Hello, hello! Welcome back! It’s Nichi, again!
I hope you have been staying safe and making the most of this unusual holiday season. You’ll have to let me know how Thanksgiving was. Feel free to leave a comment below with your favorite dish that you made! Anyone make German red cabbage like Kristin? Or, did you feel so moved by watching Chef Brendon bake on our YouTube channel that you decided to make his super simple Thanksgiving cheesecake? (Side note -- if you haven’t seen our YouTube channel yet, I highly suggest you check it out because you’ll have the rare opportunity of seeing Chef Brendon test his pastry skills).
Anyway, I’m here to talk about the next holiday coming up… Christmas! Whether you celebrate or not, Christmas has become a marker of so much more than religion -- it’s a time to take a break from work and school, go on massive shopping sprees, and reflect on the highs and lows of another year that has passed (although, maybe this year won’t require a whole lot of reflection).
Wait for it… it’s also another day of super good food! Obviously, this wouldn’t be a Liliahna blog post if we didn’t talk about that. Just like Thanksgiving, Christmas will probably be much different for you this year, but I’m here to tell you that there’s no reason to worry. In fact, think about it: less people means less cooking… unless, of course, you want to make the same amount of food and eat it all by yourself. Hey, we don’t judge here.
The other day, I was chatting with Chef Brendon about this upcoming blog post, and I could just feel and hear the mutual exhaustion over the phone. We all get it -- nothing about this year has been easy, we’ve all had to change our lives more than we would have liked to, and the prospect that 2021 may be just a little bit better, seems to be the only thing that’s keeping us going. While we were talking, there was something he said that particularly resonated with me. He said, “this Christmas, I want people to spend more time with their family and less time with their oven.” His quote, though admittedly a little sappy, and maybe the next one-liner I’ll try pitching to Hallmark, is preaching an important message. This year, many homes will have to face an empty chair during Christmas dinner, having lost loved ones to COVID-19. So, as much as quarantine may be getting on our nerves, this Christmas, I think it’s time to hug our family just a little bit tighter and indulge in the best that food and wine has to offer.
On that note, I don’t want anyone to be stressing out over holiday dinners! I advise that you do just a little bit of planning to make your evening run smoothly. First and foremost, if you’re struggling to come up with a menu, take a look at Chef Brendon’s YouTube channel for some simple options. He’s going to start you off with a light and buttery bacon and parmesan puff pastry twist. Then he’ll guide you through a beautiful roasted rosemary and garlic chicken with smashed russet garlic potatoes. Bite through that crispy and salty skin to the juicy meat beneath, and I guarantee you’ll be preheating your oven again! And, anything with puff pastry is always bomb.
Make sure you make a grocery list so you have no mid-cooking crises and don’t forget to ask for help! Tell your spouse to get off the couch and into the kitchen! Or, put those kids to work!
If you’re a sucker for decor, then a nice tablecloth, some simple white plates, and a few candles will do, but personally, I’m a fan of highly informal family-style meals.
With all of that, I think you’ll be good to go! Take it easy and relax -- you’re only cooking for your family after all (hopefully…)
I think you’ll be hearing from Chef Brendon very soon, but from me to you, happy holidays and I wish you and yours all the best in the New Year! Cheers!
And don’t forget to stay luxurious,