit French Nougatine. The surprising thing is that this is THE most requested dessert in the house. Everyone loves it. Oona asked me yesterday if I was making it. Bonaparte insists I make it. It’s the weirdest thing! But it is so easy to make!
Biscotti is baked and in bags. Luckily this doesn’t require being placed in the freezer. I have it hidden in a stock pot!
Candied nut clusters are in Mason jars and waiting to be eaten with cocktails.
OK. So with the Nougatine, I needed egg whites. But–I feel like it’s a sin to waste food, so I took the yolks and made lemon curd. This will be a great spread on toast or on the…
Shortbread that I made. Y.U.M.–with a cuppa tea–it’s heavenly!
I have a little bag filled with profiteroles–they will come in handy for a quick dessert during the week. I can melt the leftover chocolate ganache as a topping and add either ice cream or whipped cream!
And last but not least–the gougeres. Little choux pastry cheese puffs to be enjoyed with aperitifs. Light and not stuffing–leaving plenty of room for the dinner!
This guy. He’s already lickin’ his chops in anticipation!
By preparing much of the work, it’ll leave me free to concentrate on the actual dinner we’ll have for Christmas!
So that’s about it for the prep. I need to vacuum and wipe the blinds and I’m done!
Oh. And I’m preparing to go back to…..
As soon as Christmas is over!! How about you? What are you cooking for Christmas? Have you baked? Whatja baking?
OK. I have a guilty pleasure. Hanson. I love those MMMBop brothers and have remained a fan. Their Christmas CD “Snowed In” is one of my favorites. Yes. It is! Now they have another Christmas CD. “Finally It’s Christmas”. I love these guys!!! XOXOXOXO